Eye Candy Season 1 Episode 5 – TV Review
After last week’s 100% filler, police procedural abomination, anything would have been impressive as a follow-up.
Thus, for the first time, I can say I’m impressed by Eye Candy.
It’s still stupid as fuck, though. It can’t stray too far.
TL;DR There’s another murderous hacker on the scene who distracts from some kills perpetrated by Mr Stalker; Lindy gets back on with Aussie Guy; Gay Friend gets a shortlived (literally) love interest; everyone attends a crazy party that exchanges risky, violent behaviour for cash.
Naturally, the Not-Buzzfeed boss is the one behind it.
The plot of last episode is completely ignored, so we’re following on essentially from episode 3. Mr Stalker is still active, and the Bad Boss of Not-Buzzfeed intends to throw a nightclub party to show Mr Stalker how unafraid his clubrat victim pool is. Lindy and Tommy, along with the police, take it as an opportunity to try to lure Mr Stalker out. They are intercepted by Bubonic, a hacker extraordinaire from Tommy’s past, who makes it his mission to dare the party guests to do escalatingly outrageous things (it comes to the “cutting off a finger” calibre of dare) for money, stolen from Bad Boss’ bank account. Amid the mayhem, Aussie Guy gets shackled to a boiler with a bomb attached to it (Bubonic’s grand finale), and Lindy is the only one left at the end to stop it. And then Bubonic just gives her the means to stop it and fucks off. At the end, we find out that Bubonic was actually working for Bad Boss; Lindy’s reconciliation with Aussie Guy makes Tommy all lime green jellyfish; Gay Friend’s date is killed by Mr Stalker, who was at the party, too; and Lindy conceals her meeting with Bubonic from Tommy.
And nobody gets any money. Not even that one guy who got his finger cut off.
In all honesty, the Dares For Cash game is a good premise, and could easily work as a horror movie.
Of course, Eye Candy suffocates it with relationship melodrama and endless technobabble.
But for the most part, it’s an effective way to ramp up the tension. Yeah, the violence never really reaches a high point, but it’s a solid effort for a show that’s been more than struggling to be as scary as it thinks it is.
Why I hate this episode:
Still, just like last episode, this is yet another week where Mr Stalker takes a distant back seat (at least he’s in this one), and a tangential plot absorbs everyone’s screentime. We get Mr Stalker slashing a random girl’s throat at the start (he was supposed to kill Oliver, Gay Friend’s date, but he got distracted), a quick shot of Mr Stalker again tailing Oliver at the party, and then Oliver getting nabbed at the end. Other than that, it’s all The Bubonic Show.
And Bubonic is a fucking freak. He wears some hideous, ridiculous bird beak mask, and does some laughable maniacal laugh thing when taunting Tommy. It’s not scary at all. It’s just sad that a show could think that it’s anything other than ridiculous.
His bomb is unnecessarily complicated. It operates in tandem with the cash prize giveaway: as the total prize pool is depleted by people collecting the money, the bomb raises the temperature in the boiler it’s connected to, which will eventually overheat the boiler and ignite the explosives attached to the detonator. Why bother with all that? Why not just make the detonator go off when the prize pool reaches zero or something? Bizarre.
The final dare of the game directs the players to steal their competitors’ phones, which will let them steal the money that the steal-ee has won so far in the game. Understandably, this ignites a club-wide brawl. But two of the corrupt bouncers confront Lindy, Black Cop, and another cop while they’re on their way to nab Bubonic, demanding they hand over their phones. Guys, Lindy hasn’t even been playing, and I don’t think the fucking police officers have been, either. Not that the bouncers would necessarily know this, but surely they should have been keeping their eyes out for the high earners. What about finger guy?
Of course Gay Friend would go to a dining-in-the-dark restaurant while a serial killer is on the loose. Smart move.
Bubonic pretty much stole Felicity Smoak’s backstory: he and a girlfriend were hackers; she got nabbed by the cops and committed suicide in prison. The difference is that he turned into the terrorist, not her.
The name of the club, and the episode, is “IRL.” Seriously?
Oh, and is anyone shocked that a computer-reliant operation to catch a hacker is, gasp, hacked? Sure, it’s not by the hacker they were targeting, but good grief, guys.
But it’s not all bad:
Stupid mask and maniacal laugh aside, Bubonic’s competence isn’t in question. I doubt he ever intended to blow up the nightclub, and by episode’s end, he assures Bad Boss he has all his money back, so Lindy’s thwarting of the game was always part of the plan. And Bubonic even gets Tommy beat up by a crazed boyfriend who he sent Photoshopped photos to of Tommy canoodling with his girlfriend. What a trickster.
The real interesting part, and what could bring this Bubonic shit back from the brink of irrelevance, is his interaction with Lindy. Lindy mentions that she almost worked for Bubonic at one time (presumably during his hacktivist, idealistic era), and their confrontation near the end of the episode isn’t violent. Bubonic informs her of his tragic backstory, and hints that if Tommy hid that from her, what else is the Cyber Crimes Unit hiding? The fact that Lindy lets him get away and then lies to Tommy that she didn’t encounter him is also pretty juicy.
The one thing I’m not too sure of was the phone Bubonic was using to control the game. It’s pink, and right after Lindy sees it, she asks Bubonic if he knows anything about Sarah (he says he doesn’t). Is the phone Sarah’s? Are there any Eye Candy fans out there committed enough to find out if that’s what was happening?
Gay Friend is still stiff and dull, but his little romance subplot helps flesh him out a bit. He’s not as much of an ice queen as he makes himself out to be, as he finds himself actually invested in Oliver, who he considers a good guy (a rare find). Later, when the “punch someone for cash” level of the dare begins, a drunk douche clocks Oliver. Gay Friend knocks the dude out, and then shares a victory kiss with Oliver. It’s tame and devoid of any passion, but it’s something.
He also flirts minorly with Black Cop, who flirts back just a little bit. Just like Tommy.
The first shot Bubonic fires, to announce his return to Tommy, is to post an ad encouraging people to loot Tommy’s apartment. His dog also gets sent to a shelter, and has a scheduled euthanasia bumped up. Tommy saves the dog, at least. Slick moves, Bubonic.
I was happy that the girl with the annoying laugh got killed. And her throat slashing was very gushtacular.
There’s a Bebe Rexha song on for a little while that I like.
Oh, and Lindy’s attempts to saw through the handcuffs Aussie Guy is shackled to the boiler with are amazingly pathetic.