Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Invisible Man 2.21 - Enemy of My Enemy

Plot: So, Chrysalis is preparing to remove the Quicksilver gland from Arnaud's head, and they aren't particularly concerned whether Arnaud survives or not. But Arnaud isn't a complete idiot, and rigged all the medical personnel's fanny packs with explosives set to go off if his brain waves deviate too far from normal, or if he simply doesn't wake up soon enough. All of this amuses Stark, since he's not sticking around for the operation.

Back at the Agency, Hobbes is trying to build a voice control system into Golda, to turn her into a real battle van, complete with heavy weapons and armor plating. I wasn't aware that van had a strong enough engine to handle such added weight, but maybe Bobby's freakout last week convinced the Fat Man to open his checkbook. Anyway, this episode of Car Talk is interrupted by Eberts telling Fawkes there's a gift basket waiting for him, encouraging him to "Come See Me" at the Miracosa Vineyard. So off the boys go, and once again, despite knowing one of their greatest foes is an invisible man, Chrysalis has failed to outfit its goons with thermal glasses, so Fawkes sneaks right in, and finds Arnaud, and his gland. Except the gland isn't in Arnie's head any longer. It's out, and Chrysalis has cloned it - six times - and put those glands within cows, which they are milking for Quicksilver in a scheme Arnaud notes is 'surprisingly efficient, and strangely erotic.'

Let's all join Fawkes in side-eyeing Arnaud for that statement.

Arnaud wants out, because he's only being kept alive because the gland became dependent on his adrenaline, and thus, so are the cloned glands. So Chrysalis is basically milking him for adrenaline. Stiil, Darien repeatedly refuses to Quicksilver himself and Arnaud and escape, so they wind up captured, despite Darien Quicksilvering a machine gun to get the drop on a guard (he rounded the corner and found 5 more guards waiting with guns drawn). However, without Stark around, Chrysalis is sorely lacking in common sense, and they actually let Arnaud help the one guard they keep around sedate Darien so they can remove his gland. Instead Arnaud injects the guard with alcohol, and they actually escape. One problem once they're out: with his increased resistance to counteragent, Darien is now Quicksilver Mad, and he swiped the gun Arnaud had appropriated from that guard. All Arnaud can think to do, is promise that he can remove the counteragent dependency forever.

When Fawkes got caught, the goons went on high alert and spotted Hobbes, who was forced to flee, and needs to work on Golda's recognition of the word "stop", but he made it home safe, and the Official raised no objections to his demand for a fully armed assault team. Even Claire is coming along, in tactical gear and with a machine gun and everything. But before they can leave the hallway, Darien, still red-eyed, shows up with a wounded Arnaud. He exercised remarkable control and only shot him in the leg. In short order, Arnaud is locked up (after cluing everyone in to the fact that line Stark's wife fed them about Chrysalis was, in his words, 'bilge'), as Hobbes and the guys prepare to go back to the vineyard. But first, Darien needs to as Claire if what Arnaud said about a suicide gene in the gland sounds plausible. Claire agrees it does, and after some trepidation, brings Arnaud's laptop (last seen in "My Brother's Keeper") to him and orders him to get to work.

Eventually she removes a disk drive from the computer to see if he's really doing anything, and returns to her lab. Which is when Arnie decides it's time to escape, and we learn nobody took his computer apart and found the C-4 he hid in there. He makes a big show of refusing to work, sliding the laptop out of the cell, and it kills poor Mike the Guard. Claire hears the explosion and grabs her huge revolver, but ultimately leaves it in the hands of Eberts to try and save Mike's life (she doesn't). Eberts can't handle such firepower, and Arnaud immediately gets a taxi as he charges out of the building and heads for an airport.

Back at the vineyard, Stark still hasn't equipped anyone with thermals, even though he fully expects the Agency to return. But they've already shipped the Quicksilver by air, and are loading the cows onto a truck, which Hobbes stops with the .50 cal he had in the van. Everybody is feeling good, until the driver follows Stark's orders and blows up the truck. Fortunately, Bobby is unharmed, but they still need to find all that Quicksilver, which means it's back to the Agency to interrogate their prisoners. But first, Darien needs to check in with the Keeper. Now, as it turns out, Arnaud did enough before he left that Claire can remove his dependency on counteragent. Unfortunately, with Arnaud gone, and Mike dead, the Official wants to know why she gave Arnaud his laptop, and the Fat Man is not as excited at losing his leash on Darien as Claire is. He pins Mike's death on her, and basically promises he'll kill Darien before letting him off that counteragent leash, and says that will be Claire's fault as well. And so, when Darien asks, Claire says she wasn't able to get anything out of Arnaud. Darien tries to suck it up and go watch Hobbes interrogate. Claire, left alone in her lab, begins sobbing before something steels itself within her, to the point she cracks the syringe she's holding in her hand.

