A John Doe Phoenix-centric story-arc Episode; also involving Sam the Mysterious NSA Government-man (who becomes very prominent in this episode),the Trench coat Man (who is captured) ,Teresa (who is the Psychic Damsel in Distress),Michael(the Further the Plot Device Man.)and Digger (who declares his undying help and comradery to JD).
The remaining series characters Frank (nice moustache)and Lieutenant Avery play only filler rolls in this episode ,they provide JD with a plot link in the form of a Gruesomely Horribly Mutilated Body found under power-lines in a ditch and not much plot substance thereafter (Jez,thanks to the Writers JD can only see in B/W).
In my opinion this episode should have been combined with the previous episode, Remote Control, concluding with the rather unsatisfactory cliff-hanger, leaving the way open for a precursor Season 2,"Quest for the Holy Relic & My Destiny as a Messianic Chosen One/Matrix Computer Clone" type episode before going off-air for its hiatus.
The Government Conspiracy element rears its head in the form of Sam the G-man as John and Digger uncover him spying on them and the recently rescued Michael from the burning Seneca Institute. Similar plot lines involving (old abandoned) Government Black OPs Projects (containing Psychics), resurrected for terrorist/criminal means are much more ably handled on TV by the likes of the XFiles and Alias. This episode leaves us with a sense of,"too late & not enough", which only hints and does not answer enough questions brought up in this and previous episodes.
Can Sam be trusted? Well, yes and no .We are given the cliché,"I work for a (secret) subdivision of a government organization (Nsa)" which envelopes, controls and structures Sam and how he can interact with John Doe. When JD and Sam just happen to capture the rather security sloppy Trench Coat Man, they enter into an uneasy truce.
Sam keeps hinting that HE would like JD to join his NSA department, giving me the impression that he wants JD to become a SPY and use his civilian life just as a cover.Hmmm.
JD to ditch the cops and become a globe trotting spy maybe?
Sam introduces him to an old colleague of his (more BLACK Ops) and JD is classified as Category 1 Receiver in Remote Viewing.
The Mad Software Scientist Moretti element is covered in episode, Save AS John Doe, and is eluded to here on a few occasions’ .More mystery or red herrings? An answer
or is it a psychic wifi link to John Doe's hard drive
in his head?
The Terrorist/Mystic element is handled by the appearances of the Trench Coat Man and the Stocking-Cap Man. Trench Coat Man, who for someone who has JD watched constantly (oh, by someone very close it is revealed) has become rather sloppy with his own personal security, is captured and is used to Recap on plot-line information (for those of us who fell asleep and missed the meager morsels peppered in the Season story-arc) and to deliver a New Plot Device.
Wow! Mega! Yawn! Super Villains, Super Powers anyone?
The Phoenix Group, led by the mysterious Stocking-Cap Man (do we know him/her?), have found the location of the mysterious, Phoenix Staff, the mystic relic, that they have long been searching for, at the Vatican of all places.
Not at a yard sale or on loan to a museum ...no?
Hmm, new locations not in the Pine swept North North American Continent.
Did the network pull the plug because of this, too expensive even for the stock footage? Could the series have gotten the chop because of this? :)
JD has painful visions and subsequently finds out they are psychic messages from Michael and Teresa. Michael and Teresa are woefully under used in this episode (you cannot do much acting constantly strapped into a chair ,I must add) and alas Michael uses up all his own plot points after giving JD his psychic road map clues. Teresa, the potential next season love interest, just screams a lot once freed.
Which leads me to the love interest part; the workaholic cop Lt Avery, the attractive geeky overlooked Stella, that British brain scientist Rachael and the not often glimpsed Teresa make for an intriguing lottery of potential
"Who gets John Does virgin troubled heart?" scenarios. Alas we will never know who gets that winning lottery ticket, Boohoo! For someone who knows nearly everything, John Doe really is not up to scratch when it comes to That Love Thing concept. If anyone is thinking why I left Karen out of the equation ...A) she was murdered (which would have made Anyone’s blood boil and scream for revenge!?!) and B) the father/daughter relationship was there and well ...cannot be tampered with. You can also leave Frank (nice moustache and nice jacket) and Pauline (intelligent computer vixen) out as well.
On the whole, Season1 of John Doe was okay, intriguing to begin with, losing its way early on, and then going back on track a few times with its sub plots but not its main stories. It felt like it was trying to find its purpose too often than not without getting too complicated (which I am sure is a Network hang-up,"This material must not be too complicated, it must appeal to the John & Jane Does out there in our demographic audience, who dip in and out of the TV schedules like children picking their noses....."Etc.
Questions? Answers? Clones? Brother of...? Digger ? Rubber Mask? Maybe I will watch more Alias Xfiles et al...
Read the summary for my concise view of this episode....
Now, anyone got the scripts for Season2 under their beds???
I would really like to know what happens next...
Your wish is my command.........................
(Link added by Terracotta -with writers permission.)