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Abby Meta - part 11. Episode 2.5 - athene
deinonychus_1
deinonychus_1
Abby Meta - part 11. Episode 2.5



Series 2, episode 5

We first see Abby in the background unloading one of the cars while Connor asks Stephen for advice on what he should do about his relationship with Abby. The conversation reveals that Connor and Abby have not discussed anything about what happened on the other side of the anomaly since we last saw them, although we have no idea how much time is meant to have passed. The conversation with Stephen does imply, however, that Abby hasn’t given Connor any reason to think he will be rejected if he does attempt to make the next move.

At the anomaly site, Abby looks on in amusement at Connor’s remote control rover device, and while she does make a comment about him using her hair dryer to build it, she doesn’t appear overly annoyed about this fact. When they see Taylor on the camera feed, Abby suggests she might be injured (given that she just appears to be sitting there not moving), and when Connor says that the Silurian wildlife mainly consists of bugs, Abby asks, “How big are the bugs?” Not an unreasonable question considering their previous two encounters with very early time periods have produced the giant centipede and scorpions of 1.2, and the giant worms of 2.2. Abby is the one making the practical suggestions, and asking the practical questions, while Cutter and Connor speculate more theoretically about the Silurian in general. This is similar to a conversation dynamic we’ve seen before in 2.3.

Waiting for Cutter and Stephen to return, Connor and Abby are left watching the anomaly by themselves. There’s a slight awkwardness between them, unsurprising if they are still dancing around the situation and not talking about it. Connor announces that he doesn’t think it’s working out with Caroline, and Abby makes a noncommittal “mmmm” noise. When Connor elaborates that there was never any chemistry between them, Abby agrees that chemistry is important. At that comment, they share a smile that is still a little nervous, but more like their usual interaction. The implication is clear – they both know that there is, and always has been, chemistry between the two of them. Connor then directly asks Abby if she thinks he should break up with Caroline. Abby hesitates, before replying, “I think you should do what’s right for you.”

Despite her own feelings about Caroline, and this prime opportunity to get rid of the woman for good, Abby is mature enough to know that if she expresses an opinion either way Connor will almost certainly do exactly what she tells him to. This needs to be Connor’s decision, and Abby won’t make it for him.

Unfortunately, Connor then spoils the moment by beginning to text Caroline, and Abby realises he is about to dump her by text. We immediately see a return to a far more familiar Abby – irritated and despairing of Connor’s lack of social skills. She tells him dumping someone by text is horrible, it’s humiliating, and that, “No one deserves that, not even her.”

The final comment shows that Abby still holds a great deal of antipathy towards Caroline, and yet she doesn’t want Connor to hurt her like that. Perhaps a hint that Abby may have been on the receiving end of being dumped by text in the past? Or simply that she’s just had a sharp reminder that no matter what ‘chemistry’ there may be between her and Connor, he is still extremely socially inept, and often unaware of how his actions affect other people. Either way, this rather breaks the mood between them, and they return to a vaguely uncomfortable silence.

A while later they are no longer sitting together – Abby has gone to lean against the wall a little way off. They hear a disturbance, and while Connor panics about rats, Abby is the one who spots tracks in the dirt, and surmises it’s a creature with lots of legs. A moment later they spot a millipede disappearing off down the alleyway, and Abby immediately takes charge and tells Connor they need to get after it, quick. Connor briefly protests about leaving the anomaly unguarded, but follows.

Abby is right, they do need to capture the millipede, but at the same time she shows no concern for any further possible creature incursion if they both abandon the anomaly site and leave it unguarded. Also, bearing in mind that Stephen and Cutter are both still on the other side, and may return at any moment with a child who (as Abby herself surmised) might be injured, it’s a particularly short-sighted decision on Abby’s part. It’s another occasion when she sees the immediate problem and jumps to a course of action without thinking of the wider, or longer term, implications.

