This is gonna’ be a kind of threadbare review because my carpal tunnel is absolutely killing me. I apologize in advance, but since no one much seems to care about this show, and since the series was cancelled before the first episode hit the air, and since it ends with a cliffhanger that will never be resolved, I doubt anyone will mind.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tipper, the stoner slacker radio DJ genius, gets the virus that killed all the kids several years previously. He’s rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Fleur and Cass are continuing to have a lover’s spat w/out having become lovers first. She slept with Jack out of spite, and spills it to Cass out of more spite. Then Jack and the dour Stomping Bush Crapper Army show up and take Fleur captive. Julius demands access to “The Omega Project” file, or else he won’t release her. After some terse discussion, he’s given the file over Tate’s objections.
Turns out Fleur’s a clone - or a Replicant, I guess - Julius confronts her with this, Jack defends her somewhat, and lets her go. She’s met by the Boss Cop Lady (Who’s also a doctor or a scientist or something) who tells her to go meet Tate, which she and Cass then do. He explains that she wasn’t built for grunt work like Rudy and The Rude Boys were, but to study the ethical and moral development of humans. She reacts badly, as did Rachel Tyrell in Blade Runner. She storms out, and is promptly almost captured by the Bush Crappers, but Cass sneaks her to Tipper’s apartment/hovel, and says he’ll come back at night and sneak her out of town. Cass eventually returns and sneaks her out, and explains that he was a hatchet man for the mob. Tate rescued him for whatever reason, though. She heads off to be w/ Rudy and The Rude Boys.
Boss Cop Science Lady’s daughter gets the virus.
At the general council meeting, Tate resigns as president, and appoints his interim successor: Jack, much to everyone’s surprise (Including mine. It was genuinely surprising! No one was more surprised by this show being surprising than I was! What a surprised to be surprised by, much less surprised at. Wow. My wrists really hurt. That lame gag really wasn’t worth the effort it took to type it out). President Jack quickly begins to bristle under Julius’ machinations.
Meanwhile Boss Cop Science Lady figures out that the aliens - whomever they are - can not only generate copies of people, they can generate viruses, and they can transmit a signal that will generate a virus. She builds a big hypersonic shield over the town to block the signal. Julius opposes this because it‘ll make it hard for the transport he‘s been talking with to land. After a fairly tense standoff, Jack sides w/ the good guys and has Julius arrested. They turn on the shield and magically everyone’s better.
The transport lands.
To Be Continued…
The (Unintended) End
Grrr! This was a genuinely good episode, it was firing on all thrusters, well directed, terse, tense, well acted, with a couple really good moments. The writing was even mostly good, with two exceptions:
1) The whole “I’m thinking of coming home/I’m angry” thing with Boss Cop Lady’s daughter was forced and obviously its only purpose was to let Julius know where Fleur was in an unnatural manner to move the plot along.
2) The whole “you may not be able to land with the shield on” thing was, likewise, only there to artificially bring the situation to a head, and clearly posed no real threat.
If this was the *only* episode of the series you’d seen, you’d think it was a pretty good show, and you’d be frustrated it was cancelled. Of course we know better - it was not a terribly good show, and I really don’t care that it got cancelled - but they did at least start to figure out who they were and what they wanted to be in these last three eps.
It really made no sense that everyone got better at the end. Ok, the aliens can transmit viruses, check. And you can block the transmission, check. That doesn’t fix the viruses that are *already* in your body. Let’s pretend viruses are porcupines: they get in your house through a hole in the wall. You black the hole: hooray! No more porcupines getting in, but that doesn’t do a think about the skillions of ‘em that are already in the house, wandering about, chewing on your wife’s underwear in the laundry hamper, now does it? (It may seem an odd simile to use, but it’s well known that without porcupines - or at least a hedgehog - there would be no such things as STDs. Gah. Arms aching. I hope I at least got a laugh from that.) likewise, the shield would have prevented any new cases, but it shouldn’t have cured the existing ones.
Credit where credit’s due:
Amy Manson is great as Fleur.
Ashley Walters is really good as Jack.
Daniel Mays is only slightly less good as Cass.
Eric Mabius is suitably oily and fake as Julius, but aside from his obvious creep factor, he didn’t impress me much. I didn’t find him terribly believable. Case in point: He’s actually an American *playing* an American, and yet I didn’t believe it. I thought he was a Brit speaking with a fake accent.
Liam Cunningham was adequate as Tate, but we really didn’t *get* his character until this final episode.
Nobody else made any impression on me.
So why were Julius and Boss Cop Lady’s daughter getting along so amiably? she tried to kill him in the 2nd episode, and the implication was that he’d been raping her for five years on the transport. What, that’s all better now? Like I said, that whole scene was artificial and forced.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
So what would have happened next? Well, this speaks low of the series, but I kinda’ don’t care. Julius would have gotten out of prison when his buddies took over, he would have become part of the new ruling order, then at the end of the second season, he would have realized his own people want him dead, and he would have changed sides and ended up helping Tate and the rebels. The rebels and The Rude Boys would have eventually brokered a peace thanks to Fleur, the goddess of justice and faith or something like that. Working together, they’d overthrow the newcomers by the end of the third season. That probably would have been the end of the show, but it’s possible they may have milked it for one more season.
They’d also have reached some kind of rapprochement with the mysterious alien force on the planet. Said force would be at all-out war with the newcomers, but Tate and Rudy and Fleur working together would convince it that humans are basically decent, or at least reasonably decent if you kill off people like Julius and the newcomers.
The ultimate conclusion would be when the Mysterious Alien Force itself kills Julius in the final episode of the series. See, he’s always prattling on about an unseen universal spirit, and the Mysterious Alien Force is as close to that as exists in this show, and it kills him. Irony, no?
Thus Forthaven becomes what it was always intended to be: a hardscrabble Eden, but with the Mysterious Alien Force helping them out in the end, the stage is set for this new Eden to fare better than the old one.
Probably literally: I’ve suspected for some time now that Carpathia is where human life began, but our ancestors blew themselves up in a nuclear war. Some escaped to Earth, where civilization started from scratch after a very long time, and people forgot their roots. These original Carpathians are what we’d call “Neanderthals.” Neanderthals evolved on earth to become us, we blew ourselves up again, escaped to Carpathia, bringing things full circle.
I’m pretty sure the Mysterious Alien Force was some kind of computer or computer network left behind following the evacuation of Carpathia, and it continued to evolve. Either that or some hokey “Next Evolution of Man” thing. In any event, the events would unfold so that (good) humans, the Rude Boys, and said ghostly boogums would make rapprochement, and with this local god welcoming Man back into Eden, we all live happily ever after.
That’s how I make it out. All the signs are there. Should anyone connected with the show ever stumble across this review, I’d really like to know if I’m right in any of my guesses. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?
Actually, yeah, I think so. We tend to like wrongly-accused cops, we tend to have an irrational fear of invasions, we tend to find cyclical natures sort of reassuring, but we’re optimistic about ending ‘em, too. We tend to see ourselves as the oppressed (Even when we aren’t), so, yeah, there’s a lot for us to like in this one.