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Abby Meta - part 5. Episode 1.5

Series 1, episode 5

Connor seems to be making himself at home in Abby’s flat, to the extent that he’s wearing her dressing gown when she finds him in the kitchen. She complains that he has put the thermostat up to 34, and Connor tells her it’s for Rex’s benefit, and that if they get too hot they can just take more clothes off. Abby’s slightly annoyed, long-suffering expression suggests she knows exactly why Connor wants them to take more clothes off, and she is not impressed. As she walks away (in her underwear, again), Abby throws back the comment, “Close your mouth, Connor, you’re dribbling.”

She is clearly becoming annoyed with having Connor as a housemate, and is apparently used to his slightly lecherous behaviour by this point.

Later, she brings up the fact that he said he’d be there a week, and he’s still here a month later. Connor is completely distracted by his video game, and entirely misses Abby’s less than subtle hints, and her apparent growing annoyance with him.

Abby meets up with Cutter and Stephen at the golf course as they search for the anomaly. When they all look up and see the anomaly in the sky, Abby’s reaction is an awed, “Wow!” She spots the pteranodon along with Stephen, and is more than capable of getting herself out of the way, while Stephen tackles the oblivious Cutter to the ground.

As they watch the pteranodon, Abby is the plot device one who asks the relevant questions – what is it, is it what killed the golfer, why is it circling? - so that Cutter and Stephen can dispense information about pteranodons to the audience. To be fair, we have seen before that while she is generally good with animal behaviour, Abby doesn’t have any real specific knowledge about prehistoric creatures, so her questions are probably quite legitimate. She may be genuinely trying to learn as much as possible, perhaps in order to be better prepared to provide useful suggestions if people turn to her for behaviour predictions later.

Abby is the first one with a sensible suggestion when they’re trying to attract Connor’s attention, yelling at him to get into the trees. She appears extremely worried as they watch him being chased by the pteranodon, but she’s not the only one; everyone apart from Cutter believes that Connor is about to meet the same fate as the golfer.

Then, when Cutter spots Rex, Abby exclaims out loud, “Oh, he let Rex escape.” Of course, she realises what she has said as soon as everyone turns around to look at her. She initially tries to deny it when Cutter works out that she kept him, but then she quickly accepts the truth is out, and admits it, and apologises. She seems to not be able to meet Claudia’s eyes as Claudia completely loses it, first on Abby, and then on Cutter.

This is slightly at odds with what we’ve seen before, because while Abby does admit her guilt, she seems far less vocal than the previous occasions when Claudia or Cutter have been angry with her. Perhaps it’s because on this occasion it is not just Abby herself who is in trouble, it is Rex, and she takes his safety extraordinarily seriously.

Once Claudia has gone, and she has the opportunity to get Cutter alone, Abby immediately follows him and tries to explain that she only did it because she was concerned for Rex’s welfare, and didn’t want Lester’s scientists to hurt him. She asks Cutter if she can keep him, and he apparently gives his approval by saying she has to find him first. At this point, neither of them seem to be considering how they will get that one past Claudia, or perhaps Abby is simply assuming that Cutter will be able to either cover for her, or to somehow persuade Claudia to turn a blind eye. Abby isn’t thinking of the long term, she is only thinking of the immediate danger to a creature (in this case Rex). It’s something that will be a recurring theme in later series.

While the rest of the team deal with the pteranodon, Abby and Connor go in search of Rex. Abby appears unmoved by Connor’s attempts to apologise, and she eventually rounds on him and tells him to just find Rex, and then she stomps off. Her earlier annoyance with Connor is now outright anger, unsurprising given everything that has happened. Again, this is a theme that comes back in later series – underlying issues between Connor and Abby come to a head when Rex is threatened in some way, and Abby finally loses patience and turns on Connor (whether or not it is actually directly his fault, although on this occasion, at least, it quite obviously is his fault).

She continues to snipe at Connor until they eventually do find Rex. They realise that Rex is hiding from something behind them, and they turn around to see the anurognathus in the trees. Abby’s expression suggests she doesn’t like what she sees at all, presumably she had recognised the fact that they are predators, although quite how she has come to that conclusion is debateable. When the flock takes flight, both Abby and Connor dive to the ground and stay crouched with their heads covered until the flock has gone.

