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Threshold: The Order

“I’m the one that’s having a nightmare here.”

This is a fun episode that gives a hint of just how complicated this show could be in the right hands and with more seasons. The writers balanced some human-interest stories with some bureaucratic insanity, and they leavened it all with a delightful amount of humor in the Ramsey/Lucas interactions while still emphasizing the growing alien menace.

Lucas is clearly not cut out for government work: hand guns aren’t his thing, and he so clearly wanted to make the restaurant owner feel better. Ramsey doesn’t seem to feel any better about it, but he at least realizes that there are very few happy endings in an alien-invasion story. The motel-room scene would have been horrifying if there were any risk of Lucas and Ramsey dying; since there wasn’t, it was just good fun and gave Ramsey a chance to show his Mother Theresa side.

While Lucas and Ramsey had to fight a useful battle against the alien virus, Caffrey was stuck fighting the sort of battle that no one can win: against the urge for full disclosure that is the hallmark of twenty-first century journalism, and against the type of senator who, went told about the alien infection, hears “potential weapons” rather than “oh god oh god we’re all going to die.”

I loved Caffrey’s retort to the senator: “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” She’s so in control all the time that it was nice to see her lose her cool. In fact, almost everyone did something stupid: Lucas and Ramsey in the motel room, Caffrey with the senator, and Fenway with the story of ex-wife woe.

Team Threshold is composed of people—not superhumans—fighting inhuman aliens. Mistakes are inevitable, especially of the personal kind. Linking the personal to the global (and intergalactic) is a good way to keep things moving. Paired with decent mystery plots (the fish, the leak, the senator's plan and escape), this is a poppin’ episode. It's just too bad about the mutated cat. And Molly's dissertation adviser.


• Ramsey: “We think it’s a new kind of virus. The feel-fine virus.”

• The Cook: “Do I look stupid to you?”
Lucas [to Ramsey]: “Don’t say it.”

• The Cook: “Nobody with nice shoes has eight kids anymore.”

• The bendy tray thing would be much more horrifying if it weren’t clearly made out of very flimsy metal.

• Caffrey’s plan includes not getting delivery from the same place more than twice in three months.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

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