This week's episode of The 4400 proves, to me, that it is officially the new X-Files. This season is the fourth season, and the show is really hitting on all cylinders now. With the current plot line, they have set up a great "the truth is out there" type scenario where only two NTAC agents (Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris) are seeking this "truth" while everyone else is either oblivious or part of the conspiracy.
This time, Tom and Diana are told about a 4400 (Curtis Peck) whose "ability" is making movies -- really bad ones. How this qualifies as an ability seems strange until they realize that his movies are all about unsolved mysteries or conspiracies (i.e. the assassination of JFK), and that he "solves" the mystery in the film. His movies are terrible. They look even cheesier than an Ed Wood movie, but they are all true. The ideas just appear in Curtis' head and then he films them.
Anyway, Curtis' newest movie is called 'The Marked.' He has only made a trailer for it so far, but the basic idea is that 10 prominent people have had their bodies taken over by agents from the future who want to stop the impact that the 4400 will have on the future. These agents are powerful people in business, religion, and government. They can only be identified by a small marking on the back of their left ear lobe, which is a remnant of the operation they underwent. It sounds pretty unbelievable until Curtis goes missing and the head of the largest software company in the world (who is named in the movie trailer) has a mark behind his left ear.
This new conspiracy is all but proven at the end of the episode as the software giant essentially admits to being one of the ten. Great episode, and it adds another layer to the 4400 vs. the future storyline. It also brought back a character that I had forgotten about and inserted him into the current story. I had forgotten about Matthew Ross the lobbyist for Jordan Collier from the first season or two. Isabelle Tyler killed him, but it was never proven. Turns out he was also one of the ten agents of the future. The actor who played Ross, Garret Dillahunt, is now on John From Cincinnati. He plays the doctor. I knew I recognized him from somewhere.
The whole John From Cincinnati thing is very confusing, speaking of that show. In this week's episode, John was barely present. It's kind of hard to figure out who or what he really is when he is not featured. Last week's show was a total trip, and it proved that the writers of this show are huge David Lynch fans. In my mind, it made John out to be a god as opposed to, say, an alien from outer space or some type of Rain Man. He's definitely some type of supernatural being, anyway. Considering he is able to be in multiple places at once, and he miraculously knows secrets about people that no one else could possibly know, I'd say he's sort of supernatural.
What I can't really figure out with JFC is why certain characters exist in the show at all. First off, Cass. The last two episodes she's done nothing except sit in her hotel room watching the video footage she shot of John. She seems rather useless to the story. Same goes for Butchie's Hawaiian drug dealer, Steady Freddie, and his idiotic friend Palaka. Why do they spend all day just sitting in front of their hotel room doing nothing? Butchie doesn't even seem to be using anymore, and I haven't seen them do any business with anyone else. Lastly, where the hell did Mitch Yost go? Has he already been written off the show? Cissy called him and left a screeching message on his voice mail, but besides that, he has been MIA for the last couple of shows.
Besides John, I am most fond of Bill Jacks (Ed O'Neill). Fond of is maybe a little strong, but I do want to know more about the character. His odd behavior is clearly driven by his grief over the death of his wife. I thought it was pretty touching when he tried to explain dealing with grief to Shawn after Shawn all but said that he wanted to die. It was a nice scene, and I have a new respect for O'Neill as an actor due to his work on this series.
The trailer for next week hinted at another crisis involving Shawn. It also looks like some of the Yosts may turn on John, and suspect him of hurting Shawn. I can't tell what will happen, and that, of course, is why I keep watching. Sadly, the next episode will be the last for this season. How is eight episodes a season?