Today's review of WaTchers: The Virtual Series is the Second Episode of the first Season:
Story by: CN Winters and Susan Carr
Written by: Susan Carr
Directed by: CN Winters and Susan Carr
Produced by: CN Winters and Susan Carr
Edited by: Kate
Sound Department: Steff
Art Director: Chris Cook
Artists: Chris Cook, David Zahir, Chantal, Mytryk, Cynthia Taz, Tori, Coen, Joe, CN Winters
This episode concerns a lake monster roaming the depths of Lake Erie. The teaser reminds me of the fishermen scene from 'Jaws'... the ones that were on the dock trying to catch the shark with a side of beef. This scene, however, takes place in the water and our 'monster hunters' don't fair as well as the two guys in the movie....
But there's also a problem for Faith when she ends up pulled over on her motorcycle by the police and they find her warrant out for escaping that California prison in AtS. Ooops!
Faith is in a bit of trouble when she's pulled over.
Act One continues the theme of dealing with the past as Andrew finds the nerve to apologize for what happened to Tara (even though he had nothing to do with that) and Willow apogolizes for her past treatment of him and for killing Warren. She understands that Andrew really cared about him. Andrew also surprises her by deciding he wants to learn from her about Wicca and to join her coven.
Act One also concerns the on-going operations to get the new headquarters in shape and we learn that Robson survived his brush with the Bringers and is still in London (when Caleb helped destroy the Council). Giles also learns that another Watcher may have survived the chaos as well... one Rowena Allister (Michelle Williams) who we met in Episode One. It seems that Ro was the Watcher for the potential that was killed in Instanbul in BTVS: Lessons.
During an impromptu meeting with Giles and Robin over breakfast Willow mentions a report of a missing boat to which Robin asks, "another one?" so we know this isn't an isolated incident. Looks like an investigation is called for!
Act One ends with a call from Faith at the Toledo police letting Willow know she's been arrested.
Act Two mostly deals with getting Faith out of hot water. Easily done when your backup is a computer hacking genius-witch. There is some very nice scenes here between Willow and Faith dealing with the changes the one time 'rogue-Slayer' has gone through. And there's some honest heart-to-heart regarding Willow's less than unshakeable, uh- faith, in Faith. Great dialog between these two as they face more of the past and forge onto the here and now and Faith's plans for the future and her involvement with the Council.
There is a really funny scene that takes place later in the afternoon between Willow and Giles... he's taken to wearing contact lenses in place of his once-ubiquitous glasses. Willow mentions that Faith is returning to Cleveland on her bike with Robin and they may be making an unscheduled stop for nookie. Giles is, of course, uncomfortable with the sex talk and rubs his face (an okay picture of this accompanies the story).
Willow says, "You really should stop wearing contacts altogether. I can feel your need to polish your glasses all the way over here."
It's a great line.
The rest of Act Two regards finding info on the possible Lake Beast, but we also see some of the Kennedy/Faith dynamic that will only continue to grow throughout the series.
Act Three: Investigation on the lake. It's mostly dialog and we find out that Kennedy can't swim, which for some reason, she chose not to share before accompanying the team. They're just convincing themselves that there isn't a critter after all when the act ends on the monster's appearence.
More funnyness... this time by Andrew - "Oh God!" Andrew continued, "She’s gonna bite off the back of the boat and swallow Giles like he’s ‘Orca’ Captain Robert Shaw!"
Act Four: Kennedy has been swept overboard (thankfully wearing a lifejacket to keep her from drowning) but Bessie the monster is quickly closing as Act 4 begins:
Good Points: The dialog and characterizations are, again, great. The interaction between Willow/Andrew, Willow/Giles and Kenn/Faith making for some of the best lines. The humor comes from the characters and just 'sounds' totally right. We already get a sense that Kennedy and Faith are going to be quite a team and Kenn is written sympathetically and even this early in the series the writers do a better job with her character than they did on BTVS.
Bad Points: Act Three does get a bit draggy as far as plot goes, but Act Four makes up for this. Some of the art is dodgy again... but only some.
Verdict: For the dialog and characterizations, this one gets a 3.0 out of 5. The plot itself is sort of average, though the creature is nicely done (the pic above). And we deal with the "Faith is an escapee from prison" issue that needed to be dealt with somehow considering she's running around in public a lot. It was, maybe, smoothed over a bit too glibly.
Check out WaTchers: The Virtual Series at www.thewatcherscouncil.net