Helen (Rena Owen) at Klesco Oil’s ill-fated celebration in Bristol Cove
Whatever happened to siren song? It does not figure in this episode and has not been mentioned for a while, but the memory of it drove Decker to suicide, and seems to still be troubling Chris Mueller. Ben has a recording of it that he plays from time to time so that he can keep his head on straight. The only mermaids we have heard sing are Ryn and her late sister Donna. Are mermaids like people in that only some of them can carry a tune? Imagine what might happen if an advertising agency ever got hold of Ben’s recording, and figured out what it could do with addictive sound.
A navy researcher (Edwin Perez) takes Ryn’s temperature (92.2 F). Nicole remarks that Ryn “doesn’t seem cold”, and the research assistant suggests that she “must be well insulated”
On the night before the planned attack on the drilling rig, Ben and Ryn and Maddie finally have sex. One assumes that Ben used a condom and that would make it unlikely that Ryn (or Maddie) will become pregnant as a result. (A pregnant Ryn would be an interesting plot twist, though.) Earlier in the day, Ryn had her first experience with Navy researchers studying her cell-regeneration capabilities. It did not go well. (Ryn had made an agreement with Nicole to participate in the experiments in exchange for having charges dropped against Ben and the gang in the death of Xander’s father.) Nicole (Natalee Linez) comes into conflict with her superior officer (Michael J. Rogers) over how to proceed with the research. Continue reading →
That quote pretty well sums up the attitudes that led to the Ascension Project, which is not what it appears to be. The true nature of ASCENSION is not revealed until the end of Episode One, and even at the end of the miniseries the goals of the project are only vaguely explained.
The ship began its journey in 1963, with 600 people on board. In fifty years of isolation from the rest of humanity, the on-board society has stratified. A working class has developed and is unofficially segregated from the rest of the population. We now know that it is highly questionable that a population that small could create a sustainable colony, but in the 60’s it would have been considered more than sufficient.
There are pigs on board. The notion of carrying actual pigs as food animals should have been as ridiculous then as now. In the closed environment, the diet would need to be vegetarian for efficiency’s sake. If animal protein was needed, it could come from farmed insects, or smaller mammals, possibly rodents, that breed quickly. One would think any Ascension biologist would have noticed the absurdity of the livestock, and become a bit suspicious.
ASCENSION was a CBC/SyFy collaboration, but (in contrast to many other SyFy shows) its future is not dystopian. Instead, it involves a wonky sort of utopia, run in absentia by a messianic madman sexually obsessed with Dr. Bryce to the point that he is married to her look-alike. (At one point he arranges to steal Juliet’s seahorse necklace, then gifts it to his wife and insists she wear it during sex.)
Passengers and crew are given to swimming in their underwear. Apparently many of them have lots of leisure time which they mostly use for political intrigue and sex. Only young Christa (Ellie O’Brien) has some notion of what’s really going on, and even she is not aware of her own importance and central role in the scheme of things.
The show is fast-paced and never dull. Harris Enzmann (Gil Bellows) is the spookiest, creepiest, ickiest character to be seen on television in a long while, and, since the ending of the miniseries is most unsatisfying, Ascension’s mission should definitely continue.
Lorelei’s psych evaluation viewed on an antique Sylvania TV
Lauren Lee Smith (Samantha Kruegen) will be Heather Mitchell in the next Jeremy Lalonde feature HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN. She also stars as Samantha Davis, who inherits a possibly haunted country home in the film HUNTING SEASON (Also in the cast are Kris Holden-Ried and Shawn Doyle.) The film has only been released in Spain thus far.
Wendy Crewson (Katherine Warren) is Dr. Dana Kinney on SAVING HOPE. She is also Sheila in FALL, a film (released last October) about a Niagara Falls priest (Michael Murphy) who is accused of misconduct. The cast of FALL also features Katie Boland and Linda Kash, and the film has received five CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS nominations.
Rachel Crawford (Ophelia) is also Sarrah in episode 4 of another CBC miniseries, THE BOOK OF NEGROES, which first aired 28 January. She was also Catherine in seven episodes of CONTINUUM.
ASCENSION PREMIERES IN CANADA 9 FEBRUARY AT 9pm EASTERN ON CBC
Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) looking like a DaVinci painting prepares to close the portal.
BO:Well maybe it’s time I got a little out of control. DYSON:That’s good to hear, because she needs you. BO:You’re not going to tell me to save the world instead of the girl? DYSON:You’ve taught me well. And she’s my friend too.
Evony (Emmanuelle Vaugier) “We’re all going to be barbequed anyway. Might as well have a little fun.”
Bo heads out to save the girl (Lauren), leaving Dyson in charge of defending against the dead guys coming out of the cinvat, but not before putting on that necklace Lauren gave her.
