Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.13 - Immaterial Girl

Plot: The Agency is under the Bureau of Weights and Measures now, and Fawkes and Hobbes are sent to a bottled water company suspected of fudging how much water they're actually bottling, I guess. But they get distracted talking to an employee, Megan McGrier, who has a burned out computer, and initially wonders if they're FBI, here about her mother. While Hobbes talks, Fawkes goes invisible to snoop, and sees a floating pink human form hanging out near Megan. At the office, Eberts is unable to determine how the computer could have been fried by a power surge, but Darien is too distracted by the fact the floaty thing is following him, which we can tell because it causes lights to flicker. He goes home, and the thing followed him there, and was watching him shower.

At this point, Darien visits the Keeper for help.  When Darien admits the light are in the shape of a woman (which he can tell because when it turns sideways. ..), Claire wants to call in a psychiatrist. She feels the gland makes Darien feel isolated, and his loneliness is making him see things. This is not helpful to Darien, so he storms out of the lab, and there are the lights, floating around in the hallway. So Darien follows them, and they eventually lead back to the bottled water company, and Megan. Megan can't see them, but she says she can feel her mother around her. Her mother went missing a few weeks ago, after coming to visit Megan at work, and seeming upset. Lucille worked for Sandrea, a company with a particle accelerator. Darien presents the case to his coworkers. Hobbes suspects Arnaud, the Keeper still wants to bring in a shrink, and the Official orders him to stay out of it.

So Darien travels to the police station, accompanied by Hobbes. Bobby still thinks it's a trap, and won't leave his partner out in the cold. Unfortunately, the lead detective, a Det. Mishka, is a fat, unhelpful douchebag, who makes fun of them for being from Weights and Measures. The second detective, Willard, is more helpful, and this leads our boys to Sandrea, where two scientists think they're hear to calibrate the accelerator, leading to awkwardness. Then a Dr. Henry shows up and tries to give them the bums rush. Hobbes creates another distraction, allowing Darien to follow Henry invisibly, where he overhears a phone conversation confirming Henry threw Lucille in the accelerator as a way of killing her and leaving no trace.

This leads to Darien reading Particle Physics for Imbeciles, and bouncing some ideas about it off Claire. She admits it is possible someone's thoughts could be turned to pure energy by the accelerator, and perhaps they would persist in a sort of loop. Except when Darien presents that argument to the Official to explain what he sees, Claire distances herself from it. C'mon Keep, have some courage in your convictions! When Darien argues it's possible, Eberts chimes in that anything is possible, theoretically, leading to a triple "Shut up, Eberts!" from Claire, Darien, and Hobbes. Anyway, Lucille gets fed up enough to set off every electric thing in the room, and Darien Quicksilvers the Fat Man's eyes so he can see her, and they're off. At Lucille's house, we find Megan being attacked by two guys, who Darien fends off. The guys had been tearing the place apart looking for something, and it turns out Lucille had devised a formula for a controlled fusion reaction at a subatomic level, which she scribbled on the back of pictures in the family photo album. There's also a sad, lovely moment where Darien uses "special eyedrops" so Megan can see her mother.

That night, the 3 of them travel to Sandrea to scare a confession from Henry. But Hobbes gets locked out in the process of distracting the two guards (or mooks, as he insists). Oh well, two people ought to be enough, right? Wrong. It starts well, Megan pretending her mother's energy has given her power, when it's really Darien invisibly clocking Henry (though Megan thinks her mom is doing it, while Darien waits outside). Then Darien gets himself hit by a lamp, Henry pulls a gun, and throws Megan in the accelerator. Things look bad until Lucille arrives, shorts out the accelerator, causing Henry to panic and charge in to try and kill the girl by hand. Darien finally gets his act together and makes the save, getting Megan out. At which point Lucille restarts the accelerator, and fries Henry. Then she dissipates.

Quote of the episode: Darien - 'You're saying I'm seeing light 'cause I'm horny?' Claire - 'Lonely.'

The "oh crap" count: 3 (25 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? A Yiddish proverb that states let it be worse, so long as it's different. Francis Bacon, who said there's a superstition in avoiding superstition, and a Samuel Taylor Coldrich who said a mother is a mother still, the holiest thing alive.

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

Other: I like that they've maintained Darien's unwillingness to believe in the supernatural - established in 1.15, "Ghost of a Chance". It may be a little strange, coming from a guy who met invisible Bigfoot, but I guess that had a scientific explanation, so not supernatural.

It amuses me that Claire keeps having these sort of sex talks with Darien. The one at the end of season 1, after his encounter with Allianora, and now this. Though I find it a little odd that when Claire assumes the floating woman Darien is seeing has large breasts, and he points out he never said anything about that, she commends him for his good taste. Those are her words, 'I commend you for your good taste.' Kind of an odd statement, though I guess she could just have been trying to lighten the mood. Darien wasn't taking well to the implication he was seeing imaginary women while Quicksilvered because he's mad the gland makes it difficult to be with a lady (given his tendency to Quicksilver uncontrollably when he gets excited).

Anyway, I know Claire is the scholarly, typically most adult member of the crew - the Official enjoys tormenting Hobbes too much sometimes - so it might naturally fall to her for these sorts of discussions. I just keep finding it funny, because she does come off as sort of the exasperated parent (something she has to do a lot with Fawkes and Bobby, to be fair), but there's a genuine core of concern. Especially this time around, when she fears Darien is having psychological problems. Allianora infecting Darien with some nanobug is one thing, Claire can probably deal with that. If he is hallucinating because the gland makes him feel alone - and we haven't seen Darien maintain any sort of romantic relationship on the show - what can she do about that? She can't get the gland out, and I doubt Darien would appreciate her trying to play matchmaker and find him a lady friend with sufficient clearance that the gland wouldn't be an issue. And it's just awkward for him. Darien doesn't seem to enjoy discussing intimate matters with anyone, and I think it's extra awkward with Claire. Hobbes would present his own set of problems, but Claire is already inside his head so much anyway, I don't think he likes letting her in any more. Plus, I think it makes him feel like a lad specimen again, when Claire starts getting all analytical.

Hobbes played the decoy for Darien's invisible shenanigans 3 times this week. I wonder if that was by design, or just how it worked out. It's not abnormal for Hobbes to do that, but usually not that much.

I was disappointed in Darien making fun of Hobbes for naming the van. OK, "Golda", or whatever Hobbes said, is not a good name, but so what? He likes the van. Not everybody forms attachments to their vehicles, but some of us do, and we just want to live our lives without being judged.

As for the overall story this week, it's kind of a nifty idea, though I'm surprised Lucille's final thought of "protect my daughter" allowed her such a range of motion. I would have expected her to just hover around Megan, trying to protect her, but no. She's able to determine Darien can see her, then follow him around, until she can lead him where she needs to go. She can think enough to recognize when a demonstration is in order to convince the Official (though I'm not sure how she'd know Darien could make them actually see her, maybe she was just trying to get his attention so he'd come save Megan). She can turn off or short out a particle accelerator, then turn it back on. And manipulate a door, which came out of left field. But there were some solid emotional beats, though I wonder how Megan felt watching her mom straight up kill a guy. The guy who killed her and tried to kill Megan, true, but still, I feel like that might have been a shock to her daughter.

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