Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Messengers, Season 1, Episode 6: Metamorphisis

The group brainstorms about Abaddon the Anarchist Hacker group and their 35 hour count down clock and how impossible it is to find members of an anonymous hacker group. At the same time Alan calls Vera because he has a lead on the people who took hr Magic Rock.

Vera tells Rose she’s going and for once Rose approves with what Vera is doing – but does hope Rose will keep their angelness a secret.

They go to the camp and while Vera checks in, Alan sees the van and hides his phone on it. There’s also a snag in that the ranger in charge of the camp site recognises them from posters saying they’re wanted by the Department of Defence.

They track Alan’s phone while they also continue there “flirting but not” byplay.  They arrive at a gate on the road which isn’t on the map. As they get out to walk they are tracked by high tech cameras.

They’re seen by a sniper and the ranger tells him that their boss said it didn’t matter if Vera and Alan were taking dead or alive. Only foliage protects them from being shot. They run, chased by snipers (snipers shouldn’t chase, it’s kind of the opposite of what a sniper should do) managing to hide when Alan clonks one with a rock (and yes you have to melt for him when he explains his Hunger Games inspiration). Then end up huddled together in the rocks that night. The next day they’re woken by helicopters and see a military base

At the base the see the same Captain who kicked them out of the crater in the first place. Of course Vera wants to follow him which means a quick explanation of her astral projection power to Alan before she goes in. There she sees them packing up meteorite rock as part of “Operation Genesis” – and the new minted horseman of war. She orders the site “cleaned” which means killing all non-soldiers.

And the meteorite fragment Vera has glows red. That’s probably not good.

The lady we saw from last episode, Koa Lin the shapeshifter, goes into a club and shifts her shape so she can give a man with the Abaddon cockroach symbol tattoo (can we take a moment to laugh at the anonymous group whose members wear the symbol as a tattoo?)  some drugs which are a magical truth serum – both showing what she really looks like and so she can use him to get her money back which Abaddon stole.

Kao Lin hangs him from his ankles and plays solitaire while we have a flashback to her past as a little girl working with her dad to cheat and steal from people in China – until one of the men they cheated killed her dad. In the present Larry gives up a place where Abaddon is recruiting.

Back with the group Nadia turns out to have considerable computer skills and tries to infiltrate Abaddon – there are two ways in, solve a decryption puzzle or hand over someone’s stolen identity. Since they’re staying in the house of people who have left their social security numbers behind she goes for option B until Peter sees and throws Angel Guilt at her.

And Rose isn’t that keen on Nadia being involved since she isn’t an Angel. But her ability to understand all languages means she makes short work of Abaddon’s encryption puzzle. They pass and get a face to face meeting with lots more plague language.

Peter and Nadia also have a little mutual angst bonding over Peter’s orphan-ness and Peter wonders why these three banks in particular were targeted. All the banks are invested in a network of hospitals and a heath insurance company.

Having got a meeting with Abaddon, Rose and Raul go to the coffee shop rendezevous where they find CCTV – and a lap top with the Abaddon symbol on it. He opens it – and Kao Lin appears trying to hold him at gun point. They fight in the coffee shop, everything being recorded on camera (and all the patrons running for the hills) at least until they break the computer and Raul finally has Kao Lin at gunpoint – and Rose steps in, saying Kao Lin is one of them. In the tv screen they see she has wings (but Rose and Raul don’t? Why?)

We have another flashback of her past, cheating at cards only to faint when the lights flicker. People rushing to her aid find the cards she had hidden. It’s what happened to her during the wave when Luficer landed

They take her home to tell her she’s one of them. She counters that – she’s a Buddhist, has no faith in their mission; but she is interested in finding Abaddon. She agrees to work with them to get her money, even while Raul reads her mind and hears her willingness to kill them all if they get in her way. He challenges her and she shapeshifts into him to attack (how come her powers work on demand?) until Rose breaks it up

And Raul and Erin go down the inevitable road and kiss. They start to get down to more when Raul sees a bruise on Erin’s chest –which has been growing larger. She refuses a doctor but does acknowledge it may be down to her healing skills

Rose, Josh and Kao decide to infiltrate this company being targeted by Abaddon (and we get another flashback of Kao after being caught cheating and first using her shapeshifting mojo). Using mojo they learn that this company was completely drained but not before sending a whole lot of money to company called Haven House

The devil drops in to try and tempt Koa and she avoids him… for now.

To Haven house clinic with Rose trying to convince Raul that Koa isn’t all bad, honest and Raul not buying it. While there, Erin sees a very sick child and uses her healing mojo – going all woozy in the process.

On the wall of the clinic they see a picture of a man with an Abaddon laptop. His name is Leland and one of the staff tells them how his mother had Leukaemia and the insurance company refused to pay for life saving treatment for her. While they wonder at this guy being the Horseman of Pestilence, Erin collapses. The doctors there demands she goes to hospital.

When she leaves she downplays Raul’s concern – and Raul only just realises Koa is missing. She has taken Leland’s mother’s details and is taking a taxi (driven by the devil) to that address.

Raul snarls to everyone about terribad Koa and Rose finally snaps at him for him never giving her a chance. They brainstorm what Leland’s sin could be – and they realise that he may launch a cyber-attack the insurance company that refused to pay for his mother’s treatment – and that same computer system runs everything from the computers to life support systems.

Nope. I call shenanigans. Hospitals have redundancy power supplies for their life support systems in case the power gets cut, you cannot remotely convince me that they link their life support machines to a computer system that will go down if a nurse clicks on the wrong cat meme. No. No. No. I don’t buy it.

I’m actually hoping for a twist like there was with the Horseman of War – with us being pushed towards the stereotypical Middle Easterner as the Horseman of war only to have it subverted by him being a man of peace. Now we have the anarchist computer hacker (who has only targeted big financial institutions with more than a little evidence of corruption or at least cruelty) who doesn’t exactly seem to be evil. Unless the point is that the horseman are actually really good people who are tempted into sin and THAT’S why they become horsemen

I’m still not sure about the sin they suggest. Ok, putting aside the blatant silliness, yes he could hurt a lot of people – but doesn’t an epic sin require intent (like an assassination driving a country into war) rather than recklessness?

Kao Lin’s Buddhism – while it’s intriguing and has potential, I think it is a rather weak attempt to widen the religious depiction of this show. Kao Lin is a Buddhist and faith comes in many forms, maybe, but the whole depiction we’ve seen so far (four horsemen, Biblical quotes, angels) has been extremely judeo-christian. So, she can say “faith comes in many forms” but unless the world setting expands or adapts considerably, the addendum to that is “but only Abrahamic faith is actually right”.

Last episode we established that the woo-woo has downsides and only responds at need and we even see here Erin getting increasingly sick as she heals – to which we then have Koa flitting around shapeshifting at will. I need more explanation here