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Dark Angel

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot (1)

Aired Unknown Oct 03, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
226 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Pilot (1)
As a child, Max was part of a highly classified genetic enhancement project. She and several other children were trained in a deeply secluded compound to use their superhuman powers. At a young age, Max and several others escaped the compound and made their way in the world. Now a beautiful young bike messenger and thief, Max is trying to find her lost "siblings" from the project, but at the same time, Max is trying to dodge capture from her former handlers led by Lydecker, and is aided in her quest by Logan Cale, an idealistic cyber-journalist.moreless

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  • Girls kick ass. Says so on the T-shirt.

    Following in the steps of a certain slayer, Dark Angel attempts to capture some of the target audience Whedon's breakout show seemed to be nabbing in drones. Co-written by James Cameron of the terminator films, who becomes nothing more than a mere figure head for the series until the series finale, this is a tightly woven pilot that sports some strong production values, a likeable cast and some good aul fashioned twist and turns along the way. The set design is truly something and there's a nice sense of dread that looms over the city that really comes through onscreen. Seattle looks terrific when reduced to nothing more than a wasteland-like dystopia. While the seeds are planted for a long-term series, with some plot strands that are genuinely intriguing even at this stage (loving the flashbacks), this pilot is a little bit too overtly feminist for its own good. Almost every male character in this pilot is portrayed as some scumbag - the evil landlord, Max's ex boyfriend, Sketch and his cheating ways, the guy running manticore, heck, even Logan gets more than an earful about men and their distrustful ways. Lay off of it already! Other than that, though, this a fine pilot with some very cool, if somewhat unoriginal ideas and some intense action sequences. Plus Alba is great here…whatever happened to her acting abilities? She convinces throughout and manages to hold your attention for the majority of the 2 hour pilot…nowadays though, she can't even deliver a line without losing me, she's awful in her batch of new films (Good Luck Chuck, Awake, The Eye etc.). Anyways, a very good start to a decent series.moreless
  • One of the finest pilots ever written and produced in my opinion. Though I loved season 1 of the show, I think only the final season 1 episode ever quite lived up to the brilliance of the pilot.moreless

    The pilot was exceptionally written. There was a lot to understand about Max's past and what her "mission" was now. The pilot did a wonderful job of explaining enough of the plot of the series without giving away all the detail. By the end of the pilot episode you understand who Max is and where she has came from but you are left curious to learn more. I particularly liked John Savage's performance as Lydecker. Though he is the "villain" his character is developed throughout season 1 and you begin to understand his passionate pursuit of the super soldiers. After all this is his life's work and he is bonded to them. Dark Angel is a science fiction action series. And so beyond the story, you have a lot of cool military vehicles and futuristic automobiles and gadgets and the creation of this futuristic albeit third world view of Seattle.moreless
  • Worth the hour.

    Interesting Pilot Episode, well worth watching. The effects and stunts are fairly decent. The sets, locations and costumes make it seem post apocalyptic in every sense. James Cameron work is very good considering this is lower budget than his usual work. Jessica Alba plays her role as a super human very well with constant flashbacks to her youth. In this first part of a two part pilot, we get to see our heroine and her current life. She has a home and a job but she is constantly looking over her shoulder. You get the sense she has to live her life a little on the edge and her second job as a cat burglar fills her needs. This first part episode fills in the basic premise of the show.moreless
Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

Max Guevara "X5-452"

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Logan Cale/Eyes Only

Alimi Ballard

Alimi Ballard

Herbal Thought

Jennifer Blanc

Jennifer Blanc

Kendra Maibaum

Richard Gunn

Richard Gunn

Calvin 'Sketchy' Theodore

Valarie Rae Miller

Valarie Rae Miller

Cynthia 'Original Cindy' McEachin

Tyler Labine

Tyler Labine

Messenger #2

Guest Star

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Edgar Sonrisa

Guest Star

Kristin Bauer

Kristin Bauer

Lydia Meyerson

Guest Star

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee

Dan Vogelsang

Recurring Role

Geneva Locke

Geneva Locke

Young Max

Recurring Role

Chris Lazar

Chris Lazar

Young Zack

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Right before Max breaks into Logan's apartment for the first time, we see on the right corner of the scene the Vancouver Convention Centre. Dark Angel was set in Seattle, WA though filmed in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

    • When Max is holding the woman that Sketchy is having an affair with, in the window, by her feet, the mechanism that is holding her is visible, just next to her boot.

