Project Blue Book - What Lies Beneath - Review By Lisa Macklem (March 17, 2020, 2:15 pm)
Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book “What Lies Beneath” was written by Alec Wells and directed by John Scott, whose other credits include Suits, The Catch, and The Magicians. The episode continues Hynek (Aidan Gillen) and Quinn’s (Michael Malarkey) search for answers and introduces new help from an unexpected quarter – Andrew Garner (played by another of my favorite and very busy Canadian actors – Brian Markinson). However, the big reveal is their new behind the scenes supporter – John F Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson)!!! Susie’s (Ksenia Solo) seems to come to a head in this episode too. I really liked how this title resonated with what lay beneath the surface of Susie, Project Blue Book, and Garner!
The episode begins with a flashback of the night that Hynek and Quinn returned from Washington. They are about to celebrate when they’re interrupted by John (Daryl Sabara), who works on the base – in Hanger 18. He tells them that it’s not a hanger but a lab. He’s working on reverse engineering Russian technology, except it’s NOT Russian. He’s blowing the whistle because his brother died in WWII, and they’re planning to blame the UFOs on Russia in order to start another war. He’ll only meet them off the base with proof… and then is intercepted by the Generals.
The present rendez vous proves more fruitful. Garner also worries the higher ups are trying to trigger another World War. He tells them he’s there for someone else – someone in Congress who is their friend. He gives them some files on sightings over bases, but he wants them to provide more proof so that they can then expose the conspiracy of covering up extraterrestrial life.
While Hynek and Quinn fly home, they look over the files. Garner told them about a pilot who had a similar experience to Quinn, who looks at some photos and is clearly triggered by them. He tells Hynek that he’s the only person that he trusts right then. Hynek assures him that he’s always on his side.
When the two arrive back at their office, Special Agent Stevens (Chris William Martin) of the OSI, won’t let them in! It’s a matter of national security as a number of offices have been burglarized, and Blue Book is shut down… indefinitely! Quinn tells Hynek that he’ll stick around even if they won’t let him in his office and tells Hynek to take the stolen files that they do have and get out of there!
Faye (Jill Morrison) tells Quinn that she didn’t go it – or tell the OSI anything. Quinn assures her that he never thought she would. Faye tells him that she’s scared, and I loved that he thought she was scared for herself when she’s scared for him!
Hynek goes home to find Susie there with Mimi. Darla has told Susie to come in, but she’s clearly running. Is she hoping that Quinn will protect her? Regardless, there is someone outside the house… waiting and watching. Susie has told Mimi that Cal is back as her excuse for being there – and frightened! I was surprised that Mimi and Hynek clearly know that Quinn and Susie are together.
Hynek examines the files and finds Valentine (Michael Harney) in one of the photos, proving their knowledge and involvement in the cover up. Mimi sees the car and wants to call the police but Susie stops her, asking if she still has the gun – and then goes to find it. There’s a great split shot of Mimi outside the bathroom door and Susie in it.
Quinn shows up – and knows that Mimi took the files from the office. Hynek doesn’t believe it at first, and I have to say that I’m getting tired of Quinn (or Hynek) saying they trust the other early in the episode only to doubt the other by the end – move on guys! Mimi, of course, does tell Hynek the truth. She also tells him that after the Robertson panel she was afraid that they were going to destroy his whole life and career. She shows him the files she stole from the General’s office. They are blueprints and he knows what they are.
Susie tells Quinn she has to leave town, and he assures her that she can tell him anything. She’s interrupted by Hynek, and he and Quinn both pour over the files. John was telling the truth – and these are the files he was going to give them. Hynek suggests they could expose everything, but Quinn wants to give the files back. Hynek points out that they either have to expose them or he and Mimi will be arrested by the OSI. It was interesting that Susie ends up in the room – and is she surprised that they really are investigating UFOs and not building weapons?
Susie asks Mimi if she took something after the two are shoo’d out of the room. Mimi says that she did something bad and put her family in danger. Susie assures her that there’s always a way out – and who knew that it would be Susie herself!
Hynek and Quinn are fighting when Fedor (Kris Yurij) burst in, looking for Susie. Susie comes out with the gun and shoots him! Mimi calls the police. Fedor speaks Russian – and exposes Susie as the spy she is. He tells them that she’s going to finish the job – and she kills him before anyone can stop her. Susie tries to talk to Quinn. She tells him that he knows how valuable she is. She promises to take the blame for everything. They let the police take her away, but all three decide to let Susie take the blame.
Meanwhile, Valentine and Harding (Neal McDonough) turn to Banks (Jerod Haynes) for help with Garner. Valentine knows that very Catholic Harding won’t approve of the fact that the CIA get information by using prostitutes to give people LSD to get them to talk. There’s another nice split shot right after the one with Mimi and Susie, with the generals on one side of a two way mirror and Garner with Betty (Michelle DeShon) on the other.
Banks leaves, and when Garner starts to get high from the LSD, Betty starts asking questions. The LSD is supposed to just act like a truth serum, but Garner starts raving about them not being alone and that God is there. When he starts roughing up Betty, Valentine and Harding burst in. Garner tells Harding that he has a message for him – from God – but Harding has to be ready to hear it… and of course, Harding wants to hear it. They don’t seem to get anything against Hynek and Quinn, however.
When the Generals do get the files back, Harding admits that Valentine had been right about Susie. He wonders about Quinn. Valentine says that they’ll have to watch him, and if nothing else, Quinn was sloppy. The Generals storyline ends with Banks bringing Harding some LSD – it seems he wants a direct line to God! This somewhat interestingly parallels a similar storyline on the show Evil, in which a character uses drugs to see visions of God….
Quinn and Hynek are surprised by a call from Senator Kennedy. He tells them that he was a friend of Fairchild’s. He’s seen the film, and it’s clear that he believes. Hynek tells him that their best way forward is with science and observation. After the call, Quinn speculates that this is who Garner is working for. Hynek wonders where Kennedy is getting his information.
Faye brings them a letter from John that contains his “proof” – it’s a key, which just looks like a slab of metal. The two head down to Hanger 18, but they find it completely empty. Hynek wonders if the Generals have set them up, and asks Quinn what their next move is. Quinn tells him that he doesn’t know.
With only two episodes left, they’ve really ramped things up. It looks like even if Susie does love Quinn that she’s lost him forever. Could staunch patriot Quinn ever forgive her for being a spy? Unlikely. Having Kennedy in their corner is an interesting twist. What will Harding discover on LSD? McDonough is doing a great job showing the cracks in this character – he’s becoming more and more of a wild card. What IS the next move for Hynek and Quinn? What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!