Monday, September 4, 2017

REVIEW: 'People of Earth' - Don Regrets a Decision From the Past While Doug and Chelsea Reveal Their Feelings in 'Bee Kind'

TBS' People of Earth - Episode 2.07 "Bee Kind"

The group asks Agent Foster for help with an investigation. Chelsea and her husband go to marriage counseling. Jeff blames Don for bringing an intruder onto the ship.

"Bee Kind" seemingly provides an answer to one of the big mysteries of the season: Agent Foster's parentage and connection to aliens. Jeff and Don reminisce about the time Don brought a pregnant woman aboard the ship just as she was about to give birth. Don carried the newborn girl around with him while Jeff quickly sent the mother back to Earth as she was preparing to deliver another baby. It was a traumatizing experience for Don because he had no idea what to do with this baby girl or how to reunite her with her mother. So, he just went down to Earth and dropped her off in a baby store in New Mexico for her to be found by a janitor. The show doesn't come out and say that this young baby is Agent Foster. And yet, it seems pretty obvious. The show has been forcing the audience to be painfully aware of Agent Foster's torn feelings about being an orphan. She knows all the famous orphan stories by heart. She's always in pursuit of the answer to where she came from. And now, the audience is given some answers while she is still largely in the dark. Her life has been touched by aliens and she doesn't even know it. This may just be the only interaction she ever had with Don, Jeff and everyone else on the ship. And yet, their actions have had a great effect on her entire life. She is still plagued with doubts about not being wanted anywhere. That's entirely because of the aliens and their manipulative experiments on humans.

Of course, Don is only now starting to remember and feel bad about what he did to that mother and baby. He has always been the more sensitive alien on the ship. He cares about humans in a profound and meaningful way. He wanted this mother to be reunited with her daughter. Jeff didn't care what happened to them as long as they were no longer on the ship. He sent the mother back down to Earth not knowing precisely where. That kept Don from doing what he wanted to do. And now, he's plagued by thoughts about whatever happened to that baby. Did she ever reunite with her mother? Did she grow up to have a happy life? Those answers are clear to the audience. Agent Foster isn't that well adjusted at all but is pretty capable at her job as an FBI agent. But these fears define Don for this episode. It's pretty amusing that the rest of the Alcoholics Anonymous group are starting to become skeptical of him truly belonging there. They are understanding and willing to help him make amends if this action was connected to his alcoholism in any way. But Don really isn't an alcoholic. He just wound up at a meeting after his breakup with Kelly and liked the structure of the place. He doesn't belong here. Him getting kicked out sometime in the future is bound to have personal consequences for him as well though - which may actually force him to drink again.

All of this only happens because a bee mysteriously appears on the alien ship. That's a pretty amusing story. The aliens are usually so precise about beaming people up from Earth. They have the technology to do so easily. And yet, it's just fascinating that they are capable of making mistakes as well. Don brought a flower back to the ship that was also carrying a bee. It's a creature seen as this massive intruder on the ship. It's a security breech that must be taken seriously as soon as it is discovered. Eric assigns its capture and destruction to the rest of the aliens while he escapes from the infected area. From thetr, it's just amusing to see Jeff absolutely freak out about this strange creature that carries the possibility of killing him. He's afraid because of rumors of other aliens dying after being stung as well as the annual report that 53 people die on Earth from bee stings. Meanwhile, Walsh and Don don't see it as a big deal. As such, they are able to go about their days doing the same things they were always going to do. They aren't the aliens in charge of getting rid of the bee. Even then, Kurt is the one who actually catches it. Jeff just needs to have the victory of sending it away through the air lock. That's a rewarding moment. But then, the show reveals that the bee is still on the ship. It's a story that goes unresolved by the end of this episode. That's strange. It's setting it up as something the audience needs to remember in the future. However, the payoff better be great in the future once it does happen otherwise there is no justification for dragging this story across multiple episodes.

On Earth, the story is fundamentally about StarCrossed reaching out to Agent Foster to know what's going on with the investigation into Ozzie's death. Gina and Richard find the former FBI agent in a state of wallow and pity while drowning her sorrows in pizza. It's a headspace that they recognize as well. They've been exactly where she is right now. They know the importance of finding a renewed sense of purpose. They are here to get answers. They need to know if the FBI really is covering up Ozzie's murder. They know it wasn't a heart attack that killed him. Agent Foster knows that too but doesn't have the clearance to investigate further. However, the new agent assigned to the case happens to have a major crush on Agent Foster. So, it's easy for her to learn what's going on with the official investigation. That only reveals that nothing is going on. Ozzie's personal belongings have vanished and Agent Saunders has ordered the case to be closed. That's strange and doesn't sit well with Agent Foster. So now, she has become an official member of StarCrossed. She may be reluctant to be a member. She still doesn't believe in aliens. She has her theories about what happened while the group has theirs. And yet, she's here because the members of StarCrossed are the only other people who know that something else happened out there in the woods. Perhaps together they can figure out what and solve this case. That's an enticing story thread for the remainder of the season.

And finally, Chelsea and Doug's relationship goes public. At first, it seems like the show is continuing the awkward story of it being more difficult for the two of them to break their lifetime commitments. She's still married and he's still a priest. And now, Chelsea's husband has suggested going to Doug for marriage counseling. That's awkward and pretty humorous to watch. But it also plays as just this very minor story throughout this episode and in the greater scheme of the season. Chelsea and Doug still want to be together. In fact, their feelings are growing even stronger. They are willing to admit that they actually love each other. That realization allows them to run off together as well. Earlier in the season, it was proven that this relationship was going to be very difficult for the two of them to pursue. And now, it seems incredibly easy. That's odd and not completely earned. It's rewarding that Chelsea gets her divorce and Doug is able to announce that he'll no longer be a priest because he's in love with a woman. But it also feels like the show hitting its basic plot points to keep this as a somewhat important story to the overall season. It's still nice and pleasant. It's just not as important or interesting as the other stories happening in this world that are more unique to aliens.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Bee Kind" was written by David Jenkins and directed by Ian Fitzgibbon.
  • Walsh isn't trying to hide Ozzie's body on the ship. He tells Eric about it with the explanation that he wants it as a trophy. Of course, Eric takes that a step further and wants to behead Ozzie to mount it on the wall. That's a chilling visual that doesn't happen but it does motivate Walsh into action as well.
  • No one knows if the alien chamber that somehow brought Kurt back to life will have the same effect on Ozzie. Reptilians and humans are two incredibly different species. But everyone remains hopeful. Plus, the show wouldn't be doing all of this buildup if it wasn't going to bring Ozzie back to life by the end of the season.
  • The episode ends with Walsh killing the assassin who was sent to kill him. It's a good thing too because the assassin was about ready to kill Agent Foster for all of her meddling. But it also shows the dark headspace Walsh is in right now. He's willing to kill in order to get justice for Ozzie. That shows how much he has changed as a character over the course of the series.
  • Agent Foster's mother was pregnant with multiple babies. Agent Foster was born on the ship while her siblings were born on Earth. There isn't any indication of how siblings she has. It could be a fun twist if the show introduces her twin and shows the life that Agent Foster could have lived if her mother wasn't abducted.
  • Most of Agent Foster's incident report on Ozzie's death has been redacted. It's not a part of the official investigation. But she does share Ozzie's final words to Gina and Richard. The show reminds the audience that they were: "Trust Walsh. Find the others." But of course, Agent Foster only shares the second half because she still sees Walsh as a fugitive running from justice.