Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer TV Rewind: The 4400 1.03: “The New and Improved Carl Morrissey”

“I’ve been given an opportunity here, Gracie and I’m gonna take it! This is what I was meant to do. This is my destiny.”
- Carl Morrissey

I have to say this episode made me kind of excited. Since I watch a lot of TV, it’s not surprising that I’ll pick up on actors I’ve seen other places. It turns out that the focus of this week’s episode, returnee Carl Morrissey, is played by the actor who portrays Hermann on Chicago Fire (one of my newer favorite Dick Wolf productions). Carl was one of the most recently taken returnees (having disappeared in 2003) and he works in a grocery store. His job isn’t that great since his manager just wants him to stock displays and not assist customers. And his wife is worried about how bad their neighborhood has gotten, including how dodgy the park is where Carl proposed to her. Carl doesn’t heed his wife’s warnings about going into the park and he starts to get mugged by some thugs. But he delivers an epic beat down on them that’s rather impressive. He walks away without a scratch and his newfound super strength empowers him to go try and clean up the neighborhood. Lily and Richard are looking for an apartment together and the scene is kind of sweet. Richard is concerned that since they aren’t actually a couple, the realtor wouldn’t rent to them. I love how sweet he is. Then things take a turn for the weird and Lily starts seeing red and getting cramps. Methinks the baby is not happy with the apartment. Lily concurs and they find another apartment that makes baby happy and Richard and Lily share their first kiss.

Meanwhile, Maia continues to predict the future and Ryland tasks Tom and Diana with figuring out why and what to do with her. They don’t get much figured out, but Diana does agree to look in on her in quarantine from time to time. And she has to undergo more testing. Yuck. I do feel bad for Maia. She’s got all this foreknowledge and she’s just so young. I think the actress that portrays her is doing a very good job. She combines the sweetness and innocence of the 40s and the eerie quality of being able to see the future so it’s believable. Unfortunately for Tom, his home life isn’t getting any easier, either. His wife wants him to sign divorce papers and the EEG machine picked up the spike in Kyle’s brain activity from Shawn’s visit. So now Tom has another angle to hunt down.

Tom really needs to learn how to talk to Shawn in a tone other than condescending and accusatory. He might get more information out of his nephew that way. As it stands, Shawn denies seeing or doing anything weird to Kyle during the hospital visit. And Danny is all out of sorts because he thinks something is going on with Nikki and Shawn and is pissed that Shawn keeps treating him as a little brother when they’re the same age. He really needs to lighten up. The guys in the Homeland Security “Theory Room”, led by Marco, have deduced that gravity may have artificially been altered at several of the abduction sites. And as it turns out, the guy that Orson Bailey killed was at the top of a big insurance scheme. So now Diana thinks maybe he was sent back to stop the guy from fleecing millions out of people.

That night, Carl can’t sleep and so he goes out to start fulfilling his mission of cleaning up the park. He repaints benches and takes down graffiti. And then he intervenes and stop a woman from being gang raped by three guys. He’s pretty impressive, I must admit. The next day, Diana pays a visit to Maia and finds her all alone in an exam room. Maia asks if she can go live with Diana and to say Diana is shocked is an understatement. Her argument about not being sure she wants to live with herself (considering she eats cold pizza for breakfast0 doesn’t seem to faze Maia. And I half expected Maia to spout that she knows Diana will say yes. Back at the office, Tom gets some press clippings about Carl’s latest heroics so of course they need to go check it out.

Following up on the lead, Tom misses his dinner with his wife and she gets pissed. He eventually does sign them but he’s not happy about it. And that’s not all that’s plaguing the Baldwin/Farrell bloodlines. Nikki shows up and she and Shawn end up kissing after she burns her hand on his car engine and he heals it. Dude needs to just accept his powers now. Lily gets herself into a spot of trouble by watching Heidi from the front window and getting caught by her ex. She gets arrested but Richard manages to talk him into dropping the charges. I have to say they are probably the cutest couple on this show. What started out as him helping her out of the memory of her grandmother has blossomed into a full-blown romance and it just makes me so happy.

Carl is still out on his vigilante/clean up the streets kick and he sees some kids putting fresh graffiti on stuff and starts to give them a beat down. What he doesn’t know is that Tom and Diana have figured out who he is and are questioning his wife. She tells them where to find Carl and they happen upon him but things aren’t good. He was stabbed in the latest fight and he dies in his wife’s arms. Tom and Diana have to wonder what the point was of sending Carl back making him think he can save the world (or at least the neighborhood) only to have him die so soon after returning. The answer comes as the neighborhood rallies together in the wake of his death to take on what he was trying to do. Unfortunately, Tom gets called to the hospital because Kyle’s been taken into surgery to relieve some fluid buildup in his brain. Could it have to do with what Shawn did by activating his brain for a few seconds? We won’t know until the next episode.

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