Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review: Outcasts "Episode 4"

Non Spoiler Review:
As the AC revelations spread through Forthaven, a wandering AC gets into town with a few emotional problems (to say the least) that resurrect more secrets from Tate's early days on Carpathia, as well as providing an opportunity for Julius to further his position. Fleur and Cass are brought into conflict again, and the awkward threesome of Stella, Lily and Tipper gets more more awkward.

Episode 4 is a morality play pitting many of the players against one another and setting up some dynamics between friends and enemies, promising some greater conflict down the road. Sympathy for Tate continues to dwindle, and there's still the question of the imaginary kids, which get more play here in increasingly creepy scenes. However, a bit of a shocker comes out of left field at the end, making quite a rich episode and new mysteries to add to the mix.

Spoilers Now!
Jack head's off a stranger walking towards the gates in the middle of the night, but the man collapses at his feet. In the morning, Tate is wakened by what he believes are voices in his quarters,so he gets up to make breakfast and listen to Tipper's commentary about his recent announcement. Then he notices there's a child's handprint in the steam on the glass. 

The stranger is an AC, and was caught outside in last episode's whiteout. Tate is reluctant to return him to Rudi right away until he can be sure of the motives. Cass brings in breakfast, but the AC is panicking in captivity and manages to make a break for it. 

Stella and Tate discuss the failure of many of the seeds brought from Earth, and just like the ACs who have managed to breed despite their sterilization program, he has to figure out why. Forhaven has only had one birth in four months. So he's using both the samples from the AC baby, as well as new samples he plans to take from the AC prisoner to help ensure the survival of their species. Meanwhile, Lily and Stella's new living arrangements are a bit tense. 

A custodian woman finds the prisoner and recognizes him as an AC. She promises to help him out by cleaning him up a bit. He tells her his name is Elijah, but when she reaches out to him he has a blackout, and when he looks down she's knocked out on the floor. Cass and Fleur come across the woman in their search, and she's still alive. She tells him he was just scared.

Tate knew Elijah had a history of aggressive behaviour, but Stella doesn't want to alert the public given there's not a lot of knowledge about the ACs yet. Jack just wants to hunt him down, but Cass reminds him he only operates outside the gates, while they handle stuff inside. Jack protests to Tate and wonders why he's treating the ACs with kid gloves—the ACs respected Mitchell, but they despise the rest of them. 

Julius attends the bedside of the custodian woman as she wakens. He just wanted to stop by and say how sorry he was. He suggests she warn the people of what he did to her so when he's caught he won't do it again. She knows that Elijah was just scared and didn't mean it, and she refuses. That doesn't go over well, and Julius calls her a stupid woman.

Lily comes by to see Tipper and drops off some papers she says she found outside, then leaves. He knows she's Stella's daughter, so reads it, then switches on the radio to announce he's been handed some information—there's an AC loose in Forthaven and he attacked a woman. Stella is not impressed that she has a leak in her department.

Fleur notices the AC hanging out around the first landing memorial (it has a flashing green light) and a chase ensues. She nearly falls off a building trying to catch him but Elijah comes back and rescues her. He asks her to promise not to make him go back. 

Cass arrives on the roof. As cooler heads prevail, Elijah explains he's having flashbacks to red and green lights, a long time ago in the secure center, with Tate watching him. He can't go back, he pleads. Cass realizes something's wrong with this. Elijah isn't running. He isn't a killer. 

Elijah knows he's not safe with Tate around. Cass and Fleur take him inside to hide. Elijah tells her he didn't mean to hurt the woman. Tate assured him he would be with his brothers and sisters again, but he was tortured in some kind of experiment, and afterwards everything was different. 

Fleur realizes yet again Tate is hiding something, so she suggests Cass look through his office. They've been lied to before, and she has no idea what they might do to Elijah if they bring him back. Cass knows she's right, so he asks Elijah to trust them.

Cass gets into Tate's office and finds Elijah's records. On his way out, Tate runs into him, so Cass asks what will happen if they find Elijah. Tate doesn't seem to think he can reverse the man's behavioural problems and he can't be sure he wouldn't come back and put them in danger. Cass doesn't need to hear that.

Tipper continues to talk against Tate on the radio, when Stella makes an unannounced visit (breaking in), asking where he got the information. So she starts breaking his vinyl. He suggests he doesn't want to tell her for her own good, but Stella presses, so Tipper admits it was Lily (snap!).

Jack's bitching for having to work on the water pipes rather than hunting the AC. Something has to change, he grumbles. Then he's called over by one of his men, who's found an interesting rock.

