Charlie Jade recap: “The Power of Suggestion”


Things are still moving a little slowly this week, and we have to make do with no narrator this week, but by episode’s end quite a lot will have happened. Watch closely.

Four Funerals and a Riot

Simultaneous funerals in Alpha, Beta, and Gamma verses for the victims of the three explosions. Julius out in the windswept desert, Essa shedding glycerine tears in her office, and of course a shot of paradise. Elliot Krogg gets his day in the sun as well, but it ends not in tears but screams as rioters arrive and disturb the proceedings, overturning his coffin and desecrating his corpse. Charlie and Karl watch from a distance as Karen (Elliot’s girlfriend) is taken away by 01 and Vex-Cor agents.

01 bugs a meeting in Julius’ office in which Elliot’s potential involvement in the attack is debated. Julius sticks with the party line, right up to calling Elliot’s death a suicide, but the others lay the blame on 01. As we’ve seen what 01 is capable of, all I can say is that these people are gonna get it.

Bottle + Head = Oweee!

Things are tough for Reena. Capetown is nearly in lockdown in search of the terrorist with the R5 million bounty on her head. As nothing else ever happens in town and there are no South African TV shows (these poor folks in Betaverse don’t even get Charlie Jade) her picture is on every TV 24-7. On those rare moments it’s not taking up the full screen, it’s being shown behind Julius Galt and another of his carefully stage managed press conferences.

A kid recognizes her and chases her into an alley. Peeking back around a corner, Reena takes a bottle square on the noggin. Then she levels the kid with one punch and tosses him in a dumpster. Even dizzy, she’s a badass.

Spotting a drug dealing ambulance driver, she jumps in his van and surprises him with a knife to his throat. This is NOT going to go well.

The next morning, the ambulance driver is stoned out of his mind and Reena is still reeling. He wants to PARTAY, but passes out. Reena takes his money, finds his gun, and tries to sleep in an empty tub.

When Reena’s new roomie finally wakes, he sees Reena’s face on the television. He thinks he’s going to have a massive payday, but Reena hogties him with tape and rolls him on the floor. She’s still weak, still dizzy, and still needs sleep. Unfortunately, she did not secure him well.

He makes a call, looking for the reward, and the security forces head out. A second group intercepts the call and beats them there, killing the ambulance driver and taking off in a van with Reena. Okay, what? Who the hell are these guys in masks who don’t hesitate for one second before killing the poor sap who lives here?

Is it Safe?

Karen has been secured in a safehouse where she is interrogated by feds. Flashing back to 01’s brainwashing of her from last week, she starts naming names. All the people who were meeting with Julius earlier. 01’s plans are starting to make some more sense now, though who these people are and why he wants them out of the way are still a mystery.

Charlie shows up, thanks to a tip from one of Karl’s informants, and the agents take off with Karen. One lone agent remains behind and tries to stand down Charlie, but she’s clearly scared and tentative. Charlie calmly informs her, “you want to take a bullet for a paycheck, I’m more than happy to give you one.” She hands over her gun and he knocks her out. See? More of that winning charm that the ladies likeee so much.

Karl’s upset by Charlie’s approach, but comes around a little when Charlie tells him Karen had been given a drug that doesn’t even exist in Beta. The same drug 01 used on mystery girl Katie Grail in the pilot. Realizing 01 is going to kill Karen when he gets what he wants, we start to see the first signs that he might actually be a hero, if a reluctant one. Lost, confused, angry, he wanders the streets of Capetown.

Having his first really long vision of Alpha, he spots Jobbo who we’ll meet later. Broken out of his vision by a soldier, he’s taken away in a truck. Civil rights certainly are in short supply in Capetown since Reena’s been outed as a terrorist. Of course, sloppy Beta security forces can’t hold Charlie for long; he escapes and quickly steals a car.

Unable to get home and looking for a scrap of comfort he heads to Paula. Since he’s a badboy, she invites him back to her place. He takes a long, hot shower – one can only imagine how much Charlie’s been stinking up Karl’s place – and finds the clothes Paula leaves out for him. The men’s clothes, along with a razor, let Charlie know Paula’s not always lived alone.

While Charlie’s bathing at Paula’s, things aren’t going so well for Jasmine back in Alpha. She’s come home to find Jobbo, her former “employer”. With a performance similar to Robert Knepper’s T-Bag from Prison Break, Toni Caprari finds the right balance between charm and extreme creepiness, in this scene leaning heavily toward the latter.

On every television 24-7, runs Reena’s picture and news of the hunt for the terrorists responsible for the Vex-Cor explosion. But above the fold on the newspaper – the one wrapping the fish and chips Paula bought while Charlie was showering – is a story about Elliot Krogg‘s funeral. With a photo of Conklin. One of the more frustrating things about these early episodes is how easily information drops into Charlie’s lap.

He takes off to find Conklin and rescue Karen.

Plan 01 From Alphaverse

Dr. Conklin shows up at the Glass Door during 01’s pedicure. 01 takes foot care very seriously, so he’s none too pleased with Conklin’s whining about terrorists breaking into the safehouse, and his “position in this community,” but 01’s got dirt on Conklin. When Conklin informs him that Karen has given up the names she was programmed to reveal, 01 tells him to kill her.

Julian’s becoming quite the regular at the Glass Door. This time he’s upset because the feds are poking around Vex-Cor’s files.

01: Who are they looking for?
Julius: Tell me.
01: It’s too early for dumb-shit games, Julius.
Julius: Take a wild guess.
01: Everybody I don’t like.
Julius: Krogg’s girlfriend implicated the entire board of directors you son of a bitch.

Now the plan comes into focus. The entire board is arrested and 01 leaves Julius in place, with the clear implication that he can take him out at any time. Next week should bring some interesting changes to the Vex-Cor board.

The State of the Verses

Here we are, four episodes in:

  • Charlie’s embracing the role of hero
  • Paula’s got the hots for Charlie
  • Things are looking grimmer and grimmer for Jasmine
  • Reena’s been kidnapped/rescued by armed men in masks
  • 01 controls the board of Vex-Cor

Did I miss anything? What did everyone else think?