Eleventh Hour: “Subway”

Having tackled feminism with last week’s lady scientist (she understands logic, you know), Eleventh Hour moves on to politics this week, as we defeat all of terrorism in a single handy episode!

After a Philadelphia widow spontaneously combusts (no, seriously) from contact with a nerve agent, Dr. Rufus is on the case. They invade a cleared-out City Hall stop and find a young man still clutching the oozing thermos of terrorist cocktail in his dead, traitorous hands. They think the problem’s solved; we know it’s not because we’ve been following a single mother, and she hasn’t been punished yet. Luckily, Dr. Rufus discovers the real target just in time to stop these terrorist shenanigans and arrest the pile of British and Belgian exchange students responsible.

Yeah. We’ll get there.

This episode is the closest the series has yet come to having any tension or dramatic payoff. Since this is Eleventh Hour, that’s not saying much, but it’s better than nothing. To the list!

1. That’s right; FBI Agent Rachel Young does not think “happenstance” is a real word. This is what happens when women aren’t scientists; their little brains can’t handle vocabulary.

2. (Lee is sticking Post-Its on to a map)
Lee: I love Post-Its, one of the best inventions of the 20th century.
Rachel: What do you think, Dr. Rufus? (points to map)
Dr. Rufus: (without looking up) Yeah, I kinda like the fact that you can stick them on to anything.

I know, I know, but at least they’re trying. Compared to the usual level of repartee on the show, this is like a Noel Coward play.

3. The terrorists in question are not Arab Muslim extremists. Instead, they are exchange students who have been brainwashed into becoming Belgian and English Muslim extremists. Charming, CBS!

4. This episode features Mary Jo, a capable single mother with a job. She thinks quickly in emergency situations, offering herself as hostage exchange for her children, and she does not die. It’s like they’re just out to confuse me.

5. Science Alert: the only person in the entire FBI capable of investigating a nerve agent is Dr. Rufus Sewell; police and SWAT will stand around stupidly while the terrorist’s cell phone goes off. Thank goodness Dr. Rufus knows to look at a ringing phone! He is our last best hope against the faithless hordes. If you see something, say something…to him.

6. (Dr. Rufus has Agent Young running around the subway station like a rat in a maze. He’s sitting pretty in the central security depot with a useless police captain.)
Dr. Rufus: Rachel, remember, you can hear me but I can’t hear you.
Rachel: Hey voice of God, you fold a map like a girl.
Dr. Rufus: But I can read your lips.
(she makes a guilty face)
Useless Police Captain: You lip-read?
(Hood shakes his head no)

Thank you, Eddie Izzard, for sneaking into the writers’ room and inserting this moment.

7. When Dr. Rufus runs to Mary Jo’s aid after she’s exposed to the nerve agent, he knocks open a sprinkler, and while she’s still in shock from the cold shower he gleefully pours bleach all over her, assuring her it will help with the pH. Clearly unaware that he has the power to bend matter to his will, she freaks out and looks like she’d rather be running around with the terrorist.

8. Science alert: when someone is in trouble, pour bleach all over them. SCIENCE.

9. This week actually has an emotional through-line in the form of Felix, who worries he’s not doing a good job because Dr. Rufus hasn’t said anything about his performance. Later, he saves Dr. Rufus from being shot to death by a terrorist. Never touch on a point you can hammer right through the wood, eh, Eleventh Hour?

Below, some poor guy who’s trying to pay the bills until his period-drama career takes off tries to posture all over the subway platform, as Dr. Rufus chats with him on the dead Belgian kid’s cell phone, which has perfect sound quality even underground and inside a zipper bag. SCIENCE.


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