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Bionic Woman Fodder

Bionic Woman: Second Chances

It’s 4:28 a.m. Do you know where your Bionic Woman is?

That’s exactly how the premiere of “Bionic Woman” began last night. With a clattering of footsteps, an elite group of commandos clad in black riot gear and armed to the teeth rushed down a creepy hallway at the Wolf Creek Biotech Research Facility. As they look around, it’s evident something bad has gone down. The hallway looks like a scene out of “Dawn of the Dead.” Bloody bodies are everywhere. But really, could anything good have happened in a place called Wolf Creek? I think not.

When the commandos burst through the door at the end of the hallway, they’re treated to the sight of a blond woman in a hospital gown, kneeling over yet another bloody body. As the camera focuses in on her, she whispers “I didn’t want to. I’m out of control.” The head of the commandos, an Asian man with slicked back hair, agrees with her. As she turns around, she asks him to tell her he loves her. All he gives her is a blank stare. Crazy, bloody lady obviously didn’t appreciate that, as she suddenly leapt like a frog on steroids through the air at him. Without hesitating, he drew his gun and shot her. The bullet drops her like a sack of potatoes and as she lifts her head to look at him he says: “I love you too.” Then he shoots her again. I sense a troubled relationship.

Flash forward three years to a crowded club in San Francisco. The place is jumping and the bartender is working hard to keep the drinks coming. Her name is Jaime Sommers and she’s our future Bionic Woman. After work, Jaime comes home to find her sister asleep on the couch, the TV still on. She heads for bed, probably looking forward to the sleep…alas, baby sis likes to rock out in the morning. According to Jaime’s alarm clock, it’s only 8:42 a.m. and loud music is pouring through Jaime’s door. She bolts out of bed to discover sis Becca blasting rock tunes. After a few knocks on the door, Jaime bursts into Becca’s room and starts what feels like their hundredth argument this week. As the fight moves from her room to the car to Becca’s school, we learn some fun facts: Becca can’t be near computers because of a court order (she’s probably a hacker), Becca does indeed have a computer (she hangs it outside her window so Jaime can’t find it) and Papa Sommers dropped baby sis on Jaime’s doorstep. Ah, another happy TV family.

Then it’s back to school. In a university classroom a professor scrolls through a lesson on bioethics, describing how different people have altered themselves. We soon learn the dashing professor is Will, Jaime’s boyfriend. Oh and he’s a surgeon as well (a plot point that becomes important pretty quickly).

The two have a heart-to-heart after class and Jaime asks the prof what he sees in her. His loving answer: she’s “unexpected,” the one thing his father didn’t plan for him. Would anybody’s girlfriend in real life actually think that’s a compliment? Well Jaime does, mainly because she thinks that being a college dropout and a bartender makes her unworthy to be his girlfriend. She obviously has some self-esteem issues to deal with. If only there was something to boost her confidence…hmmm, if only….

Later, over dinner, Will is obviously excited about the prospect of going to Paris for his job. That’s when she drops a bomb- she’s pregnant! She knows it’s sudden, but Will interrupts with a little soliloquy he somehow came up with between finishing his mashed potatoes and hearing the big news. They’ve been dating for five months and fourteen days, and he knows he wants to marry her.

With love in the air and a bun in the oven, Will and Jaime are riding in the car and talking about their future. The professor clearly moves fast though; he’s already got some baby names picked out. (My response would have been- hold on there bucko; her response- more disbelief. Get this woman some bionic implants stat!) Unfortunately their family plans are going to have to wait, because out of nowhere a big rig plows into the passenger side of the car!! The car tumbles several times before slamming into a pole. With Jaime unconscious and Will yelling her name, upside down might I add, a mysterious blond woman tosses the dead truck driver aside and exits the truck. As she strolls away, we learn it’s the crazy, bloody frog lady from the beginning!!

Not that it matters, though, because Jaime’s in trouble. We catch glimpses of a trauma team taking care of her in a helicopter. We hear she’s sustained extensive crush injuries to her right arm and both legs and somehow Will is OK, telling her to hold on. Now back to that creepy Wolf Creek place where a team of doctors discusses her condition. Her arm and her legs are goners, the fetal heartbeat has stopped and she’s close to death. Will isn’t ready to count her out, though, and approves some radical reconstruction.

