Friday, April 15, 2011

K9 - ''Black Hunger''

Spoiler Level: High

Back to K9! I haven't been watching K9 as much this last month, because I've been going to the movies instead.  But there's nothing at the theater I want to see this week, so it's back to K9 instead.

This episode starts off pretty well.   K9's dialogue has gotten a bit silly of late, something that in a previous episode was chalked up to his memory banks having been filled up with a large library of movies.  Most of the time it's not bad, but sometimes (such as when he laughs or goes "Wheee!") it's just way too much.  So I was very happy that he was talking very technical and more like his old self when this episode started.

Darius stumbles across an aggressive microcellular cleaning system called "Black Hunger,"and makes off with it.  What he missed was the little fact that it just want wrong and killed one of the workers that was using it.  The system itself is pretty interesting-- it releases a swarm of black alien-augmented yeast that eats up anything organic, and then you suck it all back up into the containment unit.  But when Darius gets caught, he refuses to help return it (what a guy), leaving it up to K9, Starkey and Jorjie.

From there the episode veers off course and makes a fast ninety degree turn straight into the dirt.  K9 and company run into a CCPC, and K9 decides to bluff their way past it by telling it he's taking the kids out for a walk.  Now a dog taking his kids out for walkies is funny, but the kids then start actually barking and jumping around like dogs.  Say what? It's revealed that Black Hunger is a project of Drake's, so Drake orders all the CCPCs after the kids. K9 tries to lure the CCPCs away by yelling "Can't catch me!  Wheeeee!" and flying away.  Uh, oh. Starkey runs into a dead end of garbage and tree brush, so he unleashes the Black Hunger microbes, and then decides he doesn't have time to gather them up again.  What, now?!?  Wasn't he the one saying how dangerous it was? And they finally evade the CCPCs by standing still and hiding behind a twig. Ugggh.

It's almost like the episode was written by two different people, and you can tell right where the script was handed off.  (But it wasn't; for the record, the entire thing is credited to Chris Roache.  It's also his only episode of the season.)  It goes from being intelligent, well-thought out and even a bit creepy straight into being campy, idiotic and ludicrous, and it's not a subtle or gradual transition either.  You hit that scene of the kids acting like dogs, and it's like the episode jumped the shark and landed right in the tank.

We do get an interesting ending, as Drake has finally screwed up one time too many, and is now being replaced by Inspector Thorne.  Thorne's one line comes across better than Drake's entire run, so I'm hoping for some good things from him.

So despite a very good start, the whole last half of this episode falls apart too much to consider this a good episode.  K9's score to date: 9 wins, 6 losses.

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