Episode Review of Dark Angel Season 2: "Love in Vein"

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Episode Information

Title: "Love in Vein"
Writer: Michael Angeli
Director: David Grossman
Rating (out of 4 stars): * 1/2
Reviewed on: February 24, 2008

Synopsis from TV.com


This is another monster of the week episode, this time involving a cult akin to vampires. I don't like vampires.

Max and Original Cindy are trying to get into a hot dance club, when a small gang (whose members are obviously high on something) crashes the club, beats up some of the customers, and steals their money. Cindy sees a barcode on one of them thieves, which puts Max on their trail - after all, they are giving transgenics a bad name.

One of the thieves, Lida, decides that she wants out of the gang; she develops withdrawal symptoms and goes to a hospital. Another of Logan's doctor friends spots Lida's barcode and notifies Logan, who passes the information on to Max. Max arrives at the hospital just as the other gang members drag Lida away. Another woman in the gang, Rain, tries to put up a fight against Max, but Max neutralizes her easily. Unfortunately, the others get away with Lida.

Max takes Rain back to Logan's apartment to question her. It turns out that Rain's barcode is a tattoo - each of the gang members got one in order to honor "Marrow". Rain is contemptuous of Max and will not give up any information; before long she starts going through withdrawal symptoms herself.

Max puts together some clues and figures out where Marrow and the gang must be headquartered - in an old church. She goes and covertly observes Marrow and his gang. (Just before she arrived, Marrow killed Lida without the other gang members' knowledge.) Marrow tells the others that Lida died from withdrawal. It turns out that each of the gang members has been drinking Marrow's blood, right from a straw poked into his arm. The blood is addictive and apparently gives them temporary enhancements in strength and speed.

One of the gang members conks Max over the head (she must have been careless!); she awakes in custody of Marrow. In their private conversation, Marrow admits that he is a transgenic: he was designed to be the perfect blood donor, with special endorphins and other properties in his blood. He believes that eventually normal humans are going to come after the transgenics, so he's gradually building up this gang/cult for defense. He lets Max go so that she can return Rain to him - after all, if Rain doesn't return, she'll die.

Back at Logan's apartment, Rain's symptoms are much worse, and after some debate, Logan and Max agree that they have no choice but to return Rain to Marrow. Logan drives Rain to the church, giving her a lecture on Manticore brainwashing and Max's altruism along the way. Once Rain is back in Marrow's clutches, Marrow prepares to give her another drink of blood, but Rain decides that she doesn't want to be Marrow's minion any more, so she refuses to drink. Did she realize that Marrow was lying, and that she wouldn't really die? Or did she decide death was preferable? I think the former.

Meanwhile, Max has also realized that Marrow was lying and that if Rain refuses his blood, he'll kill her to preserve the basis of the cult. She returns to the church just in time to fight it out with Marrow. Fittingly, Marrow is impaled through the heart and dies. The other gang members are distraught, but Rain convinces them that they will live. Going through the withdrawal is not going to be fun, though.

In a subplot throughout the episode, Alec convinces Joshua to do his Jam Pony deliveries, providing Alec with a full-face bike helmet to hide his face. Joshua meets up with a young man who gives him some pot and takes him to meet the rest of his friends in a diner. After some more pot and a lot of drinks, Joshua thinks that they would actually be OK with his true appearance, and removes his helmet. Of course, everyone in the diner runs screaming, including Joshua. He arrives home in a panic, where Max is waiting, wondering where he is. He's still stoned, so he makes very little sense, but Max gets the gist of the story, and I think Alec is in for some trouble soon.

This episode had very little point to it. We didn't learn anything knew about Max or Logan or the ongoing situation with the transgenics. It featured one more weird Manticore creation who was killed at the end. I don't like vampires, so even that angle didn't do anything for me. The only interesting tidbit is another transgenic saying that there is going to be a conflict between normal humans and transgenics in the future, echoing some of Max's own thoughts in the previous episode ("Harbor Lights").

The plot with Joshua had a few laughs, but since it obviously wasn't going to end well, it didn't have much point. Seeing Joshua spaced out on pot and panicked was just sad. Hopefully Joshua will think twice before agreeing to anything Alec suggests in the future.

Logan seems to have finally gotten over his hurt feelings that have been keeping him relatively estranged from Max since "Borrowed Time". That can only mean something new and bad is going to happen between them!

Genre actress sighting: the actress who played Dr. Shankar will go on to play Tori in the new Battlestar Galactica.

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