Dark Angel

Dark Angel 2×17 – Hello, Goodbye

"We got lucky; how many miracles do you think we're gonna get?"
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Say what you will about Dark Angel, but the show really knows how to escalate the stakes en route to its finale.

There’s a genuine sense of foreboding this week, as the world finally gets video evidence of a transgenic causing chaos (and getting shot) on the streets of Seattle. It’s a real turning point for the show, made even more compelling by the fact that the exposure was impeccably orchestrated by Ames White. It’s a thrill to watch Max’s friends at Jam Pony completely glued to the screen as our heroine worriedly watches on, as it feels like something Dark Angel has been building towards since the pilot. Suffice to say, things are getting intense.

In a fantastic bout of continuity, Alec gets arrested by the police who assume he’s none other than Max’s serial killer brother Ben. I absolutely love the fact that this plot point wasn’t disregarded, particularly the monumental event that was Max snapping her brother’s neck herself. The scene between Max and Alec as she reveals the truth is downright heartwrenching, and Alba gives a tour-de-force performance. Furthermore, it really sheds light on why Max treats Alec the way she does (of course he hasn’t made it easy), and it gorgeously culminates with him giving her a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. All in all, a truly standout moment for the show that adds a whole new layer to one of Dark Angel‘s most complex dynamics.

Less successful are the writers’ attempts to make Logan think Max and Alec are a thing. Yeah it kinda works but I just refuse to believe that Logan has this little faith in Max. It’s contrived, and I can’t shake the feeling that it could have been handled better. Nevertheless, we do get one of the show’s most memorable scenes, with Max letting a drunk Logan believe the lie, and tearfully walking away (in slow motion).

Hello, Goodbye also sees the introduction of Annie, a blind girl who takes a liking to Joshua. Obviously the blindness is a pretty convenient way to give dog-boy some loving (I would have preferred Rita the art dealer), but I’ll admit that it was sort of amusing to watch him make a friend. Of course the story takes a heartbreaking turn when he lets her touch Alec’s face instead of his own, fearful of her reaction. Poor big fella’.

Post-Pulse Bits

– Useless Asha is back. This week Alec tells her to “beat it.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

– I love the sequence with Logan grabbing Max and getting infected in slow-motion as we transition to the hospital through multiple fade-outs. Beautifully done.

– For once Joshua is useful; he cures Logan via blood transfusion.

– Yes Max is a bit too mopey this week, but it’s the peak of her angst this season.

– So Mule, the transgenic White had captured, did survive the snake blood test. However unlike Max, he suffered through the symptoms.

– The Priestess from Exposure is back. She mentions “The Conclave” – whom we assume are in charge of the cult.

– Max goes undercover as a public defender in glasses and suit. Gotta say, Alba looks good in glasses.

– Love how the second Alec mentions the victim’s pulled-teeth, Max realizes that she has to save him, knocks out the guard, and breaks him out.

– Alec moving in with Joshua is a concept that’s just ripe with comedic potential.

– More foreshadowing: Joshua tells Alec he’s tired of “laying low”. That can’t be good.

– So Joshua’s necklace (which Sandeman gave him) has the breeding cult symbol. Hmm…

– Oh hoverdrone, I missed you.

– Funny how Alec is the voice of reason this week, telling both Max and Joshua to get rid of their significant others in order to protect themselves.

– The final Space Needle scene with Alec and Max is excellent. Now both twins have joined our Maxie up there.

Barbs & Barcodes

Max: (to Alec) I’m sorry I let you out of Manticore. I’m sorry I inflicted you on the world. Screw exposure. I’m leaving you here for White to deal with.

Alec: I’m just curious; was it the sincerity in my eyes? Some people say I have sincere eyes.
Max: Quiet.

Max: (to Alec) One more word and I shove you off this ledge.

Alec: Must be hard, huh? Having me around? Some guy with Ben’s face, making you think about things you’d rather forget?
Max: Yeah. That’s probably why I’m such a bitch to you sometimes.
Alec: Maybe.