It’s off to the Green Room, as Will and his team set to fixing his broken girlfriend. Above, from an observation deck, a blond woman (not the frog woman) and Dr. Macy from “Crossing Jordan” (played by Miguel Ferrer) are discussing Will’s rash decision. Ferrer’s character, actually named Jonas Bledsoe, tells the woman that even though her surgery is unexpected, they can claim deniability at any time and terminate the subject. Lovely people, these shadowy government conspiratorial types, aren’t they? Bledsoe apparently heads up this research team and he’s going to see what Will’s gotten them into.

In another part of the city, in what probably is the weirdest scene of the night, Crazy Frog Lady meets up with some guy who sounds French and is stitching up his own arm. He asks her if she killed the doctor and she says yes. Then they proceed to make out, while she asks him if she reminds him of “her.” Creepy? Most definitely. Making much sense yet? Nope.

Back to Jaime in her hospital bed. She opens her eyes and looks over to see Will. He breaks the bad news to her: she lost some limbs and unfortunately lost the baby as well. He then tells Jaime that her limbs have been replaced, and some additions called “anthrocites” have been added to her blood. They’ve helped her heal incredibly quickly. Needless to say, things get bad pretty fast when she sees her weird-looking new appendages, starts screaming and accidentally sends Will hurtling into a glass door. Nurses run and sedate her. When she wakes again, she thinks it was all a dream. That is, until Will shows up again sporting a cast on his arm. Jaime learns she’s part bionic, and that she’s not in Kansas anymore.

It’s not long before the shadowy group is discussing Jaime’s future with them. The Blond Woman has done some homework: She found out Jaime is 24, was born in Iowa, her mom’s dead, she’s very loyal and has a high IQ. Bledsoe turns to that Asian guy from the beginning, who we learn is named Jae, and asks if Jaime is trainable. Jae’s not so sure.

Meanwhile Jaime is extremely unhappy. In a small room, she and Blond Woman, who introduces herself as Ruth, start discussing the situation. Ruth tells her a cover story has already been fabricated, one in which Jaime and Will went skiing in Vale. We also learn Jaime likes to draw. At the same time, Bledsoe makes it very clear to Will that no one gets a free ride at Wolf Creek, and that Jaime is going to have to deliver. When Ruth and Jae finally meet up, she has something interesting to show him- Jaime’s drawings. It looks suspiciously like Crazy Frog Lady who Jae thought he killed three years earlier.

Before either of them can consider the harsh reality that Frog Lady is out there jumping on people to death, a security breach alarm activates. Jaime has escaped! Turns out Will wants her to be free and tells her to run. And run she does! In the first real test of her cybernetic abilities, Jaime runs at super-speed away from her pursuers. Back at the lab, Will convinces the team that she’s more likely to join them if she feels she has some freedom. Thus, they let her run home.

Back at home, Jaime cries and avoids Will’s calls, unable to grasp what’s happened to her. But suddenly she suits up and decides to leap off a building. (A little too soon for my tastes. I mean, even Spiderman was in disbelief for at least a day before he jumped off a building.) She successfully makes the jump and starts building some of that self-confidence she so desperately needs.

That’s when we find Crazy Frog Lady back where she met the Frenchman, only to discover he’s left her. All that’s left on the wall are the words: You Failed Me. Guess she didn’t kill Will after all.

Next we zoom to a café where two strangers meet, one a bearded man, the other is the Frenchman. Turns out the Frenchman has this man’s wife, and he’s going to kill her if this guy doesn’t do what he says. It has something to do with the fact that this guy works at a Super-Max prison.

What a coincidence! At that moment, at the Blackwell Super-Max Prison in Florence, CA, Jae is questioning Will’s father! Jae wants to know how the bad dad faked Sarah Corvis’ death. Now who could this Sarah person be?

Over in San Francisco, Jaime is back at work, pouring drinks at the bar, when a woman starts chatting her up. She wants to know what someone so innocent is doing behind a bar. Suddenly Jaime’s eye and ear implants come on-line and overwhelm her with information, overwhelming her with sights and sounds. She runs to the bathroom to throw up and is soon joined by the lady from the bar. Surprisingly she says she can relate- those crazy implants are hard to get used to! Whoa, who is this, Jaime wonders. When she turns around and finds the woman gone, she runs out into the club to find her. From across the room she spots her and hears her say “Tell everyone, Sarah Corvis says hello.” With that, she disappears and we all connect the dots- our Crazy Frog Woman is none other than Sarah Corvis, a.k.a. the woman who made Jaime who she is today.

