Okay. We start with a trio of aliens
planning to disperse some kind of toxin in a mall. They booger it up
and get caught by a mall guard. Two of them bolt but one of them is a
slow poke because the plot necessitates it. Turtle Martian winds up
in a clothing store and we have an uncomfortably rapey scene where he
takes over a pregnant lady. Now we have a pregnant alien. In the
episode’s only cute moment, the newly pregnant alien shouts “I
Pregnant alien is rushed to the hospital and gives birth. The alien/human hybrid child looks perfectly normal until it starts rapidly growing, reaching the size of an eight-year-old within hours. Team Blackwood shows up and cordons off the hospital. And that’s pretty much all they do in this episode.
The hybrid child suddenly mutates into
a ridiculous-looking monster and starts killing everything in sight.
Both humans and aliens search the hospital for the creature. Mama
alien decides she needs to re-absorb her child for whatever-the-fuck
reason, but the other aliens don’t like that idea so they kill her.
Monster baby kills a bunch of redshirts
until Blackwood finds it and throws it on the floor. It splits open
like a pinata and a normal baby comes out. What should have been the
baby’s grandparents show up and take possession, but they’re
And that’s about it.
Jesus…. This. Episode. Is. Dumb.
It’s pretty much a knock-off of “It’s
Alive” but without the campy charm. A nearly endless series of
scenes where no-name characters wander off to die. There’s nothing
remotely interesting about this episode. It’s not even especially
fun. So I guess we have our answer. Those two good episodes were
evidently a fluke and we’re back to the normal level of terrible.
Needless to say, as we sat down to
watch this one I was paying close attention to the credits to see if
John Colicos was going to be in it. Sadly, he’s not, but I’m sure
we’ll be seeing him again soon. However, there were two pleasant
surprises. One is that Ann Robinson once again returns as Sylvia
VanBuren, this time in a more prominent role. The other is that this
episode was penned by the legendary D.C. Fontana of Star Trek fame.
So even though I was disappointed that Quinn wasn’t back, I had a
feeling this episode would at least be above average. And it was.
The aliens decide to target Earth’s
communication systems, figuring that would be a good way to disrupt
the opposition. In one fell swoop, they knock out long-distance
communications throughout much of North America, causing some
explosions and killing a few people in the process. It’s probably
the most effective attack they’ve pulled on the show thus far. But
it’s only one strike, and to continue the assault, they’ll need a
mobile power source. So they dispatch a team of three to obtain a
vehicle with a generator large enough to run their equipment.
The trio decides to steal the bodies of some homeless people in the Portland area who have access to a lot where a bunch of tractor trailers are kept. But there’s a witness to the body-snatching – Molly, another homeless person. She goes in search of help and winds up at the care center where Sylvia lives. The staff is mean to her and Sylvia, in a rare lucid moment, steps in to take Molly under her wing. Later, when Sylvia has an episode and the staff is rough with her, Molly witnesses the event and decides she and Sylvia would be better off elsewhere. She also overhears Sylvia screaming about aliens, so she figures she can be open with her about what she saw.
When Blackwood gets word that Sylvia
has gone missing, he loses his shit and instructs the team to drop
everything and aid in the search. He has Norton hit the web while he
and Suzanne pound the pavement in the Portland area.
Meanwhile, Sylvia and Molly arrive at the spot where the body-snatching took place. There’s little of value that can happen here, but Sylvia does sense that something bad happened here, which gives Molly some measure of validation. They head for the truck depot where Sylvia manages to score some bread for the both of them.
Around this time, the aliens are having
problems of their own. They’re harassed by a mean-spirited security
guard who doesn’t want them hanging around the depot. And they
can’t kill him – at least not yet – without attracting unwanted
attention. The bodies that the aliens thought would allow them to
operate under the radar have in fact become a liability because
they’re “unwanted.” Eventually, though, the time is right and
they eliminate the security guard, leaving them free to complete
After lots of false starts, Blackwood
and Suzanne get a lead on where Sylvia might be. It’s a long shot,
but they decide to try the truck depot, since lots of homeless people
go there for handouts.
