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Project Blue Book - The Roswell Incident Part 2 - Review

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Project Blue Book “The Roswell Incident – Part II” was written by Sean Jablonski and directed by Deran Sarafin. The episode picks up right where we left off last week with Part I, and while it winds up the incident in Roswell, it leaves us still wondering about what really happened there. Was that alien autopsy real or a fake? What is Hynek’s (Aiden Gillen) endgame? Tensions between Harding (Neal McDonough) and Hynek continue to rise. Overall, I really liked the twists and turns of this episode.

There was lots of fun dialogue in this episode. I loved that as they all poured out of Walker Air Base in response to the siren, Quinn (Michael Malarkey) asks Harding what’s going on and Harding answers “something crashed” matter-of-factly and Quinn, nonplussed answers “again?”

They all rush into town and Hynek simply walks up to the downed craft because he recognizes it. Duncan Booker (Zach McGowan) appears out of the smoke – it’s his saucer. He confesses to sending the letters and setting the tires on fire. He also tells them that he’s not done yet – he wants revenge.

Harding interrogates him in a cell. Hynek asks why Duncan created all this chaos, saying he wants to know Duncan’s story so that they can combat it. Duncan relates that Harding came to him in 1947 and strong-armed him into silence. He wants the world to know what’s really going on. He still has a piece of the saucer and wants Harding to do the right thing and come on television and tell the truth. Naturally, that’s never going to happen. Harding sends Hynek and Quinn to Duncan’s house to search it.

On the drive there, Quinn tells Hynek to “stop that,” referring to Hynek over thinking things. Quinn insists that Duncan is clearly crazy. But Hynek isn’t interested in Duncan and doesn’t turn in to his house, instead continuing on to Stewart’s house. Quinn insists that they have orders – and Hynek points out that he isn’t in the military and therefore doesn’t have orders. He does stop the car when Quinn insists and gets out to walk – which is pretty hilarious.

Quinn gives in and does most of the digging around the dead tree on the hill that Stewart pointed them to. They find a sack filled with bones – and in another pretty funny scene – they take them to the local Funeral Parlor. It’s really early as Quinn pounds on the door. Hynek tells him he’s going to wake the dead – Quinn professes not to find it funny – but I agree with Hynek, it was! The Mortician (David MacKay) comes to the door and asks if someone is dead. Hynek holds up that bag and says yes, but they don’t know who!

Back at the base, Blackstone (Spencer Garrett) tells Harding that they didn’t find anything at Duncan’s house – and that Hynek and Quinn never showed up there. Harding then proceeds to waterboard Duncan for answers. Harding insists that he doesn’t enjoy doing it. This scene was a bit hard to watch. Duncan caves pretty quickly saying that what he really wants is money. Harding apologizes – and he does seem legitimately sorry. Duncan then offers to go on television and confess to the hoaxes in exchange for the money – so that he can’t change his story again.

The Mortician tells Hynek and Quinn that the bones aren’t human. He’s suspicious of them because they work for the Air Force, but Hynek wins him over by telling him that they don’t work for the military, they work for the people to find the truth. The Mortician goes on to tell them that there were five aliens – because they ordered five child-sized coffins. He tells them that the night of the crash in 1947, he was on the base as the ambulance driver to pick up an accident victim. While he was there a nurse rushed out of a room where it looked like an alien autopsy was going on and told him to get out!

Quinn is reluctant to give the story much weight as it’s all really a second hand story at best. The two finally make it back to the base. Lucky for them Harding is in a relatively good mood and doesn’t yell at them too much for not going to Duncan’s and invites them to have a drink with him, but not before telling the “Professor” to get an attitude adjustment.

Harding is waxing poetic about the Enola Gay, which was out of Roswell when Hynek calls him on it. It may have brought an end to the war, but it devastated Hiroshima. Harding insists it was justified and that it takes a special man to know the line between the unthinkable and the necessary. Hynek appears to be very drunk and calls Harding a coward. He then asks him how long he can believe in something he knows isn’t true… and then declares he has to urinate and leaves the room. Gillen and McDonough are both great in this scene.