    • In the bar where Max and Logan talk after Max broke into his place, Original Cindy looks at her watch and says "Xena's on." Only, her mouth doesn't move.

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Max: Take a header into the deep end when the pool is empty and you go splat. The law of gravity and even Jesus Christ himself had to obey the law of gravity. For a while anyway.

    • Max: Let me get my coat.
      Logan: The one you're wearing?

    • Logan: I'm looking for a young lady who works here.
      Normal: Ladies would be elsewhere.

    • Max: Oh, here it comes. The part where the guy turns everything around, right?
      Sketchy: I am a victim here!
      Max (sarcastically): Really?

    • Max: Do guys actually believe these lame self-serving excuses?
      Sketchy: Max!
      Max: Or do they think that we're just so grateful to have one of you idiots, we'll look the other way which is condescending and arrogant?
      Sketchy: Lame. Self-serving. Condescending. Guilty as charged.
      Max: You forgot arrogant.

    • Peter: We trying to ID the perp or your new girlfriend?
      Logan: If I'd just gotten my ass handed to me by a size three I'd be inclined to mind my own business.

    • Logan: Peter!
      Max: If he's the side of beef, he's fine. Just give him a minute.

    • Max: I've got people looking to either put me in a cage for the rest of my life, turn me into a science project or kill me. Probably all three. Now I've managed to drop off the radar screen, and I plan to keep it that way.

    • Logan: I got an anonymous report a few years ago about a covert genetics lab in the Wyoming mountains-
      Max: I don't know what kind of game you're playing here, but I'm out, because you're a whack job.
      Logan: I located a guy claiming to be a med tech on something called Project Manticore which was using recombinant DNA to produce a superior human...a warrior...an advanced infantry soldier.
      Max: Not that I don't enjoy a good urban legend now and then but what does any of this have to do with me?
      Logan: The barcode on your neck, Max. I know who you are, and I know who you're running from. There were a couple dozen of these transgenic kids and in '09, a few months before the Pulse, twelve of them escaped.
      Max: Twelve?
      Logan: I know you're one of those kids, Max.

    • Max: How'd you find me?
      Logan: Wasn't hard.
      Max: Question is why?
      Logan: You know who I am, where I live. I figured I'd better find out who I'm dealing with in case you were looking to hurt me.
      Max: So, you tracked me down. What do you think?
      Logan: Too early to tell.

    • Max: What about the other kids? Anything on them?
      Vogelsang: They don't exactly have a search engine for kids with barcodes on their neck; something I'm not even gonna ask about.

    • Max: Now, America's just another broke ex-superpower looking for a handout and wondering why.

    • Eyes Only (about Edgar Sonrisa): Journalists who have attempted to expose him have been gunned down in the street. Their blood is the ink of our modern news. Those who've exposed him have vanished. All of that is about to change.

    • Normal: Ah, ah, ah...little late.
      Max: I was on call.
      Normal: Yes, well, I want you on call here.
      Max: What's the difference if I'm on call here or deployed in the field?
      Normal: More like deployed in bed, asleep.
      Max: I don't sleep.

    • Kendra: It sucks.
      Max: What sucks?
      Kendra: I come home, it's 3 AM, you're still out. I feel like I got hit by a cement truck and you've been up for an hour bouncing around. That, by definition, sucks.
      Max: I made you coffee. That ought to help cope with the injustice of the world a little.
      Kendra: Thanks, it's starting to kick in. I feel almost human.
      Max: (quietly) Yeah, me too.

    • Normal: You tell Theo if he's not in tomorrow he can start looking for another job.
      Max: I don't know how to break this to you, Normal. We're all looking for another job.

    • Logan: Look around at all this. Built by people who got up every morning, worked hard trying to make a better life. Then the Pulse happened and everyone got scared. They blinked and before they knew it, they turned over the store to a bunch of thugs who were happy to take it off their hands. Overnight, the government, the police, everything intended to protect the people had been turned against them.
      Max: So you miss the good old days. Even though there were still poor people who died from diseases when they didn't need to and rich people who still spent obscene amounts of money redecorating the house to match the cat. Those good old days?
      Logan: Even if they took it for granted they still had a choice. Now they don't.
      Max: So what are you gonna do about it?
      Logan: Something.
      Max: Personally, I'm more interested in going fast on my motorcycle than giving myself a headache over stuff I can't do anything about.
      Logan: You accept the way things are, you're an active participant in making them worse.
      Max: Is the social studies class over for today?

