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Season 2, Episode 18

Oh god, an Emma episode.  Of the members of Mutant X we know the least about Emmaís powers.  We know that her mind is capable of many things, and now it seems that those who die can affect her when she is emotionally open.  ďI think I died with him,Ē she says to Brennen.

Shalymarís fear of fire is brought to the front again and gives Emma the opportunity to talk ďfiremenĒ so we know that somehow she and Ray Larkin, the lead fire investigator that died, share her consciousness.  Jesse gives Shalymar good advice about just accepting her fear of fire, that itís a natural fear for her being a feral, and that stubbornness itself has killed more than it has saved.  Unfortunately, Shalymar herself is too stubborn to follow the advice.  She hates weakness, especially in herself.

Emma takes charge of by forcefully suggesting the cover of reporters to get close to the deceased wife.  And evidently all you need to make yourself seem like a journalist are glasses; theyíre the perfect physical prop since thatís all Brennen does to look the part.  Well, that a suit.  I think they overstepped their bounds with wanting pictures of the house, under the guise of their readerís interest.  It seemed disrespectful to me to even ask.  The mirror effect, Emma looking at herself, then changing to Ray and the glass cracking when she tried to touch it was cool.  As though the two worlds arenít supposed to interact.

The writers need to work a little harder at masking the mystery.  As soon as Rayís brother arrived, I knew immediately that he was the fire mutant; the obvious problem with that was that he spoke so highly and so  passionately about Ray.  It was too much, all the guy needed was a neon star flashing above his head.  Another point was that there had to be a reason why Ray went into the warehouse alone, the reason being he was trying to catch his brother, Billy.

In an attempt to shift the suspicion from Billy to someone else, Shalymar accuses Inspector Sanders, a lifetime friend of Rayís, that he had something to do with the fires.  She jumped where there wasnít really a clue for her to do so; the watch she saw Sanders pocket wasnít enough of a reason to accuse a person of arson and murder.  So the desperate attempt to make the storyline seem more complicated just added to the stupidity of one of the characters.

The background of everyone involved with Mutant X is sketchy, and thatís fine, it allows different information to be added later if things are left slightly vague.  I just think that Emma might have mentioned her mom being involved in the occult and deep spiritualism before, especially after Emmaís powers became stronger.  While I like the holes in everyoneís pasts, I would rather not have facts revealed to me in the episode in which that fact is needed.  Emma admits that this isnít the first Ďghostí she has had an encounter with and Brennenís concerns were well founded that his (Rayís) emotions and agendas would cloud Emmaís head.  That was very insightful and surprising coming from Brennen, it was something youíd expect Jesse to say, not hot-headed Brennen.

The idea that the energy within a personís body has to go somewhere after it dies, and that Rayís spirit went into Emma, is a little farfetched.  And this is a fantasy-type show and I should suspend my belief, and for the most part itís suspended, but I had thought this happened to Emma because of her mutant powers, not some blending of energies.  I also think it was odd, no matter how much Rayís wife feels as though she knows Emma somehow, that she would invite Emma in and share her memories so easily.

Isnít the point of a comlink to be able to locate any of them at any time?  I remember an ep in which they were following Adam until he took it off and they found it in the street.  Donít understand why they just didnít do that with Emma.  The voice of Ray coming out of Emma was a surprise and a pretty cool effect to add to the drama of the scene.  I also like the irony that the brother of a fireman had the mutant power to start fires.  While it was predictable it was still a nice plot point.  Another event that came as no surprise was Shalymar overcoming her fear long enough to save Emma.  We didnít need the confirmation and heart to heart talk between her and Jesse to remind us of her fear of fires; the rescue at the end would have been less ďcookie cutterĒ if it hadnít taken place.

I liked the follow through that was portrayed with Brennen, as he told Ray to move on.  He was the reluctant believer in this episode, but he was there for his friend and thatís what matters.  I enjoyed seeing the softer side of Brennen here, after so many episodes where he orders the others around as he has an attitude, it was nice to see.  The closest relationship of the team seems to be Shalymar and Emma, they share many silent looks, sensitive talks and have an easy rapport with each other.  Shalymarís: ďFear of losing you was stronger than the fireÖ I donít want to try that again..Ē to Emma is a clear indication of that.  Itís nice, wish they would spread around the warm and fuzzies to the other team-mates sometimes.


Final Judgment
Season 2, Episode 17

Another episode that starts out with another secret caller from Adamís past.  Seems like Adam has all these contacts and every one of them are secretive and suspicious.  During this season, it seems that the crew of Mutant X no longer respect Adamís authority; always questioning him.  He deserves some of the questions, but they have all taken their turns at pushing Adam into confrontations and justifications.