They chase the millipede into a restaurant, and as they run through, following the screams, Abby throws out some general apologies to the diners. They finally catch up to it in a children’s ball pool, and dive in with expressions that convey just how much they enjoy this job – when they’re not in mortal peril. Abby is the one who manages to find the millipede and lifts it out, announcing to the onlookers that it’s all right and it’s harmless. Again her irritation shows when Connor decides to have a ‘bit of a play’ in the ball pool, and Abby points out now is not the time.

Abby throws the millipede back through the anomaly, and then realises that the anomaly is about to close. When Connor makes a mad dash to go through and warn Cutter and Stephen, Abby grabs him and holds him back, shouting that it’s too late. She is right, it closes within seconds. They both stare at the empty space where the anomaly was with looks of shock and disbelief.

Abby, Connor and Jenny are in Lester’s office. Abby contributes very little to the discussion, it’s mostly Lester and Connor doing the talking. Abby only shows much of a reaction when Lester decides that, “Daphne and Scrappy will have to take charge of the anomaly operation.” Abby looks to Connor in shock, and then puts a more neutral expression on when she turns back to Lester.

Back at the anomaly site, Jenny, Abby and Connor are staring at the spot where the anomaly was, Jenny standing apart, and Connor and Abby so close they are touching. Connor says he doesn’t think he can do this on his own, and Abby replies, “You won’t have to. They’ll be back.”

This is an odd comment from Abby. She normally faces bad situations head on and looks for the practical way of dealing with them, rather than sticking her head in the sand and hoping for the best. I’m not sure if she actually believes that they will be back, or if she is just saying it for Connor’s benefit. They are both probably still in shock at this point, and there really isn’t anything practical that she can do.

When Jenny turns to talk to them, Abby immediately offers a practical answer and volunteers to stay at the anomaly site while Jenny tells Taylor’s step-father the news. Abby offers a comforting look to Jenny, but has no empty platitudes or promises as she had for Connor.

When Cutter, Stephen and Taylor arrive back via another anomaly, Connor and Abby are the first ones on scene, and Abby says, “I knew you’d make it back.” She looks as overjoyed as Connor to see them, but is less vocal about it.

Abby and Connor arrive home, and Abby is the first one to notice the wreckage of smashed crockery around the flat. She pauses for a moment, registering shock, and then calls out for Rex. There is no response, and Abby goes further into the flat, looking around, and then turns to Connor and asks, “Where’s Rex?”

Back in episode 1.5, Abby made a snarky comment to Connor that, “He’s a lizard, not a golden retriever,” when Connor was calling for Rex. Nevertheless, here, and in the previous episode, we’ve seen Abby come home and call for Rex if he is not immediately obvious around the flat. She has a special paranoia where Rex is concerned, and seems to be hyper aware of his presence (or absence). This isn’t really surprising, given he isn’t your average lizard, but Abby’s concerns always seems to be entirely about Rex’s safety, rather than the possible consequences for her, or for the ARC, if news of his discovery made it out to the public, and to someone who recognised his true species.


Link to part 10 - episode 2.4
Link to part 12 - episode 2.6


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25 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
dreamer_98 From: dreamer_98 Date: May 5th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great commentary. I think it was good of Abby to let Connor make the decision re: Caroline himself, and to stop him before he dumped her via text. She is kind of Connor's guide when it comes to social etiquette in these early series.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Connor is still extremely socially immature at this stage. It's no wonder Abby gets irritated with him for his behaviour sometimes.
knitekat From: knitekat Date: May 5th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice look at the episode. *nods* Abby is right, it should be Connor's decision re Caroline.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks. That conversation definitely shows Abby's maturity, and in contrast Connor's immaturity.
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: May 5th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great detailed look at Abby's part in the episode.
It's sad that although she stops him here, Connor ultimately chooses not to listen to her regarding the text and takes the easy option anyway. I know Abby blows hot and cold with Connor, but looking at some of the things he does, like the text and the playing around in the ball pool, and it is a little bit understandable.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Connor may be incredibly smart when comes to scientific theory, but he is still monumentally immature on the subject of relationships with other people. I think it's one of the things that Abby dislikes the most about him, so it's no wonder she reacts badly to his actions.
freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: May 6th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice insights here. it's interesting to consider Abbys' behaviour ep by ep in this way and must be so helpful for fic writers.

