Dark Angel 2×04 – Radar Love

Radar Love.jpg

This is Dark Angel‘s first proper freak-of-the-week episode and it’s sort of painful to watch.

On the surface, this is a pretty terrible hour with a horrid standalone plot. However, Radar Love also contains a number of amusing relationship tidbits regarding Max and Logan that make it somehow worthwhile. The duo’s relationship takes center stage as they find themselves in a quadrangle with Asha and Rafer. The whole shebang feels kind of forced, but it’s admittedly enjoyable in a lightweight sort of way. It’s also helps that Max gets to become a badass again when she starts sniping at Asha who starts making a move towards her man. Am I the only one who’s irritated by Ashley Scott? Maybe it’s just the fact that Asha is tremendously underwritten.

On the Manticore front, we’ve got White developing a mass transgenic killing pathogen and it’s nowhere near as exciting as it sounds. We also meet a new transgenic and he’s quite horrifying (as I can’t bear to look at skin deformities). Appropriately, he turns out to be a red herring with a heart of gold who dies a tragic death after saving an innocent boy. It’s all very forgettable, and while I love Max arriving on her bike and darting across rooftops, the action climax of the hour is also a dud. It just fizzles out when Max basically pushes the X5 into a pool of water and then has to be saved by Sung (after Cyril pulls a gun on her). It’s just anticlimactic and lame. Whatever.

To further prove how torn I am over this episode, it’s got an absolutely awesome final scene with Max and Logan staring out into the rain. It feels like a typical season one ending (very reminiscent of their final scene in 411 On The DL). I particularly love how they both ignore their calls as we fade out and the sounds continue to ring. It’s just a beautiful moment, strengthened by a gorgeous musical score that perfectly conveys the longing between our two lovebirds.

Post-Pulse Bits

– There’s no denying that Kevin Durand is awesome as Joshua, really pulling off the spectrum of canine qualities. But the teaser with him following Max’s scent to her house is just too cheesy. His dynamic with Cindy (who slaps him when he eats like an animal) is hilarious though.

– Cindy pointing out that she’s “tired of seeing Max moping” feels like the writers acknowledging everything we viewers are feeling at home. If only that criticism helped.

– My favorite sequence of the hour is probably Max cycling through the alley with the funky editing and song (found below) until she gets hit by Rafer and is sent flying to the ground. It’s actually one of the show’s best comedic sequences as she flips Rafer over only to realize she’s forgotten her shoe. Plus we get a fun voiceover (not angsty for once) over how she feels “handcuffed to freakin’ Manticore”. We’re not used to seeing Max so out of her element (thanks to Asha) so it’s really funny.

– Season one continuity: Matt Sung and Dr. Shankar are back!

-Max fighting with Logan in Jam Pony and getting defensive over Manticore is too dramatic. “Just because I’m poison, doesn’t mean we all are.” Seriously?

– I like Max being snipy with Logan when he begs for her help in saving Asha. “Oh she left already?” Sneaky sneaky girl.

– Asha getting slapped during her interrogation – more please!

– The only worthwhile action in this episode; Max crashing through the glass and saving Asha (who climbs on the guy’s back like an idiot only for Max to swiftly knock him out).

– There are two dual conversations in this episode with Logan/Asha and Max/Rafer. The first one where Max brings up the events of Meow is pretty good, but the second when Max is dropping off Asha at Crash feels like overkill.

– Really nifty touch with the 24 style split-screen as Max and Logan get calls from Asha and Rafer. Although they ditch their admirers, they do end up meeting them in Crash and giving each other nods of approval.

– I can’t decide if the dialogue between Max and Joshua is cute or ridiculously irritating. Some samples: big fella / little fella, virus bitch going down, Max and Logan getting busy.

Barbs & Barcodes

Max: (to Asha) Sorry… from me and all my furry little friends.

Max: “All I wanna do is take a bath.” All I wanna do is drown her in one.

Max: (to Rafer) Next time you wanna cop a feel, hit me harder and make sure I’m out cold.

Max: Can I borrow–
Normal: No. Don’t even ask. You’re not covered on company bikes, and if you so much as break a fingernail, we both know you’ll sue.

Max: If this has something to do with me and my furry little friends, then how come all the victims are Chinese? Manticore’s always been real big on equal opportunity.

Logan: I don’t know who else I can ask.
Max: Try Sung.
Logan: I did – he’s not answering his page.
Max: Smart man.

Cyril: By the weekend, there won’t be a transgenic left alive from here to San Diego.
White: Good. Maybe I’ll play a round of golf on Sunday.

