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