Owing to blinkered philistine pig-ignorance* on my part, I missed last week’s episode of W-13 (Basically forgot it was on), thus we now join my review in mid-cliffhanger, with no real idea how we got here.
PLAY BY PLAY
Pete and Myka wake up in Warehouse 2 in Egypt, having apparently been zapped by HG Wells, which is the kind of thing that sounds frackin’ great on a book jacket, but the reality of it is quite a bit more mundane. The warehouse is filling up with sand for no adequately explained reason. Actually, I’m sure it *was* adequately explained last week, but as I didn’t see that one, it’s not adequately explained, nor even adequately recapped. Really, there’s nothing adequate here at all.
If it seems I’m prevaricating a bit, it’s ‘cuz W-13 has a bad history with the resolution to cliffhangers. (“Artie was exploded to death, but time out, flag on the play, he’s fine less than thirty seconds later”) This is yet another example of that. I didn’t see the setup or anything, but seriously: Goofiest thing I’ve ever seen, and keep in mind I have a complete run of all “The Tick” comics, so that’s saying a lot. Basically, they wake up and run around in front of a very fakey green screen backdrop, yammering unconvincingly (How can you yammer unconvincingly? It’s not possible, but it happens on this show a lot.**) Presently they find Daedalus’ wings and fly out in a sequence that redefines the phrase “Both kinds of gay.”
No, seriously, I’ve seen videos by “The Ark” that are straighter than this opening sequence was.
And now so have you.***
Good song, though. Pity about the video. Anyway, imagine that with sand cascading around and a skinny Canadian chick who’s had weird plastic surgery riding on his back. Oh, and they glow a bit. Yeah, I realize it’s *supposed* to be funny, but it’s not at all the kind of funny they were going for.
Ok, right, the plot. Uhm…yeah. So H.G. Wells (Who’s also had some weird plastic surgery.) stole a trident from W-2, which can be used to cause volcanic explosions, because that’s just the kind of show this is. Initially they think she stole something like the Spear of Longinus, in order to resurrect her daughter. Pete and Myka chase that lead down, but it turns out to be a kind of misdirection: She’s not interested in resurrecting her daughter at all, but rather in killing the world.
Artie info-dumps on us about how the trident blew up the island of Thera, and about super volcanoes, and they quickly realize that she’s planning on setting off Yellowstone. Artie and Myka head off there to stop her, while Pete goes off to save his girlfriend Paula from Defying Gravity. No, no that’s too obscure a reference. No one watched that show except me. I’ll just say it: It’s Paula Garces, an actress who can effortlessly step back and forth between hubba-hubba and bland-bordering-on-dowdy. She’s in “Plain” mode here tonight, but this is her in “Hubba^2” mode: http://cdn2.maxim.com/maxim/files/2008/04/16/paula-garces/paula_garces_g... and here she is in “Dowdy” mode: http://www.uvm.edu/~tpatters/CDAEpics/images/Paula.jpg
I know, it’s weird, right?
Anyway, so Paula attempts to neuter Pete (Probably a play on words there, or perhaps a sly dig at the early factions of the Church, Paul vs. Peter, or more likely I’m having more fun rambling than I am reviewing the show.) because of an artifact HG sent her, but Claudia saves his ass. Literally.
Meanwhile, at the fake backdrop that represents Yellowstone, Pete shoots HG, but that works against him owing to yet another artifact, and resulting in the best line in the episode:
Artie: “Where did you find it? Venice?”
HG: “Fort Lauderdale.”
Artie: “Of course…”
Myka and HG have a dramatic faceoff, neither of them giving an inch, neither of them blinking. Because neither of them can, because of the plastic surgery. (Seriously, what is it about the women on this show?) HG gives a little crazybanannas environmentalist speech about how us humans need to be wiped out to save the world, but Myka talks her out of it. No, really. She talks her out of it. Honest and for true. It’s not even a Captain Kirk kind of manipulative thing, and there isn’t even a trick involved. She just talks and HG basically breaks down crying, and that’s that.
