Charlie Jade: Ouroborous

This we did not expect.
–Man in Gray

Charlie Jade comes to a bizarre and ambiguous conclusion.


Title: “Ouroborous”

First broadcast August 20, 2005.

Cast

Jeffrey Pierce as Charlie Jade
Rolanda Marais as Blues Paddock
Michael Filipowich as 01 Boxer
Tyrone Benskin as Karl Lubinsky
Patricia McKenzie as Reena
Danny Keogh as Julius Galt
Marie-Julie Rivest as Jasmine
David Dennis as Sew Sew Tukkars
Michelle Burgess as Essa Rompkin
Graham Clarke as Brion Boxer

Plot:

When 01 Boxer prepares to open the link, Jade, Reena, Paddock, Lubinsky, and some rogue Vexcor technicians search for a way to save Betaverse.

High Points:

The title (which refers to the image of a serpent biting its own tail) suggests several possibilities, particularly for the relationship between 01 Boxer and Charlie Jade, and among the universes. This episode tantalizes with several of these, and the play with possibilities may be the final episode’s strongest point.

The satire, which figures most prominently in the dramatic encounter between Lubinsky and Galt (whom I really didn’t expect to see again), may be overstated, but it seems apt.

Low Point:

The show’s stylistic weirdness has been an integral part of it, and often both fascinating and effective. Often in this episode, stylistic flourishes become overwrought, and the odd manner in which the story is told becomes pointlessly confusing. I found the staging of the final confrontation between Charlie Jade and 01 Boxer particularly confusing, to no really good end.

The Scores:

Originality: 4/6. For all of its idiosyncrasies, the series has a comparatively conventional ending.

Effects: 5/6. Those flash/colour effects, used before, don’t really work. Otherwise, the effects are generally good.

Story: 4/6. The ending left me unsatisfied. I don’t mind the ambiguity hanging over the Men in Gray. As for those other bodies in the Gray Hospital alongside Boxer and Jade, I personally think they’re other survivors of similar conflicts, though no definitive interpretation is possible, at least at present. However, the needless strangeness so that we can experience a fairly conventional resolution was a bit of a disappointment, in such an outstanding series.

Acting: 5/6. Overall this series has featured strong acting, and the finale is no exception. At times, Benskin and Burgess overplay their parts.

Emotional Response: 4/6 .

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 4/6. Despite some reservations about aspects of this episode, the series overall has been remarkable.

In total, “Ouroborous” receives 31/42

Additional Comments

I’m not certain how another season is possible, without damaging the integrity of this story arc. Worse, it might turn into a higher-quality version of Sliders.. However, another season may not be out of the question.

Meanwhile, the official site lists stations and times where the show can be watched in eastern Europe and (again) in Canada. No word as yet on an American debut.

And finally, a tip of the hat to Singularity Girl. My wife and I were in transit when this episode aired and I had set my VCR to record it. A technical/power error meant that I only got the first few minutes. I had asked SG if she wouldn’t mind recording it, in the event that something like this happened. Thanks again.

The Timeshredder’s reviews may be found here.

4 replies on “Charlie Jade: Ouroborous”

  1. hexfortyfive says:

    good ending
    I thought the "stylistic weirdness" was excellent. When it was explained at the end that he was in Linkspace the whole episode, and that time & space were messed up there. The way all the characters were put on a crazy background and talked to him, it felt a lot like the ST:DS9 pilot when he’s talking to the wormhole aliens.
    The connection between Brion Boxer & CJ has me a little confused/curious. You could really go anywhere with it being that Charlie is an orphan. I would wager that his father is Brion Boxer, but has a different mother than 01.
    I disagree about the MIG hospital. The other people there being survivors of similar conflicts is a little too Matrix, IMHO.

    As much as I would love to see more of this show, the ending of this episode had far more closure than I would have liked; there’s no conflict left if there is free travel between the Verses; except maybe with wherever the MIG are. DeltaVerse.

    And I liked Sliders… except for season 5.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: good ending

      I thought the “stylistic weirdness” was excellent. When it was explained at the end that he was in Linkspace the whole episode, and that time & space were messed up there.

      That part, I didn’t mind. The confrontation, with Essa, bondage, location shifts, et cetera just felt overdone.

      And you have a good theory about Jade’s origins. It would help explain why Brion Boxer had a file on him.

      • majick says:

        Re: good ending
        So where does the girl from the desert fit in?

        In Shortening of the Way, she says she used to go for visits but her mom didn’t like that so she stopped…

        Is it possible that they’re all (Charlie, the Boxers, the girl, and there was on old lady I think) unknowingly from the MIGverse?

        • Timeshredder says:

          Re: good ending

          So where does the girl from the desert fit in?

          Personally, I think she was there (apart from the story’s reason: to teach Charlie) to show us that there are other people who can travel. Maybe it was something she absorbed in the desert, so near to the Vexcor facility. Perhaps, as you say, she’s somehow connected to the MiGs. Or, possibly, some people just can.

          I find the MiGs a more interesting enigma; I don’t know if I want a definite explanation for exactly who they are. I think a show can throw in a few things like that, so long as they don’t overwhelm the series’ version of reality. Life always has a few oddball twists which we never really understand.

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