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Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

To Serve and Protect

This week: While on an innocent little dreamwalk, Isabel accidentally stumbles into a Lifetime TV movie and finds a girl buried alive. Problem is, there doesn't seem to be any girl missing -- and there's an IA officer in town sniffing around Jim's ass like they've never met before. Plus: Kyle starts to wonder if he's gonna wake up green one morning, and Brian Krakow comes to town with a whole new look. Oh, and Brendan's in *one scene*. All this, plus a rousing game of Where's Alex? Join us, won't you?

Damn, I missed this show. Well, not really. A little, I guess. Sorta. Hell, I don't know anymore. All I know is, I could be watching The Pretender 2001 over on TNT, but instead I'm taping this. I'd be a lot more bitter about that, except that I'm gonna tape TP2001 when it's on again at 10 p.m. Oh, and have I mentioned how much I hate "The Hybrid Chronicles" as a name for the next four eps? 'Cause I really, really do. It f**king sounds like an Animorphs miniseries.

Whee.

No! No! Grant's gonna be in this! Oh, God.

Hey, S1 eps. Remember *those*? Yeah, me neither.

Agh! No! No EOTW bed flashbacks! Someone get me a tree to hide behind.

Okay, the TV thing: I've done that. "Boring. Boring. Crap. Crap. Crap."

"Stay away from Liz, please." So, of course, she doesn't.

The delivery on "crap...crap...crap" just kills me, y'all. And how cute was Jason with the whole talking-with-his-face-in-his-hands dialogue? I've had whole conversations that way. It's the little things, people.

Liz, honey, was that supposed to be Brad Pitt? 'Cause, um, no. Though he looks mighty tasty in Snatch.

"...besides, you want someone who can do this." Oh, I am *so* keeping him. Wait, wait -- was that face-sucking? Dammit, it wasn't! F**k! Quit with the taunting, Darth. Come on, Foreshadowing, give me a call!

"Even her romantic dreams are boring." Yeah, well, no one asked you to be there, Isabel.

"That's Shakespeare." Methinks Kyle rented Kundun not too long ago.

And now Buddha's an alien. "Dude, like, accept your destiny." And you thought I was kidding with that Kundun shit, y'all. Actually, I was. Keanu Reeves was in Little Buddha, not Kundun. Sorry.

Oh my God. Decent camerawork. Did someone give the editors drugs? Am I watching the right show? I'm getting kinda scared.

Hey! Jim *and* Kyle.

And that guy is Keith Szarabjanka (forgive the spelling; I had the closed-captioning on). You've probably seen him before, on Babylon 5 and (old-school!) Stephen King's Golden Years in, like, 1992.

Kyle looks so paranoid. It's cute on him.

"We prefer the term 'hybrids'." No, *they* prefer "Max, Isabel and Michael". We prefer to call you "skank". And we were here first.

Points for Kyle for knowing the world "transmogrified". And for a split-second, I thought Tess looked like Maria. Not good.

Jim kicks ass. He's so blase about the whole "alien powers" thing. "Yep, she can enter people's dreams. Damn, I could use some more coffee right now."

And again with the Senor Chow's refs! Whee!

Anyone else notice before that the Mexican restaurant with the kick-ass pool table has a statue of Buddha in it?

"...hold the Max."

"I am an obsessed person. [. . .] I dream about him." Yeah, join the club, honey. But you get dibs.

Maria, ditch the choker. *Now*. They don't really look good on anyone. You are included in that.

Oh. My. God. It's Brian Krakow. It's f**king *Brian Krakow*. Darth, you are neither Morgan nor Wong; quit re-using people from other shows, okay?

"All grown up. I like it." Are you a tall, dark-haired man from Minnesota? Have you ever appeared on Buffy or Dawson's Creek? No? Then back off. And lay off the Brylcreem. Jesus.

Well, hello there, Random Young Man Sitting In the Evans' Kitchen. And you would be? Wait, that's Grant? He looks completely different. Younger. That terrify anyone else, or am I alone here?

Jason, honey, I love you, but if I hit you in the head *really* hard, d'you think the switch will flip away from "deadpan"?

Kyle is so cute when he's freaking out. Actually, he's just plain cute. "Unscrambled porn!" Hee!

"I have become...an idiot." Tess, make up your f**king mind, okay? Oh my God. Pick a horse and stay there, all right? (Hint: former football player. Former football player. Noticing a pattern here?)

