You ever meet a person or persons that, just a few minutes into the conversation, you can tell these are not your kind of people, not good people, not people with redeeming qualities? I think we all have, which made the machinations aboard Ark 1 in episode 108 of “The Ark” so “nails on the chalkboard” irritating for me on many levels.
I’d postulated earlier that episode 107 was a turning point for this first season and judging by the events of episode 108, I suspect my prediction is going to be spot-on. Mr. and Mrs. Trust are now fully awake and there’s already some stir going on with them, as well as watching Lane continue to make poor decisions, and the continuing romantic ineptness of our resident youthful genius nerds.
So much to take in, so much to anticipate in an episode titled “Every Single Person Matters.” But before we get into some of it, this is your SPOILER ALERT. From here on out, there’s juicy stuff to be spilled. Be aware.
Let me start with Lane, who seems to be incapable of putting two good decisions together to form even a hint of a pattern of good decision-making. Lane wakes up Trust to get the codes to stop Ark 3 from self-destructing. Well done, lad. However, the Trust revelation that is made to the rest of the crew, comes at a price for Lane, who is stripped of his rank because he kept the Trust’s presence a secret under some unwritten “code” with Baylor Trent. I suspect it empowered Lane to have that secret, something he seems to value.
You see, Lt. Garnet was under the impression that some serious headway had been made in the Lane-Garnet relationship. Mutual respect, trust, sense of camaraderie, etc. Not so fast, my friends! Garnet took Lane’s decision to keep the Trust thing silent as a betrayal of all that she thought they’d built. I think Lane felt that was being built, too, but his penchant for self-serving decision-making has been present since episode 1 and now it’s coming home to roost, so to say.
Garnet strips him of his rank because she simply can’t trust him, and I think rightfully so. The two of them clearly saw their relationship at different levels and I’d be remiss if I didn’t once again use the words “self-serving” to describe Lane’s attitude. No sooner is he kicked off the bridge than he swears fealty to Trust, which we all can see is going to be a bad decision. Lane, Lane, Lane, is your desire for power and prestige so great that you just can’t keep yourself from trying to feed at that trough? Or is he simply an insecure man who seeks something he’s not really talented enough to have? Jumping into bed with Trust (keep an eye on his wife) is a major mistake.
Let’s talk about the Trusts. While William Trust seems like the driven, brilliant scientist with a somewhat limited ability to relate to real life, his wife, Helena, is clearly the instinctive, manipulative, overbearing wife who has whipped her husband’s career down the path it has taken. She shanghaied him onto Ark 1 to escape the unpleasantness of Earth and get him to Prixoma B first so he could set up shop as the leader. She’s wily, cunning, cut-throat and a woman riddled with delusions of grandeur.
I dislike them both and did so moments into words coming out of their mouths. They are both self-absorbed and self-promoting and while William Trust seems to offer a modicum of decency at times, his wife is going to be the real issue, I think. I give it one episode before she attempts a takeover of the Ark 1 leadership. I mean, do you really see here ceding control of the ship to Garnet, Brice and the gang for very long? No, hell no. She’s used to getting her way, doing it her way, or paying to have it done her way. Not being in control is not in her tool box. And if you think Lane isn’t going to be drug along for the unpleasant ride, you’re fooling yourself.
But I have to give props to Mercedes de la Cruz and her portrayal of Helena Trust. I mean, she gave off a menace and dominance right out of the box. I think she’s got a vibe with this character that is fantastic and while I already loathe Helena, I can’t help but be so impressed by De La Cruz’s efforts on the Helena front. Well done. I despise you already.
Doesn’t it feel as though the arrival of the Trusts out into the open is the primer for some explosive moments moving forward. Helena had Felix transferred to Ark 1 for her personal use, William and Cat have a thing going on that carries over from Earth. Brice and some others blame Trust for deaths on earth, others salute them as saviors for this opportunity. I thought it interesting that when the Trusts emerged from their hidden chamber, they walked the halls as royalty, dressed in blue robes as they awaited the throngs to adore them.
There was a Roman Senate vibe going on there that was disturbing. It was a nice, subtle little moment that tells you a little bit about how they view themselves. I suspect it’s more Helena than William, but they both seemed to revel in the adulation. Clearly, they see themselves on a level above most others, as something special and people who are entitled. And that spells trouble for Garnet and the others, I suspect.
The Kids: Is there anything more cringe-worthy than watching brilliant, sheltered, youthful nerds stumble around their raging hormones. The Angus-Alicia-Kelly triad is like watching two rabbits being toyed with by a calculating fox. Angus is enamored with the attention Kelly is bestowing on him, which has him subjugating the feelings he knows he has for Alicia. And he’s clunky doing it. As for our bubbly young lady, she’s in a battle that she’s ill-equipped to win when it comes to recapturing Angus’ attentions. I don’t know what Kelly’s game is, but it’s interfering with the love life of our two youngsters and I’m not okay with that. Kelly engenders no trust from me. None.
Our Lovers: The Eva-Brice tension developed over the past two episodes finally erupted with passion-filled trysts all over the ship. Eva’s pleas of “last time” seem shallow and meaningless given they seem willing to find any nook or cranny to enjoy a little “stress relief.” I really like these two characters and Eva’s tenacity is really appealing. The hint that a cure for Brice’s disease could be out there just seems to draw her like a moth to light. I also enjoyed Brice’s punch to Trust’s jaw. Was it as satisfying for him as it was for me? Let me think.
Ark 15: This Ark 15 issue is interesting. Why are they firing on other ships and what’s this green “Aliciaminium” they are able to fire? The Maddox revelation is an interesting one as she clearly ousted Trust back on Earth and set about doing some fancy inventing of her own. The FTL proved beneficial, but also had some weird downside like the ship getting out of phase with itself. That was a fun sequence of “coming and going” confusion, but also confirmed Trust’s assertion that Maddox cut corners on things. Still, there’s this Ark 15 out there somewhere and you have to wonder what its motivation is for attacking the other Arks. Has it destroyed a large portion of the Ark fleet already? That’s a question I’m curious about.
The Doctor: I’m starting to get legitimately worried about Dr. Kabir. She’s unsteady, unsure and now talking herself into having killed the other survivor from Ark 3. She seems at the end of her tether and I don’t think that’s going to be good going forward. Let’s hope she can shake the “shakes” and refind her rhythm as the ship’s lone medical professional.
A solid episode that kind of sets us up for the homestretch in an interesting way. The Trusts are a key element of what’s to come, no doubt. And I look forward to the chaos and mayhem that is surely to follow as they start to spread their self-serving tentacles within Ark 1. Who will get hurt, who will survive, and will Lane see the truth in time to pull his head out and make some good decisions. Stay tuned. Same bat time, same bat channel.
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