“Children of Women and “John Christ”, a two-parter that deals with children and the robot uprising, is hampered by odd choices of themes.
I was provided with advanced digital screeners for Miracle Workers season 4. The opinions I have shared are my own.
In episode 8 of Miracle Workers: End Times, Sid (Daniel Radcliffe) and Freya (Geraldine Viswanathan) find out Freya is pregnant. While Sid is overjoyed, Freya is not so much. She asks to keep the news just between them, but Sid accidentally tells Morris (Steve Buscemi) at work, and he decides to throw the two a baby shower. The baby shower ends up being a ritual for a cult that worships babies.
Meanwhile, Scraps (Jon Bass) hangs out with TI (Karan Soni) while he does his job of going back to the past (2023 to be exact) to kill the future leader of the rebellion. While there, they decide to do something ‘encapsulating the time period’: an escape room.
As with my episode review of episode 4, I actually enjoyed the B plot a lot more. The escape room jokes are great, and watching the two try and figure out ‘the curse of the pharaoh’s tomb’ when it turns out it’s supposed to be a kid’s level is enjoyable to watch. It ends on a cliffhanger, though, as they get back to the future having not killed that leader after all.
However, the A plot seems to miss the mark again. It was nice to see one of the two be cautious of the idea of having kids – especially in this post-apocalyptic world. And yes – the baby-worshiping cult helps show that there is so much more expected of the mother than the father. However, Freya’s concerns seem to be ‘resolved’ by Sid acknowledging the difference in work roles. While I don’t expect them to bring up abortion, the idea of giving up the child other ways (even a joke of giving it to the cult) isn’t even considered.
In ‘John Christ’, the plot is divided into three for a change: Freya (and Scraps) have one last go at being a warlord before the baby makes too big of an impact, with Scraps giving her a gang war. At the same time, Sid joins the revolution (led by the eponymous John Christ). Finally, TI enters a competition to find Nelnet’s next top model to find someone to fight John Christ.
All season, having two plots per episode has irked me. While that’s how it was done in previous seasons, this time around it’s made the plots seem a bit thin. Having three plots at once makes this feeling even worse.
The plot with Sid has the moral that it’s not only okay, but desirable to be ‘the man’ – especially with a baby on the way. Like I mentioned in my review of “Roland Proudheart” with regards to the theme there, it’s tonally off with today’s real world issues. Especially as it ends with Sid calling the cops on the protestors. I feel it could’ve easily been cut to focus more on the other two plots, which is where most of the good humor lands.
My favorite bit is when Freya is mid-battle, and she and Scraps notice a “Snake Pliskin” knockoff named Sick Pig. They think he’s wanting to kill her, and it’s set up as though it’s more of a date than a battle. TI’s competitors also get some humor, as one is a robot straight out of Black Mirror and one is an egg.
Overall, the show seems to be missing the mark more than hitting it, and I’m worried it doesn’t seem to realize it’s doing this. I can only hope the remaining episodes of the seasons get better.
Miracle Workers airs Mondays, and more information about the show can be found on TBS’s website.
Author: Angie Fiedler Sutton
Angie Fiedler Sutton is a writer, podcaster, and all-round fangirl geek. She has been published in Den of Geek, Stage Directions, LA Weekly, The Mary Sue, and others.
She also produces her own podcast, Contents May Vary, where she interviews geeky people about geeky things. You can see all her work (and social media channels) at angiefsutton.com.
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