Thursday, August 24, 2017

Travelers, Season One, Episode Seven: Protocol 5

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The fact that all of the Traveler's are still in their host body makes them wonder if they have actually completed their mission or not.  Trevor is absolutely certain that they were successful and suggests a toast with some cheap hooch because that's all he can afford. With no potential new mission in sight, the Travelers decide that for now, they will stay away from each other and live out their hosts lives. That's right, it's time for Protocol 5. Unfortunately, this is a time that they could really use each other because they are all beginning to experience the side effects of taking an injection in the last episode to protect them from the toxic gas.

Marcy lies on the couch awake until David leaves and then decides that performing surgery on herself would be the perfect thing to do.  Marcy begins by removing her comm from her neck. The comm is then turned into a Vagus Nerve Stimulator, and inserted into her chest, in order to control her seizures.  By the time David returns, his bathroom looks like a crime scene because of all of the blood and Marcy looks like the survivor of a vicious attack. David is rightfully freaked the hell out but Marcy sees it as no big deal to perform what she deems to be a minor procedure on herself. Things must be really bad in the future  if Marcy sees self surgery in a less that sterile environment as no big deal. To silence David's objections, Marcy kisses him but this time he's not going to be quiet and makes it clear that her doing that isn't fear. David actually wants to help Marcy and he wants to know about her life. I'm not sure how she does it, but Marcy actually talks David into performing a spinal tap on her. 

MacLaren's issues begin with a bought of insomnia. A lack of sleep isn't conducive to rational thinking and it's about to be compounded by the hallucinogenic in his blood. Forbes and Kat surprise MacLaren with a party to celebrate his 15 years with the FBI. Forbes blows MacLaren's cover when he asks Kat about her health because earlier in the season, in order to go on a mission, MacLaren lied and claimed that he had to take Kat to a doctor.  They could not have picked a less ideal time because MacLaren isn't firing on all cylinders and therefore his behaviour is just odd. Kat is further suspicious when she tries to take a picture with MacLaren's phone and discovers that he's changed the password and she cannot access it. When an agent starts talking about evacuating an emergency shelter, MacLaren hallucinates a group of people with shaved heads who look awfully sickly and then laments that he will never see them again during the speech is forced to give. MacLaren even barely remembers to acknowledge Kat's role in his career. Drunk out of his gourd, Kat drives MacLaren home. Kat accuses MacLaren of cheating on her and in response he claims to have always been deeply in love with her.  MacLaren initiates sex but in his mind, he's having sex with a blonde woman with the ID number 3465 tattooed on her neck. Is this what the real Carly looks like, or is MacLaren hallucinating another woman from his past?  Later, when MacLaren is asleep in bed, Kat texts her mother that she believes he's absolutely cheating on her.

Philip is also having his own issues and at least part of them stem from the fact that he's out of heroine.  After licking the empty bags doesn't bring the relief that he was looking for, Philip decides to leave the warehouse and score. As Philip is walking around stoned right out of his gourd, he runs into Ray. For the most part, Ray's relationship with Philip has been extremely predatory but this time, Ray proves that he just might have a little bit of a soul.  Ray begins by buying Philip a hot dog and some fries which Philip hallucinates is this disgusting gruel like meal which must have passed for food in the future. When Philip balks about eating, Ray lectures him about eating real food because it's a well known fact that heroine addicts are far from the healthiest people on the planet. Project help Philip continues when Ray decides that what Philip needs is a pet to focus on because his life shouldn't always be about drugs.  Philip is taken to a pet store and Ray buys him a pet turtle.  Sure, a dog would have been a better choice but Ray chooses a turtle, so that Philip can be free to fly to Vegas if need be to work on his gambling scheme. 

Ray's final step in the help Philip project is to take him to an NA meeting. Philip, who is hallucinating, thinks that he hears Ray invoke the director when Ray starts to give his testimony. This sets Philip off and he hallucinates what he would say to the group if he could speak freely. Philip says that he's been in the 21st century for five weeks and is exhausted and just wants to get high. Then Philip unleashes his pain, saying that he was trained to remember so many things - dates of people's deaths, results of sporting events etc but for some reason he cannot remember the face that he was born with. That has got to be a trip. When Philip snaps back to himself, with a little bit of encouragement from Ray, Philip is able to admit that he has a drug problem. Clearly, of all the team members, Philip is the one that needs his cell the most and who knows where his isolation would have lead to were it not for Ray's intervention.

