This review contains spoilers
2.10 Life After Death
After the events in The Devil Will Drag You Under, it wasn’t much of a surprise that Life After Death was something of a climb-down exercise. How people react to tragedy isn’t consistent, and the various directions that everyone takes are meant to underline their own personalities.
I’ve commented before that there is no chemistry between Rachel and John, a position that was vindicated when their first attempt at sex falls flat. The upside of the uncomfortable sequence was the sensitivity that her father showed when he turned up at home unexpectedly, demonstrating that Rachel’s parent issues are all her own.
If that material was playing to a specific demographic, the minor plot around which these other events cycled involved a baby with alpha powers. I really hoped at the outset that this was going to be a reworking of the classic Incredibles mini-story Jack-Jack Attack, but I was entirely disappointed.
I’ve seen, held, had my own, and experienced enough babies where I’m immune from whatever protection engendering powers they might have, and found this whole subplot short on sense and purpose. Actually, that’s not totally true; it gave Gary something to do, which the writers are having difficulty doing these days. Exactly who the Alphas that turned up to get the baby were and what was going on got rather rapidly glossed over, suggesting this wasn’t anything we’d be coming back to soon.
Kat didn’t appear this week, though in episode eight she got sent on an FBI course at Quantico, which Bill thought she’d take two weeks to complete, and she’s certainly back next week.
What worked well in Life After Death was all the minor detail with Rosen regarding the practical elements of dealing with the death of a loved one, like picking a coffin and sifting through her personal effects. So many characters die in TV shows and get a funeral and an occasional mention further down the season, so this was a more appropriate approach to the death of Danielle.
The most import scene is left till last, the one between Hicks and Rosen when they agree that Parish can’t be captured alive. This goes to the very heart of Rosen’s character for this writer, because when he agrees with Hicks, my immediate reaction was, “Did he really think that?” I’ve seen plenty of comments about the show where people don’t like Rosen, because of his psychoanalytical approach to everyone. His worst trait is to say to people what they need to hear, and not what he actually thinks. Is he doing it here, or does he really believe that Parish should die (if that’s technically possible)?
So far he’s sold himself as a humanitarian, so this would be a major diversion from that. It left me wondering if the subversive theme they’ve taken on with his more aggressive posture is the one from the classic movie The Hitcher(1986), where the purpose of the antagonist is to take an ordinary person and turn them into someone capable of stopping, or killing them. Parish is an egotist, and so the notion of his actions being part of a very personal struggle with Rosen might surface at some point.
Next week Shaun Aston gives up following Mr Frodo, and converts to being Stanton Parish’s best pal – with dramatic consequences, one hopes.
Read Billy’s review of last week’s episode here.
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