Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dark Angel, Season 2, Episode 10: Brainiac

 Asha hands some files to Logan, the S1W has uncovered some evidence of police corruption that Logan will spread using Eyes Only. She’s nervous though, both of the cops spreading their own version – and she’s sure someone is onto them

We move to a man watching 6 televisions at once with several more around him, all set to different channels. He points at them a second before they switch to the Eyes Only broadcast. He stands up, zips up his hoodie and leaves.

He goes to a video game arcade and plays a game, impressing a kid by his effortless high score despite having never played it before. He tells the kid to move a second before the police rush in, running through the place the kid was stood; he never stops playing. He then ducks over the game and forces the kid’s head down as well – gun shots then hit the game behind them, passing through where their heads were. The police take out Asha and several members of the S1W and put them in a police van. The man follows with his hands on his head but the police don’t notice him and ignore him.

At Jampony normal is loving the S1W being arrested and speaks up in favour of more anonymous tips and Max says the S1W is just exposing corruption. Normal asks her how she knows – she ignores him, then Alec asks the same question and she ignores him too (which, it being Alec, is probably wise anyway). Normal starts his conspiracy theory wondering about Max and the S1W, heightened when Max choses to take a deliver a package headed to where the S1W were arrested.

Max sneaks into the crime scene – joined by Alec who has turned up to find Asha’s address book since he gave her his number (and is then quite perturbed to find she didn’t bother to write it down). They do find a poetry book and a hand written poem that Alec assumes are Asha’s and written for Logan. Max says she’s covering for Logan and Alec taunts her for being a chump, that Asha has a crush on Logan and she’s being taken advantage of. Max starts to lecture him on the bigger picture, people being arrested etc (oh what a turnaround from season 1) when Alec points to the nearby computer game – with the Highscore first place with name of Max with a loveheart, and the score begins with 452. Max’s barcode. On top of the game is the man’s hoodie.

We cut to the man trying to get his neighbour to take in his post while he’s away for a few days but she doesn’t hear him when he speaks and only belatedly notices him.

Back at the arcade, Alec asks the kid about the man who says he can’t describe him because he didn’t really notice him. Alec shows him the very large hoodie in surprise that he wasn’t noticed since the man is fat. The kid describes his odd ability to see the future. In the Hoody is a name, Brain and his address. The kid also says that Brain said the hottest girl he’d ever seen would come asking after him.

Brain, at his flat, is clearly primping as if for a date and when Max and Alec arrive, bickering, he opens the door angry that Max didn’t come alone.

Cut to Brain being tied to a chair and blind folded while Alec and Max tell Logan that he seems to be the man who tipped off the police about Asha and the S1W. Apparently he told them that he knew the raid was going to happen but only to a 73% certainty (only 73% he knew it was happening but knew exactly how it was going to happen up to and including where the bullets would fly – turn off your expectations of narrative consistency folks, it’s Dark Angel Season 2). Though they’re a little disturbed that Brain knows Max’s name. Logan starts to discuss his plan to free Asha & Co and Brain, from his chair, criticises it, saying it has a 92% chance of failure and all the ways it can go wrong referring to the area layout and other factors. Logan gets irritated and removes Brain’s blindfold, after a glance around the abandoned warehouse he tells them the address they’re holding him and begins to criticise why it fails as a secret meeting place before Logan gags him. Looking at Logan he then realises he’s Eyes Only.

As Max and Alec leave to free Asha Brain shouts after them that the only way the plan will work is if she “breaks an egg” (something he saw on a TV advert earlier).

They raid the prison transport and take down the 2 guards quickly – but not before they press the silent alarm. Alec begins to run through the huge bunch of keys but police sirens start up almost instantly. Max drives off and police cars come from all directions, surrounding them. She drives towards a train crossing with police cars behind her and ahead – and a train on the way. She remembers what Brain said about breaking an egg and sees an old billboard with the same advertising slogan on it by the train tracks, she turns the transport and rams through it, crossing the rails behind it mere inches ahead of the train. The police cars following grind to a halt.

Back at the warehouse, they ask Brain how he knew and he tells them he’s an X series, just like them. Alec confirms that he has a barcode on his neck but doesn’t think he can be a soldier given how fat he is. Brain is an IT processor: basically a general, his staff, 2 database groups and 5 logistical support teams into one stealth package. Alec mocks the “stealth” claim but Brain says people look away from him, don’t notice him, don’t remember him. And he’s not psychic, he uses vast amounts of data and statistic to analyse probabilities. Yeah, psychic. He claims to know his and Max’s future so Alec mocks him for having a crush on her. Brain also tells them that one of the S1W betrayed the raid, not him.

