Monday, November 19, 2007

Bionic Woman - a man in the picture

After the pilot, this show felt very slow-paced, especially compared to an adrenaline-fueled show like Alias. Some episodes even had flashback - ugh.

The action scenes were always rocking (though I'm a little specious of her ability to leap from the ground to the top of a building), but I found myself fast-forwarding through talking scenes. (which is the opposite of several other shows, where I'm much more interested in the human drama and banter than the blood-spillage.)

I think the writers have caught on though, and are taking themselves less seriously, allowing some fun in to over-ride the ultra-serious lab crowd. In the last couple of episodes, I've become almost as interested in Jaime's conversations as I am in her kick-boxing moves.

It helps that they've pulled back from the politics at the lab and brought in a relaxed cute CIA Agent, Tom. This was definitely a mid-season decision as he's not listed in the original materials. The introduction of CIA Agent Tom as a partner/love interest could have gone very wrong. But I think it's succeeding - it gives her someone to verbally spar with, however heavy-handed that may come across at times.

He's a far better foil than her sister or any of the guys back at the lab. And I'm enjoying the comedic effect of his self-titled "chivalrous" attempts to protect her. As Antonio says to him "You're in so far over your head and don't even know it."

In their first operation together, he's all "I'll go down - you stay here and cover me." Jaime warns him "Don't underestimate me..."

Next ep, she chastises him, saying she's not a "trophy spy." When he's unable to kick down a door, she "helps" him. His response is a classic "I loosened it."

The conflict heats up when he says "I'm going in alone... It's too dangerous."

Jaime snaps back "You may think you're being a gentleman but it's condescending. Get over yourself."

Actions speak louder than words and he finally gets it, even though she tries to take it back, saying she didn't mean it:
Him: "Clearly you can kick some ass"
Her: "I can"
Him: "You can."

Compelling, eh? But then he has to make sure we know what's really important: "God you're beautiful." Gag.

At the beginning of this episode (107 - Trust Issues), Jaime's partner Antonio warns her, "Relationships and counterespionage don't mix."

And he has a point - she's so busy chatting up Tom on her cell phone that she forgets to watch the briefcase she's supposed to be following. Thank god her bionic eye helped her find it again.

The humour continues when she kicks the butts of the CIA agents sent to "check up" on her.

Tom's overprotectiveness rears its head again in the form of chasing down Jaime to an assignment and yelling at Antonio for sending her out without a gun. But even Jaime has her biases - when Antonio says the assasin is a woman, she repeats, surprised, "Her?"

By the end of the episode, Jaime is in Tom's arms crying, "I can't do this. I'm not cut out for this." She's gonna have to toughen up, and everyone at the lab knows it.

Her tears are because they've now killed off the second moderately important character (at the hand of a female assassin, no less!). I admire that, because it means that no one (with the exception of Jaime herself of course) is safe. That's a good thing to keep us on our toes instead of presuming all the good guys will make it out OK.

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