The space princess (Lisa) is still an interesting character, and Tyler's still a giant douche.
Unfortunately, this episode temporarily puts aside the metaphysical elements, but we circle back to another one of the show's favorite themes: media manipulation.
Get the scoop at ABC.com.
Let's get the bad news out of the way first:
I hate to say it, but Father's Jack's guilt is getting to be a little annoying at this point. Even though I know these scripts were written long before the recent controversy over whether or not political speech can be blamed for the actions of an mentally unbalanced violent criminal, it still feels like the show is arguing in favor of attributing atrocities like the one in Tucson to political speech -- and that's ridiculous. In the case of the Tucson shooter, his vendetta against Giffords lasted for years and was personal, not political. Or let me put it another way: A while back, some crazy guy decided to terrorize the Discovery Channel because, in his mind, they weren't putting enough focus on saving the environment. Are we going to pin this particular crime on the frequently apocalyptic rhetoric of the environmental movement?
Don't get me wrong: It is fitting, character-wise, for Father Jack to be overly worried about his influence because that's just who he is. But eventually, someone needs to tell him - firmly - that he is not responsible for his parishioner's decision to strap on an explosive vest. Father Jack has made it clear all along that our quarrel is with the V's; no reasonable individual should've gleaned from his homilies that he supports tactics that deliberately endanger human civilians. Bottom line? We are in a very sad place indeed if we must obsessively qualify every damned expression of political dissent that happens to be vigorous.
On the other hand, what Anna does to Father Jack is bloody brilliant and really hits close to home. We who happen to disagree with the left-liberalism that dominates the media have consistently seen our words and our positions distorted by people with agendas. At this point, I don't trust anything negative anyone says about a politician or pundit on the right side of the aisle because I've discovered time and time again that the left is full of Annas who will gleefully - and without compunction - spread around cleverly edited stories that make my side look bad. Distrust and dissect -- that's my motto. Until I can confirm it for myself, I'm not going to believe it.
This is also a very good episode for Lisa. You can really feel her approaching that point of no return. Anna obviously suspects that Lisa harbors Fifth Column sympathies and is pushing her daughter in the other direction with all the effort she can muster. Eventually, Lisa is going to be compelled to do something more than flee into Erica's arms.
On the whole, I liked this episode, but in addition to the objection raised above, the weak writing offers up some other moments of what-the-f****ery. For example:
- Oh my god, the bad sci-fi science! While it may be true that a lot of our genome consists of non-coding regions, that doesn't mean you can just take them out without side effects. Tyler should not be a normal looking human male, guys. Something should be wrong with him. (Although... perhaps his missing DNA accounts for the fact that large sectors of his higher brain appear to be missing. Who can say?)
- When the others started discussing the necessity to skin Malik, Father Jack should not have stood there dumb. Consistent characterization requires that he scream his head off. I'm just saying.
Oh, and PS: Tyler is a douche. But I believe I've said that already.
While I still don't see the disparate threads coming together, this script once again improves upon episodes one and two. Here's hoping they continue this trajectory and get around to the revelatory big bangs.
I still like Joel Gretsch, and Laura Vandervoort is terrific. We also have a nice guest performance from Rekha Sharma, who finally gets a chance to display a little emotion.
As I said, the good father's guilt bugs me, so I can't be too generous with my final message score even though the show once again wins at savaging the often uncritical human response to the mass media.