Dark Angel 1×05 – 411 On The DL

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Well this show sure ain’t slowing down.

While I don’t think William Gregory Lee is the best actor, the introduction of Max’s X5 brother Zack into the Dark Angel mythos is undoubtedly a pivotal one. It’s fascinating to see that unlike our heroine, Zack’s psyche is still completely dominated by Manticore’s teachings. He sees his siblings as nothing more than “soldiers” and urges Max to leave town with him and then split up (which of course she can’t even begin to fathom). Top that all of with a somewhat creepy incestual vibe at the end and we’ve got one heck of a weirdo.

Much more compelling is the arrival of Valerie, Logan’s ex-wife. It’s heartbreaking to watch a defensive Logan eventually take comfort in the familiar, only to have her screw him over yet again. Max’s reactions to the proceedings are priceless through – from playfully teasing Logan about “Ms. Eyes Only”, her passive-aggressiveness when he refuses to lend her some cash, to when she finally carries out her own investigation into Valerie’s true intentions.

I can not begin to describe how perfect the final scene is, with our two leads coming to terms with the fact that they desperately wanted to believe in something that was never there. The storm setting, the music, the emotion (all with a couple of looks and not much dialogue)… it’s perfection in every sense of the word. You just root for this couple to succeed and Michael Weatherly and Jessica Alba warm my heart whenever they’re on screen. There’s a reason why they’re my favorite TV couple of all time, and this hour embodies that marvelously.

Post-Pulse Bits

– I absolutely love the episode’s teaser with Max racing with a mysterious figure across Seattle with that awesome musical beat culminating with her losing her bike and walking home. It has a genuine sense of fun while also showcasing Seattle’s corruption (as the sector police bang her bike and impound it). It’s also fascinating how Max lets her bike go without a fight to maintain her cover.

– Very realistic touch with Logan having to use a piece of baguette to reach the elevator button.

– Normal hiring Zack just because he called him “sir” was hysterical.

– Other X5 names to add to our list: Brin and Jondy.

– The Herbal-getting-fired storyline is one of those disposable Jam Pony subplots.

– Max’s powers of perception: linking the ring mark on Sketchy’s finger to Valerie’s.

– Another classic Max break-in: hopping the fence, using a steak to woo the guard-dog, cracking the vault with her advanced hearing, and flying over the guard on her bike like the badass that she is. And she does it all with the grace of a cat (feline DNA and all).

– Love the continuity from the pilot with Lydecker’s people using Max’s voice from the Sonrisa call.

– Max shooing the girls off the phone and blocking the coin-slot with her gum is just hilarious.

– So Zack is not only Sam, he’s also the mysterious motorcycle racer and Vogelsang’s killer.

– New tidbit: Max’s barcode is etched into her genetic code so she can’t remove it permanently.

– Max and Zack’s double fight scene on the stairs is not bad but the music choice is too awkward.

– Max and Bling have a fun little dynamic. First he makes her jealous of Valerie, and at the end he urges her to pay “Loogie” a visit (to which she repays him with a drink).

– How great is Logan leaving the cheque for Valerie and his reaction when she actually comes back for it. It’s so powerful and Michael Weatherly is just phenomenal.

Barbs & Barcodes

Max: I don’t sleep much, but that’s okay – takes up an awful lot of time and I can always find something productive to do. Sometimes I think ‘what’s wrong with all you people snoring your lives away?’ The night is the best part of the whole day!… and then there are those nights that just plain SUCK.

Max: A Ninja 650, black – like my mood thanks to you.

Herbal: Let the injustice roll off you like water.
Max: I let Normal’s screeching roll off me like water. I let cheating boyfriends roll off me like water. I let everything that is wrong and lousy in this world roll off me like water, but this is my motorcycle.

Max: (about her motorcycle) It’s an extension of my soul, if there is such a thing.

Zach: Who would I talk to about working here?
Sketchy: Well, if you’re smart, no one. But if you’re desperate and male prostitution is out of the question, talk to that fool.

Logan: This is your barcode?
Max: Black and white for the whole world to see. It’s like opening the paper and finding my panties.

Max: Hey Bling, is crankiness in?

