Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-01-22 Entry: "Mutant X is sooooo over!"

Okay, I've got to finish Mutant X, but there's six episodes to go, and my brain might start dribbling out of my ears before I finish that many. But lets gets started with "Presumed Guilty." And it opens with confusion - two mutants looking to go into the underground - well, one of them is, the other one seems a lot more reluctant. An accident happens and the girl dies. At this point, Adam shows up, questions the guy about what happened, the guy reacts with anger and then drains some energy from Adam, leaving him unconscious/dead on the floor.

When Adam awakens, Griffin has framed him for the murder of his girlfriend, and Adam doesn't remember anything (Griffin absorbed all of his memories). After much running around, Adam gets arrested, and Griffin gets captured by reptile girl (Eckhart's latest goon... she has a second eyelid, so she's immune to the memory-sucking mutant).

Of course, Eckhart uses Griffin to invade Sanctuary... Adam manages to get his memory back... and reptile girl can apparently climb walls even when no skin is touching the wall - how does she manage that in high-heeled boots?

Next, "Ex Marks The Spot" sees Callum Keith Rennie make a guest appearance as an ex-con who's negotiating a job in one of Mutant X's safehouses. Obviously Jesse and Brennan don't particularly like the intrusion and deal with the rest of the criminals. Zak Lockhart (Callum Keith Rennie) apparently knows Shalimar (oh, and he's a new mutant... but I guess we'll have to wait a while to see what his powers are...).

Oh, Zak can detect what's on the other side of a wall, just by touching it (which'd come in very handy working out which safes to open).

Alright, so the Russian counterpart of Genomex - or really their head geneticist - was researching the DNA strand that controls free will. And he hid all his research in his prize Faberge egg. So now they've got to stage an over the top breakin at an auction house to get the egg out. And obviously Shalimar has to get over her history with Zak to work with him to get into the safe.

Episode three tonight is "Nothing To Fear" and sees Shalimar hooking up with a new mutant frantically running from a mob... who are presumably GSA goons wanting to catch him. Fortunately Brennan is on hand to handle the excess.

The mutant, who I can't quite place, but looks vaguely familiar, places some mark on Shalimar's temple, and makes some crystalline connection, that Brennan fortunately turns up to break. The mutant runs away at this point...

Okay, I've looked up the mutant, don't recognize him... he's been in lots of things but nothing memorable. He can apparently control dreams, so presumably he's going to have some influence over Shalimar...

Okay, fun little episode where we get a better understanding of our lead characters' fears... and a reasonably nice "Eckhart loses" ending.

And then we're on to episode 20, with another familiar looking guest mutant... I'm guessing she's a good girl... 'cause they've had waaaaay too may mutants who are rescued who work for the GSA. Oh, she's a feral... but she's apparently crossed with a scorpion... so what's with the seductive pheromones?

In "Deadly Desire" Brennan's previous associate is hooked up with the previously mentioned feral, and they're after some obscure chemical that the GSA are also after... so cue pointless three way crossfire. However, the feral sees Brennan in action and decides he'd make a suitable mate, so doses him with her pheromones and then sleeps with him.

Of course, dating a scorpion ends badly for Brennan, but we knew that was coming, especially as aforementioned feral has had a run of guest appearances as villainous femme-fatale characters (the Seer in Charmed, Desiree Atkins in Smallville).

In "Dancing On The Razor" Proxy Blue announces footage of a recent Mutant X / GSA fight in available for purchase... so obviously both parties are desperate to get hold of the video before it can be broadcast.

Of course, Emma's wardrobe leaves much to be desired! (Or at least, the end of the episode leaves it that way... the rest is thoroughly unmemorable, other than the GSA backing down from a fight).

Finally in "A Breed Apart" Brennan and Shalimar lose a new mutant to the GSA... but all the GSA agents were new mutants... and Brennan's powers malfunctioned mid-fight.

Of course, this is a whole big scheme to break Ashlocke out of statis at the GSA... and who is he you might ask... well, so far we have no idea, but he's going to pop up in season 2, so we'll pretend he's important. Oh, he's patient zero... the first child of Genomex.

Okay, all of Mutant X's powers are running rampant... there's a "new mutant growth spurt" going on. Ashlocke's forming a new club... and of course the blonde from the teaser is a part of it... and yes, that's Michael Easton of VR.5 non-fame (or Total Recall 2070, or Two)...

Apparently, Gabriel Ashlocke isn't just a Feral or a Psionic, but he's got all four powers... Molecular and Elemental as well... although we're probably not going to see anything of his powers this season... Oh, and it was Adam who developed the sub-dermal governor and statis pod, purely for Ashlocke... so he's suitably worried...

Oh, and once Ashlocke has invaded Genomex, he places Eckhart in statis (Yay!)... but Mutant X have got there too... so we get to see a Brennan - Shalimar fight...

And everyone gets a handle on their new enhanced powers (Brennan can fly, Jesse can phase other objects so people can pass through, Emma can zap people, and Shalimar can still has the strength of 10 tigers...). But Ashlocke has control of Genomex... "a lunatic with a lust for an empire."

Okay - it wasn't the worst series in the world... it's biggest problem was it did very little that was original. Most of season 1 was derivative - stolen from any number of previous sources. Hell, when they started doing 3 or 4 "Evil Character" episodes in a row towards the end, you could see they were reaching.

They'd probably have been better releasing Ashlocke in episode 17 or 18, and building his organization over the last 5 episodes, because throwing him in to the last episode of the season weakens the "Eckhart in static chamber" moment and feels like deus ex machina.

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