Charlie Jade recap: “Through a Mirror Darkly”

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. – 1 Corinthians 13:12

Alright. So last week was a bit of a feint. 01 didn’t give Charlie 12 reasons not to kill him. But he gave him one. One, excellent reason summed up by Karl: “01 Boxer, that sick bastard, has done more to hurt Vexcor than either one of us.”

Of Human Bondage

More than a clip show, this episode is partially constructed from pieces of the first half of the series, reexamined through 01’s perspective. We obviously can’t trust his version of events completely and neither does Charlie, but with enough clarification, enough physical abuse, and enough filtering, we all come to a better understanding of 01’s motivations and machinations. But it all starts in bondage.

Bondage is everywhere it seems. Charlie’s got 01 tied up to get information out of him. Jasmine has a client tied up for his pleasure in pain. No one gets exactly what they want out of this episode – excepting maybe 01 who seems to enjoy playing with Charlie – but everyone gets something.

While Charlie and 01 dance about finding nuggets of truth amid the pile of lies he spews, Jasmine deals with a surly client. So surly, in fact, that she finally brains him, imagining him as Jobbo. It looks like she’ll get off the streets one way or another; she calls Sew Sew.

Things turn out a little better for Charlie. He learns more about his enemy, realizes he has an ally – if an unstable and unreliable one – in 01, and even gets let off the hook on Katie Grayle a little.

Things turned out perfectly for 01, of course. Not only did he get sprung from jail, but he got tied up and beat up by Charlie. Next time, it’ll be his turn to tie Charlie.

The Secrets of 01 Boxer

Last week we saw Charlie pull 01 out of Blues’ hands right ahead of Vexcor security. We spent a few minutes and saw a few glimpses of the interrogation but never learned anything. This week we learn a great deal, though there are still a lot of questions about what’s real and what’s not.

01 believes Essa is driving the company to ruin and to commit terrible acts. Her hubris and vanity are forcing progress on the link to proceed at a calamitous pace. This is true in both the storybook version 01 tells – himself neatly attired in too-short pants, a jacket and tie, and his hair combed down like a child’s – and later versions which we recognize as closer to “the truth”.

Katie Grayle wasn’t a random innocent, but a Vexcor employee. 01 certainly used her as a pawn in his game, but she wasn’t pulled from the dance floor for no reason. More importantly, 01 didn’t kill her. Vexcor killed at, on Essa’s orders.

Krogg wasn’t killed for publishing his memo about the danger of the link; Krogg was killed to keep Vexcor from reestablishing the link. 01’s actions at every turn have been calculated to slow Vexcor. Without Krogg or a functioning link to transport other scientists through from Alpha, Beta had to struggle to make any progress at all. That was further impacted by 01’s assault on the temporary link in the dry cleaners.

The Men in Gray suits are working in the shadows, controlling everything. They suppressed Krogg’s memo, they killed Krogg, and they killed Krogg’s girlfriend. But wait. Those are lies, aren’t they? 01 killed Krogg. So what of the Gray Men? 01 has obviously seen them and knows more about them than he’s letting on, but what exactly their motivations are and where they come from will remain a mystery for now.

Note how 01 keeps common threads and phrases throughout his various flavors of the truth. In particular and most poignant is Essa’s line: repeated when she’s the floozy to 01’s good son; when she’s the corporate master; and finally, when she’s the face of evil, ordering the death of Katie Grayle.

I will do anything it takes to protect the integrity of this company. The company is everything.

Cutting the Red Wire

Reena finds Norman Ord in the boardroom, covering his tracks before taking off. One of the dozens of Vexcor employees in Beta slipping further out of the company’s grasp, Ord is responsible for toxic dumping. When Reena catches him – as she was surely waiting for him to make his move – she gives him two choices. She can either finger him to Vexcor security, or he can give her all the documents she wants on the company’s illegal dumping activities. He chooses the latter.

When he attempts to send the file, security protocols lock down the room and a bomb hidden under the conference table starts ticking down.

Ticking down? Really? Ticking out loud so Reena can hear it?

Either the bomb is the most sloppy device ever, or Reena planted it earlier. Which one of those do y’all think it is? Which one makes it easier for Reena to choose the right wire? Which one makes more sense when you realize that the explosives in the bomb don’t come from Alpha, Beta, or Gamma?

Yeah, I’m not sure what to make of that either. Somehow, Reena planted a bomb using materials she shouldn’t even have access to, found it, and disarmed it. Think it through and provide your best guesses (people who’ve read ahead are not allowed to participate.)

Final Thoughts

Charlie and 01 are now (sort of) allied against Vexcor. In that 01 knows far more than he’s letting on, this is a very uneven relationship and neither safe nor comfortable for Charlie. He still doesn’t have answers to his questions, though it might be that the answers he does have are for better questions.

Reena’s moving forward on her mission to destroy Vexcor from the inside, but considering how she reacted to the bomb, I’m not sure it’s completely *her* mission. Consider the flashback she had to when she was momentarily content with the world, walking down the street and eating ice cream. Strolling and smiling, Reena came across a Vexcor construction site and her mood and demeanor changed instantly. She’s been on this mission since that moment. Why? And who planted the bomb she disarmed? And how did she know which wire to pull?

Who is Reena?

What did everyone else think?

R.A. Porter is an aspiring television writer who currently toils away in the software mines. He can be found at his personal blog and stalked on Twitter.