Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Invisible Man 1.22 - Money for Nothing, Part 2

Plot: We pick up where last week left off, with Hobbes mulling over Fawkes' offer to take the money and run. He decides, no, gotta bring Fawkes in, but initially fails. Fortunately, Quicksilver Mad Fawkes would rather toss a nurse around in the air for her keys than quietly lift them, and his escape attempt fails. However, Hobbes does help him escape Orion (so it's not "O'Ryan" as I typed last week, he's named after the fabled hunter instead, go fig). In the van, Hobbes tries for a surprise counteragent injection, but ends up being the one surprised when it doesn't work. Darien's eyes turn back to red for a moment, then go back to silver. Hobbes calls the Keeper and presents this as a hypothetical, and Claire confirms that her counteragent won't work on Stage 5 Madness, and that she'd have to harvest the gland. So Hobbes' only chance to save his partner is to help Crazy Fawkes do what he wants: Find Arnaud.

By the time they reach Dr. Rendell's address, Orion has arrived as well (having asked the orderly Fawkes punched what Darien was after). Darien Quicksilvers a dumpster then hides behind it, as Orion and his goons forget that invisible doesn't mean intangible. Eventually, Orion tries to capture in a paint store, leading to a fight between him and a purple, creepy smiling Quicksilvered Fawkes. Making that burning, purple, creepy Quicksilvered Fawkes, who knocks Orion unconscious, and leaves him in a burning paint store. Relax, Hobbes saved the guy. Back at Rendell's apartment complex, Darien is initially stymied by the doorman, who does not believe Darien is Arnaud. So Darien starts to leave, Quicksilvers, sets the revolving door spinning, and when the doorman goes to investigate, twirls him about in there until he slams into the doors a few times.

Now it's time for an extremely creepy conversation with Dr. Rendell, who answers the door in a very short robe and high heels. And we've already seen that Quicksilvered Darien is not big with boundaries. Especially when he learns that Arnaud has presented himself to Rendell as a federal agent, after the dangerous criminal Darien Fawkes. This makes Darien very irate, and we are only spared an all-out sexual assault by the fact Arnaud answers his pages quickly. And now we get to watch Darien beat Arnaud to death, until Hobbes intervenes, which lets Arnaud show off his new trick, glowing brighter than the Sun. He nearly blinds our two heroes, and escapes with the doctor. Darien is not happy Hobbes interefered, not happy Hobbes is still set on getting Stage 5 counteragent, so he punches Hobbes and runs off to make mischief. This involves tampering with some pushy asshole's bicycle, and nearly beating a mime to death.

Hobbes is trying to catch up, but is approached by Rendell on behalf of Arnaud. Which leads to a delightful scene in a deserted section of an aquarium where Hobbes vies with Arnaud for the last word, as they try to come to some sort of understanding. I mean, they each understand the other, so I guess it's more about establishing a sufficient level of trust. Arnaud mentioned last week he didn't need Darien's gland, and we've seen why: He has his own, but it doesn't work right. Something went awry. But, if she can view a real-time MRI/cat-scan/something of Darien's brain as he Quicksilvers, it will enable her to correct whatever she did wrong, and Arnaud's gland will work fine. In return, Arnaud will give Hobbes the Stage 5 counteragent. Of course he has some. As he pointed out, if he didn't, the gland-users who are his theoretical customers go mad and he loses control of them. And Arnaud likes control.

So he uses himself as bait, Hobbes tranqs Fawkes, they retire to a nice room with an MRI machine and surgical equipment, and they're ready to begin. There is the question of how to get Darien to cooperate by Quicksilvering, and the answer is Hobbes whispers a promise to let him free to do as he'd like just as soon as he gets the counteragent. Operation is completed, Aranud injects the counteragent (which looks like mercury), and Darien starts convulsing. Which turns out to be a trick to get them to untie him, so he can go after Arnaud. Thus we get invisible IV stand staff fight, then one of Arnaud's goons barges in and Fawkes swipes his assault rifle, wounds Arnaud, but the counteragent kicks in and immobilizes him long enough for Arnaud to escape. Afterward, back at the Agency, everything seems OK with Darien and the gland, the Official doesn't seem too peeved about Arnaud having his own gland, and Darien is sad about the things he vaguely remembers doing while crazy. But back at Rendell's apartment, we see Arnaud's not so happy. He's wound up like Simon Cole, in that he can't turn visible again. And he's going to take it out on Dr. Rendell. Sorry, Doc.

