Episode Review of Dark Angel Season 1: "Out"

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Episode Information

Title: "Out"
Writer: David Zabel
Director: Sara Pia Anderson
Rating (out of 4 stars): ***
Reviewed on: November 2, 2007

Synopsis from TV.com


This episode switches focuses from the people out to get Max to the people out to get Logan. Max has invited Logan to a home-cooked dinner at her apartment (which Kendra has done most of the work for, since apparently child-soldiers didn't need to be trained in fine dining). Logan arrives, but he has just gotten information about major criminal Gerhardt Bronck's operations. Logan thinks Bronck is stealing blood from bloodbanks and selling it on the black market - there's nice continuity with the previous episode ("Blah Blah Woof Woof") as Logan remarks that this almost killed him. He insists on checking out Bronck's operations right now, ruining Max's dinner plans and her mood.

Max reluctantly lets Logan drop her off outside the airfield where Bronck's hideaway is supposedly located. She snoops around but doesn't find any sign of stored blood, just some odd teen magazines and bubble gum. She is discovered by Bronck's minions, but escapes covered with mud, which does nothing to improve her mood. The recon mission seems to have been a bust, and Max snaps at Logan that she's done helping him save the world. She wants out of his covert missions, and doesn't care if it means that he won't help her find the other Manticore escapees. It's their first fight!

Max spends the next couple days mooning about how men are stupid. She accompanies Sketchy on a delivery to a gang-ruled part of town. In a bit of a black comedy, the gang leader they deliver the package to opens it and discovers a severed human finger. He declares a war on the rival gang, and Max and Sketchy high-tail it out of there.

Meanwhile, Logan has been communicating with his police detective friend, who was the source of information on Bronck. They are trying to discover what Bronck is really up to, since apparently it's not just stealing blood. Logan does an Eyes Only announcement concerning Bronck.

So far the episode has been relatively ho-hum. But there's a nice twist when we find out that Bronck has been hoping for Eyes Only to do a "special" on him. He's been feeding specific information to different sources, and then figuring out who the Eyes Only informant is by what information is revealed. I believe this is called a Canary Trap in the intelligence field. Bronck has figured out that Logan's police friend is the leak, and so when Logan and the detective meet the next time, Bronck kidnaps them. Logan's assistant, Bling, witnesses the snatch, but is too far away to do anything about it.

Max stumbles onto Bronck's main business, kidnapping and selling young girls, when she sees a van-load of them being taken away. She calls Logan to let him know, but Bling tells her he's been captured by Bronck. Max might be ticked off at Logan, but she's not about to let him get killed!

Bronck begins torturing the detective and beating up on Logan in order to get them to tell him who Eyes Only really is. To save the detective, Logan finally admits that he is Eyes Only, and speaks the usual Eyes Only intro to prove it. Shortly after, Max calls Bronck, posing as Eyes Only by using Logan's computer voice-masker. She says Logan was trained to claim to be Eyes Only in case of capture. She wants to arrange a deal with Bronck for Logan and the detective's release.

During the conversation, she intentionally allows Bronck's men to trace her call, so Bronck sends off his minions to get her. She's not worried, because she somehow made her call appear to come from the gang headquarters (to where the finger was delivered); she calls the gang leader and let him know that he's got company coming. I really liked this touch, because it's nice, tight writing. It takes the earlier incident with the gang, that appeared to just be filler, and makes it more important. Waste not, want not. It also makes the viewer realize that they should pay attention to everything in the show.

With most of the minions gone, Max crashes Bronck's headquarters and frees Logan and the detective. Bronck tries to escape on a plane with the little girls his kidnapped, but Max stops the plane. The children are returned to their families. Logan apologizes to Max for ruining her dinner the other night and admits he might be a little to focused on saving the world; they make up.

After three excellent episodes in a row, this episode was a bit of a let down. There was nothing really bad about it, it just didn't have the same intensity and consequences and the previous ones. Somehow the danger to Logan didn't seem as imminent, since we knew that Max would save him - it was just a question of when.

One thing I did love about this episode: the idea of a major criminal trying to smoke out Eyes Only. This is a very, very smart thing to do, and it makes sense that one of the major corrupt political figures or major criminal would try to do it. After all, Eyes Only has been making quite a dent in their operations. The way that Bronck went about finding the Eyes Only informant was very smart and plausible.

Bronck and his minions may be gone, but there should still be a bit of a shakeup about Eyes Only. After all, Logan admitted within earshot of his detective friend that he was Eyes Only. Of course, Max as "Eyes Only" claimed that this was a ruse, but which does the detective believe? Of course, I'm not sure whether it's more plausible for a nerdy guy in a wheelchair or a transgenic female super soldier to be Eyes Only. I would think his detective friend might want some answers.

The fight between Max and Logan was pretty realistic for a new relationship, I think, but it still felt a bit contrived. It's hard to believe that Logan, who has been married (!), would be so oblivious to how canceling Max's dinner might make her mad. I mean, geez, the food was in the process of cooking right in front of him - that would make me mad, too. I was wondering if he was unconsciously trying to deny the existence of their relationship and screw it up, but I may be reading a bit too much into things! Max's bad mood certainly affected her snooping afterward - blowing bubbles with gum was what got her noticed, which was pretty sloppy.

Otherwise, I don't have many comments. There was a subplot involving Normal dating a woman who used to be a man. This didn't really have any consequences. I feel like its major goal was to make Normal a little more sympathetic after he was willing to turn Max in for a reward in the previous episode. I was surprised that he was OK with a girlfriend who had had a sex change, even though things didn't work out.

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