Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.6 - Brother's Keeper

Plot: We open with Darien charging into the offices of the Agency, Hobbes hanging on for dear life. Yes, it's Darien's first Quicksilver Madness episode of Season 2! Pity Alex isn't here to see it. Claire appears holding the shot of counteragent, and Darien charges at her, and she and Hobbes manage to keep him still long enough to administer the shot. After, we learn the boys successfully retrieved something from the Cuban Embassy, but Darien had to stay invisible a bit longer than expected and went nuts on the ride back. And he's sick of it. Later, Hobbes finds Darien standing at Kevin Fawkes' grave. Hobbes comments many people talk to the dead as a sign of hope. Fawkes opines that it's pathetic, and worries he'll wind up like Simon Cole. Which gives him an idea, a wonderful, terrible idea.

As Darien maps out on a whiteboard for the Official and everyone else, he wants them to inject some of Kevin's memory RNA into his gland, so that it will connect with the pineal gland, giving Kevin control of his body, just as Simon did. Claire tries to argue that Kevin has been dead over a year, but Eberts pipes in that all the scientists on the project were required to give samples which are still in storage. Which leads to the only "Shut up, Eberts" of the episode, as the Official declares that such activities will not be carried out on his time or his dime. He even has the agents watch Fawkes to ensure he doesn't break in and steal the samples. Well, at least he didn't accuse Darien of dishonoring his brother, and while everyone is watching Fawkes, Hobbes nicks the goods. Darien waits for Claire outside her apartment in the rain, and asks if she really meant it when she said she'd choose him over the Agency. So Claire is in, the material is injected, and voila! Kevin Fawkes walks among us. And he knew Claire from grad school. They dated for a year?!

Of course, this is a Kevin from earlier on, before Darien was brought into the project, but he's very excited that the gland worked, even if he's having a little trouble with it himself. Then the Official steps in, and any possibility of keeping this under wraps goes out the window with Kevin referring to the Fat Man as "Charlie", and commenting that he's lost weight. The Official confirms Kevin died at the hands of Arnaud, and at this point we switch to Arnaud, who apparently didn't kill his lady doctor friend, and is trying to wear a sort of plastic skin mask of his face. But he isn't satisfied, and he claims the only one who could fix the gland is Kevin Fawkes. And it so happens Kevin and Hobbes are looking for Arnaud, and tracking the doc. But Kevin's still having some trouble maintaining invisibility, and he doesn't know how to fight, and Arnaud would have killed him if Hobbes hadn't shown up.

Back at the lab, Claire doctors a cut on Fawkes' head, and then there's romantic tension between Claire and Kevin. Intimate hand holding, oh dead, there's hugging, and now there's kissing, geez. After that extremely uncomfortable scene, Kevin goes to sleep, which enables Darien to take control again. He is less than pleased to learn Kevin has not provided the answer to removing the gland, and that they're endangering his life going after Arnaud, and says something that pisses Claire off enough she slaps him and calls him selfish. Well yes, he wants his brother to get the fucking gland out of his head the way he promised he would before he was murdered by the terrorist he hired as an assistant because the Agency doesn't do thorough background checks. Anyway, Darien returns home and goes back to sleep, and when Kevin awakes in control, Darien has left him a videotape, pleading with Kev to get the gland out. But Arnaud is there and captures Kevin, bringing him to his place to demand his look at a model of Arnaud's gland and fix it. Then Kevin goes into Quicksilver Madness, and Arnaud gives him the counteragent. Except counteragent also somehow neutralizes the effect of the memory RNA (Claire mentioned something about it), so now Arnaud is dealing with Darien, and Arnie gets hurled out a window.

Back at the Agency, Kevin is back in the forefront, with Arnaud's computer (which Darien grabbed). Kevin is depressed the gland has hurt so many, but the Official arrives to make the sales pitch that Darien has saved many lives with it. Kevin asks for a quiet place to work, and as Hobbes escorts him, he talks a bit about how Darien has changed. How he even plants a little flag at Kevin's grave on Veteran's Day. Kevin locks himself in the lab, and writes Darien a note explaining why he can't tell Claire how to remove the gland, and then takes the thing that will flush him out of Darien's system entirely. Back at Kevin's grave, Darien is down, feels alone, and doesn't want any reassurance from Hobbes, leaving Bobby to plant a little flag at Kevin's grave.