Grant, you're still 30. She's still (barely) 18. It's still really, really wrong.

Jim seems very, very calm for a man woken up at ohmyGod in the morning.

No sign of Brendan so far. Someone tell me if this is a bad thing or not; I have no sense of judgment anymore. I'm thinking it's not.

Well, technically, Jim, it's not evidence. It's supposition based on visions had by an alien. I don't think that'll hold up in court, like, at all.

Jim, remember Amy? You should. She's only almost your *girlfriend*.

"Yeah. Toyota." I love what you do for me.

Now I'm honestly starting to get scared. It's not first-season good, but it's nowhere near second-season suckage, either. Hold me?

Ooh, Harris Yulin on Buffy. He's gonna be an asshole, I bet. He was last time.

Is that the Indian guy? We *never* see the Indian guy anymore.

"She was spending too much money." On a cellphone? Yeah, like that never happens. Dude, just get her one of thsoe 1600-free minute plans like Phae has.

Goddard High? *Paul* Goddard? Farscape refs! Whee! (Yeah, I know, it's a stretch. But it's been a looong day.)

Okay, I take that back. Krakow looks like Richie Ryan on Highlander. No, not really. Stan Kirsch is cute. Krakow is not.

I like Maria's earrings. They're like tiny versions of the ones Buffy's been sporting all year. They look a lot better on Majandra.

Dammit, Maria, just punch him! You want me to do it? 'Cause I will, I promise. No questions asked.

See? Shiri has legs. Thanks for confirming that, Random Cameraman.

Isabel, what's with the red sheets? You and Grant planning a sleepover? Because, um, ew.

If at any point in her dreamwalk, Isabel runs across the Mommagram or the Cliffhanger baby, that's it. I am *gone*.

Did they get a new guy to play Grant? I don't think that's the same actor. Really, I don't. Dude, that's *so* not the same guy.

Ooh, AngryJim! Me liiikes. And I know I should feel mildly creeped out by the fact that I'm attracted to a man who's old enough to be my father, but I'm not. Mmn. Bill Sadler. Yummy.

Dan, I don't like you. And quit with the Jimbo.

"And whatnot"? What the *hell*? Is this 1947 again?

Ok, so, um -- wha? *That's* Melissa? Is her mom named Laurie? I'm confused.

For the record, Angel is now officially Batman. And yes, he is now annoying me as much as Buffy is.

And still no Michael. Take away Tess, and this is almost Kodak Gold. Almost. What with the no Dreamer yummies and all.

Anyone who writes a Max/Isabel/Jim threesome dies a slow, bloody death. I'm serious, y'all. Don't make me run screaming into the night. I'm waiting for the season finale to do *that*.

"Sorenson has filed a $15 million suit." And he eats babies! No, not really.

Phillip! Run! Your children are doing very silly things and inadvertently ruining a man's career! They need to be grounded immediately! Okay, not Max.

"You were wrong." Honey, back up the Judgment Bus, okay?

"You are my sister." Outsiders, were you listening? Let's say it again: "You are my sister." Write it down, learn it, and stop grossing me out. Thank you. "In the real world, we use names. My name is Maria."

Hey, Michael! Good to see that you got paid this week, Brendan. Now use some of that money to buy a hairbrush. God.

Liz, don't be nice to him. He's very, very greasy, and doesn't have soulful brown eyes, let alone a sweet, sweet Midwestern ass.

Hey, Breen? Back up on the UC vibes or I torch your apartment. No, really. No. Really.

Dan! Enough with the Jimbo! Jesus!

"It's not over." Well, *duh*, Max. You've still got an act to go.

Jim, when you keep saying "Deputy", it's like holding up a big sign reading "I'M LYING!" Do you have to take the same Remedial Lying class Liz is signed up for?

Katie, I'm starting to agree with Anne: those *can't* be real. If they are, damn, they're perky.

"It's an awfully straight line for a molehill." Well, you guys would know. Florida isn't really mole-heavy.

Oxygen tanks? Dude, it's like The Vanishing! Preferably the Dutch version to the crappy American remake with Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland! And what's with the techno-dance-music?

Hey, are we supposed to know Laurie? Because *I* don't. Good nasty-ass-pox-ridden makeup, though.

