Charlie’s leads draw him further into the series’ dark world, Reena undergoes torture, Jasmine wants to remains free, we get a glimpse of Gammaverse politics, and we finally witness 01 Boxer travelling between worlds.
Title: “And Not a Drop to Drink”
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
Jade witnesses 01 Boxer travelling between universes, and also returns to the place where he first arrived in the Betaverse. His investigation leads him to the wife of a man who was convicted of crimes committed by Vexcor, and he uses the situation to try to draw out the man who has been tailing him.
Reena, meanwhile, undergoes torture by people unknown, and Jasmine receives a message from Charlie.
The manner in which Jade draws out the Vexcor spook impressed me. Their confrontation proves both gripping and believable. Jade’s fighting skills– think Krav Maga or something similar– result in the kind of violence we don’t see in Sin City or Kill Bill. It’s less extreme, but it has a greater impact, because it is brutal without being cartoonish.
Charlie Jade doesn’t pull its punches, nor does it shy away from showing consequences. In a realistic version of an action movie fight, the combatants don’t just get a few scratches, and one guy doesn’t walk away.
I admire the show’s cinematography. I cannot think of another series that fills each episode with so many strikingly-composed, atmospheric shots. Even the ugliness is artisticially beautiful. And I recognize that the show does not want to rush its story. However, I would happily trade in, say, one of each episodes’ lingering shots in exchange for a plot that moved just a little bit faster.
Originality: 5/6 Despite the derivative elements in this show, I give this episode credit for both its believable violence, disturbing (though not lingering) handling of torture, and willingness to critically address issues of civil rights in an era of terrorism and the environmental consequences of corporate misbehaviour.
One wonders if this thing will play U.S. television any time soon.
Acting: 6/6. Everyone does a stunning job this week with difficult material. Patricia MacKenzie deserves some kind of award for suggesting the torture we don’t actually see. I was also impressed by the scenes with the girl in the desert. Television usually doesn’t find such natural child actors.
Emotional Response: 5/6. This episode packs several powerful emotional punches.
In total, “And Not a Drop to Drink” receives 38/42
The Timeshredder’s reviews can be found here.