Season 2, Episode 3: “The Fear that Follows”
Plot synopsis (blatantly stolen from Wikipedia): The engineers of the alien spacecraft that the original seaQuest discovered before her destruction receive the message sent by the crew and relay their intentions, through Darwin, to make first contact with the Human race. While the crew are ecstatic, General Thomas and a hot-shot UEO lieutenant can only see things from a military perspective.
In other words, hooray! Aliens!
00:00:00: We open up on a scene of confused people on an underwater station. Random Crewmember #1 informs us that there’s nothing on the screens and “this part of the abyssal is kinda famous for its phantom signals, we get them all the time.” This, of course, wouldn’t be worth mentioning in front of the rest of the crew of said deep sea station. It’s almost like they know they’re on TV…
This is one of the things that really annoys me about screenwriting. Everyone has to know something that’s a little odd that happens so often it’s just faded to the background, right? We’ve all had that, “What’s that noise? Oh, it’s just the house settling.” That would make a much more effective and less pant-shittingly-cliché shorthand than the crap above.
Also, Random Commanding Officer #2 doesn’t believe in boogeymen and, dammit, he wants answers. I’ll bet everyone else in the crew is fantasizing about stabbing him in the neck, since he apparently has to confirm his lack of belief in boogeymen by sending them out after each and every one of those famous phantom signals. Fuck that guy and his insistence that the ocean doesn’t have any weird crap going on.
That said, it’s probably aliens.
00:01:20: We’re treated to a shimmering blob that’s sending out blue sound pulses and some sort of coded message (because science!). Random Crewmember #1 says, “That’s weird, if I didn’t know any better I’d say they’re looking for seaQuest.” How the deuce did she did she discern that?
00:01:45: Random Commanding Officer #2 gets on the talky box with some higher up who scolds him for violating UEO tracking regulations. He replies by informing said higher up that what he’s done is better than treason. Which then ends up with the reveal that Random Commanding Officer #2 knows of a spy on seaQuest. Apparently we’ve taken the trolley to Non Sequitur Town.
00:02:00: Now we’re on seaQuest. And a bunch of armed dudes are storming the launch bay. I’m at a loss. I think they wrote this episode by picking plot points out of a hat.
00:02:15: Beard Power Bridger finds out that he doesn’t count amongst people who are part of the need to know about the whole “armed men storming his sub” thing. This is gonna get awkward.
00:03:45: Lucas, Piccolo, and Dagwood are speeding along in some sort of G-Wiz. The internet and GPS are down. Also they’re on their way back from paella and not, y’know, whorin’. ‘90s TV, man, ‘90s TV.
00:04:55: They nearly run over an old Native American standing in the middle of the street. I’m not on nearly enough drugs to make sense of this. That Diet Mountain Dew I had about seven hours ago just isn’t cutting it.
00:05:15: Three idiots stand in the street and yell at an apparently catatonic nursing home escapee.
00:05:25: We find out that their new native friend can apparently drain batteries from ten feet. I think we’re supposed to be creeped and/or weirded out by this.
00:05:45: Beard Power Bridger calls to inform Lucas and Piccolo that Darwin has been arrested. To recap: Darwin is the dolphin.
Now, since we already know from the recap that this episode is about aliens, I suppose that means we have to go back to the first alien episode. Darwin solved that particular plot because it turned out that the aliens weren’t trying to communicate with humans at all, but dolphins. So Darwin communicated with the aliens on behalf of the seaQuest and solved the dilemma of the week. This, of course, implies that an alien spaceship that’s been sitting under the bottom of the Pacific Ocean for a million years had the exact dialect of bottlenose dolphin language currently spoken by the seaQuest’s pet/science experiment. I feel like that might be a plot hole. Also, I think I just got dumber.
00:05:50: Piccolo and Lucas look up from the dashboard video display as the violins reach their crescendo. Their temporary roadblock has mysteriously vanished! Creepy!
00:06:00: We cut to a UEO maximum security facility. Darwin is literally being held in a small pool of water in the middle of a large, dark room. There are guards and towers and shit. For a dolphin. In a kiddie pool.
A dolphin. Y’know, fins, flippers, probably needs to remain moist at all times or it shrivels up and dies, that kind of dolphin. I’m pretty sure that the necessary security measures to keep such an inmate from escaping aren’t that elaborate.
00:06:15: For some reason Random Commanding Officer #2 is here. Now. In charge of keeping the dolphin from escaping.
00:06:45: Beard Power Bridger asks for time alone with Darwin. Random Commanding Officer #2 objects.
BEARD POWER BRIDGER: Lieutenant, I don’t think we’re going to sneak him a flounder with a file in it.
RANDOM COMMANDING OFFICER #2: Is there something about national security that amuses you?
BEARD POWER BRIDGER: Yes, quite a bit.
Well, at least someone’s aware. Also, we’re now two pages and only seven minutes in. This might go long.
00:07:05: Darwin reveals the aliens are coming back. Now Beard Power Bridger has to fess up to the fact that he invited aliens to Earth.
