PROJECT BLUE BOOK – Season 1 Episode 9 – SPOILERS
Just as he is about to quit Project Blue Book, Dr. Hynek is taken hostage (along with Quinn and his secretary) by a man who claims to have been abducted by aliens. Thomas Mann and his wife Valerie (played by Malcolm Goodwin and Khalilah Joi) are from New Hampshire, just like Betty and Barney Hill, the first widely publicized alien abductees whose close encounter happened in September 1961. Thomas gets Valerie to dig an implant out of his neck (an implant that he knows he has only after Hynek hypnotizes him). Shortly after that, Quinn saves Mr. Mann from certain death by knocking him out of the way of a sniper’s bullet, something one might have expected Hynek to do. Quinn’s rescue of Mann could indicate that he developed genuine sympathy for Mann’s plight, or (more likely) that all of Quinn’s actions during the hostage situation were designed to persuade Hynek not to quit the project.
Quinn also surprises by being familiar with the word “pareidolia” (the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern). He uses the term after Hynek determines that the pattern of dots drawn by Mr. Mann corresponds to the Pleiades star cluster as seen from an unearthly vantage point. This is a fictionalized reference to Betty Hill’s star map which (it has been suggested) shows the arrangement of nearby G-type stars as seen from the Zeta Reticuli system, some 39 light years from Earth.
Implants have been found in the bodies of many (but not all) abductees. Some have been removed surgically and analysed, with inconclusive results.
The episode’s best moment happens when Valerie gets impatient with Quinn’s inability to understand why she’s risking prison to help her husband. “I’ve known him for fifteen years,” she says. “I love him. I trust him. And if he says aliens abducted him, then I believe him, and I’ll do whatever I can to help him get better. Do you not have anyone in your life that you’d do that for? No wonder you don’t understand.”
Back in Ohio, Susie’s nameless associate (Currie Graham) finds some surveillance photos of Mimi among Susie’s personal things, and they give him an idea. “Let’s say,” he tells Susie, “Mrs. Hynek were to have a dalliance of sorts and it was photographed. I’ll bet her husband, the esteemed professor and Air Force lackey, would do just about anything to keep those photos out of the public eye.” He goes on to suggest that, if Susie should fail to do this, he might find his own sort of blackmail to use against the Hyneks.
Fortunately, Susie (Ksenia Solo) has another plan. After provoking him to hit her again, Susie visits Mimi (Laura Mennell), shows her bruises, and suggests the two of them get drunk together. Susie (possibly) gets the pictures her associate wanted, but does not give them to him. She meets her less than desirable partner in espionage late at night in a prearranged, isolated spot, and shoots him three times, making it look like self-defense. Poetically, someone on the radio is singing “Oh, Donna”. (It is not Richie Valens, but another, unidentified, singer.) If Susie is as smart as she seems, there will be just enough evidence in her associate’s car to implicate him in Donna’s murder. (Mimi, however, is beginning to get suspicious of her new friend. If she finds the bug in Allen’s study, Susie’s plans will almost certainly fall apart.)
Allen (Aidan Gillen) comes home to find The Fixer waiting for him outside his house. The man-in-black hands Hynek a plane ticket, and tells him: “You need to leave tonight. Something big is about to happen, something you’ve been waiting for since you took this job. Proof.” Hynek goes inside and tells Mimi that he has to go away again. On TV in the background is Episode 11 of the science fiction anthology series TALES OF TOMORROW, titled “The Search for the Flying Saucer”. As Hynek walks out the door, Jack Carter’s character is saying: “I don’t know, Ginny, but I’ll find out. I’ll find out a lot of things. I’ll find out why they come here; who sent them; what’s behind all this.”
It seemed that, after the events of “The Green Fireballs“, Allen was planning to let Mimi know everything that was going on with Project Blue Book, and involve her in his work. Donna’s death and Mimi’s reaction to it made him change his mind about that. Now he seems to have bonded with Quinn once again, and allows The Fixer to assign him another mission.
TALES OF TOMORROW aired Fridays at 9:30pm on ABC, and “The Search for the Flying Saucer” was first broadcast on 9 November 1951. In the episode, Army pilot Vic Russo (Jack Carter), who was grounded after reporting an encounter with a UFO, and is determined to prove flying saucers exist, travels to a remote New Mexico town to investigate saucer sightings, but the locals refuse to talk about the subject. All except Crazy John (Vaughan Taylor), who offers to take Vic to a landing site.
Malcolm Goodwin (Thomas Mann) will be Marvin in BE THE LIGHT, which stars Cara Santana as Celina, a woman who discovers that her estranged father is dying of cancer, and decides to return home to repair their relationship and fight for her father’s right to proper care. She reconnects with reformed gangster Marvin (an old friend) who helps her help her dad. Tom Cavanagh is also in the cast. BE THE LIGHT, which is also directed by Goodwin, was filmed in Los Angeles last summer. No release date has been announced.
Season One of PROJECT BLUE BOOK will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 9 April.
Khalilah Joi (Valerie Mann) will be the young Elizabeth Howard (who is destined to become the mother of Bonnie Carlson) in three second season episodes of BIG LITTLE LIES, a dark comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley as Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, three prominent and troubled Monterey mothers. Bonnie Carlson (Zoe Kravitz) is a yoga instructor married to Madeleine’s ex-husband. She has a daughter named Skye, played by Chloe Coleman. Meryl Streep will appear in Episode 2.1 as Mary Louise Wright, mother of Perry Wright (who was killed off at the end of Season One.) Like the first season, Season Two of BIG LITTLE LIES will consist of seven episodes, and will premiere on HBO sometime in June.