Wynonna Earp Season 2, Episode 10, “I See a Darkness”
The one that’s a telenovela in the best possible way. Near deaths! A secret wife! A secret twin sister! Amnesia! This episode has it all. The only thing it’s missing is a secret love child, and that’s only because everyone knows that baby Earp is (probably) Doc’s lovechild!
Seriously, though. Words cannot express how delighted I was by everything in this episode. I laughed. I cried. I screamed “What the fuck?!” multiple times. All in all, a top shelf episode of Wynonna Earp.
The episode opens with Mercedes attacking Nicole, whom she mistakenly believes has the third seal. Waverly busts in, quoting Ripley from Alien and busting out her sweet escrima moves. In the ensuing fight, Mercedes realizes they don’t have the rings after all, but not before biting, and poisoning, Nicole. Wynonna asks a favor of Nedley while at the hospital visiting a faceless Mercedes. She hears Waverly in the hall as Nicole is rushed in; she’s not breathing. Waverly recognizes one of the nurses as Greta, Mattie Perley’s (the white witch known as the Blacksmith from S1) twin sister. She then lets slip that Rosita’s a revenant and tells Wynonna and Dolls the Widow Mercedes was looking for the third seal. When Waverly goes to get air, Dolls tells Wynonna Nicole only has 2-3 hours to live. Wynonna demands they find a cure, whatever it takes.
“Neither of us knows where the third seal is, Mercedes, but we are available for nose jobs.”—Waverly
Outside the hospital, Waverly runs into the Widow Beth, who promises an anti-venom in exchange for the third seal. Nicole asks Wynonna to pull the plug should she succumb to the venom because Waverly would forgive her. Wynonna agrees. Waverly and Nicole exchange apologies. Nicole confesses that she loves Waverly more than anyone just before the doctor induces a coma. Team Earp discuss Jeremy creating a cure. Dolls goes to get more venom from the Order, and Wynonna to find a test subject, with Doc’s help of course.
“No matter what happens, I need you to know that I have never loved anyone the way that I love you.”—Nicole, to Waverly
Doc plays poker with a revenant named Stevie who seems awfully keen to go into the Shorty’s basement. Wynonna interrupts. Doc’s no longer quite so amenable to helping her take down the Black Widows as he was last week now that he’s mortal, but agrees once he hears Nicole is dying. The widow Beth taunts Waverly, who then runs into Nedley asking for the key to Nicole’s place so he can pick up her cat, Calamity Jane. He informs her he spoke to Nicole’s next of kin. Waverly finds out what this means when she returns to Nicole’s hospital room and meets Shay, Nicole’s wife.
“If you’re trying to pass for normal human, maybe don’t jump women in broad daylight.”— Waverly, to the Widow Beth
Dolls confronts the Order to get more venom, but they’ve already burned the Widows’ victims, including Juan Carlo. Ewan offers to take care of unborn baby Earp and returns the plate weapon as an act of faith so Team Earp can take out the Widows. At the hospital, Shay and Waverly exchange awkward pleasantries. Shay explains that she and Nicole had a whirlwind Vegas wedding that cooled off. Meanwhile, Wynonna confronts Rosita at Shorty’s and ‘finds’ a test subject for Jeremy’s anti-venom experiments. Dolls picks up Waverly at the hospital. Jeremy feels super guilty for testing the anti-venom on Rosita.
“Every step is like an adventure in discomfort. Miracle of life my ass.”—Wynonna
At Nicole’s apartment, Doc major side-eyes Wynonna using Rosita as a test subject for the anti-venom; just because she can’t die from it doesn’t mean she can’t feel the pain. He then finds blood that leads them to Calamity Jane, and the realization that Mercedes must have kidnapped Nedley when he came to pick up the cat. Mercedes, meanwhile, tortures Nedley for information on the seal while he uses the only weapon available to him: a big fat load of sarcasm. At BBD, Waverly stops Jeremy’s experiments on Rosita and explains the deal the Widow Beth offered. Dolls tells her to take the deal and blame it on him, only he doesn’t know where the seal is. He then offers himself up as a test subject instead of Rosita.