Molly happens into the wrong place at the wrong time and the aliens kill her. Sylvia witnesses it and is both horrified and terrified. The aliens chase her and it looks hopeless, but Blackwood and Suzanne arrive just in time and take her to safety. She tells them the aliens are here, they call Ironhorse for backup, and the whole thing is wrapped up pretty quickly. But not without a personal cost to Sylvia.
Coming on the heels of the rip-roaring
adventure of the previous episode, there was probably no way this one
wasn’t going to feel like a let-down. But the more I thought about
it, the more I felt that this was a different but no less effective
story. It emerged as something of a heartbreaking look at the bleak
lives of the homeless, and the death of Molly after such an empty
existence really hit home. Guest characters die all the time on this
show, but it’s usually a joke at best or boring at worst. But this
time it actually had an impact. Even the aliens experience the
unforgiving cruelty of a society that views some lives as having no
value. The whole episode is set against a snowy winter backdrop and
you can almost feel the biting cold. It’s perhaps an obvious
choice, but an effective one.
Ann Robinson really shines in this
episode, from her quiet compassion when she first meets Molly, to her
quivering terror as an alien wearing her friend’s face tries to
kill her, to sheer childlike joy at a new experience: “I’ve never
ridden in a truck before!” Up to this point she’s been little
more than a plot device, but in this episode she gets to be a person.
That’s nice to see.
Even the usually bland Team Blackwood
thrives under Fontana’s skilled supervision. Other writers have
tried to write playful banter for these characters, but it’s always
forced and tacky. But in this episode it flows naturally and is
actually funny. The core group, usually wooden and dead, is suddenly
alive and believable. The value of a writer who knows what they’re
doing cannot be underestimated.
So that’s two in a row. Does this
mean the producers finally realized they needed actual writers to
deliver a quality show? Will this winning streak continue? I guess
So last time we left off on what may or may not have been a cliffhanger. You’ve been waiting with baited breath (or not) to find out whether Harrison Blackwood would go galloping off to rescue his beloved or just shrug and go on with his life. And now you’ll have the answer. As we sat down to start the next episode, my wife asked if I wanted to bet on whether it would be a continuation of the previous episode or not, but I didn’t like the odds, so I declined. And the answer is…
Nope. That last episode was a one-shot.
The most poorly structured and sloppily wrapped-up episode so far.
Holy fuck. Oh, well. I guess that’s not surprising given the show’s
track record so far. This show has consistently proven to be the
master of disappointment. But buckle up, kiddos, cause shit’s about
to get real! Things take a surprising and delightful turn – as none
other than John Colicos joins the cast!
For those of you reading this who were born within the past five minutes, that name might not mean anything. But for us old-timers, John Colicos was a big name in sci-fi back in the day. For one thing, he played the first Klingon ever to appear in Star Trek (not counting a brief shot of some background extras). He was also instrumental in determining the look of the Klingons. When he went to the make-up room, the Klingon design hadn’t been determined yet, so the make-up artist asked him what he wanted to look like. “Make me look like Ghengis Khan,” he said. “That’s what the Klingons make me think of.” And thus the most famous alien race in all of sci-fi was born. But that’s not his only claim to fame. Over a decade later, he would turn in a memorable performance as the traitorous Baltar on the original Battlestar Galactica. So the actor’s sci-fi pedigree was quite firmly established by the late 80s. But on to the episode…
We open with the mysterious Quinn (Colicos) being pursued by aliens disguised as cops. As they chase him down an alley, he outwits them by leaving his hat in plain sight with a bomb hidden under it. The sole survivor of the aliens chases him onto a rooftop. Quinn leaps from one building to the next, his black trenchcoat fluttering, and lands safely. His pursuer jumps also but doesn’t quite make it, grabbing hold of the edge of the building and reaching up, asking Quinn to help. Quinn just looks him in the eyes and coldly says, “To life immortal… sucker.” And the alien falls to his death while Quinn cracks that wonderfully wicked John Colicos grin.
