Seven Days (“The Cure”)

Season 2, Episode 23
Date of airing: May 24, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.0/4 in Households

It was somewhat of an exciting season finale, though everyone should remember that the show is all about hitting the reset button at the end of an episode and that there will never be any kind of development regarding the lives of the characters. Parker and Olga may have shared a kiss during the final minute of the season, but that doesn’t mean it’s gonna change anything between the two and they will start off the next season as a romantically involved couple. Which is why the show is always so freaking disappointing in hindsight, as I really love me some character development every once in a while. But that disappointment isn’t the issue here. The story was good, the execution was good, and the fact that the villain was the good guy made the whole episode more intriguing, even though it took the writers half the episode to get to that point and make it the issue of the premise. Also, the writers were expanding on their premise for at least 40 minutes. Traveling back 160 and more years — well, if this is possible, what else can be, if the writers would have had the chance to make something out of SEVEN DAYS? Could there be a moment in the show’s run that has Frank Parker travel back for more than seven days (spoiler: no)? Will there be another white man in the history of mankind who has jumped back in time for more than seven days after Olga’s husband and Dawes, so they can either save the world or just steal the power source for shits and giggles?

You have one shot to save the world.

Krysta was an okay-ish character. She was good, because there was some depth to her with her paranoia and mental issues (the latter never having been front and center, which I was a little sad about, as she and Parker could have connected over it), but she was written in an inconsistent way. She is a very secluded character who keeps things for herself and other people at a very large distance, but as soon as Parker comes around with his six-pack of a chest and a few fake good manners, she is open to the thought of just hanging around with a guy she just met, or maybe even shanking him, let alone telling him that she just realized a cure for cancer. Okay, maybe Krysta is a sex-positive character who took one look at Parker and thought there might be sex happening in a few minutes (which is why she decided to hang out with him), but I don’t think that distrust towards other people and being sex-positive goes along within the same person, as these are conflicting personality traits. I have distrust towards other people and I’m trying hard to be sex-positive, but that just isn’t possible in my life. As soon as something might happen with another woman, my trust and abandonment issues take over and there won’t be sex, because those character traits are battling it out like my brain is a battlefield.

Dawes was a good character though. He was the villain and he was the hero, all at the same time. He was also the martyr of his own future, which brings a deeper meaning to the story, no matter how cliched it might be or how little the writers focused on that part of Dawes’ character. I liked that the writers weren’t looking for a cop-out, and that they were consistent with what Josef was saying about the backstep program back in “As Time Goes By,” which essentially means that the original backstep team will be considered heroes in the future. Dawes was for real: He came from the future, he had a mission, and he was something in awe of the fact that he is dealing with his greatest hero. It’s just a shame that the writers didn’t have any time to give Dawes more screentime and let that shine through. If Parker is Dawes’ biggest hero, there should have been much higher admiration from one to the other, like a kid is meeting his favorite sports athlete for the first time. Not that I was expecting “I’m your biggest fan”-kinda dialogue, but Dawes was sort of cold to Parker, and they were aggressive towards each other (maybe it was mission-related), and all kinds of admiration wasn’t part of the story until Dawes’ dying moment.

Of course you could argue about the fact that the writers used the cure for cancer for their premise. I always thought that there is no cure for cancer, because cancer is not just cancer, there are different forms and kinds of cancer. I mean, even leukaemia is a form of cancer — did Krysta find a cure for that as well? Did she essentially find a cure for deforming DNA and blood cells, which is essentially the beginning of cancer? Did she find a way to cut down on chemistry and Monsanto business, since those elements have proven to create cancer as well? If it would have been a cure for AIDS, have at it, because at least that disease is specific to an event within your body, but cancer is pretty much every bad thing that happens within your body, and this episode never distinguished the different forms of cancer Krysta thought to have a cure for.

Hittin’ the spot.

