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Project Blue Book - The Men in Black - Review

Project Blue Book “The Men in Black” was written by Emily Brochin and directed by Wendy Stanzler, whose other credits include Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., This is Us and Arrow. This episode picks up where we left off last week with Hynek’s (Aidan Gillen) abduction by the Fixer – or William (Ian Tracey) as we discover in the episode. The episode finally fills in the blanks on William and Tracey gives an excellent performance as we see his layers peeled back. The episode also features Mimi (Laura Mennell) as the real hero – and a nice team up between Banks (Jarod Haynes) and Quinn (Michael Malarkey).

Hynek wakes up in an airplane hanger with William who is angry that Hynek didn’t follow his instructions and go back to his old life. He allows Hynek to call Mimi and listens to the conversation. I loved that it was clear that Mimi knew something was wrong as soon as Hynek told her to kiss Joel (Nicholas Holmes) good night.

William then tells Hynek about Maury Island – the case that is based on real events – when Ernest Reed (Bradford Tatum) was bringing in his fishing traps when a donut shaped silver craft appeared overhead. It was silent until it seemed to be in distress and he started being pelted with metal fragments. Naturally, Reed later recanted his story – and William was there in the shadows. The object that Hynek stole for William was found by Reed and proves his story was actually true.

William tells Hynek that he’s been grooming him for first contact because he’s going to use Hynek’s reputation to get the world to believe him. William, after all, doesn’t exist. He presents Hynek with a black trench coat like all the others, so that he won’t stand out in a crowd! And I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought of Men In Black – even without the prompt of the episode title!

Hynek is pretty understandably angry with William for pistol whipping him and kidnapping him for starters, but William thinks that he should be grateful for being chosen and all the help he’s given him. Hynek wants to know how William knew about Washington, and William tells Hynek that he knows who he is – he knows Banks took him to the lab. He tells Hynek that he escaped with some others from the lab.

Meanwhile, Mimi goes to Quinn and convinces him that Hynek and her “unofficial code” means that Hynek is in danger. Quinn tries to keep Mimi in the dark, but she’s having none of it. She does agree to stay on the base with Joel to be safe. Once Quinn leaves, Mimi asks Faye (Jill Morrison) if she can see the Blue Book reports – so that she can help. Faye can’t let her – but then offers to take Joel on a tour of the base for an hour. Women have to stick together, right!!?!

Quinn goes to Banks, who confirms who William is. He tells Quinn that William was part of the program and that he is very dangerous, but he was before his own time. He tells Quinn that William had a theory about the program and it’s connection to aliens. William felt that they were conduits who could communicate with aliens. Quinn wants to get help from Rebecca (Hayley McLaughlin) to find Hynek, but Banks insists that she can’t see William. Quinn suggests that they ask her to find Hynek.

William takes Hynek to Reed as they need more pieces from the craft. Reed denies that it happened, and William threatens to shoot him. Hynek jumps in between and tries to convince Reed to take them to where it is. I loved that Hynek pulled some scientific mumbo-gumbo (yes, I know it’s true mumbo-gumbo) about tides and how Reed is valuable as someone familiar with the area in addition to knowing where the incident happened. He convinces William not to shoot him, but Hynek knows that William will shoot Reed to silence him as soon as he gets what he wants. When they get to the docks, Hynek helps Reed escape on another boat.

Banks and Quinn go to Rebecca – and of course she’s under Quinn’s handsome spell! However, she seems to draw him only random shapes. I loved Quinn saying that he needed Hynek’s help to find Hynek based on the chicken scratch that he’s looking at! However, Quinn figures out on his own to stack the pictures and suddenly, he’s looking at the artifact!

Quinn won’t confirm to Banks that it’s the very thing that Hynek stole. Banks is furious – he’s put his own career on the line! – and Quinn finally admits it. Quinn calls the base and Mimi picks up. She’s put all the pieces together. She thinks it’s William and that it’s all about the artifact. But she’s also connected the dots to the 1947 incident near Maury Island AND the first sighting of the men in black! She tells Quinn and Banks where to go.

Meanwhile, on Reed’s boat we get a terrific scene with William and Hynek. Tracey is simply wonderful in this scene as we finally see the stoic, emotionless fa├žade pulled away. William is incredulous that after everything that he’s shown Hynek, Hynek still doesn’t trust him. He tells Hynek that he was part of a remote viewing program. He had to “watch” while bombs were dropped during the war. He could see and feel what was happening to the victims. He’s clearly been severely traumatized by it and suffers from PTSD. William insists that no one will ever believe him, but they will believe Hynek – as Hynek has amply demonstrated in debunking so many incidents.

