[Season 1 ! Season 2 ]
Dark Angel [Season 1, Episode 1-2]
Shown 12th September 2001 [Wednesday]
It is 2019, a decade after an EMP blast destroyed every unshielded computer west of the Rockies and turned the USA into a 3rd-World country overnight. Max ( Jessica Alba ) is a 19-year-old girl, bicycle courier by day and cat-burglar by night. She meets a self-richeous journalist, Logan ( ). He was born rich, thinks himself better than everyone else, and convinces Max to work for his cause.
Everyone is a squatter. They do not pay rent to a landlord, they bribe a cop. Poor dears!
The subplots feature a range of familiar faces. One of Max's co-workers at Jam Pony couriers is Druid (Alessandro Juliani - BSG 2003, Smallville ). Another, Sketchy, cheats on Nicole ( Lauren Lee Smith ) with Lydia ( Kristin Bauer ).
Max sorts out a mass-murdering people-smuggler on behalf of her buddy Logan, then heads to the bar and gets herself a new boyfriend (of sorts).
Max's mission this week is to find a woman who helped her evade capture after the original escape.
Max's dependancy on food supplements increases. Without them, her seratonin levels fall to a dangerous level. But she is broke - she steals a gangster's truck, she borrows the rent money and cannot pay it back ... Finally her friends think she is a junkie and flush her pills down the toilet.
She steals more pills, but gets caught. No Miranda rights, trial or lawyers, just mandatory jail. In jail she ends up in a predicament similar to one she endured when aged 10. The Prison Warden abuses his foster-daughter to make him a great token villain, just in time to tie up the episode.
Logan, the rich wheelchair-bound do-gooder, decides to help a teenage girl look for her missing father. The old man, a crusading journalist like Logan, is missing believed murdered.
Meanwhile, Eric the goofy delivery boy loses a package belonging to the Russian Mafia. He has 36 hours to pay it back ... Max and her lesbian pal get tarted up and head off to the casino.
The story is basically about greed - Cash Rules Everything About Me. As always Max is a self-richeous bitch, and Logan is a fascist who wants to impose his beliefs on all others. Unfortunately the show does not have the scope to be cynical about his aims. Also, as ever all male characters are virtually emasculated - the only way a teenage girl could be a believable heroine, I suppose.
Max's motorbike is confiscated, so she needs 3000 bucks to get it from the impound yard. Also, her PI offers to sell her info on her fellow runaways.
William Gregory Lee pops up, looking for a job.
Meanwhile, Logan the wheel-chair guy has things on his mind. His Feng Sui ex-alcoholic ex-wife turns up again and wants to be friends. However, Rod Rowland ( Space: Above & Beyond, Sixth Day ) is involved too.
Max goes to a genetics conference with flatmate Kendra ( Jennifer Blanc ) and discovers that Lydekker (John Savage - ) is there too. The conference is hijacked, Die Hard style, by heavily-armed Unabomber fans. Max has to work with her arch-enemy to save the day.
Brin, one of Max's siblings, is in Seattle. Zach ( William Gregory Lee ) goes to meet her, but she is captured by the MIBs first. Max kidnaps Lydekker (John Savage - ), but he recognises her voice from the previous episode. The kids have to team up with him to rescue Brin, but can he be trusted?
Meanwhile, the co-workers must alienate an Asian millionaire who will buy the company and give their boss some investment capital.
Lydekker (John Savage - ) composes a photofit of Max, and puts a US$ 50,000 reward on her. The entire Seattle PD is after her, with reward posters all over the city. Logan and Zach ( William Gregory Lee ) set out to save her.
Meanwhile, Logan a problem of his own. When he was shot in the pilot episode, the surgeons left a bullet in him - it was too close to his spinal cord. Now it is moving, threatening him ... But if he is in a wheelchair then his spinal cord must already have been severed!
Elsewhere, Max's boss tries to turn her in to the cops. Luckily the detective he speaks to is Logan's friend, who keeps him occupied. Meanwhile, Sketchy takes over management responsibility.
Max's boss Normal gets a girlfriend. Of course, all is not what it seems, but this is a wonderful piece of character development. Finally we get some depth to the show.
