Well, it can't have escaped anyone's notice that the July fest on Denial has started. So, with that in mind, this seems like a convenient stopping point to take a break from the Abby meta for a while, since I expect everyone's f-lists are going to be full enough over the next few weeks.
For anyone who is interested in such things, I'm currently up to episode 5.1, and the total word count, from episode 1.1 to 5.1 currently stands at 60,100 words. Um... yeah. The next time I decide it's a good idea to do a complete, episode by episode meta of one of the only two characters to have appeared in *every single episode*, someone stop me. Oh, wait.... ;-)
Anyway, thanks so much to everyone who has been reading and commenting so far. I have to admit, the latter stages have turned into something of a slog, but it's really helped to know that people are enjoying it, and finding it useful. That, and a small degree of sheer bloody-minded, 'I've started so I'll finish!'
To cut a long story short, the Abby meta will resume in August.
Series 3, episode 10
The team arrive at the anomaly at the racetrack (apparently it’s still open and strong what must be at least a couple of days after it originally opened). Abby doesn’t actually contribute much to their preparations other than to make a joke about Connor off Becker’s feed line. When the anomaly at Johnson’s HQ reopens, Danny decides that he wants Abby and Connor with him, and Becker and Sarah to check out the other one. Danny knows his team is likely to have the hardest job, and he wants people he trusts in an action situation with him, which says a lot about how he feels about Abby.
As the three of them move cautiously through the future world, Abby asks the obvious questions – where is Helen, and where are all the predators? She’s noticed that it seems unnaturally quiet. Abby is also the one who is the first to hear the sound of approaching giant insects, and alerts the others.
They evade the insects, and follow Danny to the building where he saw Helen on their previous visit here. Unfortunately, Abby pulls the door closed behind them but doesn’t make any attempt to secure it, and they are followed by a predator.
As they explore the building, Abby is the first one to realise the predator is almost upon them, and after a few moments of helping Danny and Connor to hold the door closed against it, Abby is the one who finds and makes use of something they can use to wedge the door properly. It must be noted, however, that she does do this at Danny’s suggestion, rather than being her idea. Again, as we noted in 3.6, when Abby and Danny are working together, Danny seems to steal a lot of the ‘practical ideas’ glory which would otherwise generally fall to Abby.
While Danny and Connor joke about Becker’s gun, Abby spots what the others have missed – the ARC sign on the door. She was clearly paying attention when Helen was in their ARC, because Abby also reminds them that, “Helen said it all started here”.
They explore further and discover another one Helen’s anomaly opening devices. Abby asks Connor, “How do you think it works?” She’s looking to Connor’s technological expertise to work it out, implying rather a lot of faith in him given he’s only seen it used once!
During the confrontation with Helen, Abby doesn’t actually do an awful lot, other than stand at Connor’s side looking defiant.
Once Helen has gone, Abby again doesn’t contribute much as Danny and Connor attempt to get the computer working again, although she is the one who remembers that Helen used the code ‘333’, leading Connor to the realisation that Helen intends to wipe out the early humans.
While the boys get all MacGyver on the computer, Abby is the one paying attention to what else is going on. She hears a noise elsewhere in the building, and goes to investigate on her own, and finds the door that they had previously jammed shut is now open again. Abby immediately understands the implications – predators may be in here with them. She grabs an iron bar as an improvised weapon and starts to back slowly and quietly towards where she left the others (why weren’t Connor and Abby properly armed, given that they knew they were heading into a world with at least two types of dangerous creature, one of them being the predators?). She alerts Danny, and as the sounds of predators get closer, Abby looks like she is preparing herself for a hand-to-hand fight. She must know she won’t stand a chance going hand to hand with a predator, but it’s better than giving up without a fight at all.
At the last moment Connor opens the anomaly and they all dive through. On the other side, Abby spots tracks, and leads the way while Connor speculates about what time period they are in, and tells Danny what sort of creatures to expect. It seems that in the absence of Stephen, Abby has been working on her own tracking skills in order to fill the gap in the team.
As they run away from the raptors, Abby becomes separated from the others, and apart from simply running, she makes a quite impressive dive and roll that gains her some ground as the raptors all try the same jump and stumble. Nevertheless, she eventually needs to be rescued because the others have climbed up a tree, and they yell for her to come to them, and then lift her up into the branches out of the way. Sometimes Abby’s small size is advantageous after all!
Once in the tree, there is a little bit of banter between Abby and Connor, but for the most part they are all being quite serious. Then Connor’s anomaly opening device dies.
Abby: We don’t know the route.
Danny: We can’t open the anomalies.
Connor: We can’t get home.
Connor looks to Abby, perhaps for comfort or reassurance after he speaks. We don’t see Abby’s reaction to this.
Then it’s back to business, as Danny points out there might not be a home to get back to, and they spot Helen running off in the distance. There’s a nice bit of cooperation between Abby and Connor, with Abby rooting around in Connor’s rucksack for a stun grenade rather than him trying to take the bag off and find it himself in the tree. Unfortunately, it goes somewhat awry when Connor is also stunned and falls out of the tree. Abby is the first to call his name, and they both scramble down after him after the immediate effect of the grenade have passed.
