WELL ALL RIGHT THEN. Abigail found the secret passcode to earning my wrath, and it's called "emotionally torturing Jackson about his family and failure to save them and/or being responsible for their deaths" (LISTEN ZOO I know you don't know this but I am still pretty emotionally compromised about The O.C. and Ryan's savior complex and the number it did on his head after a certain fiery car accident of his own, so I don't think now is the best time to prod this wound).
I'm not saying I can't use this footage of Jackson strung up by his wrists, or that I didn't feast like a tiger upon the spoils of said emotional torture, just that.......actually on second thought I can't remember why I came to this review complaining.
(Also wow I really enjoy the part where Jackson started to snap out of Zen mode when he heard she'd compromised Mitch, and him desperately trying to talk Mitch out of Duncan mode. I still do not know quite how to articulate what it is that delights me about their relationship to each other, but Jackson's side of it was on full display)
Keep you far, keep you far from what I know
You'll be fine, you'll be fine, just don't look closely now
First of all, "Aunt Jamie can't really hold her liquor" OMG. I'll take "things that definitely still happen in the AU where Mitch and Jamie had a life together" for $200, Alex. (that quote in some context, at least. maybe not the two-man abduction carry)
Anway I am just gonna be over here making high pitched squeal about Mitch smoothing her hair out of her face and everything else about these 4 seconds before Max starts talking, because I kinda feel like this is as close to an aftermath-of-rescue with them in these positions as we're going to get this year, and I would like to to wring every drop of visible Caring I can out of it.
"If the team finds out what I've done, I will lose everything. I'll lose Clem -- Jamie -- everything." Well that hurt me good and deep. Can someone please call all the ambulances? My heart is under attack.
He has a fair point to be worried about: how would they be able to keep him around if they don't know what he can do as Mr. Duncan, or how Mr. Duncan takes over? How can they even be sure of their own safety alone with him, given how the biodrive might affect things?
But...I forgot I had seen the kiss in this episode early, so that was a bolt out of the blue of PURE UNADULTERATED SHIPPY JOY when my eyeballs encountered it after seeing the context of Mitch being Sketchy As Heck and deserving none of Jamie's reassurance, but desperate for it anyway. I choose to believe he was on the verge of spilling the beans at that point, but maybe not quite all the way there until the kiss sealed it.
Morgan & Morgan
I love Squirrelly!Mitch and I loved everything about him and Max working together and accidentally almost having some heart to hearts. Especially Max The Number One Mitch/Jamie Shipper giving him advice that Mitch actually takes about coming clean (or tries to take; thanks for being both the solution to and the cause of all our ship problems today, Max!).
The temporary blindness side effect was my favorite part, especially his insistence on hiding it when Jamie needed an actual airplane-crashing scenario to be distracted enough for only moderate concern at his short-circuiting and Max's oddly eager intervention (honestly, at a certain point he might as well have been hopping along singing "We're off on a secret mission!"). I enjoyed it being played at least 50% for humor, but would not have opposed a multi-episode arc for the more serious, if this show had made room for it.
Bizarro Alpha Ship
Lies unfolding, cover your eyes
I've remained pretty neutral on the whole Duncan thing, and I think the reason is: listen, if you want to give me two Billy Burke characters at the same time on one show, then that... well, let's just say this is a fair representation of the list of Billy Burke characters I have scoured the far corners of the internet, libraries and streaming video sites to enjoy.
But wow, THE ENDING. 100% agree with empress-of-snark's assessment: I’ve never really wanted to see one of my otp’s beating each other up, but like…. I get it now. There was something immensely satisfying about seeing Jamie elbowing/kicking Mitch in the face, and I don’t understand but I enjoyed it.
I also really enjoyed when he first turns around with that eerie, dead-eyed stare (oh hey Gary Matheson redux) and she realizes who he is. This is ONE thing I'll admit sci fi does well -- the mind control / body takeover plot. I delighted in this exact same secondhand terror on Under the Dome a couple years ago. There is nothing more chilling than seeing a character you would have sworn on your life would never harm their significant other be prepared to do exactly that, with no off switch. It's a much better experience as a viewer to know they are not actually monsters, though.
And it's an even better experience when Jamie just steamrollers over any unhelpful emotions she's about to have with the steely resolve of Fine, It's A Beautiful Day To Kick Your Ass, and suddenly I'm wondering how low-prole it would be to edit and remix this fight with a subtle backing of "Move, Bitch." (why is the chrous of this song always relevant to my interests)
Odds and Ends
- I sat through Logan's entire waste of screen time in order not to lose my understanding-the-plot momentum, and so far I regret that decision.
- Okay fine the Kenyatta family spooning was pretty adorbs.
- Max trying to use the L word = aces
- Out of all of AI Logan's comments, "I have an unfortunate announcement" is my very favorite. I want to use that all the time. Why isn't easy embedding of sound clips a thing.
- Jackson attempting to strangle Abigail with his legs? Kinda workin' for me.
- I think my favorite thing about Max and the Summoning Rod is that it's very much like the things Mitch ran Jackson through last year. Not so fun to be the guinea pig getting told to buck up, is it?
- Should it concern me that I didn't even realize Clem was absent (off in Tankland) until they mentioned her?
- Overall: minus Logan's non-AI scenes, WHAT A FUN AND WILD RIDE THIS WAS. By far the highest quality-per-minute density of the season for me. Superb sister episode to Howler Sloth. I've had so much fun skipping back through it and watching the characters run around*, I keep legit forgetting the plane was going crazy because there is an octopus with snake legs (or something) they had to hack to death. There is so much IN this episode I can't possibly cover it all. It feels like lasted 900 years in a good way.