Wednesday, August 29, 2007

“Operation Vengeance in effect. I brought cookies!”: Kyle XY

The penultimate episode of the season in any television series with a mytharc is notoriously anticlimactic, as by design they are almost always episodes filled with setups and no resolutions, simply there to build suspense and introduce obstacles for our heroes to overcome in the impending season finale. Monday night’s episode of Kyle XY, “Lockdown,” suffers a bit from this fate yet still manages to find enough of its own ground to be considered more than just an empty, plot-advancing vessel.

The episode picks up the day after the Hands on a Hard Body competition and the entire Trager family is still reeling from the revelation that Jessi was Lori’s attacker. Nicole feels guilty for bringing Jessi into their lives, Lori feels angry wants revenge, enlisting Josh and Hillary to help her concoct revenge scenarios, and Kyle feels caught in the middle as usual. Although the gang wants to go their separate ways to deal with their reactions, Nicole puts her foot down and tells them no one is leaving the house until Jessi is found and she can be sure they are safe.

To pass the time, Lori invites Hillary over to help plan that revenge. Declan shows up as well, and Lori takes offense when he suggests she may be overreacting to being attacked. Lori really loses it when her father suggests the same thing, and gives him attitude like only a teenage girl can. Stephen, sick of being mistreated by his daughter, lays down the law and it’s realistic and sort of heartbreaking to watch a distraught Lori deal with his outburst. Not that he was wrong, but it completely sucks that no one (save Josh and Hillary) is on her side about Jessi’s attack, with all of them giving her a pass because she’s “troubled.” Listen, serial killers are troubled but that doesn’t mean we should throw a ticker tape parade for Ted Bundy, you know?

At Madacorp, Ballentine and Taylor muse over Foss’s unconscious body. Since Foss survived the procedure (although how damaged he is because of it is still up in the air), Ballentine wants to use the machine on Kyle as soon as possible, to Taylor’s objections. Emily Hollander overhears this and calls Kyle to tell him he has to help her bring Jessi in right away, or both of their families will be in real danger. Kyle is rightfully freaked by this threat. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I am having a hard time understanding Ballentine’s plan here. At the beginning of the season, the reasons for using Jessi to bring Kyle in and not just having Madacorp grab him off the streets made sense as they wanted to stay low profile, but that obviously hasn’t worked out as intended and Jessi is a loose cannon. At this point you’d think he’d just give up the ghost and send some scary guys with guns to kidnap Kyle. Why would it matter if the police got involved? They are a super-secret shady military-like organization, they’ll never get caught! It all just seems like a lot of unnecessary moves designed only to exist so the show would have a mystery arc for season two.

Back at the Trager house, Kyle starts to have strange sensations. In his pants. (No, not really, but I’m sure that’s because he’s thinking about grapefruit all the time.) While he overhears Nicole and Stephen fighting about Lori's assumption he was having an affair with Emily Hollander, Kyle slips full-on into some sort of conscious dreamland, where he sees a vision of Adam Baylin. It’s not truly Baylin, but a projection of Baylin by his own subconscious. I think. This show simply makes up new abilities for Kyle whenever they need to get him out of a jam, so forgive me if I don’t understand them all. Through Baylin, he reasons with himself that Jessi is somehow working for Madacorp without her knowledge and cannot be trusted. How convenient, that Baylin dream-guy is!

Since Josh couldn’t leave the house to visit Andy, he decides to invite her over and puts out a very cute spread of video game playing snacks, complete with Sour Patch Kids of course. He even cooks her Rice Krispie Treats. Mmm, yummy. If some guy wanted to get into my pants, making me Rice Krispie Treats would be a damn good start. His plan for a perfect day is dashed, however, when Andy tells him she is starting chemotherapy tomorrow and today will be their last day together because she doesn’t want him to see her when she’s sick. Despite the persuasion of an intense makeout session and Andy’s offer to slide into second base (what did I say about cancer getting you some under the shirt action?), Josh is still very upset that Andy won’t let him see her when she’s sick. She finally relents, and it is endlessly cute. No, I’m not going to get sick of how cute they are any time soon and I am going to gush about them every chance I get. Deal with it. Also, if you don’t find them cute I worry about you. Have you no soul?

