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Abby Meta - part 7. Episode 2.1 - athene
deinonychus_1
deinonychus_1
Abby Meta - part 7. Episode 2.1



Series 2, episode 1

We meet the team where we left off at the end of series 1, at the anomaly site in the Forest of Dean. When Cutter tries to return through the anomaly, Stephen and Connor rush to hold him back, and Abby hovers just behind them, as if readying herself to dive in and help should Cutter put up enough of a fight to escape the others. As Cutter raves about Claudia Brown and changes to the timeline, Abby stares in shock and horror. We’ve seen a great deal of professional respect between Cutter and Abby in series 1, and she doesn’t want to see him like this.

Then, Cutter begins to realise the extent of the changes.

Cutter: The what?
Abby: The ARC. The Anomaly Research Centre.
Cutter: No, no, no, no. You mean the Home Office.
Abby: No. We moved from that place ages ago.

Abby’s exchange with Cutter is interesting. On a purely practical out-of-character level, it’s telling the viewers about the ARC, but in-character, Abby seems to be deliberately supplying Cutter with information that she believes he already knows.

When Lester questions whether Cutter is having a nervous breakdown, Abby is the one who insists, “He’s fine.” Her expression as she watches Cutter suggests she believes entirely the opposite, though.

I suspect Abby doesn’t want to admit to herself, or anyone else, that Cutter might be falling apart, so she does what she can to help him out so that he doesn’t look stupid and crazy in front of Lester. Whether she believes his story or not is irrelevant – she just wants Cutter to come away from this situation without Lester firing him or having him committed, and give Cutter the space to sort himself out. Also, it’s another example of Abby standing up for her team-mates when they’re in trouble, as we have seen her do in episode 1.2 with both Connor and Stephen.

Nevertheless, it seems her patience will only stretch so far, and once they get back to the ARC Abby leaves Cutter to his own devices, and is the first one to follow Stephen when they have a new anomaly to deal with. Abby doesn’t seem to deal well with people who are in an emotional state, she would rather deal with the practicalities of a situation.

At the shopping centre, Abby and Stephen unload guns and tranquiliser from the back of the vehicle as if it’s something they’re used to doing. Abby in particular seems to be in charge of the tranquiliser dosage. Abby and Connor never handled guns in series 1, but it seems in this timeline Abby is as trusted with firearms as Stephen is. She laughs at Connor’s request to have a gun, and gently mocks him, and for a moment seems to be sharing a smile and an eye-roll with Stephen. The latter is interesting, considering this is only a few hours after Helen’s revelation of the affair, and suggests Abby has no problem working with Stephen despite this news. Their friendship/personal relationship may be another matter entirely, but it’s difficult to tell, because Abby and Stephen get remarkably little screen-time together in series 2.

Abby looks faintly exasperated at Connor when he wanders off to get a slushy, but doesn’t seem the least bit surprised or put out when he wants to borrow a fiver to pay for the slushy. A few moments later, he gets chased by the raptor, and all Abby can do is close the shutters and shout at him to run faster. Surely she ought to have been shooting at the raptor? Unfortunately, if you look closely, this seems to be another of the spectacular gun-related continuity errors of this episode, because Abby’s gun seems to have mysteriously vanished for this entire sequence, and yet reappears in the very next scene.

For in-character rationalisation, perhaps the raptor was moving too quickly and Abby didn’t fancy her chances of hitting it. Or perhaps she didn’t shoot because she didn’t want to risk accidentally hitting Connor (which would be ironic, considering what happens later).

When they take the cleaner to the locker rooms, Abby eventually gives in to Connor’s pestering, and lets him borrow her tranquiliser gun to do a sweep of the room. When he’s finished messing around, Abby tells him he’s ridiculous. Then the baby raptor attacks the cleaner, and everything goes rapidly downhill, until Connor accidentally shoots Abby in the leg. She has time to tell him he’s an idiot before she loses consciousness.

Why does Abby give Connor the gun? We have to assume that she thought the locker room was clear, otherwise she wouldn’t have humoured him. The question remains that once they realised there was a creature, why did she not take the gun back from him immediately? Possibly she thought that he would argue, and that would waste time in a dangerous situation. This also implies that Abby does think he has some ability with the gun, otherwise she wouldn’t have given it to him at all, no matter how much he pestered. Of course, it’s a decision she regrets when Connor shoots her with a tranquiliser dart.

