Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dark Angel Season 2 Episode 19: She Ain't Heavy

With the secret out, there’s now a senator task force asking questions about transgenics  - and presenting them as a dangerous, criminal and even infectious, threat. Normal, watching the task force on television, is all in favour. Elsewhere in Jampony, 2 workers playing round with Normal’s barcode stamp, stamp one of their fellows on the back of the neck and someone else is wearing a “Wanted” poster t-shirt with an artist impression of Joshua, much to Max’s disgust. She also fills in Original Cindy on her still being apart from Logan and how she let Logan think she was with Alec to end it for good

Normal notices the barcode on the back of his employee’s neck, grabs a gun and points it at him. Max takes it off him and ejects the bullets – in time for them to see that the ink on his neck smudges. Max takes off moping and wonders if it would have been easier if she’d gone elsewhere

Zoom to San Francisco where a woman who looks just like Max returns home to her husband and child. The domestic bliss is interrupted by White and a huge numbers of goons moving in – she throws one across the room with Manticore strength before being tased. White taunts her, calling her 452, she says she’s 453. Max’s twin (because everyone in Manticore has one per the new retcon). White checks her barcode (he can actually read a barcode?) and see’s it’s true.

Max goes to see Joshua who is still very sad over Annie – and is painting out the windows on his house. She also finds a map to Terminal City, an area of Sector 7 that is fenced off because of a bioweapons spill during the Pulse, where “downstairs people”, animal transgenics have been gathering because they’re immune to the toxin. Alec told Joshua about it and he wants to know why she didn’t. She calls the house his home but he refuses to be distracted (really highlighting how Max infantilises him) and tells her everything in the house reminds him of Annie.

At White’s he has men trying to track Logan’s bulletins, relying on his rambling when he talks about transgenics and going over time and we find out that 453, Max’s clone has different DNA from Max (yes, I know I know, Dark Angel long since stopped making sense). 453 has never contacted Max and Max didn’t break her out –s he was already out on a deep cover mission and she then fell in love with her mark and his son.

White’s plan is to have 453 pose as Max and speak to the doctor who treated her and see what he knows about Max and where she is. She does this and she gets to see her family again. And if she believes that then Manticore training failed dismally.

Speaking of that doctor – he’s treating Logan who is magically getting the feeling back in his legs again. Of course this happened last time he received a transfusion from Max, only now it’s almost instant, far faster than before. Yes, this may be the miracle cure AGAIN.

Downstairs Clone!Max arrives on her bike (stamping out a cigarette so we know it’s not Max) and she walks past Logan without recognising him – dum dum dum. 453 isn’t great at the undercover thing but does learn Max works at Jam Pony and was shot recently – and the doc notices she doesn’t have a wound. She heals fast but not that fast. She smacks him and tells him to get out of town.

She starts to drive off and White’s team begins to follow them – before she pulls 2 guns and shoots up their car. She tells them that if she’s on to them, she would be on to them. She works alone. Like good little people facing a bullet to the head, they nod politely.

To add to the complications, Normal has been thinking about how easily Max pushed him aside and talking to Sketchy – they talk to Alec about maybe Max being transgenic. They plan to look at her barcode. Alec calls them paranoid – and goes to see Max to tell her she needs to top up her tattoo removal. Max is also having problems with Joshua – he’s tried of hiding, he wants to go to Terminal City. She tries to talk him out of it but he refuses to be silenced, he refuses to be babied – he’s been looking after himself and everyone else for a long time back in Manticore and he doesn’t want to be alone.

White’s boss catches up with him – white has been subpoenaed to appear before the senate committee. White is told to plead the 5th and continue to pretend Transgenics do not exist, despite his objections.

453 goes to Jampony and runs into Logan who is snippy about her ignoring him earlier, dodging him and waiting until Jam Pony closes she checks the files and finds Normal’s file on Max (rooms with “nubian princess” really? Really? C’mon Dark Angel you’re better than that) and that she lives with Cindy. The real Max is at home having a pity party to which, unfortunately for her, Cindy is invited. She’s planning on packing and leaving town because waaaaaaaaaah waaaaah largely because Joshua won’t let her baby him. And Logan will be just finnne without her.

That Just fine Logan does a streaming freedom bulletin which is traced by White – seeing he’s been tracked he signs off and tells everyone it will be his last hack for a while. Logan packs up and leaves. By the time White’s gang arrives he’s gone and the computers have had their hard drives erased. They take out their frustrations by breaking down walls and shooting computer monitors.

Max makes her goodbyes with Cindy –or rather Cindy has the super touching goodbye and Max drives off. Followed by Clone!Max who shoots out the tires on her bike. 453 calls White (at Logan’s erasing the White board with his details on it) to tell him she has Max. 453 tells Max how much harder the twins had it after her group escaped, Manticore wanted to make sure there were no more flight risks. She’s nto happy with Max – less so since being Max’s twin lead White right to her.

Joshua makes his way to Terminal City and meets up with a whole group of transgenics who can’t pass as human. They work together, organised and rely on the biotoxins to protect them – there are apparently several groups of transgenics in the city but most of them stick to their own type. Alec, finding the map at Joshua’s follows him.

Logan, having seen both Max’s on their bikes, follows them and finds Max tied up. He starts to release her when 453 kicks him, the rage at seeing Logan hurt gives Max the strength to free herself. Fight scene ensures – 453’s greater training vs Max’s “real life experience” (what as opposed to being on mission?) and protag specialness. Split screen and extras not looking like Max means we don’t even have a dramatic X5 fight. White arrives – and gets clobbered on the back of the head by Logan with a metal bar. She proposes a deal – White for 453s family

And part of that involves Logan, Max and White going to Terminal City to join Alec and Joshua and the many other transgenics there. She’s brought White there for the exchange, relying on the chemicals of Terminal city to encourage White’s men not to delay too long. 453’s husband and child are exchanged for White. Of course as they make an exchange White grabs his gun and they think they’ve got the upper hand. Until all the transgenics with rifles show up. Oopsie. White decides discretion is the better part of valour and leaves. Personally I’d have killed him.

Max sets up 453 – Sam – with a ride to Canada with her family. Sam is still snarly about Max but Alec points out she wouldn’t even be with her family if Max hadn’t brought Manticore down. And Max talks to Logan about how he’s going to need a good Cat Burglar to replace his Eyes Only set up. She’s shelved her plans of leaving town.

At the senate committee, White is called to testify. And he tells them everything and adds that the transgenics are dangerous and they’re at war. And while his boss may want his badge, the senator has his back – as a member of the breeding cult.

Oooooh too little too late too little too late! It’s so frustrating that the actual action that could have made season 2  great, canon breaking aside, happens when it’s too late to develop it. Imagine if, instead of all the monster of the week episodes, we could have had Max making touch with these transgenic groups that have sprung up out of nowhere?

Now we’re getting some quality meta plot, hints of Max’s specialness, more on the breeding cult and it’s all so late in the season that there’s only 2 episodes left. And that's a shame because there was a lot to develop here as you can see in this episode once we get past the wretched twin element and Max angst. 

Even Joshua is being developed into a useful character for the group - if they'd only not waited so long and hadn't confined him to the role of comic relief