Welcome back to the Primeval New World!
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR NON CANADIANS:
It is not the Spanish Inquisition, but it is the Portuguese Interrogation!
Just when it appears that they are trapped, with nowhere to go, naturally, now is the perfect time to cue credits.
What happens next, we wonder? Let’s find out!
Normally, a Canadian military member would not be called upon to become the jailer of one of their officers. Canada does have military jails and military jailers. I assume this was done to attach a familiarity to Leeds’ predicament.
Handcuffed, Leeds is lead into a spacious conference room. With its size, it could also be very handy for general theater style training purposes and Christmas parties. In other words, it did not really fit my expectations of what a functional room for an inquisition should look like. There are no drab grey walls and far too many windows. It is bright and airy though.
In walks Colonel Hall, and as Leeds greets him, the man in charge says nothing. He just opens a case and tells Leeds to sit down. This is all very formal and sets the tone of the situation. It also lets us know that Leeds knows this man and has probably had a relationship of some kind, with him, in the past. It looks as though we are going to learn a lot more about Project Magnet in this episode.
In a way, this is a bit of a clip show. There are several clips from the previous episode where Major Douglas(Dan Payne) is in charge and doing his best to recapture the terror bird that has escaped. Leeds points out that he was on the scene, but not in charge, so he is wondering why he is being treated like a criminal with accompanying handcuffs.
Hall assures him there is just cause. Leeds was on the scene when two soldiers were killed, and he also shot Maj. Douglas with a tranquilizer dart, “and I think, that is just the tip of your iceberg, Leeds.
See, I think, that you’ve been keeping secrets from me.” Yes, colonel, he has. He does not break down and confess at this point, instead, we shift our attention to…
Cross Photonics, where Toby Nance(Crystal Lowe) wonders why Leeds left the key card for Evan. Evan is not entirely sure that Leeds wanted him to have it either, although there was a note on it which might suggest the intention was pretty clear. In walks Dylan with the remark, “or he did, and it’s a trap”. Gee, it sure is nice to know who your friends are. Poor Leeds.
Dylan walks by and continues her work as she accuses Leeds, that if he had put the terror bird back through the anomaly, none of this would have happened and two people would not have died.
Toby offers that maybe the key card was Leeds’ way of saying he was sorry. Dylan, completely unwilling to forgive, replies that, if Leeds was sorry, he would have blown up that lab before they did experiments on ‘Leggy’. Oops, here we are with the naming again.
Evan is keeping quiet as the two women discuss the situation. Is this because he is wisely staying out of it? No, it is because he is trying to find out more about the key card. He leaves the research in Toby’s capable hands and heads off.
Back at the questioning, Leeds tells Hall that he was attempting to tranquilize the terror bird, but Major Douglas was in the way. Hall then states, that Leeds didn’t tranquilize the terror bird, he killed it, “on closer inspection, I saw that the terror bird was wounded. It wouldn’t have survived.”
Except, says Colonel Hall, that Major Douglas (Dan Payne) reported that there were two civilians in the room with the terror bird when he found it, Evan Cross and Dylan Weir. Leeds has a good explanation, “I used a Ketamine dart, a common club drug, hallucinations are not uncommon,” Hall does not believe him, “…or you’re covering up for Cross and Weir. Which means that you’re lying to me.”
Toby has gained access to Project Magnet. She tells Dylan that she had to trace a bunch of code to find it because it had been taken off the Department of National Defense website years ago. “It may look easy, but it has better security than the Pentagon”. Thus, Toby has just taken a step into the area of felonies and federal offenses.
This is also the first mention of aliens, whether Evan is joking or not, it is hard to tell. Evan and Toby discover that the code being used by Project Magnet was being used in the 1950’s so Toby does not recognise it. The terminal that they have accessed also belongs to Lt. Leeds.
That is why, says Evan, there is a hole in the firewall that they can exploit, “the guy is an idiot with computers”. So, what are they going to do with all that information? Download it, of course.
