This review contains spoilers.
4.2 An Evil Within
This episode is a smorgasbord of plot points and adventures, but do they come together cohesively?
Short answer is yes, absolutely. And I’m loving the multiple directions things are going. But where is HG in all of this hoo-hah? I guess we’ll find out later down the line. So we’ll start with Pete and Myka, who are sent out to Philly to chase a ping in a diner.
We open the episode with a wonderfully written argument between two trekkies in a diner coupled with an outrageously hideous (and true SyFy B movie effect) tentacle monster. When the monster turns into the man, we know a ping is up and coming. This storyline is a fun one, I admit I didn’t think Lovecraft right away and I was extremely happy to see him in an episode. I was a bit disappointed in Pete and Myka’s sleuthing this time around, it took them way too long to start putting together the victims of the attacks instead of the attackers. Admittedly, we, the audience, had the benefit of blue cap man, but these two have been in this situation before and know better. If the writers wanted to lengthen this plot, it could have been done more creatively.
That said, it was a lot of fun to watch Pete tease Myka about her tentacle phobia, and it was even gratifying to feel a bit disappointed in Myka for A) not having ever read Lovecraft and B) not getting an Indiana Jones reference. Especially after knowing who the red shirts are, sheesh.
I like how this vignette ends, Myka hearing monster sounds over the phone was a nice touch, ray guns are mentioned, and Myka protects “Pete the Tentacle Monster”. We also get Pete catching onto Artie’s unease, so we should be seeing him confront Artie about it soon enough. Overall, a fun aside in what is otherwise a pretty heavy episode.
Which brings us to Claudia and storyline number two; Claudia breaking into the regent châtelet to bring Jinks back. This story was an emotional roller coaster. I find myself both cheering for and fearing for Ms. Donovan. An employee ID that Tesla zaps anyone who rubs the picture?? That’s just awesomely formidable. After Artie stops Claudia as she marches down the path of the dark side, we have a great emotional scene between the two. Artie is a great father figure for Claudia and his empathy over losing a partner combined with his own fear surrounding his use of an artifact was brilliant.
There’s some great foreshadowing here that brings the consequences of the astrolabe into focus, the path of evil seems to be constructing itself through good intentions, which is perhaps what the “evil of your own making” is. I’m feeling a whiff of LOTR here. Anyway, one of our favorite regents, Jane Lattimer, interferes and gives Claudia official permission to bring Steve back with the metronome, something Artie is extremely displeased with. It’s always great to see Kate Mulgrew in an episode, and it’s no surprise that her character’s guilt over Steve’s death and Claudia’s tongue lashing has brought her back to assist Claudia in her endeavour.
Bringing Steve back was a powerful scene and I definitely got a bit misty a couple times. I like how the white light and the dreamlike quality of Claudia’s struggle to bring Steve to her from the other side were handled. I also liked the use of music and the metronome as a character through the process, I thought it was well placed. Steve’s response to being brought back from the dead was reasonable, and I loved the scene on the porch with Claudia talking about butterfly reincarnation. Classic.
The reveal that Jane Lattimer’s decision was not backed by the regents was not too surprising. I was a bit shocked that Mr. Kosan would let those shenanigans pass, but the major story arc seems to tie in with Steve’s resurrection and the parameters put on Steve’s continued existence are strict enough to make the decision believable. It was great to see Steve welcomed back by everyone and I’m excited to see him and Claudia working together again.
Which brings us to our final chapter; Artie meets with our now-named Brother Adrian and discovers more about the effects of the astrolabe. Despite my love for Claudia, this was by far my favorite storyline. The eerie introduction of Brent Spiner’s character, Artie’s fumbling confusion tied in with his desire to get information without giving himself away, the consistent warnings and, what I think is, growing realization on the part of Brother Adrian regarding Artie’s involvement in this missing artifact, all combine to create a really solid base for the astrolabe arc. Personally, considering Mrs. Frederic’s grey hair, I would be surprised if Brother Adrian didn’t have some kind of recessed memory of the erased 24 hours, maybe they start to come back with Artie’s questions and obsession over the evil itself. We’ll have to wait to see, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a satisfying journey.
Another great episode! It’s difficult to put three such dense and important story threads together in 45 minutes, and they have done a wonderful job balancing the heavy with the light hearted, and doom with redemption. I’m really loving Brent Spiner’s character, we know what he is capable of in his protection of the astrolabe, and even as a mild mannered brother looking for help in discovering his lost charge, he is quite intimidating. There’s an undercurrent of power lurking there and I think it’ll be fun to watch it come out as he discovers Artie’s involvement. If he hasn’t already. Here’s looking forward to next week!
Read Jennifer’s review of last week’s episode, A New Hope, here.
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