For some reason, Jaime decides to wander outside. In an alley. By herself. At night. The only reason being the producers wanted to show us how much Jaime can kick butt. She’s approached by a mugger, who she quickly tackles to the ground.

Now Jaime wants to know what’s going on. She runs to Will’s place where he lays it all down: she’s basically a cybernetic soldier with implants in her brain. After a brief argument, and a love scene, Jaime asks him the million dollar question: How does Sarah Corvis figure into all of this? Will’s stunned she even knows her name, but doesn’t have time to think about it. He’s soon blasted to the ground by a sniper shot to the shoulder. Jaime uses her super-sight to see it’s Sarah on a building far, far away. And in a flash, Jaime’s off.

She races down the street bounces over to an adjacent rooftop where she confronts Sarah. In the episode’s coolest scene, Sarah gives our protagonist an orientation into the world of Bionic People. Sarah tells her what she’s had replaced- both arms and both legs. The Wolf Creek people replaced one of her eyes too, but she decided to replace the other one herself. Turns out Sarah isn’t too stable. The two tussle, involving everything from Sarah breaking Jaime’s arms to tossing her off the building, but Jaime survives. They reach a stalemate and Sarah runs away, leaving Jaime alone in the rain.

At the end, Jaime confronts Bledsoe and the two offer ultimatums: he welcomes her to “the game” and she tells him she’ll participate but on her terms. She also lets him know that Sarah Corvis says hi. Elsewhere, in California, Will’s dad is free and on the loose.

So, what did you think of last night’s episode? I thought overall it was a pretty solid debut. The show obviously had a lot to set-up, so it seemed a little jam-packed. I’d say aside from some pacing problems (would she really accept her predicament that quickly? And go back to bartending the next day?) and some campy dialogue (some of Sarah’s roof-top chat with Jaime was downright corny), the show is off to a good start. Post your comments below and I’ll see you all back here next week, same bionic-time, same bionic-channel. –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on September 27, 2007 2:17 AM
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I wasn't planning to watch this show and all, but I gave it a chance and actually liked it. Very "Alias."

One note -- and I know I am being picky... the show had me all the way up until the catfight at the end. Now I love a good catfight as much as the next person, but the part where Jamie leaps off the side of the building looked SO FAKE. The rest was fine, but it was sort of weird and out of place.

Love the action though...

-- Posted by: Rachel at September 27, 2007 9:10 AM

So far, lacks the genius of Alias. Weak dialogue from start to finish, the exchange about Disney rides was ridiculous. Spend a few bucks on good writers, throw in some Alias sophistication complete with double-dealing and backstabbing, don't dumb it down, and it will be a great show.

-- Posted by: My Turn at September 27, 2007 10:25 AM

Well, the show definitely has promise. I'm not sure if I care for the actress who plays Jamie Sommers, but Katee Sackhoff kicks a$$! She's awesome as the evil Sarah Corvis. I'll give the show a go... for now.

-- Posted by: Connie at September 27, 2007 12:45 PM

I definitely agree with you Connie. Sarah is evil and I love it. The first 3 minutes are what really pulled me into the show.

I do think there is something trippy about Michelle Ryan's eyes though. Maybe because one is bionic!

-- Posted by: Rachel at September 27, 2007 4:59 PM

I will follow Starbuck wherever she goes ;)

-- Posted by: mac at September 27, 2007 8:37 PM

I didn't like the show much.
Michelle Ryan seemed way out of place and it had the same cliches like sappy pop/rock music, melodramatic moments with the sister and the same wise cracking from Miguel Ferrer.

The special effects looked extremely cheesy and fake and who wouldn't be happy if someone rebuilt them better and faster than before?

Finally, how many more times do we need to see characters talking in a car and then getting hit broadside??

I might give the show another chance but that will only be for Katee Sackoff. Now she would have been the perfect person to play Jamie Sommers.

-- Posted by: Janaki at September 28, 2007 10:46 PM

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