Dark Angel: Cold Comfort

"I’d spit on you, but it’d be a waste of good saliva."

Now that was awesome.

This hour did a tremendous job of moving the show's mythology forward with the introduction of yet another X5, Brin, as well as providing Lydecker with a significant amount of screen-time (an excellent move). Although Max and Zack catch the big bad a bit too quickly, it's a pretty exciting turn of events. The scene in which they hold him hostage is just astounding as the baddie turns the tables on his kids by analyzing their torture methods, breaking his own finger, and finally getting a good look at Max and Zack. It's remarkable that even though Lydecker is captured, he's the one who manages to break Max and Zack by the end of the hour.

Max and Zack's decision to leave Brin behind to save her life is quite heartbreaking. It's a powerful sight to witness the helicopter descending onto Brin as her siblings walk away in tears. It's actually the most powerful emotion the show has tapped into until now, which makes the Jam Pony subplot all the more jarring. The arrival of Mr. Sivapathasundaram is admittedly one of the funnier Jam Pony adventures but it makes me wonder: are subplots supposed to complement the main storyline in tone or should they break the somber mood in order to make things more bearable? I guess it's up to the viewer, but the tonal shift was kind of distracting here.

Zack continues to be pretty unlikable with his holier-than-thou attitude and defensive stance against Logan. It makes sense in the context of the character, but it doesn't make for the most entertaining viewing. However, I did enjoy him warning Logan that Max would die because of him. It adds a very tragic element to our couple's relationship.

In addition, while we don't really learn much about Brin in this hour, we do discover that she's experiencing an accelerated form of aging that spontaneously appears in X5s. We also learn that since the x5s are "weapons systems" that are "worth millions dead or alive", that makes them high-priority targets for foreign governments, and corrupt generals like Sanders who are looking for a quick payday. So darn compelling, I love this world.

Post-Pulse Bits

- The image of Brin in the freezer is so very memorable.

- Fascinating tidbit with a client buying the assassination of the Pope through one of Lydecker's X5s.

- Love the shot of Max's leg midair as she discovers a beaten-up Zack in her apartment.

- Kendra is dating somebody called Mr. Multiples? Hmm...

- So Lydecker's wife was murdered and he's a recovering alcoholic? His speech to the AA group is so delightfully sinister.

- Lydecker recognizing Max's voice (Rachel Glasser from last week) is a wonderful little touch.

- The laxative trick, the gas attack... the Jam Pony crew sure got creative!

- I love Lydecker's speech to Sanders' soldiers as he tells them to stay away from the bars and nags about not having enough guards (although they're a roomful). The monologue really builds up the X5s as a force to be reckoned with.

- Jessica Alba is hilarious as Max playfully teases the guards and chews the ropes off her hands.

- How satisfying was Lydecker throwing the knife into Sanders' heart?

- Of course Max had predicted all the double-crossing beforehand! Love how she fake-hangs herself and then proceeds to kick ass and escape with Zack and Brin.

- The way Mr. Sivapathasundaram kicks Sketchy out of the car like a peasant always cracks me up.

- The episode's final moments are effectively haunting with Logan telling Max that Lydecker now knows how she looks like, following by a cured Brin at Manticore about to be re-indoctrinated. "They can't hide forever." Indeed.

- If you listen closely, you can hear Max saying "whatever" in Dark Angel's end-credits score. I love the song.

Barbs & Barcodes

Sketchy: Even though people are hungry out there, they will throw food at us if we wear something this bogus.

Max: Where’s the money to pay for this fascist wet dream of yours, Normal?

Zack: Did you look in the Yellow Pages under “black-helicopter operations”?
Logan: Oh, another Manticore wit.

Cindy: Maybe I should lose the afro-puffs. I don’t want to come across too... ethnic.

Lydecker: Alcoholism is not a disease, it’s a failing. You’ve turned it into a church. You worship at the altar of self-pity. I come to these rooms for one reason: to remember what I don’t want to become: helpless, impotent, and weak. Thank you, as you were.

Lydecker: Can I have some water, please?
Max: Fresh out. I’d spit on you, but it’d be a waste of good saliva.

Lydecker: We have treatments now, you know.
Max: Do you make house calls, or should I go to Manticore for my meds?

Max: (to Lydecker) One wrong move... you’re an organ donor.

Max: Do you know something, Don? I’ve always wondered what drove you to hunt us down all these years. I thought maybe you were afraid for your dumbass fed job. Or was it a whacked sense of patriotism? Or professional pride because you felt like such a chump for losing us in the first place? But now I know... you’re just a bottom-feeding pimp, peddling flesh for the Benjamins.

Max: I got an itch. Any of you fellas wanna scratch my back?

Max: (to a soldier) Relax. Or do you want me to gnaw through your bars?

Lydecker: That’s pretty impressive how you got away. I’m very proud of you.
Max: Gee, thanks, Dad.

Logan: How’d you leave it with Zack?
Max: He grunted something that sounded like goodbye and then disappeared into the night.
Logan: Well, you should cut him some slack. He probably had a rotten childhood.
Max: Worst part is he swung with Lydecker’s ride. Tinted windows, class two armor...I could have fenced it for a fortune.

- Cold Comfort is a a gut-wrenching hour of Dark Angel.

4 out of 5 aging X5s.

Previously posted on Nad's Reviews.

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