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S03.E08: Free Your Mind

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Liz needs Rosa's help. Maria learns what Jones wants from her. Michael and Alex team up to help save Max.

Airdate: 09/13/2021

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OMG! I'm glad the story was specifically Liz not listening because it was torture waiting for her to remember Rosa was discussing the unique frequencies of substances and said "cells." At least there was story reason for Liz to blow right past a theory. 

I continue to be impressed with Nathan Parsons as Jones.  He captures malevolent and unimpressed with a bunch of untrained amatures well. Even in getting played, he looked more irritated with himself for falling for it than beaten. He didn't seem fazed that he underestimated them this time. He's still confident that the Squad Pod and their humans aren't a match for him.  And honestly, if Nora and Louise and whomever Theo was couldn't best him with all their experience and genius, his confidence is at least earned (if misplaced given the Pod Squad's status as protagonists).   

Yay!  Maria is back and it looks like she and Libbity Bibbity are going to be a thing.  They are adorable together.

Not adorable is Michael and Alex. I'm so over them. I suspect they likely still have chemistry. But they annoyed me to the point that I cannot enjoy them and I'm actively repelled by their angsty nonsense. 

When do we get Kyle back?  

Edited by RachelKM · Reason: Typos.... as always.
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At the end of the episode, why is the pod squad just chilling? Jones is still free and he knows where they live.

I feel like this is slasher movie levels of stupid.

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6 hours ago, Quickbeam said:

Michael and Alex! Sigh. So hot. 

Yep and yep. It took long enough two seasons? for them to recognize they’re best with the other. Nathan as Max, Nathan as Jones, Nathan as Jones being Max, it’s been fun watching this unfold this season. And they name dropped Greg since Tanner Novlan hasn’t been in the last couple of episodes. 
Is it just me, or is Isabel more tolerable this season? 

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I enjoyed Isobel kicking Jones butt. That was fun. 

Where is Kyle and why did no one mention him :(

Nathan is having so fun with Jones. Much more entertaining than Max ever was.

Malex getting their shit together. Michael taking his hat off was funny to me.

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Another good episode.  Really enjoyed seeing Isobel kick Jones’s ass and later Alex backing the truck up and hitting him. 
Did Louise say something about Max being defective?  And if the entire gang is going to celebrate, maybe not go to an empty bar that Jones can easily find you at.

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I've never felt this show handles racial issues with any particular nuance, so I can't say I was comfortable watching Maria be mentally tortured and have to witness her grandmother and other POC be experimented on, even if it was her choice in the writing. But I think this was the first time the show was explicit that the Delucas' mental instability was caused by the experiments, not just a natural side effect of being an alien-human hybrid. 

So Max is NOT trapped in Jones' body and could not hear anything happening last week? He's in the pod? I have that right - Jones switched them out? Presumably, Max will eventually return to his own body because it seems that body is the key. 

Also, interesting that Jones is not actually immortal - he just kept cloning himself. And it seems somehow Max is the key to either allowing him to continue endlessly or stopping it. I think a lot of Jones is probably his own hype - a sort of Wizard of Oz thing. Yes, he's a lot more powerful than the aliens here, but that's largely because they don't know much. On their home planet, I think - while Jones can heal and he can create and not be harmed by fire - he's not the all-powerful, immortal being he's portrayed himself as. At least some of it was smoke and mirrors. 

I think it was good character progression for Liz to admit she doesn't always know everything and her arrogance about her science can be damaging to people around her, and that she DID ultimately need Rosa's help to break Maria free (although Rosa's hilarious expression when Liz was like "SEE SCIENCE IS AWESOME" was a whole-ass mood. Also my expression when anyone tries to convince me math is fun). 

I'm just kinda eh on Michael and Alex. Last season did a lot of damage and I'm not necessarily bothered by them, just unlikely to get invested at this point. 

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8 hours ago, Whodunnit said:

At the end of the episode, why is the pod squad just chilling? Jones is still free and he knows where they live.

I feel like this is slasher movie levels of stupid.

SERIOUSLY!!! I thought the same thing. I was like, ummmm. Don’t celebrate. Run. 

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2 hours ago, Cristofle said:

 

So Max is NOT trapped in Jones' body and could not hear anything happening last week? He's in the pod? I have that right - Jones switched them out? Presumably, Max will eventually return to his own body because it seems that body is the key. 

 

I think Max will end up staying in Jones’ body, which would then solve the heart failure issue.

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1 hour ago, Katesgr811 said:

I think Max will end up staying in Jones’ body, which would then solve the heart failure issue.

Jones healed the heart failure, hence he's using Max's body. So I don't think that's an issue. I can't imagine Max would stay in Jones' body after they just made this whole deal in this episode about how Max is a special clone, essentially the one who can stop Jones. 

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I forgot to mention that it was nice to see movement in the relationship between Liz and Rosa.  I mentioned in a prior post that there has to have been or be (and the latter is better for showing the drama) a bit of cognitive dissonance and realignment of their relationship of their dynamic.  In 2008, she was the older sister and an addict with an underlying unmanaged mental health disorder. Liz was the overachiever little sister.