"What were those kids doing out here?" Camping. Didn't you watch MITC, Dan?

Um, Hanson, do you not know the meaning of the words "SHUT UP"? You really, really should.

Me no like Dan. Me breaking out CaveBuffy speak again. Me hope Dan is really Skin. Me wondering what other parts of this season are going to suffer for the neato special effects in this arc. Me *also* wondering where Phillip and Diane are. Me must stop talking like this now. Ahem. Right.

See, Mere? They played Fuel. Just not the right song. SOBís.

Okay, am I in a parallel universe or something? I'm getting scared. This one didn't entirely suck. Yikes.

MORE COHERENT STUFF:

If anyone has seen Alex Whitman, please contact me privately. Thank you. His parents and I are getting a bit worried.

Michael, I know you were technically on-camera this week, but I can't really say anything about you, what with the one line and all. You need at least three lines to be eligible for cookie.

Hansen is a very bad puppy, and should be beaten with a rolled-up newspaper immediately. No, really. Dude, your boss is there with a guy from Internal Affairs; other cops *hate* IA cops. Don't go blurting out really important things in front of him, 'kay? Unless you're bucking for Jim's job, in which case I hope something very bad happens to you. You do not hurt a Valenti in that town without suffering my wrath, yea verily. No cookie. Now go get the stick, boy! Go get it!

Krakow -- I mean, *Sean*, Maria's slimy cousin, but I like calling him Krakow, so Krakow shall he be called -- was just a big ol' subplot this week, and not even a terribly effective one. Ooh, he's a pig. Ooh, he thinks Liz is hot. Ooh, watch me fight to keep from barfing. No cookie, scumbug, though I thank you for getting rid of the 'fro.

Dan is a jackass, plain and simple. He's not there as one of Jim's old friends; he's there as an IA cop, determined to find out what the hell happened in the Hubble shooting. And when weird shit starts piling up around him, well, why not stick around and find out what's going on? Unfortunately, he happens to be an actual investigator as opposed to the usual run of podunks and covert ops we've had running through Sheriff Valenti's office, so this. Is. Bad. He's gonna be sticking around for a while, so he can still pull it out of a tailspin, but for now -- no cookie.

Y'know, until Michelle confirmed it, I didn't think that was the same actor playing Grant. He looks *completely* different, and I don't mean that as a compliment. I prefer the bleached-hair-tanned-skin-chino-wearing Grant to the one with George Clooney hair and a penchant for black turtlenecks. He also seems very odd this week -- distant and unfocused, even around the (understandably) distracted Isabel. Very suspicious, even more than he was in "Surprise" (though there, he had a right -- Jim had no warrant, no real probable cause, and had a 17-year-old boy with him). "It's just equipment. No, you can't go in there." Uh, Grant? If you had nothing to hide, you'd be all, "Sure, go ahead, take a look." I have no idea what's going on with you, but just for continuing to date a teenager, you get no cookie. Dude. That's just icky.

Laurie...well, she was duct-taped for most of the ep, and we only saw her -- *really* saw her, as opposed to seeing her through the IsabelFilter -- for all of five minutes. But she was terrified, and Isabel saw something weird, and she's gonna be hanging around for the rest of the arc, so we've got time. You can have a cookie when you get more settled, sweetie. Sorry someone buried you alive.

I am now offended. All told, Tess got more lines of dialogue than Liz did this week. Memo to Darth: No. Just...no.

And speaking of the Gerbil...I want to hate her, I do, I really do. She doesn't endear herself to me at all with lines like "We prefer to be called hybrids." Really? 'Cause I'd think you'd prefer to be called by your *name*. But it's funny watching her screw with Kyle's head, and while I still loathe her, she can stay if she hooks up with Kyle, mainly because that means that Nick gets to be on-camera more. The new hair does nothing for her, and her mouth still looks just plain scary on her, and I refuse to give Emilie a cookie. I'm sorry. It's principle.

Kyle, though, is so damn cute I want to bronze him. His dream, while badly lit, was a giggle -- "Dude, like, accept your destiny." He's starting to freak that maybe *he's* gonna get Wacky Alien Powers too -- and who knows? Maybe he will. It probably won't let him unscramble porn, though. Through it all -- the Buddhism, the alien stuff -- he's still *Kyle*, just less obnoxious. I honestly like him this year. I'm still waiting for him to have a talk with Max, though...for several reasons. Hint, hint. Until then -- here, baby. Have a cookie.