“What are you a witch? A pokemon? You think this is my first demon rodeo? You know we had an actual demon rodeo?”—Nedley
Mercedes continues to torture Nedley for information; Nedley continues to snark (never change Nedley). At the hospital, Shay says Nicole truly loves Waverly. Unwilling to say goodbye since Nicole is close to death, Waverly leaves to find Greta, Mattie’s sister, aka “The Iron Witch”. Greta agrees to help, but for a price. Waverly agrees to anything, and the spell Greta casts leads Waverly to Doc’s ring, hidden in Nedley’s mug. Doc and Wynonna flirt track Nedley and the Widow Mercedes to an abandoned barn. They kick the shit out of her, then take her prisoner to extract venom directly from her glands. Wynonna jaunts over to the hospital with the anti-venom to discover Nicole is already better. She realizes Waverly must have done something and questions her. Cut to the Widow Beth with the ring walking into what looks to be the burned out church, ready to resurrect her husband.
“My tracking skills are quite virile.”—Doc
While Greta finds Waverly at Shorty’s to exact her payment (the marzaniok demon in the trophy), Dolls shows Wynonna the ‘weapon’ the Order returned to them. At Shorty’s, Doc tries to stop Greta’s spell, but disappears when he touches the trophy. Meanwhile, Wynonna disappears just before she can tell Dolls how to use the plate as a weapon. Greta tells Waverly she made Wynonna disappear. As Waverly screams for Wynonna. Jeremy busts in, asking her who “Wynonna” is. Waverly can’t remember, and the two leave to plan a wedding. The episode ends with Doc once again trapped in the well.
Favorite One Liner: “Kill ‘em hard, Wynonna. Town’s had enough of this shit.”—Nedley
I Gotta Say…
This feels more like the Wynonna Earp I adore. Last week’s episode was a bit rough around the edges, but this week’s was dynamite. Snark, fast paced action balanced with emotional heft, excellent fight choreography set to suspenseful music, meaningful character interactions. This is Wynonna Earp at it’s finest. It honestly might be one of my top five episodes of all time.
I dig the Johnny Cash reference—“We got married in a fever”, the first line of the Johhny Cash/June Carter duet “Jackson”—John Callaghan included in the episode. Especially since the title itself is a Johnny Cash song. I suddenly feel the need for a WayHaught (or Waynaught) vid set to “I see a Darkness” stat. There were a few other nerdy easter eggs sprinkled in the episode, as well, and I loved every one.
On the acting front, Meghan Heffern is killing it as the Widow Beth. The level of creepy bubbliness she embodies reminds me of Aquamarine from Steven Universe in the best possible way. Dani Kind continues to impress me with her depth and range; it takes a lot of skill to evoke that much rage without it turning melodramatic, and she nailed it.
While we’re on the topic of acting prowess, Melanie Scrofano’s scene talking to comatose Mercedes. Top shelf, man, top shelf. She’s simultaneously fierce mama bear and hero with a chip on her shoulder. It’s beautiful to see a female protagonist given such an emotionally meaty and nuanced part to embody.
Also, Haught damn. Nicole may have been in a coma much of the episode, but her brief scenes with Waverly touched me in my core, and Kat Barrell knocked it out of the park. Of course Nicole would say that the DNA test matters, because she’s a Suffering Empath who puts others emotional needs before her own. Likewise, Waverly’s heartfelt apologies and dismissal of Nicole’s lie stems from the same place. They’re both so concerned about the other’s emotional well-being, and I just want them to be happy.
Nicole’s confession of love, echoed later in the episode by Shay, is both a lovely confession on its own and a subtle hint at what’s to come with Shay. For a part of Nicole’s backstory that comes completely out of nowhere, the writers did an excellent job setting it up just enough that I accepted it at face value. Nicole has been pretty quiet about her life, family, and history. A secret shotgun Vegas wedding might be the stuff of telenovelas, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of place. In fact, I kind of loved the weirdly understated melodrama of it all. (Yes, that sounds like a contradiction, but it works, doesn’t it?)
Speaking of telenovela style reveals that didn’t feel out of place at all, Mattie Perley has a twin sister! She was honestly pretty awesome as an unexpected antagonist, and I hope she sticks around. I was sad to see Mattie go and would love to have another Perley sister on the show again.
And lets not forget the telenovela-style memory wipe/amnesia! God, I love this show so much. Only Wynonna Earp can serve up so much melodrama while maintaining a sense of gravity and levity alongside it. When I call it a telenovela, I mean that as a compliment. I grew up watching them with my mom, who speaks fluent Spanish and would help translate for me while I used them to learn Spanish for school. So trust me, this is a good thing.