    • Logan: You're a thief?
      Max: Girl's got to make a living.

    • Max: They used to say one nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. It was sort of a joke until the June morning those terrorist bozos whacked us with an electromagnetic pulse from eighty miles up. You always hear people yappin on how it was all different before the Pulse. Land of milk and honey, blah, blah, blah, blah, with plenty of food and jobs and things actually worked. I was too young to remember so, whatever. The thing I don't get is why they call it a depression. I mean, everybody's broke but they really aren't all that depressed. Life goes on.

    • Max: Fight fire with fire. Threaten to go to her husband.
      Sketchy: Who either doesn't care, or could have me killed. Either way, Natalie's still gonna find out.
      Max: What happens if you level with her?
      Sketchy: Even if she doesn't dump me, which is unlikely, she'd never be able to trust me again.
      Max: And why should she?
      Sketchy: Look Max, I made a terrible mistake. One I'll never, ever make again. Natalie and I are soulmates. I know that now. She's the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. I guess it took the thought of losing her for me to understand that.

    • Max (to Bruno): You think I'm the wack? The fact is, you're the wack.

    • Max (to Bruno): Sonrisa recruit you off the short bus?

    • Edgar Sonrisa: Sit!
      Max: Not right now.
      Edgar Sonrisa: Not right now. Okay...when?
      (Max leans forward)
      Max: After you get a new personality and lose about 20 years.

    • Logan: Now come on, Max. First I watch you take-out a 250-pound ex-cop bodyguard without breaking a sweat!
      Max: Girls kick ass. Says so on the t-shirt.

    • Max: You're so stupid, the word special comes to mind!

    • Max: Sometimes it seems like it happened to someone else. Like maybe it was a story I heard. The hardest part is not knowing if any of them made it. But if I knew for sure I was the only one left, it would be worse. At least now I can make up lives for them, like maybe Jondy's a fashion photographer or an architect. The truth is, they'd be just like me, living on the run, always looking over my shoulder. Hope is for losers. It's a con job people trip behind till they finally get a grip on the cold, hard truth. Still, I hope that they're out there somewhere, and that they're okay.

    • Max: Just thought maybe he'd like some coffee with his saliva.

    • Max: The escape was not my idea. I mean...escape to what? We didn't know anything else. It was Zack who said we had to leave. So, I guess he saved my life. I didn't think we should separate. But he wouldn't listen. And I never even got a chance to thank him.

    • Max: I actually kinda feel sorry for guys sometimes.
      Original Cindy: Please!
      Max: They're prisoners of their genes.

    • Eyes Only: Do not attempt to adjust your set. This is a Streaming Freedom Video bulletin. The cable hack will last exactly 60 seconds. It cannot be traced, it cannot be stopped and it is the only free voice left in the city.

    • Max: Kendra, this is a motorcycle. Its sole reason for being is to go fast, very fast. Not for you to use as a clothesline. Now, make no mistake. I love you as a friend and a roommate, but I love my motorcycle more. Stay away from the bike, okay?

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode won the 2001 Monitor Award for "Film Originated Television Series - Best Visual Effects" and was nominated for the 2001 Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing - Television Movies and Specials - Dialogue & ADR".


    • Richard Gunn's character was nicknamed 'Sketchy" but his 'real' name was Alvin Simon Theodore- the same as the three cartoon chipmunks from Alvin & the chipmunks

    • Original Cindy: Friends don't help other friends cheat.

      This is a play on the popular slogan "Friends don't let friends drive drunk."

    • Logan: Then I watch you dive headfirst out a window like you're Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

      This is a reference to the cartoon "Rocky and Friends" from the 1950's, where one of the characters was a flying squirrel named Rocky. He and his friend Bullwinkle the Moose tried to foil the plans of Pottsylvanian spies Boris and Natasha. Also part of the show were segments like Peabody's Improbable History, Fractured Fairy Tales, Mr Know-It-All, and Aesop and Son.

    • When Logan comes into the Crash and wants to talk to Max. Original Cindy takes the hint - Cindy: Woop, Xena's on. (she exits)
      This is a reference to the show "Xena: Warrior Princess". In the 20th century, Xena was popular with lesbians.