~ Patterns of the Soul ~

or "Why do I think Black needs an Ice Pick?"

Once again, slanting the review of the episode toward the leather clad Caustic one, we will just pretty much ignore those silly little other plots that ignore the man.

Max is in big trouble with the corporation.  The mucky-mucks are upset with him, as he's been very negligent in getting those reports in on time.  (Do you think Max got distracted by some home videos?!?!?) Max is immediately on the defensive with IPX "I don't like being called and harassed." he tells the blonde IPX chick.

She informs him that the company is concerned about the profit margins. Max tries to explain that he's been busy "Not to mention the half a dozen life threatening situations he's been in the last two weeks." IPX is not impressed, they want profit, not Max's excuses for not getting the paperwork done. He signs off assuring them that the next planet is going to be a gold mine of information.

Surprise, they're going to Theta 49 instead.  Max is upset, as it looks incredibly dull (Okay non profitable) to him.  Matt tells him that it's an Earthforce order.  Max snidely exclaims "That explains the boring part."

Matthew offers to let Max take a vacation.

"But IPX doesn't offer paid vacations." exclaims Max.
"For this, we'd be willing to chip in."

(Small disappointment. There is no Reaction Shot of Max to that comment. Score - Max 0 Gideon 1)

Later on, Matt and Max bond.  M.F. truly believes that the two men respect one another, but they still try to out "up" one another at any chance. Max tells Matt that Gideon has it rough being a career military man, and expected to be ferryman, jailer and executioner.

On the other hand, Max has it great.  "I just do what I am told. The cooperation knows all, sees all, and tell very little. If we make a bad call, we can honest say that we have acted in good conscious based on the information available. Absolution in Absentia! The Blessed state of being able to say it's not my fault."

Max continues on with the "Garden of Eden speech".  "Look, it would have been so much better if they had no opinion, if they had eaten of the fruit of knowledge and continued on without having their opinion about whether or not it had to be good or bad."

Matt and Max go their separate ways, but will later meet up again, when Matt needs information from the man he's entitled "Mr. Corporation." But, sneaky Max finds out that there are life forms out on that planet! And amazingly enough, they seem to match Dureena's racial specs.

Later on, Max, in his quarters and wearing his reading glasses, is interrupted by Gideon.  Gideon has a question, but first Max mocks him, and lets Gideon know that Eilerson knows that the only reason why Gideon is even at Eilerson's quarters is because the captain needs information that only the Sardonic one can give.

"Oh Captain, what an honor. I don't think I've had the pleasure of a visit from you in all the time we have known each other."  Eilerson was just reading Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. He's another astute individual.

Gideon says "Thank you."

"What makes you think I'm talking about you?" (Score Max 1 Gideon 1) Max gives a full grin, while Matt acknowledges the point.

Max proceeds to give Gideon a full sample of his intellect by reciting all he knows about the Pro Zeta Corporation. His whimsy falters when he tells the captain ... "If they have done something naughty, you're lucky to have gotten this far."  He then seriously tells the captain that if Gideon attempts to continue searching he might end up "six feet under."

The situation on the planet goes from bad to worse, and Dr. Chambers is doctor-napped.  Max is busy looking cool,  leaning on of the ship's columns (Maximum Max pose #2) when Gideon walks into the command center and attempts to solve the situation.

"Let them go, Earth force can handle it." Max tells him.

But Chambers doesn't have the time, as Gideon reminds him.  Gideon pulls an ace out of his sleeve and manages to solve the situation in a way that keeps gideon's honor intact, the colonists alive, Chambers on the ship and the Earthforce completely in the dark about what really happened.

Later on Chambers and Eilerson have an intense discussion about the fact that Max knows Dureena's people are located on the planet.  If EF knows, then IPX can know, he rationalizes.

Sarah, in no uncertain terms, tells him straight. He doesn't really care about Dureena's people, he's just trying to get more credit for himself.  In her eyes, Max is "... butting in where he doesn't belong ..." as he has no compassion "... just a wallet where his heart is."

Max stoically gives no obvious response to that, but if you look really close, Max blinks very rapidly for the next minute or so. Obviously Sarah has scored on Max, but he'll be damned if he'll let Sarah know.

The end of show, has Max finally finish a report for IPX.  He adds an amendum where he mentions dureena's people on the planet and that when the planet is cleared, IPX should stop and take a look at it.  He pauses, thinks a moment, and then proceeds to send the report to IPX sans the comment on Dureena's people.

Max Factors-

Give it Five Max's out of Five.

Strong points, Max is just all over the place, interacting with Dureena (superficially), Matheson, Gideon and Sarah.    Good character scenes with Gideon and Chambers.  Also it's interesting to see the pressure on Max to start producing some $$$ for the company.

Apparently Gideon and he have an uneasy respect for one another. While the two men do not see eye to eye, they each are aware that the other man has something to bring to their partnership.  Max has information on the political and business realms while Gideon has the A. Box, a technomage in his back pocket, & super secret access codes.

Also Dr. Chambers appears to rev up a few notches whenever she has a scene with Eilerson.  Deep down, are they just a little too similar to one another?  Or is it that Eilerson sees her as his intellectual equal?

David Allen Brooks' comments on this episode.

Taken without permission from Sci-Fi TV October 1999 issue, DAB says...

There are several cornerstones to Max.  One of them was a speech in "POTS" where he's talking to the Captain about The Garden of Eden in this amazing monologue "Look, it would have been so much better if they had no opinion, and continued on without having their opinion about whether it had to be good or bad.  That's a very deep metaphysical idea, and the fact that he understands that shows his depth and perceptive strength.  On a spiritual level, it's very deep and strong.


Perhaps even more telling is the earlier part of the "Garden of Eden" speech from "POTS" in which Eilerson's talks about how surrendering one's life to the corporation gives absolution in absentia. "I love that speech!" enthuses Brooks. "I thought it was really wonderful. It also has a false bottom, and Max knows that. The first family that accepted Max was the corporation, and when he got into that, he realized that he wasn't going to get beaten up anymore and his brilliance was going to be used, so it was satisfying."

"I don't think his previous experience on Mars were unhappy, but as he got further into the corporation, and gave them what he wanted, there were prices that had to be paid, like his divorce and an inability to choose his fate.  He was basically getting on their shuttle and riding it, just doing what  he was told. He lets the corporation take the hits, it's an easy way out, but I think he knows on some level that it doesn't wash and he's just starting to learn that now."

Marjean Holden's comments on the relationship between Max Eilerson and Sarah Chambers. Swiped without permission from the TNT chat held recently.

Question "One of the things I liked best about your character is that she is probably the only one on the show  that hasn't told Max to shut up.  What do you think her relationship with the other characters on the show are?"

Answer "You mean I never told him? I wanted too! But I think that she realizes that he's a scared little boy."

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