Recently, a discussion thread at the Bureau raised the problem of people who constantly ask what is happening in a show or movie, why it’s happening, and questions of this nature. Usually, they appear to be operating under the assumption that you somehow know more about the show/movie than they do, when, usually, you’ve both been watching for the same amount of time.
Okay. Don’t ever watch Charlie Jade with someone like that in the room.
Title: “Dirty Laundry”
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 becomes involved in the world of South African politics when he’s hired to learn the fate of a missing political activist. Meanwhile, the plotting and counter-plotting among our villains continues.
Elsewhere, Reena’s torture takes an even nastier turn, as we learn that she’s not so much being interrogated as indoctrinated and programmed.
Jasmine, meanwhile, tries to free herself.
Once again, the High Points aren’t one specific scene in the show, but overall elements.
1. The show’s pilot gave us a glimpse at the oddness of our actual world. This episode’s forays into realistic South African politics, real-life divisions between rich and poor, and tribalism in the modern world prove as disorienting and strange as the SF elements in the show. Charlie Jade makes the real world seem alien.
2. The willingness to be complex, to not dumb down or simplify the show– at least, not very much. This isn’t so much a series as it is a novel on television, and the show may already be incomprehensible to anyone who hasn’t been watching.
And its characters get caught up in the show’s complex realities, so that everyone, in the end, is compromised.
This isn’t one of those gritty shows where the heroes have it tough, and the villains are constantly ascending, until the hero dramatically turns the tables at the end. Yes, our heroes have it very tough, but it regularly sucks to be anyone in this show. The villains demonstrate why so many corrupt ventures often fail. Such endeavors attract people who only get involved for their own narrow benefits, and they don’t hesitate to screw their partners over if it serves their purpose. You can know that your co-conspirators are doing this, but still need to rely on them.
Charlie Jade understands how that works, and that’s rare for television, especially genre television.
While I generally like (or have adjusted to) the show’s disturbed and shaky house style, the repeated clips used during the encounter in the park just struck me as annoying.
Originality: 5/6 The show’s early episodes were derivative, and the alphaverse continues to resemble Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner viewed through filters. However, Charlie Jade has developed in directions that resemble nothing else currently on television. This episode finds inventive ways to present most of its new developments.
Emotional Response: 5/6 This ranks among the best episodes thus far.
Production: 6/6. The music was especially well-used this week.
Overall: 5/6. Great stuff– but the narration has returned. I hope it doesn’t start overwelming the show again.
In total, “Dirty Laundry” receives 37/42
The Timeshredder’s reviews can be found here.