Alec: Hey Max. Thought I’d find you here.
Max: I come here to be alone.
Alec: Yeah, I know, but considering everything that went down today, I figured we could both use a friend right now.
Max: Sit down.
Alec: So, you got any deep thoughts you want to share? Any profound realizations about life?
Max: Yeah. Love sucks.

Conclusion

While it’s not perfect, Hello, Goodbye is a touching, and often quite thrilling hour of Dark Angel.Β 

Nad Rating
A-

14 comments

  1. Yay, I was dying for your review of this one. πŸ™‚ I agree it was an intense episode that I mostly enjoyed a lot. Very exciting plot developments…almost too much happening at once! The writers could've spread out some of that awesomeness, maybe let the world find out about transgenics a bit sooner in the season? (I say this with the knowledge of future eps in mind, 'cause I felt like all these new characters were thrown at me too quickly to care about most of them…)

    One thing I particularly wish had happened earlier, is the introduction of the Annie/Joshua storyline. If he *must* be around, I do prefer this slightly more serious & grown-up Josh to the childish comic relief we usually get from him. Too bad the writers didn't replace all those dumb sitcom subplots (Joshua gets stoned!) with Josh/Annie scenes instead. First ep, they meet. Second ep, he invites her to dinner. Third ep, we see Josh painting her. Next ep, Alec sees all the paintings, learns about Annie and warns him to give her up. Etc. Instead of meeting, falling for her and giving her up all in one episode, imagine how much better it would've been to see their relationship evolve more gradually. This also would've allowed us to get to know Annie better, as a character in her own right, not just as a love interest designed to give Josh angst. As it is, I couldn't really be emotionally invested in their relationship. The “blind girl” aspect felt saccharine and predictable (didn't Beast fall for a blind girl in the X-Men comics too? You're right – it probably should've been Rita instead, to be more original), and the rushed pace (They *just* met! How hard can it really be to say goodbye?) made the whole thing feel forced and emotionally manipulative instead of truly touching. But that's just me. πŸ˜‰

  2. And now, my favorite part of this ep…one of the highlights of the season…like you said: “a truly standout moment for the show”… I really loved the continuity with Alec (almost) paying for Ben's crimes. I was so happy the writers brought back that season one plot thread! And that scene where Max and Alec realize she's had a harder time accepting him/being around him because of Ben…wow! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Very satisfying emotional pay-off after an entire season of wondering why Max was being so very bitchy towards Alec. You might remember me complaining about that in an earlier comment – her anger seeming out of proportion with his screw-ups…although I liked that Alec admits he was a jerk too. Finally they bond a bit and start to act like friends. I was thrilled to get an explanation for Max's increased bitchiness this season that makes a lot of sense. Of *course* she'd be traumatized and guilty over Ben, and aim some misplaced anger/self-loathing at Alec. It's so psychologically perfect, and yet it surprised me. I've gotta give the writers credit there…that was great.

    “Less successful are the writers' attempts to make Logan think Max and Alec are a thing.”

    You're right…that part…wasn't so great. πŸ˜› Silly writers just can't resist the soap opera angst. I blame Joss Whedon again. πŸ˜‰ Honestly, I rolled my eyes at such a cliched relationship misunderstanding. It's not even a real love triangle – Max and Logan have never shown interest in anyone else, and based on the way they look at eachother, alone, *I* can't believe Max wants anyone else, so it's ridiculous that Logan believes it so easily. The writers didn't need to use Alec as an obstacle in this contrived way…like he's giving Max an excuse to break up with Logan, to protect him. Um, she already has a valid reason to avoid him…that virus…that can kill him? And, in fact, almost killed him in this very episode? (Which makes Logan seem even dumber for not figuring out the truth) Why can't Max just be honest with Logan about her real reasons? It seems cowardly. I want her to be more straightforward and spunky (as in season one), not a Tragic Romantic Figure deceiving her True Love “for his own good”. Meh. The only good thing about it is Alec's “leave me out of it” reaction when he finds out later that he's being used this way. Speaking of contrived…I could've done without the heavy-handed parallels of Alec giving up Asha to protect her.. Max giving up Logan to protect him…*and* Joshua giving up Annie (for now :P) to protect her… all in the same episode! Sheesh. We get it, show. Transgenics fear exposure and fear putting their human loved ones in danger. Angsty anvils hurt.