Back at the ranch,
Blackwood is not remotely upset by the recent loss of his One True
Love and decides to go buy some art. Turns out Quinn is a
world-renowned artist and Blackwood is a huge fan. Ironhorse is
concerned that Blackwood will miss their presentation at the U.N.,
but Blackwood promises he’ll be back in time.
Quinn’s limo collects Blackwood and spirits him away, blindfolded, to a warehouse where Quinn will unveil his latest work for Blackwood. This turns out to be a disappointment – it’s just some cornball lasers and Jared Martin has to act like he’s blown away by it. To be fair, he does as convincing a job as can be expected under the circumstances. Blackwood offers to buy the piece, but Quin says he’ll give it to him for free. Not only that, but he gives Blackwood a nifty little friendship bracelet to boot. Blackwood is bowled over by Quinn’s generosity, and Quinn launches into a speech about how he draws his inspiration from the wonders of the cosmos, where one can find life immortal. Blackwood recognizes the catch phrase and asks if Quinn has been in contact with aliens. Quinn reveals that he hasn’t just been in contact with aliens – he *is* an alien! Blackwood tries to escape, but the bracelet Quinn gave him is actually an alien device that Quinn can use like an invisible leash. Blackwood asks what he wants and he says he wants to broker peace between his people and humanity. But before he can elaborate, Aliens burst in and Quinn flees, dragging Blackwood with him.
They escape through
a secret door, which also contains a booby trap. As the aliens
pursue, a bomb goes off. Quinn leads Blackwood to his secret lair
hidden away in the New York subway system. There Quinn tells his full
story. He was the general who led the invasion of Earth in 1953. But
when his comrades succumbed to Earth’s bacteria, he found that he
was immune. Unable to continue the assault alone, and with the
homeworld refusing to send reinforcements, he stole a human body to
blend in with the populace and has been living among them ever since.
Now the other aliens want him so they can harvest the organ that
makes him immune to the bacteria, and they know what he looks like,
so they’ve been constantly pursuing him. Blackwood asks why he
doesn’t just change bodies, and he explains that the same genetic
anomaly that makes him immune to the bacteria also traps him in this
Quinn thinks that he can get the aliens to stop chasing him if he can convince the humans to surrender. He thinks that he’ll be hailed a hero and crowned absolute ruler of his people, and in return for Blackwood’s help, Quinn will spare ten percent of the world’s population, to be kept on reservations far from his people. And Quinn will place Blackwood in charge of deciding who lives and who dies. Blackwood is horrified and says that’s not peace, it’s genocide, and asks why he would possibly go along with it. So Quinn tells him that if he doesn’t comply, it will mean extermination for humanity. Even now, a new full-scale invasion force is on its way and will arrive within five years. When they get here, they will wipe humanity from the face of the earth. Quinn’s plan is the only chance of survival for the human race.
Blackwood tries to
reason with him, asks why they can’t find a way to co-exist, why
the aliens think they have a right to the Earth. Quinn argues that
his people can go where they please, that humanity doesn’t deserve
Earth. Blackwood insists that humanity belongs here. “Belongs
here?!” Quinn rages. “On this paradise that you treat like a
toilet?!” He actually has a point. Reaching desperation, Blackwood
argues that humanity’s saving grace is tolerance. Quinn scoffs,
asking what good tolerance does. And Blackwood points out that
humanity would accept Quinn, despite being alien, where Quinn’s
people would not. Quinn is checkmated in the debate, but he rejects
Blackwood’s reasoning anyway and drags him off to the U.N. to
deliver his proposal.