Then she died.  Liz lived a decade grieving her sister as well as continuing to mature (ok, far less than she should have). Then a little over 10 years later, Rosa is back from the dead, still 19 while Liz is now 28 and a doctor.  So their respective roles cannot be the same even from that point.  And over the last year, plus, Rosa has worked hard on her sobriety and her mental health and significantly changed her general behavior.

That is a metric shit ton of shifting roles, dynamics, and relative maturity.  I'm glad that the show is addressing that Rosa needs to stop automatically deferring to Liz's superior reason (Liz has some of her own impulse control and rationalization issues, see below) and Liz needs to stop seeing the 19 year old who stormed out of every family discussion and hid herself in drugs and avoidance. 

Wow, that was more words than meant to write on that issue. But okay.

And typing that brought up another thing about Liz.  I'm enjoying the show confronting Liz's own seriously toxic habits. A few weeks ago, we had Kyle and Rosa both pointing out to her that, while Max going all fire starter was extreme, she had been seriously unethical and violated the Pod Squad's privacy and rights.  Then last night we actually had Liz chastise herself for assuming that "being the smartest person in the room" does not mean she can will something into existence nor does it guarantee that she will succeed. (I mean, she will because plot and protagonist, but still.) 

I find it interesting that Liz got to this point in her life without being confronted with that.  She is, as canon says, legitimately brilliant.  But the most brilliant scientists throughout history still haven't solved everything they ever contemplated and certainly not alone.  I'm glad the show has decided to tackle her hubris.  And more so that she has taken the note to the point that she can now recognize it on her own.

I know the real reason for this is likely the writer change.  But I will can accept it as Liz being somewhat emotionally stunted by the trauma of losing her sister and the subsequent pariah status of her family which she is only now coming to terms with.

Edited by RachelKM
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59 minutes ago, RachelKM said:

I find it interesting that Liz got to this point in her life without being confronted with that.  She is, as canon says, legitimately brilliant.  But the most brilliant scientists in throughout history still haven't solved everything they ever contemplated and certainly not alone.  I'm glad the show has decided to tackle her hubris.  And more so that she has taken the note to the point that she can now recognize it on her own.

It is interesting, but like you, I can kind of wank it. Liz by her own admission spent 10 years by and large avoiding close relationships, and even people she did get involved with like Diego were fellow scientists. Granted, one surprising thing is that no scientist has ever been like WTF are you doing, lol. But I could wank that she just hasn't let a lot of people in enough, and certainly not for long enough, that she would have even listened to anyone challenging her. I think Liz has overly relied on science as the center of all things good in her life, and so that made it difficult for her to see she was actually doing something very bad and very dangerous. Now that she's had some actual stakes in the game - she lost Max and people whose opinions she respects like Kyle and Rosa would not allow her to go on insisting it was all his fault, Maria and Isobel and Rosa could have died if she'd done the wrong thing in this episode - hopefully it's brought her back down to earth some, so to speak. I don't really want Liz to go back to being a waitress, but I do want her toxic behavior where science is concerned to be addressed, and this seemed like another positive step in the right direction. 

Also, someone giffed Rosa's reaction to "Science is exciting", lololol.

7d718711f20c4908c560c07da71dd272a3af9c90

X

Girl, if we're talking chemistry or algebra, same. 

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1 hour ago, Cristofle said:

Girl, if we're talking chemistry or algebra, same. 

I was a mathlete and I would make that face over chemistry or algebra... Not my preferred math & science.

I do, however, enjoy (actually enjoy... like, as in fun) geometry, calculus, statistics, and physics... oh, and biological anthropology and viruses.  Sadly, the latter require more chemistry than I would ever be willing to put up with.  And, well, I sort of fell into law.  But my accident recon guys and medical experts love me because I straight up nerd out with them. 😄

My nerdiness is likely the origin of a lot of my frustration with Liz. She is 30. Gurl should have noticed by now that being smart, even brilliant, is not the fix for everything.  That comeuppance usually drops you on your arse before you're 25. 

Edited by RachelKM

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I get that everyone wants to celebrate getting a win, and I loved seeing everyone giving Maria her well deserved kudos, but everyone sitting around cheering at the bar seemed pretty ridiculous considering Kyle is still in a coma and Jones is still out there causing trouble, with no plan for stopping him. Not really time for a victory party when we aren't even close to victory, Jones could have walked right in there and blasted all of them no problem. I am glad that at least Maria is out of her psychic coma, but I miss Kyle. Did they even say how he ended up in a coma? No one even mentioned him this week, like they could only focus on one comatose friend at a time, it was weird. 

Oh Maria, I was not even surprised that her grandma was actually involved n the experiments and not originally a victim, just about everyone on this show has at least one or two evil or at least sketchy relatives running around, it was just her turn, but luckily for her it turns out her grandma was actually still a good guy. Which also makes her like the third person on this show to find out a relative was evil, only to later find out they actually weren't, what a weird series of coincidences. It also makes sense that Patty was working for the program and not just someone being experimented on, how else would she be around the aliens? If the human's being experimented on were allowed to come and go (which I think they were), they wouldn't want them with the aliens they were experimenting on, so it makes sense that she would have access to them if she was an employee. 

