There are problems.
Time has stopped in the real world, where a malevolent government spook has opened fire on our leads. Nobody moves, as they are all trapped inside an illusion created by a psychic parasite. And our main character is nowhere to be found. So there is a lot to be done, in little time.
Thankfully, we have Oliver. And Cary. And Syd, who has mostly figured things out on her own. And some magic reading glasses!
The Eye catches up with Syd and Kerry, only for Lenny to appear and assert dominance. Melanie and Cary have escaped back into the real world, where their real selves await, and Oliver takes a break from his booze to conduct some kind of text magic. And David? Well, David manages to help himself.
The rational David – British, naturally – comes to help Original Recipe David make sense of things. We get enough facts to piece together the story, how things came to be what they are. We get some spectacular chalkboard animation! And we get the name that was pulling the strings all this time.
The Shadow King. Finally, a name to put to that horrible, bloated face. It’s a name that makes sense, given what I know about David’s history. I don’t know if Amahl Farouk ever felt as much sadistic joy as Lenny, though.
So much of this happens in so little time that this feels like the climax to the entire season. It’s honestly impressive how well coordinated everything is, given the number of elements that interact. The music choice is beautiful, of course. I do love that Lenny takes a break from CLOCKWORKS to casually toss Oliver aside in the real world, though I’m disappointed that the music is interrupted as well.
And somehow, everything ends almost as well as can be hoped. Well, except for The Eye, who crumpled up like a spider. And Lenny, who is locked away by a magic headband. And that guy who I call TK, who is still very stabbed.
Summerland is sunny as hell, for the moment, where Oliver has made breakfast for everyone, and David achieves some mental clarity. There are still plenty of things to sort through, though. Kerry feels abandoned by Cary, Amy worries about her boyfriend(?), and there is still the matter of the horrible parasite trapped in David’s mind. This scene might seem like common sense, but I still appreciate a story that doesn’t simply neglect its lesser threads because the main one was addressed.
So, off to Cary’s lab, to see about getting that magic headband on straight. But look! Our shadowy government organization has come to say hello. Clark lived, though he looks a little rough at having nearly been burned alive. And he wants everyone except for David killed. So there are still some things to address.
Oh, and deep down, Lenny has made a crack in her box.
I’m struck by many things in this episode. Definitely by how frantically the CLOCKWORKS and time-stopped reality scenes are interconnected. The nightmarish hospital contrasting with black-and-white reality. The Eye’s horrible conclusion. What a tremendous ham Oliver is. The beautiful music. The great chalkboard recap of David’s history.
But mostly, I’m taken by how quickly everything moves here. This episode covers so much ground, and so well throughout, that the ending seemed to come only halfway through. But there it was, a yellow eye in a crack, and then the color-block credits.
One more to go.
- David catches all five bullets in his hand. Suck it, Ozymandias.
- I feel terrible for Kerry in this episode. Much as I want to watch her kick people’s asses, her separation anxiety is completely understandable.
- Oliver has a terrible memory, but does he recover some of it by the end? I don’t know that it is clear.
- The “crickets” music could appear in every episode and I wouldn’t complain.
- When David gets a handle on his telekinesis, he really needs to put the MRI machine back.
- I miss having Ptonomy play a role in the story. I also miss his sharp wardrobe – he is clearly the best dresser on the show. Okay best outside of Doctor Lenny, who is flamboyant evil and thereby unable to be judged by normal standards.
- Oliver sneaking a drink as the soldiers file in is so in character it’s not even funny. Okay, almost not funny.