This review contains spoilers.
While at first this seemed liked a fluff episode, with the return of Jenny (for a one-off cameo) and a happy reunion with her ex-friends at the ARC, there was actually a lot more going on in Primeval than just evil hyenas, and a lot of comedy moments involving supposed paintball and team building.
While the main story was, indeed, a bit of lightheated fun, the overall story arcs that have been the main thrust of the more serious aspects of the show seemed to hit a high point this week. As, while Abby and Connor seem to have some fun fending off some ex-cast members from The Lion King, Matt and Becker have a lot more serious episode and finally we begin to see that Ethan, Emily and Matt are all holding a lot back.
Let’s take Ethan first. It seems that the story he spun about being from the ninteenth century was partially true. There was, indeed, a killer on the loose around that time with the same form of operations he uses to ‘spy’ on his targets. However, and this is where things get a little interesting, he seems to have millitary training, is adapt with engineering and electronics and can lay a nifty booby trap or two.
Added to this he seems to have photos taken in a photo booth, and have some affinity to a house and is remembered by an old lady. This slow reveal and discrepancy in his story is beginning to flesh out quite a two dimensional baddie, and shows that there is a lot more going on with him than first appears, especially in the way he purposely sets a trap and captures Becker.
Even with the lack of monsters, this was all pretty tense stuff and quite well played out. A nod, then, to the writers, as this more than made up for last week’s silly encounter in the graveyard.
It is, as mentioned above, not only Ethan who has secrets, as Emily is married, which scuppers Matt’s potential future dating plans. And while it seems his love life has taken a turn for the worse, that’s not the only thing he is going to be worried about, as the ‘secret’ man he keeps visiting dies and we find that he is actually Matt’s father.
Now, there have been rumours as to who this character is and where he came from. Another question should be ‘when’, as in his final words he tells Matt that the ARC’s still in danger and this is the reason why they came. Wild speculation could be that this older gentleman is Danny returned from living in the past, but aged, with Matt being his son, a variation of Cutter or somebody else. But whoever he was, it leaves a few tasty titbits of story for us to follow, especially as Matt is now on his own.
While these intriguing elements threaded their way though this week’s episode, everything else was a little basic. And while it was fun to see Jenny again, nicely tanned, toned and looking lovely, the episode didn’t really give us much, apart from a few light-hearted moments and, essentially, a minor monster.
However, again a nod to the effects department, who managed to get the right mix on the monsters. While the baby hyenas where cute, cuddly and no real threat, the prehistoric ones where pretty horrific and nasty and all rendered in broad daylight, a trick that I have been told is pretty difficult to pull off in creating convincing CG monsters, especially ones covered in hair.