Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.11 - Germ Theory

Plot: Hobbes made the mistake of complaining about his workload in the field, so now he's doing filing with Eberts. Darien is ducking it by hiding invisibly in Claire's lab. Also he needs counteragent. Also, Claire is working on a time-released version of counteragent, for times when he can't get back there. But Darien screws around with the beaker and breaks it, then cuts his finger. Come the next morning, his finger is invisible, and he can't make it reappear. Claire discerns the bacteria that were probably on his hand interacted with the Quicksilver and the counteragent and some other stuff, and now they have Quicksilver-producing bacteria. Which sounds pretty awesome to her and the Official, so Darien becomes a lab rat again. Then Claire nicks herself with a scalpel while trying to take a tissue sample (because it's difficult to scrape an invisible finger), and she gets infected, so her hand starts turning invisible. But this doesn't dampen her enthusiasm, until she goes Quicksilver Mad and it requires the combined efforts of Hobbes and the Official to stop her.

The following morning she's quite apologetic for punching the Fat Man in the face, and Darien's invisible up to the elbow, so work continues. Meanwhile, Eberts and Hobbes have begun to bond over filing and various wounds gained in the line of duty. This culminates in Hobbes buying Eberts a burger from a joint with a "C" rating from the Health department, only to take it away when Eberts won't agree to boost Bobby's paycheck. And Hobbes puts mayo on burgers like a heathen. Claire isn't having much success replicating the bacteria outside a host body, she and Darien are getting sicker, and they each have to keep giving the other counteragent shots to stop Quicksilver Madness. When Claire presents her concerns to the Official, he confiscates her antibiotics and tells her to keep working. Because neither she or Darien are life-threateningly sick yet. Brilliant. How about being on the verge of "rip your throat out" crazy?

As Darien stats puking a lot - I hope it was puke - Claire finds that her lab rats have turned visible again. Unfortunately, it's because they're dead. And the Official's head has turned invisible (because his lip bled from that invisible punch to face Claire gave him), so it's time to kill this infection. Oops, it's antibiotic-resistant. And now Bobby's infected because he tried to help Claire when she went to puke after seeing the burger he brought her, and they fell over and he got stabbed with a slide with bacteria on it. And the Official called the CDC for Protocol 34, which means they're going to torch the building and everything in it. Oh, and there's only 1 shot of counteragent left. Hobbes thinks it should go to Claire, so she can keep a clear head, the Official wants her to split it with Fawkes, so he doesn't go nuts, run out of the building, and get shot in the head, destroying the gland. How would they know to do that since he's fully invisible? Anyway, it's a moot point because the Fat Man goes crazy first and his visible lower half takes off, only to get shot in the leg and be dragged back in by Darien. Oh, and Alex came back from a field mission to find all this.

Fawkes and the Official are strapped down, Claire is sad and apologetic about being too caught up in discovery, but Bobby gives her a pep talk, and it's then Claire notices Hobbes' cut is still visible. And it turns out the mayo on that burger was bad, he has food poisoning, and it was the staph that killed the Quicksilver-producing bacteria. Alex commandeers that mayo, and then, oh god, Claire eats a big spoonful of it, I'm going to be sick. But everyone is cured - except now they all have food poisoning - and the day is saved.

Quote of the Episode: Claire - 'If you hadn't so recently vomited, I would kiss you.' Hobbes - 'I could eat a mint.'

The "oh crap" count: 2 (22 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Newton's line about seeing further by standing on the shoulders of giants, and Darien notes that master Japanese composers say true expression is the silence between the notes as much as the notes themselves.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 1 (5 overall). The Official also does once, and Claire twice, I guess. But I did say "Fawkes" specifically, so.

Other: Eberts doing the "I love the smell of napalm" line, only with toner, was really creepy. He sniffed the copies, man, that's just wrong. I did like that even though Eberts refused to cook the books on Bobby's behalf, Hobbes still stood up for him when he wanted to go file near the end. Because Hobbes understood Eberts took comfort from it. And even though it was disapproving (because she didn't realize that), I like Claire using Eberts' first name, just as a reminder they know it.

Considering how he started this whole thing, I couldn't believe Darien would casually pick up a couple of flasks - that had stuff in them - and casually wave them above his head to demonstrate a point. That point being that the circumstances that brought this about are akin to taking all the ingredients of his brother's chemistry set and mixing them together to see how big an explosion you get. I did like Claire's confused, slightly horrified reaction to that. 'Why would anyone misuse a chemistry set like that?' Because it's fun to break other people's stuff, duh.

It's a strange episode, because on the one hand, out of control bacterial infection that's going to kill them, if it doesn't drive them irretrievably mad (or the CDC doesn't incinerate them) first. On the other hand, you get all these silly gags. The Official having been a boxing champ back in the day - "Iron Jaw" - and being slightly disappointed Claire's hand didn't hurt from punching him. Then he goes Quicksilver Mad and flees the lab yelling, "You'll never take Iron Jaw!" Which was hilarious. All the sight gags of characters being partially invisible. The Official with his head bandaged in the classic Invisible Man look. Or the sight of two pairs of legs charging down the hall. It's weird, just seeing two legs doing that, I kept expecting them to fall over, even though I know there's an upper body there. The filing adventures of Bobby and Eberts.

Also the apparent open shipping of Hobbes and Claire by the rest of the team. The Official walks in on Hobbes trying to restrain a Q.M. Claire (who is trying to bite his neck), and he assumes they're making out. Even makes a crack about how he was about to congratulate her on working late. Darien walks in after Bobby tries to keep Claire from pitching over, so they're on the floor in each other's arms. All he says is, "it's about time". Everyone at the Agency is down for Keebbes. Bobaire? I dunno.

That said, Claire eating that big spoonful of mayo - whether it was tainted or not - was the most disturbing thing I've seen on this show. And keep in mind, Darien was hung upside-down from a tree to be sexually assaulted by an invisible Bigfoot that believed he was a female. I hope Shannon Kenny either really likes mayo, or that was actually some watery vanilla pudding or something. Uck.

I did enjoy Bobby being the glue that sort of keeps everything together. Sure, he's not in danger of going Quicksilver Mad like the others (save Eberts), but he doesn't know that. Still, he back Eberts up about needing to file, gives Claire a pep talk, is the one who points out she ought to get the last shot because she's the only one with a prayer of saving them, and is making plans with Fawkes to get some restraints ready for when Darien goes Quicksilver Mad. He's thoroughly competent and cool-headed during the whole thing, which was kind of neat.

I did notice he didn't really comfort Darien much, but Darien also seemed strangely resigned to the whole thing. The Official tries to bluster through it, Eberts files to relieve stress, Claire is depressed and full of self-recrimination, Darien is just.. . Darien. Snarky, generally relaxed. He'd been in favor of getting the bacteria killed from the start, and had seen himself overruled by Claire's curiosity and the Official's desire for something potentially lucrative. He'd watched as Claire screwed around trying to harness this thing until it was too late to destroy it. And frankly, he's had the gland in his head all this time, he may have always accepted it was going to get him killed. If not from going Mad, then from Arnaud, or Chrysalis. If not them, the Official if he decides Darien's not worth the trouble. Remember I said I'd like to see Darien maybe more indifferent to his well-being in the aftermath of "My Brother's Keeper"? I wonder if this isn't a little of that. He saw that as his best chance to be free of all this. Once it was gone, he knew it was just a matter of time. Might not have expected everyone else to be going with him, but his end isn't a surprise to him.

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