The Ark 1×09 Review: “The Painful Way”

"The Painful Way."
Trust (Paul Murray) and Helena (Mercedes De La Cruz) confront Alicia (Stacey Read) in “The Painful Way.”

Sharon’s leadership of the Ark comes under attack after a controversial decision in “The Painful Way.”

The introduction of William Trust (Paul Murray) and Helena (Mercedes De La Cruz) on Ark-1 already stirred up tensions in “Every Single Person Matters.” These tensions boil over into a full-on civil war after a heavily contested decision in “The Painful Way.” Though there is a resolution to the crisis by the end, it is doubtful that the dynamics of Ark-1’s crew will ever be the same.

Sharon (Christie Burke) must decide whether to stay the course and potentially run into an encounter with Ark-15. Alicia (Stacey Read) determines that the Ark-15 weapon that attacked them came from the direction of their current trajectory. The alternate option is to redirect course away from danger, but subsequently add years onto their journey. Though Trust proposes a design for a shield to protect the ship from another attack, Sharon is unsure of the unproven technology. Both sides have justifiable reasons, but the council ultimately votes to redirect course.

Despite being reminded that they are guests of the council meeting, Trust and Helena are adamant that they and they alone should be making decisions for the Ark. Trust derides the democratic decision-making of the council, calls them children for not listening to him, and then subsequently throws a tantrum as he locks them out of the system when he doesn’t get his way. Though Trust and his ego are insufferable, Helena’s ruthlessness is even worse. Once Alicia overrides Trust’s program locks for Sharon, Helena tells Trust that he must take control “the painful way.”

Spurred on by Helena’s urging, Trust begins to manipulate several of the crew members to stage a mutiny over Sharon and the others who are firmly behind her decision. The task isn’t difficult, as much of the lower crew isn’t happy that the changed course will add years to their life on the Ark. Spencer (Reece Ritchie) and Cat (Christina Wolfe) help Trust, and their efforts lead to Sharon being attacked by a lower crew member. Unfortunately, Trust is also able to recruit a few others to his cause, including Eva (Tiana Upcheva).

James (Richard Fleeshman) and Eva (Tiana Upcheva) in “The Painful Way.”

Those on Team Trust drug Sharon, James (Richard Fleeshman), and Felix (Pavle Jerinic) with sedatives and lock them up. The worst of these betrayals is when Eva drugs James after their attempt to be just friends leads to them hooking up once again. Though it’s clear that both are starting to have feelings for each other, it will be hard for James to trust Eva again after the betrayal. As Team Trust gains control of the ship and puts them back on the original course, Sharon, James, and Felix wake up in a locked room. James breaks down and admits his diagnosis to Sharon and Felix. Sharon’s comforting of him in the aftermath is the episode’s emotional highlight.

Not everyone is thrilled with the change of leadership, as Alicia and Angus (Ryan Adams) both attempt to sabotage the Trust regime. Angus starts to destroy his crops until he is stopped by Kelly (Samantha Glessner). Alicia locks the new leadership out of the Ark-1 system and only reveals herself as the culprit when Trust and Helena remove the oxygen from Sharon, James, and Felix’s prison. It’s awesome to see Alicia stand up to Trust, particularly as he keeps condescendingly calling her a child.

Alicia’s act of heroism helps the crew see the error of their ways. Eva steps in front of Alicia when Helena tries to kill her. Cat is jilted when Trust implies that their affair is a mistake after almost being caught by Helena, and she confesses to Dr. Kabir (Shalini Peiris) that she stole the ship’s sedatives for the mutiny. The three captives are released and quickly retake control. Even Spencer seems to show some remorse for his actions. Though Sharon commends the traitors for doing the right thing in the end, it’s clear that it won’t be easy for them to regain her trust.

Unfortunately, the crew of Ark-1 has bigger things to worry about by the end of “The Painful Way.” Kelly is revealed to be a mole for Ark-15 and her contact with the ship has brought it straight toward Ark-1. Trust’s newly invented shields don’t work when tested, and Kelly takes Trust into custody by gunpoint. Though the twist is not too surprising, it will be interesting to see what Ark-15’s ultimate goal is, particularly with the Trusts.

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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