Max is assigned to protect a witness due to testify against the corrupt mayor. She is dismayed to discover her charge is Bruno Anselmo (Douglas O'Keefe - Mutant X ), the gunman who put her boss Logan in a wheelchair in the Pilot episode.
We get to see some selective flashbacks to familiarise us with Bruno. Unfortunately, the show misses yet another perfect opportunity to show the antagonist's human side.
The co-workers only get a tiny cameo this time. So does Max's flatmate Kendra ( Jennifer Blanc ), who has been noticeably absent for the last half-dozen episodes.
Logan takes Max as his date at a wedding. Supposed there is romance between them, though none is evident. The wedding groom is Logan's cousin, and we get to see his extended family. Logan hates the fact they are wealthy, though he lives off his inheritance and has never worked a day in his life.
A couple of packages get mixed up at Jam Pony couriers. One is a stolen painting belonging to a gangster, who holds Normal to ransom until his painting is returned. As always in this show, the men are useless so Max and her lesbian buddy have to save them.
Logan helps Max because he thinks it is terrible for American so-called National Treasures to be shipped abroad. Hypocritical indeed, since the USA has plundered the world of its treasures and exported tons of crap in return.
Logan is slowly recovering the feeling in his legs. It seems Max's blood transfusion did the trick. However, the super-soldiers from a couple of episodes back are after her blood as well. They will die if they cannot get her to heal them.
Original Sindy, the lesbian buddy, quits Jam Pony and gets a job selling insurance. Out in the real world she discovers Normal was not such a bad boss. She also discovers Max's secret.
Max's flatmate Kendra ( Jennifer Blanc ) pops up very briefly, and Mr Multiples gets a mention. Also, their favourite corrupt cop gets a look-in.
Zack is in Manticore custody, interrogated (unsuccessfully) by Lydekker (John Savage - ). The old man wants the location of the other escapees. Luckily, the only one he can track down is in Portland - convenient for Zack and Max to rush to the rescue.
Thanks to the events of last week, Original Sindy gets evicted. Luckily Kendra is now living with her BF, so Sindy moves in with Max.
Logan and Max are now trying to get romantically involved, even though there is no chemistry at all between them. Logan now enjoys walks on the sea shore, but his ability to walk is not what it used to be.
Max wants to date Logan, but he has more important things. He visits Brenda Bakke - no, she is not a seductress, she is his doctor. Jealous Max investigates, and discovers that the doc has a history with Manticore. Worse, Lydekker's pet assassin is on her tail.
Max gets some passes, and tries to get Logan to take a vacation with her. He takes her on a trip out of the city, to a small town full of gun-toting rednecks. His only interest is chasing down a story about a Seattle PD Death Squad who killed some demonstrators 10 years previously.
Ian Tracey ( X-Files ) pops up as a sleazy redneck. Logan uncovers Tracey's evil deeds, and comes to realise that the Police's extreme actions may have been necessary. When Tracey's racist mob goes on a riotous murder-spree, Max is down with her Flushed condition. Logan himself, back in his wheelchair, must save the day. Even better, he stops being such a self-richeous judgemental prick.
Original Sindy, Max's lesbian flatmate, has a surprise. Her ex-girlfriend comes to town.
An eeevil medical corporation is testing drugs and diseases on dangerous convicts. Max, in comparison, enjoys beating up cripples. Now, WHO are the bad guys meant to be?
Max learns that a corpse has been found that has the barcode of a fellow Manticore escapee, Ben (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ). However, it turns out that Ben is not the victim, he is the killer. And he is killing people with increasing frequency.
Lydekker (John Savage - ) is also in town, in search of the serial-killer. His boss, Director Nana Visitor , is breathing down his neck.
Max meets a superpowered vigilante who photographs everything he sees. She then goes on to investigate a series of murders of recently-paroled ex-cons.
Logan contacts his rich uncle and extorts information out of him. He then acts surprised when the old man is less than honest with him.
Logan thinks that his Eyes Only spying and slandering is acceptable, while according to him the Police use of surveillance cameras is a bad thing! When he finally discovers who the killers are he arranges their technology to be taken over by the US Government (i.e. Manticore!!!), even though he knows he will suffer a terrible price himself.