Max takes Brain away and she begins to follow the logic of the S1W having a mole. She smacks Brain for not paying attention and he says he is – and tells her she’s wondering if anything is going on between Asha and Logan. Max shows him pictures of the S1W and asks which one did it but, other than the fact Asha is going to be heavier than him by the time she’s 30 (*eye roll*). He doesn’t have enough data to know which one betrayed the S1W (The Camera cuts to far too damn obvious Red Herring. Does anyone fall for that?) He’s upset because he’s letting her down. He talks about Manticore – she doesn’t remember him but he’s designed to be forgettable – but he remembers her and envied their physical capabilities. He also obsessed with her, studying all the data there was to know about her. This goes on to further establish the crush Brain has on Max

Brain and Max return to the S1W and Logan with the Red Herring questioning who Brain is and who he’s working for. Max vouches for him and Brain has a psychic vision of sector police approaching, he quickly tells them where to go to escape and everyone runs.  Except Brain who stays behind with his hands up. The police ignore him so he elbows one in the face, twisting his ankle in the process. The policeman gets up and points a gun at Brain – finally noticing him.

The rest of the S1W escape and Asha calls Logan who is arranging to have her and her group escape across the border into Canada, though she’s not happy at the idea. He warns her to be careful of the informant and she dodges around confessing her crush to him (ugh let it end). Alec asks what women see in Logan (contrived love triangles Alec, it’s all about the love triangle).

Max goes to rescue Brain who is sawing at the bars on the window. She tells him he must have known she was coming for him because there’s no way he could fit through those bars (and he finally calls out a comment as hurtful). He limps to the door – but his ankle is twisted and Max has to carry him (yes, more fat jokes). He muses that people don’t see him because there’s nothing to see – he never does anything with all the data he is and he confesses he turned himself in, which doesn’t amuse Max who is having to carry him (and we get a crack about her being strong but not “super woman”).  They hide in an office and Brain has another psychic vision of Max going to rescue the S1W being held captive by their traitor wherein she ignores a “Danger” sign, kicks the door in – and is shot. But he doesn’t tell her the last part. She doesn’t buy it, how can he happen to know all this (you and me both Max). Brian notices a poetry book and poem that matches Asha’s on the table and tells Max it’s a CIA trick – to use writing to pick out certain passages in a book to pass on secret messages, it must be the traitor’s. Max doesn’t believe Asha is the traitor because betraying the S1W would hurt Logan (really? She’s seen her do so much for the S1W, it’s her dominant cause but the reason Asha wouldn’t betray it is because it would hurt a guy? The S1W is Asha’s baby, not Logan’s!) So it must be someone else’s poetry book

Cut to the S1W and the traitor asking for his poetry book back. Max and Brain speed towards them on a motorcycle and Brain translates the coded message to reveal the traitor’s identity. They arrives and Brain’s clearly troubled, also considering how much Max was willing to help Asha despite believing she and Logan were together. When they stop he asks her what she sees when she looks at him and she says, after some thought, that he’s “magnificent.” He smiles, happy.

As the S1W begin to emerge, police cars drive up. Max quickly knocks down –and out – the 5 cops while the S1W run through the old mill guided by the traitor, leads them through the factory and locks them in a side room – before closing the outer door with the word “Danger” written on it. Max follows them as a whole truck load of police arrive and Brain breaks in through one of the windows.

Max runs through the factory, repeating Brain’s vision while Brain himself tries to hurry to her. She kicks open the danger door but just as the traitor fires, Brain throws himself on top of Max, knocking her over and taking the bullet. Max leaps to her feet and disarms and knocks out the traitor.

The S1W escape from the locked room and find Max knelt over the badly wounded Brain. He tells them the way out to escape the police and the S1W leave. Max stays with Brain while he says he only ever wanted to be seen by Max. The police arrive and Brain pulls her to him, hiding her in his stealth field. When the police are gone, Brain is dead.

Back at Logan’s, Logan tells Asha that all the police files from the arrest are gone (thanks to Brain) so Asha and the S1W don’t have to flee to Canada and we can have many more episodes of pointless love triangleness. Yay. This is my happy face. Really.

At Brain’s flat, Max and Alec watch the Eyes Only broadcast on Brain’s televisions, the broadcast is commemorating Brain’s dead. Max just wants everyone to see him (Alec’s there to steal his TV and move into the empty flat). Alec comments that Brain was “kind of magnificent”. (Subtle hint of Manticore conditioning I guess, after all you’d want your soldiers to obey and respect the generals).

It’s perfectly reasonable to have a transgenic whose abilities are primarily mental to be overweight – but not if you’re going to base an entire episode around fat jokes. It’s juvenile and really scraping the barrel, especially when we throw in the whole “fat guy has a crush on a hot woman” joke.

As for the rest – stealth systems and magic maths that lets you see the future. Yep, it’s Dark Angel season 2, it doesn’t have to make sense any more. Which is kind of sad because a brilliant transgenic computer would be an excellent and reasonable transgenic.  It’s actually kind of sad that they didn’t work on that angle rather than make him a psychic and then integrated him into Eyes Only – that would have been several times more interesting and sensible. Hey and Manticore had this kind of stealth ability and didn’t make an army of ninjas with it?

And yes I am tired of the Asha/Max/Logan love triangle and the idea that Asha wouldn’t betray her organisation, the organisation we’ve seen her work for and passionately defend for the entire season, just because it might hurt Logan is insultingly ridiculous