The moments between Parker and Olga were okay. As I already said, the ending of the episode won’t have much meaning at all. At least the beginning of the episode was hilarious, though completely predictable, and they may even look bad for a character like Parker, who was way too distracted by silk underwear. I would have hung around in the shower for the whole time though, because why would I leave the hot zone and risk being seen and probably being beaten? After all, Olga having a bath couldn’t be more of a private zone, and Parker could have deserved a few slaps left and right and a kick in the nuts.

And to close up this season, here is a bit of an inconsistency. Or maybe two. One, after Dawes travelled back in time, the Sphere in the hangar should have disappeared, like it does every time Parker lands in the past. The fact that this did not happen in this episode showcases the writers’ inability to follow the rules established by previous writers. Two, remember back during “As Time Goes By,” when Josef talked about the Utopia-kind world he left? As it seems he did not mention anything about the mass extinction event after Krysta’s cure went public, which is just another example of a back story inconsistency. Okay, maybe Josef could have lied about the bright new world 33 years into the future, but SEVEN DAYS would look so much better as a television show if the writers had followed all the established back story points over the course of the show. Instead they allow the producers and directors (ad editors) to reuse material they shot years ago, as was the case with this episode. Krysta’s car accident and explosion was taken from “Come Again?” and some of the images from Dawes’ crystal ball came from “The Gettysburg Virus.” Once more, the show is keeping itself very cheap, and it shows both in the writing and visually.

Seven Days (“Playmates and Presidents”)

Season 2, Episode 22
Date of airing: May 17, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.9/3 in Households

This was an alright-ish episode for SEVEN DAYS standards, even though the story was nothing but a lazy attempt at creating an evil politician, who seem to be a dime a dozen these days. One crazy wannabe-president who wants to use his future power to eradicate countries, and only a handful of people know about it and do nothing — which kind of explains what is going on in the circle of Donald Trump, because those people are smart enough to know that their president is a crazy autocrat and wannabe-dictator, yet they won’t do anything about it, because it would cost them the smell of power they enjoy as much as having money in their bank accounts. If Bill Stevens would have been President of the United States, he not only would have started World War Three (as predicted by Parker), the Earth would have been scorched after a few months, which means Jeri was right when she said that Parker “plunged the world into the deep end.” In addition, the fact that I cannot believe no one else knew about Stevens’ plan, and no member of the press or any other highly regarded journalist was interested looking into Stevens’ life and psyche, making this story somewhat ridiculous. Then again, I am watching this episode in 2019, where journalism has unearthed some evil men who the had to step out of the public life, and I am not sure if that kind of journalism even existed in 2000. Sure, Watergate is a prominent example of journalism in the twentieth century destroying a politician’s life, but that investigation started off with a current event (the break-in) — compared to Stevens and his presidential run, I cannot imagine that he did not do anything to prepare for his World War with Asia and that there was nothing a journalist could have unearthed. It’s pretty heavy stuff to think and plan for a world war, so there has to be evidence of it beyond his diary entries, which could essentially be titled “My Struggle: The Twenty-first Century Update”.

A politician’s daughter is always risky to hang out with.

The episode had its nice fair share of emotional moments though, making it better than anticipated. The scene during the town hall style debate between Stevens and President Maxwell, when it came to Jeri’s nude picture in that “disgusting magazine,” I felt not only reminded once more that America has a serious problem with sex in general, but it was a scene worthy of a place among the best scenes with character depth on SEVEN DAYS, as I could see that Stevens was real when it comes to his relationship with Jeri and how he wanted to have one with his daughter, instead of fighting with the thought of never seeing her again, because she might actually be the only person in his life who could reason with him (especially when it comes to his hatred of the Asians, and Stevens may have hoped that his daughter would save him from that hate). But I felt reminded once more that you can’t reason with Americans, who think that women posing nude for a magazine are disgusting, when they have done crappy things in their life as well, which can’t be compared to posting nude in a magazine, because what they have done was even worse. I felt reminded once more that America is anything but sex-positive, and people will continue to slam and smash people posing nude for magazines (mostly women – I don’t think I have ever heard of men being disgusting, when they pose nude), because for some reason they seem to believe naked women are trash, and clothed women have to guide by the rules. I felt reminded once more that America has no problem with violence on television, yet draw the line on a few bad words and a few naked bodies — maybe there is a reason this country has a problem with gun violence and misogyny and sexism, and you can discover those reasons while watching this television episode filled with male wish fulfillment, sexed-up female characters and a fictional politician who has the deepest thoughts of violence and war in his mind and can still get elected president.

