Project Blue Book Episode 9: "Abduction" Review
"The truth is like the sun. The more you look, the more it blinds." [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Sure enough it went there. This week, it went there. In both the main and sub plots of the show, nearly all the things happened in this lead up to the season 1 finale of Project Blue Book. I thought the last 2 episodes had a lot to unpack but Abduction was literally a montage of dramatic brawls, scandalous relations, and big insinuations about what's really going on in this series. While History is at liberty to express their retelling of Dr. Allen Hynek's work in the 1940's and 50's how they'd like, they've certainly taken the drama to a literal sense. Let's get into it.
While I'm glad they took on the extremely popularized case of Betty and Barney Hill, the show gives it a very particular sense of intensity with the outcome of their reported alien encounter. The fact that this is all occurring before the finale means the speed and gravity of the episode has to be portrayed. No expense spared, Betty and Barney are now at the headquarters of Hynek and Quinn and brandishing a loaded gun. Intent on getting help, or explaining what happened, Barney comes close to shooting nearly everyone, multiple times. His breakdown, be it mental or alien in origin, becomes more anxious as the episode goes on.
Hynek and Quinn, who've had a contentious relationship the entire season and trade off villain and white hat every other episode, come to blows over their work and what the truth may be. With them finally duking it out, they then have to work toward figuring out why this Mr. Hill can draw a star map from a direction no one on Earth could ever have seen. Super mysterious as this is, and as believable as his abduction story was, we can't forget that there's a final episode where (I think) we'll see a mirror image of the Pleiades star system that he was able to memorize over time for some reason or another.
However, the real account of this couple was turned sideways and upside down by the end of the episode when she pulled a quarter-sized, blue glowing disk from her husband's neck. Strange activity ensues and when all four realize they're under siege from the higher-ups, Barney is shot while descending further into his abduction flashback and subsequent freakout. He survives, but now Quinn and Hynek are left to wonder what in the world was inside that man. Also, how did scissors get that out? I feel like that would have really mangled him a lot more in an attempt to expose something from within his neck. Ugh, no gore expense spared on this episode either.
The meat and potatoes of this episode being Quinn, Hynek and the Hills, we see where a particular trope turned this show from X-Files-esque to an episode of Scandal. Russian spies make for good storylines but they make for a predictable trope when said spy, Susie Miller, drugs her alleged friend Mimi. She does so seemingly because of a longstanding crush or infatuation she's had with her since they met, but she does so in a non-consensual and heartless way. Does she really have feelings for Mimi? Whether Mimi ends up remembering this encounter or not, she has to find agency in some way by the end of this season or I think it'll be a serious disrespect to her character.
Is Susie in some way extremely confused or disturbed herself, and this is a result of her own victimization? Everything goes boom, literally, at the end of the episode when she annihilates her Russian boss through a sexy and spiteful blow to the head. As she casually walks away from the car into the mist, we're left wondering what this woman's motives are. Next week should be a doozy, the government is up to something, we know that, but so is literally every character on this show now.