Max discovers that Tinga the African-American X-5 babe from the episode The Kidz Are Alright has been reported missing by her husband (Sebastian Spence - First Wave ). The couple have a son, who is developing so fast mentally and physically that he has a special tutor ... Lydekker (John Savage - )!
Meanwhile, Logan is still working on the exoskeleton. He cannot afford the spare parts. Nice continuity!
Lydekker sends in the SWAT team, led by Brin (Cold Comfort). Luckily Zach ( William Gregory Lee ) pops up.
This is set a week after the previous episode, and a year after the Pilot episode. Max is back in heat again. Logan is trying to get his new legs to work. They need a specialised microchip, and he cons Max into stealing him one.
Meanwhile, Lydekker (John Savage - ) has some problems of his own. Office Politics with the Director ( Nana Visitor ) have taken a turn for the worse. She still has the killer hover-drones from a previous episode. Lydekker gets the foreign goons to track Max via the chip installed in her body.
Zach ( William Gregory Lee ) knows that the Director is plotting something evil, so he tracks down where she is keeping Tinga.
Lydekker (John Savage - ) captures Max, then goes on the run from Director Nana Visitor . He starts to bond with Max, and we get to see him as something other than a cardboard villain.
Meanwhile, Logan is back on his feet again. He, Zach ( William Gregory Lee ) and a couple of other X-5s are planning to fight on.
This Season has a new credits sequence with a voice-over. In a future not so far away ...
Max, being re-programmed by The Director, is assigned a breeding partner - Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ), a clone-brother of Ben, a guest-star from Season One episode Pollo Loco. She is characteristically frigid. Why do they not just wait until she is in heat? Well, it is actually part of the plot ...
Max discovers Manticore's basement, filled with hideous genetic mutants. The perimeter is patrolled by the X-7 kids, as in the previous episodes. Mini-Max is not among them, because she has come down with chronic prophoria. The Transgenic inmates at Manticore include a couple of crew from BSG 2003 . One of the female X5s in the breeding program is Grace Park , while one of the team that Max joins is Nicki Clyne .
Eyes-Only is still in action, with a new woman named Asha as his kick-ass sidekick. He sets up a big strike against Manticore. Despite his so-called journalistic ethics he perpetuates a cover-up about the dangerous mutants on the loose!
The Manticore arc is replaced with a new mission, to find someone called the Sandman.
The clean-up of the Manticore kids and mutants has begun. A Special Federal Agent, along with his Special Forces teams and X-7s, is wiping out all traces of the experiments. Apparently the X-7s can telepathically communicate with each other.
Max is trying to sort her life out. She moves back in with Original Sindy, even though she's been missing-believed-dead for three months. She even gets her job back, after showing Normal her scar. However, when Eyes Only tells her about the Manticore clean-up she decides to get involve.
The fugitive kids, apparently trained as soldiers, have absolutely no survival skills. Instead of living off the land they amateurishly shoplift at a kwikie-mart! This results in Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ), the X-5 from the previous episode, going on the run with them. Max arrives in time to save them.
Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) the clone guy is working as a pit-fighter. Not exactly low-profile, so little surprise when he is nabbed by the Feds. They give him a Snake Plissken injection - he has to kill three trans-genics within 24 hours or his head will explode. He must bring back their bar-codes as Proof of Purchase ...
Meanwhile, Max still cannot have physical contact with Logan. His anarchist babe is still in town, hanging out in Max's bar. Max teams up with Alec to find Joshua and Sandman. Logan hires an ex-Manticore medic to kill Max's virus.
While Joshua uses an old phone directory to locate Sandman, Lydekker (John Savage - ) discovers some Manticore secrets ...
Max's dog-buddy Joshua makes a visit. Meanwhile in Chinatown a mutant-looking type is bleeding all over the place. When someone drops dead, everyone assumes it was a Manticore virus.
Max and Logan still cannot touch. He continues his friendship with the blonde revolutionary, while Max bumps into a former one-night-stand.
Logan's Chinese cop buddy is eager to solve the Chinatown deaths.