In this episode at least, Dyson behaves like a proper wolf. He is not the leader of the pack. Once he recognizes that Bo is the leader and not Trick, his role becomes clear to him.
MYTHOLOGICAL NOTE:The cinvat is (in Zoroastrianism) the bridge between the world of the living and the world of the dead. It appears narrow for the wicked, allowing them to be more easily snatched by demons on their way across and dragged to the “house of lies” (hell). For the good, the bridge seems wide, allowing them to pass easily across to the afterlife.
Kenzi’s ring in Bo’s hands at the gravesite. Might it serve a plot function similar to Buffy’s Claddagh ring (insert)?
BO (to Massimo):I’ll bet human mommy tastes delicious. LAUREN:Delectable, but don’t take my word for it.
Tamsin to Dyson at the gates of Valhalla – “You can’t let Bo find that other hell shoe.”
Evony, after a flirtatious discussion with Trick, goes to Lauren’s place to rescue her because she needs Lauren to make her Fae again. Bo gets there first, and when The Morrigan arrives, takes her hostage and, after lots of chi sucking by Bo and Massimo, Evony lies dead. Massimo pleads with Bo to revive her. Bo takes chi from Massimo and does that, then kills Massimo with a sword. (This seems a bit vindictive. She could have killed him by sucking all his chi. Perhaps Bo really is more than a bit dark.)
Unknown Hieronymus Bosch work (?) found in the Dark Archives
Bo and Lauren sort out their feelings for one another (see previous post) and Bo heads back to the Temple of the Women of the Horse to help Trick, Dyson, and Tamsin battle her father’s revenants at the cinvat. On the way, she discovers that Kenzi has slipped her engagement ring into Bo’s coat pocket. When Bo arrives at the Temple, Kenzi is already walking toward the portal.
The Buffy series finale involved Spike closing the hellmouth after Buffy appointed him her “champion”. Spike died in the process, but the hellmouth was sealed. In “Dark Horse”, Kenzi, upon careful re-reading of Fae prophesies, decides that she is Bo’s heart, and walks into the cinvat, closing the portal and dying (somewhat less spectacularly than Spike) in the process. Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) attempts to convey Kenzi’s soul (and apparently her entire body as well) to Valhalla, but Dyson finds her collapsed outside Valhalla’s gates. She tells him that Kenzi is “gone”, and cautions him that he must not let Bo find the other hell shoe. She sounds and looks frightened. “What did you see?” he asks her, and gets no answer.
Buffy also wore a necklace when she left Angel’s ring in the mausoleum (Episode 3.3)
As Dyson carries Tamsin away, the gates vanish and are replaced by an alleyway artistically vandalized by graffiti. The implication is that Valhalla, Irkalia, et.al. might be accessed by looking at reality in a different way.
The final scene has Bo, still wearing the necklace, placing sunflowers on Kenzi’s grave. (From the tombstone we learn that Kenzi’s last name is Malikov and that she was born in 1991). Bo fishes the engagement ring from Hale from her pocket and vows aloud that no one else will die on her watch. Here’s something else to remember from Buffy (Season 3 Episode 3). When Buffy decides she’s over Angel, she removes the friendship ring he gave her and places it on the floor of the mausoleum. Angel, who has been trapped in a hell dimension, somehow uses the ring to climb, naked and a bit insane, back into Buffy’s reality. Kenzi’s engagement ring might have a similar function in season 5.
Some months ago, a video of the song The Wanderer as sung by Emilie Mover was posted on YouTube. In it, Bo drives to the graveyard, as she does in 4.13 (perhaps to a different entrance to the graveyard), but is carrying white roses. In “Dark Horse” The Wanderer is replaced by Keaton Henson‘s “You”. Was there an alternate ending to Season 4?
Rainer (Kyle Schmid) dies about ten minutes into this episode, and remains a mystery. Is he The Wanderer or just a wanderer? When he left the train, what happened to the Handmaiden?
Below right is an intriguing tweet from Emily Andras. The video she’s talking about is an ad for Hochtaler that ran in the 80’s. Might another excursion into cabaret singing be in store for Zoie Palmer?
Oh, '80s sexuality: we just played this in the writing room and EVERYONE knew the words. http://t.co/wtDh2TCZSr
THE RETURNED, a 2013 zombie flick with Kris Holden-Ried and Shawn Doyle, can now be pre-ordered on DVD from Amazon Canada. (It will be released on 22 July.) In the US the film is on Amazon Instant Video. Another Holden-Ried film from 2013 that also has Shawn Doyle in the cast, HUNTING SEASON, is available on FIOS VOD (Verizon) from time to time, but otherwise has only had general release in Spain.