This week’s third episode of “The Lazarus Project” gave us new insights into the back story of Rebrov (Tom Burke) and Janet (Vinette Robinson). It also created new food for thought on who ultimately controls the singularity.
It became apparent in this episode that the writers are not taking care with making the Lazarus Project a believable organization. Since there can be dire consequences in people’s lives within any given year if the year has to be reversed, you would think that Lazarus would be stricter on fraternization within its ranks and in particular on becoming pregnant at all.
There is a conversation between Janet and Archie (Anjli Mohindra) where Archie mentions that the protocol is to terminate a pregnancy when conception occurs in a certain part of the year. Yet while this protocol exists, it is not really a protocol because employees can just ignore it. No one in the organization seems to care if the protocol is followed or not.
Thus when Archie and Ross (Brian Gleeson) keep botching up last week’s story arc, Janet is forced to give birth multiple times with full foreknowledge that she has done this before. Why would a properly run organization allow this to happen?
As for the fraternization, these operatives know top-secret knowledge. Allowing them to become couples only means increasing the chance of one of them being blackmailed if the other is captured.
In another instance of how poorly Lazarus is being created by the scriptwriters, George (Paapa Essiedu) just jumps on a computer to send an anonymous message to not only a terrorist group, but also one that is being monitored by Lazarus as having a nuclear device. No one in Lazarus notices.
You would think that monitoring your operatives would be SOP. Wouldn’t they also be monitoring this terrorist group’s website to see what messages are displayed? Instead, Lazarus cluelessly sends a whole group to the terrorist camp only to discover that, thanks to George’s anonymous message, no one is there.
On the other hand, I do like the idea, brought up in this episode, that we do not know how the time loop is re-set. When Rebrov confronts Wes (Caroline Quentin) about who controls the “machine” that turns back the time loop, he is told that there is no machine as such. Then when he demands to know who executes Wes’ decision to re-set, she says that is above his rank to know.
This brought back memories to me of Patrick McGoohan’s “The Prisoner,” where you never knew who #1 was. Who does Wes contact? Rebrov speculates that it may be aliens. Could it be something more godly a la “Supernatural”?
Another aspect that comes out in this episode is that humans do not seem to be able to deal with their losses when it comes to re-setting the time loop. All are grief-stricken in a heartbreaking manner. Archie mourns the loss of Ross, George is beyond himself that Sarah (Charly Clive) is gone, and Janet has to live with the realization that her child is being killed and re-born multiple times.
Is there no foresight to set aside operatives who are in this kind of situation beforehand to prepare them for the emotional turmoil that they will encounter? Are there no counselors on hand for this? Lazarus seems very la-di-dah about these feelings in its operatives. When Rebrov and Janet both leave because of this, wouldn’t an alarm bell go off for the Lazarus executives?
I also found it a bit unbelievable that George could just take a holiday and go to Barcelona unmonitored. Shouldn’t he be suspect since Sarah is gone and they are still in the same time loop?
Vinette Robinson gives a superb performance as Janet in this episode. I have not seen anything on a par with her anguished portrayal as she is about to lose her first child to the re-set. In the present, she strikes a perfect balance between still being human but also being jaded. Her portrayal of the multiple birth scenes is heart-rending.
On the other hand, the character of George is becoming very unappealing to me. This is not a commentary on the actor’s performance. But the character is so childishly selfish that he puts me off as uninteresting. His monomania regarding Sarah’s resurrection is tedious. Spoilers do not permit me to present a plot flaw at the end of this episode regarding him.
But I will say despite the criticisms that I have about this particular episode, I am very intrigued now to see who *does* control the re-set of the time loop. Seeing Vinette Robinson’s performance this week, I also am looking forward to greater character exposition and elevated acting.
Don’t miss the reviews for Episode 1 and Episode 2:
“The Lazarus Project” Episode 1 and the idea of forever do-overs
“The Lazarus Project” Episode 2 and re-living in the moment
When George wakes up one day and finds himself reliving a day from months ago, he thinks he’s lost his mind. All of his recent milestones have been undone, including his success at work and his marriage to the love of his life Sarah. Worst of all, he seems to be the only one who has noticed what’s happened.
That is, until he meets Archie, who recruits George for the Lazarus Project — a secret organisation that has harnessed the ability to turn back time every time the world is at threat of extinction. Like George, those who work at Lazarus are the few people on earth with the ability to remember the events that are undone when time goes back. Alongside colleagues like Archie, standoffish Shiv and their steely leader Wes, George works to prevent global catastrophe — including trying to track down the formidable Rebrov, a wanted criminal intent on detonating a nuclear warhead and destroying the world.
Then a freak accident harms someone close to George. Lazarus won’t let him turn back time to undo it — unless there is the threat of global extinction. Now George must choose to stay loyal or go rogue, as he is faced with the question: if you had the power to rewrite your past, what would you sacrifice to do it…?
"The Lazarus Project" Episode 3 and control over the singularity
Despite the criticisms that I have about this particular episode, I am very intrigued now to see who *does* control the re-set of the time loop. Seeing Vinette Robinson’s performance this week, I also am looking forward to greater character exposition and elevated acting.