Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Invisible Man 1.4 - Tiresias

Plot: The Agency is being audited! Or something. Mr. Quinn's from the General Accounting Office, he wants to see their books. Problem being, the Agency has a buttload of money tied up in the invisibility gland, which is classified, so good luck explaining that. On the other hand, Mr. Quinn's niece recently committed suicide, and perhaps the Agency could investigate if there was any foul play? What we already know - and the Agency quickly learns - is that this young woman, in addition to being a sheriff, frequently visited a blind seer named Scarborough. Hobbes pays the $25 "donation" to go in, while Darien sneaks in. We learn Hobbes was bullied as a child, but Scarborough can sense Darien, and the things he sees mirrors some disturbing dreams Darien's been having lately. Dreams about him going Quicksilver mad and killing Hobbes. Then the old man advises Fawkes that his only hope of averting the fate is to kill himself. A little research back at the Agency reveals there have been an unusual number of suicides for a town that size since Scarborough received his gift, though not everyone took his advice.

Unfortunately, nobody really helps Darien through this crisis. The Keeper won't give him a shot of counteragent (this time citing concerns that he'll develop immunity, rather than that she needs time to make it). He won't tell Hobbes what's bugging him, and Hobbes insistence that it's all bunk is reassuring right up to the point one of the people who didn't listen dies alongside his family in a house fire. At which point Fawkes panics and rushes back to ask the Official to give him a different partner. But Darien still won't explain why he fears killing Hobbes, and between that, the pressure the Official feels over the budget (much of which is tied up in Darien's head), and Fawkes' resentment over being press-ganged into the service of this Agency, there's no help there. The Official calls him a worthless loser, says they should have let him rot in prison, and tells him to prove he's worth keeping around. That is some really shitty human resources management. Someone needs to attend a seminar on being a team player.

With no other place to turn, Darien runs back to Scarborough, where he meets Hobbes. Bobby stuck around the fire because certain things didn't add up, and found some evidence that points to Scarborough's daughter as having set the fire. So he's there to arrest the both of them (though she contends she acted alone to convince them the visions were real so they'd back off). Which brings Darien back into contact with Hobbes, he goes Quicksilver mad, and if the Keeper hadn't shown up someone was gonna die. Darien confronts the old man sitting in his cell and points out the vision didn't come true. Proving his charlatan nature, Scarborough rebuts that it hasn't come true yet. Yes, because there will be another time where Hobbes finds a random box of fresh doughnuts he'll try to use to cheer up Fawkes, prompting Darien to come flying through the passenger window.

Anyway, the Keep had been doing some tests on a rat (which went crazy and killed another rat, which is why she came looking for them and was nearby when Darien went nuts), and she's devised a little diode or something that looks like a snake tattoo. As the Quicksilver builds up in his system, the segments of the snake turn red. So now we have a handy way of keeping track of how close Fawkes is to going crazy and killing people.

Quote of the Episode: The Keeper - 'It's a biosynthetic gland. It's not evil.'

The "oh crap" count: 0 (11 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week: Scarborough and his daughter were fond of the Bible, but Darien quoted Balfour and Doris Day.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 1 (4 overall).

What department is the Agency affiliated with? Still Fish and Game. This one may not change often enough to be worth keeping track of.

Other: Something Scarborough said before Fawkes tried killing Hobbes, I described as 'specious bullshit reasoning'. But I didn't write down what he said, so I don't know what it was.

I continue to be amused by the budget problems of the Agency. The Official trying to grease the wheels with Quinn to avoid answering awkward questions about the books (it worked). The sly handoff of incriminating paperwork from the Official to Eberts to "accidentally" shred. That package van being so weak they can't outrun a '73 Toyota. Fawkes and Hobbes having to pool their money to cover the $25 donation (though Darien's apartment looks really nice, when he isn't tearing pillows to shreds in a nightmare frenzy). Hobbes consistently wanting a calling card because he can't get in touch with people when he needs to.

If Fawkes can build up a resistance to counteragent, couldn't he build up a resistance to the narcotic effects of the Quicksilver? If it's acting like a drug on his system, people eventually build up resistances to drugs they're exposed to regularly. Or so I've observed from my friends and their drinking. If the gland is always pumping Quicksilver into his bloodstream, then his body should eventually gain a tolerance for it. How long that might take is anybody's guess, but I feel like it must have been awhile since the Pilot. The Keep launched into an explanation of what the gland does and Darien fed it right back to her, so they've obviously been doing this dance long enough he's got her answers memorized.

One problem with episodes about someone having a vision of the future is how many problems they cause when they choose not to tell people what they saw. I'm not expecting the Official to give a damn, but I feel like if Fawkes had told Hobbes he'd been having recurring nightmares of killing him when Hobbes offers doughnuts, maybe Hobbes would have been forewarned when he took that guy's box of doughnuts. Also, maybe the Keeper wouldn't have blown him off so much. OK, she probably would have. Naming the rat she was experimenting on Darien (and the other Hobbes) is not very nice. I don't feel she's carrying out her plan to earn his trust very well. He doesn't trust any of them. Then again, he told the Keeper that he wants to be killed if he goes Quicksilver mad again, so not sure how much trust he needs to have.

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