When they arrive at the U.N., however, the aliens are there waiting for them. Quinn offers them Blackwood if they’ll let him go, but they refuse. Quinn tries to get away, but the aliens trap him and Blackwood in a closet. Realizing it’s over, Quinn is ready to give up, but Blackwood MacGyvers a blowtorch out of cleaning supplies and cooks the aliens as soon as they enter. More aliens show up and they flee back to Quinn’s secret lair only to find that a construction crew has blocked off the entrance. Quinn tells Blackwood to hide and plays possum. When the aliens get close, he uses a flash bulb to stun them, grabs one of their guns and shoots them. He tells Blackwood, “You gave me my life, now I give you yours.” He releases the bracelet and while Blackwood looks away, disappears. But his voice echoes through the tunnel, “Be seeing you, Harry…”
Normally, when my wife and I watch this show, we spend the entire time either laughing our asses off or staring slack-jawed at the ineptitude of the writing. Not this time. We sat quietly, in rapt attention, and when it was over, we looked at each other, stunned, and we both admitted that it was pretty darn good. There were a few wonky bits here and there, but on the whole, this was an hour of quality television. It was well-written, tightly paced, suspenseful, and even thought-provoking. It still might not have been my idea of what a War of the Worlds TV show is supposed to be, but judging it on its own merits, it was genuinely, really good.
this what the rest of the series is going to be like? Well, I’m not
getting my hopes up. But if John Colicos gets as much screen time as
he deserves – and this show desperately needs – then at the very
least it might actually hold my attention. We’ll see…
So now it’s missing time. Blackwood
and the team decide to interview people who have experienced missing
time and appear to have had encounters with aliens. One of them
happens to be super-hot, and Blackwood evidently thinks that makes it
okay for him to massage her shoulders when she gets upset during her
interview. Instead of finding this creepy, as any normal person
would, she responds favorably. Because the writers of this show have
no conception of personal space.
That night, Blackwood can’t stop
thinking about her. But instead of taking care of it the way any
normal person would, he decides to go full stalker and call her at
4am, saying he *has* to see her. Instead of asking if it can wait
till morning, she agrees, and he meets her in what looks like a hotel
lobby. He tells her he wants to hypnotize her. Any normal person
would widen their eyes and say, “You got me out of bed at 4 in the
morning for *this*?!” But she seems to think it’s cute. What the
So Blackwook hypnotizes her and finds
that she was assaulted by the aliens while jogging and they put
something inside her. He also starts dating her, because for some
inexplicable reason they’re just suddenly in love. Ugh!
Meanwhile, the aliens have commandeered
an ambulance so they can randomly abduct people to do experiments on
them. And also run red lights. Hey, can’t fault them there. That
actually sounds like fun.
Blackwood is on his way to meet
whats-her-name, but the aliens get there first and snatch her up.
Blackwood arrives just as the ambulance is pulling away and the
episode ends on a freeze-frame with a voice-over by Blackwood who
says he knows in his heart that the aliens have taken her.
The episode didn’t end with the
title, “To Be Continued,” but this sure felt like one. If it
isn’t, it’s the most abrupt and unsatisfying conclusion to any
episode so far. I guess I’ll reserve judgment on this episode till
I’ve seen the next one. Either the story isn’t over and I’ll
have more to say, or this is an utter botch-job of an episode. Stay
tuned. Or not. Your call.
We open with a Native American shaman
using a scepter with bizarre powers to summon spirits and judge
whether his grandson is worthy of… I dunno, something or other. But
the kid is a disappointment because all he’s done is go to college
and whatever else normal people do. I guess to impress the spirits
you have to slay a fucking dragon or something.
Meanwhile, some sleazeball
douche-nozzle desecrates a Native American grave site and steals a
mask with a crystal embedded in the forehead. He goes on TV to brag
about it and Suzanne recognizes that the crystal might be alien.
