Dr. Jacob Hood is desperate to discover the scientific mystery behind the Flash Player screencap on the front page of The Fakeville Times.
This week, Eleventh Hour returns to the well on tainted-water stories (rimshot!), only this time with added cancer victims, miracle cures, and terrorist janitors.
Science alert: CBS doesn’t want you to leave your house again. Ever. Unless you live in Montana, in which case you should start packing immediately before the irradiated water gets there.
You see, there is a miracle spring in Montana that shrinks a boy’s kidney tumor, only it turns out to be heavy water that really just gives people radiation poisoning and doesn’t cure them whatsoever (except for that one kid, who stays cured, which no one ever mentions). Surprisingly, the heavy water source is not the huge Uranium-Stor-It that’s only a few miles outside of town; instead, it comes from two terrorist janitors who are using their municipal repair job as a cover for making bombs with their Little Lulu chemistry sets and pouring the extra into the water supply.
Science alert: Ice cubes made with heavy water (which contains more Rufusmumble than regular water) will not float in water; should you consume it, you will turn into a tragic victim who has to fake seizures and talk wistfully to small, winsome children.
Secret Science alert: They also cure a rat with the heavy water, so really, it’s only you who’s boned. That’ll teach you to hydrate!
Dr. Rufus and Agent Young figure out where the water is coming from and shut that two-man terrorist operation down posthaste. Then they give a puppy to the kid, who may or may not actually be cured. We don’t know because Dr. Rufus never bothers to examine the child himself, and the real doctor got killed halfway through the episode. That’s her dog they give away. This show is stone-cold.
I imagine that the Eleventh Hour writers’ room is like a game of Mousetrap played with Silly Putty. It seems the best way to explain how the concept of Debunking Miracles (which The X-Files managed for three dozen years) ends up smushing a Hallmark movie, a Fox News report, and an episode of ER into thirty-five minutes.
Those extra five minutes of pre-plot time are borrowed from Cinemax for the show open, which is a clear attempt by CBS to distract us from the abysmal plot. (It doesn’t work, but it’s a solid effort.) Dr. Rufus appears on Agent Young’s doorstep at 6am on Sunday, waving a newspaper and babbling about a miracle spring, as a rumpled Agent Young frowns with her hands on the hips of her Risky Business costume. It takes Dr. Jacob Hood, Ph.D and Frozen Head Specialist, approximately an hour and a half to realize that someone is in the shower and has left his 1930s wingtips in the hall, but is undeterred in his demands that Young accompany him on an unofficial mission. Apparently the FBI does not read the newspaper and knows nothing of this Miracle Spring that is all over the Convenient News Network in this episode. (It does explain a lot.)
Sadly, since this show does not really base a lot of plot on logic, I’d like to know why the FBI wouldn’t be willing to assign this case, when they were happy to assign the Frozen Head Fiasco. However, this is second on my list of questions: first, I want to know why that newspaper has a Flash Player pause button graphic on the front page. It’s the only part of the newspaper we actually see. Did a graphic designer lose a bet?
This show remains on the air due to a Boring/Absurd dichotomy that often falls on the side of Absurd. Absurd is hilarious. Unfortunately for this episode, it fell firmly into Boring. I would like to take a moment to remind CBS that people watch this show for two things: hilarious science crimes, and Rufus Sewell looking good. This week had neither of these, and while Rufus trilling to the dog about “making a peepee” was the sort of moment I hope every actor achieves in his lifetime, maybe next week we could freeze some heads? Thanks.
In the meantime, please look at this clip and tell me what is going on with that newspaper. It haunts me.