Wednesday, March 2, 2011

K9 - ''Aeolian''

Spoiler Level: High

Well, this episode wasn't bad, but it wasn't really good either.

The basic plot: weather conditions have gone crazy, and Professor Gryffen determines that the storms are being caused by intense music.  K9 identifies the music as being from an extinct race called the Aeolians.  K9 and Starkey track down the source of the music to one lone surviving Aeolian, who is sending one final desperate mating call out into the universe; she's so distraught about being alone that the fact that her music has the side effect of destroying Earth doesn't particularly bother her.  Luckily, she receives a reply from her husband, who comes to her.  Both leave Earth happily reunited.  Meanwhile, the storm has caused a wall to collapse on top of Jorjie, and Darius attempts to rescue her.

Let's get the bad out of the way first-- the science here is not only bad, it's internally inconsistent. When Starkey and K9 first find the Aeolian, she's set up her music to continue playing on its own, but when she gets stunned by CCPC troopers, the music stops. Now I can be apologist about this and say she switched off the auto-play function when she heard from her husband, because she had to give him a specific reply to let him know her signal was coming from his wife.  But that leads to the second problem:  When she's stunned, Starkey has to take over and K9 has him play a tune that's been in his head all day. "Play anything!" K9 says, in direct contradiction to his previous statement a minute earlier that she had to get every note exactly right.  Although Starkey picked up the tune from K9, who knows how to speak Aeolian, so perhaps the tune K9 gave Starkey was actually Aeolian for "Hold on, she'll be right back."  Which leads me to the third problem:  Professor Gryffen says her husbands reply is coming from 10,000 light-years away.  Which of course means that traveling at the speed of light, it would take 10,000 years for her song to reach him, and then another 10,000 years for his song to get back to her-- but of course music doesn't travel at the speed of light, it travels at the speed of sound, which is much slower.  But I guess you could say that whatever makes this music powerful enough to cause hurricanes also makes it travel faster than light.  And then there's the fact that the only other surviving Aeolian turns out to be her husband, but that could be like a Superman thing-- maybe her husband was able to only save his wife, and she didn't know he saved himself as well.

So really, with a little tighter writing and a few more explanations, it could have worked.

Now for the good:  The design for the Aeolian is pretty cool.  I like that K9 has very alien-looking aliens.  The scenes between Jorjie and Darius were actually pretty good; Darius thinks that he and Jorjie are coming clean on their feelings for each other, but it turns out that Jorjie is admitting her feelings to Darius about Starkey.  I think most people can relate to that having happened to them at some point. Darius isn't annoying this episode, he's actually rather sympathetic. And it's nice to see the CCPCs actually do something positive for once, such as when they lift the plasterboard-- er, I mean the wall and support beams-- off of Jorjie.

So the final verdict is that this episode --barely-- makes it into the win column, making K9's score to date 8 wins, 5 losses.

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