Series 1, episode 3
Abby comes to the hospital where Connor is already talking to Stephen as he packs his things. Both men turn and look at Abby in surprise – she’s wearing a skirt for the first time, and much brighter lipstick than usual. When Connor comments on it, Abby whispers, “I can do the girl thing,” although the obvious conclusion to draw from this comment is that she doesn’t normally ‘do the girl thing’.
In a brief digression into Abby’s clothes, so far we’ve mostly seen her wearing jeans and light tops, often with a leather jacket. It all compliments what we already know about her personality – it’s not ultra smart, but she hasn’t just thrown on the first thing that came to hand in the morning either. It’s practical and it’s more than a little tomboyish.
Stephen tells her she looks nice, and Abby seems embarrassed but pleased at the compliment. She tells Stephen she’s come to give him a lift home (apparently not arranged beforehand), but Stephen announces to everyone’s surprise that his girlfriend is picking him up. Abby’s smile immediately disappears, and she turns away from Stephen to hide her reaction, before turning back to him with a false smile and an unconvincing, “You must have missed her.” Stephen appears to pick up on the sudden change in mood, but doesn’t question it, and leaves.
At Connor’s comment, “Two years? How much sex are they going to have?” Abby whacks him with a pillow, but immediately apologises. “So much for the girl thing,” Abby says, with the sort of expression that says she has been in this sort of position before, and has now completely given up on Stephen as a potential boyfriend. We don’t see Abby’s reaction to Connor’s quiet, yet completely serious, compliment that he thinks she looks great.
It seems from this scene that despite their conversation at the end of the previous episode, and Abby’s apparent cooling towards a relationship with Stephen, she had decided to give it another go. It’s doubly disappointing for her to discover it was all for nothing after she has obviously made an effort, and now she probably feels foolish and embarrassed as well. After Stephen has gone we have another scene of Abby and Connor’s friendship and how comfortable they are together now, especially the little touches like whacking Connor with the pillow.
At the swimming pool, while Connor and Stephen talk about Alison, Abby is off to one side (but probably within range to overhear the conversation), and seems to be running some sort of tests on the water from the pool.
At the reservoir later, Abby is again the one apparently running on-site tests on the water, this time alongside Stephen.
The fact that Abby seems to have been left in charge of the sampling and testing is interesting, and perhaps hints at previously unseen science skills.
While Cutter and Stephen go off to dive into the lake, Abby and Connor are left collecting water samples.
Connor: See, why does Stephen get all the fun stuff to do while we get stuck collecting water samples?
Abby: He looks better in a wetsuit.
Connor: Debateable. I can do the action stuff too, you know. I’m not just a massive intellect.
(Abby has an amused smile at his last comment.)
Connor: He doesn’t remember a thing you know, Stephen
Abby: That’s not the point. He knew what he was doing when he asked me out; he knew he had a girlfriend.
Connor: Yeah. And he’d also just been poisoned by a giant centipede. That might have affected his judgement just a little bit.
(Abby gives an annoyed sigh.)
Connor: What am I saying? You know, you’re right. He’s a two-timing weasel and maybe you should put that down to experience and move on. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.
Abby does not look very impressed, but then, she hasn’t looked overly impressed with the entire conversation. Presumably she has independently come to much the same conclusions as Connor, but she is still upset about it, and doesn’t necessarily want to hear it spoken aloud like that. Connor makes a good point about how Stephen’s judgement was impaired at the time, and Abby must know he’s right, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Her comment about Stephen looking good in a wetsuit indicates that she does still feel something for him, at least on a physical level, but the revelation that he already has a girlfriend seems to be making her revise her view of him. Abby is disappointed that it hasn’t worked out between them, and she is also annoyed that he no longer matches up to the tall dark and handsome hero image she no doubt had of him.
When we next see Abby and Connor they are waist deep in the water collecting samples. The mososaur appears close to where Abby is standing and circles round her. Abby defaults to her usual reaction when faced with a large creature – she freezes so as not to attract attention or appear threatening. Even after it has apparently gone, she tells Connor, “Don’t move!” Once they are convinced it has gone, then they race to get out of the water, and of course the mososaur follows them and tries to get onto the bank to attack them. Connor pushes Abby out of the way, and it is Connor who eventually beats the mososaur off with a boating oar, while Abby stays back against the fence.
As in the previous episode when they encountered the centipede, Abby hangs back and lets someone else attempt to fight the creature off, but she doesn’t run and she doesn’t panic.
Afterwards, Abby approaches Connor and thanks him for saving her, and hugs him. Connor looks surprised, but pleased, and hugs back, a little too enthusiastically, because Abby has to prompt him to let go. They both look slightly embarrassed when Connor lets go, but Abby doesn’t appear to be particularly uncomfortable about it. This is probably the first time she has made any affectionate gestures towards Connor, and is presumably signalling where her next romantic interest may lie, now that she has given up on Stephen.
And speaking of Stephen, the next time we see Abby, she and Stephen are unloading equipment out of the car.
(Stephen is watching her with a slightly amused expression)
Stephen: My memory’s back. Some of it, anyhow. Enough to know why you’re angry with me.
Abby: Well, we’ve got a job to do, Stephen.
Stephen: Can we at least talk about it?
Abby: Look, I overreacted. I’ve already forgotten about it.
Stephen: I remember and you forget. Typical. Look, I thought that I was never going to see you again, and I didn’t want to die without you knowing that I liked you, you know.
Abby: Should have been thinking about your girlfriend.
Stephen: Yeah, well, the truth is, she and I, well, we don’t know each other that well any more.
Abby: Well, now she’s back, you’ve got a chance to get reacquainted.
Stephen: Abby, I’m sorry.
Abby: Look, there’s no need to make this big thing out of it. I fancied you for a bit and now I don’t. That’s all. (Abby is smiling as she speaks, but as soon as she turns away her smile disappears and she sighs)
Throughout the conversation, Abby uses the fact that they are carrying equipment to keep turning her back on Stephen, partly to hide her expression, and partly in an attempt to kill the conversation as quickly as possible. This is another example of Abby refusing to let other people see when she is hurt or upset. She covers with frivolous comments and jokes, and only lets her true feelings show when the person causing the hurt can’t see.
Abby is embarrassed, because she so blatantly signalled her interest by making an effort and ‘doing the girl thing’, only to be rejected, so she is feeling particularly defensive. Also, as we saw in the previous episode when she stood up for both Connor and Stephen, loyalty is important to Abby, and her emphasis on reminding Stephen about his girlfriend is a fairly blatant indication of why she is angry with him, and also possibly an attempt to make him feel guilty. As we’ll see on several occasions in later episodes, when Abby is hurt she tends to lash out at people. On this occasion, enough time has passed that the hurt isn’t still raw, so her reaction is quite controlled, but the undercurrent of accusation is there throughout the conversation.
It’s also worth noting that the scene for the conversation – unpacking the gear from the cars - shows Abby is not prepared to stand back and let the men do all the heavy lifting and fetching and carrying work, despite her small size.
Abby doesn’t do much for the rest of the episode, but in the scene she does have with Stephen and Connor there is no sign of any remaining tension between Abby and Stephen. They are waiting for Cutter to return through the anomaly, though, so have more pressing issues on their minds at that moment.
Abby and Connor are the ones waiting with Cutter in the ambulance at the end. When he comes round, Abby is clearly both concerned for Cutter, and also hesitant to tell him about the fact that a military team has been sent to capture Helen.
Link to part 2 - episode 1.2
Link to part 4 - episode 1.4