Monday, June 1, 2015

The Messengers, Season 1, Episode 7: Deus Ex Machina

Koa is taking her taxi ride with the devil, easily seeing through his awful disguise, but not caring.

The guy he’s heading towards, Leland, is having an increasingly over-the-top rant as his Abaddon persona online, just in case we missed the fact he’s going to do naughty bad things (apparently to hospitals linking life support to the internet).

Meanwhile Vera has told Alan everything. He thinks it’s awesome and exciting and amazing and – my gods man did you seriously just believe all that? Really? Because she fainted and a rock glowed? Hey, I’ve got a bridge to sell you, lovely view over the Thames, nice stone work…

Raul and Rose continue to argue over Koa (Raul thinks she’s terribad awful, Rose thinks she’s one of them. I think both of these positions are not mutually exclusive) when Vera introduces Alan to the group. Rose is furious at her endangering Alan by revealing the secret but Vera has an excellent come back: he’s a brilliant scientist, thinks fast and he actually wants to be part of the crew – unlike Koa. Ouch, but accurate. Rose adamantly refuses, only angels need apply

Raul decides to give Alan a death stare because he just doesn’t like people

And on to Erin who gets a call from the doctor from the clinic warning her that her heart is bleeding and reminding us that she really really should have gone to a hospital. Erin continues to hide from the problem

Meanwhile, Peter and Nadia actually focus on the issue at hand, the soon-to-be-second horseman of the apocalypse. Nadia shows off her much more advanced computer skills and then they also jump off mission to talk about how Nadia has tracked down Peter’s birth parents.

They finally find 2 possible addresses for Margaret, Leland’s mother, with 46 minutes left on the clock (oh if only everyone had been focused on mission instead of indulging in arguments). There’s another scene with Raul trying to get Erin to stay behind (or go to a hospital!) but Erin insists on coming – and Rose continues to argue against Alan right up to a car crashing in front of them

Out of which staggers Joshua’s heavily pregnant wife, Charlotte. Joshua isn’t exactly thrilled to see her but she wants to get away from his dad. She also taking pills – she’s a recovering drug addict – as is Josh. They met in rehab. He’s angry at her taking pills while pregnant – though she hits back it’s not his and drops another bombshell. His used her guilt to push her into agreeing to giving him sole custody of the baby – and he turned violent when she tried to resist what he wanted.

Joshua storms off to see his dad and confront him about beating Charlotte as he used to beat Joshua. Joshua senior is arrogant and vile but Joshua junior points out the old man demanded Charlotte get a DNA test for the baby proving it’s his – which means Josh Junior can go public with the proof that the older man is having a baby by his son’s wife – which probably won’t go down to well with his church

How did Charlotte learn this from Joshua senior’s PI? Because his PI is Lucifer. He gives Joshua senior the address where Josh junior is staying – as is Charlotte

He goes there and threatens Charlotte into returning with him – she refuses and tries to resist as he grabs her and in the struggle he pushes her into the fireplace and she hits her head: and bleeds profusely

When Joshua junior returns he finds her collapsed and bleeding

Rose, Vera and Allan find Leland’s business and, after Vera breaks in, they go inside and find the place full of computer mainframes. Of course it’s controlled remotely so this doesn’t show where Leland actually is (couldn’t you just smash them all with hammers, maybe?). They check them but they’re encrypted- time for Rose to use her angel ability and confirm their suspicion – he’s going to shut down all the life support machines in hospitals across the country which are all connected to the internet.

Koa arrives at Leland’s house and Lucifer tries to convince her to use him rather than just go for revenge – but she’s focused on vengeance. Inside she finds Leland –and uses her shapeshifting powers to turn into his mother and throw out an epic load of mother guilt. Except it doesn’t work, Leland knows his own mother and drugs Koa using a drink his mother hates. When she’s unconscious she becomes Koa again.

When she wakes up she’s chained up and Leland expositions his evil plan. Learning his history does bring Koa’s sympathy since she’s also watched a parent die. Leland has also kept his mother’s corpse which is partly why all the bugs around about. He also reminds us that when the countdown reaches zero his servers will send the virus

To the guys in the server room who are still hacking and have finally reached my idea – break it all! Alan sets off the sprinkler system.

