Charlie Jade: Thicker Than Water

Jade, Gemma Gaetano, and Karl Lubinksy examine the mystery of the disappearing reservoir, and learn that Vexcor’s secrets may be even darker than they imagined. Meanwhile, O1 returns to the Betaverse and his old, twisted self.

Title: “Thicker Than Water”


Jeffrey Pierce as Charlie Jade
Michael Filipowich as 01 Boxer
Tyrone Benskin as Karl Lubinsky
Michelle Burgess as Essa Rompkin
Nina Swart as Gemma Gaetano
Marie-Julie Rivest as Jasmine/Paula
Danny Keogh as Julius Galt
Langley Kirkwood as Ren Porter


We learn more about Charlie and Gemma’s pasts as Alphaverse street urchins, 01 Boxer returns to his old “Mr. Hyde” personality, Brian Boxer needs some special help, Gemma, Charlie, and Lubinsky play a desperate gambit against Vexcor, and the dangers presented by the Link become apparent.

High Points:

1. The interplay and conflicts among Jade, Gaetano, and Lubinsky works well: better, in fact, than their conflict with Galt and Porter.

2. This episode presents a good example of how Evil Corporations and Evil Empires come into existence, and how they gain and maintain the support of essentially good people. Anyone writing SF about such entities should consider the show’s handlings of Vexcor, in addition to real-world examples. (I recommend iceowl’s Enron and the Cult of Personality for one take on this subject in the real world)

Low Point:

1. I know the series needs a Big Stake, but I rather liked the fact that, until now, the conflict centered on (1) Vexcor’s desire to rape two less environmentally-damaged earths and exploit their resources and (2) Charlie’s desire to return home. Now, we have the Fate of the Entire UniverseTM (actually, the Fate of at least Three Entire Universes) at stake. I’m a little disappointed.

2. Gemma’s farewell remarks for Charlie Jade suggest that she understands how corrupt Vexcor is, and has always understood this. And yet, the earlier introduction to her character suggests otherwise and also makes more sense. See the second “High Point” for additional information.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. This episode scores points for its handling of Vexcor, but loses them for a forced, too-conventional final act.

Effects: 5/6. The water effects don’t quite look right, but the otherwise remains noteworthy for strong visuals.

Story: 5/6.

Acting: 5/6. The acting remains strong, though some characters become more histrionic than necessary in this episode.

Emotional Response: 5/6.

Production: 6/6. Production remains strong, and the episode gets special mention for the oddest use of a Beach Boys song.

Overall: 5/6.

In total, “Thicker Than Water” receives 35/42

Additional Comments

We have not learned the full truth about 01 Boxer, though we have a clearer sense of why he is able to teleport. As for his Jekyll/Hyde personalities, he may be attuned somehow to the universes, fluctuating among personalities that suit them. Alternatively, perhaps his peculiar, altered molecular nature simply create the personality shifts we see? Or is something else at work– especially since both the “good” and “bad” versions of 01 have the same apparent feelings about Vexcor?

3 replies on “Charlie Jade: Thicker Than Water”

  1. the only viewer
    I didn’t feel quite so clear about 01’s "powers". Is anyone who’s traveled through the link numerous times gifted with the ability to travel between worlds at will? I doubt it. I think it has something to do with his mother, who’s probably from Beta. She may even be from that village of freaks where that special water was discovered — who knows.

    As an aside, did Gemma’s skin colour change when she became a C2? And when CJ was in the restroom of the Vexcor building, was Jasmine actually in the equivalent place in Alpha? Was she with that shady cop? Nasty!

    • Re: the only viewer

      I didn’t feel quite so clear about 01’s “powers”. Is anyone who’s traveled through the link numerous times

      The official site confirms that 01’s mother is from beta, though I avoid relying on that information. However, it’s clear that travelling does something to people at the molecular level– something which 01, for reasons not clear (there is, again, more info at the site, but I haven’t read it) has in the extreme, as a kind of permanent state of being. Water also connects to both the travelling and the visions.

      • Re: the only viewer
        01 can travel through the link without the use of a machine because he used the prototype machine that his father had created to travel, initially. 01 didn’t know that the prototype had side-effects on a molecular level, side-effects which were worked out of the standard machines that vexcor now uses. Both 01 and his father have the ability since they are the only two that have used the prototype.

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