Dark Angel

Dark Angel 1×04 – C.R.E.A.M.

"It's a kick or be kicked in the ass world out there."


I’m not usually a fan of standalone episodes but this was admittedly entertaining in a disposable sort of way.

Lydecker and Manticore were nowhere to be found this week which was an odd decision. Instead it was Sketchy who took center-stage with his Russian Mafia subplot. It’s as bland as it sounds but I appreciated the further efforts at world-building and the increased focus on our eclectic cast of characters. In fact, the dynamic between Max and Cindy is what saves the hour as their chemistry (while hilariously undercover in the casino) makes the hour worthwhile. The tone of the scenes is unlike anything Dark Angel ever produces again, and they’re remarkably entertaining. In addition, it’s always great fun when a superhero uses their powers for something other than “good” and I love the scenes with Max gambling using her skills (predicting where the ball will drop and memorizing whole decks of cards).

Logan’s quest for Herero unfortunately didn’t prove to be especially riveting either, but it further conveyed Eyes Only’s idealistic mission. And we did get one surprise twist – the reveal that Alana was evil as she blew daddy and his girlfriend up.

The one significant addition to the Dark Angel mythology that this episode does provide is the reveal that Max “doesn’t do guns”. An ensuing flashback shows us the source of this trauma: Lydecker gunned down one of her siblings as a child. It’s a pretty admirable touch-point of the character that sticks with Max throughout the entire show’s run.

Post-Pulse Bits

– How bizarre is the flashback of Max finding a balloon as a kid and Lydecker making her release it with one death-glare?

– Max giving Logan a grapefruit – as if it’s so very valuable – was a very amusing little touch. Another rare jewel in these times: the Game Boy that Logan gifts Matt Sung for his son.

– Love Max’s entire break-in: putting on chapstick mid-heist, hanging from the ceiling, playfully toying with the guard then knocking him out, and crashing through the window and driving off on her motorcycle.

– Anther Max skill: she “excelled in telecommunications as a child” as she casually lists the various components of Logan’s snooping device.

– Alba sure looks hot in that gold casino outfit.

– Hilarious moment: Max kicking everyone’s ass and Cindy thinking they’re actually scared of her.

– Really sloppy scene with Max confronting Alana on the train and the money flying. How exactly did weakling Alana manage to shove super-powered Max?

– C.R.E.A.M. = Cash Rules Everything Around Me – which explains why Sketchy wants to start a business with Max ripping people off using her skills. He’s an honest boy that one.

– If only we could all pick our birthdays on top of Space Needles.

Barbs & Barcodes

Max: (to Logan) Sounds like a story right up your alley – it’s so depressing.
Logan: (to Max) A genetically-engineered killing machine… squeamish about guns?Logan: It’s a kick or be kicked in the ass world out there.
Max: Now kicking ass, I got no issues with.

Cindy: (to a naked Sketchy) Whatever you do, keep your hands where they are. Original Cindy just ate.

Cindy: (gambling) 17 black like me.

Max: You know somebody’s been eating french fries cause these cards are greasy kinda like my ex but we won’t get in to that.

Max: (winning at poker) More hearts than an organ bank baby.

Creep: Don’t rush off.
Max: We live with our parents.
Cindy: They worry.

Creep: You know what, you don’t play so well with others.
Max: I was home-schooled.

Herero: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Max: Funny guy, Logan. Lot of rules. But maybe he’s right about one thing, maybe I should pick a birthday – just to have something to celebrate in this short, brutal life. How about April Fool’s Day? Well, maybe not. My life’s enough of a joke. Yesterday. Yeah… born yesterday. And the best part is I have a whole year not to think about it.

A lighthearted hour that’s enjoyable, but ultimately kind of pointless.

Nad Rating


  1. I think I figured out my problem with Max. She's too spiky and abrasive. Yes, I get that that's half the point of the character and I am ever so slowly warming up to her, but it still annoys me.

    I really liked her and Original Cindy's undercover work. It was a really cute sub plot. I definitely don't have Max's moral compass. If I were her, I'd make a living ripping off underground gambling establishments. Stealing from criminals really isn't that bad, is it? Besides she's stolen stuff before.

  2. Haha sunbunny I would do the same. And Max's attitude is why I love her so I'm glad you're warming up to her, as slowly as that might be 😛

  3. Your first line perfectly sums up what I think about this one: “admittedly entertaining in a disposable sort of way”! Could not have said it any better myself.

    Nothing riveting happened, I agree. Still, I liked the little stuff such as the casino scene (amazing! why doesn't she do that for a living, damn-it!!) and her cute banter with Logan about guns. Already in love with these two and can't wait to see them together! (They better get hitched before the show ends)

    Also, what a great closer! I've been enjoying Max's voiceovers as well, Nadim, and especially loved her picking her birthday. “Yesterday. Yeah… born yesterday. And the best part is I have a whole year not to think about it.” So, so cool.

    If I have to complain about something (because I'm just annoying like that) it's about the opening theme song. Not really the song but mostly the font they use 😛 I realize how ridiculous that sounds but the font really annoys me for some reason! The credits just look stretched (especially at the “created by James Cameron ..”) part. So weird! But then again, completely understandable. That was 15 years ago!

    Also: love “C.R.E.A.M.”! Hahaha I'm totally gonna start using that. Off to watch next ep!

  4. One of my fave voiceovers EVER! Heheheh so damn witty and amusing!

    Lol that's so funny you mention the font. I never thought of it but it's not very nice is it? Good you didn't attack the song because I love it 😀

  5. “Yesterday. Yeah… born yesterday. And the best part is I have a whole year not to think about it.” What an amazing voiceover, definitely one of my favorites too.

    Nothing else really stands out in this episode. Too standalone-ish for my taste.

    I love that you mentioned the reveal that Max doesn't do guns. I actually noticed it in the disturbing third episode Flushed as well. When she gets up and chokes the warden to escape captivity, he picks up his gun from his belt but she just throws it down on the floor. Such a fascinating little detail. I love the continuity because that little bit definitely had my attention in the previous episode and I forgot to mention it in my comment.

    Still absolutely LOVING these reviews. And honestly, as much as I want to hate Jessica Alba for constantly dissing this show and all that, she is perfectly cast in it. I was never a big fan of her (mostly because she chose movies that were…well, mediocre at best) but this character suits her so well. If only she appreciated it half as much as we did.

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