This was a cracking season premiere! Taking a lot of what made season 1 work, then building on it two-fold, only to completely destroy any bearings to last season in the final few minutes, is an extremely bold maneuver, one that definitely pays off (for now, at least). This is Dark Angel in overdrive: more action, snappier one-liners and a killer main storyline.
We're introduced to a host of new characters and from the offset they instantly gel with the regulars, canine or otherwise. Alec, played by then unknown Supernatural tottie, Jensen Ackles, is inspired casting. After such a strong performance last season, he's back as an entirely different character and it completely works. Charming, sarcastic, macho and a bit of a 'dick,' there are so many shades of Winchester to him you'll expect Sam to pop up any second.
We're also introduced to Asha (played by Ashley Scott) who doesn't stand out that much among all of the X5 action, for now just someone who Logan can bounce lines off. And then there's Joshua, one of my favourite things about season 2. Played terrifically by then unknown Kevin Durand (of Lost fame), who lends such an affable quality to Joshua you forget how ludicrous his character should be (and I can only imagine how backwards it could have gone had casting been different); he rounds out the cast. Max and Joshua click instantly as a comedic duo and there's genuine chemistry between Alba and Durand.
Since this episode's aim is to wrap up any and all strands from the first season, the writers are allowed to pull out all the stops. Max is tortured and reprogrammed within the first few minutes of the episode. Lydecker wheels Logan directly into the hands of Manticore. Eyes Only reveals the location of Manticore and as a failsafe the 'committee' destroys the facility that made season 1 so iconic. Max has been infected with some kind of bio-weapon that prevents any physical contact with Logan (thank god for all of the new arm-candy on offer for Max and Logan, respectively). Oh and did I mention every single soldier from Manticore is now running about all willy-nilly in Seattle?
This season certainly loses its way, and there's no denying the show fails to retain the tight plotting of last year, but it still works. 'Designate This' may mislead fans into thinking this year will be more military-heavy than ever, but after the next two episodes, the shows DNA effectively changes, for better and for worse.
- Anyone spot Boomer (Grace Park)?
- New Credit sequence. I love new credit sequences!
- Alba looks amazing with long hair.
- I can't say the same for Logan...
With a trenchant script, quality acting and some fantastic choreography, Dark Angel's sophomore year (or should I say final?) starts off with a bang!