It is Hallowe'en, and Max wants to hang out with her friends. Joshua the dog-faced mutant is ordered to stay indoors and out of sight. Logan is hard at work with his blonde sidekick Asha, so Max decides to see her new BF Raper instead.
Joshua and Max discover a fellow transgenic, who stays alive after being decapitated! They must reunite the head with the body, which is now on the run. Max tells Raper they are on a scavenger hunt. They team up with a couple more anomalies, a wonderful parody of Mutant X ! Catgirl is Sarah Carter , the then-GF of Jensen Ackles.
As things get weirder and weirder Max is dragged back to Jam Pony, to Crash and finally to a confrontation with a deadly assassin.
Max is back in business as a thief, trying to steal a priceless baseball. Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) is in town too, and claims he wants to pay back the money she paid to save his life. She tells him to get an honest job, so he does ...
Meanwhile, a dog-faced down-and-out is snacking on Sector Cops. Max refuses to believe that Joshua could be responsible ...
Alec pretty much steals the episode. He faces off against a gang of cybernetically enhanced steel-heads, who may be recurring villains. There is no sign of Max's other non-Logan boyfriend.
Zach's memory was badly damaged along with his brain. He slowly recovers his memories of Max, but there are problems. This episode brings out the love triangle that was originally intended for Season One. Zach desires Max, and resents Logan.
The steel-heads are great villains. It is a pity that the female one does not get more screen time.
Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) discovers yet another mutant - this time a girl with gills who is being kept in a tank in a strip-joint!
The new mutants this episode are the worst-written so far. The mermaid has a boyfriend who has built himself an aqualung of sorts, which allows him to breathe water while on land. The mer-folk cannot speak, instead merely squealing like whales, and their reproduction cycle involves the female laying eggs!
Bad-guy Agent White hears of the gill girl as well, so Alec and Max have to save the girl from him. Max gets into the strip-joint by passing herself off as a lap-dancer! However, that is certainly not enough to save the episode.
Joshua decides to try his hand at painting, with a Picasso-esque result. Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) manages to sell the painting to a gallery-owner.
Meanwhile, Eyes Only Logan is now working as a Private Investigator. He takes on the case of an upper-middle-class housewife whose six-year-old son has been kidnapped.
Lydekker (John Savage - ) is still missing-presumed-dead. His replacement as villain, US Government Agent White, is still on Max's trail. Max learns a lot about Agent White. Unfortunately the writers missed a wonderful chance to humanise him, and instead they indulged in lazy plotting.
Max also learns about the conspiracy that Lydekker was investigating when he disappeared. Yes, this is an Arc story that introduces the Manticore origins. The conspiracy is called the Purebreeds, and they are capable of taking on Max in hand-to-hand combat!
Asha, Logan's blonde buddy, and her S1W freedom fighters are rounded up by the Sector cops. Max and Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) investigate, with Joshua and Original Sindy nowhere in sight. They discover the involvement of a chubby fellow called Brain.
Brain processes information at vast speeds, and comes out with probabilities regarding possible outcomes. However, this does not explain his supernatural ability to see Max's future! He is a television addict with an encyclopedic knowledge and an obsession with Max - obviously the writers' view of certain fans. This is a very positive portrayal of a SciFi fan, as opposed to in Buffy .
Alec's sex life causes havoc at Jam Pony. However, through flashbacks we are introduced to his first mission. He went undercover the piano teacher for the daughter of an industrialist who was trying to double-cross Manticore.
Max deciphers Joshua's painting, and theorises a cure to the virus. It will be expensive, so she and Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) steal the only existing copy of Star Wars: Episode 7. Is that the one where Captain Kirk dies?
The cure may not be as permanent as Max wanted. She and Logan have a few hours to decide if they are willing to take their relationship to the next level. Meanwhile, Alec comforts Asha ...
The luurve-fest is interrupted by Joshua's discovery that a Manticore beastie is on the loose. It is a reptilian biped that squirts paralysing mucus over its victim.
Max is accidentally shot, and ends up in the Harbour Lights Hospital. Logan tries to arrange a coverup, but her virus is detected and the CDC is called in. Naturally, Agent White's people discover this ...
