'Project Blue Book' season 1 episode 2: History takes a leap forward through Mimi Hynek's seduction by a female Russian spy
Like the iconic Butch Femmes of the 50s, we find the leading ladies of 'Project Blue Book' going about their lives without being too concerned about the consequences.
The intense post-war era that went on to acquire the moniker of the 'Fabulous 50s' was a revolution in a lot of ways. While the world's most powerful nations were on the brink of the Cold War that would go on for the next 40 years or so, there was also another tension the 50s' society was riddled with; but for all the right reasons. The 50s saw the rise of bold, daring lesbians opting for men's clothing as a demand to be seen as equals to what was believed to be the stronger sex, thus coining the term 'Butch Femmes'. And by the looks of it, History's new show, 'Project Blue Book' takes a leaf out of the pages of the same revolution, minus the male attire, in the form of Dr. J Allen Hynek's wife, Mimi, getting seduced by the undercover Russian spy, Suzie Miller.
Even though it chooses to digress from historical facts of the actual investigation undertaken by the US Air Force back in the 50s, the show is still primarily about Dr. Hynek's involvement with the project that attempted to divulge the truth behind over 12,000 sudden alien and UFO sightings in the Washington DC area at the time. Yet, the one thing setting the show apart from stereotypical alien series is its ample portrayal of Dr. Hynek's family life and the drama around it.
Owing to his active participation in the project, we see Dr. Hynek (Aidan Gillen) getting distant from his wife, Mimi. (Laura Mennell) His growing obsession with figuring out the truth behind the sightings and the speculated cover up from the government's side leaves him barely any time for his wife and son back home. This leaves Mimi increasingly lonely, but that is until she finds a new best friend in the gorgeous blonde stranger, Suzie. (Ksenia Solo)
The two go shopping together and end up trying to unravel the hype about the beatnik joints that highlighted the era, and soon it is revealed that the gorgeous blonde with an impeccable sense of style is more than what she lets on. The openly flirtatious Suzie's discreet advances towards Mimi are not entirely objected by the latter either and that is equal parts badass, and inexplicable. Mimi, despite her loneliness, seems to be the good wife invested in her marriage and family. And even though she hasn't been openly established as gay, she doesn't entirely back off from Suzie's flirty nature, neither does she respond quite actively. For the most part, she seems to be enjoying Suzie's companionship, all inclusive of the ample flirting, which however leads to certain speculations about History introducing this sub-plot into the tale.
Almost in the manner of the iconic Butch Femmes of the 50s, we find the leading ladies of 'Project Blue Book' going about their lives without being too concerned about the consequences - something that offers a refreshing take on the budding lesbian revolution of the era, and also the portrayal of leading ladies indulging in risky behaviour set in that time, makes for compact alien genre with a dash of drama here and there.
As the series unfolds, viewers soon find out that Suzie is, in fact, an undercover Russian spy, so it's possible that she is using her flirtatious nature as a ploy to find out more about the project from Mimi, considering her husband is directly involved in the same. Of course, the Russians amid their building tensions with the US in the Cold War scenario, are keen on finding out further about the crisis afflicting the States and dig deeper into their knowledge of UFOs and aliens. Thus enters our undercover spy into the story, but History takes it a step forward by making the spy a woman - something that not a lot of spy-centric shows set in the era have portrayed.
Suzie is far from the obnoxious, grumpy, high horse riding Russian spy that holds Americans in poor esteem - thus making the story's choice of the character even more interesting. It also leads to possible speculation that perhaps there's more to both Mimi and her character than what we have been introduced too; in that, the two could even share a hushed-up history, or some other common ground linking them, which his why Suzie goes above and beyond to get a hold of Mimi.
'Project Blue Book' airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c only on History.