I’d like to say that again Abby knows when to run and when to stay still and play possum when threatened, but it is actually Connor who shouts, “Get down!” on this occasion. The fact that Abby doesn’t contradict him, and does as he says, presumably suggests she agrees with that as being the best response, although it does all happen rather quickly so there really isn’t time for debate.

In the aftermath of the main situation, Abby is understandably still angry with Connor.

Connor: All turned out pretty well in the end.
Abby: No thanks to you. (Abby turns away from him)
Connor: (Following her) Abby, I’m really sorry. I know I should have been more careful with Rex.
(Abby turns back to face him and shrugs)
Connor: I’ll move out of the flat tomorrow.
Abby: Where are you going to go?
Connor: I’ll be fine. You know me, always plenty of irons in the fire. Whatever that actually means.
Abby: (Sighs) Okay, here’s the deal. You do all the washing up for a month, and make me breakfast every weekend. And if you leave your dirty boxer shorts on the bathroom floor one more time, (puts on Bond bad guy type voice) I shall kill you.
Connor: (Tentative smile) Does that mean I can... Does that mean I can stay?
Abby: For now, yes.
Connor: (Grabs Abby and picks her up in a huge hug) Oh, thank you. Thank you.
Abby: Yeah. God, I must be going insane. I quite like having you around.
Connor: Really?
Abby: As a friend.
Connor: As a friend, I know. Buddies. What else? (Connor playfully punches Abby’s shoulder. Abby punches his shoulder back). Ow!

The “It all turned out pretty well in the end,” and, “No thanks to you,” exchange is a conversation that will be repeated in series 4, when yet again Rex is endangered, and Abby blames Connor. Hurting Rex, or putting him in danger, is one of the few things that will really make Abby angry, and while Connor’s apologies are serious, this time she is having none of it. It’s only when he offers to move out that she relents. They both know that he doesn’t have ‘plenty more irons in the fire’, and perhaps whatever friendly, or even protective, instinct made Abby allow him to stay in the first place kicks in again. Also, it’s possible that this gesture is enough to convince Abby that he really is sorry, rather than just saying it because he wants to get back in her good books.

This is another turning point in their relationship. If Abby really didn’t want him to stay she could have let him go when he offered to leave. And now that the secret of Rex is out he can’t play that card again (not that it was ever really meant seriously, I think). Their friendship has grown, and as long as Connor curbs some of his more slovenly tendencies, Abby seems to genuinely want him as a housemate. Even so, when it appears Connor may have read a little too much into her offer, Abby is quick to add the disclaimer... as a friend.

Later, as they are preparing to send the pteranodon home, Abby talks to it in a comforting voice, saying it will be home soon. As long as they’re not trying to eat her, Abby’s natural reaction is to take care of animals, no matter what species they are.

When they successfully get the pteranodon home, Abby leaps into Stephen’s arms and wraps her legs around him in celebration. She still feels comfortable enough with Stephen to do such a thing, despite what has happened between them in the past and their failed attempt at a relationship. Also, she probably thought that if she attempted to do something like that with Connor they would both end up in an undignified heap on the ground!

Link to part 4 - episode 1.4
Link to part 6 - episode 1.6

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26 comments or Leave a comment
freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: April 23rd, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
"As long as they’re not trying to eat her, Abby’s natural reaction is to take care of animals, no matter what species they are."

And doesn't that sum up our Abby perfectly!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 23rd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lol, yes, it does seem to be rather the mission statement of her life!
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: April 23rd, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've always had slight issues with the whole Rex escaping thing in this ep, in that we are obviously expected to believe that it is Connor who opened the window (after previously being told to keep them all shut by Abby) and therefore is to blame for it. My problem with that is I don't believe that even Connor is so oblivious as to open a window when he knows that a) it will allow a one-of-a-kind prehistoric creature to escape, and b) said escape will make Abby furious with him. Of course, this is the only interpretation of scene, but I find it very clumsy plotting...
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 23rd, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that it's likely that Connor didn't *open* the window - it was already open when Abby left. But he did completely fail to *close* it before he left to go to the anomaly, probably because he was in a hurry and didn't bother to check that everything had been Rex-proofed before he went.