Anyway, after this paragraph of trashing America and its values, it’s time to say that I didn’t really like Parker getting into the hots with Jeri. And I especially did not like the three female campaign helpers who greeted Parker after the event and invited him into their hotel room for some after-hour action — as if campaign events is filled with attractive women who only get into this kind of business to find me to have sex with. It’s the wish-fulfillment and sexed-up female characters I was talking about, because this episode was definitely on par with what UPN wanted to have on their network. There is a reason they were targeting a male viewership between 14 and 29 and there is a reason you may have to look a little longer to find television shows that were led by female characters (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER doesn’t count, because it wasn’t UPN’s show to begin with).

The fall of a politician is always great television entertainment.

That Parker and Jeri would hook up was pretty obvious from the beginning, and not just because of UPN’s efforts to sex up female characters on their shows. It was obvious from the moment Parker looked at her nude shot in the magazine, which led to her seductively lying on his car after he saved Stevens’ life, just so the two can have a romance in-between all the madness going on right now. But as soon as that one moment happened (Parker getting beat up, and a second later they are literally eating each other with their tongues), I had to roll with my eyes, as this male-driven show sold its viewers once more that women are here for the male gaze only. I know now why the writers turned Parker into a James T. Kirk version for this show, and I may even understand now why Justina Vail left the set midway through the production of the third season, which was essentially the second of many blows that killed the show after year three. If the writers can’t even give female characters respect, then why should the female cast give respect to the show? SEVEN DAYS just came into the twenty-first century, yet it still acted like a show from the 1960s — yet another reason why it started to fail during the next season, and one of those reasons that make the show look incredibly bad and silly 20 years later.

Back to the episode at hand… I was happy that Stevens wasn’t such a stupid villain. He was a disturbed character, carried by his past and by his fear of ever becoming a prisoner again (he may have been an attempted parody at John McCain?). His final speech was actually great, because it showed that the writers were still interested in creating something like a character for the show, turning him into a sorry man who has finally understood all the mistakes he has done in his life, even if he only came to realize his mistakes with Jeri. Besides that, I wouldn’t have been able to take the story serious at all, if Stevens would have been a cold-blooded villain. Terrorists can become politicians in HOMELAND, and that show was the only show allowed to do that — the rest of television is not. SEVEN DAYS was not special enough to pull the Brody twist, but it was somewhat good enough to make a broken man out of its villain, while the actual antagonists couldn’t even kill two people and get the damn diary back without a hitch. I do have to say though, I was surprised to see that Jeri was still alive and kicking by the end — the way Parker announced to Stevens that he had her blood made it seem like Parker just told the presidential candidate that his daughter was just killed. That was of course done on purpose by Parker, but I am wondering what would have been better at the end: Jeri truly dead, or seeing her go through therapy somewhat successfully? Would the episode’s ending be different with Jeri having died for real?

Seven Days (“Mr. Donovan’s Neighbourhood”)

Season 2, Episode 21
Date of airing: May 10, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.3/4 in Households

This was actually a very good episode. Even though I’m a nonbeliever and this episode somewhat made fun out of faith and religion when it comes to Reverent Carl Flood, I liked the notion that a person or persons from a distance can change the lives of a entire neighborhood for the better, and showcases that the war against drugs can actually be won, even if it’s with the help of technology that should not be working. In addition, I love this episode not just for focusing on Donovan for once, giving him a back story as well as a sibling to take care of (like Olga, and Ramsey had in their respective episodes during which their sibling either died or was a terrorist ad needed Parker’s intervention), but also using the friendship between Parker and Donovan and making me believe once more that there is a great and wonderful friendship between the two which could almost be real. In the meantime I can forget all about the drug-related story, since I never knew why a high-profile drug dealer and money launder with his own gang would scare a D.C. neighborhood, and not a whole city somewhere in the Southwest of America. Say, Albuquerque.

