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.
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