cross posted at Simply Television
Tune in to Primeval – airing Saturdays, 9/8C on BBCAmerica.
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Oh, excellent! I love it when shows actually get better after their first episode. Given the very long hiatus and the reorganization, the series 4 premiere might as well have been a pilot, and it was a woefully uneven one. Episode two was much better, primarily because it focused on the creature and the chase. The fact that a creature was on the loose and that the ARC had no idea about it was handled deftly, which made me respect the writers more. Flushed down the toilet as a baby creature well before the ARC was created, and killing homeless people and therefore going unnoticed was a two-part explanation that worked for me. I also enjoyed the way it was detected, by Connor doing online research, which absolutely suited his character. Bringing back one of Connor’s old friends was a nice touch, because it gave us, and Connor, an opportunity to see what might have become of Connor had he not been brought into the project when it began a few years ago.
I loved that Connor was allowed to act in a much more mature manner than in the previous episode. He and Abby had lived in extremely harsh circumstances for a year, which should have had quite a maturing effect, so when he tried to capture the creature himself in the last episode, it was completely tiresome. Although he was belligerent and impulsive again in this episode, he handled the emergencies in a very mature and take-charge manner which better suited what I felt should have been his revised persona. Let’s hope that the writers continue in this vein with that character, as there is more than enough silliness coming from the Jessica character. Thank goodness she did a masterful job of handling the lockdown of the docs area when they had located the creature, as it was the one and only time she wasn’t being uncomfortably cloying. She has a major responsibility and is supposedly quite bright, so the snooping on Matt for no particular reason was uncomfortable. And really, sitting in between Abby and Connor on the couch? What is THAT all about?
Matt was all right this episode, but he did get saddled with a couple of clunkers. Standing still and reassuring Abby that “I won’t let [Connor] get hurt” was ridiculous. And the fact that he showed up at the docks and chasing after the creature without any of the EMDs that he made such a show of in the first episode was similarly ridiculous. But Matt’s place as leader was redeemed in my view when he ordered the military of the team (who DID bring the EMDs) to use flares first to direct the creature before using the EMDs, as the steel containers would cause the EMD charges to ricochet. Ah, OK, good strategy then. Of course that also set up the rather eye-rolling bit when the military man couldn’t hit the giant creature that was only feet in front of him. It was a lame way to bring in a redshirt element to the episode.
It’s still unclear why Alexander doesn’t want Abby and Connor on the team, but that will likely be developed, hopefully after the writers continue to develop the mostly-better writing demonstrated in this episode. It was a nice touch to have the “arc” of the mysterious man talking with Matt occur early on in the episode and not near or at the end. I appreciate that they have that element of mystery, but it would be overbearing to continue to have those scenes be the cliffhanger of the week.
So, spending most of the episode chasing after the creature, making Connor more mature, giving some decent capture strategy, not keeping the mystery man to only the end of the episode, all definite improvements. Just fix Jessica, move along the Alexander and mystery man subplots, and cut down on obvious scene setups, and this show may really be a winner.
Favorite line: “It could be any one of them, it could be all of them.” Yes, I admit it, as a forever-LOST fan, I can’t resist the mystery.