It’s good to hear that Project Blue Book has been picked up for a second season. Looks like we’ll get to go deeper into a protracted arc for some of the characters. If this week’s episode was anything to go by, things will continue to pick up speed.
Episode 7 – The Scoutmaster
I was fooled into thinking this was going to be a little more ‘monster of the week’ than the previous two episodes; however, there were some nice developments of character and narrative along the way.
Hynek seems to be over his desperation of the previous week, or is putting on a show for the brass while his top secret new artefact is literally burning a hole in his pocket.
The action diverges for a while as our two protagonists go their separate ways. Hynek is off to Bowling Green, Ohio to investigate reports from a Scout troupe that their scoutmaster has been spirited away by aliens. Meanwhile, Quinn is engaged with some double dealing between the Russian agent from the previous episode and General Harding. Quinn gets some very good lines in his ‘interrogation’ scene and he makes fine use of them. There’s a memorable trick with a salt pot which is nicely done and then, later in the scene, he uses a fork to good effect.
Hynek’s case is another one based on actual events, though the action has been transplanted from its real life setting of South Florida to the woods of Ohio. The tale of scoutmaster Sonny DesVergers is quite a famous one from 1952, when he emerged burned and disorientated claiming to have seen a UFO that shot a fireball at him. Capt. Edward J Ruppelt (the real life Quinn), of Project Blue Book investigated the case and found it to be a hoax, despite witnesses saying that DesVergers’ fear was unlike anything they had even seen. In the fictionalised version we see, Hynek goes Lt. Columbo for a little while (not a bad thing), enlisting the help of the scouts to uncover the truth. Hynek is clearly wrestling with the things he’s already seen that he is not prepared to put up with anything that isn’t holding water.
There are some nicely arranged clues to be followed within the episode: photographs, eyewitness accounts and even remains. The skull, which is perhaps the most intriguing, is wrapped up a little too quickly in my opinion and so it loses a little bit of the impact it could have had.
So, there was a lot to like about this week’s episode. It was well paced without a great deal of extraneous plot to get distracted by (no Mimi). Quinn and Hynek were both given plenty to do and the story reminded me a little of Mark Frost’s Secret History of Twin Peaks yet again. That book also features a scout troupe having a mysterious encounter in the woods. There were some memorable scenes (the interrogation in particular) and there is a nice tension building between our two protagonists. I wonder where it is heading.
Thanks for reading. You can check out my reviews of the other episodes by clicking the links below.