Episode 1.06 Writer: Peter Hume Director: Amanda Tapping
THE ONE WHERE Dylan, Evan and Mac slap on the hockey gear and go up against a team of clever little dinosaurs; Ange and Lt Leeds have a picnic together.
VERDICT If dinosaurs were really that clever, then why did they go extinct? Don’t let the silly episode title fool you; “Clean Up On Aisle Three” is packed with character drama, plot development, and strategially-thinking dinos.
The episode opens with a security guard watching a Bollywood film inside a Canadian Tire store. So that’s what security guards do in stores after they’re closed! If you’re Canadian, you probably chuckled at all the Canuck-friendly jokes in this episode. If you are not Canadian, you maybe have no idea why it was so much fun for Canadians to watch. The hockey gags were especially relatable, and once again Primeval: New World does not hide the fact that it is Canadian and filmed in Vancouver.
But you’re never feeling like you’re being beaten over the head with all the Canadian pride because there’s so much more going on and this episode has its very cool and very touching moments. We once again we see through the eyes of the creature (cool!), confirming that this point-of-view style is a signature for the show, not seen in the original British series. Not only were the CGI and special effects realistic and subtle – the tracks of blood on the floor, the quick glimpses of their razor sharp teeth and claws, the dinosaurs hiding behind the shelves – but the intelligence of the Daemonsaurus’s was believable where it could so easily have come across as ridiculous. They were smart dinosaurs, just not turn-a-doorknob smart. Although they were only knee-high, they hunted the SPG team as a pack, displayed strategic thinking, and communicated with one-another, which is what made them so terrifying and dangerous.
Also dangerous is Lieutenant Ken Leeds, and Angelika catches the darker side of him when he fumbles referring to the tragically recent deaths as “casualties of war.” Yet Leeds is arguably the most likeable – and well acted – character in the series because of his ability to play awkwardly endearing and sinister at the same time. His top secret mission video for Angelika to liaison with him was hilarious and adorable, and the best scene in the episode. Even though he might turn out to be the “big bad” of the series, how could you not like this guy?
This wasn’t just a creature-of-the-week filler episode; it’s good because of its character and plot development, picking up the loose threads from previous episodes. Mac captures the Daemonsaurus instead of just killing it, proving that he is no longer feeling only revenge since Samantha’s death and can remain professional, which is good news for the creatures. Dylan calls it quits on dating civilians because of the secrecy of her job, and is hoping to hook-up with Evan; unfortunately for Dylan things are heating up between best buds Evan and Angelika. If it started to feel like a love triangle you’d find in a soap opera, you wouldn’t be wrong. With Angelika threatening to leave Evan and the team for a new job offer, Evan takes the lead and removes his wedding ring, showing Angelika that he’s ready to move on and love someone else. Someone else, it seems, is her, not Dylan. Awwww. He also bribes her to stay with Chinese food. But will she stay, or will she go? Seems like Ange has been carrying around that torch for Evan for a while now, so odds are she’s probably sticking around.
With Angelika considering leaving, Dylan becoming anti-social, and Mac and Evan still broken from the loss of their women, the dangers of the anomalies are definitely wearing on the team. We’re almost half way through the series and there’s still the frozen body in the freezer to name, and finding the whereabouts of the Terror Bird that Leed’s kidnapped. This is just the beginning, and it’s been a pretty good start.
CREATURE OF THE WEEK An Alpha Daemonsaurus and his loyal Daemonsaurus friends.
TRIVIA This is Stargate and Sanctuary star Amanda Tapping’s directorial debut in the Primeval franchise.
PLOT KEYWORDS Wanker, Hockey, Canadian, Hor d’oeuvres, Alpha
DID YOU KNOW? Canadian Tire is a real store, and is one of Canada’s most recognised brands. Its customer rewards program allows customers to collect “Canadian Tire Money” to redeem for products in store.
GROSS! Just follow the blood trail past the kitchenware section on aisle three and you’ll find half of the security guard currently being eaten inside the anomaly.
BEST LINE Evan: “Look around, they have everything here. Probably even have a dinosaur trap aisle.”
Primeval: New World airs in the UK on Watch, Tuesdays, 9pm