Quote of the episode: Darien - 'Well, I have a gland in my head that makes me go insane if I don't get a shot. I just tried to kill you. I just tried to kill Hobbes. My life is driven by fear of me. That's not what's wrong. What's wrong is that it's business as usual.'

The "oh crap" count: 2 (7 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Thomas Mann said a man's life is more the survivor's affair than his own. Hobbes' therapist says to hear the past, live the present, dream of the future. James Beddell said if you have nothing to die for, you have nothing to live for. da Vinci said our life is made by the death of others.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 2 (2 overall).

Other: So I missed some dialogue this week because the background music from one of the ads during the first commercial break kept playing for the entire rest of the episode. This story is trying to be touching and I've got some stupid jazzy beat going in the background constantly. Was ready to kill something by the end of the episode.

Thought Darien's initial Quicksilver Madness was a little off. Like someone playing crazy, with all the barking and weird faces, more than actually being crazy. If Quicksilver Madness Darien doesn't want counteragent, why run directly at Claire, who has a syringe of counteragent, especially without even bothering to go invisible? I mostly prefer the Q.M. Darien from the end of Season 1: very dangerous and violent, but still capable of maintaining focus and being clever.

I really enjoyed Darien's big diagram detailing his plan to put Kevin's memory RNA in his brain. He was so excited about it. Also, it actually built off previously established continuity in the show. If it worked with Simon Cole's RNA, why not Kevin's?

Was something wrong with Joel Bissonette? He looked skinnier than usual, a little unhealthy. Maybe that was intentional, a combination of the limitations of Arnaud's false face technology, and his state of mind from being invisible all the time.

I'm confused as to why Kevin being knocked unconscious by Arnaud didn't bring Darien out to begin with. I honestly thought it had, because the initial exchange 'I don't understand. Why I betrayed you? No why someone would go to the trouble of crafting a face uglier than their real one?' screamed Darien. But I guess snarking at Arnaud runs in the family.

That whole scene between Kevin and Claire was really uncomfortable (though I do find it interesting Kevin didn't Quicksilver the way Darien does whenever he gets excited). It may be Kevin's mind, but it's Darien's body. It might explain a few things about why Claire as the Keeper. I know there was the whole bit about Gloria and that premature aging virus (1.5, "Impetus"), but was Claire also interested in what Kevin had been up to? It certainly causes her 'YOU ARE CERTAINLY NOT KEVIN FAWKES!' outburst at Arnaud in "Diseased" make more sense. Beyond his being a dick, confronted with the guy who killed someone she cared about (and is endangering another friend) without the slightest bit of remorse, Claire being pissed is understandable.

As for Kevin's decision at the end, it sort of fits with his attitude towards Darien. Kevin is used to being the younger brother who has to behave like the older one. He shows up with his guinea pig offer to get Darien out of prison. He pushes him out of the way of bullets. And now, he leaves the gland in. In each case, because he thinks he knows what's best for his brother.

Which is small consolation to Darien. Kevin wrote something in his letter I considered posting as a counterpoint to the quote of the episode: 'Even though you may fear it, I believe it's made you a better man, closer to yourself.' But Kevin kind of ignores the fact that he's essentially making Darien a better man at gunpoint. By leaving the gland in his head, Darien has to keep helping the Agency so he keeps getting counteragent, so he doesn't go irretrievably mad. While I would agree that Darien's reasons for being there are largely irrelevant to the people he's saved along the way (and notice the Official showing up to point that out right when Kevin was ready to get rid of the gland), I'm not sure this won't foster an environment of resentment and anger, possibly despair. I doubt they will, but I'd liked to see this followed up on in subsequent episodes, as a running subplot. Show Darien isolating himself from the others, being less concerned with getting the counteragent, with helping out. Have him backslide a bit as sort of a "fuck you" to his brother, who he sees as having not come through for him again. Eventually you can show that it's something he has to make real efforts to maintain, and when he doesn't he slides back into being a good guy because that's who he really is, but for the time being, this should produce some sort of fallout. Because Kevin may think bringing Darien into the I-Man project saved his life and is improving him, but there's no guarantee Darien sees it the same way.

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