Quote of the Episode: Only one? Fine. Darien - 'You know what? I would love to stay here and reminisce with you. . . but I'm not going to. I'm gonna get Arnaud. You get in my way and I'll damage you.'

The "oh crap" Count: 0 (37 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Francis Bacon, who noted one who seeks revenge keeps his wounds green. I almost typed "Nobody", because I forgot about this one at the very end for a second.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 1 (9 overall). Technically he never goes out of Q.M., so it's just a continuation of last week's, but what the hell.

Other: I had remembered this as the Season 1 finale, perhaps because it seems like such a logical place for it, but no, there's another episode to go. Which is not going to stop me from doing what I did for the Burn Notice Season 2 finale, and littering this section with other quotes.

Claire - 'I think we should trust Bobby to do the right thing.' Official - 'That's like trusting my dog not to pee on the carpet.'

 This episode places Hobbes in a strange place. Normally, he's the one being paranoid, being a little out of control, too fixated on his demons. Here, though, he has every reason to be paranoid. His boss didn't trust him enough to let him bring in his partner, and just because Orion is down, doesn't mean there won't be someone else (except for the part where the Agency has a Team 7, but no Teams 2-6). He's dealing with Arnaud, who is trustworthy, until he's not.

But at the same time, Bobby feels things deeply, and when he decides to trust, he goes in whole hog. Which is dangerous, because he's also dealing with Crazy Fawkes, who can't be trusted, and is going to play every emotional tune he can to get Hobbes to help him. The pitch last week, appealing to Hobbes' vanity and ego, pointing out the lack of respect he gets from others. This week, pointing out to him that Arnaud is the only one who can do what Hobbes wants. Of course, if Hobbes goes looking for Arnaud, that means bringing Darien into close contact with Arnaud, which is dangerous on many levels. And then, in the operating room, Darien told Hobbes he betrayed him, which may have led Hobbes to reassure Fawkes he would get his chance for revenge. Hobbes is consistently not wary enough of Darien, even after he sees that this Fawkes is not the one he knows.

'Hobbes, don't you get it? I don't want Stage 5 counteragent. I like it here. It's nice.'

Also, this is the first chance for an extended interaction between Hobbes and Arnaud. They've briefly been in the same place before, but they've never talked much. Well, Claire got her chance a few weeks ago, and now it's Bobby's turn, and it's great. The bit where Hobbes and Arnaud go back and forth, trying to get the last word. The way Bobby turns his bluster up to 11, even as Arnaud adopts this wonderful, weary arrogance. It's that sort of attitude you see fictional evil geniuses get when dealing with someone they consider beneath them. Where they try to act as though it is so exhausting to deal with these morons, but they're being a little too obvious about it, so you can tell they're actually enjoying being a condescending dick.

Arnaud - 'Look, after I get my operation, I give Fawkes the stage 5 counteragent, and we all go along our merry way.' Hobbes - 'What if Fawkes doesn't wanna play ball?' Arnaud - 'He'll go irretrievably mad.'

Arnaud has a really great deadpan delivery on that last line. It's so perfectly obvious that's what would happen, why are you wasting time with dumb questions? So he's going to make sure you know just how dumb he thinks you are for asking. Except Hobbes flat out doesn't care. He's used to people talking down to him, underestimating him. And that's from people he respects. From Arnaud, it's water off a duck's back. It's annoying, but not something that will stop him. His concern is Darien, and he does not trust Arnaud at all. So he is going to cross every "T" he can find, and point his gun at you while he does it. It's actually kind of strange, because Arnaud is playing things mostly straight, in that he handed over the real counteragent, and seemed content to not try and kill Fawkes until Darien started trying to kill him. Meanwhile, Hobbes is the one planning a double-cross. And yet, because Hobbes is trying to help his friend (and get rid of a notorious killer and biological weapons dealer), I'm still rooting for him. Also, because Arnaud is still kind of a dick.

