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