Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.12 - The Choice

Plot: Darien reaches the Official's office, but no one's there. It's then the Post-it on his hand that says, "archives" becomes clear in its meaning. The Official has tried to convene a meeting there because they've located another one Chrysalis' abducted kids camps, and he doesn't want Alex to know, since it's personal for her and all. This fails utterly as Alex crashes the meeting and threatens to slit the Fat Man's throat with a pen if he tries to keep her out of the loop. However, she apologizes when the Official says that talk isn't constructive, and he relents. Then they very easily swipe a bunch of babies from the camp with Alex posing as a Chrysalis person warning of an Agency raid. The Official even rounded up some fast helicopters to spook them.

Back at the Agency, Claire's runs the babies' something. It can't be DNA, because while she can verify one of the babies is Alex' son, genetically he is the offspring of Jarod Stark and his wife. Alex doesn't care, she carried the boy to term, James is hers, and she won't be returning him. Interestingly, the Official accepts this without argument and declares it to be the Agency's position on all the babies. They will be returned to the women who birthed them, and the Chrysalis DNA donors can go screw. Then Alex declares she's taking maternity leave, and while the Official doesn't object, he does tell Fawkes to keep an eye on her. A wise plan, as she has barely changed James' diaper back at her place before 4 guys barge in and try to abduct him, though I doubt they'd have thought to look for the baby in a panic box. This development convinces Alex to bring him back to the Agency, but she also figures that won't protect him. So she immediately goes to Chrysalis headquarters and tries to kill Stark, but he gets himself behind a Plexglas barrier, and tells her either he gets Brandon back, or the boy dies with her. Also, he specifically chose her as the mother to carry his boy based on her genetic potential, and describes her as an incubator.

Back at the Agency, the Official is irritated with Alex' solo act, but we can hardly get into a lecture before Hobbes' barges into Alex' office and hurls her water cooler out the window. he was warned it was rigged to blow by a woman in the lobby, one Eleanor Stark. Yep, James' other mommy has decided she doesn't want her son killed, and has decided to turn on Chrysalis, telling all about how they're a techno-worshiping group, funded by a consortium of countries that hate the U.S., and she has a bunch of files she stole the Agency could use to put the hurt on Chrysalis. Darien protects her from a two-man attack when she goes to retrieve the files, but the real tension is Alex watching how easily James responds to Eleanor, and how readily Eleanor understands what every little thing the baby does means. Which makes Alex feel out of place as a mom, and she decides James/Brandon will accompany Eleanor into witness security. Which they manage, seemingly without incident, other than Alex' tearful good-bye to her son. Which leaves two things. One, Alex is staying at the Agency, because she likes the unstructured way things work, and the missions are interesting. Two, Eleanor didn't turn on her husband, but only pretended to do so to get their child back. All the stuff she told the Agency about Chrysalis was a crock.

Quote of the Episode:  Alex - 'Brandon. His name is Brandon.'

The "oh crap" count: 0 (22 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Margaret Thatcher, who said it's the female of the species who defends when attacked. Also, he quoted Allianora's warning from Season 1, about how they had enemies they didn't know existed. Then Hobbes went and tried to correct him, which is pretty uncouth, Bobby.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 0 (5 overall).

Other: Apparently the Agency is no longer under Health and Human Services. Which might explain why the door to their building said something about the Department of Weights and Measures last week. Would that be Department of Agriculture?

Alex' story to James, with herself as a warrior princess out to reclaim her son, with the help of a poor kingdom. Run by a grumpy old king. But she called Darien an invisible knight, Claire was a powerful sorcerer, and even Hobbes got to be a brave dwarf. Poor Ebert was reduced to the king's hamster. But at least there was genuine fondness in her voice as she related the tale. Well, except for Eberts, he was an afterthought, the poor guy. But I did find the fact she described Darien as a knight intriguing, since I would have expected "a surprising rogue" to be a more apt description. Darien's not exactly honorable a lot of the time, too much scheming and wheedling. So the fact Alex calls him that, must say something about how she sees him. I guess as far as recovering James was concerned, Darien's been dedicated and brave, with all those trips he made into the first camp, and getting Stark to order the kids to stand down and all.