Max ends up facing off against White and the Purebreeds again. Luckily she has Logan on hand. He picks up some electronic intelligence by hacking White's cell-phone. Perhaps this will be used in a future episode ...
All in all, the episode is not exactly original or exciting. The story is rather basic, and the excellent supporting cast are not to be seen.
The villain of the piece is a Transgenic (Sam Witwer - Being Human USA ) who donates blood to his teenage human followers. However, when she donated her Manticore super-blood to make Logan walk, that was different ...
This is one of the better episodes, in part because Agent White is nowhere in sight.
Max goes undercover, in her sexy hooker disguise. Unfortunately she bumps into a fellow Transgenic - a psi-ops specialist! The psychic then spends most of the episode manipulating all the regular characters, which is quite entertaining in itself.
This is the show's first use of psychic powers. They are something of a cliche in Science Fiction, but for the purposes of this episode it is well handled.
Agent White and his men are after a mutant. Sketchy bumps into it, which confirms his suspicions that such creatures exist. He uses a Camera that has film. Why not just use digital? The ep was outdated as soon as it was broadcast! Although this could be another side-effect of The Pulse ... if digital is dead, everyone will revert to analogue.
Meanwhile, Logan and Max have tracked White's son to a fancy Prep school. We get to see the breeding cult's rituals. Of note, White's best friend in the cult is a Tollan from Stargate SG-1 . Also, the local sheriff is Callum Keith Rennie ( Battlestar Galactica 2003 ).
This episode focuses on the relationships between the characters. Logan gets contaminated with the anti-virus, and Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) gets arrested for a murder he did not commit. Joshua befriends a blind woman.
Meanwhile, White and the Breeding Cult decide to put pressure on the transgenics.
This episode follows on directly from the previous episode. The protagonists are in the same fix from last week, and Agent White piles on the pressure.
Joshua goes to see his blind babe from the previous episode. He is spotted as a transgenic, and chased into the sewers. The police close in on him, as does Agent White. Can Max and the others rescue him?
Sketchy has decided to be a photojournalist, taking pictures of transgenics for the tabloids. Normal is the stereotypical one-dimensional bigoted twit. Original Sindy is nowhere in sight.
Agent White and his goons capture Max's clone. White wants Max because she has his son, so he forces the clone to track Max down for him ...
Joshua moves out of Sandman's house, and goes to the mutants' secret colony in a contaminated industrial area.
White and his goons close in on the transgenics.
A prisoner escapes from the breeder cult. The plot arc seems to be coming to a close - we learn more about Sandman and his relationship with the cult. We even meet his son!
Max and Alec (Jensen Ackles - Supernatural ) have brought extra X-types into Jam Pony. Normal's still being an uber-jerk, for no justifiable reason. Sketchy discovers the secret ...
This is the final episode of the show. It was directed by James Cameron himself in an attempt to boost ratings enough to guarantee renewal. Unfortunately this did not pay off - this is a somewhat lacklustre climax to an equally lacklustre Season.
Terminal City is now the home of the country's transgenics. All transgenics are heading there. Joshua and the desert-mole guy are transporting a pregnant X-5 there, but things go bad and they have to hole up in Jam Pony. The Transgenics end up taking the humans hostage, including Sindy, Sketchy and Normal. All the major characters end up there, so all parts of Max's life get to interact. In truth this may seem like a good idea, but the execution is merely a standard Desperate Hours episode. For example, the pregnant-woman-about-to-give-birth scenario? The only good bit is that we get a glimpse of the Transgenics from Normal's perspective, and he is allowed to be less of a jerk than usual. Also, the paranoia and anti-mutant frenzy shown by the normal humans could be taken as a metaphor for America's anti-Muslim bigotry.
Agent White's breeding cult sends in their best unit, led by Lita (TM) . This leads up to the predictable climax - Max and Lita have a WWF-style wrestling match, while Joshua gets a chance to get even with White for the blind girl.
In many ways it is a pity that the show has not been continued. However, the plot arc shows that the series had a lot of wasted potential. It really was not going anywhere, which is a pity considering how well the Season started out.