Once they have established that Connor is alive, albeit unconscious, Abby tells Danny to go after Helen. Danny initially hesitates, and Abby continues to insist that he has to go after Helen. Even when Danny attempts to move Connor to somewhere safe first, Abby shouts at him to, “Finish it!”
For once, Abby is looking at the bigger picture rather than the immediate problem. If they don’t follow Helen right away, then they can’t use her anomaly to go after her, and they will have failed. Nevertheless, Abby won’t leave Connor, so that only leaves Danny to do the job. If one were feeling uncharitable, it might be tempting to suggest this is bad characterisation to fit the needs of the plot, given Abby’s usual tendency to react to the immediate problem rather than look at the long term. Or perhaps on this occasion she really does see that the consequences of not following through on their original mission are too important to ignore.
When Danny has gone, Abby’s attention turns back to Connor, and Abby tries to wake him up, her expression worried, verging on scared.
Abby may be a great vet, but she’s not a very good doctor, because the next time we see her, she had sat Connor up against a tree, entirely ignoring the fact that he probably has a serious head injury, and potentially several other serious injuries from the fall, and probably shouldn’t be moved at least until he wakes up. Then, to add insult to injury, she slaps him in an attempt to wake him up! I’m going to assume that she’s having a momentary panic due to the situation, and is having a temporary mental block on the subject of first aid, because I refuse to believe she doesn’t know the rules on treating unconscious people in such situations.
Then, one of the raptors wakes up. Abby looks frozen in shock for a moment, and then looks at Connor, and back to the raptor. She stands up slowly and attracts the raptor’s attention away from Connor, although she has no weapons. Then Connor wakes up as well, and they have an amusing argument about who is going to save who on this occasion (while the raptor politely waits for them to finish their conversation!). Abby has a literal face!palm moment when Connor throws dirt in the raptor’s face, but it is eventually Connor who knocks the raptor out with a branch to the head.
Abby decides that they need to move before the other raptors wake up, and sets off. Connor has to ask for help, and ends up leaning heavily on Abby as they head off into the woods. Abby decides the best course of action is to find somewhere safe for the night, and then find Danny in the morning. It’s an odd decision, given that she must know the anomaly may not remain open that long, and that they stand the best chance of finding Danny by going after him immediately. Presumably she has seen the state that Connor is in, and decided that the risks of dragging him into a fight with Helen in that state outweigh the risks of waiting. It’s a big gamble, and ultimately, it’s a decision that leads to them being stuck in the cretaceous for a year on their own (rather than stuck in the Pliocene with Danny).
When we next see them they are high up in the branches of a tree. Given the state of Connor’s ankle, we have to assume Abby provided a great deal of assistance to get him up there. Here’s their entire conversation:
Abby: I think we’ll be safe here, Connor. And then, like I said, we can find Danny in the morning. Okay?
Connor: (Tries to move) Ow!
Abby: What hurts?
Connor: (Chuckles) Oh, pretty much everything.
(Abby appears to think for a moment)
Abby: Close your eyes.
Abby: Close your eyes.
(Connor does so. They both settle down a little and Abby closes her eyes as well)
Abby: Imagine a happy place. You’re on a beautiful beach, and the sun is shining.
Connor: Are you there too?
Abby: Yeah. If you like.
Connor: Are you wearing a bikini?
Abby: (Opens her eyes and looks across at Connor, and when she speaks is slightly long-suffering) Yes. If you like.
Connor: (Smiling) The water’s really warm. It’s lovely.
Abby: (With something of a tired smile) Yeah.
Connor: (Opens his eyes and looks at Abby) Abby?
Connor: Can I move back into the flat, please?
Abby: (Leans close and looks at him for a long time. Then she huffs a tiny laugh, and smiles.) Yeah.
(Connor has a huge grin, and Abby smiles back for a moment, before it fades and she settles back down and looks away from him, as if about to sleep.)
Connor: Sweet dreams
Abby: See you in the morning.
(There is a long pause, and the sounds of dinosaurs in the distance.
They settle down to sleep on opposite sides of the tree.
It’s an interesting conversation, not least because Abby seems to be being far more openly sympathetic towards Connor than she usually is. She also indulges his fantasy of her in a bikini without any real protest, although she does sound rather long-suffering about it.
When Connor finally asks her directly whether he can move back she finally gives him a straight answer. We have to assume at this point that Abby still believes they can a) find Danny, and b) find a way home, so she must be genuine in her acceptance of him returning to the flat. As we have seen so many times before, in the heat of an adrenaline fuelled moment, Abby is prepared to take emotional risks. Whatever she had been intending to say to him that morning in Lester’s flat has been forgotten, or at the very least put on hold until they get home.
In the field, in a dangerous and abnormal situation, Abby can admit to herself how she really feels. It’s only in the real, normal, day to day world that she doubts and shies away from commitment. Luckily for their relationship (if not for them in a more general sense), they are about to spend a very long time in a very abnormal and dangerous situation.
Link to part 22 - episode 3.9