First of all, I would like to thank everybody last week who took the time out of their busy day to stroke my ego and leave a comment on the last post for The 4400. I’m also delighted to find that so many people like boobies, even the people who live with them every day! I also realized I probably got a lot of comments because I didn’t wait six or seven days to post the recap, so here’s to more speedy posts in the future. As I’ve said before, the show is good, but I always thought that they didn’t do enough to update us on some of the story lines. Well, the writers and the network must have read my mind, because they addressed one of those gaping plot holes today. We still don’t know what happened to Jordan Collier, but at least we’re not worry about what happened to Dr. Berkhoff.When Dr. Berkhoff started experimenting on himself with promicin injections, he talked of a global arms race. The people from the future seemed to be able give their subjects specific abilities. Look how much damage the NOVA group did and multiply that by hundreds and thousands, and just imagine the kind of damage somebody with the secret of promicin could do. Somebody else must have realized this, because we open the episode with Dr. Berkhoff running from somebody in the woods.
The last time we say Berkhoff, he didn’t exactly look great. Diana was helping him with the promicin injections, but even if he was going to get a 4400 ability, the side effects were devastating. Talk about the man without a face! Kevin Berkhoff would be the only person on the planet calling Seal for skin care advice. Luckily, another side effect of the promicin is that he doesn’t like sunlight and would rather be indoors, which is great when you are trying to hide your hideous self from the public, but not so great when you have a bunch of people that want to kill you chasing after you.
Dr. Berkhoff barely had enough muscle function to inject himself with promicin, so it’s not a surprise when the goons are able to chase him down. After being taken into some sort of interrogation room by some random guys in suits, somebody asks him if he has worked on any other subjects, which is kind of laughable, because where do you find the volunteers? I can see the commercial now:
First place in the Randy Johnson impersonation contest…
“Is your face smooth and soft? Are people always making fun of you because your skin doesn’t have any lesions? Are you sick and tired of all the strange looks you get when you walk into a leper colony? Then come on down to Crazy Kevin’s! We’ll inject you with some promicin and your troubles will melt away! Just like your fingernails! As a bonus, several government agencies will follow you a no extra charge!”
When the suits realized that Kevin was telling the truth, they decided to shoot him and put him out of his misery. I don’t know, I might have tried a facial peel first, but what do I know? Some people may have been shocked because how could Dr. Berkhoff die? He is the one who is supposed to create the 4400s. If he dies, then he won’t create the 4400s, and the people from the future won’t be able to send people back. These are the kinds of ripples in the space-time fabric that Doc Brown always warned Marty about.
If you just got caught up with the 4400 recently, you wouldn’t know about the ability Dr. Berkhoff was developing, which was super healing, a la Wolverine from the X-Men (or Isabelle, for that matter). Last time we heard of his ability, he said that it didn’t always work. Anyway, he’s loaded up into a body bag and placed in a van, but later when they open the back of the van in order to dump the body, Berkhoff isn’t there, and we see him running, but in his condition, how long does he last? Where does he go for help?
Not one you want to put on the refrigerator
Another person that may need some help soon is Diana Skouris. I mean, everything looks fine, but when Maia runs into her bedroom and says that she had a dream that her mom turned into a monster, you have to pay attention, especially after looking at the picture Maia drew. Diana doesn’t feel like anything is going to happen, but she does feel kind of sick. The next morning, while she is at work, she gets a call about Berkhoff. She had stopped off at Dr. Berkhoff’s place and found out he wasn’t there. Tom then begins to wonder what she was doing at his apartment in the first place, so Diana has to explain all of her secret experiments and whatnot with Berkhoff. If they hadn’t let this story line go the last three or four weeks, the transition could have been a lot simpler.
Tom and Diana decide to look for Berkhoff, and the first person they seek out is Tess Doerner. We met Tess last season when it was discovered that she could control other people’s minds to do what she wanted them to do. She was having patients at a mental facility build a huge device to contact the future humans. The device didn’t work, but she managed to everybody, including the doctors, NTAC, and even Tom and Diana, to help with the project. In the aftermath of this, Dr. Berkhoff became un-crazy, and we discovered that he was the one that was supposed to create the 4400s.