Cass returns to Fleur and Elijah with information—Elijah was experimented on—his fear and danger responses enhanced so that he's unable to control his reactions. Cass is still loyal to Tate, and doesn't like having to make decisions on things like that. Fleur wants to get him back to Rudi, and she knows how to contact him. Cass doesn't want her going out alone, but she knows how to use his feelings for her to get what she wants. She heads out and sends up a flare.

Stella returns to Lily with the folder and says she knows she wanted to hurt her to elicit a reaction. Lily says she was left behind and Stella has no idea what that was like. It's too late to be a mother. Stella admits she can't do this anymore and suggests she find somewhere else to stay for now. Lily is hurt, but agrees.

Cass and Elijah are getting on well, talking about love and special girls. But a bolt of lightning frightens Elijah, and the next thing we see Cass on the ground with a head wound. But when Cass wakes up Elijah is still at his side. Elijah admits to hurting him and it's getting worse, and wonders if he should be kept away from everyone. Fleur shows up then with Rudi. They decide they'll need a distraction to get Elijah out of town, so it's Cass' responsibility to ensure everything is arranged.

Tate hears voices in bed again, and later on gets into a discussion about faith with Julius. He suggests the people are losing faith in Tate but he will stand up in support for him. Tate suggests something must be in it for him. Cass overhears this, and admits the AC is under lock down and they're getting ready to bring him in. Julius seems to think that Tate will be unable to keep the people's support. Well, guess who gave the go-ahead for the AC program at the time—Julius.

Cass tells Tate Elijah needs to go back to Rudi, but Tate promises him no harm will come to him. Fleur will never forgive him for this, Cass says. Then Jack intercepts him and wants in on the take down (Berger told him), promising to put aside their differences and help. 

With everyone in position, Cass goes back to the hideout to let them know they have their opportunity. Elijah tells Cass not to worry, and he understands. Cass gets Fleur away from the window just as grenades come through, and pushes her outside. Elijah runs for it and is tranquilized, but Jack has live ammo and shoots him. Fleur steps into the line of fire and Jack stands down.

Later, Tate comes to the morgue to see Fleur, who's mourning over Elijah's body. Rudi returned to his people, and he doesn't know if there will be repercussions or not. Tate's not angry for her disobeying and seems to understand. Fleur muses that there's no place for her there anymore, but Tate tells her they do what they have to.

Meanwhile, Stella is furious Jack opened fire against orders. He dismisses it, and instead gives her a bag, suggesting when she looks inside she'll change her mind about how useful the expeditionaries are.

Lily comes to see Tipper, asking for a place to stay. He feels guilty so agrees, as long as she doesn't give him any more official documents.

Julius congratulates Jack for taking out Elijah with one shot. He suggests they play things more subtly. He has friends in high places and things need to change and he wants Jack to be a part of it. 

Cass tries to make nice with Fleur. While she knows he was trying to protect her, she understands his first loyalty will be to Tate, and she'll never trust him again. She does give him a hug though, and knows he's sorry. 

Stella shows Tate what Jack gave her. It's a fossil—a jaw bone, that looks suspiciously human, tens of thousands of years old. Julius comes to see her and lets her know Lily is at Tipper's. He thinks she needs to learn boundaries and will do his best to make her understand her mother. Here in Forthaven, the children are the future, he muses, and leaves. Stella's not worried about the future. It's the past that concerns her, as she ponders the fossil. 

Tate lies awake, so he walks outside of Forthaven and speaks to the empty landscape. And then his children appear around him. He knows they're not his real children, but he doesn't want them to leave. He sends them off to play. Creepy.

The Verdict:
Elijah's tragic story was a bit predictable. It seemed unlikely he would get out of Forthaven alive. But the important thing is it provided opportunity for Julius to exploit, and the surprise was how easily Jack was drawn into his fold. My initial impression was that he was his own man, but the last few episodes he's been increasingly portrayed as a hothead and trigger happy.

If Julius secures the expeditionaries, it's big trouble, and a bit disappointing that this group has such power to run around willy-nilly. The role of the XPs continues to perplex. They seem to be completely independent of government authority—almost like a military branch that continually needs to be appeased. Why would such an arrangement ever be set up?

Tipper and Stella remain my favorites. She didn't pull out the DBV this week, but she did kick her daughter out of the house which was a bold move. Lily lost some traction, as I thought she was being a little warmer to her mother but now just seems to be satisfied to catch up on all the rebellion she missed out on.

Obviously, the big surprises were the ghost kids running about and the discovery of a primate fossil. I'm more interested in the latter, because the phantom kids smack a bit too much of a Star Trek plot device. I'm hoping it doesn't lead to some disembodied aliens.

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