Back at the investigation, Hall states that Leeds was supposed to support Evan Cross (Niall Matter), not to put Project Magnet at his disposal. Leeds replies that he thought he had the latitude to explore that grey area. Apparently, he was wrong. “The military does not give latitude, Leeds, it gives orders. Something that you have a history of disobeying.”
One of the things that I thought of when this show was announced just after the events of The Great Escape, was that Leeds would likely be facing a courts martial. At this point in the questioning, he brings this up as a valid concern, “Sir, if this is a courts martial, there are a few things missing like a judge, lawyers…”
Colonel Hall replies, almost gleefully, “…well, you see, you are part of a top secret classified project, so those rights don’t really apply to you”. Sorry, Hall, since when is someone not entitled to basic human rights? That would get kicked out of any Canadian court pretty darned fast.
Hall changes his line of attack, and asks Leeds, “what is your agenda?” He’s been trying to help in his own way, he replies. Hall then asks, “Magnet has been doing covert surveillance of paranormal phenomena for decades, so, why did Cross find the dinosaurs first?” There is a simple answer – because one ate his wife.
Angelica Finch(Miranda Frigon) is now brought into the conversation for both Hall and Evan Cross. Leeds explains to Hall about Ange getting in touch with him at the beginning. Evan finds out through Dylan’s research that Leeds report about Ange called her ‘striking’ three times. So, he was enamoured with her.
Toby is wonderful awesome with maps. She uses that ability to figure out that Leeds took the baby bird to a building that is physically at a specific address, yet has no address listed. They quickly determine that this building must be the lab where the baby bird was examined.
Hall puts it all together, “you two are very similar. Evan Cross thinks he’s indispensable because he holds the only key to the anomalies, and you think you can escape the consequences to your actions because you hold the only key to Evan Cross. But I think what we need to do is cut out the middle man”.
Back at Cross Photonics, Evan is being invaded by a team of military people. Apparently, they have arrived to remove all of his research and material associated with the dinosaurs. Evan replies, “I wish I could comply, but all that stuff is gone”. Guess who it is leading the team of invaders- you got it, ever ready Macready. The energizer bunny has nothing on him.
Time for handcuffs. Evan is led off and taken to the very same location where Leeds has been held in custody and questioned. I cannot get over how open and unlikely this location is for prisoners. I would imagine that anyone wanting to attempt escape would not have much trouble.
Inside the interrogation room, which is nothing of the sort, Evan discovers that the military has also rounded up Mac. Mac protests, “they took me right out of my bed. I thought this country was a democracy.” Both of them are in handcuffs.
Enter Colonel Hall. Evan tells him that Mac should not even be there, “He’s not on my team and hasn’t been for a while. Let me put it a different way. Cut him loose, or this conversation is over.”
Hall lets Mac go so he can get information for Evan, the bigger fish. As Mac is released, and begins to walk home, he discovers that someone was waiting for him. She followed the people who took Evan. Wow, Canada’s military, always on duty. Fortunately, in real life, they are a little smarter than that. Or, maybe it is Sgt. Macready who is not as ready as we had hoped.
Evan tells Hall that Cross Photonics is bankrupt. Evan says he auctioned off his anomaly detection equipment to a scrap metal dealer. This story is pretty clever. If Hall believes it, there would be no way to salvage anything for his own use.
Hall, however, does not believe it. “You don’t mind if I verify your story with your colleagues, Dylan Weir and your technical assistant, Toby Nance”. Then, to emphasize that he is really just doing the administrative paperwork, Hall smiles.
Evan is not buying any of this verbal dancing around what is really going on, and he calls Hall on it. “Why do you want my equipment?” Hall replies, “…happy to tell you. I want direct access to the time portals, the anomalies, and Lt. Leeds has a fair amount of confidence in your anomaly detector”, as he shows Evan a photo of it.
“I am sure that you will bring the same amount of competence to it as you have to the terror bird you had in the city”, Evan answers. Now we get to the pissing contest. “I could have just taken your factory. I don’t need your permission.” Evan replies, “you don’t seem to need permission from anybody. If you did, I’m sure they would ask you what the hell you think you are doing. I saw the scars on the terror bird. What are you up to, colonel?” Engineering dinosaurs for world war three, Hall tells Evan.
