Episode Guide

Season One

“Dark Angel: The Complete First Season” has a couple of plot lines that make Max both the hunter and the hunted. Max is always on the lookout for her “siblings,” the other kids who escaped from Manticore, while Lydecker (John Savage), the head of the secret program is trying to find both them and Max to return them to government service. Meanwhile, Max’s days as a cat burglar are over when she tries to rob Logan Cale (Michael Weatherly), a rich kid who is the secret cyber-journalist known as “Eyes Only,” who enlists her into his idealistic crusade to clean up corruption in Seattle. Of course, the two are made for each other, but we have to wait for them to catch out to this rather obvious fact. What really makes “Dark Angel” work is the extent to which this futuristic dystopia has been worked out. This is not so much a series where the mythology emerges over time, as it is one where the premises are so strong that they sustain multiple episodes and provide compelling sub-text for the rest. Compare this to similar series that take a while to find themselves, and you can see why these solid premises allowed this one to be able to have so many solid episodes early on.

Creator James Cameron’s imprint is clearly on this production, but mention should be made of the show’s Vancouver crew, which obviously includes a lot of “X-Files” veterans. The production values on “Dark Angel” are pretty striking in creating the seedy world of post-pulse Seattle and its icon Space Needle where Max likes to go and contemplate existence. But the sense of style comes as much from the characters as the setting. Alba is truly stunning as Max, able to play hard, soft, or whatever the scene demands. Weatherly has one of the squarest jaws in television history, and Savage has fun milking everything out of the bad guy (he really does care for his children, but duty never gets in the way of such emotions). The supporting cast has some compelling texture types, from Normal (J.C. MacKenzie), the overbearing dispatcher at Jam Pony (“Bip! Bip! Bip!”), to urban philosopher Herbal Thought (Alimi Bllard), and everybody’s favorite, Original Cindy (Valerie Rae Miller), Max’s roommate and co-worker, who basically has the right attitude for every occasion.

Season Two

Season 2 of the Fox sci-fi drama Dark Angel is alot different than the first. Without giving the season one finale away, our transgenic heroine Max (Jessica Alba) ends up back at Manticore, but doesn’t stay put for long. She escapes after taking the prison (that’s basically what it was) down and releases all of the imprisoned transgenics. About that, not all of the “gennies” are quite human. Max has a bit of cat DNA herself (the episodes where she goes into heat are hilarious), but she still has a human appearance. The older ones, not so much. See, they were given too much animal DNA in their genetic cocktails so they possess more freakish appearances.

Like Joshua (Kevin Durand), Max’s friend and adoptive brother. He was the first transgenic Manticore ever created and has a human body with a dog face. Still a sweetheart though. Anyway, all the gennies are freed and manage to escape into society. The “regular” folks freak out and new villian Ames White (Martin Cummins) is called upon by the government to cover up the Manticore crimes by exterminating them. Needless to say, Max is on the top of his list. She feels it’s her job to protect her transgenic siblings while laying low as best she can herself.

Her relationship with Logan (Michael Weatherly) becomes complicated too. While back at Manticore, the bad guys figured out Max was in cahoots with Eyes Only (they still don’t know he’s Logan) and infect her with a virus that will kill him on skin to skin contact. The two try their best to keep their romance going, but Logan’s new assistant Asha (Ashley Scott) tends to get in the way as well. Another new character is fellow X-5er Alec (Jensen Ackles). Max meets him back at Manticore and the two form a love/hate sibling-like relationship. Alec (as in smart aleck) is a nice guy overall, but always looking out for himself and constantly on the look out for some get rich scheme. Sweet, but not too smart since he manages to get himself in trouble alot.

Original Cindy (Valarie Rae Miller), Sketchy (Richard Gunn), and Normal (J. C. MacKenzie ) also return, but there’s no mention of Kendra (Jennifer Blanc) or Herbal Thought (Alimi Ballard). Where’d the hell they go? Beats me. Anyway, Joshua (who’s guaranteed to warm your heart) and Alec are welcome additions to the cast. While the second season does border on a gimmicky “transgenic of the week” feel, it also has a powerful message of “people fear and hate what they don’t understand” that’s relatable to everybody. Season 2 is also darker and more somber than the first. Not to say season 1 was always happy, but most of the episodes held on to some form of hope. The second season finale is awesome, although there are a couple of storylines that don’t get completely wrapped up. Enjoy!

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