ďPower behind the Power.Ē  The Tribunal uncovers the truth, punishes the guilty and prosecutes those criminals that seem to think they are above the law.  I was surprised that he was assigned a lawyer, I really thought it would one of those storylines that has some archaic proceedings with no real search for the truth.  Not that the trial is legitimate but it seems to be trying to base itself in some sort of organized law.  The chair of truth, or memories.  Farscape had a similar chair (the Aurora Chair) in which the seated goes through great lengths of pain as memories and secrets are extracted from them.  This chair seems less painful but still exhausting.  The biggest problem with this is that the memories that were being displayed from Adamís memory... were scenes that Adam wasnít there (ex: Brennen breaking into the bank, electricity being sucked from the power lines).  Some of them he was present for but many he wasnít even in the area Ė the editors and writers should have chosen the scenes better.

A little side note: The lawyer (Amy Price Francis) is from ďTrackerĒ, the chick that did the unspeakable and invited Cole into her life, car and apartment.  Shows that when a show is filmed in Canada if your an actor then it is inevitable that you appear on a few of the shows there filming.

So, this week Shalymar is in charge, it switches week to week and lets hope that Emma never has to take over - - one member with horrible fashion sense is enough, we donít want her inflicting her taste onto the others.  Another side note:  this is the second episode that Emma is on roller-skates.  Why does she keep wearing them?  Does she think itís cute, or do the directors think itís a neat quirk to give that character?  Either way, itís annoying, not a neat quirk or endearing trait.

Brennen is frustrated in every episode, add to that heís whiny and impatient, and you get a character that is not very likable.  And I like Brennen, but this season theyíve slowly changed his character into something that isnít all peachy.  Theyíve changed everyoneís a little, Jesse is more the computer-geek and researcher than always kicking ass; Shalymar is more sensitive than before.

I really enjoyed the way Adamís friend described Mutant X: ďMade to order super kids.Ē

There are kisses abound.  Adam kissed Shalymar, then Emma.  He gets around eh?   Those actions seemed very un-Adamlike.  Iím glad that a main evil is going to become a focal point again, the show may have some sort of direction again.  I like the independent storylines but the show was a bit better when there was a central bad guy.  I read in SciFi Magazine that the show is going to have a main bad guy, or a worse enemy for the team.  As long as they can find a balance between storylines that involve the new main evil and the ďplots of the weekĒ I think it will be good.


Once Around
Season 2, Episode 16

The plot: Adam and Mutant X have to protect a key witness as he prepares to testify against a big bad mob-type man.  The plot is a cookie-cutter one, seems that the idea always gets around to all the shows, but what makes this episode stand out against the rest of season two is that there is no hard-to-believe science that we have to swallow to enjoy the show.  Sure, mutant abilities are always creative and need some sort of suspended belief, but that is a given considering the nature of the show.  But there are no robotic-like humans, or stretches of science in addition to the abilities.  I liked that.

It was nice to see Robert Smith, I liked him while he was on ďLa Femme NikitaĒ and he seems to pop up on occasion in other shows.  His characterís ability was interesting, being able to hear and see through people that heís touched.  Itís a twist on being a sionic in this universe.  Sure, itís hard for me to believe that he can pull up anyone heís ever touched with some deep concentration, but again, itís a mutant ability.

The best sequence had to have been the scenes on the Double Helix as it experiences problems with Brennen trying to fly it, Jesse trying to fix it and Shalimar trying to calm their reluctant guest.  While the situation was dire the humor was there: side-long looks between the team and then the outrageousness of the witness.  Funny stuff.  Brennen, once again, is my biggest problem.  Iím not sure when he turned into a whiny bitch, but he has.  It seems that the majority of the episodes lately have had Brennen complaining about something.  Whether it be who was in charge, a teammateís behavior or the behavior of someone else.  He seems to find fault in everything and then has no qualms about stating his problems.  Iím surprised Shalimar hasnít punched him yet and told him to grow up.  Shalimar did give him some attitude but by the end everything was ok again.  If the writers want to make one of the team have a conflict with the victim on the week, they need to have some consistency and maybe spread the issues around.  Brennen has been used too much this season already.  What about Jess, he hasnít been used nearly enough with character development storylines. 

It seems that they are still flirting with the idea of putting Brennen and Shalimar together Ė I donít like it.  This is one of the shows where I really donít want to see any of the main people in a romantic relationship with each other.  I canít explain it, but I think they are all better off exploring the deep friendship and the problems can occur between people with dangerous and stressful careers (if you can call what they do careers that is <g>)


Under The Cloak of War
Season2, Episode 15

Iím beginning to think that the members of Mutant X really had sucky lives before coming together.  Each time it comes up, it isnít a happy memory (normally).  Again they have to deal with something from Adamís passed, the son of a friend and co-worker wants revenge on Adam for destroying his family home life.  Adam really needs to stop falling in love with woman that are bad for him.  Even though it seemed like a well-used idea, the fact that it was the son and not the actual passed friend was the small twist that the storyline needed.

This was the first episode where the science was toned down slightly, in my opinion.  The DNA seeking bullet was a tad unbelievable, but at least it wasnít man-made assassins.  Shalimar really takes her duty first as she sleeps with the suspect in order to keep her cover.  There is still some room for doubt on whether she did or did not sleep with him, but I donít see any way that they did not. Jesseís phasing skills are being explored, I really like the idea of him being able to phase a knife, I thought that was pretty cool.  And he was so nonchalant about the change of plans from a bullet to a gun Ė he kept his head again.

