Space: Above And Beyond – The Enemy

This one is a pretty standard sci-fi show setup. The Wild Cards are on a mission on some planet and they get exposed to an alien weapon that affects their brains such that it activates their fear. They start acting panicky and suspicious. They turn on each other. Eventually they get through it.

There’s a framing device where Ross and McQueen are questioning the kids about what happened, and the episode opens with Damphousse being the one questioned, so I assumed we were going to get an episode focusing on her. While the episode is about determining whether or not she was derelict in her duty, she doesn’t get any more narrative focus than anyone else. She, and Wang for that matter, do get a decent amount to do, but the main trio of Vansen, West, and Hawkes still come out feeling like the stars. Still, showing us what the cast are afraid of never hurts. Some are predictable, Vansen fears things that remind her of the night the AIs killed her family, and West fears he’ll never find that missing girlfriend of his, but we also learn that Wang fears insects because they remind him of growing up in squalor and he hates that. We also learn Damphousse fears the sight of blood, but if there was a specific reason, I missed it, so maybe we got that focus I was hoping for and it washed right over me unseen.

Either way, it’s an example of how things that a modern show wouldn’t bother with because it feels like “filler” can be useful for learning or reiterating things about the cast, so we know them better. Shows have become lesser since they came to see filler as a bad thing.

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