Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.2 - The Camp

Plot: The Agency has rather abruptly been shuffled over to the Department of Health and Human Services. Even the Official is in the dark, until on Alexandra Monroe strides in and informs everyone she used her connections to have it done, that she is now a part of the Agency, and that she has an office on the next floor up. Fawkes goes up to schmooze, but is mostly stunned by how well furnished her office is, and then get shot down when he tries to be smooth. Eventually, after he and Hobbes are finished making fools of themselves, we find out why she did all this: she's running an investigation on a series of baby abductions (including her own child), and she needed an agency small enough she could move it into this department, where such a thing would fall within their purview.

Alex still hasn't found a connection between all of them, even with her totally awesome (by early 2000s) computer that she promises to hook Claire up with. Hobbes suggests looking into a connection between the dads, and there you go: All the parents went through a Stork Corporation fertility clinic. Alex and Hobbes pretend to be a couple as a pretext to visit, while Darien snoops around invisibly. For the record, while Alex refuses to react to Darien going invisible in front of the boys, she is amazed when they aren't looking. While snooping, Darien finds some room full of computers that monitors, the parents I guess, for when the mother goes into labor. So they can send a team to take the kid. Darien rounds up his partners, and they stake it out. That night, a nurse comes in and takes the baby. Darien follows to a waiting ambulance, goes visible, and gets beaten up by her two goons. Fortunately, Alex steps in and beats up both guys, and recovers the child, though the nurse is able to escape, being followed by Hobbes to a camp. Darien sneaks in and finds a camp full of kids being put through rigorous physical and mental training while adults patrol with automatic weapons. And who is behind all this? You guessed it, Chrysalis!

The Official says they can't do anything without a warrant, which they can't have without proving the kids were abducted. So Darien sneaks back in, steals some used tissues and swabs the babies (chrysalis has a huge room full of little cribs and apparently no video surveillance) and comes back out. The Keeper notices none of the kids DNA sequences have introns, which means maybe the kids won't age or something. Regardless, the DNA samples are evidence enough, and the warrant is acquired, so all hands on deck for a raid. Except someone inside noticed, and they're arming the kids. Well even the FBI is not ready to shoot a bunch of kids. So Darien sneaks in again, and holds the head counselor at gunpoint, telling him to contact Stark.

Stark arrives, and he and Darien shoot the breeze for a bit, after Fawkes makes him remove his coat, shirt, and pants. Just to mess with him, mostly. Stark argues the kids belong to Chrysalis, because it was actually DNA from Chrysalis employees that makes up the kids. I'm not clear on whether they swapped in their own egg and sperm for the parents, or did some DNA switcheroo thing, but whatever, the moms were unwitting surrogates. All of this is being recorded by Darien's sock cap camera (provided to him by Alex), but isn't producing results fast enough to suit her, so she sneaks into the camp, right as Fawkes tries to bluff Stark by saying the feds are ready to come in guns blazing. So Alex' impatience helps, because she trips an alarm, which convinces Stark the feds really are going to kill kids. So he agrees to tell them to stand down, and that Chrysalis will leave them alone until they reach adulthood. After, we learn none of the kids are Alex', which means Chrysalis has more than one of these camps, and Alex steps outside to cry alone for a bit.

Quote of the episode: Stark - 'You're really becoming a festering wound, Fawkes.' Fawkes - 'That's about the sweetest thing a grown man has ever said to me.'

The "oh crap" count: 0 (3 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Princess Diana, who observed that if men had to have babies, they'd only have one. Woody Allen, who said something about not knocking it until you try it. And a poet named, um, Jabron, I think, who said your children aren't your children, that they come through you, but not from you. Which is factually untrue, half their DNA comes from you. Stupid poets.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 0 (0 overall).

Other: I don't think the Official told Eberts to shut up this week. Kind of hard to tell, I'm not sure how well this Hulu experiment is going to go.

They changed the opening credits. Not sure I like the change, but at least Mike McCafferty (who plays Eberts) gets to have his name in them. Go Eberts!