Back to good character moments. Waverly’s emotional breakdown in the hospital was one of the best acted scenes of the episode. Dominique Provost-Chalkley serves up a heaping slice of feels. Her begging for them to act like they’re winning for once, then freaking out about breaking Jeremy’s mug felt so raw and real. “What if he can’t fix it, Wynonna?” just about killed me. We all know it isn’t about the mug, yet we all have experienced what it’s like to project while we’re grieving and in shock. The littlest things become conduits for our pain, like a transformers mug.
As far as the overarching plot, this was such a good way to do an ‘impossible choices’ situation. Waverly’s willingness to trade the ring for Nicole’s life instead of wait on a cure from Wynonna is of those times that a tired trope for straight couples is refreshed/subversive when applied to a queer couple. Waverly fighting to save Nicole’s life functions as a cipher for her fighting for their right to exist as a couple. And yet, the show doesn’t make it overtly about that. The result is a story that both normalizes the love they share and Waverly’s desperate exchange to save her lover’s life—a common trope for straight romance—and challenges the idea that queer women must die for Drama™.
That’s not to downplay the theme of difficult choices reflected in almost every character’s arc this episode. The plot played out as a series of Sophie’s choice/Catch-22 situations of which Waverly’s was one. But that’s part of the beauty of it. It’s both one among many ‘impossible’ choices characters had to make and a choice that thumbs its nose at Hollywood’s recent spate of queer female character deaths. At the same time, it also reflects the struggle queer women have in fighting for their right to exist and be taken seriously. Yet, it does so without going to the other extremes of either sanitizing/infantilizing their story or overdramatizing it. It has the appropriate emotional weight for what it is.
The final blow was the Gift of the Magi-esque reveal that Waverly’s deal with the Iron Witch wasn’t necessary. It works so well as a plot device here. The outcome (Clootie coming back) could be reasonably predicted, but the route to get there this episode was a magnificent, emotional, heartbreaking rid because of the multiple Catch-22 scenarios.
While Nicole being bitten is the precipitating event, one could argue the tangled web of Sophie’s choices starts with Wynonna. Her “whatever it takes’ mentality at the beginning drives Dolls to urge Waverly to take the deal with Beth. That same mentality also leads Wynonna to being willing to subject Rosita to physical torture to save Nicole’s life. Her choice affects Jeremy, who must then live with his own choice to go along. There’s never a straightforward ‘way out’. Everyone is making what they believe to be the best, or shall I say least shitty, choice based on the options available to them. That still doesn’t make them good choices. They’re reasonable choices under the circumstances, but they’re also choices that hurt people and have real, negative consequences for the characters and their relationships.
I just love how tangled up everything is. This is one of the best executions of “no good choices” I’ve seen in a long while. The best part is, the show didn’t have to tout itself as specifically addressing that in universe to draw attention to how Clever™ and Nuanced™ it was being (unlike another show I watch). They told the story and let the audience come to it’s own conclusions; this episode did a hell of a lot of showing and did very little telling, and it paid off big time.
The only part that confuses me is why Wynonna now wants to keep Clootie from rising. Last week, she was all about resurrecting Clootie and killing him. She delivered a whole speech to Doc about it, and he agreed to help her, which is why he gave her his ring. Her desire to protect the ring and his initial standoffishness about helping her don’t fit neatly with last week’s characterizations. Still, it isn’t a big deal. If I didn’t overlook a beat somewhere that would explain this, I can chalk it up to last week’s episode being a bit rough overall.
I will end with how much I love Nedley. He’s the dad friend who is sometimes awkward about life choices, but always loving and supportive. I adore his sass, and he had some of the best one liners this episode, hands down. But his steadfast belief in Wynonna even after all the trouble she caused in her youth? That’s heart.
I see you, Andras Callaghan
- 3 women fighting, and not over a guy, bless this show
- I see that Alien reference
- Waverly saying komodo dragons are cool to make Jeremy feel better even when she’s losing the love of her life just kills me.
- I see that mug pun, and I 100% endorse it.
- Jeremy’s Silence of the Lambs joke, A+
- Waverly got so many hugs this episode, and I’m so glad. She needed them.
Tune in next week for Emily Andras being a troll with the title, “Gone as a Girl Can Get”. There will be Black Widows and demons and Wynonna no longer being pregnant?! But the real question is, WHO IS GETTING MARRIED?? If it’s Waverly and Champ, I might die. But I’m here for a WayHaught wedding!