Quinn tries to make light of it, but Harding is furious. Quinn asks to go after Hynek and make sure he’s ok – he clearly can’t hold his liquor. Harding tells him to go after him… and then tells Quinn to tell Hynek that he’s fired.

Quinn finds Hynek – who is quite sober and determined to break into the records room. Quinn has the key – he was planning to look all along. The find the records of those who were on duty that night and set out to track them down. It turns out that one of the nurses was none other than Judy Booker (Emily Tennnant) – she and Duncan were actually married. They find her about to leave – and she has a film with her. The film appears to be of an alien autopsy.

Quinn is shocked that aliens are real – Malarkey is really good in this scene. Hynek realizes that Judy was taking the film to the tv station. They had to be in on it too and this was how Duncan was planning on getting his revenge.

Back at the base, Harding has continued drinking. Valentine (Michael Harney) calls and tries to tell him to sober up – if he botches the television interview his career will be over and Project Blue Book will be shut down. Harding insists that he’s fine and he fixed it last time and is about to fix it again.

Meanwhile, Quinn and Hynek fight over what to do about the tape. Quinn insists that it’s classified government property and takes it to Harding. He asks for the truth before handing it over, but Harding won’t say anything. Quinn gives him the canister and all that’s in it is a cigarette package – Hynek has switched it out. Harding is angry and wants to know if it’s a joke.

Quinn goes back to Judy’s but Hynek has given her the tape and she’s headed for the television station. Quinn punches Hynek and then goes after Judy – but not before Hynek insists on getting in the car too. Quinn insists that maybe the world isn’t ready for the truth. This is where the episode breaks down for me.

We flash ahead to the television station. Harding is clearly still drunk. It was a bit funny when he wouldn’t let the makeup artist put any on him – like lipstick on a pig! Harding tells Duncan not to be nervous as they sit waiting for the cameras and go over what they will say.

The cameras roll as soon as Judy arrives with the tape. Poor Harding looks like a deer in the headlights as everything suddenly goes terribly wrong and they show the tape. And then suddenly, Hynek declares the tape is a fake and that it was filmed in this very television studio. It’s all a hoax to embarrass the government – and Harding. Furthermore, he’s ensured that the broadcast didn’t happen because he cut the feed. Now, there is a moment when they come in that the power flickers, but it didn’t really seem like he had time to do that. And if he thought the tape was a fake, why not tell Quinn sooner? Regardless, it does get him his job back, so maybe that was really all he wanted? Quinn asks why Hynek didn’t just let the tape play, but Hynek insists that you can’t base the truth on a lie.

They all head home, and both Quinn and Hynek have warm welcomes. Susie (Ksenia Solo) is waiting for Quinn in not much more than a very short trench coat – and it’s a nice segue to basing truth on a lie. She’s clearly manipulating him for information, but will it turn into more? Hynek comes home to find Mimi (Laura Menell) asleep on the couch. She was apparently waiting for him to get home too. Quinn won’t let Susie ask him a question and stops her with a kiss, whereas Hynek’s kiss is clearly going to lead to a discussion.

In the final scene, Valentine and Harding view the tape. Valentine says that in 1947 what they found was the results of experiments by Dr Mengele on children. Mengele is notorious for the experiments he conducted, making it sound plausible, but it also sounds like he’s trying to convince Harding, reminding Harding that Harding didn’t “fall for it” in 1947, so he shouldn’t now either. The tapes will be sealed up in a vault for now – and maybe released in ten years or so….

I wasn’t entirely convinced by Hynek’s about face here, but otherwise I really enjoyed the mystery and humor in this episode. It seems like season two is going to be visiting a few of the very famous cases and we go from Roswell to Area 51 next week. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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