Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.4 - Johnny Apocalypse

Plot: So we open on the Official arguing with Alex. She wants Fawkes and Hobbes for a mission, but refuses to tell them what the mission is really about. The Official is opposed to this, but ultimately acquiesces. Neither of them realize Fawkes was there the entire time, though he doesn't know what the mission is, and Alex isn't any more forthcoming to he and Hobbes the next morning. So the three of them set off in Darien's car, eventually stopping at an ordinary suburban home, where they find a nearly teenage boy named Adam. Who Alex convinces to come with them, though Adam gives them a lot of static, and makes fun of Darien's name. Not endearing the kid to me here, writers.

When they stop to stretch their legs at a park, Darien and Adam begin to bond over basketball, until a helicopter lands in the park and a bunch of guys try to abduct Adam. Guys with thermal vision sunglasses. Yep, it's Chrysalis again, but they're able to fend off the bad guys and reach a hotel, where Alex finally spills the beans to Darien. Adam is being used as an incubator for some incredibly lethal virus. Like, wipe out the West Coast lethal, and it will be triggered when his testosterone levels jump with the onset of puberty. Which will be any day now. Adam naturally overhears all this and freaks, but Fawkes is able to catch up to him and bond with him by demonstrating how he was used as a guinea pig. They reach their destination without further incident, the destination being a dilapidated shack with a big sterile lab hidden underneath. Adam would like Darien to stay, and Darien wants to stay, but Alex is certainly eager for he and Hobbes to leave. So Darien snoops invisibly and finds the doctors there aren't planning to cure Adam, they're going to incinerate him.

So they grab Adam and bail, hiding him at Eberts' house, where we learn Eberts is quite the dab hand at Perfect Dark (unlike Darien). Meanwhile, Fawkes takes a blood sample to the Keeper, who can't be certain she can find a cure before the virus is released (Adam was fitted with a bracelet that turns red as we near the danger zone by the people who were going to cremate him). Before a new plan can be determined, Alex catches up to Fawkes demanding to know where Adam is. There's an argument about the usual stuff: acceptable sacrifices, who is cold-hearted, but that gives Darien a flash of inspiration, and he's shortly meeting at night with Jarod Stark. Fawkes is willing to turn Adam over to Chrysalis, just so long as they will freeze Adam until after Darien's dead. Stark, curiously, agrees. Naturally it's a set-up and Darien steals the truck with the cyropod while the Agency's guys shoot it out with the Chrysalis goons. Back at the office, Adam gets into the pod and is frozen, though Fawkes isn't happy about doing it. And the episode ends on Darien sitting next to the pod, telling Adam about some new snowboarding game Eberts got for his N64.

Quote of the Episode: Fawkes (and Hobbes) - 'The old need-to-know.'

The "oh crap" count: 1 (5 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Some philosopher, something about knowing too much. I couldn't understand what Fawkes was saying.

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

Other: Darien has got to learn how to fight. He's useless if his enemies can see him. I do like that they apparently brought back that one big Chrysalis thug from "It's a Small World". The one that whupped Fawkes' butt with ninja weapons, then nearly drowned him in the pool at the school? I'd like for him to become a recurring sub-boss Darien has to deal with.

Love that nobody from the Agency or from Chrysalis brought anything other than handguns. No rifles, no machine guns, not even a shotgun. Just a bunch of dudes with 9 mils plinking away at each other.

The scene where Eberts manages to lie right to the Official's face about hiding Adam, Hobbes expresses admiration, and then Eberts blows it by arguing that technically, he wasn't lying. Ruined slightly by the Official's creepy line, 'You aren't allowed to have a sex life, Eberts.' Also ruined by the fact Eberts has a photo of the Official on the table behind his sofa.

The scene where the Official was trying to block Alex' demand to send back-up along with Hobbes and Fawkes to get the pod. He spreads his arms out, and Darien and Bobby roll their chairs so that the fit in under his arms. That was very sweet. Sure, the Official is really just trying to regain some of the authority he's lost, and sure, it failed utterly, and sure, she was right to insist on back-up, considering the number of guys Chrysalis brought along, but still. It was a touching moment.

In other news, I still don't really like Alex. I don't even like that she keeps going over the Fat Man's head. It's starting to smack of Major Houlihan constantly threatening to go over Col. Blake's head on M*A*S*H*. Any time he didn't do what she wanted, she'd just threaten to call some general she was friends with, and that's kind of where Alex is at. If she doesn't get her way, she just threatens to call the President. What I enjoy with Fawkes, Hobbes, and the Keeper is that when the Official tries to block them, they find some sneaky way around him. Or just ignore him and do it anyway. It's the underdog finding a way to triumph. Alex is just using greater authority. Not much fun with that, unless the Official is gonna start finding ways around her.

Plus, she's treating Fawkes and Hobbes like expendable idiots. The Official asked what happens if they get killed on this milk run mission of hers, and she responded she thought she'd survive. Well I sure hope not. Come home with your mates, or in a pine box with them. She's callous towards the characters I actually like, the sporadic moments that are supposed to show her nicer side don't begin to overwhelm that.

So let's talk about a character I do like: Hobbes. This episode reminds me of 1.2, "Catevari", in that you have Fawkes confronted with a lethal person made that way against their will. Heck, without even knowing it. And Fawkes is reluctant to punish the kid for something that really isn't his fault. But Hobbes, back then, he and Darien had a very adversarial relationship. No trust going either way. And there was the scene where Fogerty attacked the now-Senator that had put him through it. Darien failed to stop him because he was saving a baby. Hobbes got in his face about doing his job, and when Darien pointed out he saved the kid, Hobbes retorted, 'That's not doing your job. That's being a nice guy.'

Yet here we are, Adam loaded full of a virus that will kill millions, and Hobbes sides with Darien. Not only sides with him, encourages him to snoop, and when Darien comes charging out with Adam in tow, Hobbes is behind the wheel of the car, ready to go. To "go Starsky," as Darien put it. What changed? Did Hobbes resent being kept in the dark? Did he, like Darien, simply trust the Keeper would find a way to save Adam, so there was no need to kill him? Did he distinguish between Fogerty, who was choosing to take revenge, and Adam, who was an innocent? Or is he changing from prolonged exposure to Fawkes and his insubordinate ways?

Also, guess we have an answer to the question of whether Chrysalis is waiting for the apocalypse or trying to engineer it. And again, the show does a good job of hinting at their longterm goals. Stark was willing to wait to unleash Adam until after Fawkes was dead. Admittedly, Stark was probably planning to kill Darien and expedite the process, but then again, they'd already waited for Adam to hit puberty, what's a few more years? Probably not going to help Darien in any future encounters that he double-crossed Stark. Interesting that the bad guy keeps his word (so far as we know), and the good guy doesn't. Course, Stark doesn't figure it makes a difference in the long run, so he can afford to maintain his principles. Probably helps his sense of superiority.

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