Zack has been captured and returned to Mantecore, he did not escape as Max had hoped. At Mantecore, Lydecker is determined to get information on where the rest of the X5s are out of Zack, using psychoactives, acted scenarios, drugs, hallucinations and anything else they can to try and make him give up the rest of the escaped X5s. All to the growing concern of the doctor who fears Zack may die during the questioning.
Things are not going so well for Cindy. After the Reds killed her landlord and trashed the place, she has been evicted from her home. Max feels guilty for costing Cindy her job and her home and, because Kendra has moved out to be with Walter, she invites Cindy to stay. Also, Cindy is awesome and everyone should want her as a room-mate.
Logan and Max are keeping that sexual tension ratcheted high and Logan’s very gleeful about being able to walk around with a stick due to the stem cells from Max healing his nerve damage. They’re cute getting ready, extremely nervous as their relationship reaches a new level.
But at Mantecore, the doctor’s conscience has cracked. He fakes Zack’s death and, when he digs himself out from his grave, helps him escape – they don’t get far before Mantecore soldiers catch up, shooting the doctor and chasing the injured and ill Zack (who is rather messed up from all the drugs). He calls Max for help, kind of ruining her romantic evening. Logan thinks it’s too dangerous for her to go and “won’t let her do this”, oh Logan, how cute. Max kindly informs Logan that he may be able to walk now, but he still cannot stop Max doing anything.
Max to the rescue, through a forest crawling with Mantecore goons, she finds the confused, hurting and generally-not-in-good-shape Zack who is worried that anything could be another hallucination or ploy to get him to reveal where the others are. He knows he didn’t tell Mantecore anything because he made himself forget – a trick Mantecore taught all the X5s
The problem with that is that he was the only one who knew where the others were. He struggles to remember so they don’t lose contact with all the X5s. Little things prompt him – like him needing to sleep but Max and Jondy not having to, leading him to remember Jondy is happy to work nights in a bar in San Francisco and Tinga works in a Portland bakery, Zane in LA. Max calms him and he tells her about how they used actors and hallucinations to try and make him reveal the location of the others before. Max checks the area and sees a lot of Mantecore troops with her excellent X5 senses – including undercover
Then we switch to Lydecker in a command van – and the doctor who is supposed to be dead. It’s another ploy. Lydecker orders his men to capture Max and Zack, using the transmitter they implanted in Zack’s head and find… the transmitter. Zack and Max have removed it.
Zack and Max reach Logan, but they have another problem. Lydecker was listening while they talked about Jondy, Zane and Tinga. They try to get Zack to remember how to contact them so they can warn them, get them to escape before Lydecker gets there. He can’t remember… but they have another warning method. Logan revs up Eyes Only, spreads it across the entire US and sends a message to all X5s to warn them, repeating it until they call check in. And putting Eyes Only on Lydecker’s hit list.
Max wonders why she never got the emergency contact number – Zack never gave it to her because she was reckless and won’t follow orders and his way of doing things. In particular, she won’t leave Seattle. Before they can argue about it, Zack gets a call, Tinga is in trouble in Portland.
Tinga moves through a crowded bus park, hunted by Mantecore troops, she ends up surrounded and them closing in with tasers – and Max and Zack drop in. 3 X5s together mean lots of unconscious Mantecore goons and a clear escape.
When they steal a car to leave, Max prepares to go back to Seattle with Logan. Tinga asks why she isn’t coming but Zack shouts her down – earning him a glare and Tinga taking the time to say goodbye to Max.
At Mantecore, the committee has lost its patience with the X5s and has ordered Lydecker to resolve it – using deadly force if he has to, much to his objection.
And on the relationship front, Logan starts acting snippy and trying to hide that his legs are collapsing out from under him, painfully. The cure isn’t sticking
I am torn between being repetitive and not missing all the wonderful tiny references the show has to the dystopia – the ruins, the shortages. They’re all hinted at but never info dumped. And Mantecore’s attitude to the X5s as commodities, not just how theyr’e willing to sacrifice Zack, but their graveyard, their headstones has no names – only barcodes.
But there’s an issue. Max and Logan and the sexual tension on high. They’ve always had a lot of sexual tension – but now is the first time that them doing something about it is on the cards – so much so that both Bling and Original Cindy are commenting on it. And the reason? Because Logan can walk again. Now, Logan does expressly say that just because he was in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean they couldn’t have had sex which I’m glad of, but as Cindy and Bling point out – and is painfully obvious – the chair was a barrier and without it Max and Logan see a sexual/romantic relationship as more possible at least. There is an habit of de-sexualising the disabled in media and society and it’s problematic that Logan and Max’s relationship seems more possible when Logan only needs a stick to help him get around, rather than being in a wheelchair.
I do like to see the other X5s – it adds to the meta of her siblings.