Must Download Tune
Runnin’ Out Of Time by Da Brat & Kelly Price

Conclusion
A couple of good moments aren’t enough to salvage this decidedly weak episode of Dark Angel.

Nad Rating
C-

7 comments

  1. Yeah. Meh. Joshua kind of creeps me out, but the way he appropriates Max and Cindy's dialogue is very realistic. Not quite cute, but maybe it will be. I hated that they made this huge threat completely surmountable by the simply expedient of staying underwater. Anti-climatic, indeed.

    Asha doesn't really bother me, and I even like Rafer a bit. They should get together and leave our lovebirds free to stare at each other from a safe distance.

  2. Ridiculously irritating! Joshua, I mean. I've ranted about him and the trying-too-hard-to-be-cute-ness in previous comments on your blog, so I'll leave it at that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just looked up the actor, Kevin Durand, and found out he played a minor role on Stargate SG-1… as soon as I saw a screencap I recognized him. And guess what? He irritated me on that show too! I thought his performance was really hammy. So I guess my dislike of Joshua is a combination of his acting and the writing/dialogue.

    I'm with sunbunny in not minding Asha, although I agree with you that she's very underwritten. The actress looked better as a brunette on Birds of Prey, but I suppose the producers wanted her to be more of a visual contrast to Jessica Alba? I've gotta say I hate the blonde highlights they've given Original Cindy and Sketchy this season too. Before I started watching, I saw some publicity stills online, and everyone at Jam Pony suddenly looked like they were in an 80's music video. I don't know. It's weird. Did someone on staff decide to go crazy making everyone else blonde since they didn't have a blonde leading lady? Is this yet another case of Buffy-envy? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. You're right, even Cindy and Sketchy's look has been affected! This must have been part of the network mandate to the make the show “younger” as Nana Visitor mentioned. What a pity. Ugh.

  4. Haha…I guess the thinking was…only funky young punks get streaks in their hair? ๐Ÿ˜› Hey, Nana and John Savage had blonde-ish hair too, so they *really* should've stayed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Older actors (and musicians) with more skills/experience shouldn't be cast aside. I love seeing a wide age range and diversity in general. DA season one was so great that way.

    I just heard White and his goons refer to Sketchy as a “kid” in ep 2×16. I giggled.

  5. I really felt like this was an episode of the 2014-2015 TV season. An extremely standalone-ish episode with romantic drama and some lighthearted moments. Feels like an early episode of The Flash to be honest, and that's not a bad thing at all! Maybe because I know the show was short-lived and underrated, I've come to want more from every hour but to be honest, this wasn't so bad at all. Like I said, almost every new show is doing these kinds of episodes now.

    The freak of the week was definitely the biggest disappointment of the hour. Extremely unforgettable and not at all amusing. But I'm somewhat entertained by the Max/Logan drama. I hate Asha so, so much. “Oh she left already?” Hahahaha the look on Max's face when she says that: PRICELESS. So snarky and awesome.

    Still loving Joshua too! His interactions with Max really do feel very “real” as he tries to interprets human conversations. I definitely like his presence on the show. It's bold, risky and should fall flat but the character is actually pretty strong and likable.

    And yay for more Logan scenes! Could've lived without the melodramatic moment of Logan and Max not running into each other when they each leave the bar but hey this is 2001. Loved the silent moment of them noticing each other with their new “dates”. These two really have incredible chemistry. They just look at each other, Logan raises an eyebrow and Max half-smiles. And it's perfect.

  6. Love what you said about it feeling like a current episode with all those elements, particularly the Flash reference! And loving even more that you're not disappointed by the show and still enjoying it. It's a testament to what a great universe they created in season one. I agree with everything you said (and yet I understand why so many people I guess quit the show in the first few episodes of season two.) Maybe they didn't love the characters as much as we do? Yes it's different, but they are still so lovable.

    I think a lot of it depends on what you think of Joshua. If you HATED the character (like so many fans did). it's hard to enjoy it!
    I'm very curious to see what you think of “Boo”! Everyone considers it to be the WORST episode ever of the show. I can't remember what I thought the first time I watched it, but when I reviewed it, I tried to find the good in it. Let's see what you think (feel free to absolutely hate it hahah!)
    The worst DA episode comes later in my opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I liked this one, but the quadrangle annoyed me. The Manticore freak of the week thing actually interested me this episode. I was more glued to the drama & story of that, especially since itโ€™s so interesting to see the creatures of Manticore out in the real world & I love Max defending them. I was terrified when Rafer touched Logan at crash & was scared Max would go in, touch Rafer, something bad would happen to him & everyone would be looking at & scared of Max. Thank goodness that didnโ€™t happen

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