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?
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.
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.