Max: As in a quiet, sweet, intellectual without being pretentious, bookish, grad student kind of way?
Bling: As in pretty, great body, very funny, outgoing… great body.
Max: Never mind.

Max: (to Logan) Since you’re handing out money Santa, I’ve been a good girl.

Max: (to her motorcycle) Sweetheart are you okay?

Sam: Expecting a call?
Max: Never know.

Max: Oh, please tell me you’re not one of those people. Because a raindrop fell in the ocean 10,000 years ago and a butterfly farted in India, you and I are sitting right here, right now, enjoying a cup of coffee that tastes like goat piss.
Sam: Anything’s possible.
Max: Unravel this mystery, grasshopper: what is the sound of one hand hitting you upside your head, hmm?

Max: (Answering Vogelsang) Punkass here.

Logan: There’s some food in the kitchen, if you’re hungry.
Max: Not really.
Logan: Me neither. What time is it?
Max: Late.
Logan: You can crash here, if you want. In the guest room.
Max: Not tired.
Logan: Me neither. Feel like going for a spin in the park?
Max: It’s raining.
Logan: I don’t mind.
Max: Me neither.

Conclusion
Packed with forward momentum and emotion, this is a strong installment of Dark Angel.

Nad Rating
B+

7 comments

  1. I really liked the bit with Logan and Max at the end. I feel like the main reason I'm still watching the show is Michael Weatherly.

    Zack was pretty bad. The actor who plays him isn't great and the character is a monumental jerk, so I just sort of wish he would go away.

    Okay, Max can't get her barcode tattoo removed, but couldn't she ink over it? Make it into a heart or something? That would make her harder to find.

  2. Wow, that final scene…so freaking powerful. My goodness, Jessica and Michael's chemistry is OFF THE CHARTS. It was initially weird for me to see Michael in a role that's very different than the goofy character he got going on over at NCIS, but I love him here more now. That scene with his ex-wife where she comes back into the frame to grab the money off the counter is hilarious and amazing at the same time. The look on his face as he “sighs” is also perfect.

    Yeah I didn't like that Zack guy either. Very awkward acting from him and not at all subtle. But man, this was another extremely fast reveal!! Gee, why don't current shows take note?

    I was gonna stop after this episode for tonight but I just loved that last scene so much, I promised myself I'll watch just one more 😛

  3. Major props have to be given to Weatherly. He's so darn incredible in the role. I particularly love that scene where she comes back for the money as well. It's so real yet funny and effective.

    Lots of fans ADORE the Zack character so I'm glad you agree as well. Quite annoying!

    And that final scene is just so memorable. So perfectly edited and acted with the music. Every look is awesome!

  4. Ah here we are – the introduction of Zack! I can't believe how soon the show introduced him, further proving just how fast-paced it was right from the start. Incredible.

    Oddly I didn't hate Zack here. I remember I could hardly stand him when I first watched this show, but I enjoyed his scenes with Max here.

    Max telling Logan that his ex-wife is deceiving him (again) could have easily turned into a lame, soapy subplot–if this was another show and in 2017, he would refuse to believe her and would argue that she doesn't know his ex-wife only for him to find out Max was right later, then an apology scene at the end, you know the drill. So I love how they handled it. Completely subverted my expectations.

    But that last scene…woowww. The MUSIC is just stunning and the chemistry between them is incredible! I love every single line of dialogue in that scene, especially Max saying that she's waited YEARS to see Zack again and she just expected someone more like her. I can imagine if I were to meet someone I haven't seen or talked to in forever, I'd still imagine they were the same person so this was such a fantastic, realistic touch.

    It goes without saying, but I love these reviews!

  5. ah thank you so much Chris. love reliving the show through you hahahahah! that final scene is one of my favorite things in the world.

  6. Five episodes in & there’s not one character I dislike or find annoying. I like Zack & thankfully he doesn’t bother me. Makes sense for him to show up next. He’s the one keeping a close eye on everyone, was mentioned at the end of the pilot, there’s more of Max’s siblings to introduce in the future & her meeting Lydecker. The “maybe we knew each other in a past life” comment could’ve been a give away. As always, love the jam pony scenes & Normal giving Zack a wrinkled up application paper. My heart breaks for Max & her siblings always having to be on the run.

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