Salvation S02E09 Review – The Manchurian Candidate

Has anyone seen the original Manchurian Candidate? From 1962? Starring Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey? It’s really good. I meant to do a review but then I forgot. Might still do one. I’ve got a load of things that I want to review. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. The only Manchurian Candidate I’ll be reviewing for now is the ninth episode of the second season of Salvation.

So Grace and Darius are a couple. That’s nice. But it’s in the show’s nature to play nice for a short amount of time. The countdown has started until it all falls apart.

Another nice thing is that Darius has now regained control of Tanz. He’s home and he’s got Liam back. For things to go right back to the way they were, Liam has to start going out with Jillian again which means making amends for taking any method he considered necessary to save the world even if it meant willingly joining a highly dangerous terrorist organisation that threatened the world with nuclear weapons. Bear in mind that she broke up with him and she’s joined a creepy cult. If anything, neither of them have the moral high ground.

Remember the latest conspiracy involving a shadowy group of evil people? This week it’s something called ‘Q17′ which on the outside sounds like the worlds shittiest boy band but upon closer inspection, its another dangerous group involving 17 of the worlds richest bastards and the richest of the richest bastards is one that we all know. Remember Nicholas Tanz? Darius’ uncle? The old man with the ever wavering accent? Well he’s back and he’s still evil.

Grace and Harris have blackmailed Alonzo Carter into helping bring them down. The only thing that links these people to any kind of organised crime is the ‘Bitcoin accounts’ that have literally billions of dollars in them. All of these accounts are encrypted with retinal scanners.

Anyone ever watch ‘House’? I know this comparison seems off but stick with me. During the ‘Differential Diagnosis’ sections, someone will mention an obscure illness and then another will offer an explanation of the illness because 99.9% of the people watching are not doctors and are only tuning in to listen to Jesse Spencer’s sexy accent. Well, precisely that is what happens here.

When Alonzo mentions ‘retinal scanners’, Harris chimes in with an explanation. ‘An ecryption code based on the Iris’. To be honest, if ‘retinal scanners’ loses your audience then I don’t think ‘Iris’ is going to clear it up. The Goo Goo Dolls have nothing to do with this show. I wish they did. The music would be better. The point is that if they want to access the money then they need to copy their Iris’s in some way. Luckily, Darius has a plan.

Darius meets with his uncle who is pleased as punch that his nephew is now the President. As a cover for his devious plan, Darius organises a party and invites Nicholas how in turn invites his rich friends. The cover for the party is a fundraiser that will finance Darius’ re-election campaign.

The joke is on Nicholas however as Darius has no intention of running for re-election. Rather, as soon as he saves the world, Darius will resign and hand over power to the new Vice President who is yet to be named. This episode also includes interviews with the potential successors. There’s this guy whose name I can’t remember who agrees with everything Darius says and another guy whose name I can’t remember who thinks Darius is mighty shady. Decisions, decisions.

The party is on and everyone gets suited and booted. By that I mean some serious ‘James Bond’ type gadgetry gets introduced. Darius, Grace and Alonzo are fitted with contact lenses that will photograph the Iris of Nicholas and his friends so they can gain access to their accounts.

The plan goes off without a hitch and 12 of the 17 samples are collected. Time for Darius to announce his successor. To Nicholas’ surprise, Darius chooses the guy who thinks that he is shady because he realises that the other guy is in bed with Nicholas and will only be a puppet for Q17 rather than a proper President who always tells the truth no matter what and isn’t corrupt in anyway.

Wondering why the title is so significant? In the film, Laurence Harvey’s character is brainwashed into committing the evil deeds given to him by his handler. Every time he sees the ‘Queen of Diamonds’, he falls under their spell and blindly commits any act given to him. He then wakes up and has no memory of what he’s done.

In this case, Nicholas admits that he had President Mackenzie killed so that Darius would become President because he’s one of them. Except he’s not and I’m sure his uncle knows this since the last time they met, it wasn’t on good terms.

Since Darius has defied his uncle by joining up with a straight laced, ‘by the book’ kind of guy, that means that Darius has to play by the rules which means that he cannot give Grace’s dad a Presidential Pardon like he promised Grace earlier.

That’s that over with.

As a bonding exercise, Jillian brings Liam into a ‘COPE’ session where ‘Mr Beard’ talks about ‘unburdening’ yourself, letting go of the things holding you back in life. He goes around the circle with the ‘unburdening box’ where people reveal the things that they regret and pop them in the box. ‘Mr Beard’ starts off by tossing in a $5000 dollar watch. When he gets to Liam, he’s not having any of it. Myself and Liam think a like when it comes to this group and how it’s super creepy and when it’s not being super creepy then it’s just pure cringe.

Liam goes back a little later on and sees the notebook that Jillian had in the Pilot episode. She’s handed it in for the ‘unburdening’. When a member hands over his car keys, Liam is told that ‘he won’t need a car in the end’ and how ‘we all know what’s coming and we’ve accepted it’. This alerts Liam and he goes to Darius. He knows what we’ve all been thinking. It must be a suicide cult.

As Liam says this, Jillian is at a meeting with some other members and she’s handed a cup with some stuff in it that looks suspiciously like ‘Kool-Aid’. Oh, no.

We’re on episode 9 now so there’s only 4 more episodes to go. All these problems are eventually going to come together and build to a great Season Finale. I can’t wait.

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