Musings from Jim Sorenson and a few guest bloggers about Transformers, character models, science-fiction, comic books, and whatever else is on our minds.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Review: War of the Worlds, the series ep 30
The thirtieth episode of War of the Worlds, the series is titled Loving the Alien. Debi, tired of living in a sewer underground, rebels and heads to the city alone. There, she encounters Ceeto, an alien youth who has done the same thing. They befriend each other, which survives the revelation of his otherness. However, their friendship puts them on a collision course with an alien mission to retrieve a missing weapon, precipitating a confrontation between the Morthren and the Blackwood project. The weapon is destroyed, some newly introduced human allies of the Blackwood Project get killed, and the adolescents are returned to their respective societies.
The Good: Quite a lot, actually. The episode is very well structured, directed and paced. Each part flows logically into the next. I like the symmetry between Debi and Ceeto, though there's also an issue with that that I'll get to.
When Debi first realizes what Ceeto is, thanks to a cut on his arm, she immediatly levels a gun at him. Kincaid has trained her well.
There's a bit of nice continuity with Debi's use of pepper spray. We saw her armed with this last week when she headed to the market.
I rather like the idea that a cut to the aliens is quite dangerous, due to infection. It carries on the theme from season one about Earth's bacteria being dangerous to them. Even with these new, better-adapted bodies, there is still some risk.
Alien teaching tech is fun too; the episode opens with some alien youths learning about both Earth and the wider galaxy. "In the battle of Meanties in the fourth quadrant of the Lor galaxy, how would you have deployed your troops to defeat the rebels?" is a great question.
It's also cool to see other fighters against the aliens besides the Blackwood project. It seems like the team would have a hard time going it alone; apparently, they don't have to. However, I'd have liked to have seen this idea set up earlier with some recruiting. Marcus and Joe Crane meet bad ends, but now I'm wondering if there are other allies out there we haven't seen yet.
Good acting. Ceeto, especially, as played by Keram Malicki-Sánchez, pulls his weight. He looks great when wandering around the city, very much capturing a kind of tourist feel. He's got the stoicism of the Morthren down, but brings with it an earnest youthfulness that works well. Forest's Malzor is also strong this episode. He has more to do here than he sometimes does.
The Bad: Coincidence. Debi runs away from home on the same night that an alien does, and then they just happen to run into each other. The episode is strong enough that you don't notice, but this is definitely a flaw.
Timing. Last week, Harrison fell in love with an alien woman. This week, Debi finds one. These episodes would have worked better if spaced further apart.
"You are the only species that kills its own kind." Umm... really? Do you not remember The Second Wave, when the Morthren executed all of the first season aliens?
The Ugly: Again, it's not as horrific as anything we used during the first season, but after the aliens are done with the original Joe Crane (played by a very young Mia Kirshner) they have no use for her. She gets cooked on the cloning bed rather painfully as Ceeto looks on.
Overall, a very strong offering. If only it wasn't immediately after Seft of Emon, I'd have almost no complaints. By the way, now we've had two members of the team make peaceful contact with an alien. This meeting, in particular, will have payoff later in the series.