Alex and Michael finally get together, and while I sourced on them last season and have generally preferred this season where their relationships with other people were fleshed out, I am glad that at least we have gotten to the inevitable. We all knew they were going to get together, so lets just hope things go better than when they aren't together.

Loved Jones getting a beat down from Isobel and then run over by Alex's truck, although that only seemed to temporarily annoy him. Even as he goes increasingly super villain, I still like Jonas as a villain a lot, he has this very confident air about him, like even when the Pod Squad gets one over on him he's more annoyed and amused then upset. Like this is all a temporary and slightly humorous inconvenience to his master plan, he just has that much confidence in himself. We also find out that Max is in the pod and not stuck inside of his body, which is still bad but at least not as bad, although Jones also said that they have matching psychic cells or something, so who knows what Max is dealing with right now.

I am thrilled that it seems like Liz is finally realizing that she doesn't have all of the answers and that sometimes other people can be right. She gets such tunnel vision, where she is the only person who is right and only she can use her science powers to save the day, that she ignores everyone else who has any other way of helping or point of view, so it was great seeing her realize that she should have listened to Rosa. The Liz and Rosa dynamic really is interesting and this was a good way to explore it more, watching them slipping in and out of old patterns.

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Agree with everyone about them being too relaxed at the end. 

Okay so I wasn’t just imagining it, no one brought up Kyle and how he is doing. 

Glad to see the bonding between the 4 women on the show in this episode. 

Though I was wondering what was up with the Liz/Isobel scene at the end. Maybe it was just the way the actress playing Isobel played it but there felt like there was some chemistry there. I doubt the show would ever go there but it would be an interesting twist for a triangle between Max/Liz/Isobel. 

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I am very much enjoying the women getting to take more of a lead this season. Giving them back their agency, especially for characters like Isobel and Rosa, is a good change for this show to go toward. I am thoroughly enjoying Isobel/Rosa bonding this season. Their dynamic is one of the best parts of this season thus far.

Liz has mostly been on her own island, and even here, where most of her scenes were solo, but she's been learning about her own toxicity and actually doing something to correct it, which is a very good arc for her to have. I hope we can see her bonding more with Rosa because that dynamic is underutilized, with all the story it could tell. 

And Maria, who gets to find out about Patty being a bad person...but oops, she's actually a double agent! But I think I like THIS method of storytelling. Last season, it was just 35% flashbacks and it got kind of boring with the way they told the story. Here, at least they tried something new and it was fun to watch, for the most part. At least Maria has more answers...although knowing Jones was watching and also gathering all this information? Sadly, Plot Trope 101: lead the bad guy straight into what he wants anyway. 

So, we're back on the body swapping instead of Max being trapped inside his own mind while Jones controls him. I will say, I'm silently grateful for this because it makes it a LITTLE less icky. At least he's not being silently tortured within his own mind, even if he IS trapped in the pod.

Alex/Michael? A big fat meh. I still stand by my opinion, which I've had since the first episode of the series, that Tyler and Michael don't have romantic or sexual chemistry to pull of this whole One True Love plot. They're just so dull and they don't spark onscreen. I felt like, this episode, I was watching two semi-friends solve a case. Even their kiss didn't do much for me. So I guess I'm just going to have to tolerate them as a couple. Just as long as the dramatics end between them, then I guess I can just tune out their scenes. 

Though, I will say, Alex deciding to not tell Michael about Kyle ALSO being in a coma (like, are you kidding me, you're talking about saving Max and Maria but WHAT ABOUT KYLE?!?!) and also not informing Michael that his boss, Eduardo, is KYLE'S UNCLE. I know that it wasn't necessarily relevant to the plot this episode, but you had a prime opportunity to tell him onscreen. 

 

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I think I thought Maria was in the same barn as Kyle at first? And then it was like "Oh no, everyone gets health care in random different barns now, apparently." 

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WHY IS ANYONE CELEBRATING WHEN KYLE IS IN A COMA AND ALSO THEY HAVEN'T REALLY HAD A SUCCESS??

Ahem. Collects oneself.

I just got to watch the episode because it was preempted because of baseball.

While this season is better than last, I don't feel any urgency- it's like they have all the time in the world to free Max, save the world, and make sure the covered-up murder doesn't actually happen.  All the characters are lacking in energy.  The only actor who seems to be having any fun is the one who plays Max.  You can see he's enjoying twirling his metaphorical evil mustache.

Michael/Alex don't have any chemistry for me this episode.  Blah.  Put Alex with someone else.

When the twop awards come around again, someone needs to nominate the Horse for something like the Animal Heavy Handed ForeShadowing Award.  Poor Horse.  I hope it had a stern talk with its agent after shooting this episode.

 

Edited by KittenPokerCheater
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