Charlie Jade returns home, and the toxic waste hits the fan.

Title: “Spin”

First broadcast July 30, 2005.

Cast

Jeffrey Pierce as Charlie Jade
Michael Filipowich as 01 Boxer
Marie-Julie Rivest as Jasmine
David Dennis as Sew Sew Tukkars
Michelle Burgess as Essa Rompkin
Graham Clarke as Brion Boxer
Bonnie Mbuli as Papa Louis
Tyrone Benskin as Karl Lubinsky

Plot:

Jade’s return to Alphaverse creates a number of problems. The ramifications for Sew-Sew and Jasmine are immediately obvious, but Charlie also sets into motion a chain of events that will lead to Papa Louis’s execution for “corporate crimes.”

Meanwhile Brion Boxer, replenished enough to move around, heads to Gammaverse where, for reasons which remain unclear, he murders 01’s wife and children. This leads to the most anticipated father-son confrontation since Luke Skywalker crossed light-sabers with Darth Vader.

Finally, Essa Rompkin must spin as no corporate head has had to spin before.

High Points:

The show gives us a fair look at how alphaverse earth functions, and I found it chilling. While the show presents an exaggerated vision of a society under corporate control, it’s not without relevance to the real world.

I wish they had made more of Brion and 01’s confrontation, but the juxtaposition of that with Louis’s speech worked very well: Technical Difficulties. Please Stand By.

Low Point:

This episode shows us a chilling, somewhat far-fetched, but not implausible look at how thoroughly a society could be monitored, and how much even current technology can compromise our privacy. Given the ubiquitous nature of this technology in alphaverse, and given the episode’s clear demonstration of how Vexcor uses this technology, it seems very odd that the prison cells should be so poorly monitored.

Finally, it seems unbelievable that Louis would have been permitted to speak at such length on television.

The Scores:

Originality: 5/6. The alphaverse’s resemblances to Blade Runner become very apparent in this episode, but the show itself moves in its own directions.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 5/6. Certain aspects of how Jade rescues Louis (discussed elsewhere in this review) don’t really work for me, but the episode overall packs a powerful punch. Even small details– the kid who wants to grow up to be security, for example– leave a lasting impression.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 5/6 One of the series’ darkest episodes, largely because it shows so clearly how things work in the alphaverse. It’s not pretty, and the references to our own world seem clear enough.

We remain in the dark about Brion Boxer’s motives, but his scenes in gammaverse prove powerful.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6.

In total, “Spin” receives 36/42

Additional Comments

This episode features a number of interesting developments.

1. I’m really curious to learn what Brion Boxer hoped to accomplish when he travelled.

2. Executions are the highest-rated broadcasts in aphaverse? On the surface, that sounds plausible. The commercial presents it as War on Terror meets Reality TV. However, the actual format appears to be a formulaic confession followed by a straightforward death. Are you trying to tell me there wouldn’t be anything better than that to watch, even for the bloodthirsty?
Seriously, that would get old fast. Public executions were a big deal in the past—- but usually, the crowd had followed the trial to some degree. The public lacks that option in alphaverse. I’m not nitpicking; the episode makes the popularity of the executions a key plot point.

3. Given the degree to which people in our real world smile and wave in the face of corporate and governmental duplicity, it seems plausible that some people in the fictional alphaverse would buy Essa Rompkins’ ridiculous story. However, I hope we learn in the next episodes that a good many do not, because it screams of cover-up.

4. Jade and Louis have forced Vexcor to act in a way they hadn’t intended. However, that may not be good for the future of the universes. I applaud the writing, and the development of genuinely difficult situations.

The Timeshredder’s reviews may be found here.