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This is one of those episodes that has a lot I like, and a lot that I felt could have been better.
One of the latter was, of course, the "off" portrayal of the Dream Time. As Todd already said, the Dream Time is basically Antiquity. In that view, the Shaman's statement that the gargoyles come from the Dream Time makes sense. That being said, I DID like the battle that took place in the Dream Time (more on that later).
One thing that really struck me this time around was just how CALM everyone was when the Matrix started to go overboard. I mean, Fox and Anastasia are just calmly talking about the "Grey Goo Scenario" and how the world will end in just this straight (and sometimes rather flippant) manner while everyone else largely just stands looking serious. I mean, it's like everyone's going "Hmmm, we'll all most likely be dead in less than half an hour and the world will end...Hmmmm." In the case of Anastasia it kind of makes more sense (or will after will learn about her "double life") but with everyone else? Elisa seems to be the only one even close to panicking.
And, of course, the whole "Law and Order" thing.
But there was a lot about this I still liked.
Dingo was the big one. I'd been wondering what happened to him since GRIEF, and now here he is, trying to start over. I liked this--we've already seen good people "fall" throughout the series (Demona, of course, but also Macbeth, the Captain and even Renard for an episode), and some of those people redeemed themselves, of course. However, this was the first time that someone who we first saw as a villain actively tried to reform of his own volition. Not only did Dingo prove himself perhaps one of the smarter and more able-bodied members of the Pack when they were human, but also the most sane and...well, like you said, Greg, HUMAN. Actually, Dingo showed even more than the "quest for redemption"--his discussion about the nanites and comparing them to enzymes and the like indicated that he was probably far smarter than anyone ever gave him credit for.
On the subject of that conversation, two things that always stood out: Dingo's mention of Coyote (more continutity, and a bit of added depth to Coyote), and the "voice reverb" on the helmet. The way it subtly changes Dingo's voice right in mid-sentence when he puts it on (kudos to the sound team).
Also, Dingo's utilization of his suit was great. I loved how he used it as a sort of missile against Goliath by remote control. The removal of the helmet was a bit different here than in UPGRADE (Dingo had some sort of yellow hood, the front of the helmet rises like a mask, etc.).
Moving away from Dingo for a bit, I was also happy to finally meet Anastasia Renard, and extremely pleased to see a visibly pregnant Fox. That last part was important, simply because in most visual mediums there's a little "If you don't see it, it didn't happen" mentality, so this made Fox's pregnancy that much more REAL.
The Matrix itself was fairly interesting. I must admit, I was a bit surprised that the ultimate solution was not to destroy it, but to "convince it of its error."
Also, the "Grey Goo" did seem a bit more random than it perhaps should have been, but at least it was well animated.
I rather enjoyed the interactions between Dingo and our heroes. The first instinct on either side is to attack first, of course. And after escaping from the the Grey Goo together, our heroes' first thought is that Dingo had something to do with it (and they're actually right, but he's not THAT involved). And Dingo gets a bit defensive and even territorial about them being in Australia (loved the slang that Mr. Cummings put in there, BTW). When Dingo suggests that only he and Elisa see the Shaman, Elisa gets this great, almost disgusted look on her face, like someone asked her to swim through garbage. And, when Dingo's participation in Fox's research is revealed, and he tries to explain this isn't what he expected, he takes a step towards Elisa, who in turn takes a step back. I somehow get the feeling that Goliath's more apt to trust Dingo than Elisa would ever be.
Loved the music during the "Matrix chase" scene. Not so sure about the "white glow" that occurs whenever the goo passes through a surface.
Fox did have a rather "cliched villain" idea--a machine to transmogrify the world to suit the controlling individual. Yet, it seems to me that Fox is more enamoured with the *idea* and having the capability of doing that, than actually doing that. Again, she displays that she's more interested in fun than results (unlike her husband).
Actually, that's the funny thing--Xanatos is connected with this episode, but he really has nothing to do with what's going on (kind of like in MONSTERS).
The revelation to Goliath that Fox is Halcyon Renard's daughter was nice, I'm glad it made it in there, but it always just feels too quick. If only there had been more time--I would have loved Goliath's musings on that new bit of information.
Now, the Dream Time battle. I did notice that the combatants used what was familiar to them (in fact, a few of Goliath's gestures looked like he could have been invoking magical spells, and his psuedo-clan shot lightning from their hands). Of course, the Matrix still manages to best them, and only relents when Goliath says what I consider to be the best line in this episode, "Your peace is that of the grave!"
When Dingo talks about being a hero again, he's smiling. Think about it--how many times has Dingo given a genuine, happy smile.
And then the Matrix bonds with his suit, and Dingo becomes a new kind of hero; one whose adventures I would have been most interested in watching.
When my brother watched this with me (after having seen THE HOUND OF ULSTER the previous day) he remarked about the gang creating heroes wherever they go.
Batwave...y'know, it's funny. You probably started these rambles, before "The Batman" was even in development. :-)
And there's my ramble!
Thanks. It's a good one. Of course, the problem with the delay here at ASK GREG is that at this point it's been two years since I've seen "Walkabout"... or read my own ramble on the subject. "Batwave" just seems like a non sequitor to me now.