Series 3, epsiode 3
We first see Abby when they all arrive at the hospital. Abby and Cutter go off together and find the anomaly in an operating theatre, and then find evidence that something small has chewed a hole in the wall and made a tunnel. When Cutter notices the teeth marks, Abby quips, “Hyperactive mice?”
Later Cutter comes back to find Abby with a look of wonder and happiness on her face. There is a diictodon in the room with her, and she has clearly been watching it for a short while before Cutter came back. Cutter explains what it is and tells Abby a little about them as a species, and when another one comes through, Abby comments, “Come on, you’ve got to admit that’s cute.” For the first time since 1.4 the creatures seem to be relatively cute and harmless, and Abby is loving it.
They end up getting trapped in the room with a woman in labour, and while Cutter seems slightly panicked at the thought of her giving birth in here, Abby goes over and helps the woman to get settled down.
There follows an extremely entertaining conversation, in which we learn a little more about Abby’s skills with animals, and we also learn that Cutter should never be allowed to attempt to comfort pregnant women!
Cutter: This woman is a trained health professional (meaning Abby) (Abby gives him a look as if to say, “What?”)
Pregnant woman: Well she doesn’t look like a nurse.
Cutter: No, she’s a zookeeper.
Pregnant woman: What?
Cutter: Abby, how many babies have you delivered?
Pregnant woman: What kind of babies?
Abby: Zebras, lions, antelopes. And I delivered a giraffe once.
Cutter: Now don’t worry, the principle is exactly the same, only hopefully your baby will have a shorter neck.
At Cutter’s last comment, Abby just gives him A Look, and who can blame her? It does give us a few random facts about some of Abby’s skills that we never get to see, and also shows that they are still using Abby’s previous job as a zookeeper as a cover story when the situation calls for it.
It is worth asking at this point, does Abby have any actual medical or veterinary training? We have seen her present at creature autopsies in series 1 and 2, we saw her taking and testing water samples in 1.3, and here we have more evidence of her skills. However, we have never had any on-screen information about what academic background (if any) Abby had before she started working at the zoo. I suppose it’s always possible that she has picked up all these practical skills on-the-job, as it were, but it seems a stretch that Cutter would leave her to autopsy the second dodo alone if she had no formal medical/veterinary training at all. Unless, of course, Abby was economical with the truth about the full extent of her skills in the early days of the operation, in order to keep her place on the anomaly project.
Abby breaks off in the middle of attempting to deliver the baby (at this point it doesn’t seem to be in imminent danger of being born, to be fair), when a diictodon appears in the room. Abby picks it up and realises that it is making a distress call. She holds it to the hole in the wall and lets it call out, reasoning that it might attract the others in order to get them all back to the anomaly.
The baby starts to arrive, and Cutter takes over with the diictodon while Abby resumes trying to deliver the baby. Even so, she still has the time to have a delighted reaction when diictodons swarm into the room and head for the anomaly, and also to coo over the one that missed the anomaly and got left behind. Her plan worked; not bad from only a few minutes of observing the creatures and what little information Cutter provided, and Abby is justifiably pleased with herself.
When we next see them, Cutter is the one holding the baby, and Abby is holding the diictodon – she’s still far happier with animals than people!
Connor arrives, and Abby discovers he has a diictodon as well. They grin at each other, and Abby obviously thinks the diictodons are completely adorable. Abby and Connor are both on exactly the same wavelength when it comes to what they are going to do with the little creatures – the Maitland household has just acquired two new pets.
Abby senses there is something not right as they walk into the ARC, but they don’t react in time to avoid being caught by Helen’s clone soldiers.
Abby doesn’t do or say an awful lot while they are being held captive in what appears to be some sort of storage room.
When they are attacked by a clone soldier, Abby fights back, and appears to be getting the better of him with a repeated series of kicks, knees to the stomach/groin, and slamming him headfirst against a locker. It’s only when she decides to jump onto his back that the soldier knocks her to the ground, apparently stunned. Of the four people in the room – Lester, Jenny, Sarah and Abby – Abby is the only one who manages to prove effective against the soldier clone, and considering even Becker was having difficulties with the clone that he was fighting elsewhere, Abby didn’t do a bad job.
When Cutter goes back into the building to find Helen, Abby tries to run after him, calling his name. Presumably she either thinks better of it, or someone stops her. A little while later, Abby and Connor look at each other and a silent conversation passes between them. It’s difficult to tell whether Abby is telling him what she wants him to do, or whether she is giving him permission to do what he wants to do. On closer inspection, it looks like the former, but it seems particularly unlike Abby to send Connor, rather than going herself, or at least going with him, so perhaps the latter makes more sense. Either way, Connor nods, message understood. Abby tells him to be careful, and then Connor runs into the ARC to find Cutter. Abby waits, looking anxious.
Connor brings Cutter’s body out, and Abby’s initial reaction is complete disbelief. When she finally begins to cry (and this is the first time we have ever seen Abby properly cry), she turns to Connor and they hug, holding each other tightly for mutual comfort.
The first half of this episode is a lovely example of the relationship between Abby and Cutter, and the great mutual professional respect they have for each other, as well as their friendship and ability to make fun of each other a little. We saw it occasionally in series 2, and in 3.1, but this is perhaps the first time since series 1 that they were able to really enjoy themselves and their work together. Abby has lost a friend as well as a boss and leader.
Link to part 15 - episode 3.2
Link to part 17 - episode 3.4