Thursday, February 10, 2011

Outcasts (Episode 2)

After a mediocre (and somewhat morose) first episode, the second episode of Outcasts was an improvement. It's still a little dreary and many of the characters seem slightly fed up but it wasn't quite so bad as before - or perhaps I'm just getting accustomed to it?

In this episode the mystery of the group of people Mitchell spared - and also who attacked Fleur and Cass in their tent - is revealed to be a bunch of clones, created to help explore this new planet. And, although genetically altered to be sterile, it appears they are able to reproduce. Years ago, it was thought that they were the ones spreading the C-23 virus and so President Tate had ordered them to be killed. But, thanks to Mitchell, they're alive and well and now that they've know their saviour is dead, well, things don't look too good for the folk of Forthaven.

Perhaps I missed it when it said when these clones were created but surely they weren't "born" after the colonists arrived on Carpathia? Because they look older than 10. Or do they also have some sort of rapid growth technology in Forthaven's rather down-to-earth, current-tech medical centre?

When the new colonists from the doomed transport ship in the last episode arrive in Forthaven, again the impression is given that the town is only sparsely populated. The small number of arrivals are greeted by just a few dozen inhabitants. Where are the rest? Forthaven just looks like an old frontier settlement. Is there only supposed to be a hundred or so people there?

One newcomer is Julius Berger, a seemingly morally unscrupulous man who has found religion on his journey to Carpathia. His introduction helps to bring some conflict to the show after the death of Mitchell. Hopefully, we'll see more of his scheming as he tries to usurp Tate's and Stella's authority. He's one of the more interesting characters (not a difficult feat, I admit).

Cass still remains my favourite person in the cast though. He seems to be the only one with a sense of humour and, at least until near the end of the episode, has a lightness to his character. Unfortunately, finding himself in a situation with blood on his hands, a secretive shadow has fallen across this man. What dark deed has this individual done in his past?

Actually, there is another, lighter character - Tipper Malone, the lay about that Stella had sex with in the last episode. He befriends Aisling, another new arrival who has something against Berger. Tipper is supposedly a child genius but now seems to just spend his time listening to music and getting high. Does he do nothing? Does Forthaven's society just provide for these people even if they do nothing?

And what do people do there anyway? It seems that very few people explore beyond the town's limits. Everything is built from grey metal, salvaged from the transport ships. In the 10 years since arriving, why haven't some people been out and chopped down a few trees and introduced a bit of wood into the place? Or even a bit of colour? Are people not interested in the fauna and flora of the planet? Stella just remarked that they had only seen "a few insects and small birds" (or something like that); isn't someone cataloguing these things, investigating why there aren't any large animals? Again, no one seems interested in discovering more about the planet, about it's potential inhabitants, it's geography or geology, or it's strange weather patterns such as that "whiteout". They all just seem to be stuck in Forthaven, moping about how they miss their family and the only bit of entertainment seems to involve going to a shady bar and drinking milky beer.

Perhaps the inhabitants of Forthaven are prevented from leaving the town by Tate who doesn't want people to discover the ACs are out there and that he ordered them killed? Now I can see why Mitchell was adamant that he and others had to get out and find their freedom.

Of course, the big unexplained mysteries now are what was the C-23 virus all about if it wasn't the clones fault, how can the clones have kids and what the heck caused that sketch to move on Tate's desk? Was it some sort of supernatural power, invisible aliens, or has Tate been stuck in his office for far, far too long?

It's these yet-to-be-explained events and a couple of interesting characters that mean I'll be watching the next batch of episodes, hoping that things will cheer up a little.


The Acrobatic Flea said...

I'm sure it was said in one of the episodes that are supposed to be "thousands" of people in Forthaven. and when you see it in the long shots it looks like Mos Eisley (on the cheap), but you are right - that doesn't come across at ground level.

I, too, have been wondering what they all do with their time and why, in ten years, there's only a single settlement and they haven't explored the wider area.

Hopefully there will be answers...

Nimbus said...

I certainly get the impression that there's supposed to be thousands in there - it's just a pity a few more extras couldn't be roped in. The place seems somewhat empty.

Yeah, hopefully they'll be some answers but I suspect we're supposed to just accept this as "normal".

To be honest, I'm probably over-analysing this show far too much. Anyway, thanks for popping by Flea!