History lesson over, fast forward to Tess (played by the wonderful Summer Glau of Firefly and Serenity) and she is not crazy anymore, or at least the doctors have found the right prescription to combat her schizophrenia, and she is out in the normal world, and has NO clue how she was able to get all of those people to do things. They ask her about her life and if she’s heard of Kevin, but she says that she hasn’t seen him, but if they find him, tell him that she is looking for him.
I was actually convinced that Tess was telling the truth, but I guess I am an easy mark. She was lying and as we follow her back to her house, Dr. Berkhoff (who she prefers to call Kevin) is sitting there waiting for her. I guess I should have realized that Tess would lie for Kevin. When they were in the joint together, they had a very strong bond, and it continues now. She really does like him for whom he is, and doesn’t even look away when the rest of us would cringe, vomit, or pass out at merely the sight of his face.
Oddly enough, the first thing that Berkhoff asks when he hears that Diana and Tom were looking for him was whether Diana looked OK. Tess said that she looked sick, and it made me wonder if there was something that we were missing about this whole thing. Berkhoff goes on to say that the experiment must go forward, and that he’ll need Diana in order to finish these experiments. But how is that going to happen? Well, it seems like Tess was lying when she said that she doesn’t have any mind control abilities, because we see her outside of Diana’s apartment at 3AM, and I am sure that you can guess the rest. Now that Tess isn’t on the promicin inhibitor, she’s actually better at controlling others’ minds. Diana follows her to Tess’ place, where Berkhoff begins to inject her.
Wow! So what’s going to happen to Diana? I’ll let you chew on that awhile so we can talk about some of the side stories that happened during this episode. One of them was interesting, the other one not so interesting. The not so interesting one had to do with Shawn. He was set to go onto a talk show when Devon tells him they might ask a question about his upcoming wedding. Shawn doesn’t want to talk about, but that’s not important, I just wanted an excuse to mention Devon, who I think is the third hottest person on this show after Alana and Isabelle, and I’m sure you were all dying to know that.
No, the real action came just after, when Shawn was about to walk on stage. He saw some guy lying on the ground, and not wanting to let anybody just die on the floor, decides to save him. The person he saved was Nick Crowlet, famous musician, prominent drug user, and possessor of many groupies. Nick thanks Shawn for saving him and comes to the center the next day to give Shawn a guitar, but Nick has other things on his mind, like hiring Shawn as his personal bodyguard for the times he might accidentally ingest a fifth of whiskey and a bottle of quaaludes without thinking.
Shawn struggles with the choice. Should he go on tour and live the life of drugs and hot and filthy sex that is likely to go with it, or does he sit home and make sure his powers are not used because somebody has an addiction and thinks rehab is for quitters? After a little “with great power comes great responsibility” type of speech, Shawn decides to stay home. Personally, if I was Shawn, I would be worried about the insanely crazy woman he is about to marry. All guys joke about psychobitches, and some of us have been unlucky enough to date, marry, or get hit by one in the parking lot because she has trouble steering her civic while one hand has a cigarette and the other has a cell phone, but Isabelle is a different story. She isn’t scared of anything, not even sharks with laser beams attached to their heads! Shawn is going to have sex, but if he doesn’t take care of this, he’ll really be screwed! HAHA! Get it? Screwed? Eh, it sounded good when I first came up with it.
The more interesting side story had to do with Richard. He never had an ability, but suddenly found himself able to move objects with his mind, telekinesis if you will. He’s been trying to develop his ability, but he his having trouble, so he seeks out Heather Tobey, who normally teaches children at the center how to hone their powers, but decides to see if she can help Richard. He has always been able to use his ability when he is mad or excited, but the challenge will be to help him focus.