Leland is horrified and blames Koa. He throws a can of pesticide into the room with her and leaves. Before Koa dies from the chemicals, Raul, Peter and Erin arrive and Raul breaks in to try and help her – only he can’t break the chain on her cuffs and he succumbs himself. Personally I would have sent Peter with his super strength.

He goes in next and is much better at bending bars and breaking cuffs and they all get out. But Koa is unconscious and ill – time for Erin the healer to work her mojo and save her. But in doing so she collapses and starts bleeding from her nose.

Hey god? Your healing gift is defective, did anyone keep the receipt?

Peter calls the others as Erin is wheeled into hospital. Raul, of course, blames Koa and Peter explains how all their gifts have a price (which is a total lie since only Erin’s gift has a price and Vera’s has a limitation).

Joshua is also in hospital waiting for news on Charlotte when his dad arrives. His dad’s suspicious knowledge and worry whether Charlotte said anything quickly shows he’s to blame for what Joshua thought was an accident. When the doctor arrives asking for an explanation of the defensive wounds, Joshua accuses his father, pulling aside his collar to show the scratches on his father’s neck.

He’s arrested and there’s lots of media attention but while watching him be taken away by the police, Joshua sees Leland’s van outside the hospital. He warns the gang and they go looking for Leland – including Koa who says she’s all in.

Rose runs into Lucifer while she searches and they exchange words as he tries to suggest a team up before she moves on. I think co-operation seems unlikely given the givens.

Vera uses her rock as a kind of horseman sensor and she and Alan find Leland about to upload his virus into the hospital computers and she tries to talk him out of it – as Lucifer arrives to argue the other side. When Vera seems to getting through he grabs her glowing necklaces – which makes his eyes glow ominously. Everyone just pretends that didn’t happen and continue to appeal to Leland – and Vera wins, appealing as someone who has also lost a loved one. Leland steps back and Alan removes the virus. Lucifer vanishes.

Charlotte wakes up in the hospital so she and Josh can have a reunion and reconciliation moment. Erin is also fine though the doctor told Raul (rather than her?) that she needs rest. She admits she was wrong to keep pushing through her illness and Raul tells her (and us) that Leland turned himself in to the police.

Everyone also seems to think they’ve won? Stopping one seal/horseman means the whole apocalypse has been called off. Party time! Very and Rose hug and Raul buys Koa a drink and it’s all good

Seriously, is anyone buying this? It’s episode 7! Now show has this much filler after the conclusion

Josh is kind of sad because he’s lost his sense of purpose that being a Messenger brought him. He goes outside and contemplates taking the pills he took from Charlotte. Alan, perhaps BECAUSE he isn’t an angel, thinks of a possible worry which he tells Rose – the meteorite is still out there and being harnessed by the military which is probably very bad. It doesn’t take an apocalypse to make terrible things to happen.

And Peter decides not to open the information Nadia gave him – because he has a new family now

Someone (shall we guess who) pays Leland’s bail. Told you it wasn’t over. (And that’s in case everyone forgot there’s the freaking Horseman of War riding around. What, was she supposed to go in the Sleepy Hollow monster box?).

Watching his show, I think their mission would go much simpler if they could manage to squeeze “saving the world” just a little higher up their priority list.

I don’t think this makes a lot of this doesn’t make sense. Why is a hacker even targeting the life support systems (and this is, again, accepting the fact that lifesupport systems are connected to the internet) to kill people like his mother rather than just draining the insurance company’s bank accounts or wiping all their records or doing a thousand other things that would shatter the company (and, y’know, actually be possible) rather than specifically targeting life support. It’s not even a side effect any more – he is killing thousands of very sick people in revenge for a company not helping his very sick mother…  I think they’re relying on the corpse in the bedroom as proof that Leland isn’t sane as being explanation enough – which is a trope.

I’d also quite like Erin to get some medical attention of some kind. This denial of dying at least needs a bit more exposition as to why she’s doing it.

I mentioned in a past review that I wasn’t a fan of Rose’s portrayal – that, while she’s a leader, she seems to be a dispenser of divine knowledge and she exists more to be a conduit for the divine than a character with her own agency. I felt this was reinforced in this episode with her arguments over Koa and Alan. While Vera and Raul are arguing with various levels of reason, experience and sense pointing out things that have actually happened and ways people can help them or hinder them, Rose just throws out prophecy and woo-woo – destiny and chosen ones. She doesn’t reason like a person or even try to – she speaks as a prophet. “This is so. This is the divine plan.”