Sunday, June 2, 2013

XIII - Black Widow

"Black Widow" offers a look back at the reasons behind Victor Gong's (Shannon Kook) transformation into XIII's (Stuart Townsend) doppelganger one year ago as in the present XIII goes through the reverse procedure and is given Victor's original face even though both M. Pong (Ho Chow) and Ai Ning (Sarah Lian) both know he's not the real Victor. Meanwhile XIII's doppelganger and a far more violent Betty (Roxane Mesquida) continue their new partnership which includes making a visit to both M. Pong and Ai Ning and the real Victor takes some vengeance out on his plastic surgeon (Diana Tso).

Attempting to find the real Victor by trying to stimulate XIII's memories leads XII to Victor's martial arts teacher Tang Lung (Tig Fong) and a confrontation with Ai Ning when XIII realizes she and her father have been drugging him. Confronting M. Pong and Winslow Wong (Jack Yang), XIII gets his first real answers and makes a deal to stop Victor and Betty's plans (which is easier said than done).

One week after delivering the season's best episode, "Black Widow" offers one of its weakest. Betty's transformation is so ridiculously extreme it's impossible to take seriously. The various shifting allegiances, fake-outs, and betrayals that try to amp up the tension only create confusion and a plot that becomes impossibly convoluted. Once again several minutes are wasted on the crazy President Carrington (Stephen McHattie) storyline as well. One week after introducing Lian the show find nothing more of interest to do with her character except kill her off and leave XIII completely alone again with the whole world against him as the show moves one episode closer to its Second Season finale.

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