Season 4, episode 16: “Of Mites and Men”
Where to begin… Wil Wheaton calling someone “Number One”? Felicia Day getting stuck in a door? Sheriff Carter in a tie? Origami cranes? Mulan?
So much to dive into, so here we go.
In the wake of Allison’s brain getting hijacked, Senator Wen (Ming-Na) has placed her on administrative leave pending a review of her ability to hold it together. Allison’s not happy with this, of course, especially when it comes at the same time Carter is molly-coddling her at home and smothering her Tender Loving Care.
Which, of course, just makes her crazy, because she’s used to being the one in charge. And she’s chafing because Wen won’t let her get back on the horse yet. The question is whether Allison is ready or just thinks she’s ready, but it’s all rendered academic because Allison’s the best-qualified to solve the problem of the A-plot, which is:
Global Dynamics is falling to pieces. Literally, pieces of the building are disappearing, and it turns out the one thing in common is the raw material for the elevator, support pylons, floor joists, etc. are all a special form of tungsten. The same raw material that’s being used for the spaceship, which Senator Wen now says has to be finished ahead of schedule. And the team building the spaceship is done only because the little nan0-bot construction mites got amped up, chewing up tungsten and building the ship. Only now they’re turning the entire facility into one giant ship because no one can turn them off. And they were programmed by Zane.
Jo Lupo (Erica Serra) is in an isolation chamber with Fargo, Dr. Parrish (Wil Wheaton), Dr. Holly Marten (Felicia Day) and Zane. They’re undergoing the psychological testing phase of the Astraeus Project, trying to determine who’s got the intestinal fortitude to make it all the way to Titan.Wearing jumpsuits numbered 1-4, with Zane not having one because he’s not supposed to be there, we get a very fun little TREK moment when Parrish calls Lupo “Number One”.
Lupo is feeling pretty good about herself because she passed the test everyone had to take in their pajamas (after being hauled out of bed by GD operatives), so imagine her sense of crushing defeat when she finds out Zane hacked into the testing programs. Did he manipulate her scores? Did he tamper with the testing because his criminal record doesn’t allow him to go on the mission?
Nah, he’s just messing with everyone. Because he’s not even supposed to be in the isolation chamber. He’s actually there to mess with everyone, because Senator Wen asked him to. Except the test goes awry because the construction mites head deep, deep down down down to the core of GD, where the isolation chamber sits, conveniently made out of tungsten.
So it’s a race against time and tie as Carter gets through a maze of tungsten with a hypersonic boom weapon that will knock out the mites, only he’s hoisted by his
petard … erm, tie. Holly is stuck in the door of the isolation chamber, where the ceiling is collapsing on everyone, including an OCD-riddled Dr. Parrish who won’t give up making the origami cranes as part of the original psychological test.
Get that? Whew.
The episode also features a small shout out to Star Wars with a paraphrase of “Now, let’s blow this thing and go home.” This, combined with the “Amok Time” combat music in “Eureka”, made my night whole and complete.
And in the midst of this is the C-story: Henry’s possible really really so-experimental-it’s-only-been-done-on-pigs heart surgery. Which he and the Good Wife discuss and hem and haw and finally decide is just too risky for Henry to go through with it. So instead, they’re going to renew their vows!
Dr. Holly has new respect for Fargo, as he stayed cool and collected in the face of mortal danger, while Dr. Parrish screamed like a little girl when a nanobot fell into his hair. Which is doubly fun because didn’t Wesley Crusher have some kind of nanobot experiment that went haywire back on TNG? (Yes, it was “Evolution”. Nanites.) It was a fun change to see Parrish so obsessively focused on making the origami cranes (shout-out to Blade Runner?) and become so fixated on his assumption that everything is part of the test. After his smug self-satisfaction that we’ve come to know so well, it was an interesting addition of depth to the character. And it gave Dr. Holly a chance to see Fargo in a new light, which she does. And that results in a kiss for Fargo, and he’s all happy now.
So, all’s well that ends well. However, with the exception of Senator Wen’s actions regarding Allison, there wasn’t any ramifications coming out of “Omega Girls”. Will there be fallout because Zoe now knows about the altered timeline? What’s the fate of Beverly, and how are Carter & Co. going to deal with it?
the Shadow knows. time will tell.