Michael Landes as of the last couple of episodes has really shown a lot of depth and range in the character of Nick O'Malley. AS we get closer to knowing more about him, we are beginning to see things through his eyes and connect with him in a very special way. We care about him and hate to see bad things happen to him. Sure, he can be a bit of a wise ass but his heart is in the right place at the wrong time. It is as if his heart has been the battleground for many things in his life recently. From the broken heart, he suffered in "The Web," to his best friend lying and using him all because he doesn't want to back off a case. In the short time that is, it is no wonder why Nick has so many shields up. At least we can take solace that he can confide in Kate and even Carl from time to time. Everyone needs someone to talk to, and that is a great theme Special Unit 2 has been exploring, as Kate and Nick are becoming very close friends. Something I commended once before for the way the writers and directors are handling that situation of what their relationship is. It is the mark of a great actor who can act with his eyes, but also the mark of one whose character you really connect with and see a bit of yourself in it. Sometimes I am a little shocked to see parts of myself in Nick and similar things have happened to me. It goes to show his character is more real and multi dimensional. Moreover, Michael Landes plays Nick with a great passion and such complexity that he deserves to get some credit for his natural talent and gift in acting.
In this recent entry in Special Unit 2, one thing I particularly enjoyed was not just the excellent writing but also the Link it featured. We didn't have to hear the Link speak as Sean gave his opinion and educated guesses as what this new Link was doing and why. When he asked if he had any idea what created this Link and he replied he did not know; the look everyone gave him was simply priceless. Everyone was in pure shock that he didn't know, but that is what really worked in the writing of this episode. Not knowing all the answers kept the mystique of this monster intact and let us enjoy his antics and leave the viewers decide on our own what was not explained. It is similar to the movie Halloween, where a lot of the violence happens off screen and imagine on our own what is happening. On television today most shows are dead set on explaining what is going on in so much detail that just once every so often it is refreshing to see an episode that lets the viewers imagination take them to their own answers giving the episode a unique feel. Almost the standard format of the show is to answer most of the questions, but never all of them letting us formulate and think things through. When a show makes you think like that instead of just giving all the answers is when the show is confident in itself and everyone working on it. Critics hate things like that since that is when they are gripping at straws to find something wrong. Heaven forbid if a critic should like aspects of an episode that the fans do.
As far as the actual creature design goes, someone give Patrick Tatopuolos a freakin' award already. I saw some nice influences on this design. At one moment when the Link was walking towards the storage tanks towards two Special Unit 2 agents. For a second I thought it had a striking resemblance to "The Toxic Avenger" and then when it went into to liquid form that was a nod towards "the Blob"
movies. As a horror movie fan that was something, I could really appreciate and say that was very nice to see. Giving nods to some of the most memorable monsters of all times.
Another aspect I liked was how all the relationships are evolving. Kate and Sean finally seem to be developing a solid friendship and have a good chemistry between them to make the scenes they have more dramatic or comedic or whatever context they are in. I liked the fact that Captain Page is really like a father figure for Special Unit 2 but still maintains his commanding presence and leadership. I would still like to see him run with an episode once. His scene with Carl about making another smart-ass remark was hilarious check "the vault" for that quote. Anyway, Captain Page has shown he cares for those who work under him. He was mad and worried about Nick in "the Pack" as Kate pointed out in that episode. This episode showed more of that in regards to Nick and what he was dealing with, with his friend. Sometimes you need advice from someone who was in that position before himself. Since that was the distinct impression, I felt when Page was talking to Nick about duty and friendship. This is a longer review than normal because there happens to be so much I really liked about this episode.
Sean Radmon finally gave his opinion and for the first time had no clue as to some of things that made this Link tick. What I saw develop was a great virtue for anyone to have especially Sean. He took a stand of something and that was noble. He wanted to learn more about this Link, to discover something new even if in the end they had to kill it. One thought I had was, if they could control the Link somehow to where it would be able to consume fat without killing it would be a great medical discovery. No more storing of human fat and with a patent on the thing it would he happy to eat and kick back and listen to some hard rock music. LOL
Now my two favorite scenes came from the Garbage Disposal that I will call G.D and one with the Link. I really like how G.D is developing as a comic relief spot and the way it is befriending everyone is quite interesting and funny at the same time. It has a surprising intelligence to play cards, and know when Kate needs something she is missing. G.D ate a pack of cigarettes last week and that got a smile out of me. I don't know, I just really enjoy the short sequences this thing has; I hope that keeps up for the following episode and in the future if Special unit 2 can have one. Last and certainly not least, the car chase with the Link has to be my favorite scene of this episode and one of my favorites of the series. The music was timed just right to coincide with Carl sliding around the back seat along with his lines it was well paced and put together and very entertaining. I know in the promos it had the monster turning on the radio with another song, but I just thought that was so out there I could not help but laugh. Anyway, terrific episode and I really did not think anything was wrong or off. I am amazed I havent found one thing to pick on this show about. If anything, I would like to see Captain Page more involved along with Sean. Looks like we are getting there, and next week is the season finale. Since when does 6 episodes constitute a season???