As I stated on Twitter, I missed putting up the “O Mother Where Art Thou” review because I was immersed in the fantasy world of DragonCon and couldn’t finish but below is the introduction I wrote before I left, which summarizes my feelings well:
The title of this episode is a big ol’ spoiler. Still, I’m patting two-weeks-ago me on the back for my prediction that the female assassin in Khlyen’s story was Aneela/Dutch’s mom and she would have something to do with their salvation. What I didn’t predict was the beautiful love story that unfolded between Khlyen and Yalena Sr. And I had no way of knowing that Khlyen was willing and able to end his and Aneela’s life to defeat the Lady 200 years prior.
The character of Khlyen has shape-shifted so profoundly since being introduced in the pilot. The more we see of the past, the more the present makes a tragic sense. If it weren’t for the echo of a profound love between a man and a woman and their love for their child, this whole alien armada of doom roaming through the J would never have existed. The Lady and the green would have died on a distant planet bordering a pulsar. The death and suffering that this tiny family has caused are inexcusable … yet I still find myself rooting for Dutch to save them all.
Jaquobis Family Reunion
This episode’s strength was how it drew the parallels between D’avin’s hypervigilance that sent him running from Lucy and his less-than-ideal upbringing. Both Dutch and Papa Jaqobis felt it their place to harden Jaq with their brand of tough love, and D’avin knows the toll that brand of love has had on him, John, and Dutch. Papa Jaqobis’ almost forced joviality and inability to see the serious scars he’s left on his boys felt authentic. Most abusive parents don’t see themselves as the bad guy.
I hope we see dad again before it all ends next year. D’av confronted him in some important ways but there has not been a full resolution and I feel like Dad and Johnny really need to have their moment as well. The motif of family and parenthood on this show lends itself to giving this triad serious closure. We’ll see how it all turns out in 2019.
One nitpick is that I can’t think of a single reason D’av wouldn’t tell Johnny why he left home before now, and in earlier seasons it’s implied that he was proud to enlist in the army. In 205, “Meet the Parents” D’avin says he left to keep from killing his father. It’s not a direct contradiction but I can’t help but think if Papa Jaqobis had levied an ultimatum between jail and army, it would have come up in that heated exchange. I thought for certain D’avin’s pattern of panic running would be addressed in a pointed fashion but come to find out he was all but exiled by his dad so it has no connection to him running off into the night with Jaq. It seems like a missed opportunity.
Dutch & Zeph
An effective counterpoint to the tough (abusive) love of Papa Jaqobis was Zephyr pushing herself to her limits in order to save Dutch from her reckless decisions. Speaking of consistency, I do enjoy the recognizable patterns in Dutch’s behavior. She isolates herself, gets hardheaded, and puts herself in danger when she’s pursuing an objective. Zeph is the latest in the line to (lovingly) call her on her shit. Their relationship has been special since day one when Dutch circumvented Turin to personally invite her onto the team. When this duo gets together, it’s all scientific experimentation, hard truths, and life lessons. Their scenes also really drive home all the pressure Zeph is under right now trying to keep everyone she cares about alive. It seems like their talk really got through to Dutch but we’ll see soon enough if that’s true.
Presumably making the pulsar look like a black hole was to scare ships off but if the ships can’t detect it until their within the gravity well, it defeats the purpose.
I absolutely love Yalena Senior and intentional or not, this show has been remarkably consistent with how the Ladies of the Nine have handled themselves from Delle Seyah to Seyah Simms, to Pawter when she took over Land Simms and now Yalena. There is something about their speech patterns and posture that binds them.
I want to cosplay Yalena Kin Rit.
Nice idea to have Papa Jaqobis think that their last meeting was a drunken fever dream and be the impetus for him to stop drinking.
I really enjoy Jaq and the dynamic between him and D’avin.
Charlie was not necessary to this story and her being in league with the hullen seemed obvious from moment one.
[while watching the Dutch and D’avin apology and kiss] “Squeeee!”
“Jaq?! You shouldn’t name things you can’t keep.”
“Guns, my boy brought guns!” … “Trust me Jaq, you never forget your first firefight.”
“Ok but Dutch, no matter what dark shit you’ve been through, you can let in some light without setting everything on fire.”