Maria gets to be comical and insult her cousin this week, and...that's about it, really. The choker does nothing for her, though, and I'd really like it if she got a plot. Darth, feel like helping me out? Oh, wait, look who I'm talking to. Whoops. Forgot for a second. Majandra, you get a cookie -- and if you want to sneak Brendan some, just don't let me see, 'kay? Or better yet, split it with Colin. Boy's got to be wasting away to nothing.

Liz also gets to do nothing, except have a badly-lit dream sequence featuring Brad Pitt (um, sweetie? No. Brad Pitt or Max? I'm sorry, how is this a choice?) that turns into one with Max -- and it would have been a lot cooler if it turned dirty, thankyouverymuch. She turns around to find a bed in the middle of the Crashdown; they tumble backwards onto it, she starts moaning...whoops, was I projecting again? Sorry. And she's obsessing over Max, which, well, join the club, honey. Hold the Max? Well, sure. Line forms behind me, people. Other than that -- well, I hope Shiri's got a big part in "A Time For Dancing", 'cause that would make up for how much she's been gone *this* year. Have a cookie, hon. You want to smuggle Colin one for me?

Max...okay, writers? Hi. You have someone who can *act* here. Feel free to let him, you know, speak above a *monotone*. Jesus. It's very easy to be ambivalent about Max this week. On the one hand, he's very cute with the brotherly stuff -- telling Isabel that he loves her and yeah, sometimes she pisses him off; slumped in front of the TV; trying to make nice with Grant. See? Cute. On the other hand -- dude, there's an IA cop in town; you don't hold suspicious meetings with the Sheriff in *his office*. That's just amateur shit, Leader Boy. The Sheriff has a cruiser; let him drop by your house. It's not like Diane or Philip will notice, what with them -- okay, where are the parents? This is getting ridiculous. And for the record, every time I see the Magical Force Field, I giggle. Hello, effects budget. And how are we today?

I feel for Isabel, I really do. She's just trying to be normal -- go out with Grant, go for dreamwalks without rescue attempts being involved -- and when that doesn't work out, she decides to use her powers to help someone. Good for her. Points for that. On the other hand, Izzy, whether you meant it or not (and you didn't), you're kind of screwing with Jim's job. That's bad. It's a giggle watching her try to dress for her date (even if it *is* with Grant -- ew, ew, *ew*), and she seems genuinely remorseful when it looks like she was wrong about the whole thing. And I have no idea *how* she saw into Laurie's DNA; what, does Isabel have ice breath now? (Sorry. Powderpuff Girls joke.) Does this mean Max can speak flawless Spanish? And why the hell do I care anymore? Anyway. Katie. Cookie.

And now, Sheriff Valenti, the man of the hour. Dude, you are the *kick*. I don't know any cops who would falsify evidence and lie to IA officers for me; I need to find some. Especially some who look like Bill Sadler. Yow.

Ahem. Anyway.

He takes it at face value that Isabel's not lying and not wrong; if she says she can walk into people's dreams, then she can walk into people's dreams. No questions asked. He tries to lie to Dan the Man; he's just not terribly skilled at it. Gives it a shot, though, and he *is* a better liar than Liz -- but, really, who isn't? (Sorry, hon; I love you, but you suck.) I honestly don't want to see his career get harmed as a result of hanging around Our Gang. Dammit, who'd've thought I'd ever say that about the guy who slammed Max into a trailer in the pilot? Not me. Bill Sadler rocks my world, y'all, and if you have any sense, he rocks your world, too. He's a keeper.

Final count: 3 1/2 out of 5. I keep expecting this show not to suck, and it still does, but it doesn't suck as hard as it has been, so hey. But no points for having a girl wrapped in duct tape screaming. That's just cheap, guys. And if Grant's *not* the shooter, I'm going back and taking half a point away; enough with the distractions, okay? God.

Next week: Magical green crap! Max doing things with a microscope (not like that! Minds out of the gutter, people!) that *Liz* should be doing! Michael grabbing Laurie! Weird DNA backgrounds! Still no humans in the scenes for next week! (Okay, they're *really* misleading, but still...) All this in part 2 of The Hybrid Chronicles -- first granilith, now this; Darth, what did I ever do to you? -- "We Are Family". See you then.

Gale