Two episodes in, and there’s still not much going on. The action will pick up in the next few episodes, but there were still too many questions left over from the pilot. Most remain unanswered – and we’ve gotten some more in the process – but I think the writers have given us just about enough at this point to move forward. If nothing else, we know more than Charlie does.
When last we saw Charlie, he was lying unconscious in the desert, being poked by a weird little girl. That’s where he still is – dreaming about Jasmine, remembering the dead mystery girl, the accident, and the woman at the site. Weird little girl Jody pokes him again and he finally wakes up.
You’re alive! You’re one of them, aren’t you? …The invisible people. I see them all the time.
In Reena’s words
For the rest of the episode, Reena narrates. Even when our focus is on Charlie, it’s filtered through her perspective.
Wandering around a temporary camp set up for evacuation and relief efforts, Reena hears that the bomb she set off killed 200 people here in Beta. We see her anguish over that fact, coupled with the sure knowledge that more died in her own world as well. Throughout the series, Patricia McKenzie does a fantastic job showing Reena’s vulnerability. She doesn’t want to be here; she didn’t want to hurt anyone. But as guilty as she may feel, she’s not going to hang around to get questioned by the police. She jumps on one of the trucks transporting people to Cape Town.
Vex-Cor chairman (in this ‘verse, anyway) Julius Galt (Danny Keogh) answers reporters’ questions about the accident, but doesn’t know what caused it yet. Karl Lubinsky (Tyrone Benskin) – who’s been hovering around, picking up the strange pieces of blue glass, and taking pictures – comes up to Galt and confronts him. Galt obviously knows Lubinksy as a conspiracy nut. Of course we know there really is a conspiracy.
A quick side comment on names in Charlie Jade: they were not chosen at random. Draw your own conclusions about J. Galt.
Karl meets weird Jody and she points out Charlie, telling Karl, “he used to be invisible, but I think he lost his powers.” Twenty years chasing conspiracies and aliens and this guy knows to listen when a crazy girl speaks. Time to start stalking the guy with stubble.
There’s a bit more of Charlie dazed and confused at the service station until Karl finally offers him a ride to Cape Town – the home of the mystery dead girl. On the ride, Karl tells Charlie he believes aliens run Vex-Cor. Karl may know something’s going on, but he’s as much in the dark about the truth as Charlie.
The board has informed Essa Rompkin (Michele Burgers) that they need someone to travel between the ‘verses to assess the situation. Apparently there’s only one person who can travel unaided – 01 Boxer (Michael Filipowich). This goes over great, as Essa tries to flex her power to prevent it and the board shuts her down. Then we finally meet 01 in all his glory.
Expecting to be put in charge of operations in Beta and Gamma, it’s a slap in the face to be offered a position as “special envoy”. It’s even more of a slap when Essa calls him the “company courier”. She thinks he’s a sociopath who belongs in prison. Can’t say I disagree.
But how exactly can 01 travel between the ‘verses?
Running with Scissors
While Charlie crashes at “his place”, Reena sleeps on the couch at Gordon Bolt’s. A very old, very scary dude who used to work for Vex-Cor, Bolt wants to know where Reena came from and how she got here. His interrogation with scissors is pretty scary, and they did a great job of building the tension in the scene. The scissors were so threatening that it almost seemed anti-climactic when he pulled the gun on her, until he blew the back of his own head off. Now Reena is truly alone in this strange world.
Charlie meanwhile is also looking for a friendly face. He goes over to Papa Louis’ place, but of course she isn’t there. Karl Lubinksy is, though, bearing breakfast.
A quick drive by Charlie’s office -another deadend – and Charlie finally thinks to ask about the Glass Door. I’d start to question just how good a PI this guy is, but I’m trying to cut him some slack being so far from home. That’s why I’m also not going to question why next he was hanging out in a parking garage instead of heading over to the club. Besides, we know he was there so he could see Jasmine/Paula. Meeting Jasmine’s doppelganger further cements for Charlie just how lost he is.
At the Glass Door, 01 and Julius Galt meet. 01 hands over a “slate”, which is apparently an encrypted communique from the home office. Oh yeah, and 01 killed a dude. Boy does not fool around.
Showing up hours late, Charlie arrives as the police wheel out the body and sees a flyer posted for the dead mystery girl from the pilot. Pieces are coming together, even if Charlie’s world is coming apart.
Far from home
Demonstrating his remarkable detective skills once again, Charlie grabs a bite at the very same soup kitchen as Reena. She bolts. In a pretty exciting foot chase, Reena gets away, leaving Charlie gasping on a rooftop. The episode ends with Charlie alone and Reena in voice over saying, “I never knew who he was, but he was there when the world changed. Back then I could tell he was even more lost than I was.”
How about everyone else? More or less lost than Charlie?