Episode Review of Dark Angel Season 2: "Fuhgeddaboudit"

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Episode Information

Title: "Fuhgeddaboudit"
Writer: Julie Hess
Director: Morgan Beggs
Rating (out of 4 stars): ** 1/2
Reviewed on: February 27, 2008

Synopsis from TV.com


This is yet another monster of the week episode, but it's a little lighter.

At the beginning of the episode, Max agrees to help Logan take down the local mob boss, Sparacino. Logan's plan is to get Sparacino's accountant, Dougie, to turn in Sparacino in exchange for immunity and protection. Max dolls herself up and gets herself invited to dinner with Dougie and some of the other mob minions in order to get close to Dougie.

But Max's mission is cut short when she meets an usual woman, Mia, in the powder room. Mia chats Max up, and then we get some funny music and Max starts telling Mia her life story. Max reveals that she's from Manticore, that she works at Jam Pony, and tells Mia her mission with Dougie. She refuses to reveal the identity of Eyes Only, however. Mia tells Max to forget Dougie and forget that she met Mia, and to go home and go to sleep. Max does this.

The next day, Mia shows up at Jam Pony and uses her powers to quickly secure a job as a dispatcher. Max doesn't recognize her. Alec recognizes her from Manticore, and Mia happily admits that she specialized in "telecoersion" before she hypnotizes Alec into forgetting that he knew her before. She also uses her powers to order Alec to return to cage fighting. Normal is ecstatic, since he was Alec's biggest fan.

Logan, meanwhile, is miffed that Max ditched the mission the night before. Since Max doesn't really know what happened, she's miffed that Logan is miffed.

Later at Crash, Mia meets Logan and gets him to tell her everything, including that he's Eyes Only. Eventually she gets him to make an Eyes Only broadcast about Sparacino, warning Sparacino that his main lieutenants are not trustworthy - this would include our favorite accountant, Dougie.

Max and Logan manage to piece together odd memories and feelings they have concerning Mia, and Max finally remembers her first encounter with Mia in the power room. She realizes that Mia is up to something, and follows Mia to a meeting with Dougie. After Dougie leaves, Mia manages to get the drop on Max and they fight for a bit until Mia gets the chance to use her powers on Max and tell her to forget the incident and go home to bed.

In her meeting with Dougie, Mia told him about Alec's upcoming cage fight, which would be a sure thing for Dougie to get Sparacino to bet on. Sparacino would make lots of money and Dougie would prove that he is trustworthy. Dougie agrees to the plan.

The next morning, Max can't explain why she has a black eye, until Logan begins questioning her. Her memories are jogged enough again for her to remember the fight with Mia. Max and Logan can't figure out what Mia is up to, but it's obvious that it involves Alec's fight.

That night they go to the cage fight, which is being held at a much swankier location than where Alec was fighting in "Proof of Purchase". Max confronts Mia while Logan listens via a wire, so that when Mia tells Max to forget again, someone will know what was said. During the conversation, Mia had told Max her plan for Dougie and Sparacino.

Logan devises a counter-plan. If Alec doesn't win all his fights, Sparacino would be angry at Dougie. Then, they might be able to flip Dougie and use him to bring in Sparacino. Logan calls for his police detective friend to come, while Max tries to convince Alec to throw his last fight.

Alec refuses, because he (and Normal) have been betting and making lots of money. After Alec handily defeats his last scheduled opponent, Max steps in to fight him to make him lose so Logan's plan will work.

Initially I was rolling my eyes at the idea of such a forced fight between Alec and Max. However, it turned out to be a hoot, because it did not take itself seriously. At first, Alec doesn't want to fight Max, so Max begins giving him punch after punch, enumerating all the reasons behind them: trying to kill Joshua ("Proof of Purchase"), ruining her theft of the baseball ("Proof of Purchase"), getting her virus notes painted over ("Medium Is the Message"), making Joshua deliver his packages ("Love in Vein"). This is a riot. Then Alec decides to get serious, but Max distracts him with the elementary-school tactic of saying the attractive woman behind him has taken her top off. Alec turns just enough for Max to give him a huge kick in the groin. Alec falls to the mat, thereby losing the match.

As predicted, Dougie realizes he's now in huge trouble with Sparacino. Logan's detective friend (with backup) convinces Dougie to turn himself into the police, so Dougie points out the identity of Sparacino. Sparacino had attended the match dressed up as a woman, and when he tries to run he is quickly caught.

Mia stops to talk to Max and Logan and reveals that what they did was part of her ultimate plan, since it freed Dougie from Sparacino's clutches. She is truly in love with Dougie; he has narcolepsy, and this condition keeps Mia from working her powers on him. She also had bet hugely on Max in the last match, so they are now flush with cash. They leave to live happily ever after.

At first I wasn't sure what to make of this episode, but by the end I realized it was not supposed to be taken too seriously. Initially I couldn't decide what to make of Mia. Her voice is pretty annoying, and she is incredibly perky. However, we learn throughout the episode that some of this is a facade, and that she can fight and plot with the best transgenics if necessary.

Even though she is capable of some nasty stuff, in general Mia seemed to honestly want to be friendly and encourage people around her to be more friendly and caring for each other. She made Logan and Alec reveal some of their true feelings for each other - and hug! She seemed genuinely interested when talking to Sketchy and the other Jam Pony people. Then in the end, she gave Max and Logan some serious encouragement in their relationship.

Normal was hilarious in this episode, too. First, his revelation of his gladiator dream about Alec was just bizarre, and he followed it up by making Alec special boxing shorts for the fight. He was glued to Alec's side during the fights. Then when Max and Alec began to fight, he made sure to admonish Max that she'd better be at work the next day. Ha!

The concept of telecoersion is really iffy - in fact Mia described the difficulties with it to Sketchy at one point in the episode. I suppose it's not to much of a stretch given the other strange talents presented in the series, but I'm glad that it was shown to be problematic and not completely reliable; after all, Max was able to recover her true memories with some appropriate prompting.

Practically, it seems like telecoersion could be useful on relatively short timescales, such as hypnotizing a guard to give you the key to your cell, or convincing soldiers that they know you for a short time while you pull off a quick spy mission or ambush. However, there are serious long-term shortcomings. For example, in the end of the episode, Mia told Normal to forget the whole night of Alec's fight. How is that going to turn out the next day? Other people saw Normal there and might comment to him about it. Normal himself might wonder what happened to a whole night's worth of memories. He might have some kind of physical clues about where he was - receipts, for example. So if you were going to use a power like telecoersion in a long-term situation, you would have to think very carefully about how to employ it so that other aspects of real life wouldn't expose the deception.

Ultimately, though, this episode will have little effect on the series down the road. We have learned about a new type of transgenic ability, but it seems unlikely that Mia herself will return. The other characters haven't learned much, except that maybe they should be nicer to each other.

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