The first few sessions are not going quite as well as planned. Richard, who is still a good-looking guy, hasn’t been able to (or doesn’t want to) move on with his love life after the loss of his wife, Lily. If I were a mean person, I would say that he didn’t want to end up with another woman as whiny as Lily, but I don’t like speak badly of the dead, so I won’t mention that we haven’t even really noticed that she was gone. Anyhoo, part of Heather’s therapy involves *GASP*….HOLDING HANDS. I know Richard grew up in a different time and it’s going to take awhile to become the archetypical modern man who salivates at the site of a bra strap or peeking thong, but seriously, he should be able to hold hands with a woman in the privacy of her own office, especially if it is therapy. I thought I saw a hint that Richard thought that Heather had a little sumpthin sumpthin, and we know he likes the light side of the moon, but it looked like Heather was kind of intrigued as well. Richard has a lot of nervous energy, and it seemed like Heather wanted to do something to help him get rid of it, but first, to the therapy!
In the second session, they had a little more success. Heather and Richard had a talk, and Richard decided to talk about his parents. He’s describing how when he got back and didn’t have an ability, it made him feel normal. When he got his ability, he sort of felt like a freak, and he wonders if his parents would have felt that he was a freak. Heather made it clear that he has to understand that he is special. When he was taken, he was one of the only black pilots in the military, and she reminded him that he is now part of a different “vanguard”. He was picked for a reason, and his parents would be very proud. It all sounds very cheesy, but at the end of everything, the two of them looked up and they were floating. I’m not sure how this will translate into Richard being able to control his ability, but I am going to take a guess and say that is exactly what is going to happen.
Depending on how bored you are and how much I’m boring you, you’re probably dying to figure out what happened to Diana. It’s probably easy to figure out that she was feeling sick because it was the promicin, and if something didn’t happen, she really was going to look like a monster. Diana meets Tom and Kevin’s apartment. He brought Marco along just in case they needed some help and for some awkward moments. Diana and Marco broke up last week, but I still think Marco should consider himself lucky, and that’s how he acts, but he does care about Diana as well. While there, they found a picture of Berkhoff in charcoal, but he isn’t well enough that it could be a self-portrait. Remembering that Tess liked to draw, Tom and Diana decide to follow her home from work.
When they get there, they of course hit the jackpot. Tess is there, Berkhoff is there, and Tom and Diana are ready to take them in. Unfortunately, Diana is under Tess’ spell, and she pulls her gun on Tom. Berkhoff isn’t interested in hurting anybody, but wants to get away. Once Tess is “out of range” to affect Diana, she comes to her senses, but almost immediately, she collapses, and she notices that she has some of those nice lesions on her skin like Kevin used to have. The next step after that is, of course, horrible disfigurement, but at least she has a chance of gaining a special ability that is guaranteed to work at least part of the time!
Diana is taken back to NTAC medical for observation, and the hunt for Dr. Berkhoff goes on in full force. They expected it to be difficult because he was in hiding, but the next thing we know, we see Berkhoff at a diner, ordering steak (extra bloody) and eggs. His creepy appearance in combination with his creepy breakfast order is enough to get every peace office in a ten mile radius heading in his direction, but considering how debilitated he is, shouldn’t we ask where Tess is?
Tess had found her way into NTAC, or more accurately, had been able to use her ability to get the doctor who is watching over Diana into NTAC. The doctor gets Diana out of bed, and I know Diana is a little weak, but I thought she would fight back a little more. To make a long story short, Diana came outside where Tess and Dr. Berkhoff were ready to meet her. Obviously Berkhoff made a big scene at the diner in order to distract NTAC. Considering this is like the third or fourth time a 44000 has done the bait and switch on the agents, you think they would learn by now and not send EVERY AGENT on calls like this.
As you can imagine, Diana isn’t feeling too great. For some reason, Dr. Berkhoff says that she is the only one that can help him complete his research, I guess because she had been taking the injections for a while. He finds an abandoned movie theater to complete the rest of his work, which to me seems just a little too elaborate. I know he is hideous, but why not just drive to some remote cabin in Eastern Washington or Idaho. If you’re paranoid and running from the government, what better place to hide than with some government separatists? I guess Kevin still has a slight flair for the dramatic.