Carly is home alone with her son who won't seem to stop crying.  Things get wonky when messages appear on the television screen mirroring the questions Carly was asked when she was in captivity. It's enough for Carly to grab her gun and start pacing around the house holding her child. Things go from bad to worse when children's aid shows up at Carly's door wanting to interview her because of complaints made by her douche bag ex Jeff. Carly is in no position to be rational and answer any kind of questions and so after a brief time, she tosses the social worker out of her home, ranting about the fact that the woman doesn't actually have a warrant. 

Things are going great for Trevor, who has been dragged shopping by Renée. It begins when Renée pulls him into the dressing room and asks him to grab the things that cannot fit into her bag. What Trevor does not realise is that their friend Nick, is there to be a distraction so that they can escape. When they get caught, Nick and Renée go running, leaving Trevor holding the bag. An apologetic Trevor is forced to pay for Renée's clothing. Once outside of the store, Trevor gets into an argument with Renée and Nick about their theft and they defend themselves by saying that this was all Trevor's idea which of course he denies. Things escalate when Trevor discovers that Nick is in possession of his mother prescription bottle and a fight breaks out between the two. Renée gets honest with Trevor and says that she likes this version of him better. 

Trevor takes Renée to a temple where he tries to meditate unsuccessfully. Trevor talks about feeling like he does not have a purpose now that he no longer has a mission and is at odds with what to do next. Renée of course takes Trevor's discussion about not having a mission to be about him no longer playing football anymore and suggests that she wasn't with him for that at all. Trevor essentially is a fish out of water. 

Trevor heads home to find out that his day isn't going to get any better because his parents have discovered the missing pills. An irritated Trevor says that Nick stole them and denies having anything to do with it. Unfortunately, Gary and Patricia don't believe him and so Trevor storms out in anger. 

Trevor reaches out to the one person who will understand what it is not to have any control because of the prior decisions of a host - Philip.  Surprisingly, it's Philip who points out Protocol 5, only to have Trevor wonder why "Trevor and Phillip can't be friends". Philip points out that Trevor is over 100 years older than him, confirming my belief that Trevor is an old man inside a teenage boy's body. For now, Trevor is content just to have an escape and asks to crash on the couch for awhile. When they start talking about all of the hallucinations, Philip admits that this happens to him regularly. The discussion is cut short when an alarm on the computer goes off, indicating that they've got a new mission which Trevor is happy to celebrate. 

It's clear that these moments of hallucination are going to lead to big problems for the team, though I think that it will be less so for MacLaren. If Kat decides that she wants a divorce, he will be able to keep his job at the FBI and probably engage in a relationship with Carly which is what he wants anyway. Less people from the present, means less complications. 

For Trevor, the biggest problem is that while he is a very old man, in the 21st century, he is essentially a teenager which means that he has little to no real control over his life. Trevor's parents are legally responsible for making all of his decision and they can mete out consequences which he has to submit to if he is going to follow his host's life. There's also the issue that of the Travelers, Trevor is clearly the least like his host so that everything he does appears to be an aberration, making it that more difficult to simply blend in.

Then we have Philip, who I'm really starting to feel for. Not only did he leap into the body of an addict, Philip had his mind altered in order to be a historian. No wonder Philip is hurting and the drugs feel like an oasis in a storm. I cannot fathom what it would be like not to remember your own face.

Marcy's problems seem to revolve around David and wanting to tell him the truth but being unable to. It seems despite the fact that the mission must come first, Marcy is developing feelings for David.  There's no way that David and Marcy living together however isn't going to come back and bite them in the ass.

Finally, there's Carly. I'm not pleased that she's a white woman taking over the life and body of a black woman.  Did even one person stop and think about the racist implications of this, particularly on a show that doesn't exactly have the best racial representation?  It further pisses me off then that Carly is now raising her hosts child.  Given the centuries of Black babies being ripped away from their mothers, Travelers could not have fucked up more on this regard. It's so bad that I almost want social services to take that baby away.