Brennan again was whiny and antagonistic.  During the formal party he makes a comment about rich people to Jesse, who he knows grew up in privilege.  Even after all this time Brennan still seems to hold that against Jesse.  He was the bigger man, again, and just let Brennanís comments not bother him and gave him tips on how to survive the dinner party.  Brennanís over-protectiveness of Shalimar was uncalled for and just a blatant attempt to create tension between the two characters.  It was brought up in another episode earlier in the season (ďWhose Woods Are TheseĒ) and I didnít like it then, and was happy to see that it just faded away, but now it seems itís back.  And while Brennanís attitude toward her going out by herself on a mission could be explained as worry, the kiss that Shalimar gives him canít be construed as friendly.

I thought the team Ďcleaned upí nice for the party, except for Emma.  Iím starting to think there is a conspiracy where her wardrobe is concerned.  She is always dressed ridiculously, this time in a wide stripped dress that was off the shoulder and those shoes (lace strap up things) were the icing on the whole outfit.  Later, back at Sanctuary she looks like sheís ready for her part in Cabaret.  I seriously doubt the designers want me to laugh, but I canít help it, she always looks ridiculous.

Hard Time
Season 2, Episode 14

This is one of those episodes that show you more to the characters than just their normal, everyday thoughts and feelings.  This season has shown that Brennan has a short fuse when it comes to Jesse.  One wonders there it comes from.  In the beginning of the series these two had a volatile relationship, always seemed at odds with each other and attributed it to their vastly different backgrounds.  However, now it seems that Brennan has a problem with Jesse fulfilling his duties.  Brennanís reluctance to have Jesse with him in prison makes sense on the one hand since Jesse has no experience with prison life.  On the other, it seems like it was another case where Brennan didnít want to work with anyone else.

In the beginning of the episode Brennan tries to give Jesse some pointers on how to stay anonymous, but itís all tinged with a tone of voice that seems to hold contempt and barely there tolerance, that itís no wonder that Jesse retaliated to the inmate in a physical way.  Once Brennan is juiced with the drug you find out where the contempt is coming from.  In Brennanís mind he feels that Jesse isnít pulling his weight, that Brennan always has to step in.  Why does Brennan think this?  I canít remember anything that shows that Jesse was incompetent or let down the team this season to validate Brennanís words.

Thereís no question that Jesse is hurt by the words and he immediately feels that everything is his fault, not just the fact that Brennan was singled out but for everything it seems.  It was hard to watch Jesse get beat up by someone who was supposed to be a close friend.  Jesse avoided his powers for the most part as to not hurt Brennan and just took it when Brennan laid into him.  The ending scene between these two illustrated how much Jesse was hurt by what Brennan said and in the same breath he asks, Jesse then pushes it aside when Brennan admits he doesnít remember.  I think this dynamic could be explored more, maybe find out why Brennan feels that way about Jesse, and what it does to their trust Ė do they still have it?

There are a few things that were glossed over and should have been a big deal.  One was that all the people that attended the fight saw Brennan use his powers.  That would get out into the public mainstream if not contained, but there were so many attendees how would you contain the information?  Evidently the writers didnít know either and they glossed over it, which is ok.  Emma has a power that she only uses when forced to.  Is this because she has compassion for her would be victims in regards to forcing herself into someone elseís head?  Sometimes I think that her power is overlooked a lot until there is no other way out of the situation other than using her.  Theyíve been overlooking her power since it mutated into something more, the first season she Ďsuggestedí many things to various people all the time. Now itís as though sheís afraid to use it, but she should have the same control over it.  (I wonít go into when she used it on Jesse to make him forget, that was wrong, and if the writers were smart, it would be brought up again to create turmoil within the Mutant X ranks.)


Within These Walls
Season 2, Episode 13

My biggest problem with the Mutant X this season is that their characters are not being consistent.  I can overlook the implausible science that has been featured in the episodes, but the characters sometimes act so far out of their normal range that it takes away from the episode.  In this one Brennan gets his ego boosted a little more by taking over the command of the Mutant X team.  Jesse doesnít put up too much of a fight, but does question why it would automatically be Brennan.  Honestly it should have been Jesse, heís the one with the computer and system knowledge and who has consistently looked at this with a calmer head than Brennan.

Brennan, in my opinion, over reacts to everything during the episode: Adam concerning the intel for the mission.  He states that they need to know everything in order to do their jobs.  This is another case where Brennan gets bent out of shape when a co-worker lies Ė does he forget all the times heís tried to ditch his team in order to fulfill a personal promise? 

Everything works out in the end, everyoneís safe, and Brennan realizes that Adamís job is harder than it seems.  The banter at the end of the episode between Brennan and Jesse and their fighting together to save Adam, did lessen the harshness that some of the their other displays had, but there still seemed to be so much unsaid between them. 

And will the team ever learn that when the past comes back, itís always going to haunt them?  Each time it happens, itís never good, youíd think theyíd start to learn.