Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sami on Second Chance 1.1


Second Chance airs at 9pm on Fox Wednesday nights.

I like it, guys. I like is so much, and it's on Fox and I'm scared. If someone from Fox is paying attention to these things: stop giving us good shows and then cancelling them. Make them all short-run closed series, or leave them alone. This is why people don't bother watching your shows.

That being said. It's so neat.

Terrible bitter old man Jimmy used to be Sheriff and stepped down years ago under a scandal where they say he planted evidence. Now he's just mean and crochety and on bad terms with his son Duvall, but good terms with his granddaughter Grace--and also a callgirl named Bettina. He's staying with his son, going through old boxes, when he witnesses a breakin that ends in them tossing him off a bridge so it looks like suicide.

But Jimmy has a super-rare genetic marker that makes him perfect for a secret new experiment.

Twins Mary and Otto live for eachother and made billions on a new social platform called Lookingglass. But Mary has a kind of cancer that can't be treated and less than a year left, and Otto can't understand the world without her, so he invented a way to bring living things back from the dead. It's worked on fish so far, and Mary wants him to do it right and test his way up through mice, rats, and monkeys before getting to human trials. Otto is terrified of losing her however, and when Jimmy's body is logged and he finds that marker, he jumps on the chance and skips right to humans.

It works. 75 year old Jimmy is now 35. He's also still kind of terrible, but aware that he's been given a chance to try again, determined to solve his own murder, and something like 12 times stronger than expected. Because of that extra strength and Otto's reprogramming, his white blood cells can literally fight off death*. He agrees to help Mary if she lets him help his son solve his murder.

It's fairly easy to figure out that the main guy that tossed him was his son's partner, and he shows the evidence Mary gives him to Duvall, who isn't happy but does the right thing and turns him in...except it's not just his partner who's corrupt. The baddies take him away and try to toss him off that same bridge, but Jimmy pushes his limits and finds them in time and Duvall manages to keep him from getting revenge the easy way.

But Duvall is convinced that Jimmy is related to him--he can't suspect that he's actually his dad, and he doesn't seem to recognize him, so apparently the process changes him enough that he doesn't look like pictures of his younger self anymore. He thinks Jimmy is some secret half-brother; Jimmy doesn't tell him he's not, and that would actually be a really useful cover.

But this is all just the plot. The really cool stuff is all the things around the plot. The tech is really cool, and already being used in morally ambiguous ways that will hopefully blur the lines between good guys and bad guys in compelling ways. The tank is nice and creepy but also high tech enough to be believable. And it's also believable that there would be limits to a first human trial--he's young and strong and "possibly super potent"**, but he also has to go back into the tank every twelve hours or he rejects like a transplanted organ and if he dies that time, he dies for real.

Otto is strange and skittish and almost definitely hiding other secret projects. Mary is soft and kind, but not a wimp; she's the public face of the company and brave and strong enough to stand up to someone who is 12 times stronger than expected when he takes the whole young-again thing badly--but not so brave that she does anything stupid. Jimmy is macho in a really outdated way that's a little distasteful and should be fun to see him not getting away with anymore, now that he's not 75 and frail. He's also smart and resourceful, adaptable and driven, and the episode hints that he's a natural at detective work, even when he's not trying, which should be useful.

His relationship with his kids should be fun to explore, since he's now basically the same age as them, give or take, and he has the chance to know them the way a sour and disgraced father never could. And from the brief interaction he had after the procedure with Grace, it looks like she takes to him right away. Who wants to bet she's the one who figures it out first?

And probably most interesting should be the way he interacts with the twins. They're basically living in their own little world, but they've created something they need--his cells--in someone who isn't part of that world in his mind, no matter how much he is in his body. Is it his idea to start solving crimes, or is it a side-effect of what they're doing elsewhere? How will the FBI handle this mysterious weirdo consulting on cases***?

And the ad for next week gives a nod to the very basic fact that Mary needs him to survive, so where will that go? Physical intimacy to go with the medical intimacy****? Dividing her loyalties between the man she needs to keep alive and the brother who can't live without her, or will they be a balanced triangle of needs and hopes? Jimmy using that need as a lever to get what he wants, or sacrificing his own wants for her well-being? How graciously will he handle this new situation?

I can't wait to see.

How did you guys like the start of Second Chance? Are you as salty as I am about Fox's history with cool original scifi shows? Share in the comments or come talk to me on Twitter!

*As we find out right before the weirdest and lamest line in the show: "that's you, going into me" ::facepalm::
**If he doesn't accidentally knock someone up / someone doesn't get herself knocked up, and then they have to deal with a half-genetically-advanced baby, they're missing a great opportunity.
***You know, because that's so rare. If all TV shows were in the same world, the FBI and local cops would be consulting with Patrick Jane, Henry Morgan, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Doe, Brian Finch, John Reese...And every time I think of that, I just think about how cool it would be if they all met in the same office, since they're all doing the same job, essentially.
****I ship it already, I'm such trash.
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