Darien - 'Well, that's good to know, because he wasn't very gentle or delicate when he murdered my brother and ruined my life.'

Wow, that scene with Rendell (who is played by Catherine Dent, who I remember fondly from The Shield) and Darien made me extremely uncomfortable. Strange, considering I barely blinked at him beating the shit out a mime. But he gets much too close, and the camera tends to linger around the plunging neckline of the robe. Plus, we've already seen how casual Darien is about violence, and hearing from Rendell that Arnaud has twisted the story around to make himself the good guy, and Darien the criminal - casually leaving out the part about Kevin Fawkes' death - only ignites Darien's rage. And then Rendell refuses to believe him, which only seems to make it worse. I seriously debated fast-forwarding through that scene to the point where Arnaud actually arrives.

I mean, I know Darien's usually not in control of himself in standard Quicksilver Madness, and this was super-special Stage 5 Madness, and that it was meant to be uncomfortable. As the audience, we know what Arnaud's done to Darien, so we might be in the same position as Darien - we want Arnaud dead, who cares if Darien's a little nuts? So this was maybe a way of driving home that in this condition, Darien is a threat to everyone, not just bad guys. In that state, there's nothing that limits him. The things that might normally hold us back don't inhibit him at all. If he wants Arnaud, and Hobbes is in his way, he'll punch Hobbes. He'll beat up a mime just because he feels like it. Why not? Rendell's not evil, after all, she just got fooled by Arnaud, something any number of people (including Kevin and the Official) have had happen. After the Stage 5 counteragent takes effect and Darien collapses, Dr. Rendell catches his head and sort of lets it rest under her arm. Which was a surprisingly kind gesture, considering the way he terrorized her earlier.

Couldn't help noticing that when Darien was asking Hobbes about the things he'd done while nuts, he didn't mention the sequence in the apartment. I prefer to read it as Darien being too embarrassed by it, and not wanting Hobbes to confirm, though I guess it was over by the time Hobbes arrived, so he wouldn't know.

Arnaud - 'I never hurt people whose help I need.'

Back when we learned of Simon Cole, I wondered if part of what went wrong with him wasn't only that he couldn't turn visible again, but that he went Quicksilver Mad. But because he was invisible, no one could see his eyes turn red, so Arnaud didn't know to make a counteragent. I don't know if that's accurate or not, since I don't know how long Arnaud was part of the team. Maybe that failure is what opened the way for him to get in, though it's never been established how he learned of the project in the first place. The Agency is such small potatoes, why would he have been watching them? Maybe something in Kevin Fawkes' work prior to joining the Agency? Or that of Kevin and Darien's uncle? Anyway, my point is, did Arnaud remove that flaw from the gland in his head? I'd think so, but then I remember his ill-fated partner's words from "Diseased", about Arnaud being half a scientist, and I wonder if he'd miss that detail. Not that he needs to be Quicksilver Mad to explain his actions towards Rendell. Arnaud has a well-established streak of cruelty, especially to those who disappoint him, or are of no use to him. Rendell most likely can't perform a new operation on an invisible gland, so he might as well vent his rage.

Though, while we're on the subject of Arnaud's scientific skill, how can he claim the gland is a perfect duplicate of Fawkes'? When he tried to go invisible he glowed light a searchlight. That seems like less of a malfunction in how the gland is hooked up in his head, and more of a defect in how he built it. Like, there's something wrong with the substance the gland is producing, not how it's doing it, or how it's being secreted. It would be just like Arnaud to pin the blame for his failure on someone else. But I don't know how to explain how whatever Rendell did fixed things.

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