Episode Review of Dark Angel Season 1: "Blah Blah Woof Woof"

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Episode Information

Title: "Blah Blah Woof Woof"
Writer: Moira Kirland
Director: Paul Shapiro
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***1/2
Reviewed on: October 31, 2007

Synopsis from TV.com


Another excellent episode putting Max and Lydecker at odds, which shows the consequences of the previous episode, "Cold Comfort". There are a few logical flaws, however.

At the end of the previous episode, I said in my review (as the characters said in the show) that now that Lydecker knows what Max looks like, she could be in real trouble. It's gratifying to see this followed up on immediately, as the first thing we see is Lydecker having an artist sketch Max from his memories of her. He takes his sketch to the Seattle Police Department and tells them that she is the murderer of his operative, Max's former private investigator, who was killed by Zack in "411 on the DL". Lydecker is offering a $50,000 reward for Max, and enlists the police to distribute posters and search for her.

In a stroke of bad luck, Normal sends Max on a delivery to a particularly bad neighborhood that even has its own security fence and restricted access in and out. She gets in with no problem, but by the time she wants to leave, the wanted posters are out and she is recognized. She evades capture and hides, but is still stuck in the neighborhood while Lydecker's men are pouring in.

Max tries to call Logan for some kind of help, but Logan has gone to see his doctor because of sharp pains in his back. When Logan was shot in the pilot, the bullet fragments were removed surgically. However, one piece wasn't removed because it was too close to the spine. That piece has migrated and is now pressing on the spinal cord and threatening to do further damage Logan's nervous system. It's now less risky to remove the fragment than to leave it in. Logan schedules the surgery for the next day.

Fortunately for Max, Zack is still in town and sees the wanted posters. Which brings me to my first logical flaw: why didn't Lydecker have a similar sketch made of Zack? He could have claimed Max and Zack conspired to do the murder, and certainly he could have offered a sizeable award for both of them. We know that Zack said he was leaving town, but Lydecker doesn't know that. In addition, Lydecker knows that Zack is a leader among the escapees, so he might have more information about the others if Lydecker could squeeze it out of him. For whatever reason, Lydecker has chosen to focus on Max.

Zack goes to Logan's apartment, and the two contact Max and devise a plan to rescue her. In Logan's SUV, the two go into the restricted neighborhood and set up a rope swing so that Max can go over the wall. Then they leave the area and wait outside for her to swing down and take off out of the city. Which leads me to my second logical flaw: from how the scene was depicted, Logan and Zack wait in the SUV right outside the security gate they just passed through. Max's escape creates a great clamor. Why don't the guards at the gate react? At the least, they should have some kind of record of the vehicle that just went through. Presumably those records would lead to Logan, unless he's had enough foresight to register his vehicles under false identities. It's possible, but we're not sure.

At Jam Pony, Original Cindy has convinced the other riders that Max is not the woman on the poster. Normal is not convinced, and he goes to the police to tell them about Max. Fortunately for Max, he gets interviewed by Logan's police friend, whom Logan has asked to help if he can. The detective keeps Normal on ice for quite some time as "protection" from the killer, then throws him in jail for awhile for overdue speeding tickets (Normal doesn't have a car). By the time Normal is released at the end of the episode, the whole thing has blown over.

Logan takes Max and Zack to an old cabin outside the city. Zack is happy, because now Max has no choice but to leave Seattle, which he has wanted her to do - they are going to head for that wonderful place, Canada. When Max and Logan part, she lays a big kiss on him, which is the first real acknowledgment of any feelings between them. Logan doesn't mention his impending surgery, since he knows it would keep Max from leaving.

Max and Zack spend the night in the safety of the cabin. Zack actually drops his no-nonsense commander demeanor and admits that he'd like to have a stable life without the constant threat from Manticore, and implies he'd like to do that with Max. Damn! Just after I said in the last episode how I didn't really feel any romantic feelings between them. Actually, I still didn't, probably because Max did not seem to return Zack's feelings at all. Why should every man in the show fall for Max, anyway? She's only very smart, in great shape, and extremely independent...

Overnight, Logan's problems get worse, and he passes out. Logan's assistant rushes him to the hospital, where surgery commences immediately. Somehow Max knows something is wrong and calls Logan's phone, which the assistant answers. After finding out the situation, Max is determined to go back to Seattle and help Logan. It's not clear what she can do, but she feels she must be there while he is in danger. Zack tries to stop her from leaving, but after some sparring, he realizes that he'd have to seriously hurt her to get her to stay, so he lets her go.

Max steals rides on vehicles and somehow gets through the city to the hospital without getting caught. Logan is just out of surgery, but he lost so much blood that it's not clear that he will survive. The bloodbanks are out of Logan's type of blood, but fortunately Max is type O. She hooks herself up to Logan for a transfusion as soon as the doctor is out of sight. Eventually she passes out from the loss of blood.

She is awakened by several hospital policemen. This part was unclear to me, but apparently they are not aware she's the woman on the wanted posters, but arrest her for interfering with the patient. She's thrown in jail. She is saved from any identification by Lydecker, because the actual murderer has turned himself into the Seattle Police: Zack. He tells the police details of the murder that are convincing, and they conclude that Lydecker was after the wrong person and call off the search for Max.

Lydecker takes Zack into custody and muses at how Zack gave himself up for nothing, because surely Max has left town by now. This is a huge logical flaw in his thinking: of course Zack wouldn't give himself up for nothing, so this should be a large red flag to Lydecker that Max is still in town. Again, Lydecker comments that Max is the one he really wanted. Why? We still don't know.

The police release Max, and Logan is making a recovery. They try to brush off the feelings they revealed when Logan dropped her off at the cabin, but the effort is transparent. They just aren't ready to deal with them yet. A news report shows that the helicopter transporting Zack to Manticore (well, the specifics weren't reported) crashed and a number of people were killed - we don't know if Zack was one of them. Max answers the question posed to Zack by the events in "Cold Comfort": he'd rather die than go back to Manticore. Hopefully he made it out alive.

This episode was a great follow up to previous events. It was very logical for Lydecker to use Max's face to try to find her. The episode was also very clever in that it effectively neutralized that threat to Max: the Seattle PD are unlikely to help Lydecker search for the same alleged perpetrator on the same large scale when she was found to be innocent of this crime. So Lydecker still has an advantage, but he'll have to use it in smaller ways. What creative trap will he come up with next?

Max and Logan finally, sort of, admit their feelings for each other. They look very natural together and have good chemistry, unlike Max and Zack. Where will they go from here? I think they'll probably back off for while.

Was Zack's sacrifice from his personal feelings for Max, or because he felt responsible for her as her "commander"? There's probably some of both. I think he was also confirming to her that he meant what he said about a normal life being worthwhile. His sacrifice might let her get a step closer to such a life.

There definitely should be some consequences of this episode for Max at Jam Pony. First, if Max finds out that Normal tried to turn her into the police, she's going to be pissed. Second, Original Cindy (and possibly some of the others) know that there's really something strange going on with Max. Zack shows up looking for her (and they think he's "Sam" from "411 on the DL"), and then he talks to Max on the phone about getting her out of town right in front of Cindy. This conversation tacitly admits that Max is guilty, although Max is only guilty of being wanted by Lydecker, not of the alleged murder. It seems like Cindy, at least, should want some answers.

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