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