When Alex got to her place, and started calling out for Fawkes, I got really worried. I guess she was just anticipating that Darien tagged along, but I was sure she was picking up on something, a sound or an air current, and that it was really Arnaud. I'm glad I was wrong. That would be a real waste of the reveal Arnaud was working with Chrysalis.

In retrospect, it should have been obvious to me Eleanor wasn't genuine in her claim of wanting to defect. Why would the guys who attacked her not have thermal goggles? Stark would know she'd gone to the Agency, and he would know Darien would shadow her? He wouldn't send that beefy agent that always kicks Fawkes' ass? That should have been a total giveaway. But I was fooled by her apparent love for the baby that isn't really hers.

There were a lot of good quotes this week, funny ones, but that one I picked, in context, is just heartbreaking. The whole episode, she's insisted that he is James, after her father, and this is the moment where she's truly trying to let go, accept that she can't raise him. Her life is too dangerous, and she would still be learning to be a mom, while, in Alex' eyes at least, Eleanor already has it figured out. Which is junk, because one thing I've seen repeated endlessly in fiction and real-life accounts is that being a mother (or a father, for that matter) is a constant learning process. Eleanor has it figured out now, until the next new development in Brandon's life. Then she has to start learning again. But I don't think Alex can stand not being perfect at it right away. And she probably wasn't wrong that it would be seriously dangerous for James to be around her. I don't see her quitting her job and going into witness security, and Stark wasn't going to stop. So until she could kill him, it wasn't going to be safe.

I'm really hoping Stark ends up eating a bullet, preferably from Alex. I might want to see her shoot him - and Eleanor, for that matter - even more than I want to see Fawkes get Arnaud. I mean, at least I admire Arnaud's style, even while thinking he's a total weaselly heel. Stark's just an ass in a suit. A condescending ass in a suit. He called Alex an incubator to her face (though with bulletproof Plexiglas between them, so he's not an idiot). That's quite impressive dickery.

It was interesting to see Alex behave differently towards the rest of the team. She apologized for using the word freak around Darien. She apologized for threatening to slit throats. She felt bad about explaining to Hobbes he could go along on the infiltration into the camp because he couldn't pass for 30. Apparently none of these Chrysalis kids age past 30? And I like the "it was her, not me" motions Darien made behind her back when she said it. She was nice to everyone, and the Official was remarkably understanding. I mean, Alex kept basically doing whatever she wanted without clearing it with him, and he kept going with it. He didn't object when she went on maternity leave, just told Eberts to make a note approving maternity leave for her. Maybe it's everyone trying to be supportive, or maybe he was still worried about getting his throat slit. I did think it was nice how firmly he accepted Alex' declaration she wouldn't surrender James, and then decided it would the Agency's policy across the board.

I did find it disingenuous of Claire at the end to claim she liked Alex' cheekiness, when she was saying just a few episodes ago that Alex' character was as fake as her hair color. This show doesn't always do the best job of building its emotional connections in a sensible fashion. Sometimes Claire and Alex get along quite well (they seemed like a friendly enough pair in "Going Postal, albeit in an Odd Couple, bickering way), the next week Claire seems to despise her. But what the heck, Alex has been a little nicer the last couple of weeks - she was working to keep the CDC from killing everyone last week, and seemed to be getting along with Bobby - so maybe Claire was reassessing thing while she was puking.

I still don't quite understand what Alex's genetic profile meant if the child isn't genetically hers. Was Stark just assessing how likely she was to give birth to a healthy kid? He figures out she's a top-notch field agent and thinks to himself, "she's strong and healthy, our son ought to come out fine"?

Oh, we can't end this without a moment of silence for Ebert's hatchback, blown up when Hobbes threw that water cooler out the window. And of course, the greatest tragedy of all, Eberts' turtle Alonzo was in there. Though quite why Eberts would bring his turtle to work, then leave him in the car, I don't know. Regardless, a moment of silence.

. . .

OK, we're good.

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