Abby regains consciousness right in the middle of a raptor situation, and accidentally attracts its attention. As soon as she realises the danger, Abby goes into action mode, catches a pool cue that Connor throws to her, and takes up a defensive stance back to back with him, apparently ready to fight the raptor if necessary. Not bad for someone recovering from the effects of a tranquiliser dart!

There is a brief ‘comedy’ interlude with Connor as he fusses and apologises for shooting her, and Abby being incredibly irritated with him (understandably). At first Abby admits that she feels, “terrible,” but then a moment later insists she’s, “fine.” Abby really doesn’t like people knowing that she is anything less than completely in control.

We next see her with Cutter, examining one of the raptors. She comments the bone structure is more like a bird’s wing than a reptile. It’s a scene that seems to serve no practical purpose apart from to show Abby and Cutter apparently bonding over their mutual interest in animals, and Abby demonstrating her knowledge of animal anatomy. Perhaps it is necessary to show that things are now okay between them, because they haven’t had opportunity to talk one on one since the start of the episode in the Forest of Dean.

Cutter announces he is going to return the raptors on his own, and Abby is the first one to speak up and says, “We’ll help.” When Cutter continues to insist on going alone, Abby looks to Stephen and shakes her head, apparently conveying a message that they have to stop him, and she is looking to Stephen as the person most likely to achieve that. Again, whatever she thinks of Stephen personally, she still believes in his ability to get the job done when they’re out in the field.

Abby’s conversation with Cutter before he goes to the Cretaceous is interesting. She asks him about Claudia Brown, and smiles encouragingly as he describes her.

Abby: Sorry.
Cutter: What for?
Abby: That I didn’t know her... ’Cause you lost her. (Abby hesitates) I want to believe you, I really do, but it’s hard.

Abby is one of the few people who actively asks about Claudia Brown, and tries to connect with Cutter about her, but at the same time she is still having trouble dealing with the possibility that time has changed. She wants to believe Cutter, mostly because of her professional respect for him. But Abby is a practical person, she deals with facts and evidence, not wild theories, and she is struggling to reconcile the normally sane and reliable Cutter with his apparently impossible claims.

When Cutter comes back from the Cretaceous, Abby asks, “Where’s Stephen?” She doesn’t actually help to pull Stephen back through the anomaly, although that’s possibly more because Cutter and Connor are in the way and she can’t get to him. She does watch Stephen with a shocked and sympathetic expression as he hops away in pain once the anomaly has closed. Again, we see that Abby apparently still seems to care about Stephen, despite the issues between Stephen and Cutter.



Link to part 6 - episode 1.6
Link to part 8 - episode 2.2



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Comments
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nietie From: nietie Date: April 25th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked the conversation she had with Cutter at the end when she tried to connect with him about Claudia (and Connor at the beginning of the ep). It shows how much they work and feel as a team.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 25th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oddly, despite the fact that Cutter is from another timeline, they all actually seem to work far better as a coherent team in series 2 than they did in series 1. In S1 there was very much the divide of Cutter, Stephen and Claudia doing things together, and Connor and Abby doing things together, whereas in S2 Cutter, Stephen, Connor and Abby seems to work as one team far better, with less of an obvious divide.

I do love the way the friendship and professional relationship between Abby and Cutter grows during series 2.
dreamer_98 From: dreamer_98 Date: April 25th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great observations. It's interesting to see the changes in the characters after the timeline shift. I like that even though Abby is very practical like you said, she still listens to Cutter and doesn't treat him like he's crazy.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 25th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's so much professional and personal respect between Abby and Cutter in series 2, they have a lovely relationship. I think Abby doesn't want to believe that Cutter is having a breakdown, so she just carries on treating him as she did before.
freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: April 25th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love how we begin to see more of Abby's character revealing itself by this point.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 25th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was surprised by just how much character continuity there was when I really started to look at Abby throughout all the series.
judithjohn From: judithjohn Date: April 25th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
More really insightful meta.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 25th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: April 25th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do like that little conversation between Abby and Cutter about Claudia - they have a nice little rapport, when the episodes bother to show it (they also have some nice moments in 2.3).

And I never noticed that Abby's gun seems to mysteriously disappear too at one point, but don't get me started on that whole continuity nightmare!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 25th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do love the way they show Abby and Cutter's friendship in series 2. They clearly respect each other a great deal, but they're comfortable enough to tease each other occasionally as well (and yes, 2.3 is a good one for this).