USA Today’s coverage of time travel being a possibility is absolutely underwhelming.

I also loved this episode for the fact that the writers didn’t have to force themselves to create a backstep event. Granted, Parker created one by spilling all the secrets of Project Backstep, so he can travel back in time and help is best friend, which is definitely contrived, but at least the writers didn’t need to access the random name generator to create the existence of an international statesman having worked towards peace between countries, but had been killed just a few days ago, which is something the show has used a few times. Finally the writers were able to focus on a personal storyline without forcing an actual backstep event down someone’s throat which will then be forgotten after Parker made his Conundrum call. The writers obviously thought the same, because the notion that Parker would create a backstep event is maybe just a little too weird. But it’s different, therefore better than anything else that has been seen before. The only thing is that the USA Today apparently took it for granted that every information they got about Project Backstep is real. Not to mention that the existence of time travel in public media should create a big whooping wave of excitement (because science) and hate (because religion). I guess in this particular case there was no necessity for confirmation from a second or third source?

The story itself was okay. Once more the writers created a family member (in this case: Donovan has a little sister, and I don’t think she was mentioned in “Sleepers”) to create drama, and once more a pathetic and generic story of evilness was put into the center to make the heroes shine. There wasn’t much the writers were able to deal with, since the main focus lied on Reverend Flood himself, and the writers’ efforts to show that the messages God sent you were not from God, but from the world’s only chrononaut and his best friend. And maybe a vision from a white Jesus, which Flood may or may not have seen in the dark sky. The writers could have brought some brother/sister relationship into the plot though. After all, the original premise had Tracy in the middle of the excitement (as well as Tracy’s fiancé), yet she was almost completely absent for the rest of the episode, while Frank and Donovan were dealing with drug henchmen. It’s a problem SEVEN DAYS has never been dealing with properly: The show writes women into the spotlight, but halfway through the episode those women are being recycled out of the narrative and the specialists, who happen to be guys, take over. It’s a pretty bad look on the show as a whole.

Donovan has a sister, who’s only known for this episode.

The rest of the episode… Yeah, let’s say it’s quote forgettable. That Talmadge would go for Donovan’s plea near the end seems ridiculous, because he probably learned that Parker used the backstep for his own good, but didn’t think to do anything about it. Then again, Talmadge has always been a helping had for his team, when it was needed, so his decision to break the rules was kind of in-character. In addition, why would Parker and Donovan be so stupid and throw money out of the chopper, when they can clearly see a bleeding Reverend standing there (and then dropping to the ground), who was supposed to be in the hospital? Hell, Parker and Donovan could have dropped the sacks of money right in front of the church, so that no single dollar gets into a hand of a greedy person in the neighborhood, because it’s obvious there are at least a few greedy hands in said neighborhood. It’s kind of like how Parker left Svetlana’s money to the church — he didn’t throw it to them from the skies, he just handed it over to them nicely and quietly.

Finally, the fact that Reverend Flood didn’t die is almost a miracle. He had a gunshot wound, but he didn’t bleed to death while walking around and preaching and witnessing the rain of money. And it really is now possible to track down the flow of money via a satellite with the help of the magnetic stripe in the bills? Whoa, Big Brother is not only watching you, but also tracking you 24/7 from space with a freaking secret satellite.

Seven Days (“Witch Way to the Prom”)

Season 2, Episode 20
Date of airing: May 3, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.7/3 in Households

This was a solid and funny episode, though it had one thing that was just illogical times infinity. There is no way that Ramsey would believe in having a shot at a relationship with Olga. There is no way he would even have a crush on her and ask her out on a date on her birthday. Ramsey hates Communists and he made it clear on a few occasions that he wouldn’t mind having Olga out of the team as well, because of her Russian connection. But in this episode, everything about that is forgotten, because the writers decided to give Parker some competition when it comes to his greatest crush, and to have another comic storyline that involves Parker and Ramsey bullying each other and getting each other on their last nerves. This is a showcase of the writers never having had any good ideas about how to fill the empty running time of SEVEN DAYS with stories, so those minutes are usually filled with inconsistent ideas about comedy, and moments that have the characters act illogically. Sometimes the writers really don’t seem to have any new ideas. Of course, maybe Ramsey became less of a Communism-hater before this episode, but a) I can’t believe that, since SEVEN DAYS isn’t known for character development, and b) it’s Nick Searcy we’re talking about, and he probably hates Communists for real.

