'Project Blue Book': Episode 5 is cringeworthy, but Hynek remains the hero of the story
Hynek has been unable to cooperate with the government when it comes to maintaining secrecy, but is that all the show is about?
History Channel's 'Project Blue Book' has seen a steep decline in its viewership rating and it can be said the show's tendency to treat fiction with greater verity than truth has resulted in its downfall. It seems that with every episode, the story keeps getting more unreal and that is exactly what went wrong with Episode 5, titled 'The Foo Fighters'.
Starring Aidan Gillen as Dr. J Allen Hynek, Michael Malarkey as Captain Michael Quinn, Laura Mennell as Mimi Hynek, Ksenia Solo as Susie Miller, and Neal McDonough as General James Harding, each episode of the show is based on a true incident that contributed largely to the UFO conspiracies of the early 1950s.
Taking up yet another true incident, 'The Foo Fighters' brought into focus a secret group of war veterans who experienced sightings of strange objects. Their reports claimed these flying objects traveled at great speeds and were able to make maneuvers to keep up with American planes.
While the Americans feared it could be yet another German invasion, there was evidence that pointed otherwise. The strange objects in the sky, which would often appear to be chasing their aircraft were nicknamed Foo Fighters after a popular cartoon of the time called 'Smoky Stover'. Although they occurred across Europe and America, the Allies discovered the Axis powers too had seen the objects.
As the veterans' stories begin to worry the U.S. Air Force, Hynek and Quinn are once again sent to investigate the matter and find a suitable explanation of things. Hynek, who is, by now, maddened by the government's tendency to overlook all existing proof of a probable alien invasion, might come across as the only sane part of this episode.
Hynek has been trying to persuade the government to look into the case with sincerity, but all his attempts to turn their secret game into some substantial research work has failed. However, he has been receiving certain clues such as symbols on cards and videos from a mysterious man in a hat, whose identity continues to remain dubious on the show.
Episode 5 sees Hynek almost reaching a point where he can no longer tolerate the ongoing hush-hush of the government when it comes to these unidentified objects that are reportedly being seen in the sky. Hynek's quest brings him face to face with Fuller, who had reported his other-worldly encounter in Episode 1.
Unfortunately, Fuller was treated the same way as all the other war veterans, and his report was treated as a mere result of post-traumatic stress disorder claiming Fuller was probably too damaged by the war and his brain was now reacting to the horrors of war, by making him see things that are not there.
Hynek and Fuller's encounter does not go as expected, and Fuller ultimately puts an end to his life by burning himself. Even here, Hynek is unable to understand the government's reluctance in actually looking into the matter with some sincerity. The episode drags on for the next half, and we do not get much of Fuller's story as the episode gradually takes an unnecessary turn towards Susie's conflict with her so-called husband. Susie's character has been incomplete since the beginning, and even four episodes down, we still do not know why the character is actually on the show.
Episode 5 saw an extremely inessential flirtation between Susie and Quinn, and, needless to say, that was probably the most boring flirting scene ever. As Susie pretends to be a hapless wife tortured by her husband, she begins to seduce Quinn, who at once jumps at the idea of going out with her. We are yet not sure where this strange encounter will take the two characters but as far as the basic premise of the show is concerned, their relationship until this point seems undesired.
On the other hand, Mimi has been acting strange about almost everything around her and we cannot truly blame the character considering the annoying neighbor she has, who time and again likes a little gossip at the cost of the Hynek family.
Let's just say, with Episode 5, 'Project Blue Book' has done what it was not expected to do at all - it has taken the truth and sort of thrown it away after only peeling the basic information.
The show is gradually taking the shape of a bizarre spy espionage, and it would be a shame if it does not return with a focus on Hynek's plight to discover the truth about aliens. Hopefully, the show will return to its original charm, which it retained in the first two episodes, and maybe then, the story will finally find its depth.