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Abby Meta - Part 15. Episode 3.2

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 cliché twig, which prompts it to turn camouflaged and run off.

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

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22 comments or Leave a comment
freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: May 22nd, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very interesting.

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 23rd, 2012 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
flaccidduck From: flaccidduck Date: May 23rd, 2012 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I enjoy your ep by ep anaysis. It always raises points that I've missed.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 23rd, 2012 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you're finding it useful.
nietie From: nietie Date: May 23rd, 2012 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
I can so understand the WTF and the headdesking.

Especially that nothing happened to Abby when she was unconscious.

It's one of my least favourite episodes. The only positive thing is that we meet Danny (and that he arrests Connor *g*).
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 23rd, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
this episode just makes no sense at all if you attempt to think logically about it even slightly.

The fact that the creature was quite obviously stalking Abby, but then didn't attack her while she was unconscious is just ridiculous.
dreamer_98 From: dreamer_98 Date: May 23rd, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're right; it wasn't very smart of the rest of the team to leave Abby alone at the house, especially after she's been injured.

Abby does seem to act cheerier in this ep than we've seen her in the past. Again, maybe it was due to a new writer not having a strong grasp on the characters?
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 23rd, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pretty much everyone in this ep was behaving in a very stupid manner.

Yes, Abby did seem to be generally more cheerful and playful than usual. It was nice to see her like that after all the angst of series 2, and I suppose it's not impossible that she might be genuinely feeling more postitive. You might have a point about the bad writing, though, especially considering how bad most of the rest of the characterisation was.
knitekat From: knitekat Date: May 23rd, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
*nods* The best thing in this ep is Danny arresting Connor ;)

It is a very WTF episode.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 24th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even with the Abby/Connor stuff, I'm not a fan of this ep. I can sort of see what they were trying to do - a creepy, spooky sort of story - but they made a bloody awful job of it, and it just fell flat and didn't work in the slightest.
natchris From: natchris Date: May 23rd, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
More nice work.

Danny arresting Connor is priecless!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 24th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. Poor Connor, but that does seem to be the one thing that people remember about this ep!
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: May 24th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
This episode really is a total disaster, and yet I have a certain fondness for it because a) it introduces us to Danny, b) the WTF-ery, although extremely annoying at times, is also rather amusing (there is a certain element of not being able to look away from a train wreck about it!), and c) I actually find it less dull than eps 7 and 9...

But the constant leaving people alone at the house, despite the danger, and the completely baffling time lapses between scenes do beggar belief!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 24th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
To quote Reggie in the comments from the 3.1 meta, "3.2 is a complete dog's dinner"! Even the Abby/Connor bits and the tight red trousers of doom are not enough to redeem this episode even slightly for me, and I have a feeling it's probably my all time least favourite episode.

Ep 3.9 is pretty much a 'filler' ep as far as I can tell, and has some pretty impressive continuity and common-sense fails as well.

I'm not a huge fan of 3.7, but I have to admit I'm growing fonder of it, larger due to the Abby/Becker interaction. In fact, having done all of series 3, and got to half way through series 4, I appear to be developing a slightly worrying obsession with Abby and Becker working together! Although it may have led to a potential bunny for a team fest fic in July, so it's not all bad!
celeste9 From: celeste9 Date: May 25th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, this was probably a nightmare to try to make sense of! Kudos for doing as well as you did! I don't remember this episode too well but I think I wasn't overly fond of it... probably because of people being stupid all over the place!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 25th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I really hadn't been looking forward to doing this ep, but once I stopped even trying to take it seriously it became a lot more fun to analyse! The plot and characterisation really is atrocious throughout the ep, and they all just behave stupidly for no apprarently obvious reason.
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: May 26th, 2012 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)

You deserve a medal for subjecting yourself to this ep again and trying to make sense of it... ;)

**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.**

LOL - just the sort of trick you want to pull on someone who genuinely thinks you're in danger!

**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.**

I think it also depends on who has the most interaction with each kid in each ep as to who stayed with them most of the time. Connor and the boy in 2.6 bonded over mammoth capturing *G*

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 27th, 2012 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Lol, I'm not sure about a medal! I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to doing this one, but once I stopped trying to be serious, and just commented on the ridiculousness it was a lot more fun.

Hee, poor Connor. To be honest, the whole 'jumping out on someone' trick seems far more like something that Connor would do to Abby, rather than the other way around. The characterisation is *really* off in this ep.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: June 3rd, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
The continuity in this episode sucks frogs!

It reminds me of the policeman driving to the house in It's Alive!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 3rd, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea what was going on in this ep, or how the editors let so many stupid time lapses and continuity an character issues through. You almost expect the odd one to be missed, but this was just silly!
cordeliadelayne From: cordeliadelayne Date: June 4th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
This really is the stupidest episode ever, you've really got to feel sorry for everyone involved!

(I did lol at Abby stepping on a cliche - very true!)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 4th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, I really hadn't been looking forward to doing this one at all, but in the end I just decided to acknowledge that it was ridiculous, and see what (if any) useful stuff it was possible to salvage.
22 comments or Leave a comment