Three young ladies who don’t know what they want from men.

Anyway, this CHARMED rip-off of an episode was funny, because the three girls were incredibly stupid but hilarious. They believe in magic, and they believe that they just magically created a human being while not asking themselves at all if this is even possible in reality. I know, this is a science-fiction show, but the girls behaved like magic really exists, because they have been doing it for a while and obviously because they never had any real life experience with other people — did they never have any friends? Have they always been watching television shows about witches? Do they even have parents, and if so, where were they during this episode? If this would be the Halliwells I’m talking about, the episode would be even better than it is, but these are three girls who have no clue about life and love. But whatever, they were hilarious, and I loved them being part of a CHARMED parody. Following a hot guy they created, just so they have a prom date, and inadvertently getting into a terrorist plot and pretty much ruining Parker’s assignment — it tends to show you how awful and distracting women can be, although it also shows that this series universe is run by men only, and not a single woman can say something about it. After all, the girls never really did something to help Parker with the mission (they hindered him catching the bomber, and the only thing they actually did good was giving him the name of the hotel that still had a Canadian flag waiving in front of it during the establishing shot), Olga was pretty much written out of the plot with the akgle break, and the mission itself hung in the balance and could only be executed by Parker, because this is still the Jonathan LaPaglia action fun hour. Still, this episode was so dumb when it came to the supernatural premise, it was almost utterly hilarious again. The girls constantly bumping into premise and believing they really conjured a hot hunk of a man with a badge really had me wondering how the hell they were making it through high school.

She can’t even enjoy that cake in her mouth.

They went after Parker and the terrorist, even though they knew something dangerous was going on. They went in-between Parker and the terrorist, even though they should have figured out by now that one of them is the good guy and the other is the bad guy (also, Parker told them to stay in the car, and of course they didn’t listen). But I guess it was only consistent to depict the girls as dumb as possible, so they can screw up every moment during Parker’s assignment. What a shame they didn’t screw up Parker’s savior moment in the hotel, because maybe that would have been worth a narrative.

And the rest of the episode? Well, I didn’t care a lot about Parker and Olga’s cheap date, since it was obvious that their situation would end up where it always begins: Something goes wrong, Olga hates Parker for doing whatever he did wrong and Parker can’t do anything about it, because he never learns from his mistakes. Well, the writers don’t care at all about Parker caring to make his relationship with Olga work. If the writers would have cared, the two would have been on a break by now, trying to get back together. But I must say, the birthday dinner with cake at the end of the episode was somewhat cute. Less cute was Parker showing up at the prom though. How old is he exactly? Why did he think it was such a great idea to go to the prom and dance with his “creator?”

Seven Days (“Pope Parker”)

Season 2, Episode 19
Date of airing: April 26, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.3/4 in Households

Apparently it wasn’t enough for the writers to continuously rip off movie ideas, because now they have to get into ripping off TV show ideas. Thankfully, ripping off QUANTUM LEAP is a cool idea for the show, especially since one time travel science-fiction show is ripping off another time travel science-fiction show, so this time around it was more than appropriate. The episode was luckily very solid, but it could have been a lot more funnier. The writers could have gone nuts with the premise of Parker slipping into the body of Pope Sylvester and just made one huge comedic episode out of it. Parker could have done more in the Pope’s body than just smilingly listening to the sinning stories of an attractive lady and the writers could have done a lot more with the Pope’s Cardinals and Fathers in the mix, who were both intrigued and worried about the Pope’s current behavior. At the end of the day, this episode was essentially just about Parker in the body of an old man, and it wasn’t even a particularly splendid episode of Sam Beckett trying to fix time, although this episode certainly made me hungry to begin watching QUANTUM LEAP. I need more shows to watch that come from the 1980s and 1990s.