Do what now? Seriously, hasn’t this been the arc for the whole season? I mean, haven’t we spent twelve hours leading up to this? Only to find out that HG ‘didn’t really want to do it,’ apparently. That was the gist of Myka’s speech. So that’s pretty much that, kids. Thanks for coming out…uhm, sorry to waste your time. Maybe next one will be better, and even if it isn’t we’ll grill up some burgers or whatever…
As there’s still a commercial break to pad out, Paula leaves Pete for a better show, and Myka hands in her resignation and leaves. But we know the truth: She can’t get a better show.
If you put aside how bad everything was, it was kinda’ fun. Not fun enough for me to take seriously, or even non-insultingly, but it was a jaunty little piece. It held my interest, it made me laugh once or twice. It’s not meant to be taken seriously. It’s not my preferred brand of junk food, mind you, but it’ll do in a pinch.
There’s no word about whether or not they’re coming back for a third season. Ratings have been rather consistent, but this is Syfy, and they love to shoot themselves in the foot. If it’s not coming back, this is actually a pretty good ending for the series: The show starts when Myka arrives, and it ends when she leaves.
I found myself wishing they get a new female lead if the show comes back, or maybe bump Claudia or Lena up into the lead role. Myka just never really worked for me. I realize it’s a comedy, but I never believed her as a Secret Service agent, there’s gruelingly awful scenes like the one where she’s dancing around with her ‘girl stuff’ in her room from the season opener, and as Neo has pointed out, there’s just something weird going on with her knees.
FX were on the whole pretty darn weak. Interesting how Paris looks a lot like Vancouver. I did think the consistent use of location stock footage for the backdrops was interesting, though.
Claudia is being groomed to replace the immortal Ms. Fredericks when Ms. Fredericks is no longer immortal. Speaking of which, I’ve seen CCH Pounder in a zillion things over a zillion years, and tonight was the first time I ever actually saw her looking *old.* Cast someone as ageless, and they instantly start racking up the telltale signs of aging. It’s the career of Dorian Grey. I’m not even sure what I mean by that, but it sounds funny. Ish. Funny-ish.
If HG isn’t being bronzed, what are they doing with her? How much of these kinds of things are secret from the agents? Does Artie know about this kind of stuff?
Was W-2 destroyed, or simply abandoned? It seemed to be in pretty good shape, but then there‘s Fredericks‘ line, “I swear by the ashes of the first twelve warehouses.” I’m sure they explained that last week, if anyone wants to clue me in.
And that’s all I’ve got. That’s it. That’s my review. It’s a nice review, kinda drifty and random, granted, and with quite a bit more homosexually-themes music than is usually included in my reviews. What the heck was up with that? Well, no matter: I put some pictures of Paula in there, which takes the curse off of it.
WILL CONSRVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?
Heck yeah! It’s got a snooty English chick going all radical-environmentalist and confirming our suspicions by attempting to genocidally kill six billion people in the service of the environment, *AND* this is presented as being a bad thing to do. So what’s not to like?
Next week we’ll be resuming our coverage of Stargate: Universe, and a couple weeks after that we’ll (By which I mean “I”) be covering the second half of Caprica’s first-and-only season. Tuesday night: It’s the new Friday!
*- Spot the reference, kids! No really, because I stole it from somewhere, but I’ve been using it for so long that I forgot where from.
**- Actually, I think that’s my fault. In like the second episode, there was a good yammering bit involving a zoo and some monkeys, and I praised it as being pretty funny. I’m assuming - insanely - that someone from the show read that and said “More yammering,” but of course it was now a work of formula and not one of inspiration, so it’s all sucked since then. Kidding!
***- Here’s the not-nearly-as-gay MTV-friendly version they made for the US. You can show this one to your friends and they won’t immediately make fun of you. Well, not for that, anyway…