    “Joshua tells Alec he's tired of “laying low”. That can't be good.”

    Yeah, unfortunately Dog-Boy comes across like a petulant child, to me, when he whines about not being let out of the house… I guess I should sympathize because he, and all transgenics, shouldn't have to hide, etc. But the fact remains, Josh isn't willing to make sacrifices to protect the people he supposedly lvoes, and all transgenics in general (who will be more mistrusted and persecuted thanks to Joshua's self-centered, immature pursuit of what *he* wants)…and… look what happens. Or will happen, soon. πŸ˜‰ Stupid, irresponsible Dog-Boy. Makes me miss super-dutiful, over-protective Zack. πŸ˜› Although a character like Joshua can be useful to make a mess of things and create conflict/drama for the show. He still infuriates me! But this is still one of my favorite episodes of season 2.

  3. Agree 100 percent and I mention this in my next review. Annie should have definitely been introduced episodes ago to really build up the relationship. It happened waaaaayyyyyyy too quickly. I'm trying to rush through the final few eps and get those reviews up for you πŸ™‚ You got me excited with your passion for the show as it really as my all-time favorite (or Alias..I think). I can't quite pick. What's your number 1 favorite show? Perhaps I'll try it if I haven't seen it.

  4. What a great post. You pointed out stuff I didn't even realize like the fact that they all gave up someone to protect them. How did I not see those obvious parallels? Hahah.

    I”m so glad you loved the Max/Alec scene as well. What a gorgeous, brilliant, layered scene. It really is one of my favorite of the entire year and as you said, it puts things in perspective.

    I do wish Max made it clear she gave up on Logan because of the virus. It's too much as we said, and no one believes they're interested in ANYBODY else. Isn't it a miracle that we both loved this episode despite all these flaws? That really proves that the show really came into its own the second half of the year as opposed the messy episodes it had before.

  5. Don't mean to make you rush! Your reviews make me analyze & notice more than I would've. But please take your time writing and don't mind me! I'm glad my enthusiasm isn't irritating. πŸ™‚

    I don't know if I can choose just one favorite show. I can't even make top 10 (or top 50) lists of favorite albums of the year without much agonizing. And forget about putting them in true order of favorites. Alphabetical is my preferred cop-out. πŸ˜‰ I can't compare things I love! Well, I can, but I can't decide which I love best when I love them in different ways.

    For practically perfect writing, acting, camera work, music, deep thoughts and emotional attachment in the Teen/Family Drama category, the award goes to…. My So-Called Life. The characters are so real. And the writing acknowledges their flaws! And they grow and change believably! And you can tell a lot of thought was put into it, unlike many shows that make things up as they go along. It's the closest thing I've seen to a great work of literature, on TV. I'll try to be concise and leave it at that, although I want to gush about every little thing this show gets right that others get wrong. πŸ™‚ I'm actually glad it was cancelled after one season of perfection, before the inevitable network interference.

    Runners up: shows with an obvious MSCL influence: Felicity season one, and Roswell season one (season two's more sci-fi and action-packed, and I was entertained the first time, but afterwards you realize there are plot holes and it doesn't all make sense like it should.) Bit of a guilty pleasure, but Dawson's Creek (seasons 1-3) wasn't as cheesy or soapy as I'd expected…nowhere near as realistic as MSCL, but I read the creator was instructed to watch it, as The WB network itself actually wanted to emulate MSCL and reach the same demographic.

