Series 3, episode 2
(Note: I have no idea what the hell is going on in this episode. The timeline is all over the place, and most of the characters are behaving like bad stereotypes from a dodgy haunted-house film. Nevertheless, I’ll do what I can with it.)
At the ARC, Cutter announces he has predicted an anomaly, and despatches Jenny, Abby and Connor to investigate. He randomly nicknames Connor and Abby ‘Sid and Nancy’, which is clearly nothing more than a setup for their impending new pets, but maybe Cutter was in a playful mood. Abby and Connor glance at each other with slightly confused expressions – considering how old they are, do they even know who the original Sid and Nancy were?
They arrive at the house, and as they speculate about why the place is abandoned Abby points out that it must be worth a fortune, and that it smells like animals were being kept there.
Abby and Jenny have a conversation that starts out about Cutter, but then quickly becomes a more general conversation, but with obvious underlying meaning:
Jenny: Abby? Have you... have you ever been attracted to somebody who you don’t even like?”
Abby: (laughs) I fall for the wrong men all the time. One thing I do know, if you’re interested, don’t bother waiting for the man to make the first move because you could die of old age before anything happens.
Jenny: You going to take your own advice?
Abby: (smiles) Thinking about it.
Abby’s comment about falling for the wrong men could be taken any number of ways. Connor is the most obvious, but it could equally refer to Stephen. Or, it could be an indication that in the past Abby has had several previous boyfriends or men she was attracted to, and none of them have worked out well. Her parting comment, however, seems to signal she may be intending to do something about the situation with Connor.
This is also interesting, as the potential relationship with Connor seemed to have gone off the boil towards the end of series 2, and, for what little screen time they had together in 3.1, it seemed more like their old platonic friendship than anything else.
Abby wanders downstairs again, and looks around a large sunlit room, apparently enjoying herself and liking what she sees. There is a noise from the fireplace, and she goes to investigate, peering up into the darkness. There is a strange animal noise from higher up the chimney, but it’s not clear whether Abby can hear it, or whether only we, the viewers, are aware of it. Cut to Connor, and we hear Abby scream.
Connor rushes to the large sunlit room, but there is no sign of Abby – until she runs out of hiding and jumps on his back. She laughs, knowing she made him jump, and they smile and have one of those moments together. Then it suddenly becomes awkward, and they stop looking at each other, and Connor mutters about how he thought she was in trouble, and Abby says, “Yeah, and you came to rescue me. Thank you.” And then she gives him a quick kiss on the cheek, and leaves him standing there, looking stunned.
Abby then decides to announce that she likes this place – it’s fun. She is clearly in a somewhat playful mood, and since there is no obvious anomaly or creature danger, she is enjoying herself and having a laugh. It’s a side of Abby that we don’t see very often, and it more normally appears when she is at home, often when she’s playing with Rex.
Was that kiss the ‘first move’ that she was talking to Jenny about earlier? Or just a bit of spontaneous fun?
Abby says nothing throughout the first encounter with Danny Quinn, but she does tug Connor away when he stops to ask one sensible question and then make several rather stupid remarks.
Abby is left at the house by herself while Jenny and Connor go off to investigate the background to the house. Abby is being watched by a young girl in a red coat, who hides when Abby seems to sense or notice that someone is there.
Some time seems to have passed, and Abby is sitting outside the house with an anomaly detector. There is something inside the house at the window behind her, but this time she senses nothing, and moves away in time by pure fluke. She sees the little girl in red again from a distance.
Abby sees a curtain moving at a window, and goes back into the house, calling out, “Who’s there?” Upstairs, she hears the same gravelly animal noise we heard earlier in the chimney, and pulls aside a mattress that has been propped against what appears to be a large hole ripped in the wall, and heads into the room beyond. (Really – hole ripped in the wall, furniture piled in front of it, strange noises. Why is this not screaming ‘animal lair’ to Abby at this point?). She sees nothing, despite a camouflaged creature appearing on the wall right behind her. Abby does hear something moving, and finally seems to decide that discretion may be the better part of valour, and leaves at speed. The creature suddenly appears, snarling and baring its teeth and claws at Abby, and she is so startled that she falls down the stairs, hitting her head on the way down, and losing consciousness. (Why does the creature not kill her while she is defenceless at this point? We could charitably suggest that perhaps she was only knocked out for a few moments, and that Connor and Jenny came back only seconds later, despite the fact that the way it is filmed seems to suggest she is out for a while).
