Project Blue Book Episode 8: "War Games" Review
"The truth is like the sun. The more you look, the more it blinds." [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Finally, Susie Miller! She's back, and while we see her in the middle of the episode, this week was was so focused on Hynek, Quinn and the military, I needed to start here. We know from Susie's detailing that rad 50's car she drives that yes indeed, she offed nosy neighbor Donna, even at the cost of elbow greasing the blood out. Her boss/spy partner/fake husband is still rude and impatient, but she makes the case for sticking around and being of course, more careful. No more Donna's getting in the way, but of course this lends to more sexual tension (this is how they retain male viewership who aren't focused on dorky alien things) between Mimi and Susie, as Mimi learns the ins and outs of shooting a pistol from Susie. There was zero necessity for Susie to touch Mimi the way she did to "steady" her to shoot the gun, but of course, aliens don't always hold attention the way two Hollywood stunners breathing heavily in each other's faces does. Why? Because men probably wrote this show.
We're still glad to see this storyline (even as obtuse as it's been portrayed) churning out surprises and causing Mimi even more tension and frustration. She finally divulges the artifact of possible alien origin to Susie as well. This is likely going to appease Susie's boss friends and keep her around to meddle in either acquiring it or stopping the use of it. This Russian storyline could go any which way still, but the artifact now being revealed to them means it must be what they're after.
The big alien mystery in this one is a more mysterious enemy than just the usual "alien attack" trope. We see an army platoon, recently returned from war, filming a drill in the forest. It quickly turns into a real firefight though, as lights and what could be some alien crafts come zooming in from the distance and seem to sporadically attack. One soldier seems hit by something, but we're never given a good view of anything alien (of course not, this isn't Star Trek). The air of mystery continues when Hynek and Quinn come to investigate this situation at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, when they see the physical effects on the soldier's bodies. The burns look somewhat like radiation burns, but we're never given a real definitive medical explanation for the soldiers' conditions, as they nearly break into a brawl over explaining what had happened to them. Hynek, ever the scientist, notices the devolvement of the strange, violent behavior, and Quinn confirms it's not how trained Army Rangers would ever act.
Upon investigating the area of the initial "alien battle" themselves, the men find flocks of birds attacking each other to death; very unlikely for that particular species of bird. This scene is eerie and lends to the mysteriousness of the episode, but leave it to the scientist to also perform an autopsy and find out that the birds are carrying a virus which causes biological changes that result in rage, violence and death amongst even peaceful creatures.
Meanwhile, the mysterious artifact Hynek took from White Forest AFP gets into the hands of Corporal Wells (Jonathan Whitesell), after he breaks free of the base where Harding and Valentine are interrogating him. He dropped a bombshell of information in basically saying aliens are already here on earth before some lightbulbs pop and he escapes into the woods. While somewhat far-fetched for a soldier to escape an AFB so easily, he does so in such a way that he runs into Quinn and Hynek, escaping from the truck of raged-out Army Rangers. From the trunk of the car is where Wells takes the artifact, and runs off with it after complaining of "noise" in his head he can't withstand. With the soldiers now in quarantine and blood tests determining the viral explanation of rage and violence among them, this is where the other conspiracy of the season takes shape. Hynek and Quinn don't catch up with Wells, but they do find mortar launching equipment in the woods, implying the soldiers were being experimented on. But, to what end? Alien invasion? Soviet threat?
Our attention is turned to what in the world the government is doing with alien technology and what communication could possibly be happening. The mysterious training program that Wells "graduated from" implies they're being used for very unscrupulous means. Back on the base, we learn that Wells is dead, and Fairchild is taking over Project Blue Book now. Literally anyone who is in charge may or may not actually be in charge in the next instant. It's a large "Who To Trust" game going on. We see Quinn and Hynek finally coming together, along with Hynek and his wife Mimi. Factions of trust having been slowly forming and reforming over the season, but the teams are coming together. The Man in Black is then seen retrieving the alien artifact, implying He/They may be the real enemy here.
Of course, the biggest question is what does this mean for Dr. Hynek, Captain Quinn, and everyone who could be effected directly by this development? Will they see the alien artifact again? And does that not-so-mysterious Man in Black (who Quinn is now aware of), return to help them or harm them? I hope that whatever happens, it lends itself to a storyline so big it can take us to a second season without stretching everything too thin.
🛸 Project Blue Book airs every Tuesday night at 9pm EST
on the History Channel.
I'll be reviewing each episode of Project Blue Book after it airs every week. If you liked this review, please subscribe to the blog to be notified of new posts. A like or share goes a long way!