The Catholic Church will get weird and sexist with this guy as Pope.

But whatever. The reason for the backstep is once more sort of ridiculous, as well as conveniently developed by the writers to force an actual backstep event. There are always secret negotiations going on somewhere, and in this particular case the Pope was trying to broker freedom between Christianity and the Muslims, although I have no clue if that premise is ever going to be part of real life. As a Jew, Jared Kushner has tried here and there to fix the Israel and Palestine issue and we all know how that one has worked out so far — seeing Christians and Muslims had in hand is a dream for every religious person on this planet, but also fiction for this particular episode of television. Okay, to be exact, it’s the back story of this particular episode of television, because all that one did was create the backstep event, so that Parker can play Sam Beckett for an hour.

Parker as the Pope was great though. Sadly, a few even greater ideas were left behind (most likely because of the running time and the fact that a story had to be told), but at least some comedy came out of the premise, beginning with the aforementioned attractive lady confessing her sins, or Parker trying to make Olga and Ramsey kiss his ring. I liked the scenes of Parker having to deal with the unknown of being the Pope and an old human being at the same time, all while being in the middle of a backstep event, which means Parker was essentially doing one of his missions here. In hindsight, I was very happy to find out that none of the Pope’s staff was involved in the assassination plot and that the villain was just a lone gunman having had conversations with the devil. Sometimes it looked like some of the Pope’s staff wanted to get rid of him, maybe even stop the peace negotiations between the Christians and the Muslims, but besides the weird looks of some of the Cardinals, it was pretty much non-existent in the story. But who knows, maybe it was in the script one day, but then it was cut in favor for some Olga/Pope action.

It takes might to stand in front of the UN.

What I did mind a little was the fact that the few Cardinals around Parker did not have one single problem with their Pope hanging around with people and saying stuff that makes everything seem weird and not normal for a Pope (okay, maybe it’s not weird — the GOP shows us how many damns they give when Orange Hitler Donald Trump speaks or tweets). The Cardinals could have asked themselves (in a comical way) why Olga was so important for the Pope. The Cardinals could have wondered why their Pope was suddenly gone (did they know he went with Olga and his new friends? Were they thinking he was kidnapped, and they just didn’t want this fact to be public?), and the Cardinals could have been generally part of the story. Yes, the writers would have taken the story seriously if they would have taken my notes into consideration, but I believe there is a lot of comedy hiding behind those plot points, and yet the writers were only focusing on the obvious — minus the thing that made me believe for a few seconds that a Vatican member was in on the assassination plot

And finally, the laziness has showed again. They haven’t gone into the boomerang effect, and they haven’t gone into the fact that Parker in the body of the Pope could have never survived that backstep. The characters explained it away with “We don’t know why this happened.” Also, why did no one except Olga and Donovan ask what the Pope was doing in NeverNeverLand? The characters take everything for granted, and they never ask themselves question about what just happened. Like the Pope driving into the hangar and asking Ramsey to kiss his ring and then his feet. If I were part of that scene, my mind would just go WTF?

Seven Days (“Brother, Can You Spare a Bomb?)

Season 2, Episode 18
Date of airing: April 19, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.2/4 in Households

This episode was okay. The writers and producers finally gave a chance for Nick Searcy to pull some strings on the show and to get some of his acting chops on screen, while Jonathan LaPaglia was given a break of constantly being front and center, which also means his hardest work during the entire episode was when Parker was being chased by Ramsey around the white truck and LaPaglia had to watch that he is not going to hit his head while crawling through it. There is probably a reason Nick Searcy got a “Story by” credit for this episode, and I can imagine that the whole cast was trying to bring ideas into the writers room that would make SEVEN DAYS a better show, a less boring show than it was for most of the episodes, and a more meaningful show for its cast and the viewers who watch. I can remember having read an article about the fact that the cast was unhappy with the way the show was handled behind the cameras, which may or may not have led to tension between some of the cast members, most notably LaPaglia and Justina Vail during the later stages of the third season (rumor has it she walked off set one day, and in the age and era of #MeToo, I would love to know if that may have been one of the many reasons for frictions behind the scenes).