Oh, and thanks to Kori for the review title! It’s perfect.
Images Courtesy of SyFy
Honest Conversations and Unfortunate Insensitivity on Cloak and Dagger
Content Warning: This review discusses suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, as depicted on the show.
Last week’s episode of Cloak and Dagger ended with Tyrone and Tandy together and finally ready to discuss why exactly they have new superpowers insistent on bringing the two of them together. Both their lives have been tossed upside down, and the only consistent thing in the tragedies of both their lives is each other. Maybe it’s time to sit down and talk about it? That’s exactly what “Call/Response” did this week. Unfortunately, to mixed results.
Time to Talk
“Call/Response” continued Cloak and Dagger’s attempts at interesting episode structure by weaving together forward plot momentum in and out of the previously mentioned conversation between its heroes. This conversation lasted through the entire episode as Tandy and Tyrone hashed out what their powers are, what they do, how they experience them, and what their dreams from last week meant for each of them. These two had a lot to talk about.
For a good 90% of this conversation, I liked the direction of it. The honest and open-ended nature was refreshing. For the first time since they acquired their new powers, they held nothing back regarding what had changed, what they were going through, and how it affected them.
It moved both characters appreciatively forward. Even better, you could see how the conversation positively affected both in the scenes from the next day, when both acted on everything they discussed. Cloak and Dagger thus did a good job timing subjects of conversation with next-day action. Like you’d expect, these scenes were not exactly subtle about it, but so long as the point is made what does that matter?
Through their conversation, Tyrone and Tandy finally started acting against their instincts. They challenged their perceptions of the world. Tandy made an honest effort to learn about her mother’s boyfriend Greg and found out he was genuinely interested in her mother and trying to help. She made an effort to embrace the hope she always rejected before. Her experiences have shaped her towards cynicism in everything. Life is a giant scam where everyone uses everyone else to get ahead, and you see this in her own method of making money. For her to open her mind to the possibility of Greg proving her wrong was a significant step forward.
Tyrone faced his own challenged perceptions, naturally based around his brother’s murder and murderer. He considered Tandy’s argument about his place in the world and where his privilege truly stands, as well as the destructive path his actions led him down. The failed trip to the police station was one important step, but the truly important moment was his field trip with his father to Otis’s old Mardi Gras Indians stomping ground.
(By the way, add another cool twist on New Orleans culture to Cloak and Dagger’s credit.)
Through this trip, Tyrone found new perspective on his father and brother, as well as his own anger. His father stressed the importance of finding a channel for his anger. And he might have found his way via the suits the Mardi Gras Indians create, and the taking on of his brother’s unfinished suit. Tyrone needs this outlet and focus for his anger. He struggled with it throughout the first three episodes, even to the point of trying to shoot Detective Connors.
Even better, all this character development provided the biggest plot movement yet. Tandy’s determination to get along with Greg led to direct involvement in the Roxxon lawsuit he represented her mother in. It also led to Roxxon killing Greg for presumably getting too close. There should be no escaping the consequences of Greg’s death. Tandy’s mother will suffer. Who knows whether her determination to take the corporation down will wax or wane. Tandy herself visited the burned office to retrieve documents from Greg’s safe, so she certainly won’t let this go.
Tyrone’s plot movement was not so direct, but still meant something. He learned of his brother’s training to be a “Spy Boy” for the Redhawks, a role in Mardi Gras parades involving moving ahead of the Big Chief but was described in this episode as someone responsible for scouting the unknown to seek oncoming trouble. The unfinished suit Tyrone adopted also largely resembles the signature look of Cloak in the comics.
And of course now you also have to wonder if Roxxon will involve themselves with the Redhawks.
There was definitely a lot of good content in this episode. At this point Cloak and Dagger is close to establishing a base quality that this episode certainly matched. Unfortunately, the end of the episode left a real sour taste in my mouth. One reason due to plot, and another for some poor handling of a very sensitive subject.
Insensitivity and Stalling
You saw the content warning, so let’s dive right in. The episode-long conversation between Tandy and Tyrone breaks down at the very end, when conversations about privilege turn into insults and eventually lead to Tandy admitting to suicidal thoughts. In his anger, Tyrone tells her that if she wants to die so badly, she should just do it.
The next day, in the aftermath of Greg’s murder, Tandy restrains her hands and feet and jumps into the ocean, clearly planning on killing herself. She eventually resurfaces when her powers trigger and she cuts the ropes binding her hands.
