Shorties In Love has to be one of my least favorite Dark Angel episodes. It’s got a bunch of amusing touches, but as a whole, it’s a filler hour which the show can easily do without.
Most of the episode’s flaws rest with Diamond, who’s completely unengaging as a character. The notion that Original Cindy used to be a shy little thing whose life was completely changed by an epic love undoubtedly has merit, but the writers fail to make Diamond the least bit alluring or intriguing. It doesn’t help that Tangelia Rouse is quite terrible in the role, as there’s nothing in her performance that convinces you Cindy could fall for her. Nonetheless, she at least gets an effective (albeit extremely disgusting) sendoff as she gives the head of Synthadyne a literal kiss of death.
The Synthadyne conspiracy itself is appropriately twisted, building them up as yet another shadowy corporation that falsely tell Diamond she’s sick before infecting her. But it’s so far removed from Max’s plight that it’s hard to get the viewers to care. Ultimately, it’s a random standalone plot that doesn’t really resonate.
On the bright episode, this episode offers some great bonding material for Max and Original Cindy so it feels like a necessary hour in some ways. I like how Haven gave Logan his chance to shine, and now it’s Cindy’s turn. Valerie Rae Miller is simply phenomenal here, completely owning the role like she has all season. That makes Rouse’s performance as Diamond all the more disappointing, as the emotional investment could have been much more potent.
Thankfully, Max and Logan also get a ton of wonderful moments that make the episode kind of worthwhile. Max stumbles onto Logan writing poetry and soon begins pestering him for the contents of his writings. It’s all very adorable, culminating with her reading the poem during a blackout and secretly swiping the piece. Seriously, no other show has handled a couple better in my eyes. The two are always given just the right dose of push and pull, and it makes for one hell of a satisfying dynamic.
– Love everyone struggling to carry the water heater except Max (who compliments Herbal for his strength). Of course the heater then hilariously crashes through as Cindy paints Max’s “paw”.“Somebody out there just doesn’t want me to be happy.” Indeed Maxie.
– The scene with Max sneaking up on Logan writing poetry and rattling on about lesbians as he tries to give her a new assignment is pure genius. I especially love how Max checks her new nails (probably hoping Logan will notice).
– If you haven’t watched it already, find the blooper of Jessica Alba catching the rat. It’s hilarious. And cleverly enough, Max actually uses the rodent for her recon job as she sets it loose in the house with a fake girly scream.
– Max facing off with the thugs in the alley always irks me out. Aside from the shoddy wire work, it’s too showy a fight for Max out in the open. Cringe-worthy.
– Further cementing what an awesome cat burglar Max is, she memorizes the laser layout and proceeds to pull off some awesome acrobatics to get to the safe. But when Diamonds sets off the alarm and we get a real Holy Shit moment as our heroine gets trapped.
– I have a big beef with how Max gets captured by a bunch of cops. It’s just not realistic as we know she can easily escape the average police officer. It’s too forced a plot device to get Max to Synthadyne and discover the truth about Diamond. Nonetheless, it least gives us a kickass moment with her enhancing hearing alerting her of her precarious situation as she breaks free and chokes a guy with her legs. Calves of steel I tell you.
– Sebastian is back, to spout of exposition naturally.
– Didn’t Cindy quit Jam Pony in Rising and then come running back? How does Normal keep giving her her job back? He can’t possibly be that desperate!
– “How about a little adjustment?” Love Max casually slamming the Synthadyne worker into the fence.
– We rarely get to see Max driving actual cars on Dark Angel so I quite like her and Cindy crashing and escaping through the gate.
– New tidbit: Cindy’s actual name is Cynthia McEachin. How geeky.
– Although it’s very obviously digitally added, I love how we see Max holding the poem in the final Space Needle shot.
Barbs & Barcodes
Max: What are you doing?
Cindy: What? You never had a manicure before, boo?
Max: No. Sounds too much like Manticore. Besides, it’s kind of girly.
Cindy: Shugga, sometimes you so butch, it’s hard for me to believe you don’t play on the all-girl team.
Max: I’m just not into the whole pampering thing. Give me a hot shower, clean undies…I’m good to go.
Max: What is it with guys and lesbians anyway? I mean, what’s so damn fascinating about being unwanted by the opposite sex?
Logan: Have you heard anything I’ve been saying?
Max: Every word. I parallel-process and multitask like there’s no tomorrow.
Max: If I happen to find some cash along with these discs, you don’t mind if I help myself? I realize your mission is to save the world, and what I’m suggesting probably sounds opportunistic, but—you know, stealing from a thief really isn’t like stealing at all.
Logan: Just get me the discs. Anything else you do, I don’t want to know about.
Max: Mickey’s cracked-out cousin thinks he’s settin’ up house in our crib.
Max: Well, this little girl’s going to go home and chill out before she knocks that safe over.
Logan: It’s worth noting – while you’re right, my mission is saving the world, it doesn’t mean that I don’t worry about you.
Max: Worry accomplishes nothing. But it’s nice to know that you think of me as more than your own private cat burglar.
Logan: Way more.
Max: Can I take that to mean that my name shows up now and then in those little poems of yours?
Logan: Without stipulating into an admission that I do, in fact, write poetry…maybe.
Max: Maybe, huh?
Max: I can live off of that for a couple of days.
Cop: You’re lucky the cops got there before Lemkin took care of you himself. He’s a bad man.
Max: Good fortune smiles on me wherever I go.
Cop: Only you got captured at the scene.
Max: Heard there was a party at that address. I wanted to meet some boys.
Cop: Look, the maid ID’d you from your little visit earlier.
Max: Honest mistake on her part. I must have one of those faces.
Croal: Pain in the joints or limbs?
Max: No, but I’m beginning to notice a very acute pain in my ass.
Logan: Here’s the CEO. His name is—
Max: Satan. We’ve met.
Cindy: That’s on the other side of town.
Normal: All right. Well, why don’t I read off some addresses and you can pick the ones you’re in the mood to visit, all right? 1101 Wexler. No? 17 Haskell. 283 Clancy. Clancy’s such a pretty street this time of year.
Max: Where is she?
Normal: Vamoosed out of here with that lesbian love doll of hers.
Cindy: Look at this manicure. I just did this three days ago – nails all busted, polish chipped…
Max: Price a girl pays for kicking ass.
Max: (voiceover) “Forever eyes. Dark. Somebody’s angel.” Whatever. But I never had anybody write a poem about me before. So whoever’s out there looking to put me in a cage or straight kill me, even if they succeed, they’ve already failed… because of this. Thanks, Logan. You’re gonna help keep me strong through this bitch.
Not particularly engaging, Shorties In Love is one of Dark Angel’s weakest episodes.