This episode begins with one enormous question, in the form of Lenny. Somehow, Lenny is back in the land of the living, alive if not exactly well. Nothing about this seems normal, nothing at all. Lenny is one conspicuously blue-eyed question to be answered. And people want that answer, or at least they think they do.
This episode is separated into two stories, one for Lenny, and one for Oliver and Farouk in the desert. It’s a good trick, presenting the two stories as if they are occurring at the same time. Instead, one part of the story explains the other, though this is not made explicitly clear until its horrible truth is revealed. And having the opposition looking for a body in the desert – but not the body they are meant to be looking for – is solid misdirection.
I do appreciate seeing more of the Oliver/Farouk dynamic, though. This is not an open question to be answered, but it did seem to be underdeveloped. It’s not openly antagonistic, which very much fits Oliver’s character, I think. But it does have an unfriendly work relationship quality about it, which I suppose is normal when one person has usurped the other’s body. This is probably an unfortunate turn of phrase, given the context.
Their scenes don’t exactly make sense here, given how their agenda seems to be greater than tracking down a desert donut submarine. But things come together soon enough, and that donut sub does lead us to Lenny. Sort of.
Lenny’s body is the key here. From the beginning, it doesn’t quite look right. Not because of her visible withdrawal, but the tones of it. The blue eyes, especially. Starting with Clark, who attempts professionalism, and then Ptonomy, who attempts to view Lenny’s memories, there is little success. All the while, Lenny asks to see her old friend David.
And she is here for David, but not as she believes. Lenny is not here to see David. Lenny is here for David to see her.
The end of this episode is legitimate, effective horror. I don’t know if the uncertainty or the realization of it is worse, honestly. But everything from Amy asking “where are the guards?” to the end, well, is tense and frightening, and it explains just what kind of monster Farouk really is. When the episode ends, we have an answer to the question that is Lenny. But truthfully, I wonder if we weren’t better off not knowing.
- This is a really well constructed episode. The misdirection of the body in the desert didn’t quite get me, but I can admit I didn’t know where things were going until it was too late.
- I did enjoy the Oliver/Farouk interactions. Specifically, that they coexist, and Farouk might be amenable but secure in his control. Oliver showing dissent is nice, too. I am curious to see what the weakness is.
- Cat Power, and a strange downtempo Tom Petty cover. Plus, what I think is Lou Reed. Pretty good music in this one.
- There is some real basic cable nudity in this.
- I assume that Ben explaining dread is not his words, but Farouk putting them into his mouth. The beer bottle on the floor, as the crumbles are scattered by the wind, is damned chilling.
- This is where things end up – we can’t even enjoy the simple pleasure of a submarine car / mobile donut shop. Poor Amy.
- Well, maybe a little enjoyment.