|The rum wasn't completely gone.|
Tonight the role of Mark Watney will be played by Jemma Simmons.
So did Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen read The Martian over the summer hiatus and decided “we totally need to do this with Jemma”? Many elements of this episode were very reminiscent of Andy Weir’s novel and the recent film adaptation. The first third of the episode, which focused exclusively on Jemma as she struggled to survive on this barren alien world with nothing but an iPhone and her big brain, was the most Martian-y and easily the best part of the whole thing. It was so good I wish the entire episode had been just Jemma on her own. It goes without saying that Elizabeth Henstridge deserves a huge round of applause for her work in this episode. She didn't just knock it out of the park, she knocked it out of the bloody atmosphere.
Once Will showed up this episode began to remind me of all those Star Trek episodes where a shuttle would crash on some planet and the pilot would befriend the sole survivor of some previous crash and they’d work together to escape the planet, which wasn’t as compelling as seeing Jemma surviving on her own. I loved that Jemma was never made to be dependent on Will for her survival. He was never there to be her big manly protector. He was there solely as her companion and source of vital plot information.
Will was a likeable enough character, although I wonder if I was the only one who kept expecting a twist that never came. While The Martian has taught me to always trust astronauts that have been left alone too long on barren planets, especially if they are played by Matt Damon, Interstellar also taught me to be highly suspicious of astronauts that have been left alone too long on barren planets, especially if they are played by Matt Damon.
Was Will's story about what happened to the rest of his crew true? Or was Jemma right to suspect that he simply went crazy for coco puffs and killed them? I mean, just because there really is something out there doesn't meant that it is evil and killing people by driving them crazy. Maybe it just wanted to be their friend and show them its collection of rare Kree postage stamps. Then again, that might have been what drove everyone suicidally insane.
I can't say I was happy to see Jemma and Will become more than just survival buddies. While I thought they made an endearing pair and their relationship was developed well, considering the limited time available, making their relationship romantic was completely unnecessary. It feels like it was only done simply to create a love triangle, something the show does not need, and more drama for the increasingly unbearable Fitzsimmons ship.
Although this episode answered the question of what happened to Jemma, it provided us with nothing new regarding everything else. Where is this planet? Why does the monolith go there? Is it some Phantom Zone-like prison? Why have people been sent there for centuries? Was Jemma right, were they being sent through the portal as sacrifices? How did NASA know there was a planet on the other side? What is the entity? Who shot J.R.? Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Is it safe? Who killed Laura Palmer? What was Chandler Bing’s job? Did U2 ever find what they were looking for? Who are you? What do you want? Who would win in a fight between a caveman and an astronaut? What did one snowman say to the other snowman? Who framed Roger Rabbit? Where the fuck is Wally?
Intel and Assets
--A phone with a battery life of more than a month? Now that really is science fiction.
--They got Jemma a TARDIS cake for her birthday. Awwww...
--It was a nice touch that Jemma’s time on the planet was counted in hours instead of days because the planet had no days.
--This episode featured the fewest cast members so far. Just Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker, with Chloe Bennet and Clark Gregg briefly appearing on Jemma’s birthday video.
Jemma: "You're dinner, biatch!"
Four out of four TARDIS birthday cakes.
Mark Greig is not the droid you're looking for. More Mark Greig.
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