So I agree, he probably wasn't stupid enough to open the window, but he is guilty of being quite careless, despite knowing how important Rex is.

Edited at 2012-04-23 08:17 pm (UTC)
knitekat From: knitekat Date: April 23rd, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
This ep sums Abby up well - both with the creatures and with Connor.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Abby and Connor's relationship settled down a lot after this episode - she just needed to have words with him about his behaviour and the mess!
dreamer_98 From: dreamer_98 Date: April 23rd, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very good point: Abby is fiercely protective of Rex, and this is where we start to see that. Like Connor says to Philip in series 4 when he's with Rex in lockdown: "Clearly you haven't seen Abby angry." Rex is like her baby.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd almost go so far as to say that Abby is almost irrationally overprotective of Rex! Although the fact that he is not just any old lizard is obviously a factor in that, but I sometimes think she genuinely cares about some of her animals more than she does about other people.
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: April 23rd, 2012 09:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, would she do that to Stephen if she knew he'd just eaten pteradon poo? *g*
I do love the Abby and Rex dynamic, she's so very protective of him. Moreso than her other pets, presumably because he's the one trapped outside his time and needs that protection more.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lol, good point re Stephen! s I said in a comment to someone else, I think Abby is almost irrationally overprotective of Rex. As you say, because he's no ordinary lizrad, she no doubt feels the need to care for him more than her other pets, but there's something about Rex that makes Abby risk everything - including her own life on some occasions, to protect him.
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: April 23rd, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

LOL at the image in the last line *G*

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! Stephen was definitely a safer bet for jumping on than Connor.
natchris From: natchris Date: April 24th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it.
flaccidduck From: flaccidduck Date: April 24th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice job!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
judithjohn From: judithjohn Date: April 24th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for this!

Really interesting.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. glad you liked it.
lsellersfic From: lsellersfic Date: April 24th, 2012 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
You know! Thinking over all these metas I'm not sure Connor/Abby is such an obvious pairing in S1. While he is persistently hitting on her, you get the slight impression he would do this to any woman who gave him the time of day and she makes, and repeatedly makes, her position very clear. At this point I would say there is obviously no actual attraction on her part, even if she quite likes him.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 24th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, definitely! I'm pretty certain that Abby doesn't show any genuine romantic or sexual interest in Connor until about halfway through series 2. She's certainly not interested in anything other platonic friendship with him in series 1, although that said, it is a very *close* friendship even at this stage.
celeste9 From: celeste9 Date: April 27th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this was the episode that made clear you do not mess with Rex, or face the wrath of Abby! It's interesting that Abby's issues with Connor tend to come to a head when Rex ends up in danger, I'd never noticed that. And I love that Abby immediately does the intelligent thing and gets out of the way while Cutter has to be saved by Stephen!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 28th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's interesting that Abby's issues with Connor tend to come to a head when Rex ends up in danger,

It really does seem to be a recurring theme throughout every series, and is particularly noticeable here, and in 2.4 and 4.4. Perhaps Abby is able to tolerate peope being generally careless or unthinking when it comes to herself, but if they are careless with Rex it pushes her over the edge because she feels responsible for the lizard.

Abby has always one of the great common-sense people in the team. Probably a good thing given how much she hangs around with Connnor, the one who probably has the *least* amount of common-sense in the team!
samueljames From: samueljames Date: May 1st, 2012 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I did like the pure joy of the moment where she jumped onto Stephen. I also liked the chat with Connor. I think she's aware of his crush but not threatened by him.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 1st, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is one of my favourite episodes, because it was one of the last times that we saw them *all* having fun and enjoying their job. That final scene with them all celebrating is just lovely.
cordeliadelayne From: cordeliadelayne Date: May 7th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Very interesting. I'd never really thought about just how invested in Rex Abby is, above and beyond her natural interest in the creatures.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 7th, 2012 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Abby's protectiveness towards Rex is definitely a recurring theme throughout all the series, and she is often quick to overreact and lash out (usually at Connor) when Rex is threatened or hurt.
26 comments or Leave a comment