Unfortunately, the aliens are also watching TV at the same time,
leading to the best line of dialogue ever in the history of anything:
“Once again, watching television has paid off.” I lost my fucking
shit at that one.
The Indian shaman shows up at the guy’s
office and informs him that if he doesn’t return the stolen
artifacts, he’ll die. So the dude calls the police and has him
Blackwood and Ironhorse go to talk to
the guy, hoping to examine the artifacts, but he tells them to piss
off. Why do these idiots never show anyone their I.D.? Why do they go
around acting like they’re not conducting a legitimate government
They go and bail the shaman dude out of
jail and Ironhorse offers to drive him to the reservation while
Blackwood and Suzanne go back to talk to the grave-robber guy again
and try to reason with him.
But they’re too late. The aliens get
there first, kill the guy, and take off with their crystal, which is
evidently the key to locating and activating a buried war machine.
Blackwood and Suzanne show up, pass the aliens in the hall, find the
guy dead, and call the police anonymously. Which I guess is necessary
since they’re not a legitimate government operation. Oh, wait…
Ironhorse gets to the reservation and
meets the shaman’s granddaughter. Because it’s 80s television and
they’re both members of the same minority race, this naturally
means they’re instantly in love.
Norton does some computering and
figures out that the aliens Blackwood and Suzanne saw were wearing
the bodies of people from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Blackwood
concludes that this means the aliens are heading for the reservation
and therefore Ironhorse is in danger. I’m a little fuzzy on
Blackwood’s reasoning, but whatever.
Ironhorse and the shaman dude go for a
walk in the woods, where they encounter the aliens, who point uzis at
them but then don’t shoot them. The shaman dude very kindly uses
his magic staff to uncover the ship for the aliens, and they go
inside. Blackwood, Suzanne, and the shaman guy’s daughter show up
and everyone just stares at the war machine, helpless to do anything.
So the shaman guy waves his magic staff, says some magic words, and
the war machine is scooped up into the sky and destroyed in a
The next day, the shaman observes
Blackwood’s interest in the crystal embedded in his staff and asks
if he’d like to have it. Blackwood enthusiastically says yes, and
the shaman gives it to him. After they’ve left, the grandson chews
the shaman out for giving away a sacred artifact like that, but the
shaman shows him that he still has the crystal. The one he gave
Blackwood was a fake. Ugh! Dude, Blackwood didn’t want a goddamn
souvenir! He’s trying to fight a war and it would help to have that
crystal of yours that’s obviously alien tech! For Christ’s
This episode is, on the whole, pretty lame. It plods along, nothing terribly interesting happens, there’s no real sense of menace or danger, even when it’s revealed that the aliens are after one of their war machines, and then the climax is pretty much a deus-ex-machina. The only thing of any interest here is the war machine itself, which is said to be an early model. The main body has the manta-ray styling of the classic machines from the original film, but there’s no heat ray and it glows blue instead of green, with the front light kind of looking like an eye. The most interesting design element is that it stands on three spindly crab-like legs, evoking the tripod walkers of the original book. That part is pretty cool. The rest, frankly, is garbage.
The aliens hatch a new plan to conquer
humanity. This time using… wait for it… subliminal messages
hidden in rock music. Yep. You read that right. I shit you not. This
is a plot that they actually used. Someone pitched this to the
producers and instead of immediately firing that person, they
greenlit the idea.
We open with a trippy music video style
sequence that will make your head hurt, then segue in to some
over-the-hill dude banging out a groan-worthy soft rock version of
the show’s theme. But wait! It gets worse! Because they’ll be
playing this turd of a track throughout the rest of the episode! Oh,
Suzanne and Blackwood go to visit an
old scientist friend of Suzanne’s who the aliens have targeted for
brainwashing with their music. Suzanne stays for the weekend while
Blackwood goes home with a copy of the tape so he can be brainwashed
too. For some reason, the music only works on the two of them.