    Hey, even Joss Whedon admits to being influenced by My So-Called Life and wrote a piece for that show's DVD boxset. πŸ™‚ I have a love/hate relationship with Buffy, as you know, but I really fell in love with the characters…such a great cast…so I kept watching. I like seasons 1-3 best overall. Ditto, Angel seasons 1-3. And Charmed seasons 1-3. Smallville seasons 1-3 (far from perfect, but I love Chloe/Allison Mack and Lex/Michael Rosenbaum) Geez, do any shows not lose me after their third season? πŸ˜› Yes! The Stargate franchise. To be continued…

  6. Stargate SG-1 (10 seasons) and Stargate: Atlantis (5 seasons) are fun shows (with horrific elements) and a nice balance between light & dark, action-adventure & the more thoughtful side of sci-fi, comedy & tragedy. Likeable actors, good group chemistry, and impressive continuity/attention to characters' backstories. I can't recommend a specific season because you kinda have to watch it all to appreciate the continuity pay-offs. πŸ˜› Each season has it's weaker eps but nothing so bad that it put me off. (SGA season 5 got close, but by then I was near the end anyway, so I just barreled through ;)) One of my fav SG-1 eps, is “Window Of Opportunity”.. most fans agree it's the funniest ep of the series, not necessarily representative of what *every* ep will be like, but still a good choice for a newbie to check out (unless you hate comedy) without being too confused, because it's mostly standalone, with only a few references to the mythology & character's histories.

    Favorite animated series: Daria (seasons 1-2) …who doesn't love a Deadpan Snarker? πŸ™‚ I so identified with her cynical views of this Sick Sad World we live in. Too bad the writers wrecked the cool female friendship with an annoying love triangle in later seasons. Also enjoy Animaniacs, Clone High, Powerpuff Girls, Sheep In The Big City, X-Men (the 90's show), Batman The Animated Series and that whole universe (especially Gotham Girls, The Zeta Project, Batman Beyond) 80's favs: Jem & The Holograms and She-Ra. πŸ™‚

    All those classic anthology series: Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery. And that cheesy-fun Canadian kid's version: Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

    I do have a weakness for Canadian kid's shows…hey, I was a Canadian kid. πŸ™‚ Flash Forward (starring Jewel Staite) was almost like a middle-schooler's My So-Called Life, but wackier. The Odyssey was a cool show with a mind-bending concept (at least, I thought so then…haven't seen it for years). Big Wolf On Campus and Black Hole High are funny supernatural/science-y shows, with an obvious Buffy influence… mostly eliminating the angst (BHH is a bit more serious than BWOC) and focusing on the funny. I liked Buffy best when it was more light-hearted (yup I even like season one), so that's fine with me.

    I love humour, and yet I'm not a big fan of sitcoms…best one I've seen is Family Ties. And just because I'm contrary that way, one of the reasons I like it best is because of the serious/dramatic moments. πŸ˜› I just think it's well-written overall. Smarter than your average sitcom. I might have to check out the new Michael J. Fox Show coming up. How I Met Your Mother was pretty good in season one, but I lost interest somewhere in season two…meaning to go back to it someday though. Out of Alyson Hannigan/Willow love, of course. πŸ™‚

    Probably forgetting tons, but this is long enough! Bet you're sorry you asked. πŸ˜›

  7. Aww, thanks… I'm probably *too* critical… maybe I've watched too much TV? πŸ˜‰ I might be a bit over-sensitive to tropes and tricks that writers tend to use. I remember even My So-Called Life used parallel plots to make connections between characters…it can be done in a subtle way, and maybe it was subtle on Dark Angel after all, but it's simply more effective the first few times and I'm biased/over-exposed to the writing device? Sometimes I think too much instead of just enjoying the moment (this does not only apply to my TV viewing habits either :P) I love it when I do get lost in a show (or movie or book) and forget it's not real…stop over-analyzing and let it surprise me. Like the Max/Alec/Ben awesomeness.

    Yes, you were right about the second half of Dark Angel…much better. πŸ™‚ Poor Alec… that friendship scene with Max was so nice, I didn't want to see it “tainted” by a contrived non-love-triangle. Men and women *can* just be friends! I'm still open to reading fanfic later, but I do wonder how Max/Alec shippers managed to see a potential romance there. I understand liking his character. And fanfic can be…anything you imagine, of course. Doesn't have to be plausible. But based on what the actors put up on screen, it's just so obvious that Logan and Max never waver in their feelings for eachother. I don't think Jensen's playing Alec as pining for Max either. Everything he says that looks like (on paper) it might be secret!love!feelings, plays like friendly concern or sibling teasing on his part. I've been studying the actors and looking for a flicker of yearning/jealousy/something non-platonic, but I really don't see it. It's just as well, since being the indecisive center of a love triangle has ruined many a female character.

