Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Porject Blue Book - Operation Paperclip - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Porject Blue Book - Operation Paperclip - Review

Share on Reddit

Project Blue Book “Operation Paperclip” was written by the team of David O’Leary and Thania St John and was directed by Pete Travis. St John’s other credits include Grimm, Eureka, and Roswell. The tension, action, and intrigue all ramped up in this episode. I also really liked how the different threads started to weave into each other. It looks like the show isn’t pulling any punches on where it stands as far as the existence of aliens – I mean, did anyone really believe that was a monkey?

It’s never explicitly stated, but I’m assuming that Hynek (Aiden Gillen) was imagining himself on that plane at the beginning of the episode. We then pick up the action on a Saturday in suburbia when they are having an Air Raid Drill. Hynek and Mimi (Laura Menell) take very different views on how to handle it. Hynek knows as a scientist that the “bomb shelter” they have wouldn’t protect them. It’s also shocking to see that people were told to tape the windows and lock the doors on their way out! There’s no way anyone who knew anything about the nuclear bomb would have thought that would do more than what Mimi is trying to do for Joel (Nicholas Holmes) – give him a sense of security. Hynek points out that a boy should be outside playing on a Saturday afternoon – not worrying about a nuclear attack.

Hynek and Quinn (Michael Malarkey) head out to talk to the one witness from the ground – a hog farmer named Davis (Scott Perrie). All of his hogs died the night he saw whatever it was hovering over his property. Quinn suggests it looked like a rocket and as soon as Davis agrees, he brings the interview to a close and is ready to leave – he knows what Davis saw.

Quinn is convinced – and he’s not wrong – that this all has to do with Operation Paperclip: the US government’s project, spearheaded by former Nazi, Wernher von Braun (Thomas Kretschmann). The “official” story is that von Braun is working on the space program, but it’s pretty obvious that Quinn is suggesting he’s still working on military weapons – just for the US instead of the Germans.

I did like the scene of von Braun shooting the tv show about the space program – he certainly seems earnest enough about it – but Kretschmann does a great job playing the various layers of von Braun – who was another historical figure.

Quinn and Hynek head to Huntsville, Alabama and the military installation that von Braun is working out of. The two are denied entry, and very uncharacteristically, Quinn runs the barrier and the two are arrested! I loved the reveal we get of Quinn’s past. He really does have a hatred of Nazis because he was one of the first on the scene to liberate people from the death camps after the war.

After von Braun talks to Harding (Neal McDonough), he releases Quinn and Hynek. He’s familiar with Hynek’s work and compliments him on it – and even offers him a job. He then shows both Hynek and Quinn the prototype rocket that he’s been working on. There’s a gorgeous shot of the rocket reflected in Hynek’s goggles as it blasts off. He tells them that the local air traffic controllers will even hold flights for their launches. Hynek appears more impressed by the demonstration than Quinn – who gets a call from the Pentagon – he’s been suspended for breaking into the base and endangering the space program. In the end, Hynek is unconvinced by von Braun’s explanation that the rocket could have appeared to be hovering – and as always goes off to make more calculations.

Hynek goes back to the farm alone and someone has bought Davis replacement hogs. The hogs, like Hynek’s job offer – are clearly meant to shut him up. Hynek makes a number of calculations on the farm and determines that the rocket couldn’t possibly have been there. Something makes the hair on his arms stand up – and Hynek discovers “crop circles” burnt into a field. This episode really does provide a lot of unexplainable evidence.

Hynek goes to a bar and finds Quinn drinking. Quinn tells him that he’s not in a hurry to get back to have Harding chew him out. Hynek has also missed his appointed plane. Hynek tells Quinn that von Braun’s explanation doesn’t hold water – and the two speculate that von Braun must be working on the alternate propulsion system that he was working on for Hitler during the war. Once again, Quinn tells Hynek that he’s so smart, he’s dumb – right before Quinn starts a fight and they are both arrested again.

Only this time, it’s a plan by Quinn to get back on the base. Pfc Wakefield (Matt Bellefleur) is in on it and lets them go. I really liked how they ramped up the tension here by flashing back and forth with the action happening at home and Mimi being confronted by Henry Fuller (Matt O’Leary). On the base, Hynek and Quinn find what at first look like bodies hanging but are just “space” – or flight suits. They keep going and find what looks like an alien in a tank. Is this definitive proof? Quinn pushes Hynek asking him “It’s not human, right?” Hynek takes pictures.

Hynek and Quinn take off but are surrounded by men in hats – who turn out to be von Braun’s men. His explanation is that the body in the tank is a monkey’s – one that he sent to space and that they keep to study the effect on its muscles. Quinn tells him outright that its bullshit. Hynek, however, plays it all a bit cooler, and seems to be impressed that von Braun sent a monkey into space – but he also calls him on his explanation for the rocket, telling him his math doesn’t add up. von Braun tells him that he can’t tell him what’s really going on – and Hynek lets him have it, telling him that von Braun clearly isn’t interested in real science anymore. He’s just interested in using it for his own political gains.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, Mimi has confronted Fuller on the street. We see that it is Fuller from the first episode, and he’s trying to get in touch with Hynek. Mimi is afraid and goes through Hynek’s office, finding the locked box but nothing to help her find him. Susie (Ksenia Solo) arrives, and Mimi spills the beans that Hynek is investigating flying saucers for the government. Susie suggests going to the base to try to get information on where he is.

At the base, Mimi isn’t getting anywhere and only learns that Hynek missed his plane, so Susie steps in – until she “over does it” and needs to go to the washroom to gather herself – which is an excuse to break into Quinn’s office and take pictures of all the evidence on the walls. She drops Mimi off at home after getting her to promise to stay somewhere else. Of course, Fuller is waiting for Mimi…

Susie is developing the pictures she took and makes a call as “Clover” – her real name or a code name? – looking for Mikeal. She hears what’s happening at Mimi’s house. Fuller is hearing messages on a transistor radio that only sounds like static to Mimi. Fuller becomes increasingly agitated that she can’t hear it – and calls her part of the problem. He shows her where someone has clearly done some kind of experiment on him. He insists that the messages are from aliens who have come to help save them from themselves by not letting them blow each other up with the bomb – it’s a nice way to fold all the storylines together. We see that the government is placating the general public – through air raid drills and television shows, and buying them hogs – and we see that the military has a definite agenda.

Susie arrives with a gun in the nick of time and Fuller runs off. Susie explains to Mimi that she has the gun because she and her husband – Cal – were mugged in New York. She also explains that she came back because she didn’t think Mimi should be alone.

In the final scene, we see Harding meet with von Braun as a very reluctant soldier is dragged out in one of the flight suits from earlier to be forced into what looks like a flying saucer. Is this alien technology or that alternative propulsion system? When it eventually takes off/disappears, it leaves the same marks as Hynek found in the field. It seems that von Braun is giving the orders, and he tells Harding to re-hire Quinn. He also clearly vastly underestimates Hynek. He tells Harding to give Hynek a small victory – and he’ll never know that he lost the war. We know that Hynek will follow the math and the questions until he is satisfied. He won’t be distracted by job offers!

I thought this was a great episode. It comes very close to confirming the existence of aliens, while still providing just a sliver of doubt. Could that have been a monkey in the tank? Was it too big? Could it have been human? I loved the insights we get into both Quinn and Hynek – and that the two definitely seem to be getting closer to being on the same page – which isn’t the same page as Harding. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News