SurrealEstate Reviews: “Quarantine” and “Baba O’Reilly”

–Pleased to meet you, Constance.
–Die in a fire, Bob.

SurrealEstate continues a generally strong streak with two closely-connected episodes which share a writer and a director.

The first one uses a premise with which contemporary viewers will be very familiar.

Titles: “Quarantine,” “Baba O’Reilly”

Cast and Crew

Director: Danishka Esterhazy
Writer: George Olson

Tim Rozon as Luke Roman
Sarah Levy as Susan Ireland
Adam Korson as Father Phil Orley
Maurice Dean Wint as August Ripley
Savannah Basley as Zooey L’Enfant
Tennille Read as Megan Donovan
Jennifer Dale as Victoria Roman
Jefferson Brown as Bob Livingstone
Asha Vijayasingham as Stacey
Leila Beaudoin as Maria Suarez
Alison Brooks as Rita Weiss
Paul Ewan Wilson as Anthony Tamblyn
Alison Woolridge as Constance Ireland
Art Hindle as Carl Roman
Marcus Zane as Teen Luke
Jeremy Watson as Teen August
Matthew Isen as Teen Phil
Greg Malone as the Voice of the House
Frankie O’Neill as Nellie Neal
Zara Matthews as Teen Nellie Neal

Premise

Susan wins a major award, but supernatural doings keep the group quarantined in their office. The episode ends with Luke wondering if he should quit the business. The audience, meanwhile, realizes that the agency has not defeated their foe, and it’s following one of the principal cast home.

While Susan tries to assist a bedeviled acquaintance, the others find themselves in a house that keeps its inhabitants perpetually sixteen and superficially happy.

High Points

These episodes use interesting stories to explore the characters’ histories, families, and personalities. The actors who play the teen versions of the Roman agency do a great job, including Savannah Basley, the only one young enough to passably portray her teenage self. The bringing together of different generations of youth creates some entertaining and clever moments. It’s not only a teenage wasteland.

Low Points

The news reports (and the rival agents) in “Quarantine” feel over the top (not even Fox News sounds like that), while the horror-house trope of people splitting up while facing danger gets overused.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 The episodes use familiar tropes, but they twist and reinvent them.

Acting: 6/6

Story: 4/6 Both episodes have solid premises, but both resolve a little too easily and predictably.

Production: 5/6

Effects: 4/6 Some of the visuals could have been better.
The final shot is a horror trope, but it packs a punch nevertheless.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Susan makes entertaining use of her pyrokinetic powers in “Quarantine.” In “Baba O’Reilly,” we learn she can also wield her telekinetic powers quite effectively. That’s not necessarily a problem, but, like Star Trek‘s transporter or Superman’s excessive abilities, it creates challenges for future writers. I can think of several situations where Susan should be able to resolve some problems quite easily. That drains the dramatic potential—or requires that some element prevent her from doing so, episode after episode.

In total, SurrealEstate, “Quarantine” and “Baba O’Reilly” receive 32/42

One reply

  1. lost says:

    On the telekinesis thing, I was thinking the same. They did kind of hint obliquely that she had telekinetic powers when they revealed the pyrokinetics. I’m thinking she used the pyrokinetics there because it was flashier and easier to demonstrate. I do hope there’s a reason she doesn’t use the telekinetics all the time, though. (I’m also thinking the telekinetics are kind of how she controls the fire when she makes it.)

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