Despite the connotation of isolation in the episode title, “Zone of Exclusion” was full of reunions, courtesy of Jake, Martin, and the universe. The terrific trio bought a pair of long lost twins back together and helped the International Space Station get one of its own safely back to Earth. In a less literal interpretation of the term “reunion,” the cab dispatcher who relayed messages for the ISS found himself embraced by the drivers who previously ignored him after he shared his unlikely story of space heroics.
It seemed that everyone was coming together... except Jake and Martin, of course. Sheri Strapling is downright determined to keep Jake under her increasingly watchful eye, isn’t she?
At a special exhibit sponsored by AsterCorps, the company Jake’s aunt works for, a video wall let passersby in New York City interact with people in Paris. While Jack checked out the exhibit with Clea and Martin, a young woman in a red coat caught his eye. While Martin watched in awe, Jake reached out to touch the wall, and remained oddly serene as the woman in Paris returned the gesture. Jake freaked when someone pressed a button to change the city on the wall, making the woman disappear, only to instantly calm when the Paris screen was reestablished, the woman in the red coat brought back.
Since the wall worked both ways, the woman on the other side clearly saw Jake, Martin, and Clea and behind them, a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her supposedly dead mother. Since the woman in New York took off running as soon as the woman in Paris spotted her, it was safe to assume that she was indeed the formerly deceased mother.
Meanwhile, way up in Earth’s orbit, a spacewalk at the International Space Station was underway. The astronaut outside was testing a new suit and, unbeknownst to him, had lost contact with both Houston and his partner in the space station. Due to a malfunction, the CO2 levels in his suit began to rise dangerously, and no one had any way to contact him...except by simple ham radio. The crisis interrupted a broadcast from the ISS to the exhibit that Jake, Clea and Martin were attending—a lesson about triangulation in space—and in the back, the Sinister Sheila watched in delight as Martin made a hasty exit during one of Jake’s missions.
Later, when she confronted Clea about Martin bailing on the program, insinuating that, once again, Martin was the Worst Dad Ever, Clea countered with her knowledge of Amelia and promptly got herself kicked off of Jake’s case. I kind of saw that coming as soon as she opened her mouth, though in a way, this could place her in a more beneficial position to help Martin and Jake out, since she no longer has to pretend to side with The Man or Big Brother or whoever wants to get their hands on Jake so badly.
But in the meantime, it’s probably going to screw the Bohms over. Somehow.
We didn’t make a great deal of progress on the main storyline this week, only reaffirming connections we already knew were there: Sheri is Bad, Jake’s aunt is in on it, Big Brother is watching you. The stories that took place outside the nucleus of Jake, Clea, and Martin were pleasantly complementary, though. Plus, I’m always happy to see Anne Dudek on my TV, even if it’s just by way of a small guest spot.
What do you think Clea’s removal from Jake’s case means for him and Martin?