Last week on Intruders, we met a few odd characters, a couple sinister ones, and were beaten over the head with exposition once or twice. Immortality: not just for vampires any more. A secret sect has discovered a way to cram their souls into the bodies of others. Very Being John Malkovich. What the series premier seemed to imply is that the soul cramming happens every nine years, on the victim’s birthday (or maybe nine years after the last host died?). The process is facilitated by Richard and Frank Shepherd. How it is done or why certain victims are picked has not yet been revealed.
Does that make the perpetrators some kind of psychic parasites? Is the host soul killed or forced into submission? Can you be put into the body of an animal? That would suck.
Clearly, you can be brought back too early, as was done to Marcus, when Richard stuck him in the body of a nine year old girl, Maddie. While that makes perfect sense from a vengeance standpoint, it comes off as kind of silly when you watch it on the television. Sorry, Maddie is going to have to drown a lot more animals before she creeps me out. Anywho. Maddie has decided to ditch her mom and high tails it to Portland. At nine o’clock, the little girl comes back to herself, while Marcus seems to recede. If I weren’t an English major, I might have a better grasp of what the hell the number nine implies.
Maddie has a vague recollection of what went down the night before. Marcus took them to Chinatown, they got a “9” book from some lady, an envelope of cash, and a set of keys. The book is a sort of instruction manual, reassuring the reader that reincarnation is no big whoop and that death is the lie religion has been telling people for millennia. Is it wrong that I want the “9” book to read like the Beetlejuice “Handbook for the Recently Deceased”?
Meanwhile Richard shows up at Maddie’s home, again posing as an FBI agent, and starts asking her distraught parents a lot of uncomfortable questions, finally revealing that Maddie’s mother has been cheating on her husband. This has the anticipated effect of getting the parents out of the house so Richard can poke around. He then goes to Portland and visits the lady in Chinatown who gives him a cussing out for shoehorning Marcus into the little girl. She immediately regrets said cussing out when Richard pulls out his gun and starts killing people.
Richard almost catches Maddie at the train station, after the ticket taker refuses to let her board the train without being accompanied by an adult. Despite her impressive envelope of cash, it takes her a while to find an unsuspecting rube to bribe into driving her to Seattle.
Already in Seattle, Jack Whelan shows up at Amy’s office and decides to play it straight; just a dutiful husband returning his wife’s phone. Clever minx! He wants to stay on her good side so he can find out who she’s plotting to kill him with. Unfortunately her bosses says they weren’t expecting Amy, but that barely phases Jack who either did a lot of undercover work as a cop or recently took an acting class. Unflappable!
While there, he remembers an earlier incident: Amy waking up speaking a foreign language and refering to herself in the third person (maybe she was possessed by a professional athlete; I am looking at you, Floyd Mayweather).
Jack gets a vaguely threatening phone call telling him to go home. Amy is gone. Undeterred, he tracks down the cab driver that found his wife’s cell phone and was the last person to have seen Amy. The driver, George, tells Jack that Amy was a creeptastic wackadoodle. She claimed to have been Russian secret agent from the 19th century, or something to that effect. George gamely drives Jack around, taking him to the condos near her office, where she and a mysterious man friend were dropped off before. Jack sees Amy’s boss (the one who claimed she hadn’t come to Seattle) drive in. Moments later they get jumped by two goons in suits. Poor George; no good deed ever goes unpunished. After a tussle, one of the goons goes to shoot Jack and is stopped by the other who says, “She said not to.”
The soundly thrashed goons limp off and George basically tells Jack to go fuck himself. Can you really blame him?
After the ass kicking, Jack gets a call from Amy, who very calmly tells him that she is at home. Nice.
Finally, filling in for the recently deceased Oz Turner (and taking the added precaution of transmitting his pirate radio show from his pirate van while armed with an AK-47), is Tim Truth. He has a message for Oz Turner’s assassin: he and the other paranoid, unwashed, nerds will never forget and are committed to helping Bob Anderson (wife and son gunned down last episode) evade capture. Which I find interesting. How do the unwashed conspiracy theorists know that Bob is a good guy?
Overall, this was a great second episode. The tone and pacing were much more even. The creepy level was well maintained, and I didn’t feel like anyone beat me over the head with plot. James Frain even did a pretty good job convincing me he was a badass in his Chinatown fight sequence (despite the liberal use of shaky cam).
However, since we are watching on Saturday night, I propose making an Intruders drinking game: take a drink every time Richard pulls a dick move, kills someone, or if Jack says “My wife Amy is missing.”