Abby is beginning to wake up when Connor and Jenny arrive back. She tells them she went upstairs because she thought she saw someone in the bedroom, but she doesn’t remember what happened after that. Jenny decides Abby needs to be taken to a doctor (reasonable), and then tells Connor to stay there, on his own, but to wait outside. (I’m afraid this is the point where the episode descends into WTFery as far as I’m concerned. True, Abby doesn’t remember seeing the creature, but she said she saw something, and Jenny and Connor now know there was an anomaly here fourteen years ago. Surely at this point they ought to have called for backup, or at least called the ARC to fill them in, because there is something strange going on. I know this is off topic, and I should be sticking to analysing Abby, but seriously, WTF? This plot makes no rational sense, and requires most of the characters to act like complete idiots in order for it to work.)
Jenny and Abby arrive back at the house, only for Jenny to get a phone call saying Connor has been arrested. Abby tells Jenny she will stay there by herself, and insists she is okay (because leaving the recently concussed person ON HER OWN at a place where weird things are happening is the sensible thing to do at this point. Sorry, sorry, I’m just desperately headdesking as I try to make any sense of this episode).
Suddenly it is night-time, and Abby sees the little girl in red ride past on a bicycle and follows her, until she eventually sees the creature in the road eating food that the little girl is dropping down to it from where she is sitting in a tree. Abby hides and sneaks closer to see the creature, but manages to step on a
The little girl tells Abby that it is her job to feed the creature so that it doesn’t eat the neighbourhood pets. Abby is comforting and reassuring with the girl, and tells her that they will deal with the creature now, and that she doesn’t need to worry about it any more.
As with Ben in 1.1, Abby seems to be good with children if they are older, and/or mature for their age. The fact that she opted to leave the much younger boy in 2.6 with Connor perhaps suggests she is less comfortable with younger children.
Abby calls Jenny to tell her that the creature is able to camouflage itself, and Jenny says she will call Becker for backup (finally!), and warns Abby not to go into the house (it’s daylight again now. No, I don’t know either...). No sooner has Abby put the phone down, she sees Ryan (the man Jenny and Connor met earlier) going into the house, so of course she follows him when he doesn’t respond to her calling. She does grab a tranquiliser gun from the car, and calls Jenny to tell her she’s going in (possibly the first sensible thing anyone has done all episode!).
Abby finds Ryan, and when he tells her he had to come back, Abby quips, “Well your timing’s lousy.” They are on their way out when the creature attacks, throwing furniture in front of the door, and then throwing furniture at them. Abby tries to shoot it, but the creature is both fast and camouflaged, and she has virtually no chance of hitting it. Nevertheless, she does what she can to protect Ryan until Connor and Jenny arrive. None of them manage to successfully shoot it. The anomaly reopens, and when Connor says he has chance to take a shot, Abby stops him. She says the creature has been waiting years to go home, they should just let it go. She stares in horror when it comes back and attacks Jenny, and then when Danny comes in and kills it.
Despite the danger that this creature presents, Abby doesn’t want to see it hurt, and would rather see it return home of its own volition than have them tranquilise it and return it via other, more traumatic, means.
When Becker’s men finally arrive, Abby seems to be organising them, but takes a moment to wave at the little girl to let her know everything is dealt with.
As a general comment on Abby’s behaviour in this episode, we know that Abby is confident in her own ability to handle herself in a dangerous situation, but she is not stupid, and she knows when to call for help. We can only assume that she was having a particularly bad off-day on this occasion. Perhaps a side effect of the concussion? Up until the point where she fell, it is reasonable to argue that they had no concrete evidence there was anything dangerous going on. After that point she had concussion and amnesia, so possibly wasn’t making fully informed sensible decisions (and so obviously shouldn’t have been left out in the field on her own, but that’s another matter entirely).
Link to part 14 - episode 3.1
Link to part 16 - episode 3.3