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Epiphany

Yawn. If anything this episode's even worse than the last one. At least that picked up towards the end. This one just burbles along in slow motion, and then manages to make defusing a nuclear bomb into something dull and lifeless. Wake up, show! I want the fun stuff back.

This week, the aliens are concerned with turning the humans against each other. Given that the writers have for some weeks now had the aliens calling each other "Comrade", the focus here on the ridiculousness of America vs Russia is a little ironic. Apparently half the writing team is looking to the future, and the other half is still stuck in the Cold War. Anyway.


The humans are all horrible to each other. This is observed by a triad of evil nuns, who report back to alien HQ. Alien HQ compute that humans will soon wipe each other out, with 98.6% certainty. Presumably this is why the aliens are no longer bothering with their amazing super poison anymore?


Meanwhile, in humansville, the Russians are arriving in America for talks on nuclear disarmament. Ironhorse, who is forever playing the part of a stereotype, turns out to hate Russians even more than he hates aliens. Russians want to stamp all over American corn fields, apparently. I don't know why. They just do.


Harrison has a different view of Russians. Turns out he's been in love with one for years, without bothering to mention it before. She's part of the disarmament talks, and calls up for a chat - because somebody she knew gave her the telephone number of Harrison's top secret safe house. Okay.


Patrick Macnee! Patrick Macnee is a Russian too, apparently. But one with an English accent because he's Patrick Macnee. Patrick Macnee is not happy about Harrison's girlfriend's secret telephone calls. He glowers. He will mostly be glowering for the entire episode.


Some aliens steal some weapons-grade plutonium from a nuclear reactor. They have a plan. If a nuclear bomb explodes during the nuclear disarmament talks, it will cause a nuclear war. Sadly, the problematic alien from a few episodes back is still incapable of saying "nuclear".


Harrison is going on a date with his secret Russian girlfriend. Ironhorse immediately begins quizzing him on his lovelife, because... I don't know why. Security, or something.


This leads to an hilarious sequence. First Ironhorse photographs Harrison and his girlfriend.


Then Patrick Macnee does.


Then Ironhorse spots Patrick Macnee spying on Harrison and his girlfriend, and photographs him.


Then Patrick Macnee spots Ironhorse spying on Harrison and his girlfriend (and now him too), and in turn photographs him. They must end up just with photos of cameras, but they manage to identify each other from them anyway. Whilst all this cross purpose photography is going on, Harrison and his girlfriend wander off, which means that Ironhorse and Patrick Macnee inadvertently lose them both.


This leads to long distance glaring.


The next day, back at base, Norton picks up the news story of the stolen plutonium. Ironhorse, needless to say, insists that it's nothing to do with aliens.


Then Harrison comes back. Ironhorse yells at him for running off around the countryside with an enemy Russian enemy agent who's Russian.


Then Harrison introduces his dinner guest.


Gawp.


Nearby (ish), a policeman finds a van by the side of the road, and orders the occupants out.


Then wishes he hadn't.


This shot's great. You only see it for a brief moment, but it actually does show the alien hand sinking into the policeman as he's taken over. The SFX people are getting very good at this stuff.


Meanwhile, Harrison's girlfriend chats politely to Norton and Suzanne. She's here to defect, and Harrison is helping her, much to Ironhorse's delight.


Consequently, whilst they chat, Harrison and Ironhorse argue about Russians and enemies...


... and enemies and Russians. Also there's glaring.


Whilst off in a slightly less dull part of the plot, the alien policeman puts the finishing touches to a souped-up nuclear bomb that will fry large parts of the countryside.


Patrick Macnee has other things on his mind. Alcohol mostly, and also plotting.


Because of the disarmament talks and other stuff and whatever, Ironhorse is plotting with Patrick Macnee to get Harrison's girlfriend back to Russia. We are supposed to like Ironhorse, right? I'm never entirely sure.


There's bombs! Bombs and aliens and aliens and bombs and panic! The nuclear bomb has been discovered. Ironhorse would rather argue about Russians, because there's no aliens involved in anything, shut up. Russians, people! Russians are what matters!


Russians like your girlfriend, Harrison. She's going home, and that's that. Now get back to fighting aliens. Even though there aren't any.

This leads to further glaring.


Swan!


Harrison explains to his girlfriend that the Americans don't want her, so she has to give up the defecting thing. She's very nice about it.


Then Harrison decides that if she has to go back to Russia, she might at least do something useful there. He plots to tell her all about the aliens, so that she can recruit Russian scientists to help in the fight. Everybody else is delighted with this idea. So delighted that they decide never ever to tell Ironhorse, because he'll probably have Harrison executed.


Harrison tells Katya, that's her name, about the aliens. And also about the nuclear bomb, which she immediately offers to defuse, since all the other people who know how are inconveniently on the other side of the country at the moment.


Ironhorse refuses, on the grounds that she's Russian. Harrison tells him he's a moron. Actually he doesn't, but I can dream.


Harrison and co are supposed to be evacuated out of the area, because of the vital importance of their mission. Instead they all go to sit on top of the bomb while Katya defuses it.


Katya does something clever with tweezers.


Then Patrick Macnee turns up to glare at some people again, as that's all he's allowed to do. Who hires Patrick Macnee, and then just has him glare at people?


Ironhorse says that maybe this one Russian isn't so bad after all, and she can maybe stay in America after all if she wants, oh and thanks for stopping the world from being destroyed. Katya, who has aliens to secretly fight now, refuses. She then bounces off back to Russia with Patrick Macnee. I assume the Russian scientists did something some time in the battle against the aliens, but I don't remember them ever being mentioned again.


Ironhorse mulls over the idea that maybe Russians are people too; then Harrison punches him. Actually that last bit probably didn't happen either, but it would have made a lovely end to the episode. Might have made up for the dull bits also; although I'm not sure that anything can make up for such criminal underuse of poor Patrick Macnee.

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