Stark's suit seemed to fit a little better this week. At least until Darien made him take it off.

I have to admit, I like these plots they keep finding Chrysalis involved in, if only for how much they indicate longterm planning. It's going to be years before these kids are ready to do, whatever it is Chrysalis has planned for them. Likewise it would have been awhile before those kids they were going to vaccinate with nanobots were in positions of power (though they still might have provided valuable information on their parents). But if you're thinking decades ahead, then that's fine. Though I still don't understand the freezing the smart people plan, just because they said you couldn't safely unfreeze them after 3 days. Doesn't that mean you should wait until right before a cataclysm, freeze them, then thaw them out shortly thereafter? Also, I'm not sure if Chrysalis is expecting a disaster, or is planning to unleash one. Maybe it's either one, take advantage of events, or make something happening if nothing comes along of its own accord.

Though I still cannot believe a company with the resources of Chrysalis cheaps out and doesn't put monitoring devices in their room full of stolen babies. Darien went in there twice, not Quicksilvered either time, and no one noticed.

I don't think Stark and Fawkes are quite at the level of animosity of Arnaud and Fawkes, which makes sense. Arnaud is really only concerned with himself, Stark is taking a longer view, working towards a goal that will outlive him. He and his wife have placed their own son in one of the camps, believing it better prepares him for what's coming. So he can see Fawkes' interference as minor setbacks, nothing that really changes the end result, since he sees the collapse of global society as a given. The Agency isn't doing anything that will stop that, at most, they're making it so a few more people might die, because Chrysalis won't be able to adequately prepare them for whatever goes wrong.

That being said, there's still some hostility. Stark doesn't appreciate Fawkes popping up, and I think Fawkes would enjoy irritating someone like Stark, even if he were only run of the mill evil, rather than cartoonish supervillain evil. Stark likes insulting Fawkes, and Fawkes likes giving it right back. Stark enjoys flaunting his power and influence - see his line at the end about how he keeps his word, but even if he didn't, Fawkes couldn't touch him - and Darien enjoys any little thing he can do to take that away. Interesting Allianora didn't come up. If I were an unpleasant fellow, I'd say the writers swept her under the rug once she was dead and served their angst purpose. But I'll instead take it as a sign that Stark cared about her enough to not be happy he killed her, and Fawkes knows now isn't the time to confront Stark about it. Focus on the problem at hand. I feel like it's something that should come up at some point, though.

And so we have Alex Monroe, super-agent, sticking around for the foreseeable future. can't say I'm exactly thrilled so far. I thought the rest of the crew had a pretty good chemistry going, and I wonder if she's going to muck it up. Offhand, she seems like she's going to be lording how awesome she is over everyone (except maybe Claire, she seemed friendly enough to her). Now the Official likes to occasionally abuse his power over Darien, Claire, or Hobbes (especially Hobbes), but we aren't supposed to like him when he does that. Because he's being a jerk. Now, it could very well be that Alex has not received the proper respect for her skills in her career because of sexism, and she's trying to set the parameters early, recognize and respect her skills and experience. Darien tried to be smooth almost immediately, and so he got shot down in flames. But I didn't entirely understand the scene in the van, where she sort of toyed with Hobbes, seemingly just so she could shoot him down in flames. He had already issued his 'don't fish from the company pier' motto, and then she says that's too bad, and when he says she's playing with him, she responds, completely deadpan, 'oh yeah'. What was the point of that?

I guess maybe she's going to assume the role Hobbes and Claire shared early in Season 1, where each of them doubted Fawkes, either his professionalism or how much he could be trusted. And each of them withheld a lot of their inner selves from everyone else for a long time. Except Alex is going to extend that attitude to the lot of them. I guess if her opinion is gradually turned around on them, and she can learn to respect their skills (without making her look incompetent, since she's supposed to be a Five Star A agent), that will work. She just met them, trust takes time, maybe she's not the type to share, fine, great. But to try and be so manipulative and condescending from the start, from people whose assistance you require, and who would probably be glad to help if you just asked (other than the Fat Man), is not a great first impression.

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