Dark Angel

Season 1 Episode 18

Pollo Loco

2
Aired Unknown Apr 24, 2001 on FOX
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
168 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Pollo Loco
AIRED:
Logan is tipped off by a friend at the morgue to a murder victim with a barcode on his neck and informs Max who investigates. But though the barcode belongs to an escaped X5, Ben, the body is not his. While Max is viewing the body, Lydecker arrives to confiscate it and close the investigation. Max realises she must find Ben before Lydecker does.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • X5 psycho!

    10
    Can Max fight her animal instincts? Is she just a killer on standby? I'm sure if that poor chicken had any say in the matter, it'd be a resounding yes to that second question.



    This is definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season, quite possibly the entire series. Heavily rooted in the show's mythology, we're taken back to Manticore and shown just how brutal a place it really was. Alec, played by genre hottie, Jensen Ackles, is brought in to highlight the road not taken – he's the kind of soldier Max would have been, albeit a few cents short of a euro.



    Things are becoming quite complicated for everyone, even Lydecker. His bosses aren't happy about his recent string of screw-ups (and rightly so) which leads me to believe he'll have to push up his endgame sooner than expected. This can't mean sunshine and lollipops for our heroes.



    Logan's suspicions of Max grow throughout the hour, capping off with some hefty doubts about Max's ability to keep her 'predator' at bay. The whole nature vs nurture element comes into play, and Max proves she's got this b!tch down, but Logan may still need some convincing. Does he have a failsafe plan if there ever was a day Max lost control?



    I know I've asked this a lot, but what happened to Jessica Alba? Max goes through some serious motions here, and Jessica really knocks out of the park. Likewise, Jensen really plays out of his realm – the psycho – and hits every beat. In fact, he does such a good job here they bring him back to play a completely different character next season…



    All in all, this is a standout episode from Dark Angel. I'm feeling generous, so I'm awarding the show its first 10 rating. Hopefully it won't be its last!moreless
  • Max meets up with one of her brothers who escaped with her. He hasn\'t adjusted well to the outside world and has become a crazed serial killer. Max has to fight him in order to save a would-be victim from him.moreless

    9.0
    This is the episode that haunted me, even after the show went off the air. Max, who has spent 10 years searching for her lost brothers and sisters, has to fight one of them because he went crazy and evil.



    I loved this episode long before I knew who Jensen Ackles was. He does such a great job as Ben. And, for those who have the biggest crush on Alec in season 2, it is hard to believe the same actor played both characters. And, this episode also sets up several episodes from season 2, including \"Hello Goodbye,\" \"Dawg Day Afternoon,\" and \"Designate This.\" This episode is pivotal to understanding both Alec, although the character is different, and Max, who has memories of killing her brother.moreless
  • one of the X5's are killing people

    10
    i really liked this episode a lot. i liked hearing about max's past and seeing a new X5. they were kinda scary when they were kids, but i think max is not that way any more i just hope that scense logan fond out he wont be scared of max, it will suck if he is. it had a lot of good action in this episode and the part where max killed ben was sad just cuz she didnt want to but it was the right thing. i liked the preist in this too he was really cool and i'm glad they said some thing about religon just so we know about how it is in that future. really good episode!moreless
  • A serial killer has been leaving a distinct signature across America, and now Seattle--a barcode tattoo reading 493. Max's sweet, story-telling brother Ben has become a serial killer and it is now up to Max to try and put an end to it all.moreless

    10
    This was my first episode of Dark Angel, and it brought to the table what got me, and many others I'm sure, absolutely hooked on the second season: Jensen Ackles I was never particularly interested in watching Dark Angel until I saw this episode. I only happened upon it one night on a whim. It was better than I ever expected a show like Dark Angel to be: it was dark, moody, threatening, and absolutely riveting. The story of this supersoldier getting lost in the real world--unable to control his inborn taste for blood and killing without the guidance of his unit or the discipline of an institution in the real world--was brilliant. (And to think, Doris Egan's original script was apparently darker, and got revised--what I would give to read that transcript!)



    In all honesty, and this is coming from a reviewer who loves Dark Angel to this day and watched it when it originally aired while still in elementary school--outside of a few episodic exceptions--Dark Angel was pretty cheesey, contrived, and was weak all around from the acting abilities of JAlba to the script dialogue--everything is just really, really weak. The only thing that saved the show for me was Jensen Ackles--first as Ben in season 1, then as Alec, the saving grace of season 2.



