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Abby Meta - part 16. Episode 3.3

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?
Abby: Dozens.
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

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36 comments or Leave a comment
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freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: May 28th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
That exchange about the baby makes me smile every time

Nice job!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I love that conversation with Cutter and the pregnant woman. There are times when Cutter just shoudln't be allowed to open his mouth, lol! The look that Abby gives him is priceless.
From: sandyleepotts Date: May 28th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well done.

You summed it up really well.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
knitekat From: knitekat Date: May 28th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great summary of the ep. Go Abby!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the first half of this ep, and Abby and Cutter working together, it's such fun.
clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: May 28th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sid and Nancy are just cuter than the cutest thing ever. I can't imagine anyone wouldn't want them as pets!
Also, I love that scene with Abby, Cutter and the pregnant woman. Not having been aware what was going to happen at the end of the episode when I first saw it, it came as quite a shock after the early parts had been quite light-hearted.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 28th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! I want a diictodon as a pet!

Unfortunately, I did know what was going to happen (or at least, I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen), so that kind of coloured the whole episode for me the first time I watched it. But I do love the first half and the lovely funny scenes with Abby and Cutter (and Connor and Becker) at the hospital.
darkhorse_99 From: darkhorse_99 Date: May 28th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Every time I watch it I have trouble believing that the cute, adorable first half of the episode was linked up to the horrible, tear my heart out second part of the episode. As always, this was excellent.
reggietate From: reggietate Date: May 29th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Same here :-(

And I knew it was coming, which made it all the harder.
dreamer_98 From: dreamer_98 Date: May 28th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the scenes with Cutter, Abby, the Diictodons and the pregnant woman. A lot of comedy and levity to what otherwise ends up being a serious and sad episode. Abby definitely looks more comfortable with the creatures than trying to help deliver the baby.

Good observation about it being the first time we see real vulnerability from Abby at Cutter's death, and shows how close their relationship had become.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
That scene with the pregnant women were such fun, and I love the look on Abby's face when Cutter says that line about it being just like a giraffe, only with a shorter neck!

kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: May 28th, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh yes, Cutter's patented Comforting Technique... LOL

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol, yes. This is why Jenny doesn't trust him with the public!
flaccidduck From: flaccidduck Date: May 29th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Great ep analysis. Thanks!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
judithjohn From: judithjohn Date: May 29th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Fabulous meta as always
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
reggietate From: reggietate Date: May 29th, 2012 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
It's such a lovely scene between Abby and Cutter in the beginning, and it's such a shame the first time in ages they really get to have some fun together is on the day he dies :-(

I adore the 'hyperactive mice' bit, and no, Cutter should never be allowed near the public.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the interaction between Abby and Cutter, they have such a lovely friendship. As you say, it's a shame they had so little interaction in series 3 before he died went on sabatical.
nietie From: nietie Date: May 29th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
The first half of the episode was light and funny and then it got so dark. Meep! But Abby had a nice part in this one. Her interaction with Cutter was priceless.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Abby and Cutter's scenes together in the first half of the ep are lovely, and so funny.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: May 29th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do really love the first half of this episode, and wish we could have more eps that were generally like that in tone! :)

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.

I must admit, I've always read it as the latter. I think Abby reads in Connor's face that he's determined to go in after Cutter, and she bascially decides no to stop him, although she realises how dangerous it will be, because she knows it's something he has to do.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 29th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, I suppose cute and fluffy creatures don't tend to make great drama, but it would have been nice to have a few more 'fun' creature encounters, rather than just big nasty predators every week.

I'm inclined to agree, but I rewound and rewatched the scene several times, and it was so difficult to tell what was going on between the two of them.
celeste9 From: celeste9 Date: June 2nd, 2012 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I really liked this episode (well, aside from the fact I was blubbering at the end), and Abby gets to have some lovely moments with Cutter and with the diictodons. It's quite telling that she cries at the end, Cutter must really have meant a lot to her.

P.S. I'm with Abby- I'd much rather hold the diictodon than the baby!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 2nd, 2012 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Abby has had so many lovely little mments with Cutter ever since the start of Primeval, and they seem to have a close friendship and a lovely ability to make fun of each other as well. It's a shame we didn't see so much of it in series 3 until this ep, although it makes it so much worse at the end after they were laughing and joking together only hours earlier.

I think I'd rather hold the diictodon as well, to be honest!
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: June 3rd, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting that this is the forst time we see Abby cry.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 3rd, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm pretty sure it is. She seemed close to crying a couple of times in series 2, particularly 2.4, but I don't think we actually saw it happen. It's possible that she cries more often over the animals than she does over her human friends!
lsellersfic From: lsellersfic Date: June 3rd, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's always lovely when we get moments of appreciating the creatures - moments which sadly get fewer and further between.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 3rd, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, those scenes are such fun, and show you why they love doing this job so much, despite the danger and the losses.

They did actually have a fair few creatures in series 1 which weren't actually that dangerous. They also had the concept of *more than one type of creature* coming through the same anomaly, so you could have something relatively harmless as well as a predator. It's such a shame they stopped doing that in later series and concentrated on 'single dangerous creature(s) of week' type stories.

It also means Abby loses out particularly, because her animals skills aren't much use if all they want to do is shoot it.
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