Thanks!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks, I am hoping it might help people to write fic, and maybe think a bit about Abby in ways they wouldn't have done before.
flaccidduck From: flaccidduck Date: May 6th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Great meta of this episode and Abby's part in it.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it.
celeste9 From: celeste9 Date: May 6th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
It's interesting to think about Abby being so privy to Connor's horrible social skills and that influencing any decision she makes in regards to him, I don't think I'd ever really thought about it like that. I did really like the fact that no matter what she thought of Caroline, she still wanted it to be Connor's decision and fought against the break-up text. Which, come on, Connor, that's really terrible!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I think because she lives with him as well, Abby has more experience than most of how utterly socially inept he is. I think she knows he doesn't intend to hurt or annoy people, but he just doesn't think about what he's doing until someone points out that it's wrong.

That sort of reminder would put something of a dampener on her feelings for him, though.

Edited at 2012-05-06 11:50 am (UTC)
judithjohn From: judithjohn Date: May 6th, 2012 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for this. Great job
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)
thanks.

Edited at 2012-05-06 11:50 am (UTC)
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Despite her own feelings about Caroline, and this prime opportunity to get rid of the woman for good, Abby is mature enough to know that if she expresses an opinion either way Connor will almost certainly do exactly what she tells him to. This needs to be Connor’s decision, and Abby won’t make it for him.

Yes to this. Plus, I always figured that if she did express a clear preference for Connor dumping Caroline that's a) going to make her look somewhat bitchy - not great in front of the guy you may have feelings for, and b) going to clearly demonstrate that she might have feelings for Connor that's she's still uncertain about herself.

Abby replies, “You won’t have to. They’ll be back.”

I've always found this line curiously unsupportive of Connor, to be honest. The first time she said it, I was expecting it to be something along the lines of "You won't have to. We'll do it together." Instead, she seems to be almost agreeing with Connor when he says he 'can't do this' and hoping that the return of Cutter and Stephen will save them from Connor's inept leadership (which, admittedly, it probably a fair assessment of the situation!).
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
The first time she said it, I was expecting it to be something along the lines of "You won't have to. We'll do it together."

I did as well!

I'm not so sure about her being unsupportive of Connor, but I really can't work out what she is thinking. Either she genuinely believes they will be back, and is hanging onto hope, or she is just saying it for Connor's benefit. The problem is, neither of those options seem to fit with the way Abby normally behaves.
lsellersfic From: lsellersfic Date: May 6th, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another good meta. I don't feel I have much to say here except that it's a nice detail the way Abby refuses to intervene between Connor and Caroline until she realises he's about to do something clueless.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 6th, 2012 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. That is a very nice touch wth Abby's handing of that situation, and nicely shows the difference in their amount of experience.
nietie From: nietie Date: May 9th, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved the Daphne and Scrappy remark from Lester in this episode.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 9th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is one of Lester's better lines in this ep. I'm not sure Connor and Abby were too happy with it, though!
samueljames From: samueljames Date: May 12th, 2012 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I know it was silly to leave the anomaly site unguarded but I'm not surprised that they did. I think that leaving the millipede thing to wander round the present day could have been a problem too. I also liked Abby saying Connor should do what's right for him.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 12th, 2012 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
True, they couldn't just leave the milipede to run around unchecked. I suppose the real problem here is the fact that they have *no* backup, and it's just the two of them at the anomaly site. If there had been soldiers, even just one or two, then there would have been enough people for someone to watch over the anomaly while the others dealt wth the escaped milipede. It's yet another occasion where realism and the plot part ways quite spectacularly!
samueljames From: samueljames Date: May 12th, 2012 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes. I think fic does a better job with throwaway lines about anomalies being guarded or even showing more soldiers than we normally saw on screen.
cordeliadelayne From: cordeliadelayne Date: May 27th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent write-up!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 27th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks :-)
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