This week’s episode provides significant amounts of explanation– and violence.
Title: “Through a Mirror Darkly”
Jeffrey Pierce as Charlie Jade
Michael Filipowich as 01 Boxer
Tyrone Benskin as Karl Lubinsky
Michelle Burgess as Essa Rompkin
Marie-Julie Rivest as Jasmine/Paula
Patricia McKenzie as Reena
David Dennis as Sew Sew Tukkars
Danny Keogh as Julius Galt
This rather brutal episode explains what 01 Boxer has been doing, while leaving us with disturbing questions as to who, really, has the hero’s role.
I found myself thinking a lot about Sin City, another recent genre piece which shows its heroes torturing others: not fighting brutally or applying a bit of physical pressure, but torturing. I cannot entirely separate fiction from cultural context, and so I can’t forget how disturbingly timely such scenes are, given that the west risks serious drift further back in that direction. I suspect the show’s producers are very aware of how their show plays at present. Jade’s methods even get results. However, the show forces us to ask questions about his methods, the relevance of the results, and even his stability. In case we miss the point, we’re reminded rather graphically of what happened to Reena, and we’re shown a parallel scene in Alphaverse, which doesn’t turn out to anyone’s benefit. Unlike Sin City (as I saw it, anyway), Jade follows up on the questions it raises.
I liked seeing Reena’s plotting come to fruition, but the montage that accompanied those scenes played like an early 70s environmental commercial, cheesy and over the top.
Originality: 4/6. Television drama occasionally calls into question the actions of its heroes and villains, showing the hero’s dark side and the villain’s positive attributes, but it usually amounts to a very simplified, temporary representation. This episode shows Jade at his most despicable, while making us feel a bit more affection for 01 Boxer. I don’t mean merely that I understood the psycho’s perspective; I actually caught myself liking him.
The creators lose points, however, for playing the “evil girlfriend” card with Essa Rompkin, and for using a title that’s more theft than allusion.
Story: 5/6. This episode ties together a good many loose ends.
Acting: 5/6. The acting remains strong.
Emotional Response: 6/6 It would be an odd person who does not react to this episode, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if those reactions drive a few viewers away from the show.
Production: 5/6. Excellent, as always, but the club-hit-style repetitions—“where’s your proof?”/”where’s your proof?”—are annoying.
In total, “Through a Mirror Darkly” receives 36/42