I will say this: my final judgment will depend on how this is handled moving forward. Right now it feels like a really cheap use of suicide. There are some things you must always take care to portray responsibly when telling your story, and this did not feel like a particularly responsible way to handle Tandy’s thoughts of ending her life. I worry this was nothing more than an attempt to end the episode with high drama, and that the distasteful implications are unrecognized.
Now, we do need to see where it goes from here. If Tyrone recognizes the terribleness of what he said and apologizes for it, and there’s a genuine effort to understand the mistake he made, this can pass by without issue. And it’s not like the idea that Tandy might have suicidal thoughts came from nowhere. Considering her immense survivor’s guilt and lack of connection, I can certainly understand how thoughts of suicide enter her mind. Thing is, I don’t think you can just throw it out there, have a main character yell at her to just go ahead and kill herself, have said character try, and then move on from it. It all happened so quick and dirty that I can’t help but feel like it may have just been there for drama.
I hope it’s needless to say that using suicide just for drama is an awful idea.
Cloak and Dagger needs to follow up respectfully on Tandy’s attempt. Suicidal tendencies are a serious concern that must be handled delicately and with a purpose. And unfortunately, this is an easy fallback too many shows rely on without the proper care needed. I hope Cloak and Dagger doesn’t.
My second, lesser, and plot-related concern is the argument that led to Tyrone’s insensitive words. Namely that, to me, it came completely out of nowhere. The two of them spent the entire episode having a calm, respectful discussion. Even sensitive subjects between the two caused little drama. Then all of a sudden a piece of genuine advice blows it all up and leads to an unnatural argument over privilege. Which leads to Tandy mentioning her suicidal thoughts and Tyrone’s comment.
This development renewed my worry from last week over these two being kept apart too long. It seems clear that the real, ground-shaking forward movement on Cloak and Dagger won’t take place until Tandy and Tyrone unite. “Call/Response” spent 90% of its runtime heading in this direction. Then it all fell apart.
I certainly understand how a conversation over privilege could lead to heated tensions, especially with backgrounds like Tandy and Tyrone have. Still, this felt so artificial. It almost felt like Cloak and Dagger attempting a superficial, ham-fisted discussion of privilege without any real meat. The main goal seems to be keeping the two main characters apart. It’s the absolute worst attempt the show has made regarding the privilege debate. Scenes like Tyrone walking into the police station and looking around, only to find a sea of white faces, speak volumes more than this conversation did.
While we’re certainly not back where we were at the end of the second episode, we’re a little too close for comfort. Both characters seem like they will tackle the plot alone. And you know they will tackle it ineffectively. The whole idea (at least to me) is that they won’t truly make progress until they team up. I’m also reaching a point where I will start to distrust the moments where they appear ready to team up if this goes on for too long.
In one moment, they undid a great deal of the work the 40 minutes before hand strove hard for.
I’m all for character development, but here’s hoping Cloak and Dagger avoids this mistake in the future. And here’s hoping Tandy’s suicide ends up as more than a way to create drama feeding this mistake.
- I was delighted when Greg turned out to be a good guy. Damn shame they killed him in the same episode he turned out as such.
- Tandy’s mother is seriously tragic. I worry we’re heading in a self-harm direction with her as well.
- I also loved learning more about Tyrone’s father, Otis. He seems to harbor a lot of the same barely repressed anger that his son does. I hope we get more of him and his history with the Redhawks.
- Roxxon is still paying for the rights to the plot of ocean with the collapsed rig. This suggests to me that whatever gave Tyrone and Tandy powers still slumbers beneath the water.
- Sometimes Tandy and Tyrone have some really good banter…and then sometimes I wonder how it can be so off.
Images Courtesy of Freeform
The Expanse Wanders Among The Wreckage
The Expanse is on its penultimate week, and with an episode called “Fallen World,” showed us the aftermath of a disaster.
When the episode starts, Holden is unconscious, so Bobbie picks him up and they head towards their shuttle. However, she realizes the speed limit might have decreased after her commanding officer threw the grenade last episode, and tests it. Turns out she is right. They get out and stabilize Holden. However, many Martians and Earthers are both dead on their ship, as the quick deceleration was a massive shock.
