The episode opens on a submarine that detects a strange signal. What could that be, we all wonder? They start losing electrical power and the sonar operator says the strange signal could be an animal – a big animal. They sound the collision alarm as we spot an anomaly in the water and a big swimmysaur approaching. Roll titles…
And so begins what I can only describe as an average episode. The producers didn’t really do much wrong, it just seemed to be a place filler with hardly any advancement of the overall plot. Submarine finds itself in Jurassic era with an angry therapod on board whilst the sub is crippled and then attacked by even angrier pleiosaurs. Connor fixes the electrics while various members of the skeleton crew are eaten and Abby and Matt take a trip in a submersible to fix the propeller. Is there anything these guys can’t do? Oh, and naturally the military response when the sub goes missing is to decide to nuke the anomaly. WTF? The government knows all about the anomalies and can’t be so stupid as to ignore the impact that interfering with time can have. Would they really authorize the use of a nuclear weapon on an anomaly when they don’t know what the consequences would be? Get real! (Yes, I am aware of the irony of using that phrase in a review of a fictional series that deals with time traveling dinosaurs and mutant future bugs!)
There were some enjoyable moments, mostly the posturing between Lester and the Admiral sent in to the arc to oversee matters. Lester’s acid wit comes to the fore towards the end of the episode when the Admiral admits that the nuclear weapon may or may not have been disarmed before it went through the anomaly – Lester says that if it wasn’t then at least we know what caused the mass extinction fo the dinosaurs!
On the overall plot arc there were little pieces that book ended the episode. We have Abby discussing Emily Merchant with Matt and then giving him a copy of a Victorian newspaper article that has a small story about Emily being placed into an asylum. The main story on the oage, though, was about “Spring-Heeled Jack” – a figure of Victorian folklore known for his incredible jumping ability and frightful appearance. Hmmm…
Next week’s episode sees Matt follow a raptor through an anomaly to Victorian London. Could Spring-Heeled Jack be revealed to be a raptor, one wonders? We also move forward on the Abby/Connor dynamic with Connor becoming more and more obsessed with his work. Abby tells Connor that she doesn’t trust Philip and that Connor should leave well alone. However, Connor asks Abby to trust HIM. He goes on to say that the work is important and that Abby will be proud of him when the work is complete. Abby stops him dead when she says she was already proud of him and leaves the lab. Connor looks crestfallen… but doesn’t follow. So, we have Matt in denial about Emily but Abby gives him some news anyway, and also the impending breakdown of Abby and Connor’s relationship as Connor won’t trust Abby’s instincts and Connor becomes more obsessed and secretive.
Becker is notably absent this week with no explanation. His manly manliness is missed, I feel. Especially by the female demographic of the show, eh? It may have added to the legend of Becker if we’d had him on board the sub and heard him muttering about wanting a sub if he can’t have a tank! Anyway, this was a rather simple story but well executed. The gloomy setting when the lights were out was reminiscent of Alien, especially with the therapod on the loose. But unfair Alien comparisons aside, it was enjoyable to watch.
We go back to Victorian London next week! What’s the betting we see Matt go after Emily while a raptor jumps around London and gets nicknamed “Spring-Heeled Jack”?