Project Blue Book, Episode 10 Review: “The Washington Merry-Go-Round”

by Rachel Bellwoar

Project Blue Book’s season finale opens with a date: July 19, 1952.

Aidan Gillen (Photo by Eduardo Araquel/HISTORY)

You don’t get that specific unless you want people to verify the facts and that’s what’s so crazy about this episode: UFOs did fly over Washington, DC, so why is this the first time I’m hearing about them?

Project Blue Book doesn’t answer that question, and the finale overall is quite speculative, essentially making the claim that non-human intelligence exists but that it’s been classified and kept secret from the public. That’s what you get when you go with the fictionalized retelling and not a documentary but, honestly, foregoing some noticeable green screen use for the National Mall, if you take the finale for what it is, it’s an entertaining hour.

It plays on some stereotypes pretty hard. The raving generals who only want to act first, prove later, and (always) blame the Russians. The president (Bob Gunton) who gets to be the only cool head in the room. As for the suspicious death of William Fairchild, there was no Secretary of Defense by that name so he’s completely fictious, along with any impact he may have had on your opinion on whether aliens exist.

Meanwhile, Quinn’s scuffle with Hynek, and the cut it left on his forehead, isn’t the only thing that left an impression last week. Valerie Mann and her comments about Quinn not having anyone in his life he’d hold people hostage for seems to have gotten under his skin. The line where that really comes across is when he asks Hynek, “You can understand why I doubted you today?” Quinn cares about what Hynek thinks and it’s how Hynek completely blindsides him during the press conference (and how Quinn bounces back so quickly when he understands why Hynek did it).

Project Blue Book’s already been renewed for a second season, which means we’ll get to see Susie move on to Quinn as her mark and whatever’s going on with that tower in the arctic. The finale opened with a date, but it closed in pure, sci-fi fashion. It’s time to stop fighting Project Blue Book for what it is and wonder where it’s going next.

Other thoughts on “The Washington Merry-Go-Round:”

Ksenia Solo and Laura Mennell (Photo by Eduardo Araquel/HISTORY)
  • “The Washington Merry-Go-Round” gives Mimi her best material yet, as you don’t know how much she remembers from her encounter with Susie last week. Mimi says it was a kiss, but actions speak louder than words, and Mimi didn’t ask to stay at Susie’s because she couldn’t remember what happened. She asked because she wants their friendship to stay the same, and while she gently makes it clear that she’s happily married, she turns Susie down without making anything of whether Susie’s gay or not.
  • Was Hynek telling Fairchild the truth when he told him he had a copy of the film reel of Project Ivy and, if so, why not produce it after Fairchild’s murder? Also, Quinn basically get poo pooed when he brings up the possibility of the film being doctored but that’s something worth checking out.
  • So, did Susie call Mimi’s neighbors in for being communist sympathizers or did she just seize the opportunity to blame them for Mimi’s phone bug? Up until then Mimi was fine blaming the US government. Also clever: Alex Graves directed this episode and during the talk of communist sympathizers Mimi gets cut out of frame and the camera zooms in on Susie.
  • The name of the I Love Lucy episode Susie and Mimi are watching is “The Freezer” and it aired on April 28, 1952. While I Love Lucy is the show that started syndication, I don’t know whether it would’ve been rerunning this early.

Project Blue Book, Season 1 is available for pre-order and comes out April 9th on Blu-Ray and DVD.

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