Naomi survived, but her skiff is no longer able to move, so she abandons it and steps into space. Drummer and her first officer are both pinned by heavy machinery, and have to cooperate to get out of the situation. Anna wakes up and goes through her ship, watching the scores of dead people. Those who are bleeding severely are lost as well, since in zero gravity, there is apparently no way for the blood to drain. One would expect they’d have some sort of vacuum pumps for that, being a space-faring civilization, but whatever. Anna is horrified and offers her help, being a trained nurse.
Holden’s brain scans show frenetic activity, but he’s not waking up. A MCRN soldiers feels like Bobbie is more loyal to him than to them, and suggests she kills him, because dying might be the best fate for him right now.
Drummer and her first have now gotten to the point of sharing life stories and singing together, since they are out of viable solutions for their situation.
When Clarissa wakes up, she think she successfully killed Tilly. But as Anna is helping fix her broken arm, Tilly contacts Anna on her hand terminal. Anna goes to find her, and Tilly tells her what happened before she dies. Clarissa, meanwhile, escapes the ship just as Anna catches up with her. She is left screaming that, “she cannot escape, only beg for mercy.”
Naomi arrives at the Roci and finds Alex, mostly all right, and Amos, who was hit in the head with a heavy tool and so is less alright. Drummer’s first starts coughing blood from his punctured lungs. For some mysterious reason, Drummer decides that means she should sacrifice herself, even though from what we have heard, doing so gives him a really low chances of survival. Still, she moves the machine back onto herself, freeing him, and he calls for help.
Clarissa reaches the Roci and manages to get inside. Naomi hears the impact and goes to check what is wrong. Clarissa tries to kill her—of course she does—but Anna, who apparently followed Clarissa, saves Naomi.
Drummer’s first, after hearing about the large number of wounded they have, gives the order to spin the drum of the ship, creating artificial gravity. They are unsure it will work, but they manage successfully. The first, who is not the captain, then opens a channel to other ships around them and invites everyone to transport their wounded to their ship.
MCRN seems to have more stupid ideas about how bad it is they are being saved by the “skinners,” apparently a name for the Belters. Bobbie effectively tells him he is an idiot and goes to see Holden, who woke up, and now tells her he had a vision of the end of everything.
Overall, this was another good episode with solid pacing and clear progress forward. But there were still plenty enough things left that bother me.
First and foremost among them would be the storyline happening aboard the Martian shuttle. For one, the MCRN marine was acting completely ridiculous. The Expanse has always had trouble with depicting the less open-minded military types with any nuance, but this might be a new low. In particular, I am talking about handing Bobbie the gun to shoot Holden.
It made no sense at all in context: their orders were to bring Holden in. I don’t expect MCRN tortures their prisoners, so the argument with “might be the best for him” hardly made sense. Most of all, it felt like a test for Bobbie, but if so, it was a test of a kind I’d expect to see in Star Trek Discovery‘s Mirror Universe, not among the Martians. The Expanse show adaptation has always depicted the Martians worse than the books do, and this continues in the same vein. Bobbie is gaining the very uncomfortable overtones of being the “one good apple.”
On the other hand, Bobbie’s own role here was scarcely better, particularly her strange obsession with Holden. She is acting like they became best friends in the first half of this season, which is definitely not something I noticed. No matter how ridiculous the marine’s desire to have Holden shot was, he was perfectly right that it looked like Holden was controlling the protomolecule. We know it was because Miller was controlling it for him, but Bobbie doesn’t.
At the same time, it doesn’t follow she would immediately jump to the conclusion that Holden is a villain. He could be controlled by the protomolecule. In fact, he was, to a degree. Or, he could have simply gone insane. Once again, he had in a way. There are many possible explanations that don’t lead to wanting to have Holden executed, but which at the same time don’t lead to Bobbie insisting to her marine crew that, “Holden wouldn’t do anything wrong.”
It is doubly irritating because this is Holden of all people, everyone’s personal favorite white boy. Of course she would be all up in arms about him. Meanwhile, women of color were in danger or outright killed left and right this episode.
Speaking of which, Drummer. On one hand, when we first saw the situation she was in, I was worried it would develop into a mutual attempt at killing the other and saving themselves. I am truly, deeply grateful it didn’t. And even the idea of her sacrifice could have been a brilliant one, really, in the right circumstances. The way it played out here, however? Just after it is implied her first has a low chances of survival, without any particular indication that she is in serious trouble herself? It just feels very much like, “all right, the brown chick was the captain for a bit too long, time to give it to a white guy.”
