Season 2, Episode 7
Date of airing: November 17, 1999 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.5/4 in Households
This was an alright-ish episode. The writers figured they didn’t have time to screw up their own show for this particular episode, so they decided to focus on something that has absolutely nothing to do with science-fiction. Nuclear apocalypse, online sex, evil and murderous twins, and an alien conscience within a human being was apparently all the writers could come up with for a science-fiction show during the first part of the season, because now the generic stories you would normally find in a crime procedural are in the rotation and I kinda like the show for that, even though the show doesn’t get better with it. The writers still kind of screwed it up though: This episode was about Olga’s sister, yet they made it all about Svetlana hitting on Frank, and making it as awkward as possible for him. Instead of focusing on a siblings rivalry between Olga and Svetlana, the episode was all about Svetlana going nude and trying to seduce Frank, because… Well, manipulative Russian women with money in a Bible apparently do that all the time, I don’t know. Also, the episode was supposed to be about Olga and Svetlana, but halfway into the hour and Olga disappeared, went back to base, just for Parker to call her back into action for the climax. SEVEN DAYS could have been an ensemble show, but it failed to do so horribly.
The story wasn’t that interesting. Olga’s sister, never having been mentioned before, suddenly turns up and apparently her appearance doesn’t bring anything for Olga as a character in her own right. She was part of the story for the first two acts, but as soon as Interpol and probably every Russian agency was involved in Svetlana’s case, it was all about kicking Olga out of the story, so that Svetlana can hump Parker, which was yet another disgusting and lazy storyline about Parker sexing it up with his female co-star of the week. Instead of manipulating him, she could have just ran away. Instead of hanging out with him and Olga, she could have gotten the Bible and made like a tree. By the way: Why was she even running around with the damn suitcase, when the money was in the Bible? Why making it difficult running away from somebody, when it’s much easier to run with a Bible in your hands, which you could easily stuck in a jacket pocket, which you wouldn’t be able to do with a whole freaking suitcase? Also: Is there really room for half a million Dollars in a cut-out Bible? Do you not notice the missing weight of the money when you hold the Bible in your hands?
Anyway, Svetlana was a dumb character, because her behavior didn’t make sense. She was thrown into something, then Olga was thrown into this mess, and later Parker joined the sisters, just so he can save her life and kill some Chechnian turds in the process. At least the writers tried to bring some back story to the premise, but in hindsight it didn’t make a lot of sense, especially when all the government agencies were showing up to get their own piece out of the Svetlana pie. It looked like she only pissed off two Chechnian idiot gangsters, who want to kill her, but the actual danger comes from Interpol and all of their friends, who want to get her, because she tricked them. Who really was the antagonist in this story?
By the way, there is one thing the episode forgot to develop, and that’s how Ramsey and Donovan even got involved in Svetlana’s mess. Olga and Parker lied their way into “vacation time”, so they can deal with the mess Svetlana created for herself, but a couple of acts later, Ramsey and Donovan were involved, and suddenly the whole case was with the NSA, including Parker updating his team with a phone call, which ended badly for the ones sitting on their chairs, as Parker is never interested in divulging into the whole story on the phone. First of all, why? Secondly, why the big charade in the beginning, when Parker and Olga wanted to take care of this by themselves, if they could have asked for help from their team from the get-go?
What the episode did good though was bringing some character development (if you can call it development at this stage of the show) for Olga – a little bit of background in her life, a little bit of siblings war, a little bit of an effort to make this science-fiction show more character-focused. It’s just a shame the writers didn’t do this in every episode, because they would have built themselves a nice pool of characters with depth after 27 episodes, and they could have used their backgrounds for much nicer episodes.