Diana begs the owner of the movie theater to help her, but even if he snapped out of it, one convenient side effect of Tess’ mind control is the loss of memory of anything that happened when you were under her thumb. I guess it would have helped to explain that back when I let you know Tess was taking Diana because it would have explained why she didn’t remember it the next day, but I digress. The movie theater owner goes away, and Diana can only appeal to Dr. Berkhoff’s senses. She tries to say that maybe the experiments didn’t work, but Dr. Berkhoff, perhaps more than any other person on this show besides Isabelle, is dedicated to what he believes is his destiny. He believes that any problem with the experiment are because he is a bad subject, but his mind is still sound, and he knows that his science and his work are valid, and Diana can help him prove that.
Just as we think it is over for Diana, NTAC comes storming in. Diana had put her medical bracelet in the pocket of the movie theater owner. He saw the name and saw “NTAC” and made the call. It looks like it is all over for Kevin and Tess because Tess is immediately tranquilized, and she is not able to mind control in her sleep. All of that saves Diana, but Berkhoff makes a run for it. Since the place is surrounded, nobody is in a rush to take him down.
On second thought, he looks more like Norv Turner
Kevin makes it outside only to find himself surrounded, but this guy didn’t create the 4400 because he was an idiot. He had grabbed a syringe of adrenaline as he left, and with everybody around him staring, used it to stab Tess. It might have hurt her for a minute, but it was plenty to counteract the tranquilizer she just had. Tess wakes up, sees what is happening, and gets all of the officers to put down their guns. She and Berkhoff get away, but it doesn’t seem like NTAC is too worried. Tess will soon be off her meds and won’t be able to help him, and the doctors estimate he has only days to live. In fact, maybe he isn’t even going to be the savior the future humans were expecting. What if he’s just another mistake?
Maybe Berkhoff was a mistake, and judging by the evidence we received moments later, it looked like that was the case. As gross as Dr. Berkhoff’s face was, just imagined that it all fell off and fell on the floor, because that’s exactly what we see in a pile as we pan through some random gas station bathroom. If you were me, you probably said “OH GROSS!”, and then as we looked upon Berkhoff wiping his face in the mirror, were expecting a bloody mess…and you would be wrong.
Berkhoff wipes his face with a tile, and we don’t see Dr. Kevin “Freddy Kreuger” Berkhoff, but just regular Dr. Berkhoff. His face was completely back to normal. He is a genius! He leaves the bathroom and Tess is there waiting for him. I hope she can find a way to get her medications, because she is really great when she’s not crazy. These two have a quirky love story, but of all the relationships in the 4400 series, this might be the one people care the most about.
While Berkhoff may have been a genius and he obviously has what it takes to create the 4400, he is not the only one that has some skill. Remember how Isabelle had basically handed herself over to the Haspell group, and they have been studying her abilities. They’ve also been extracting pure promicin for her body. They might not have the genius of Kevin Berkhoff, but with enough promicin to last for years, they will be able to make a lot of mistakes along the way and keep going strong.
While those twists were pretty good, I think perhaps another one was the most interesting. Richard looks like he has been able to home his telekinetic ability. He is taking knives and sends them hurtling towards a table. He always said that he can concentrate more when he is mad or upset, and are there any guesses what is making him so focused this time around? Pictures of his daughter Isabelle. If Shawn isn’t able to get things done through marriage, maybe he’ll take things into his own hands.
Well, next week (actually tomorrow since I got this up so late) is the big wedding. Considering what Richard has been practicing, it’s going to be very interesting when it’s time for him to give his daughter away. I also wonder who is going to be the best man. Maybe they’ll let Kyle out of prison to put on a tux? And the maid of honor? Where do you think they’ll register? So many questions. I’m sure that whatever happens, it will set up a very interesting final month of the season.
What did you think of this episode?