Blackwood starts acting wacky,
suggesting that the aliens are just misunderstood and that we should
be their friends. Instead of immediately suspecting that Blackwood
has been influenced in some way by the aliens (as has happened in the
past), they just decide he’s joking.
Meanwhile, Suzanne realizes that her
friend has been brainwashed and has been working on a serum that will
protect the aliens from Earth’s bacteria. Instead of immediately
getting the hell out of there because the aliens could be back at any
moment, she decides to hang around so she can be in peril later.
Ironhorse finally realizes Blackwood
has been brainwashed, so he gets rid of the tape and forces Blackwood
The aliens show up at the lab, so
Suzanne pretends to also be brainwashed. The aliens debate whether to
Ironhorse and Backwood show up just in
time, but the aliens have left for no particular reason and were kind
enough to leave Suzanne alive even though they had absolutely no
motivation to do so.
This episode is nothing but a series of
what the fuck moments that add up to a great big whopping what the
fuck. Seriously, this episode is so stupid it makes the rest of the
show look brilliant. I could blindfold a chimpanzee and let him hit
random buttons on a keyboard and the resulting script would be better
than this garbage. Seriously, man, what the shit?
Team Blackwood finally takes the
offensive and sets up an ambush to capture some aliens for
interrogation. Unfortunately, the aliens have anticipated this and
kill themselves by… punching themselves in the chest. … Anyway,
Blackwood is super upset and mopey about this, so Ironhorse tells a
story about how he and his unit were pinned down in Vietnam and he
had to listen to the screams of his dying comrades all night and it
was really rough and that’s all Blackwood is going through. …
Seriously? I hardly think that compares.
The team decides to recruit Adrian
Bouchard, a scientist trying to communicate with dolphins. They
figure he may be able to crack the alien transmissions and help
figure out their plans. Before bringing him into the fold, they make
absolutely certain he has proper security clearance. I’ll let you
draw your own assumptions here.
Harrison informs Bouchard that they’re
fighting aliens from a distant planet on the other side of the galaxy
called Mortax. Okay, freeze. I thought this show was supposed to be a
direct sequel to the 1953 War of the Worlds movie. In that movie, the
omnicient narrator states unequivocally that the invaders are from
Mars, even going into a lengthy explanation of how the Martians
carefully examined all the worlds in the Solar System before deciding
that Earth was the most suitable destination. What the shit is this
Mortax crap all of a sudden? Okay, look, I get it. We sent probes to
Mars in the 70s and discovered it was a barren, uninhabited desert
planet. But you chose to make a sequel to a movie about a Martian
invasion. You can’t have it both ways. You either accept the
established storyline or you have to do a hard reboot. You can’t
arbitrarily ignore information that was clearly established in a
previous entry. You can’t suddenly retcon something so significant.
If this is a sequel to the original film, then the invaders are from
Mars. Period. You can’t change that. And while we’re on the subject,
since the writers of this show have gone ahead and decided that the
aliens are from Mortax on the other side of the galaxy instead of
Mars, just exactly how does Harrison even know that? There was never
a scene where they interrogated an alien and got that information. It
just comes out of nowhere. What the hell, show?!
So they take Bouchard to a government
safe house and go to work trying to decode the alien transmissions,
but the computer isn’t up to the task and Bouchard totally loses his
shit. They decide to blindfold him and take him to their secret
headquarters, where he will then have total unsupervised run of the
place. But it’s okay, because he has top secret clearance. I’ll let
you draw your own conclusions about that.
When they get to headquarters,
Suzanne’s daughter shows up with her new dog, who goes totally ape
shit, barking and howling at Bouchard. No one finds this the least
bit alarming. Again, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. Yeah,
you see where this is going.
Ironhorse and Norton have a pointless
sparring match with quarterstaffs – yes, you read that right.
