Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"This is like a Kyle convention. Kyle 101. A symposium on all things Kyle. KyleCon.": Kyle XY

I find that after watching most season finales, I can usually sum them up in one word. Examples from last season include: Lost = sensational, Heroes = terrible, Friday Night Lights = powerful, and Supernatural = troubling. Season finales tend to crystallize everything from the entire year in a way that either compels my immediate allegiance for the upcoming season or makes me question the status of my Tivo Season Pass for good. What does one do when the only way to sum up a season finale is, "well, that was kind of good but kind of boring and I'm not sure if I care what happens next, because the only thing I care about is the family stuff?" I'm not sure what the one word for that emotion would be, but I think "uh oh" (Fail! 2 words!!) is the best I can do.

The episode picks up right where last week left off, with Kyle and Jessi wandering through the woods together being angsty, while the Trager family is on lockdown at home and Foss is still being held captive at Madacorp for like the fourth episode in a row now. I know in Kyle-land it's actually only been a few days, but every time I look at Foss all I can think is "dude must be rank." Nicholas Lea shower scene! That's all I'm asking! Emily gives Foss a neat little speech where she tells Foss Madacorp has gone too far in their quest to get the information in Kyle's head and gives him a handcuff key to escape, then immediately goes to Ballentine and reveals to the audience it was all a scheme to set Foss free and have him lead them directly to Kyle. Foss is too smart for this amateur play, though, and only contacts Kyle to tell him "the ring is all he needs" and it will tell him what to do. ARGH. I'm over the cryptic mystery aspect of this show completely, I think. Just tell him where to go! Or where exactly to find the map to where he needs to go! Why does everything have to be so tedious and difficult? Kyle tells Foss to protect his family and Foss agrees. Aw.

Here's where I have questions. Does Foss know about Jessi? I think he saw her at the Zzyzx compound right before he blew it up at the beginning of the season, but does he know she survived, and that Kyle is with her? He's been incommunicado with Kyle so long, and it has me confused. I think he would be very suspicious of her if he knew she was alive and programmed with memories.

Kyle shows Jessi the photo of Baylin and Jessi's mystery doppelganger and when she reads the inscription "the light will show the way," Kyle realizes he needs to shine light through the ring in order to find his way. When he does this it reveals a map to a location in the woods, which is cool but annoyingly cumbersome. What if you need to find your way in the dark? On the way to the location, they pass the diner in the photo and stop to check it out. An older man recognizes them, but he is apparently senile and is remembering them as if no time has passed. He tells them about the song they always played on the jukebox, but when they check the record is missing. They leave the diner and follow the map to a cabin in the woods. In the cabin they find a mysterious locked room that can only be opened by entering a code on a keyboard-like security gate. Kyle, figuring it is the song from the jukebox, calls Amanda and has her help him by playing the tune. He replicates it and the door opens, and they see Adam Baylin all hooked up to a bunch of machines. He's alive, and it's sort of soapy and awesome!

Kyle assumes they can communicate with Baylin using their superpowered minds, but Jessi is reluctant because she doesn't want to be evil and feel compelled to take the information from Kyle's brain that Madacorp wants. Kyle convinces her to help him and they start to get somewhere but are broken up by Baylin saying "Kyle, stop. She's betrayed you." Oh, that Baylin. He delivers messages at the most convenient times. Jessi runs away, devastated she couldn't help herself from betraying Kyle. Kyle chases her and they get in a decent fight scene, but Jessi will not be stopped and throws herself over a cliff next to a giant dam. Does anyone thinks she's actually dead? Doubtful.

At the Trager camp, Stephen and Nicole put their heads together and realize something is really, really wrong with the Kyle situation. If I may quote Stephen: "Well, we can't just sit here. Our former security guard is locked up at Madacorp by Kyle's parents' lawyer!" Indeed, Stephen. Josh and Lori pester them until Stephen and Nicole decide to have no more secrets in the family and proceed to tell them everything they know about Kyle. They use Josh's "Kyle file" to pinpoint every strange occurrence since Kyle came to live with them. It's quite fun and continuity-filled, rewarding long-time viewers. They become increasingly suspicious of Kyle, which distresses Josh immensely and causes him to give an impassioned speech about how Kyle is his brother and their son, and they know he is a good person and can't turn their back on him. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think Josh has had the most interesting character arc this season. His relationship with Andy has allowed him to mature and the actor has taken the material and run with it, putting in some pretty solid performances. He chokes me up a bit here, that's for sure.

The Tragers find out that Declan knows more than he is letting on, and pump him for information. He declines to give details, but lets them know Kyle is not the bad guy. When he refuses to tell them what's going on, Stephen says he is going to call the police but when he goes to use the phone he sees Foss in his kitchen! Creepy. Stephen freaks but Declan assures them Foss is there to help. Foss is similarly reticent to reveal all of Kyle's secrets, but tells the Tragers he has looked after Kyle since he was a baby and will continue to do so. Stephen tells Foss to go "take care of their son" and says he can protect his family at home. Aw, he called Kyle his son! Stuff like that is why I still love this show. Next season: Kyle is ready to tell the Tragers "everything." Yeah, right.

As a whole, I believe this was a solid second season. It had a completely different feel from the first season, which was all about Kyle learning how to be a teenager and fit into society, and because of this had a much lighter tone. They did a great job this year maturing Kyle's character yet still maintaining what makes him quintessentially Kyle, and most of the relationship drama (aside from the Amanda relationship, which is quite boring) was very well done. The part of the show that is making me weary is the mytharc. The fight against evil Madacorp is not nearly as compelling a storyline as Kyle's search for his true identity in the first season, and the show has suffered because of it. I can't seem to bring myself to care about Jessi's fight to keep from being evil and Madacorp's quest to rape Kyle's brain. He doesn't even know what knowledge he has that they want, so the fact that they are willing to kill him for it doesn't compel me as a viewer. As long as Kyle XY continues to feature such heartwarming familial relationships, however, I think I will be in for the long haul.

Random thoughts:
- Sour Patch Kid sightings: 0

- Pet peeve: I hate it when characters
on TV shows and movies order fountain sodas and there is no ice in the soda. It's not Europe. Americans put ice in their drinks. When you don't put ice in there, the straw just looks all funny and distracts me.

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