Quote of the Episode: Darien - 'See, I developed an itty-bitty immunity to your counteragent.' Arnaud - 'No, that's impossible.' Darien - 'You can't even screw up my brain right.'

The "oh crap" count: 3 (42 overall). Even one by Arnaud!

Who's getting quoted this week? Nobody!

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 1 (9 overall).

Other: Despite failing to recapture Arnaud, Eberts did at least get to dope slap him on the way to the cell.

When Hobbes opened the side panel of the van to reveal that machine gun, he said "Chrysalis this." Oh Bobby, that's horrible.

I'm a little disappointed there was no appearance of the Chrysalis Goon who always beats up Darien. Maybe next week. On the plus side, I like that when Darien returned to the vineyard, he tricked that one guard into thinking he'd Quicksilvered another machine gun when he was actually unarmed. Nice trick.

When Darien first snuck into the vineyard, he removed his jacket first, and I thought he was going to pretend to be one of the workers picking grapes to sneak by. Then he just went invisible.

Given his rush to the airport, I'm guessing this is the last time I'll get to gush over Joel Bissonnette as Arnaud. I always enjoy the back and forth between he and Darien, p[lus all his little mannerisms. When he's complaining that Chrysalis wouldn't share their gene therapy-aided immortality with him, and called them sociopathic little snobs, Darien responded, 'Pot, meet kettle.' Arnaud had this lovely little smile and shrug, kind of a, "yeah, guilty." I kind of love that, how Arnaud has such a high opinion of himself, but he never really argues when people express their feelings on what a lousy person he is. I don't think it's that he ignores what they say, or that he feeds off their hate. Well, maybe that second one a little bit. Given his ego, people expressing hatred for him means he's impacting their lives. He does have a little of that "kid who acts out for attention", but I honestly think a big part of it is that he doesn't see the things people dislike in him as detrimental, but as positive character traits that help him be successful.

Which is why it's so much fun when things don't go his way. The way he was patting his pockets, trying to find the gun after Darien got him out. The shock and surprise when he found out his counteragent wasn't working any more. His partner in "Diseased" noted that Arnaud was half a scientist, because he never thought things the whole way through. He never bothered to consider the possibility his counteragent might not work forever. Either because he didn't have a chance, because he was unable to get a gland to study longterm, or more likely because he just didn't care. The idea probably never entered his mind. And now it was going to get him killed.

Except it didn't. This is one of the things that bothers me about Quicksilver Madness, how inconsistently it's portrayed. Sometimes Darien's a goof, sometimes a maniac, or a horndog, or just cruel. And when he is Quicksilver Mad, he usually doesn't want to stop being that way, like when he was in Stage 5 at the end of Season 1. When he's in that headspace, where he sees no limits, and cares nothing for anyone else, he doesn't see anything wrong with it. It's only after he's bothered. So it's hard to see why he chose, as Arnaud put it, freedom over revenge. From Crazy Darien's perspective, he's already free. Kill Arnaud, Hobbes isn't around, escape and do as you wish forever.

I guess I'm a little disappointed Darien will never get to finish Arnaud off, unless I'm pleasantly surprised next week. Also, I'm a little sad we didn't get more interaction between Claire and Arnaud. We haven't seen those two together since "Diseased", when Claire got quite angry with Arnaud. And since then, we learned she and Kevin Fawkes were a couple once years ago, which put it in a new light. I wanted to see an expansion of that. Claire shooting Arnie in the back as he fled for the exit would have sufficed.

No surprise the Official is opposed to losing the counteragent hold over Darien. Also no surprise he phrases it to Claire in such a way as to abdicate any responsibility for what happens. If Claire does the right thing, save Darien from any further chance of going mad, the Official will have no choice but to watch him more closely than ever. In case Darien decides to run off with government property, you see. And if all that scrutiny and lack of trust causes Darien to bail, then the Official will have to kill Darien to keep the gland in his hands. And it all be Claire's fault.

Which is nonsense, but it's nonsense that works. Because Claire does care about Darien. She doesn't want him to go crazy (at which point he's no good to anyone), but she doesn't want him to die, either. The Fat Man, for all his crabbing at her about getting Mike the Guard killed, is perfectly fine with killing Darien if that's what it takes. And Claire knows that, too. It's a horrible thing to pull, but he's kind of a horrible guy. Much more stick, not much carrot.

But Old Iron Jaw has forgotten that it's dangerous to back Claire into a corner. I'm a little sad this series will be over next week, but I'm looking forward to the finale.

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