    Nice job with the drunk scene though, MW! Funny and sad at the same time.

  8. Ooh, I just remembered… not a sitcom, but primarily a comedy (with shades of MSCL again, in it's attempts to write with some sensitivity/give the characters layers) – I liked this short-lived FOX (grrr) show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Opposite_Sex_(TV_series) It's on youtube if you're curious. πŸ™‚ My fav eps are “The Drug Episode” and “The Fantasy Episode”. Got derailed a bit by love triangle angst, but the cast was very likeable, and full of future stars like Allison Mack! Why don't they release shows like this on dvd and market them to fans of the actors?

    FOX greenlights lots of good shows, don't they? Too bad they keep messing them up and/or cancelling them though!

  9. Mind if I recommend another? πŸ™‚ Haven't seen it since it aired in 2007 but I remember liking Flash Gordon. I *knew* Eric Johnson had talent when he gave Whitney sympathetic layers on Smallville! Also saw a “flash” (haha) of humour from him in an interview clip that made me think he should be cast as the likeable lead on his own show. I felt so vindicated to see him star as Flash Gordon later. Too bad the show didn't last. Anyway, FG also had kickass female characters, and an interesting dynamic between the main Villain and his daughter, reminiscent of Lionel & Lex Luthor on Smallville, but with a *much* more satisfying resolution than SV gave us. The show did remind me of those first few (and best) seasons of Smallville, only better in many ways. I liked the whole cast. The “alien of the week” thing really didn't seem as overbearing/overused as SV's “freak of the week”. FG started out more humourous in the first half, then got more serious, apparently due to viewer complaints. Personally I enjoyed it from the start, and couldn't understand why it was getting such a negative reaction. I read that Flash Gordon purists didn't like some changes made to the source material. But after seeing how supremely cheesy earlier adaptations were, I think this version of FG is the best. All the changes were improvements, in my opinion. Oh no, Ming The Merciless is a white guy now, instead of an offensive racist stereotype! πŸ˜› Sci-fi fans also criticized the lack of budget, but I don't recall any distractingly bad effects or anything. Maybe the show didn't rise to Val Lewton-type heights of inventiveness in dealing with a lower budget, but it wasn't an Ed Wood production either. Besides, strong characters and good writing, that's all I really need. I mostly agree with this (rare positive) review:
    https://sites.google.com/site/cultoddities/home/tv/flash-gordon-2007

    This review also mentioned the show Sliders and reminded me, oh yeah, I like Sliders too! Season 1-3, again. πŸ˜› The creator left due to network interference, and I don't blame him.

  10. Very good. I really liked this one.

    For one second I thought White grew a conscious and was letting Mule go. His death was so sad. He seemed like such a nice…thing.

    I have to admit, I really liked the Joshua/Annie stuff. He usually gets on my nerves, but these scenes were really sweet. And I thought it was cute how concerned Alec was for Joshua post-breakup. Their entire world is coming apart, but he needed Max to get over there now for Joshua.

    I don't think Logan would ever believe Max and Alec were a thing. He knows Alec too well and he knows how little Max thinks of him.

