Max reconnects with our favourite side-kick, Original Cindy! Lamenting about the lack of grooming that goes on in Manticore, Max fills Cindy in on everything that has been happening, destroying Manticore, the disease that will kill Logan et al. But Cindy isn’t a fool – she puts 2 and 2 together and realises that Logan is Eyes Only. Cindy does her usual job of reassuring and encouraging Max.
Meanwhile in the woods, a group of transgenic kids lead by an X6 teenager see the light in the sky that signals them to regroup. Despite their misgivings of what happened during the fire, they obey orders and report in to the military patrol on the bridge – which shoots them. In the same woods, a group of Hive-Mind X7 clones chase down and capture a reptilian transgenic. They take it back to base– and the one in charge is Agent White, put in place to clean up the Manticore mess who is very unimpressed by transgenics.
Max returns to Jam Pony with minimal difficulty, but Logan is concerned about the destruction of Manticore – the news is saying it was a VA hospital and framing the S1W – and his friend Asha who runs the group. Sketchy and others don’t believe the story though, having followed Eyes Only know about Manticore and transgenic people escaping.
Meanwhile Alec is living his version of the high life in a motel, which is interrupted when a bunch of run away X6s go to the shop for food – confused at there being barcodes on products. The girl he is with notices the barcodes on the back of the X6s necks, just like Alec’s. Her attention attracts the shop assistant who notices them stealing – so they raise the bar from shop lifting to armed robbery. Alec is not amused.
Fleeing the police, Alec tracks down the X6s (and 1 X7) and they quickly take him for a commanding officer. Alec tells them the truth about the bogus signal and that Manticore tried to kill them. The X6 commander insists they regroup and go to the rendezvous point because they have orders – Alec snarks and laughs at them.
Logan gets in touch with Max and shows her the rendezvous signal, realising that, unlike Max and her group of escapees, the escaping transgenics may not have even realised Manticore was trying to kill them and may walk back into their cages – or worse. Max insists on going to help, calling the transgenics her family. She arrives in time to see Alec’s group of X6s report in – and manages to drive her bike through the gun men before they’re slaughtered, calling them to run and grabbing their wounded.
She returns with them to the barn where Alec and the X7 is – Alec is less than thrilled to be reunited with Max. They do some hurried field medication on the injured X6, including cauterising. Max insists it’s their job to get the kids to safety, Alec decides to throw popcorn at the X7 and snark instead. She encourages them to get names and think of themselves as people not soldiers.
Meanwhile, Agent White has got information on Max’s DNA from Renfro’s files and heard of her stopping the checkpoint killing the X6s and wants her found. Which is when Lydecker pushes his way in to start searching through the place, ransacking and stealing data. This doesn’t amuse White who seems to have anger management issues.
Looking at Max’s DNA workup, Lydecker calls Logan and tells him to warn Max that they’ll be after her specifically (because of her super special chosen one DNA) and she needs to get out of the area asap.
The X7 Max has is using his sonar to call the rest of his hivemind, telling White that Max is there. He wants her taken alive and sends soldiers in. Max handles them as you’d expect while the X6s flee in a van. But after they escape one of the soldiers manages to punch Max in the head and knock her unconscious (did someone turn her super powers off?)
Max is put in a cell where she gets to bond with the reptilian transgenic they’ve already captured – and she gets to meet White. White tells her about her special DNA – she has no junk DNA, every single DNA base pair in her make up does something. And he intends to find out what they all do.
Meanwhile the free X6s realise they’ve left Max behind. They’re following her direct order to flee – but she told them they didn’t have to follow orders any more. Yay free will, boo to an entire lifetime’s indoctrination. Alec sees them returning and… continues driving. Or so it seems. When the X6s creep close to the camp, Alec is there, moved by conscience to help (awww, he is a good guy) commenting that Max got caught saving the X6s (ok, he’s not a NICE guy).
In for the rescue, Alec opens her cage and, when she smacks him, the cage of the reptile transgenic as well. Alec tries to run but Max says the laser signal is still going which will attract more transgenics to their death – “if you want to be a hero you can’t be half-assed about it”. Smacking down more guards, they re-programme the system (both on the same keyboard. I love it when they do that on TV) sending the message to scatter and go to ground before destroying it. One soldier nearly shoots them but the reptile guy knocks him out (aww good deeds are rewarded). For his troubles, reptile guy is shot by White
Having escaped, Max does her standard “here are IDs to get you into Canada” and tells them to stick together – don’t split up like she and the X5s did.
I wish they’d take the time to explain the X6s and how they differ from X5s. They seem to have less health problems, but to be less competent – but they seem to acknowledge the X5s as superior officers automatically, which could just be age. But why are they so much less skilled? When Max and her fellows were kids, a unit of half a dozen soldiers wouldn’t have a chance. C’mon more world building – they’ve added to the world, not back it up.
I don’t like this Chosen one meme – because it came out of absolutely nowhere and never makes any sense. Why would people who are so utterly capable of manipulating DNA to produce lizard people, to meld cat DNA into human DNA (albeit with some errors) be so happy because Max has the super special DNA? Can’t they replicate it? Didn’t they have it on file?
Also, Manticore brainwashing? Breaks in seconds. Seriously, look at Alec, look at these X6s, look at Jondy with her pregnancy. How they managed to re-indoctrinate Brin I’ll never know. A slight suggestion from an outside source and a lifetime’s worth of brainwashing completely crumbles.