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Act 3: Electric City

 

Review by Brian Shea

August 11, 2012

 

Summary

 

Dorothy's frantic piano playing wakes Roger up. When Roger confronts her, she says his breakfast is cold and he stayed in bed later than usual. Roger is still upset. At the breakfast table Dorothy drinks a cup of coffee. Roger says she is just imitating humans and it is ultimately pointless. Suddenly the power goes out. Norman goes to turn on their private generator. Dorothy lights up the room with a unit of her head, angering Roger even further. Norman returns and tells Roger that he had forgotten about a guest he had let in. Hearing that the guest was let in without his permission, Roger knows it is a beautiful woman and heads over to see her. The guest is a blonde haired woman named Casey Jenkins from the power management division of the Paradigm Corporation. Roger is hired to make sure an unused hydro-electric power plant is turned back online. Roger heads out in his car to Electric City, where his skills as a negotiator are needed due to the residents trying to prevent redevelopment. Roger thinks how it is unlike him to take a job from the Paradigm Corporation that runs the city and think it's odd that they care about power outside of the domes. Roger looks for the power plant, driving past a large dam. After getting out of his car he spots it over the water. Roger finds the gate to the power plant chained and padlocked and is quickly held at gunpoint by several armed locals. Roger is brought before several dozen more people. One of the men talks to Roger, telling him God will reign down his lightning of wrath if they active the power plant. Roger doesn't believe it. He spots the lights on in the power plant as he departs and thinks there must be an underground connection to a hill near the power plant. Spotting a cabin on the hill, Roger walks up the hill towards it. He thinks Dorothy may have been useful, since she could have lighted the path for him. An old man hides behind some trees as Roger approaches the cabin and heads towards a set of stairs to the basement. Roger is struck by the butt of the man's rifle, knocking him out.

 

Roger awakens later, tied to a chair within the cabin. The old man brings in some buckets of water which Roger assists him with after quickly untying himself. Roger makes the man some coffee and asks him why he lives alone up on the hill. The old man isn't forthcoming. Later, Roger watches as the man chops some wood outside. He walks around and hears a creak under the rug, revealing a trap door. Roger heads downstairs to the basement where he finds a smashed laboratory. Suddenly the power turns on. Roger is surprised, since he didn't do anything. The old man gets angry with Roger, saying his friends activated the turbines, but Roger says he came here alone. The old man says he has to stop the turbines or something terrible will happen. Roger tells him the job should be left to a professional like himself. Roger heads through the tunnel towards the power plant where he spots Casey, who tells him he can call her Angel. Suddenly a moaning emits from down the tunnel and electricity sparks through the tunnel. Water starts leaking into the tunnel, so Roger and Angel flee back to the surface. Roger wonders where the old man went. Angel points to a shape heading through the water. The sky becomes covered with dark clouds. Roger believes the serpentine shape heading through the water originated from a smashed tank he found in the old man's laboratory. The serpent rises out of the water and draws electricity from the power plant. Angel flees saying her job is over and this is none of her business. Roger calls Big O through his wrist watch. Roger runs over the dam. Angel drives by in her car saying they should get together some time if he survives. Roger jumps off the dam into the arms of Big O. The serpent follows Angel's car, shooting a bolt of lightning at it from its mouth. Angel's car comes to a dead halt as the serpent draws closer. Big O rises from the ground where Angel's car is and heads towards the serpent. The serpent wraps itself around Big O and starts shocking it with electricity. Big O punches it, knocking it away. The serpent gathers further power from the power plant. Roger punches the serpent but the power generated by its mouth shields the blast. The serpent wraps its mouth around Big O and further shocks it with electricity. Roger notices the old man rowing across the water in a raft. The old man arrives at the power plant and climbs up a ladder on the side of it. Roger realizes he is going to shut down the power plant. Big O pushes the serpent off of him and the old man shuts down the turbines, deactivating the power plant. With its electric power gone, Big O shoots a laser at the serpent, vaporizing it. Electric energy is released as the serpent dies, lighting up the city nearby. Roger explains how he destroyed the power plant before he left and that the old man, Sven Maurisky, had created the serpent. Paradigm recovered a sample of it, but Roger doesn't believe they'll try to recreate it. Dorothy frantically plays the piano again. Roger tells her again that it's pointless to imitate humans causing a change in her style. Roger asks Dorothy why she is playing the blues and Dorothy says she feels like it. As the episode ends 'Casey' (Angel's) torn up business card is seen in the trash.

 

Commentary

 

The first of a long run of standalone episodes, this is one of the weaker Big O episodes, but is still fairly entertaining. The main story of the power plant and the serpent is overshadowed by the scenes at the beginning and end of the episode featuring Dorothy and it would have been nice to have more of her in this episode. Despite being a robot she does show emotion with her jealousy towards Angel in this episode. Speaking of Angel she makes her first appearance in this episode, and will play a major role throughout the rest of the series. Her selfish nature is apparent from the start but she gets bailed out by Roger and the Big O. As with many of the episodes, the action with Big O is rather short, something I think works for the best since it provides more time for character and plot development.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 3 The Big O Episode 3
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