Spaced Newbie Recap: “Chaos”
Despite an action-packed episode courtesy of Tim’s adoration of Star Wars, “Chaos” almost seems to be a relaxed version of the show. While it’s certainly not a weak episode (does this show do weak episodes?), it’s definitely a more sedated version than we’ve gotten for the prior four weeks. Despite this, Edgar Wright goes all out in his love of quick cuts, exaggerated close ups, and sound effects paired with both.
We also get the fantastically ironic quote from Tim about how all “odd numbered Star Trek films are shit” as well as a flashback to Tim’s youth in a reference to The Shining.
Daisy loves Colin,but Tim still fears Colin as he tells a camouflaged Mike in the opening moments of Spaced. More than anything, though, Tim is more concerned about the time Colin is taking up in Daisy’s daily life, and how he’s what lifted her spirits and not him. Tim, as per usual, is agitated.
Next, Tim complains to his boss, Bilbo (played by the excellent Bill Bailey – go watch Black Books). Bilbo tells Tim a folktale about a dog who was trained to attack the rich until his owner won the lottery and turned on him. It’s a brilliant little set up to the quintessential rescue mission at the end of the episode – but there are moments in between that are fantastic.
Daisy and Tim both stare at Colin, the former with love, and the latter with distrust. Tim is trying to like Colin for Daisy’s sake, but it just isn’t happening. Daisy plans on taking Colin out later to go shopping with Twist, and Tim tells Daisy that Brian is coming around later in the night to watch the Star Wars trilogy with him. Tim says that he went with Brian to a gallery the week before, so they’re partaking in a sort of culture experience swap.
Its kind of genius.
Brian and Tim’s relationship is so much more interesting when they’re getting along than otherwise. Mark Heap and Simon Pegg are such different performers that it’s nice to see them playing against one another. Their Star Wars marathon also made me want to have one right away.
I’ll put it on my to-do list.
The big action piece comes later, when Tim is forced into walking Colin and, while making a desperate plea to extra terrestrials to come and abduct him, Colin is actually abducted by the mystery man who Tim ran into earlier on his skateboard.
Daisy is furious, and the lighting here is fantastic as the camera switches from Tim to Daisy to Mark sitting in between them. The lighting on Tim is bright, whitewashing his surroundings and making it feel what it would be like to turn the lights on after a five hour movie marathon. When it switches to Daisy, there’s a spotlight on her and the foreground is darker. Tricks like this instantly elevate a scene.
Daisy takes her rage out by punching Tim in the face. Point for Daisy.
The next day is spent with them trying to search for Colin, with Daisy growing more and more upset until they receive an anonymous tip that he’s been captured for pharmaceutical testing. Tim makes the decision to rally the troops and brings Mike, Brian, and Twist along to go on their rescue mission. They dress in black, formulate a plan, and are assigned names based on Star Wars.
The mission is oddly simple, largely due to the fact that the security guard that Brian and Mike are pitted against is largely amiable. It’s a funny way to diffuse the situation as they get along, taking away any form of real threat.
Meanwhile Daisy and Twist stand guard, and Tim runs inside and saves Colin, along with three small kittens. The shot of him running with the cage in hand and Colin in his backpack is one of my favorites from the episode.
They’re eventually helped out by the security guard who tells them that he sent the note tipping them off. He says he’ll call the police to make it look less suspicious and, with the aid of Twist’s good luck makeup, will make it look like he was banged up in the process, keeping him safe from culpability.
To cycle back to Bilbo’s original story: the abductor is attacked by the rich attacking dog.
I love a good punchline.
Ultimately “Chaos” was a good episode, but I have a feeling that this won’t be the episode I remember most by the series’ end.
Allyson Johnson is a twenty something writer and a lover of film and all things pop-culture. She’s a film and television enthusiast and critic over at TheYoungFolks.com who spends too much of her free time on Netflix. Her idols are Jo March, Illana Glazer, and Amy Poehler. Check her out at her twitter @AllysonAJ or at The Young Folks.