Project Blue Book, Episode 9 Review: “Abduction”
by Rachel Bellwoar
Nothing like a resignation letter to make a person feel like they have nothing to lose (though Blue Book was always a second job for Hynek). Following Mimi’s ultimatum last week, “Abduction” begins with Hynek packing his things. If it weren’t already clear, Mimi’s phone call confirms it: Hynek’s quitting Project Blue Book, yet the decision hasn’t left Mimi feeling too secure. Unable to shake off the feeling that her family’s in danger (and they are, just from the person she suspects the least), Mimi’s fears are sincere, but they also make her act sincerely annoying (moving papers around in Hynek’s office when it’s not like he’s digging his heels in about going). Maybe she knows her husband too well, and he does go back on his word by the end of the episode (though at that point she accepts his leaving far too easily, no matter what he whispers in her ear) but that wasn’t his intention.
There are a few quick character turns like that this episode, where things you’ve been waiting to happen, happen, but in a way where they suddenly feel rushed, like Quinn paying Hynek a compliment. That’s been a long time coming but why now? After watching Susie manipulate Mimi (not to mention roofie her drink) it’s hard not to see Quinn as a false friend, using compliments to try and convince Hynek to stay (since you know the generals won’t be happy if he resigns).
Then there’s Susie. Did she sleep with Mimi, or take photos of her to make it look like she did? You want to say no, almost, but she roofied Mimi, so why take things that far only not to do it? And why take the photos only to kill her boss afterwards (and that was a dark twist, making it look like self-defense)?
The big story this episode is Thomas (iZombie’s Malcolm Goodwin) and Valerie Mann (Khalilah Joi), who hold Quinn, Hynek, and Quinn’s secretary, Faye (Jill Morrison), hostage when Thomas can’t find a doctor who knows how to treat his head. It’s been in pain ever since he was (allegedly) abducted by aliens. Quinn believes Thomas is suffering from PTSD (what was then known as shellshock), but Thomas is adamant he’s telling the truth. Truth or fiction, you do have to wonder what the criteria is for dismissing a Blue Book claim and whether racism could’ve played a part in Thomas’ difficulty getting help.
Other thoughts on “Abduction:”
- While Quinn means to put Hynek in his place, by reminding him he no longer works for Blue Book, “Abduction” is the first episode where Hynek stands up for himself and it’s about time.
- This episode never swings back around to the dot map Thomas draws but how about a spinoff show where Thomas tells Hynek and Quinn where the next alien encounter’s going to happen, and they try to get there first?
- The show broached the subject in “The Lubbock Lights,” when Quinn and Hynek visited that college campus, but Quinn’s a lonely guy and it was interesting to see a relative stranger (Mrs. Mann) pick up on that loneliness.
- Shouldn’t Joel have been home from school, long before Susie left the house?
- I haven’t been able to make out what TV show or movie Joel was watching, but using it as voiceover for the final scene was really cool.
Project Blue Book airs Tuesdays at 10 PM EST on History.