I hate Zack. I really really do.
I don’t know if it’s William Gregory Lee’s performance or the character’s aggravating stubbornness, but I wholly dislike his appearances on the show. So while this episode has all the ingredients for an amazing episode of Dark Angel, his involvement always sort of ruins it for me.
Thankfully, the introduction of yet another X5, Tinga, makes up for Zack’s unfortunate presence. Although we don’t see much of Max’s sister, it’s admittedly thrilling to see all three X5s decimating Lydecker’s troops side by side. Moreover, it further expands the world of the show as we catch glimpses and hear stories of the various X5s dispersed across the country. It just feels like everything’s bubbling under for a massive showdown in the future.
It’s interesting how Max has to continuously suffer the consequences for her decision to stay in Seattle. First Zack refuses to give her the contact number like he does with the rest (since she’s not a “good little soldier”), and when she does get a hold of it, he’s already changed it. The writers do a great job of elevating the stakes and isolating Max as a form of punishment for building bonds with her loved ones.
Max and Logan’s relationship takes an unfortunate detour this week. It starts off promisingly with the two getting ready for their date in a beautifully constructed sequence that has Cindy and Bling respectively questioning our two leads. Unfortunately the actual date itself is caught short by Zack’s predicament, and further still by the realization that Max’s transfusion is wearing off on Logan. The final scene of the episode where Logan tries to hide this development from Max is very uncomfortable to watch. When Logan almost falls, he coldly tells Max to take the food with her. It’s aggravating yet believable, considering everything we’ve grown to learn about Logan’s personality. Still, it’s a tough road for these two soulmates.
– The teaser is quite unsettling with Zack being tortured and then almost saved by a Max look-alike.
– A rare post-pulse commodity: chicken – which Max acquires for Logan. It’s hilarious how he later forgets to turn the oven on while cooking it.
– It’s amazing how the scene with a barefoot Max and Logan by the waterfront can still manage to be so romantic with a hideous backdrop. Naturally, the hoverdrone interrupts their kiss and they awkwardly head their separate ways.
– I love that Cindy puts up a Xena poster when she moves in with Max (thanks to the Reds killing her superintendent).
– Max shaving her legs using the pot in the kitchen is another awesome little touch that really brings the world to life.
– Badass moment: Max flying off the transport vehicle on her bike.
– They reused shots of Max running in the woods from Heat. Really guys? Are we that poor? She’s not even wearing the catsuit in this episode.
– Manticore tidbit: the X5s were taught to make themselves forget if they were ever captured. Am I the only one who finds that skill beyond fascinating?
– Ugh, Zack’s creepy incestual vibes towards Max are back.
– Max jokes that she must have shark DNA since she doesn’t sleep (unlike Zack). Don’t joke Maxie, because knowing those Manticore folks, it could be true.
– Logan warning the X5s using an Eyes Only hack was brilliant and bold since he effectively makes himself another enemy (Lydecker).
– The doctor who was “shot” in Zack’s escape turns out be alive. What an elaborate ploy!
– Loved Max, Zack and Tinga hopping across buses during their escape.
– I don’t mention this enough but Dark Angel’s musical score is consistently awesome with a funky mix of vocals and beats.
– It’s worth noting that this is the first time we hear of Lydecker reporting to someone, as there’s mention of a mysterious committee and a woman in charge who has authorized Lydecker to use “deadly force” with the X5s or risk getting replaced. Interesting…
– Unlike Rising, Max’s final voiceover is quite appropriate and fitting (see below).
Barbs & Barcodes
Max: I left you a little present back at your place—a fresh chicken.
Logan: Oh, wow. I see a poulet chez Cale in your future, with a bottle of pre-Pulse Nuits St. George. Say, around…8:00?
Max: I was hoping you’d say that.
Cindy: Just one question. Those superfreaks still looking for you?
Max: After the way I kicked their butts?
Max (voiceover): Guess I shouldn’t be surprised; I mean, it’s like I said, Zack usually covers his tracks pretty good. I just didn’t think he’d cover them from me. Must be a guy thing, ’cause Logan can cover pretty good, too. Maybe it’s me. Maybe there’s something in the way I’m made that turns people away. All I know is it was easier before, when I just didn’t give a damn about anything.
While it’s not the strongest of episodes, The Kidz Are Aiight provides some welcome momentum and a couple of great character beats.