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Project Blue Book - Broken Arrow - Review

Project Blue Book “Broken Arrow” was written by Linda Burstyn and was directed by Norma Bailey. All the female power was behind the camera as we don’t see either Mimi (Laura Mennell) or Susie (Ksenia Solo) in the episode. I always love it when an episode actually features the location that they shoot at, and this episode takes us to British Colombia for what looks like Quinn (Michael Malarkey) and Hynek’s (Aidan Gillen) final case together. It also brings us back to the cold war with a jolt. I kept thinking as the episode began that this really seemed like they could be looking for a way to wind up the series, but the episode ends on a happier note and Hynek and Quinn clearly aren’t done – and have good friends in high places!

The teaser for the episode involves a plane wandering into Canadian airspace. The pilot – Yuri (Michael Filipowich) – and co-pilot – Alex (Willem van der Vegt) don’t respond to Canadian Air Traffic control. They then encounter a UFO directly in their flight path, lose control of their aircraft, and both disappear from radar.

Hynek goes to Quinn’s apartment with the case. Quinn’s apartment is a mess due to the FBI trashing it looking for listening devices. Quinn is also a mess – both because he clearly did have feelings for Susie and because he is disappointed that the Air Force could ever doubt his loyalty. Hynek assures Quinn that Susie had everyone fooled – and I think we saw enough glimpses to realize that she did have real feelings for both Quinn and Mimi.

There are some really great scenes between Hynek and Quinn in this episode. I really liked Hynek trying to make Quinn feel better and finally telling him that he knows who Quinn is and looks up to him. Quinn answers “me too” – which is perfectly, typically male of him! Hynek tells Quinn that he’s considering taking a sabbatical and returning to his research – ufology needs a lot more study – but first, he’s got this new case that just came in – and he hasn’t been informed through official channels that Quinn is on administrative leave… plus, he’s bought the airline tickets!

In BC, the two meet with Vice Marshall Christopher Thomas (Michael Shanks) who is apparently a big fan of their work. He’s even been advocating for a Canadian program for years. He tells them about the incident and that it looked like the second aircraft was hunting the first. They received a transmission an hour after the first from 60,000 feet with the words “they’re taking us.” This is never really explained in the episode, however.

They do know that the plane crashed and have a 200 square mile search radius. Quinn and Hynek decide to go to look for witnesses on the ground at a logging outpost that has no communication with the outside. Thomas lends them a sea plane, which Quinn is easily able to fly.

We get another great scene with the two as they fly north. Quinn is considering going back to flying – and Hynek remarks on how much he clearly likes it. Hynek isn’t sure if he’ll go back to teaching. Quinn remarks that they made quite a team – and then he lets Hynek get a taste for flying.

Meanwhile, back in Ohio, Harding (Neal McDonough) is having a hard time getting Susie to crack. Valentine (Michael Harney) puts an end to Harding’s babbling by telling him that the UK passed on a transmission that the CIA decoded. They have to brief the President immediately…. And then they head to BC to talk to Thomas.

At the logging camp, Jean (Kelly-Ruth Mercier) tells them that she saw the plane crack in half and crash and tells them where to look. Hynek points out that it’s in the opposite direction of the last transmission and suggests that they get back in the air to call the base. Quinn does call, and they redirect the search. Hynek sees part of the plane from the air and they land, finding an empty parachute hanging in a tree – and then Yuri on the ground.

As soon as he wakes up, Yuri is frantic to know where the plane is. He tells them that they had cargo flying from Greenland to Alaska – which makes no sense. Quinn knows something feels off, but Hynek is ready to brush it off as shock from the crash. They find the front of the plane and remove Alex from it. Quinn goes to look for a medical kit and discovers Russian in the cockpit, eliciting a “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” from him! Quinn calls Hynek in and tells him it’s a Russian bomber – and of course, Yuri follows them in and pulls a gun on them, dropping his American accent.