Ironhorse and Norton. The disabled guy. Okay, their heart was in the
right place, trying to depict a disabled person as being able to take
care of himself, but this was a bit hard to believe. The shots of the
two of them fighting are just plain laughable. All to set it up for
later when, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, Norton will be all alone and
have to defend himself against… someone whose identity will, I’m
sure, come as no surprise to you.
Bouchard decodes the alien
transmissions and concludes that a group of aliens is gathering
nearby to do some villainous stuff. Ironhorse, Blackwood, and Suzanne
rush off to deal with the threat, leaving Bouchard alone with Norton,
Suzanne’s daughter, and the help. Yeah, you guessed it. Bouchard’s an
Ironhorse, Blackwood, and Suzanne,
along with an army task force, arrive at their destination only to
discover that it’s a trap! There are over a hundred aliens lurking in
the woods ahead! Which our heroes spot from a distance and thus never
step into the trap. Gee. Suspenseful. They realize that Norton and
Suzanne’s daughter are in danger, so Ironhorse runs off to Rambo his
way into the base while the army deals with the aliens in the woods.
Back at base, Bouchard mwa-ha-has
around, chasing Norton and Suzanne’s daughter. Along the way he kills
some old dude who I guess has been around all along, but I never took
note of him. Bouchard then corners Norton in the basement, who uses
the Donovan technique to electrocute his attacker. Ironhorse bursts
in just in time to do nothing.
They then have a funeral service for
the dude who got killed while pictures of him from various previous
episodes flash across the screen. I guess we’re supposed to be sad or
something. Who was this guy again?
I’ll give this episode some points for
entertainment value, and I will admit that they’ve been gradually
upping the stakes over the course of the show – the aliens are now
targeting our heroes directly. But any points it gains are instantly
lost due to the blatant disregard for the show’s origins. Shame on
you, writers. Mortax my ass!
The alien chief scientist hatches a
diabolical new plan to exterminate the humans: do absolutely nothing.
He figures that the humans are self-destructive by nature and will
soon wipe themselves out on their own. But the Advocacy is too
impatient and decides to jump-start things by detonating a nuclear
bomb at a diplomatic meeting between Russia and America. They ask how
certain the chief scientist is about his strategy and he assures them
he’s absolutely certain. They say he’d better be, because his life
depends on it. Guess who isn’t surviving the episode.
Meanwhile, an old flame of Harrison’s
shows up – Katya, a Russian scientist. Harrison leaves HQ to meet
up with her and when Ironhorse very reasonably asks where he’ll be
(you know, in case there’s an emergency, like with the aliens for
example), Harrison rudely refuses to tell him. Jesus, this guy is a
dick. At this point, Patrick Macnee shows up and announces that he’s
a being of extraordinary power who can rid the humans of their
enemies if they agree to follow him. No, wait, that’s Battlestar
Galactica. Here, Patrick Macnee is just a Russian agent who isn’t
very interesting and is a total waste of Mr. Macnee’s talent. That
said, it’s Patrick Macnee, so he holds your attention. He’s spying on
Harrison and Katya while they have their date, taking pictures of
them. Ironhorse is also spying on them and taking pictures of them.
Then Ironhorse and Patrick Macnee spot each other and take pictures
of each other instead. I guess that’s how spies say hello.
Harrison takes Katya to HQ and
Ironhorse understandably loses his shit. Katya wants to defect and
Harrison wants to tell her everything about their work. Ironhorse is
having none of that, figuring they need to maintain security. But
Harrison thinks it would be better to share information. They’re
actually both right. Harrison had no business bringing her to HQ,
which is supposed to be a secret location, but this is a global
threat and they absolutely should be sharing whatever information
they have about their common enemy with other world powers.
Ironhorse and Patrick Macnee have their
first date, and they agree that Katya should not defect because she
needs to conduct the nuclear disarmament summit. Yeah, actually,
they’re kind of right about that. And kudos to Ironhorse, by the way.
He’s against nuclear disarmament, but despite his personal feelings,
he still does his job. Ironhorse is without question the best
character on the show.