Parker and Ramsey are on the same side for once.

The story itself… Well, it’s nothing majorly interesting. It’s good to see that Ramsey had an opportunity to be given a back story, which make his life looked very messed up, but maybe it would have been nice to mention his family connection in an earlier episode, just to prove that the writers knew for what kind of characters they were writing. Olga reveals she had (has) a husband, right after he time travelled into NeverNeverLand; Talmadge’s niece was about to become important, because the story screamed for it, as well as dead children in the narrative; and Mentnor needed a granddaughter and a wife, because he was front and center of the story and the writers needed stuff to fill airtime with. Anyway, all those family connections disappear right after the writers used them for their respective episodes, and I was a bit disappointed that Nick was never mentioned again after this episode, let alone all the other family members of the main characters that have appeared (except for one, who made another appearance midway through the next season). Because the back story of this episode told me that Nick and Ramsey had contact (or Nick wouldn’t have said that his brother talked some good stuff about Parker, although that could have happened between the time Ramsey sent his brother to the VA hospital and the final scene), and that they aren’t as estranged as the story makes them to be. In addition, there is brotherly love between the two, which makes it even more disappointing that Nick was never really an issue for the show after this episode.

There were some things about the story that were ridiculous though. Nick has the nickname “Ameri Bomber,” before he even blew up the Senator, meaning his bombs already went off way before that. I imagine Nick blew up other people before, or at least did some serious damage as a domestic terrorist, which is why I cannot understand that Ramsay was so open to helping his brother and covering up for his crimes. It’s almost certain Nick killed people — why would Ramsay help a killer, even when the killer is his not-estranged-at-all brother? The second huge problem is Parker’s lie in the new timeline. There is no way that Talmadge and the NSA wouldn’t know what happened in the old timeline. They can’t just trust Parker with all the information, without backing it up on various chips (like the one that had been encoded for “EBEs,” or like the one that was programmed with new intel in the pilot, right before the very first backstep). Consistency, guys, that’s what makes a show good. But in this particular case, the writers did not care for consistency, because it was easier for Parker and Ramsay to team up and stop Nick on their own.

This screenshot is full of people who are hated by the far-right.

By the way: Why exactly made the NSA panel decide to backstep in the first place? It sounded like the death at the immigration office was the final straw in all of it, but that would mean the NSA did not care about a dead member of Congress. In addition, the episode had a hint of anti-immigration spout from some of the characters (most notably the Ramsey brothers), but as it turns out it was actually not at all part of the narrative of the episode. It lets me continue to thin that SEVEN DAYS is a highly conservative and patriotic action fun pulp show, and that a story about immigration would not get accepted like the way it was for this episode. Because at the end of the day, the anti-immigration agenda spouted by Nick is still standing and was not debated by one of the other characters. The Church of Trump is going to love this episode when they discover this show.

Seven Days (“X-35 Needs Changing”)

Season 2 Episode 17
Date of airing: April 5, 2000 (UPN)
Nielsen ratings information: 2.0/3 in Households

This episode was alright. Even though I was a bit annoyed about the writers first “choosing” to have Parker and Donovan on the mission, it made sense later that Olga would accompany Parker instead, due to the Russian angle of the story, although I would have loved to see the writers trying to adapt a THREE MEN AND A BABY kinda film for this episode, only to cut out a man and set the story in the middle of a war-torn country. Having two guys protect the baby is a more fun premise, and SEVEN DAYS is definitely not alien to the premise of a funny story, but I guess it was much easier to write the premise with Olga in it, because motherly instincts are apparently a hot thing. It does show though that SEVEN DAYS has once more ruined a great chance to make an average premise a lot more entertaining. So, if this show ever gets a reboot, Claire’s love interest in “Parker.com” should be replaced with Olga, and Olga should be replaced in this episode with Donovan. Somebody could also make a fan-fiction story out of this, and maybe I will read it.

