We revisit the idol girls as the creators recycle footage from last episode regarding their food decision on the plane. It’s now terribly obvious that their indecision between beef and fish is supposed to mirror Eleanor’s indecision between going with Steel Ruler to meet Wraith and save dozens, or not. I suppose this should have been clear episode, but I didn’t think so- and obviously neither did the creators since the scene is redone here. However, instead of talking the idea in a different way to help the audience grasp this comparison concept, the staff reuses footage from the last episode which makes me wonder if this was more of a time grab than a reiteration of story.
The idols are seen only one more time before the end of the episode. I was really hoping they would be getting into the action more, but now I’m beginning to think they are supposed to be a sort of perspective character in this world. They make an observation about LA which can be stretched to cover the entirety of the United States climate at the time of these events, it’s dreary and dark.
Of course, the girls end up driving in the same direction as the rest of the heroes, so it’s still in the air that they may end up in the final battle. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are left out, though, considering the show only has a runtime of about 18 minutes and is now feeling a just a tad rushed on story.
Speaking of story, let’s get to it. Just like last episode, The Reflection manages to accomplish a whole lot of nothing in a long expanse of time. Unfortunately, I felt every second of wasted momentum this round which is a new feeling as the show hasn’t ever felt slow until now- just empty.
Just as Eleanor and Steel Ruler get into the Wraith Squad’s black van, the Anti-Reflected Squad (as we come to know “not-SHIELD” as) begins chase. Even though they wanted Eleanor to pony up to Wraith, they didn’t like that she did it without supervision. It’s a cop-out for a car chase scene which helps demonstrate the specific powers of the Wraith Squad we’ve seen before. Debra, the woman X-On is always talking to in ARS, fails to give proper chase to Eleanor and company. She is almost killed by the Electric man when Michael and Vy appear to save the day.
In the meantime, Lisa gives as impassioned a speech she can to the two walls that are X-On and Jim before attempting to leave to help Eleanor. I really admire Lisa’s dedication to her friend, and no matter how I feel about this show as a whole- I really love Lisa. Anyway, just as Lisa is leaving, ARS shows up with some semi-automatic rifles and takes the three derelict team members into custody.
The Anti-Reflected Squad has a very simple hideout. So simple that I wonder why they thought it was a good idea to bring four high-powered Reflected into the building. We are given some world building specifics like how people who are affected by the some during the Reflection are known as “Darkness Reflected” and those by light are “Brightstar Reflected.” It’s unknown if either smoke or light were sentient, but we do know that Wraith mentioned that “Darkness” wanted to bring everyone together. Darkness is either the name of a specific entity, an ideal that Wraith had gained during the Reflection, or to top it off- maybe the Darkness is Wraith or Wraith’s power.
Debra postulates to the group that Eleanor has changed everyone’s plans. Now that Wraith has her, they are no longer leading ARS along. Instead, Wraith’s team is now acting aggressively which is new for them. Later, X-On mentions how Wraith isn’t the issue, Eleanor is. Maybe X-On actually knows something about Eleanor’s past, or even her power-set that we don’t. Maybe Eleanor really is the key to some big thing, or maybe we are getting a lot of build up for nothing. It’s anyone’s guess at this point, and the creators haven’t given me enough faith in them to hope that they have something cool planned for Eleanor.
Lisa, our resident badass, turns to leave the ARS facility after the entire plot of the show to this point has been explained to her. However, the militia points their guns at her and refuse to let her by. Just as Lisa is creating a hullabaloo, Vy begins to beat the walls behind her in an effort to escape as well. Unlike Lisa who wants to leave to save Eleanor, Vy says that she is being called by Wraith to join his team. Lisa is worried by Vy’s sudden violence, but X-On makes Lisa let Vy go. The team plans to follow Vy to Wraith.
Of course, just before our heroes leave the ARS facility, they are suddenly called “monsters.” Now, up until this point, everyone in ARS has only shown vague fear toward Reflected, not blatant racism. This literally comes out of nowhere, and the show attempts to make us feel like something important is being said by X-On who muses over the word “monster.” However, nothing substantial is learned or said which leads to the entire scene feeling false and forced.
The entire cast, including I-Guy who sees Vy and company hopping across LA, begins their journey to Wraith’s “Xaviar’s School for Mutants” Mansion. Honestly, this entire episode feels a lot like last episode, and we likely could have gone over all this material in a more tightly wound combination of the episodes eight and nine. The Refelction seems to be caught up in the idea that it’s creating suspense and drama, though it remains sorely lacking on both fronts. However, since we are finally meeting Wraith, I’m hoping for some good reveals in episode ten.