Not as cute are Lori and Declan, who continue their season-long fight about why Declan inexplicably broke up with Lori. Hillary, or Dr. Hills, as she would like to be referred to, decides to intervene and mediate a resolution to their problems so they can become friends again. Hilariously, she blames the breakup on Kyle and Declan’s “bromance” and calls them “Keclan.” Ha! So the subtext becomes text. When accused of coming in between their relationship, Kyle awesomely just looks troubled and says, “I’m sorry.” It’s OK, Kyle; you can’t help it if Declan loves you more. Sick of Hillary’s interference, Declan approaches Lori on his own to talk and he apologizes and asks to become friends again. Finally! Also, Declan finally got a haircut. Everything’s coming up roses!

After his conversation with Hillary Kyle realizes he’s brought nothing but trouble into the Tragers’ lives and decides to go after Jessi and take down Madacorp for good to make sure they can’t hurt his family ever again. Nicole catches him sneaking out and is very hurt, but doesn’t stop him from leaving because she knows whatever is going on with Kyle and Jessi is related and is so much more than she can even comprehend. Kyle tracks a very confused and scared Jessi down in the woods near where he released Baylin’s ashes and convinces her he can help and not to give in to her bad instincts, and that she can change and they can fight Madacorp together.

In the aftermath of his fight with Nicole, Stephen goes to Madacorp to get some work done and runs into Emily. She tries to explain why the server is locked and the trial data from yesterday was erased, but she does a really horrible job and Stephen gets suspicious. (Also, speaking of Emily: where the hell is Paige? Did Jessi eat her or something? I need an explanation of what happened there.) Stephen sneaks into the test room and sees Foss strapped in and has a total “WTF?” moment, but starts to put the pieces together when he conveniently hears Taylor giving an oral history of the Kyle/Baylin/Madacorp saga to Foss’s semi-lifeless body. Foss, because he’s a bad-ass, manages to grab Taylor’s neck and start to choke a bitch even in his weakened state. While the security guards rush to Taylor’s aid, Stephen slips out and books it home to Nicole, who is waiting for him on the front steps. They have one of those “I need to talk to you” “NO, I need to talk to YOU” moments that only happen on TV, and they finally realize they both have secrets to share about Kyle. It's about damn time.

Next week: the season finale. I can’t wait!

Random thoughts:

- Sour Patch Kid sightings: 1.

- Hillary is like a pop culture encyclopedia. In this episode alone she made references to Dr. Phil, Oprah (calling herself “Faux-prah” – ha!), Heroes and Lost. I hated Hillary for most of season one, but she’s really growing on me.

- Matt Dallas needs to stop wrinkling his forehead so much. I should mail him a picture of Luke Perry these days and say “Don’t let this happen to you!”


Todd said...

Completely o/t, but I can do that if I want.

How's the new Josh Ritter? It's not the sort of thing Dan'l will ever talk about.

Carrie said...

I haven't had much time to spend with it yet because right now I am obsessed with Okkervil River's new album The Stage Names, but I like what I've heard so far. It's on the complete opposite side of the spectrum from The Animal Years (my favorite album of 2006 and one of my favorites of the past 5 years) so I think it's going to take a little more getting used to because it wasn't what I expected. I can tell from just a few listens, though, that I will end up loving it. He's such a great songwriter and an especially great lyricist. I'm already blown away by the song "The Temptation of Adam" -- such an beautiful and twisted love song. The fact that a few songs sound like they could be Spoon songs is freaking me out, but in a good way. I love that a few of the songs show the sense of humor he has when he's performing live. He's a funny dude.

In short: I'll have a better handle on my opinions in a few weeks, but for right now it is a tentative thumbs up.

page said...

I was thrilled with Hillary's TV references, so funny. She was pretty great in this ep, she's growing on me. I keep forgetting to mention "Cole Howard" being on the show, ha! It was a pretty decent ep I have to say. I loved the Declan/Lori bits. Lori's been good this whole season I think. You SO called the under the shirt action! Those two are the best part of the show. I love them.

Carrie said...

You knowing who Cole Howard even is is why I love you so, Page.