Meanwhile, someone spots a suspicious
van that has been parked outside the embassy for like ever and calls
in a bomb threat. Harrison’s Spidey sense starts tingling, so he and
the team rush in to deal with the threat themselves, figuring Katya’s
an expert in nuclear physics, which naturally qualifies her to disarm
a bomb. Oddly enough, she’s successful, and the experience makes her
realize that she must do her duty, so she decides not to defect and
goes home to Russia with Patrick Macnee. Where I’m sure she was
And the alien chief scientist? Well, he
gets to jump to his death as punishment for being wrong. No big shock
Not a terribly interesting episode, and
the aliens are mostly in the background. Really, Patrick Macnee and
Ironhorse carry the episode. Oddly enough, this episode doesn’t end
with the usual shootout, opting instead for a “suspenseful” bomb
defusing sequence. I guess I should give them credit for trying
something different, but it doesn’t quite work. If you can’t give me
quality writing, at least give me some cornball action.
A super-rich dude is cheating on his
wife with his secretary and cheating on her with someone else. His
company has developed a new radiation-resistant grain and he wants to
sell it worldwide. Suzanne figures this can help her in her search
for a pathogen that can resist the radiation that has revived the
aliens. She approaches him about it and he tries to get into her
pants. As if that’s not gross enough, the other members of the team
tease her about it. Despite her best efforts to form a legit
partnership with the business guy, he’s only interested in sex and
won’t help her unless she sleeps with him. So she tells him to fuck
off and goes back to work. Good for her.
Unfortunately, he gets possessed by the
aliens, who figure they can poison the grain, then distribute it
worldwide for free, and decimate the population. Alas, tribbles get
into the grain shipment and start eating it. No wait, that’s a
different show. Our heroes get wise and go to the dockyards to
destroy the shipment. There’s a shootout (of course) and the aliens
This episode is a mixture of good and
bad. The shootout is pretty fun, and we see more of the aliens in
their natural form than in any previous episode, which is a treat.
But it’s also really gross and misogynistic. And it seems like
they’re trying to force a romance between Harrison and Suzanne. Not
only is this coming out of absolutely nowhere, but it’s not like
either the characters or the actors have any real chemistry together.
So really, just why?
Overall a bland dud of an episode, but
with an entertaining finish.
One of the alien leaders contracts
chicken pox. Naturally, the cure is human brains. Because that makes
sense. For some reason, the leaders (a trio called the advocacy) go
out to collect the brains themselves instead of sending their lackeys
like they usually do. This is a terrible plan, considering that the
alien foot soldiers are utterly incompetent and if any one of the
advocacy dies, they will be unable to function. In other words, if
any of them dies, the invasion will fail. Really, this seems like an
enormous plot hole in the entire show, but we’ll let that go for now.
There’s a nice little cameo by Ann
Robinson, once again reprising the role of Sylvia Van Buren. With the
advocacy crippled, she’s back to normal, since she’s no longer
bothered by their telepathic transmissions. Or something like that.
That is until the aliens harvest a few brains and briefly start
Harrison goes into full asshole mode,
shutting his team out of the investigation for no good reason and
going it alone. But Ironhorse is having none of that, so he has the
others investigate on their own. This eventually leads them to a
power plant where the aliens have rigged up a big gizmo to distill
human brains down to their essence. Whatever that means. The sick
alien gets enough brain juice to be healthy again and they head for
the hills. But not before encountering a very angry Harrison and
Ironhorse. There’s a shootout, but the aliens get away.
And that’s it, really. The episode is
pretty basic, but there’s plenty of cornball horror/sci-fi imagery.
Dead bodies with the brains removed, brains being dumped into big
vats to be melted down, a goofy sci-fi electro gizmo, and of course
the obligatory shootout. It’s actually the most fun the show has been
in a while. Not actually good, per se, but fun.