00:08:00: The general in charge is more interested in seeing a hockey game than aliens. Also his immediate assumption is that the dolphin-talking aliens are going to invade Earth. But, again, hockey. This is the least unbelievable thing that’s happened so far.
00:09:15: Planning session. Random Commanding Officer #2 is a humorless dickbag. He’s also a humorless dickbag that completely lacks charm. I hope he gets eaten by angry dolphins.
00:10:00: Random Commanding Officer #2 orders Piccolo and “your Model K” (aka Dagwood) off the ship because former convict and GELF, respectively. Bridger attempts to draw a line in the sand over this and loses. This is odd, since both are low-ranking dudes that Bridger just met. He must know they’re important since they’re in the opening credits and also they were just hanging out with Lucas during the whole weird “guy standing in the middle of the road” interlude. Also, there’s a bit where Dagwood tries to go back for his drawings (he was drawing random squiggly lines on a placemat earlier) and Ford stops him. Odds this is a significant plot point? Almost as high as the writers were.
00:12:30: Darwin translates the alien message in spite of the fact that the signal sounds nothing like dolphin. I cannot stress that part enough. Apparently Darwin has become a linguistical genius.
00:12:50: The aliens show up. In what appears to be a Borg rectangle. Underwater. I imagine it has all the hydrodynamics of, well, a brick. Also, the ship from season 1 was all graceful and rounded and whatnot.
00:14:45: The aliens come aboard. Random Commanding Officer #2 attempts to shoot them. Because he’s that guy. Then he injects them with some sort of sensor after informing everyone that it’s a harmless injection. Because Lieutenant Trigger-Happy Jackass is an expert in completely unknown alien physiology. What I wouldn’t give for the aliens to just collapse as soon as they get the injection. Then we could all enjoy my recap of episode 4, wherein the aliens conquer Earth. Then he asks for a medical workup. What the hell does that even mean?
00:17:45: Recurring astronaut Commander Scott then informs Beard Power Bridger that he’s going to go over to the alien ship and “take a look at their cockpit.” He’s one of the good guys. Why this episode doesn’t end right here with the aliens saying, “Fuck you guys, we’re out,” is beyond me. They have the patience of several saints stapled together.
00:18:30: A convoy of vehicles pulls up in front of a building on the surface somewhere. Vehicles one and three are sleek, silver electric jobs that look kind of like the Pontiac Banshee concept that was super popular in the ‘90s. The middle vehicle? H1 model Hummer. Because in 2018 we’ve depleted our resources, fucked up our oxygen so bad we’ve had to build oxygen boosters all over the planet, and developed the technology to build thousand foot submarines capable of traveling at 200 MPH. And the military still uses Hummers. Brilliant!
00:19:30: Random Commanding Officer #2 informs Ford that he wants the aliens scared. What kind of dipshit is he? They can travel between galaxies and seem to be able to just kinda show up instantly in their huge-ass submarine/spaceship combo that’s shaped like a freaking brick. The only time humans have ever managed to create a submarine/spaceship combo was when the command sections of manned rockets sank. Those weren’t intentional.
00:20:00: We cut to the medical workup. Aliens on treadmills. No, really. Dr Smith is looking at an internal diagram of said aliens. She informs him that they don’t have any internal organs she doesn’t recognize and theorizes that they’re basically super-evolved humans. From another galaxy. Then it gets dumber. So, so much dumber.
She informs Bridger that she’s been theorizing that evolution will eventually result in a switch from carbon-based to silicon-based life due to the fact that silicon-based lifeforms are “durable, organic, relatively invulnerable to damage.” What is this? I don’t even know where to begin. Oh, wait, I didn’t know that carbon-based lifeforms aren’t organic. I guess I should go tell those local food snobs down at the farmer’s market that they’re doing it wrong.
Also the aliens have both sets of genitalia and they seem to think that the aliens, um, reproduce with themselves. Apparently this is a good thing. Because super-duper inbreeding isn’t a problem when you’ve evolved into a silicon-based life form, dagnabit.
I have a headache and we’re only halfway through. I think I’ll turn this into a two-parter.
Little known fact: This scene was actually the inspiration for the Weeping Angels. They were originally known as Weeping Hobos and the reason you’re not supposed to blink is because they’d steal your sandwiches and malt liquor while you weren’t looking. The only reason Piccolo, Lucas, and Dagwood survived was because they weren’t packing liquor, due to the fact that this is ‘90s network TV and no one in the Navy consumed liquor in the ‘90s on network TV.
Also, it was decided during pre-production for “Blink” that the Weeping Hobos idea was kind of stupid, so instead they switched to the Weeping Angels. Thus was born an iconic sci-fi villain. Until they were way, way overused, thereby inviting too much time to contemplate the sheer silliness of the concept. I mean, really. The Angels’ movement is determined by whether or not someone is looking at them? That means they’re invulnerable, terrifying assassins with the mental capacity of a six-month old child. If the Doctor was really smart he’d just hold the lot of ‘em at bay with some well-placed houseflies. Or maybe spiders.
That said, I still get creeped out by statues.
Or were they? Ooo-ooo-ooo!