EPISODE REVIEW: Generator Rex: “Mixed Signals” (Season 2, Episode 7)

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Rex is fighting a giant killer starfish, but starts having siezures/visions during which he paralyzes a new bits of machinery build out of him. After several instances, he decides his nanites might be trying to tell him something so he just rolls with it and builds whatever the seizures tell him to. This results in a big goofy-looking machine which, when activates, incapacitates Rex and everyone else around, and brings an attack by a guy in a space suit.

Space Suit Goon turns out to be Rex’s older brother, who’s been trapped in space traveling at light speed for 5 years (15 minutes subjectively). He transmitted instructions to the Big Mojo Nanite Rylander put in Rex last year, and had no idea it was in his brother. He and Rex beat a hasty retreat, and he explains that he and his parents were scientists working on the nanites project in Abydos. Rex was in an accident, they used Nanites to save his life, but there was an incident which destroyed the facility, killed their parents, gave rex amnesia and lost Bro in space.

Yeah, that was some weekend.

Anyway, Bro ("Caesar") is surprised that Van Kleis is claiming to be Napoleon or whatever, since he was just a third-rate lab assistant back in the day, but, hey, whatever. And then we had a minor medical emergency and I spent the next half hour on the phone with the doctor, so I missed the rest of the episode.

Check back tomorrow, however, and I’ll finish the review after they re-run it.

[AND NOW I'M BACK]

After some pointless running away from Providence, included only to add some flash to an otherwise-talky episode, Mr. Caesar's Wild Ride ends up in Abydos, site of the original lab, where Rex has to save his brother's bacon, and then have his own hauled out of the fire by Providence.

Meanwhile, the starfish is doing starfish things - scaring children, reproducing by regeneration, eating all the coral in town - so Six calls Rex in to help. Caesar, on the Keep, goes all goofy, forces the ship to land, and attacks the starfish, or is it Rex? Or is it the starfish? I guess so, though it was deliberately hard to tell, and there really was no reason for Caesar to attack those guards.

The Starfish is subdued, Caesar's identity is confirmed, and he goes to work for Providence, despite their misgivings that he's a loose cannon. Rex is happy, but feels he's already got a family in Six, Holiday and Bobo.

OBSERVATIONS

Love the bit about Van Kleis being a nobody. Also nice to finally find out some non-teasing info about Rex, like his last name, and where his parents came from (Mom’s Mexican, Dad’s Argentinian)

Rex’s whole “Let’s play along with this and see where it leads” was nice, and I liked the running gag where he’d zone out, then come to with some huge metal thing skewering him.

Cesar is a bit unhinged:
"You're a little off, aren't you, Bro?"
and
Rex: "Are you crazy?"
Caesar: "Depends on who you ask"

Rex was born in Switzerland. His last name is "Salazar."

It's interesting to me that they were able to identify Caesar so quickly, but they weren't able to identify Rex in five years, even though they've obviously got access to the kinds of records that could do it. That's not unreasonable: he was just a kid, while his older brother was already a renowned scientist, his appearance has changed a lot in half a decade, records from the incident were obviously largely destroyed, and I presume a *LOT* of people died in said incident. In fact, it makes more sense that they couldn't ID him, actually.

Rex's often-forgotten best-buddy-for-hire, Noah, didn't get a mention in Rex's role call of his surrogate family.

Caesar's Labmobile looked (Slightly) like the recently-cancelled "Altair" Spacecraft from project constellation. Way to go, Mr. President*.

Van Kleis knows Caesar is back. They were clearly rivals, and this will no doubt come back in later eps.

I like that they've expanded the cast slightly, and I like that they finally got around to answering Rex's identity questions, and (most) of the general questions surrounding the original Nanite Event. Most of this is what we suspected, of course, but nice to finally have it mostly nailed down. To wit:

Nanite research was being done in Abydos by an international team. A faction developed that wanted to use the Nanites for unsavory purpose. The Salazar family, and others, attempted to prove them wrong. Rex was hurt (Never specifically stated how) and his folks used experimental nanites to save him. The bad guys (no doubt including Van Kleis) attempted to force their will, which resulted in the Event, and everything we've seen since.

The Salazar family were all bilingual, but they obviously spoke English as the primary language, even at home. Rex speaks English with no accent, though he uses one when he randomly decides to use Spanish words (Generally in shock). Caesar mentions that it always cracked him up when his little brother tried to speak Spanish, implying that the family had switched over to our language before Rex was born, but after Caesar was already largely grown up.

This actually makes sense: English is the second-most-commonly spoken language in the world today (After Chinese) and far and away the most international one. It was also the dominant scientific language for more than a century, so it follows that the family would adopt it as they traveled around from job to job. Caesar mentions they traveled around a lot.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

Yeah, no reason not to. It wasn't bad. I liked it.

* Sarcasm

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