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Its TNT and/or NBC playground – I don’t really know which. They own the characters, dialogues, plots, quotes etc. These analysis are for pure entertainment only – mostly my own.
About the analysis:
Ok, this will NOT be an episode guide, though you will find plenty of spoilers! My analysis are purely subjective, my opinion, my take. Simply for the reason that I’m the one on the keyboard!
Disagree with me? Let it be heard! Give feedback and gimme hell if you want! Write a note or your own take!
Special Note:Don’t expect me to go into any length about the pretends, because I won’t. For me its only about the characters, their individual development in each episode and their interaction with each other. The central theme for me is the Centre-related story, and only when the pretends and the people Jarod meets along his travels, are important to his character development or the Centre-related-plot, I will pay attention. And more often than not you will wonder if the series’ main character might be Miss Parker and not Jarod. She of course is as important to the show as he is. Even when her scenes are only short in an ep., you might be surprised at the length I can go about it. It’s a personal thing. I was drawn into the series by her character, and I do regard her not only as very important but also as my favorite one. Go, and hate me for that. *grin*
Oh, and of course, obviously these have been written all AFTER I saw it all. So sometimes I can go ahead of the series – I will try to not do it too much though and try hard to not dwell on it a lot.
And take into account that these analysis are NOT betaed! My first language is German so please don’t mind the inevitable errors!
Ah well, the main plot of this episode is that Jarod finds his first girlfriend, in the process discovers sex for the first time and has to leave her behind. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy loses girl. Well duh.
As dull as this sounds, I didn’t despise the ep, mind me. It unravelled a lot about the conflicted personality of Jarod and also offered interesting informations about Jarod’s and MP’s past. They were both used in a simulation, an experiment on sexuality no less! This episode dates their first meeting and curious attraction to each other way back when they were about ten years old.
The beginning was a hilarious touch. It was the scene were Jarod is in that diner and watches ‘The Three Stooges’. The waitress explains him, that the affinity for this tv-show is one of the mysteries between the sexes, when a minute later Jarod actually laughs out loud. I thought that was pretty funny. We have seen the pretender amused at trivial things before, after all its all new to him. But this little ‘gender-humor’ was well placed.
Jarod is a Park Ranger, working with Nia on the job, the Argentine beauty he had met briefly before in that diner. He seems to be immediately caught up by her charm. And I have to agree, the actress is a fine looking woman, but I was nevertheless a bit disappointed – not by her performance, but by the lack of chemistry between them.
She had a difficult role to play, a tough mountain girl with a horrible past that is still haunting her, and she played it rather well. But there were moments when I didn’t buy their mutual attraction, but that might just be me.
Their exchanges on Star Wars was a funny addition. When it comes to popular culture, Jarod is so oblivious, especially during the first two seasons, and his discoveries always included some welcome side humor.
That Jarod is attracted to her I can understand well. As said, she is a beautiful woman, and has the right touch of vulnerability around her that seems to draw him in.
Our pretender ‘consults’ his DSA-files for some ‘advise’ on his confused feelings, and that’s when we see the experiment with Miss Parker. I don’t think that we should regard this as any sign of a possible MP/J-shipper move. It’s simply natural in my opinion, that the sexually deprived and insecure man would go back to his first – and only – experience with a girl, no matter who that girl was.
But as mentioned, the mutual attraction between Jarod and Nia seemed a bit forced, not ‘flowing’ easily as it could, or should.
They share their secrets and their pain, and end up in giving solace to each other. It is plausible, but it just lacked a bit of ‘magic’. But let it be said, I don’t think that this really was about romance, about passion. Their love-making was a refuge, for both of them, they needed someone to hold on to, and they had each other.
Now, Miss Parker’s interest on the other hand, was purely a hint to the shippers out here. Maybe even more than a hint, to some it was ‘the’ proof that she wants him – and not just back at the Centre. And really, her interest in J’s conversation with Sydney on women was more than just detached interest on his whereabouts. And later we see her musing about some of their encounters as children. At first we find out that Jarod is one of the few people in the world who knows her first name. She had whispered it into his ear, when at their first meeting she apparently wasn’t allowed to tell him.
At her second flashback, we see something else. Young Miss Parker was the girl who gave Jarod his first kiss. It’s a beautiful scene, shows us that little MP was as goal-driven and determined as her older version we know now. She approaches the nervous and insecure boy with little hesitation, and kisses the surprised, but as it seems also very happy, young man.
The most apparent sign of Miss Parker’s interest, or even jealousy if you will, is when she meets Nia at the end. She gives her that look-over that seems to measure Nia, I could almost hear her unheard question in her head: ‘what did he like in that woman, what was it?’
The goodbye between Nia and Jarod is a moving scene, more believable than the other ones. He doesn’t really know how to say goodbye to a person he became so close, physically and emotionally. He shared so much with her and we can see how it troubles him. Jarod isn’t only searching for his family, he searches for a connection, someone to hold on to, and he could have that with Nia, but he can’t stay.
Nia’s last scene, her encounter with Miss Parker, was really very convincing. She stood up against the fearful presence of MP, not afraid – she HAD seen worse – and adds a little dry humor as well.
The other performances, were similarly good. I always enjoy watching Broots working his magic and Sydney’s subtle questioning. As much as Syd was suspicious at the promise of success in getting a tech-geek into the search, as much he seems now convinced at the capability of our favorite computer-nerd. Their scenes together here were flawless, and I was amused at Syd’s increasing impatience at Broot’s search.
All in all I give it 3 out of 5 points. It was a good ep in terms of character development but not a hit. The pretend itself – aside from Nia – wasn’t very interesting and the side plot deserved a little bit more time.