  11. The fanfictions in which Max and Alec are a mated couple should be tagged as alternate universe in which Max don't see her fellow transgenics as siblings and the complete season 1 and Max getting to know and falling deeply in love with Logan didn't happen.
    I don't get it how anyone could think that Max would start a sexual relationship with Alec.
    During a rewatch in order to get a friend hooked on the series I was also looking for clues of any kind of sexual attraction between Max and Alec and found none.
    It is out of character for Max to start a romantically relationship with a fellow transgenic. Since Max considers the other x-series from Manticore as siblings/family, she was quite shocked as she realized that Zack wanted her as girlfriend in Blah Blah Woof Woof. It is kinda remarkable that she choose Logan over her brother Zack, for who she was looking for a long time, in this episode and later in 2×07 – Some Assembly Required again.
    Virus or not, Logan is the love of Max's life and I still think that she will never sleep with Alec out of her free will.
    Besides, Alec loves Asha and truly cares about her! That's why he pushed her away as the situation with Ames White, the snake cult and the hunt for transgenics became too dangerous. He did it to keep her safe so that they can have a chance for a relationship later when the time is more secure for it. Just like Max pushed Logan away in order to keep him alive so that he didn't die from the deadly virus she is carrying in her before they find a cure for it.
    Even if Alec had a thing for Max, he surely wouldn't have barged in between Logan and Max because he knew how much they love each other and what a strain it puts on them to not being able to touch another. Luring Max away from Logan in order to start a love relationship with her would be a ruthless thing to do. Especially since Logan can't really fight for Max as long as the virus is present.
    It would be tactically unwise to steal Logan his girlfriend since he is one of the very few humans/non-transgenics outside of Terminal City who is on the side of the transgenics and does everything within his realms to protect and support them.
    If Alec really has a thing for Max, truly cares about her and is a decent person, then he better help her to find a cure for the virus so that she can finally get happy and busy with Logan. In my opinion Alec owes it to Max and Logan, since Max sacrificed her first chance to get a cure for the virus with giving the lab tech Logan's money so that he saves Alec's life. She didn't do it because she loves Alec so much. She did it because it was the right thing to do. Viewed from this background, it was quite mean from Alec that he didn't let her have the ball she was stealing from the exhibition in order to fence it to be able to pay the money back to Logan, in a later episode.
    Besides, if at the end of season 2, the bond between Max and Alec really already was that strong as some Max/Alec shipper think or wish it was, why weren’t Max holding hands with Alec instead with Logan on the roof of a building in terminal city in the last episode of the series? So canon-wise Max/Logan is endgame. And in the books to the series, written by Max Allan Collins and based on ideas the showrunner Cameron had for season 3, the virus gets cured and Max and Logan end up together.

  12. Now I'm so confused: is THIS my favorite season 2 episode?? Because man oh man this was all kinds of heartbreaking, compelling stuff.

    The teaser is undoubtedly one of the most heart-stopping teasers this show has EVER produced. Logan accidentally touching Max–and the look of dread on both of their faces–then the intense fade-outs filling us in on an unconscious Logan and whatnot… uffff, my eyes were glued to the screen. Absolutely breathtaking.

    And then the “exposure” thing happened, and Max and Alec feared for their lives. Wow…indeed, the show does know how to set up for one heck of a finale. This actually really felt like the penultimate episode with all the building up heading towards our transgender mutants being exposed. I'm starting to get really annoyed at the fact that there aren't a lot of episodes left. It feels like the season was JUST about to kick off!!

    Yeah, I didn't care for Logan's jealousy so much because it was a bit too random. I mean, it's not like Alec and Max were kissing or anything. It was just a friendly hug. But boy, a drunk Logan is so entertaining. Loved their scene at his place with no music playing in the background. And then space needle! Woohoo, I've missed that thing! Feels like a pivotal character on the show honestly haha.

    And Max tearing up about Ben… ouch, just gut-wrenching. Even so was Joshua's subplot with Annie. I couldn't believe how amusing I was, despite the convenience (the blindness). In fact, that's kind of DA in its second season: a lot of derivative subplots that should be boring but are instead entertaining. I don't understand the hate for this season, especially in an episode like this. Really, really loved it.

    Gosh, even the title is heartbreaking lol. Ok, gotta get it together before I start the next one!

  13. ahahahahaha superb hour right? I absolutely love the drunk Logan scene. Alba is excellent in it as she walks away.

    And that Space Needle ending? Love sucks. Woah. Incredible.

    You're right, it's just a very entertaining season and that's why I always say I can't compare both seasons. I enjoy them both for diff reasons, and I guess you agree huh? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Come on, finish season two tonight! I really want to read your thoughts on the rest πŸ™‚

  14. Loved Max & Alec finally talking about Ben & how Max treats him. Love the season 1 flashbacks! Poor Mule. Thank you Logan for talking about the fear in his eyes & the police attacking him first. This racism against the transgenics is so sad & gets worse in the next episodes. But at least it’s relatable to humans in the real world today, along with bullying.

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