Hynek tells him that hurting them won’t help him, and Yuri explains that he doesn’t intend to hurt them – he needs their help to find the rest of the plane. Quinn is furious when he finds out that they were actually transporting a live nuclear bomb – and that’s the broken arrow of the title – a missing nuclear bomb. Yuri points out that if it goes off, it will start WWIII. The plan had been for them to test Canadian radar – get picked up and then turn back. Alex tells them that whatever they saw, it felt like it was trying to take the bomb from them. Yuri insists that they have to find the bomb and try to use the internal safety switch to turn it off – so it doesn’t arm and go off…. Assuming it isn’t already armed.

As they search, Alex tells Quinn that he fought in WWII and was decorated 5 times – Quinn tells him that he was decorated 6 times. Alex asks why they are investigating UFOs and if he believes in aliens because he does. Quinn tells him that he’s doing it to protect his country – but doesn’t really answer the second question.

Meanwhile, Hynek walks with Yuri. Russia has its own history with UFOs. Hynek asks if there were increased sightings around military bases after the war, and Yuri says yes. I liked how they showed that the Russians and Americans weren’t so very different. Quinn interrupts, however, and tells Hynek to watch what he says. Hynek insists that he’s trying to build trust. He is also happy that the entire incident supports his theory that the UFOs are actually there to protect them from themselves.

Of course, they find the bomb. There’s no way to know if it’s armed except going in to check. Quinn doesn’t trust Yuri to do it, and Yuri calls him a stupid American, pointing out that they don’t want a war either! The argument escalates with Yuri pulling the gun again, and Hynek steps in to stop it – calling them both idiots. He tells them that he’ll do it because he has the most experience with delicate machinery.

As Hynek prepares to go in, Quinn tells him that if it doesn’t go well, he just wants to tell him… and Hynek cuts him off telling him that’s not helping! It was a nice moment of humor. Hynek goes in with Alex giving him directions. The dial is stuck so there’s no way to know if it’s armed or not. Hynek will have to go inside – the much riskier method. He’s warned again and again to be careful and that the charge could kill him. We see him being clumsy with no effect.

Meanwhile, the Generals have informed Thomas about the broken arrow and the searchers have found the front half of the plane.

Hynek disconnects the 32 wires and comes out to find Yuri with the gun on Quinn again. Now they don’t need them so he’s prepared to kill them. This is going to mean war. Hynek tells him that he doesn’t have to do it. Yuri’s plan is to try to make it home in their sea plane. Hynek then pretends he has the core from the bomb and throws it at them, getting Yuri to drop the gun. It turns out that it’s empty – it’s too light to be full of plutonium! Quinn tells them that the Kremlin was testing them – not Canadian radar. He assumes there never was a live bomb, but Hynek is still convinced that the UFO disarmed it.

Yuri seems ready to be nice again and shake hands, but this time Quinn doesn’t trust him and holds the gun on him. Hynek still tries for understanding and is just convincing the others that if they have things in common – like not wanting war – and can get along, maybe there is hope for their countries. But they’re interrupted by the arrival of the Generals and the army.

Harding is pleased and tells them that they want a full report when they get back. He commends them both and tells them that they were heroic! He also tells them that their work is more important than ever. Clearly, catching two Russian spies puts Quinn in the clear.

Hynek points out that they never did find the rest of the plane. But the two are just happy that they are back in business!

Back at the Base, it’s the start of a new day. Quinn is peeved that Hynek beat him in to work, but the two turn immediately to the new cases that are piling up – after Faye (Jill Morrison) welcomes them back. The two are interrupted by the appearance of Senator Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson)! I loved how everyone was so flustered to see him. He’s there because of a developing situation in the North Atlantic. A triangular craft has been spotted – but it came OUT of the water! He wants Project Blue Book on it… and there’s our set up for the final episode of the season!

I thought this was a good solid episode. It brought us back around to the cold war in an interesting way, and it also got the team back on solid ground. I loved the scenes between Quinn and Hynek in particular in this episode. Of course, there’s been no word if this is the final season, but I’m cautiously hopeful that we’ll get a third season. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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