Friday, April 27, 2018

Lost in a Series of Unfortunate Events- Episode 3: Infestation

Netflix re-imagines the legendary 60's sci-fi series of the same name.

Rather than deluge you with a rapid-fire reconnaissance flight take on the show, I thought I'd try  something a little different and take things episode by episode.

This level of detail will involve heavy spoilers for each episode. [Danger Pun Goes Here].

 In today's episode, the cast enters the plot of Alien! Or The Trouble With Tribbles.

- We begin with a flashback wherein Dr. Smith reveals her true nature to us by drugging her sister, assuming her identity (complete with cutting out an identity chip and re-implanting it in herself), and stealing her spot on the Resolute. This is after her sister has left her the keys to a fortune.

Stone. Cold.

- Back to the present. Maureen to kids: "We're lost."
Kids: "How lost?"
Maureen: "Oh, we're probably dead."
John: "Maybe don't tell them we're gonna die?"

- Dr. Smith begins ingratiating herself to the Robinsons with little one on one chats.

- Judy is still working through the trauma of being trapped in the ice. John tries to help, but is rebuffed.

[I really like the scenes of both John and Maureen trying to connect with the kids. The actors do a great job, the themes are eminently relatable, and there's a lot of character development.]

- Dr. Smith watches the kids sleep. Not. Creepy. At. All. *shudder*

- Will has a nightmare about the attack on the Resolute and finds Dr. Smith in the mess. She tries to get him to open up about the robot, but he's not ready to trust her yet. Smart boy, Will.

- Remember when Middle Kid Penny wanted to go fast with melting through the ice? Yeah, about that...the weakened glacier has crumbled and trapped the ship.

- Here it is folks: Maureen Robinson immediately has a plan. No hesitation, no wasted floundering. NOW we have something to back up the attitude from the first two episodes.

-Unfortunately, the plan calls for Judy to head into an enclosed space. John privately expresses concern for Judy and he and Maureen have a spat.

- Maureen discovers flecks of plastic in the 3D printer and sees the unauthorized attempt to print.

- John and Judy in the flooded fuel tank. Something is in the water.

- John and Maureen have a fight about which is more dangerous, a gun or the Robot. *coughROBOTcough* More importantly, who hacked the security to print it and how?

- Dr. Smith is laying it on thick with Maureen when the alarm sounds. Fuel levels drop rapidly.

- Dr. Smith considers stealing the Chariot and fleeing. Dr. Smith has Spidey-Sense.

- So does the Robot, who locks Will in a supply closet with Dr. Smith...who was trying to pack a Go-Bag... Deus ex Robot has an ironic sense of humor. Worst. Escape. Ever.

- John "Action Hero" Robinson is attacked by a space eel. Which he kills. With a knife. I half expected him to walk away from an explosion.  Also, Space Eels? This planet is cursed!

- The eels eat fuel! Fuel levels at 52%. Cue the ticking clock.

- John goes eel hunting to buy time, but he needs Judy to print him a wrench because the Robot is guarding the door to the locked supply closet. Which contains the wrenches. I'd make a joke like worst demi-god ever, but then there's Orpheus.

- Dr. Smith realizes Will controls the Robot. They're connected.

- Flashback. Aboard the Resolute, Dr. Smith JUST HAPPENS to run into a man her sister was having an affair with. She lets him be spaced to cover her identity theft. Are we sure she's not a demonic entity wearing a human skin?

- Present: Penny fights the eels! With salt! She's seen way too many Supernatural reruns...

Maureen, meanwhile is pretty dismissive of people who didn't make the cut for Alpha Centauri.

- Ice shifts. Judy is pinned by a security cabinet and begins to panic. Penny is dropped into the water with the eels. The reserve fuel tanks break open. I swear this planet took "The Robinsons" as its favored enemy

- Dr. Smith plays Yoda to her young padawan.

- John deliberately covers himself in fuel to pull the eels off Penny. Dad Level: Over 9000.

- Dr. Smith convinces Will to make the Robot let her out. She races to the ejection seat, but hesitates. Is she growing a vestigial conscience?

- Ding! Wrench is done. It JUST HAPPENS to be the right size for Judy to free herself.

- Dr. Smith arrives to help Maureen finish engine repairs, but they still won't fire.

- Judy wants to dump the fuel to clear the lines. John agrees and the fumes in the lines are JUST ENOUGH to break the ship free of the ice and let them make an emergency landing.

- Live radio? Other survivors! Good things CAN happen.

- What's that Maureen? A smile for John? And to think, all he had to do was throw himself into mortal jeopardy repeatedly for you and the kids!

- Flashback. Dr. Smith/ June Harris has been caught on tape committing manslaughter. But then an alien Robot attacks...

- Present. Judy and John jog silently side by side. What would normally be really boring filler is freighted with meaning by the context. Do we have an Action Heroine in the making?

- The Robot printed the gun for Will. Will, apparently sharing his mother's fear of firearms, orders the Robot to "never hurt anybody, ever!".

- Dr. Smith sees Will hiding the only firearm on the planet under his bed. This is an obvious genius move. Yep, nothing bad will come from this.

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