I don't know who did the continuity editing for this episode, but they were useless! Stephen's disappearing gun has become notorious, but I honestly hadn't noticed Abby's disappearing gun until I was watching it again for the meta (admittedly at that point in the episode I'm normally paying more attention to Connor being chased by the raptor).
knitekat From: knitekat Date: April 25th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another interesting meta, all those little bits you don't necessarily notice when watching.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, I definitely noticed loads of details I had never spotted before when i was going through and just paying attention to Abby rather than anyone else.
flaccidduck From: flaccidduck Date: April 25th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for these. They've been great.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it.
natchris From: natchris Date: April 26th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely meta.

Thanks
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks.
joshinator From: joshinator Date: April 26th, 2012 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel like going back and re-watching Abby now that I've read these!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed rewatching the early episodes for these.
lsellersfic From: lsellersfic Date: April 26th, 2012 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
*sigh*

Primeval is dreadful when it comes to tranqs. I remember when watching it B saying that anyone dealing with tranquiliser darts always has the antidote right to hand, just for this kind of eventuality and that Abby should have been up again within seconds. They also have problems with the fact that they overlook the dosage issues and that tranqs really don't work as fast as the show suggests they do. All minor details, of course, but irritating if you know much about it. In a way the EMDs are preferable since they are obviously Sci-Fi stun guns and you don't have to worry about realistic use - though they also move the show further away from the "wonder" of the animals and more towards a combat thing.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, definitely agree with you on the tranqs. To be honest, I don't even know an awful lot about ranquilisers, and even I know they don't work that fast, and that you need to know what you're dealing with in order to correctly estimate the appropriate dosage.

I suppose it's one of those things that they just hand-waved for the sake of creating a dramatic programme, on the grounds that most of the target audience probably wouldn't question it.

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of the EMDs. I'm not sure why, but it somehow feel like a cop-out, an easy way around the issue of how to handle the animals without hurting them, and the age old argument between the soldiers and the scientists of when to use deadly force or not.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: April 26th, 2012 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)
They really are very bad at gun-related issues in Primeval, particularly the tranquillisers.

Interesting to see Abby's interactions with Cutter in this.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
This episode in particular is terrible with the gun stuff - both the random continuity disappearing gun issues, and the tranquiliser usage. I had never noticed Abby's gun going missing until I was doing the meta, though. It's not quite as obvious as Stephen's rifle!
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: April 26th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
The scene where Abby tries to connect with Cutter over Claudia is one of her best scenes, I think. Shows a very caring side to her over something other than animals.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 26th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
True. I've always had a vague suspicion that she actually cares more about animals than she does about most people, but it's obvious she does care about Cutter in that scenes.

And it's interssting that it's Abby who does it, since at this point both Stephen and Connor are probably closer to Cutter than she is.
celeste9 From: celeste9 Date: April 28th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Hee, it looks like the show's gun-related difficulties started immediately once Ryan was gone! And they never handled tranqs well.

I really love this observation: Abby doesn’t seem to deal well with people who are in an emotional state, she would rather deal with the practicalities of a situation.

Her interactions with Stephen are interesting, because as you said, she still clearly trusts and cares about him. I'd somehow developed the impression that Abby and Stephen didn't get along following Helen's revelation, but when I rewatched a bit for fic, I realized that wasn't actually true.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: April 28th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Abby does generally tend to be quite standoffish, or short with people who are panicking or being emotional, and tends to let someone else deal with them if possible. If she is the only one there she will talk to the person and try to calm them down (as we see in 2.4 with lucien), but generally she just stands back and lets someone else handle it. Given her general reluctance to discuss emotions and relaionships, and her normal tendency to look for the practical solutions, it seemed a reasonable assumption.

I know a lot of people (mostly Stephen fans) say that they didn't like the way Abby treated him in series 2, but I really don't see any evidence that she treated him any differently right up until 2.6 when she finally takes Cutter's side. And even then she suggests they should warn Stephen when they realise that Leek has betrayed them.

It is true that their interaction is largely confined to work, and not to anything personal, so we don't know how it may have affected their friendship, but certainly it hasn't affected the way they work together.
talliw From: talliw Date: April 30th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I had completely forgotten about this little scene where Abby talks with Cutter about Claudia.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 1st, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's only a very short scene, but it is a very nice one for showing Abby and Cutter together.
samueljames From: samueljames Date: May 1st, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Abby and Nick did have a nice moment in this episode and I liked that it was included to show her concern for him.

P.S Am also reading the metas in a completely random order.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 1st, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lol! I was slightly surprised at the order the comments were coming in!

Abby and Cutter have several lovely scenes together in series 2, especially in episode 2.3.
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