    Pollo Loco, however, was a fantastic departure from the norm of the show. The plot of the episode was actually interesting, the mythology of Manticore and Max's childhood and lost siblings were examined further as well. Also, Jensen Ackles' portrayal of the tortured, vulnerable, but ultimately damaged and dangerous Ben was the clincher. You just believed how damaged he was, but at the same time you knew if you got too close he would snap your neck. The tone was defined, the danger was palpable, and the emotional journey was turbluent to say the least. Pollo Loco is not a good representation of what the Dark Angel series really was--it was better than that. I can only imagine what the show could've been like if every episode had been conceived with the same thought, imagination and exploration. I honestly think if the writers had listened to the network when they said, "MORE LIKE THIS!" after seeing this episode, instead of going with a virus-love plot and a Nazi-esque cult bend on human annihilation, that Dark Angel would have lasted just a little bit longer.moreless
Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

Max Guevara "X5-452"

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Logan Cale/Eyes Only

Alimi Ballard

Alimi Ballard

Herbal Thought (Season 1)

Richard Gunn

Richard Gunn

Calvin 'Sketchy' Theodore

Valarie Rae Miller

Valarie Rae Miller

Cynthia 'Original Cindy' McEachin (Season 1-2)

John Savage

John Savage

Colonel Donald Michael Lydecker (Season 1)

Robert Floyd

Robert Floyd

Father Destry

Guest Star

Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles

Ben

Guest Star

Colin Lawrence

Colin Lawrence

TAC Officer #2 (uncredited)

Guest Star

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Madame X

Recurring Role

Geneva Locke

Geneva Locke

Young Max

Recurring Role

Peter Bryant

Peter Bryant

Bling

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • TRIVIA: Ben's twin, X5-494 - named Alec by Max, is introduced in the season 2 episode "Designate This". Alec mentions the killings in that episode but only learns the full details in the season 2 episode "Hello, Goodbye" when Alec is arrested for the murders Ben committed, and he asks Max to tell him about his twin.

    • TRIVIA: Ben, the 11th X5 mentioned and 6th one who appears, also escaped from Manticore and asks Max to kill him so that he isn't taken back. Plus Jack is the 12th X5 mentioned.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • (Max walks the confessional of a church)
      Max: It's me.
      Father Destry: You're not supposed to tell me that.
      Max: Oh. So how does this bitch work?

    • Ben: We never should've left. Everything made sense there.
      Max: No... (touching Ben's hand) nothing made sense there.

    • Lydecker: You think this is all some kind of joke. These kids are like puppies you can bring home and housebreak? They were designed to kill... coldly... efficiently... and happily.

    • Ben: Don't tell me you don't wake up with the sound of your heart pounding in your ears--
      Max: Shut up.
      Ben: Or the taste of blood in your mouth.
      Max: Shut up.
      Ben: You're like a wolf in sheep's clothing, Max. You're hiding your instincts every minute of every day so that no one will know what you really are-- a soldier, a hunter, a killer.
      Max: Shut up. (Max punches Ben in the face)
      Ben: See? What'd I tell you?

    • Ben (looking at Max): For one brief moment, you were what you were meant to be...a predator.

    • Father Destry: We have to put our lives in her hands. (Ben looks up at Father Destry.)
      Ben: Is your life in her hands?
      Father Destry: She's always at my side.
      Ben: She protects you?
      Father Destry: She's always there to help me.
      Ben: Then you've got nothing to be afraid of. (Ben reaches through the partition and grabs Father Destry by the throat)

    • Father Destry: I haven't seen you around here before.
      Max: You sniff out honeys in church?

    • Original Cindy: You're going to kill it?
      Max: I'm not going to wait around and let it die of old age.
      Original Cindy: But look at his little chicken face. (Putting her finger up to the cage.) Hi.
      Max: Must be my feline DNA 'cause when I look at this little face (Max looks at the chicken and then at Original Cindy) I see dinner.

    • Original Cindy: What are you gonna do with it?
      Max: Eat it.

    • Ben: Nothing went wrong with me! I'm doing what I was made to do, what we were taught to do!
      Max: Hunt people down to perform amateur dental surgery? I must've missed that class.

    • Lydecker: She's not the girl next door. You have no idea what she's capable of doing.

    • (Max's flashback of Ben at Manticore.)
      Young Max: Tell us a story, Ben.
      Young Ben: Only the best soldiers get to go to the Good Place. The ones who fail, you know what happens to them?
      Young Max: They disappear.
      Young Ben: To the Bad Place, where they open you up and drink your blood until you're almost dead. Then they leave you there, for the 'nomlies.
      (Children are shown walking down a corridor in the basement following Lydecker, an X2 jumps to his door scaring the children.)
      Lydecker: Keep moving soldiers, no one told you to stop.
      (Returns to Young Ben.)
      Young Ben: They crawl up from the basement through special tunnels, and when you're not looking, BAM! They break through the wall and drag you away.
      Young Zack: Well what do the 'nomlies do with you?
      Young Ben: They keep you as prisoner of war, and eat you up little, by little, forever.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • The X5 kids told stories about the 'Nomlies locked in the basement. If they were bad, they would be fed to the 'Nomlies.
      The 'Nomlies are actually anomalies resulting from the DNA splicing.

    • Title: Pollo Loco

      The title translated from Spanish means 'Crazy Chicken'.

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