They reach the spot – which is helpfully marked by a glowing light from below. The divers go in, and Hynek is still the naysayer – no way to know it’s the spot, could be glowing algae, blah, blah, blah. And then the marine radio starts playing music – taking us right back to the very first episode and the fighter jet. The lights go out, the divers’ rope goes taunt, and the ship begins to be pulled over – and did anyone else immediately think of Jaws???!!! The rope breaks before Hynek can cut it, but one of the divers makes it to the surface – and he has some of the metal. He’s terrified and tells them the other diver is gone and to get out of there.

Hynek is skeptical, insisting it can all be explained by science. William tells him that his skepticism isn’t appreciated there, and the diver is furious.

As Banks and Quinn drive to Maury Island, we get a bit more background on how Banks ended up in intelligence when he started out as a marine. Naturally, there’s some fun air force vs marine banter here. Banks tells Quinn that he showed a talent for numbers and statistics when he helped his Commanding Officer win the baseball pool. He ended up getting sent into intelligence rather than combat in the war. Quinn, interestingly, insists that they shouldn’t fear what they don’t understand.

When they get to Maury, the Sheriff (Peter Graham-Gudreau) tries to disrespect Quinn at first – and Quinn, naturally, is having none of it! It turns out that Reed has made his way there and identifies Hynek. He says that he was with the men who kidnapped him but helped him escape. There’s a spotting of the men in black and they find the boat they used to come ashore.

Banks is starting to doubt Hynek. Why didn’t he escape with Reed? Hynek did steal classified information. But Quinn finds Hynek’s notebook stuck in the boat – there’s a note to Quinn with his coordinates. He knew Quinn would be hot on his tail! Quinn allays Banks doubts – Hynek is leading them to William.

The episode comes to an exciting climax with the standoff at the airstrip. Hynek wants to know where they’re going – and William tells him Antarctica! Of course, we saw him there at the end of last season. He seemed to be using the artifact to charge up and obelisk – maybe he needs more of the metal to power it up more for a stronger signal? William puts the metal in a case, but Hynek worries it will crash the plane as happened with the other artifact. William insists that it’s safe in the case. Is Hynek stalling?

Hynek wants to look at the metal, and William just wants him on the plane. He’s angry that he’s risked his life for Hynek because he just wants Hynek to believe. Hynek points out that it’s not what he believes that’s important but what he can actually prove.

Quinn and Banks arrive, and Quinn wants to go in shooting. Banks tells him that he’s not a cowboy – and doesn’t carry a gun everywhere! Banks goes in first, but naturally, it ends up in a gun standoff. William gets away – but not before Quinn shoots a bunch of holes in his very shiny plane.

The three take a commercial plane home. Hynek worries about what they should tell the Generals. Quinn insists that they should keep it strictly between the three of them. Banks tells them that the CIA will make it like it never happened. And that they are hunting William down. Hynek remarks that Banks and Quinn made a good team. When Banks goes for ice, Quinn tells Hynek that he had him worried. Hynek says that it’s all his fault and that he shouldn’t have let William take him in – he could be the one on the run. Quinn points out that he’s not. Hynek wants to know how Quinn found him…

And we cut to Mimi asleep on Hynek’s desk at the base. Quinn tells her that they couldn’t have found Hynek without her! Quinn gets a call and wants to talk to Hynek in private. Both Mimi and Hynek say no. William’s plane has crashed, but there’s no sign of him or the cargo.

And then the Generals finally make an appearance, showing up with boxes and boxes of files. The Robertson Panel has been announced and the CIA is putting the Air force on trial over Project Blue Book! Harding (Neal McDonough) tells them to read all of it and to make themselves bullet proof or Project Blue Book is dead! FYI – the Robertson Panel is another historical event – look it up!

This was another great episode. I love the story arc that they are giving Mimi this year. It’s too bad that the Susie (Ksenia Solo) storyline seems to have stalled. It’s really not what’s interesting this year at all. I’m loving the chemistry between Haynes and Malarkey. I was pretty sure that William couldn’t be killed that easily – and I’m looking forward to more terrific performances from Tracey. What did you think of the episode? Do you believe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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