Olga has had enough of this crap.

Anyway, the story wasn’t much of a burner. In fact, it was just a plot device to awaken specific intuition ad emotion in Olga, and have her care deeply about someone she would normally not care about. The idea of her being a mother seems alright for the show, and it’s definitely an idea to work with, but Olga’s change from a scientist who thinks of Project X-35 as sound to a woman who would protect this baby with her life looked a little chopped-up, let alone underdeveloped. Besides that, the writers have done absolutely nothing with the premise of a genetically altered baby and what it can do to the world. Enter James Cameron, whose DARK ANGEL pilot was already greenlighted by the time this episode was produced, and would air the following Fall on FOX. Who knows, maybe this episode of SEVEN DAYS could be seen as an idea prequel to DARK ANGEL. What I want to say is, the writers took a futuristic story for this episode (a genetically altered baby who could either be James Cameron’s Max or Stan Lee’s Steve Rogers) and did absolutely nothing with it except make Olga look like the baby’s mother.

Meanwhile, the story was set in Chechnya, which was not the first time SEVEN DAYS brought the action into these kind of woods. It makes me wonder what the writers had with the country and why they thought that Chechnya was a bombed-out country that looked like it just survived a nuclear war. It’s also common for the show to depict crappy villains when they come from war-torn countries, and this episode wasn’t special in any regard about that, hence the undeveloped villains of the story and their motives of kidnapping a baby and keeping it for themselves. I guess they saw in X-35 their very own Captain America? They would have called him Captain Chechnya then, and that’s kind of a thing I want to see now. It’s like BRIGHTBURN, but with no people who could stop the superheroic villain. But really, was the baby supposed to be the Chechnyans’ John Connor in 20 years or so? The lead terrorist was talking about the future war, but judging by the country’s current look, it wasn’t even guaranteed that the war would still go on 20 years from now. Was the baby a first step of what would become the back story of ALIAS called “Project Christmas?” Have the baby learn how to handle weapons and bombs in five years and it can be a super spy in ten, reimagining Robert Rodriguez’s SPY KIDS, but with villains in it that don’t have to fight against heroes.

They aren’t the parents, yet they would risk their lives to protect the baby.

The “road trip” in the war zone was good though, and it made the episode somewhat look like a real adventure slash road trip with a few explosions in-between. Of course it made SEVEN DAYS look cheap once more, because shooting in the back wilderness of British Columbia makes every show look pretty much cheap (I’m looking at you, STARGATE SG-1), but the interaction between Parker and Olga made this hour more entertaining, and I even loved that the writers brought in some consistency. Olga called Parker by his first name for once, when the two were in serious danger, and when he almost literally came back from the dead to save Olga and the baby, and she went into liking her partner and colleague a little more after this, because he was not only a good person (and an aggressive male with a heart), but also because he saved her life again, as well as the life of the baby. But sometimes I would wish the writers would have done something more out of the show and the Parker/Olga coupling — this episode could have been a great beginning to them seeing something in each other they haven’t discovered before.

The climax was dumb. I didn’t need the Russians to be involved in the “kidnap X-35” plot, and I seriously didn’t need the “friendly conversation” between the Russian Major and the American diplomat, talking like they could shoot each other at High Noon, but not before discussing their friends, families and who they slept with during lunch before. It was a hilarious piece of what the Cold War could have looked like for real in the year 2000 though — Americans and Russians point weapons at each other, but talk about their dinner plans. I think there is a parody premise in that. Also, having multiple parties responsible for the snatching of the baby seems a bit ridiculous. First the nurse (I believe she was not Russian and just wanted to save the baby from future test probing and all that stuff Olga imagined at the end of the episode), then the Chechnians, then the Russians, and finally the actual parents of that baby. Too many people knew about Project X-35, which made it anything but top secret. Someone must have leaked the project to the Russias, which by itself is its own investigative event within the NSA.