Monday, September 22, 2014

Intruders, Season 1, Episode 5: The Shepherds and the Fox

This show clearly isn’t confusing enough- time for a 9 year old flashback, to when the police caught up with Marcus (in his own body – or the body he was using then anyway) and the bodies of his many many victims.

In the present the police question Jack about Anderson being murdered in front of him last episode. The police aren’t accusatory but are kind of arseholish when there’s zero indication Jack did anything wrong

Madison/Marcus continues doing whatever it is she’s actually doing – and we continue to have almost cartoonishly awful things being said by a 10 year old. She eventually finds her way to a house, barges in and tries to call her parents; the man whose house she barged in manages to give Madison’s mother his address and we see that the house she’s found is Marcus’s old house – where all the bodies were. Marcus takes over and the creepiness emerges – and the knife wielding 10 year old.

Richard Shepherd, who has just killed Armstrong, gets a visit from Frank Shepherd who is not all that impressed by the noise Richard’s making in order to preserve the silence, which is a nice way of putting it. While Frank and Richard have a rapport, Frank isn’t keen on Richard’s doubts of their bosses and he reaffirms their current task: find Marcus, kill him and find out who it was – which on of them it was – who helped Marcus return. Which is a problem for Richard because it was probably him. After asking Richard if it was him (and lots of shiftiness in response) Frank tells him to find the guy and kill him too.

Jack angsts and drinks in a hotel, talks to Amy on the phone for more angst and gets another menacing call from Rose wanting to set up a meeting – she even does a “I know where you are” speech and there’s a half-seen shadowy figure at his door. Seriously, they need to stop doing this random poking of Jack every episode, what’s it supposed to achieve?

The next day Jack tries to call Gary who isn’t answering his phone – and when he calls Gary’s firm he learns Gary hasn’t worked for them for months.  Gary does contact him – cryptically asking to speak to him at his room.  Jack agrees but first he has a meeting Rose set up with Frank. Crypticness follows and Frank tries to kill Jack – sadly Frank is a terrible amateur and waits until he’s said “you’ll see her in your next lifetime” before putting gloves on – so he announces he’s going to kill Jack just as his hands are entangled with gloves. Frank still gets the upper hand until Richard shoots him. Yes, Richard just saved Jack. Richard leaves – warning Jack that if they meet a third time he’ll kill him

I think the whole goal of this show and the organisation is actually just to mess with Jack’s head. Jack goes from there to Gary’s hotel room which is scattered with papers – both of them look like hell. Gary tries to explain things – about hearing Anderson’s machine and it causing lots of fear until it turned off – and afterwards sickness and insomnia. When looking at his baby girl he saw a strange darkening of her eyes which he decided was another soul (really?), Donna the girl from their high school who killed herself (remember the first episode, that bit that was never explained?) Gary decides Donna was possessed and is now back to warn Gary.

Ok, that made zero sense, so let’s return to Madison in Marcus’s old house and Richard tracks her down. There’s a decent chance of someone being murdered here. Madimarcus isn’t happy with his vague, cryptic book (show, you do not want to be expressing your frustrations with cryptic things to me, no no you do not). Richard has been rethinking his deal with Marcus and pulls a gun. Marcus rather terribly tries to play the innocent little girl. Richard backs away from the murderer with a known penchant for knives and trips over Madison’s last victim – giving her chance to escape. In Richard’s car which she then crashes and abandons, easily escaping. And she stole his sweets.

Richard, you were a badass assassin. You just let a 10 year old intimidate you into dropping your guard and then she stole your car. The other assassins will now laugh at you.

With that moment of awesomeness I can return to Jack and Gary and Jack really questioning how you can notice possession in the behaviour of an 18 month old child. But since Amy has also changed a lot he’s willing to run with it – Gary drops a lot of names including Rose Gilchrist who is currently in that hotel. Gary explains their theory – everyone has 2 souls in their bodies, or rather everyone is reincarnated but forgets their past lives; and these people know how to trigger their consciousness in the next life. Gary thinks this explains everything from genius to mental illness. And they hate Armstrong’s machine because it lets everyone perceive souls.

Jack is not exactly convinced by this explanation. And Gary has destroyed his life with his fear – his wife has a restraining order on him due to him shaking his possessed baby. Gary collapses into tears after his confession.

As Jack leaves he spies on the hallway opposite, where Rose is supposed to have a room – and sees Richard arrive.

I think one of the reasons I’m not as big a fan of Intruders as it could be is it spends so much time building atmosphere and them slapping us with it. We get a tense scene, then we add to it with big dramatic music and slow walk ups and lots of camera angles and a little guy who pops out your screen and yells “oooh isn’t it tense! Oooh isn’t it mysterious”. It’s heavy handed- and it’s slow. Like Jack had to have 3 different phone conversations to finally get in touch with Gary. Rose has called Jack several time simply to be vaguely menacing. Jack goes to his meeting on the pier and we have to have a good 30 second walk up to meet the guy while the dramatic music plays. Richard has to shiftily fail to answer Frank’s questions twice to look suspicious despite us already knowing he is the culprit. There are a lot of scenes of Jack mopily moping around being mopey or scenes with Madison which basically involve her swearing or saying “tits” and “ass” to a woman.

If you cut down on the scene setting, we’ve had maybe 3 episodes of actual plot. And it isn’t really good scene setting – I think we can infer a lot of Jack’s problems by him sitting and drinking and all his conversations – we don’t need a scene of him looking at himself in the bathroom mirror to drive it home.

Also I’m going to need a little more than “I heard a strange sound and saw a different soul in my baby’s eyes.” Really.