Charlie and Reena run in different circles in a world which they don’t recognize, but Jade now has a friend and benefactor. They’re out to find a renegade Vexcor scientist, but 01 Boxer is also in pursuit of the same man.
The spoilers aren’t major, and few spoiler tags have been used. If you read on, you will be let in on some lesser secrets.
The show’s still withholding the major ones.
Title: “You Are Here”
Cast and Crew:
Director: Jimmy Kaufman
Jeffrey Pierce as Charlie Jade
Patricia McKenzie as Reena
Tyrone Benskin as Karl Lubinsky
Michael Filipowich as 01 Boxer
Michelle Burgess as Essa Rompkin
Marie-Julie Rivest as Jasmine/Paula
Danny Keogh as Julius Galt
David Dennis as Sew Sew Tukars
Jade and Lubinsky try to solve the mysteries behind the explosion, and of each other. Jade wants to know where he is, and Lubinksy wants to learn where Jade came from. The key seems to be a renegade Vexcor scientist– but 01 Boxer, the only person able to traverse parallel universes without aid, also has a mission to find the man.
Meanwhile, the government identifies an ill Reena as a terrorist involved in the Vexcor explosion, and she must deal with being ill, confused, and on the run. Back on the alphaverse earth, Jasmine gets evicted, and tries to learn something of Jade’s fate from the jaded Sew Sew Tukarrs.
Neither the High Points nor the Low Point are specific points, but pervasive aspects of the series.
1. The creepiness and beauty of the camera work, and the manner in which the film makes the betaverse seems so strange and, at times, disturbing. Given that the betaverse earth is ours (well, ours with the addition of a corporation that has discovered the secret of parallel universes), this has quite an impact.
2. The fact that the people behind this show have thought about parallel universes puts them above most tv series that deal with the concept. If history occurs very differently, many things will change. To date, we’ve only encountered two duplicate people. In one case, however, they have different names and live different lives. In the other, one universe’s version apparently died thirty years ago. They appear to be the exceptions, and not the norm, so we avoid the stupid cliche of wildly different universes which nevertheless have all the same people. Charlie’s apartment building is one of the few that exists in both universes, but it’s a derelict building in the betaverse. Otherwise, Cape City and Capetown could not be more different. Given that they’ve been following different paths for at least thirty years, this makes perfect sense.
Series with stand-alone episodes suffer from the “reset” button, and a paucity of plausible continuity. Serial-style series suffer from episodes where the plot develops very little, and nothing makes much sense to viewers if they haven’t watched what came before.
I’m not certain that we should be at that point by the second episode of a show. Nevertheless, Charlie Jade maintained my interest.
Originality: 3/6 See the previous episode review for my earlier comments. As the show fleshes out its world, however, it becomes less derivative.
Story: 4/6. We get less of the voice-over (and this time, it belongs to 01 Boxer), but a good deal more that needs to be explained. It appears with this second episode that assessing this show, ep by ep, will be difficult. We see too little of the larger plot, and the pacing suffers somewhat.
Acting: 5/6. Pierce appears believable both as a disoriented man, and as someone who can more than hold his own in a fight (one wonders if he has been enhanced somehow by alphaverse technology). Patricia McKenzie plays a very difficult role well.
Emotional Response: 5/6. This makes for a downbeat episode: things aren’t going well for our heroes, and our villains have ascendency, despite the dramatic setback in the first episode. People die in this series, but we also receive glimpses of the better side of humanity.
The final image is haunting.
Overall: 4/6. See “High Points” and “Low Point.”
In total, “You Are Here” receives 32/42
1. This episode confirms that Reena comes from the gammaverse. It seems that the people we saw there last episode are not intruders from the other two universes, and their technology, presumably, is also home-grown. It would be interesting to learn how, then, the gammaverse earth has remained so perfect and pristine.
2. In what sense is Jasmine Jade’s property? Much remains unanswered.
3. Is anyone else at the Bureau watching this thing? As far as I know, it currently airs only in Canada and South Africa.
The Timeshredder’s reviews can be found here.