The scene between them was acted excellently though, I have to grant them that much. Naomi was very good this episode as well, and were her Rocinante boys.
The one character who continues to be a disappointment is Anna. Her very last intervention was badass to be sure, but it’s not the kind of strength I expect from Anna. She’s not there to beat people over their heads. And until that moment, she was as insufferable as before. The most ridiculous moment was shouting after Clarissa. I understand she was meant to be upset, but it just looked stupid. Tilly repeating Anna was “very good at this,” meaning her pastoral duties, only made me roll my eyes once more. Show, don’t tell, please. At this point, such assertions about Anna are about as convincing as all the characters telling Tyrion he was clever on Game of Thrones.
The season finale next week is a double episode. At this point, I feel like it can go in many different directions, and I am all impatience to see which one it goes for.
All images courtesy of SyFy
Reverie Sows the Seeds of Doubt
Last week’s episode of Reverie ended on a cliffhanger. Mara realized that she wasn’t actually at her late sister’s house, talking to her late niece (she was actually pretty sure on that last one). This leads to an obvious question: where was Mara, really. Unfortunately for her, she was in the middle of a road, with a car on its way. Before the car runs her over, Mara is saved by a mysterious man who knows her name. Turns out Mara’s savior is Oliver Hill, who claims to be suffering from de-realization as well. Hill has been following Mara, out of supposed worry. Before Oliver was a concerned stalker, he was a founding partner of Onira-Tech. He has something to explain to her, but he needs food first.
Oliver Hill V. Onira-Tech
Reverie spends about half of the episode providing two arguments for what’s really going on. Oliver argues that Reverie 2.0 is inherently flawed. He claims that he and Mara, being the two people who have spent the most time in Reverie 2.0, will be representative of the general population. In his version, Charlie is Onira-Tech’s unthinking bodyguard who hates Oliver. The medication that Mara has been given is supposedly useless (which is not a great message, especially when paired with Mara’s previous trashing of her meds). Oliver tells Mara not to tell Onira-Tech about their conversation, but that lasts for about 3 minutes. Mara is scared and she needs answers, and she tries to test Oliver’s claims against Onira-Tech’s personnel.
On the other hand, Onira-Tech claims that Oliver Hill was unstable. Charlie claims that Oliver is dangerous. Paul shows Mara Oliver’s brain activity, explaining that he had issues before Reverie 2.0. Alexis tells Mara that her partnership with Oliver was founded in a romantic relationship. That relationship went badly, and Alexis doesn’t want to be defined by that failure, hence his erasure from the company.
By the end of the episode, Mara agrees with the latter form of events. She seems to be finally persuaded by Alexis’ detailing of her and Oliver’s romantic partnership. However, it’s not clear that the narrative agrees with Mara. Mara doesn’t know where to turn, and Reverie loves drawing tension from that. It thrives off of Mara’s (and the viewer’s) disorientation.
It’s certainly clear that Oliver has other plans, since he offers to buy a Reverie system at the end of the episode.
This episode also included a client of the week. Part of the reason the Onira-Tech team started out the episode on edge was a theft within the building. Someone stole a copy of Reverie, and modified it into a form of “Dark Reverie.” The “Dark” version doesn’t have restrictions. Our client of the week, Glenn, is using it to plan a heist. Since last week’s episode involved a bank robber, it’s likely Glenn needed the jailbroken version for the detailed specifications.
Glenn is a man with a stereotypical form of OCD. He avoids daylight, and hates the color blue. In a twist that should not surprise the viewer, Glenn doesn’t want to commit the heist for himself. He’s been watching the single mother and son across the street. The son has a rare disease, and Glenn wants to save his life with a trial drug. Despite mostly living inside, Glenn’s motivation is that he feels like part of the pair’s family. This entire plot feels like a math problem. Sick kid + adult with stereotypical OCD + moral heist = episodic plot.
Glenn offers to sell out “Dark Reverie” sellers and give his system back on one condition: help him do the heist. Mara complies, but Charlie and Monica have other ideas. Instead of letting Glenn steal the medication, they make a deal with the medicine company CEO. The heist goes through, but is spinned as a test of the company’s security system. Glenn gets the meds for the kid, and doesn’t get a felony on his record. Smiles all around.
Reverie‘s season arc plot wildly outstrips its episodic plots. This week’s episodic plot was probably the worst so far. However, the arc’s plot twists easily, without feeling gimmicky.