Outside the building, Dylan and Mac are looking for a way inside. Then a cargo van drives up; their way in. They slip into the building, but Mac warns that the military will be logging the key cards. As soon as Dylan uses hers, they will be looking for the two trespassers.
The discussion between Evan and Col. Hall continues, “You’re not the only great mind working on this problem, Mr. Cross. I have a whole team of scientists working to make things better for everyone, including you.” Evan, is not convinced, “and I’m supposed to trust you, even though you lie to your own team. If what you are doing in that lab is supposed to help humanity, then why are you keeping your experiment a secret from Leeds?” Hall tells Evan that Leeds is a liar and that he has been lying to Evan all along.
Looks like Hall has a flair for the dramatic, because this is the time he chooses to bring Leeds in on the conversation. Time to tell the truth, says Hall, starting with the events that killed the two soldiers. It gets interesting here.
Evan and Leeds end up in a debate about unintended consequences and whether or not keeping dinosaurs will change the future. Evan believes that it will, Leeds believes that it will not. Hall interrupts, “have a seat, lieutenant. If Mr. Cross is right, we might have made some serious mistakes”.
Meanwhile, Dylan and Mac have broken into some lockers and stolen a couple of lab coats and another key card. According to Mac, they are going to, “free Willie-saurus”.
As Hall continues to question Leeds in Evan’s presence, we learn that when Leeds had his men guard the anomaly in the Babes in the Woods episode, he went into the anomaly and collected more specimens. “In some cases,” said Leeds, “you had already collected the specimens.
In other cases, our teams had to be more aggressive in subduing the specimens. Now Evan is very annoyed, “Teams? How many people did you send in there?” Leeds replies, “I was trying to do the right thing.”
Mac and Dylan discover that, yes, indeed, there are more creatures in the lab, including a large dinosaur and what looks like a very large wasp. Dylan and Mac take photos as evidence. We become aware that Dylan is very upset and angry at what she sees. Mac, on the other hand seems very detached and clinical. He may still be affected by what happened to his girlfriend in an earlier episode.
Hall dismisses Leeds, then tells Evan that there is no evidence to support his theory, “We have sent 53 people through different anomalies, and, as you can see, life is pretty much as normal”.
Evan makes a good point in his answer, “just because you survived pulling the trigger five times, doesn’t mean you are going to win at Russian Roulette”. I would also argue, that if they did change the future, how would they know? Their reality would have changed from so far back, they would not witness a difference.
Evan decides he has had enough. He will not be sharing his technology with the government and begins to walk toward the door. Hall then drops a bomb shell, “I have seen the future, and believe me when I say, it is nothing that either of us wants to live through”.
In fact, he argues, that it is Evan who is misusing the technology in some futile attempt to make up for his wife’s death. Evan walks back to Hall and tells him he is not doing it for himself. His future died 6 years ago with his wife. Hall replies, “sometimes the only way forward is back”.
Evan now wants to know what Hall is talking about. Geo-engineering, that is, attempts to fix global warming is what Hall is talking about. He goes so far as to mention seeding the ancient oceans with an algae that would produce a clean burning fuel. Evan argues, yet again, “unintended consequences”.
Hall is on a rant, ‘take a look outside, Mr. Cross, we’ve screwed up our ecology. Our food supply, our energy supply, our water supply, it’s all going to crash.”
Evan argues that the only way to know if the colonel’s strategy would work is to do it, but if it does not work, then they cannot go back and fix it. “We don’t get do overs here, colonel”. Just then, Ange walks in.
Dylan and Mac have been discovered wandering around the facility. They race down the hallways looking for a means to escape followed by four military security people. Again, I must argue that the military would not use who ever these guys are. They would use the Military Police whose uniforms are quite different.
The uniform is black, yes, but they also wear a red beret to distinguish themselves from other serving members. They also will have a military crest at the front of the beret, which is clearly missing in the images of the military police members. Anyway, Dylan and Mac have found a small access door leading to a small space that they were able to hide in.
