In the third episode of the season, we find out much more about what happened to O’Reilly and the potential danger that Mayhem poses. The episode also has a unique structure with the repeated flashbacks showing what Mayhem was up to during the 8 months following the accident.
The episode opens with Mina experimenting on mice that have been exposed to the Roxxon chemicals and looking at how they respond to a variety of stimuli. It turns out that when they experience a moment of trauma, it produces a fear agent which causes them to divide into two identical beings. The science of how this works basically stops there because it’s a pretty outlandish idea, but it’s handled as realistically as they can. We also find out that when this process occurs, the personality of the duplicate is drastically altered. Mina explains this saying, “It’s as if inside their head, there’s nothing but chaos and anger and mayhem.” Mina’s discovery also helps them figure out what Mayhem is up to because, aside from her extreme aggression, she thinks the same way as O’Reilly.
Mayhem’s drive to stop criminals seems to be a manifestation of O’Reilly’s own motives, but without any moral inhibitions. Mayhem isn’t concerned about causing destruction or doing things the “right” way, she just wants to track down and kill criminals. Since Mayhem has all the memories as O’Reilly she’s able to think like a police officer and is very good at tracking people down and getting information. She’s also incredibly focused on stopping criminals and doesn’t seem concerned with much else.
This outlook is pretty similar to our favorite New York gunslinger, Frank Castle. They both want to stop criminals and are willing to resort to extreme and violent measures in order to do it. However, the key difference is that Frank has a moral code and Mayhem doesn’t. At the end of the episode when Mayhem is shooting up the gang hideout, she’s not at all concerned about accidentally killing an innocent kid. Frank on the other hand only goes after criminals and isn’t very comfortable with collateral damage. This is an important distinction because the two characters are so similar it could retreading something we’ve already seen.
When confronted with Mayhem’s way of thinking, Tandy is a bit conflicted. She knows that the only reason they were able to save the women from being kidnapped is because of Mayhem’s violent methods. She procured crucial information by torturing the criminals and Tandy finds it difficult to feel remorse for them since they were in the process of kidnapping people. Tandy’s response to Tyrone when he questions her about that line of thinking is incredibly powerful. But Tyrone tells her that, “Her style of shoot first and ask questions later is what got my brother killed.” In the moment Tandy accepts his reasoning, but hopefully she’ll continue to explore these feeling in the coming episodes since it’s an intriguing and natural development for the character. Regardless, the scene was very powerful and both Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph have done a superb job bringing these complex characters to life.
We also see further developments in both Tandy and Tyrone’s powers at the end of the episode. Tandy makes a ball of light that stuns and confuses the gang members in the hideout and Tyrone absorbs some bullets using his cloak abilities. We also see him absorb Mayhem the same way he absorbed Connors last season, except this time we see where she ended up.
Once absorbed, Mayhem appears to be in an empty void near a mysterious gas station. When she investigates closer she finds O’Reilly’s murdered boyfriend from the first season. He’s inside a refrigerator which is where she found him before, but this time he smiles and asks if she wants pancakes. It seems that whatever Tyrone did is connected to a person’s fears. As far as I can remember, we haven’t had any explicit confirmation that Tyrone can access the Darkforce like he does in the comics, so I’m hesitant to say that’s what’s going on. However, it’s quite likely we’ll get an explanation about the mysterious void Mayhem (and perhaps Connors) have found themselves in the coming episodes.
4 playing cards out of 5.
So far this season seems to be moving pretty quick, which is a really good thing. Now that all the characters have been introduced and they know how to use their powers the show can really start moving forward and hasn’t meandered as much as last season. We also got an explanation for what happened to O’Reilly which is great, since they could have drawn that out a lot longer. Emma Lahana is also doing a great job portraying the same character with two drastically different personalities. Overall, they maintained the forward momentum that the 2-hour premiere built and established some new and interesting avenues for the characters to explore.
- Hopefully the Mayhem puns are contained within this episode.
- Thanks to Mayhem, things have certainly gone down hill for Father Delgado. Poor guy.
- It was incredibly sad when Tandy couldn’t feel any hopeful thoughts from the girl who was almost kidnapped.
- Looks like there’s enough weaponry in Mayhem’s motel room to make Frank Castle jealous.
- Mina’s back! Hopefully she’ll play a larger role this season since she is a really fun character.