Episode 9 – Abduction
Moving close to the season finale now and I have to say this was the most enjoyable, complete episodes I have seen so far. There was lots of genuine emotion and the stakes were high.
One great part of this episode is that it takes place almost exclusively in one location: Quinn and Hynek’s office. It really gives Gillen and Malarkey a chance to ‘wear’ their characters in a way they haven’t really been given the opportunity to as yet in a more theatrical, more intense situation. They both prove up to the task.
The pair of investigators are visited by a man who claims to have been abducted by aliens. With his wife in tow, he holds up the office at gunpoint so that he can tell his story. Malcolm Goodwin and Khalilah Joi provide great depth to the story in their roles as Thomas and Valerie Mann, characters who are loosely based on real-life abductees Barney and Betty Hill. The Hills were the first widely-publicised victims of alien abduction. in addition to the abduction story, the Hills were also unusual in the fact that they were an interracial couple (Betty was white) at a time when this was incredible uncommon, even in the northern state of New Hampshire. they were members of the NAACP and Barney was a civil rights campaigner. Their encounter happened on their way back from a holiday in the Niagara Falls area.
As their story goes, they observed strange lights for some time before a large craft approached and hovered around 100ft above their car. They saw figures looking out of the craft at them before they were taken on board. Their experiences on board the alien ship involved the usual, what has become quite stereotypical over the years, probing and exams and then they were returned to the ground. There is a great deal of controversy over their story and it has largely been refuted, despite the consistencies in the Hills’ stories under hypnosis. Barney’s description of the alien creatures was very similar to those that appeared in an episode of The Outer Limits only two weeks before the ‘encounter’ took place
There are some big details which are changed around (in the show, only the husband is abducted) but, as stated above, the real strength of this episode is not in the details of the story; it’s in the strength of the writing and in the acting. This is also the first episode where I have felt any genuine interest in the goings on with Mimi and Susie. As puzzling as some of Susie’s actions are in this episode, plot-wise, it’s all very well done. It’s still a bit worrying how their son is always home super late though.
Hynek, having drafted his resignation from Project Blue Book, feels like a very liberated character in this episode, as if he has a new degree of confidence in his position. This is put across very well by Gillen. He stands up for himself physically on several occasions in this episode and it sets us up for a really interesting finale.
So, this was my favourite episode so far. A good story, well-written with plenty of opportunity for the leads to flex their acting muscles and a degree of ‘gravity’ to things that has been largely missing so far. It takes a while sometimes to build up relationships on screen and we seem to be there now with Quinn and Hynek.
Thanks for reading. I know it’s been a big gap between episode 8 and this one (I think I did the last review back in June) but I was distracted by other series and it took me a while to get back to this. On tonight’s evidence, I’m glad I did come back.
Thanks for reading,
You can read the rest of my episode reviews by clicking the links below..