Ange was not aware that Evan would be there, however, she is willing to talk. Evan, on the other hand, cannot understand why she would have anything to do with the military. She explains, “Evan, these people have something that we never had, resources, weapons, the ability to control these creatures. I’ve said from day one, that somebody else should be handling this.”
This is way bigger than dinosaurs,” Evan argues, “they want my technology so they can go back to the past and fix the planet”. This stops Ange as she now focuses on Hall. He tells her that he needs the most brilliant minds with him so he can avoid disaster.
Hall then asks Ange why she came to them. Ange states that she had things on her conscience that she needed to discuss. As Evan paces, Hall asks her what she needs to say. Evan pleads, “Ange, don’t do this”.
She begins, “it’s about two of our employees when I was working at Cross Photonics, Bill Pearson (Patrick Sabongui) and Samantha Sedaris (Jodi Balfour). I wasn’t there when it happened. I only saw the aftermath,” then she looks accusingly at Evan, “you brought that thing into our building. I thought we were all going to prison. But Ken, he fixed it, made it all go away. Only, it didn’t go away”.
“I can’t offer you absolution, but I can help you to atone. Think of the billions of lives we can save…” Hall states, sincerely. Evan does not agree. He tells Hall that he will never help him. Angry, Ange demands, “…and why not? If you don’t like what he wants to do, then change what he’s going to do. Just say the word and he will put you in charge of Project Magnet. They are going to do this with or without you.”
Evan, still defiant and unwilling to listen asks her, “who are you?” Ange does not answer, but instead tells him she has accepted a job elsewhere and will be traveling for a while. Then she tells him goodbye and leaves. Her expression says it all.
Mac and Dylan are still sneaking around the facility. They enter a lab with more specimens in jars. Fortunately, Dylan knows something about Latin sounding names. She tells Mac it is Algae.
Hall has dismissed Evan, likely offering him a bathroom break and a cup of coffee while he brings Leeds back in. He tells Leeds he will get one more chance if he convinces Evan, by whatever means necessary, to give up his anomaly detection equipment. Leeds expresses his belief in Evan by telling Hall that Cross will come up with the answer and will save lives as a result.
Colonel Hall knows it, but has to make sure, “so we’re clear, your loyalty is to him”. Leeds replies matter of fact, “yes sir.” No joy, there, colonel. Leeds will not be your stooge.
While Mac and Dylan continue to investigate, the inevitable happens. They get caught and brought before Hall. Dylan launches into her irritation about what Halls people have done to the dinos. Hall accuses Evan of playing dumb while his people snoop around. Then he tells Evan that, because they sensitive government information in their possession, Evan will not see Dylan or Mac for a very long time.
Evan has no choice. He tells Hall that he wins. He destroyed his anomaly detection equipment, but he can rebuild it. Hall does not believe that Evan destroyed his own equipment. And, he wants the whole pie – he also wants whatever Evan invents next. To protect his friends, Evan reluctantly agrees.
Back at Cross Photonics, Evan and Mac look at the frozen body of Mac, while Leeds is escorted to his cell. Ange walks by him and gives him a look, then knocks on Hall’s door. She is obviously still very much around. We also get a glimpse of Mac, Dylan, Toby and Evan at a grave side. It looks as though they have buried the body of the duplicate Mac.
It seems as if this episode is not only about getting down to the details of the story line and where the story arc is headed in the next and final season one episodes, but it is also about changes and the ending of some important, but as yet, unexplored threads that needed to be tied together.
Due to previously unpleasant and often bad choices by Evan Cross, he has sadly lost the loyalty of Ange Finch. He trusted Lt. Ken Leeds far too easily, and he hurt Mac. Will Evan take responsibility for his actions?
It looks as if Mac intends to hold him to his responsibilities. Now that Evan will be working with the military, will he now lose Dylan, who seemed to be completely opposed to their involvement. Where, also, does this leave Leeds? Will he remain in prison now that he has admitted that he supports Evan Cross and not his superior officer, Colonel Hall. Personally, I cannot see him remaining in the military. I still believe that his future lies with Cross Photonics.
We look forward to seeing more of you here at our review site dedicated to our wonderful science fiction series Primeval New World!
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