As Pat and the Shade struggle through the shadow lands, Courtney learns more about the Helix Institute in “Chapter Eight: Infinity Inc. Part Two.”
Though the mysterious cameras in Blue Valley were disabled in “Chapter Seven: Infinity Inc. Part One,” the Justice Society of America’s (JSA) troubles are far from over. “Chapter Eight: Infinity Inc, Part Two” takes a brief detour from Blue Valley, splitting time between the shadow lands and the Helix Institute.
Picking up where the last episode left off, Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and Jennie (Ysa Penarejo) must face a shadow-engulfed Todd (Tim Gabriel). Courtney convinces Todd to control his powers by focusing on what he loves. The tactic works, but Todd is faced with a vision of a prior abusive homophobic foster parent that causes him to lose control. Though we haven’t known Todd for long, he has been a great addition to the series.
Trapped in the shadow lands, the Shade (Jonathan Cake) guides Pat (Luke Wilson) through the realm’s rules. The Shade quickly finds that the linking of his powers with Jennie’s ring affects his powers here as well, making him unable to get them home. The typical black-and-white lighting of the shadow lands is interspersed with the green light of Jennie’s ring. Though an unlikely pair, Pat and the Shade are entertaining as they reluctantly work together throughout the episode.
The Shade faces visions of the Gambler (Eric Goins) and the death of his sister (Arianne Martin). Pat faces his abusive father (G.W. Bailey), and each of these moments are heartbreaking and enlightening for both. The most emotional of these visions is when both Pat’s father and Barbara (Amy Smart) confront Pat over his neglect of Mike (Trae Romano). Revealing that Mike’s mother abandoned him in a soup kitchen at three or four years old, they warn Pat that Mike will grow to resent him. It’s interesting to learn more about Mike’s tragic backstory, but it’s disturbing that Pat’s neglect of Mike has been addressed multiple times throughout the series with no improvement.
As Courtney is locked in the Helix Institute’s office, she fails to convince Nurse Love (Lynne Ashe) to release her. Seeing that there is a camera in the room, Courtney tries to talk to whoever is watching her. Mr. Bones (Keith David) comes in and reveals that he and Nurse Love created the Institute to help young people hide their abilities. Mr. Bones’ backstory is very interesting and his commentary that Courtney and the other JSA members can easily put away their abilities and lead normal lives unlike himself is an interesting perspective.
Courtney shines as she manages to convince Mr. Bones that attempting to suppress powers is not the way to handle people with special abilities. She encourages him that a family reunion for Todd and Jennie is what’s best for both. Mr. Bones relents and allows Jennie to see Todd. The reunion works as Jennie is able to calm Todd and release the darkness from her ring. The reunion and the subsequent return of Pat and the Shade from the shadow lands is one of the episode’s highlights.
With the group reunited, Courtney accuses Nurse Love of planting the cameras in Blue Valley. Nurse Love denies their involvement, arguing that their method is researching over spying. Pat convinces the Shade to offer mentorship to Todd with his shadow abilities and the Shade reluctantly agrees. Todd jumps at the opportunity and the Shade portals him and Jennie to New York to help Jennie’s friend. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the story, but it’s sad to see the Shade, Jennie, and Todd leave so soon. Hopefully, we will see them return before the end of the season.
Courtney’s words seemed to have an impact on Mr. Bones, and he suggests to Nurse Love that they form a super team of their own. It’s surprising that the Helix Institute doesn’t appear to be the season’s big villain, but it’s likely not the last we’ve seen of them. Mr. Bones’ suggestion, as well as some shots of the Institute’s other residents, provide an intriguing setup that will hopefully be explored sometime in the future.
Left behind by the Shade, Pat and Courtney must take a bus back to Blue Valley. Courtney admits to Pat that the experience has affirmed her belief that it’s best to continue to see the best in people. It’s a nice bonding moment to end the episode on. As bad as Pat and Mike’s relationship has been, it’s great to see that the Pat and Courtney dynamic remains strong.
Courtney questions who is responsible for the cameras if the Helix Institute isn’t, which remains a mystery. The ending of “Chapter Eight: Infinity Inc. Part Two” shows a hooded figure in the tunnels below Blue Valley. Despite the lack of the rest of the JSA, the episode had some nice emotional moments. Thankfully, we will see Blue Valley and the rest of the JSA again soon.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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