Original airdate: January 9, 2001
by Michelle Erica Green

The Skeletons In Everybody's Closets

"Out" Plot Summary:

Logan arrives to have dinner with Max, only to insist that they need to leave immediately. He is on the trail of a criminal named Bronck, who has been ripping off the city's blood supply. When Logan takes her to a local airstrip, Max tracks down Bronck's plane, but she gets shot at and winds up furious with Logan for dragging her into his personal quest to save the world.

At the Jam Pony, Max demands to know why men only think about work, work work; Sketchy says it's to keep their minds off sex, sex, sex, which seems to be even on Normal's mind. Kendra tries to fix Max up with a hunk named Sven, but an Eyes Only broadcast about Bronck ruins Max's mood for socializing. Bronck hears the broadcast as well and decides to hunt down Eyes Only by feeding information to the police, who are already on his payroll. When Sung contacts Logan with new facts, Bronck's thugs follow him to their meeting and abduct both men. Max has gone with Sketchy to deliver a package in a neighborhood ruled by gangs. When she sees Bronck's men seizing under-age girls, she realizes he's peddling flesh rather than blood. Max tries to call Logan to report on the kidnappings, but Bling tells her Bronck has kidnapped Logan as well.

Logan admits that he is Eyes Only to save Sung from being killed, but Max uses a voice synthesizer to pretend to be Eyes Only when she calls Bronck's headquarters, confusing him. Max allows Bronck's men to trace the call because she has diverted the signal to the gang headquarters she visited earlier with Sketchy. Meanwhile, she screens the background noise on Bronck's end of the call, highlighting the sounds of airplanes and a foghorn that suggests Bronck's stronghold is near a waterway. She heads to an airfield by the harbor, saves Logan and Sung, then jumps onto Bronck's plane to toss him out the door and rescue the girls.

While Normal mourns his lady love who turned out to be a transsexual lesbian, Max apologizes to Logan for her own inaction while a pimp tried to sell children into slavery. Logan apologizes to her as well for hiding behind his work, rather than dealing with his infirmity and their relationship. A phone call again interrupts their dinner plans, but Logan says he won't do any more work till morning.


People's Choice Award Winner Dark Angel moves further into soap opera territory in an episode that focuses on gender differences, even if the usual binary equations get disrupted by Normal's affair with a former man and Cindy's preference for traditionally feminine lesbians. Max starts out getting cooking tips from Kendra while Logan looks for excuses to keep their relationship professional. It seems like a typical bad sitcom set-up, but these characters hardly fit the usual boy-girl molds. Logan's not flaunting his machismo, but covering for his self-defined inadequacies as a man. Max is just trying to construct a positive relationship with a member of the opposite sex, for while she's tight with her girlfriends, as her roommate points out, swearing off men isn't very fulfilling for a straight woman.

But the men in Max's world are unreliable. There are the ones with vigilante causes, like Logan and Lydecker; the ones without a clue, like Sketchy; and the ones too frightening to think about, like brutal gang members and Bronck's child-molesting clients. In this context, Normal's stereotypical, cliché-ridden courtship of a woman who was once a man becomes rather touching. He's after intimacy that's emotional rather than physical, but he loses the girl because he can't fulfill her desires, even though Sketchy suggests men are the ones obsessed with sex. Then again, Sketchy thinks women come into the world with a mission to create offspring, whereas men have to create their own missions like space travel or designing the perfect anal probe -- a speech he makes after begging Max and Cindy to accompany him into a bad neighborhood because he's too scared to go himself.

Logan has a mission and a patronizing male attitude, but his injury has forced him to confront his fear of impotence in the face of female strength. He refers to the sexual ramifications of his paralysis obliquely when he tells Bling he's fed up with exercising, which in Logan's case means he's tired of needing help to lift his leg (Bling threatens to "beat on his skinny ass" if he keeps talking like that). Logan keeps finding himself in the role of damsel in distress while Max acts as his savior, something that bothers him greatly -- but she hardly seems to notice, because she's used to being stronger than everyone else. What she's not used to being is vulnerable. As soon as Logan figures out that that's how he makes her feel, maybe he'll be able to work with her as a real partner.

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