The Age of Innocence: Episode #316
Tag: Mutant X unearths an old military experiment involving an age-reversal serum and is surprised to discover that Jesse's grandfather is one of the test subjects. [Transcript]
Cast & Crew: Written by Mark Amato; Directed by Bill Corcoran
George Buza....Lexa's Dominion Contact
Sean Clement....Young William Kilmartin
Jeremy Elzinga....Young Peter Hansen
David Gardner....Colonel Henry Burns
Patrick Garrow....Dr. Francis Gallant
Joan Gregson....Patty Paxton
Howard Hoover....Young Henry Burns
Desmond Scott....Old William Kilmartin
Heidi von Palleske....Dr. Denise Saunders
Official Summary: Peter Hansen (Jeremey Elzinga), a 30-year-old man, is crouched behind a dumpster in an alley when he sees a broken mirror. Picking up a shard, Hansen is deeply shocked by his reflection. In a nearby car, Shalimar (Victoria Pratt) tells Jesse (Forbes March) she received a tip that someone is trying to resurrect an old military experiment that is somehow connected to him. Meanwhile, two guards dressed as paramedics drive their ambulance down the alley, but the headlights from the vehicle reflect off the broken mirror, causing the guards to stop. Hansen tries to get away but the men jump out and grab him just as Jesse appears. When they pull their guns and shoot at Jesse, he lunges forward and extends his palms, sending the bullets flying back at the assailants. As Hansen crawls behind the dumpster again, Shalimar drops from above and knocks the guns out of their hands. As the men run off, Shalimar walks over to Hansen, only to discover he is dead and his body has aged to that of an 80-year-old. The next morning, Jesse and Lexa (Karen Cliche) learn Hansen was part of the Tomcats, a WWII naval fighter pilot unit. Lexa tells Jesse that the military led a series of anti-aging experiments during the war, but the Dominion had them shut down. Jesse then reveals that his estranged grandfather was a member of the Tomcat unit and decides to find him to learn what’s going on. Meanwhile, Brennan (Victor Webster) and Shalimar watch Dr. Denise Saunders (Heidi Van Palleske) as she performs Hansen’s autopsy. She says that while the outside of his body looks like an 80-year-old’s, the internal organs are representative of a healthy 30-year-old. In a lab across town, Henry Burns (David Gardner), a wheelchair-bound old man, berates his associate Dr. Francis Gallant (Patrick Garrow) for Hansen’s escape. Gallant explains that Hansen’s cell regeneration occurred quicker than expected and they were unprepared when he suddenly woke up a virile young man. Burns points out that although the cell rejuvenating stimulators were successful, they only worked a short time and they must test their final subject. Lexa’s Dominion contact tells her that Burns headed the experiments known as “Operation Immortalis,” but he escaped after the Dominion shut it down. He claims the research was destroyed and believes Burns has resurfaced to finish what he began. Meanwhile, a virtual face appears on Jesse’s computer screen and tells him that his grandfather is at a Veterans hospital and is in danger. As Jesse runs out, he passes Brennan and Shalimar and asks for their help. At the hospital, Gallant inserts a strange liquid into the IV bag of Jesse’s grandfather William (Desmond Scott) and then leaves the room. Suddenly hearing a voice behind him, Jesse turns to find a hologram of Adam (John Shea), who insists there’s no time to explain, but that Jesse must escape with his grandfather immediately as men are coming for him. Adam disappears and Jesse quickly loads his grandfather into a wheelchair. He tells Brennan and Shalimar to meet him by the eighth floor window and wheels his grandfather into the hallway. When they pass Patty Paxton (Joan Gregson), she asks where he’s taking William. Gallant overhears her and goes after Jesse. Suddenly, with every step Jesse takes, his grandfather gets younger. Reaching the window, Jesse phases them both safely through and into the Helix. At Sanctuary, Lexa suggests that Dr. Saunders examine the now 30-year-old William (Sean Clement). As Jesse gets clothes for William, Adam appears to say the “Operation Immortalis” files were not destroyed and then vanishes. When Brennan walks in, Jesse asks him to find out where the files are. At the doctor’s office, Saunders tells Jesse and Lexa that William appears healthy, but his body is still adjusting. Jesse comlinks Brennan who informs him the files are at an airforce base and William offers to help get them. A short time later, Jesse and William fly the Helix into the base’s airspace, setting off alarms and allowing Lexa to slip inside. When Jesse is unable to shake the jet fighters pursuing him, William takes control, quickly loses the fighters and returns to the base to get Lexa who has the files. Back at Sanctuary, the team reviews the files and learns that Burns used the Tomcats to find a way to stop the aging process. When William walks in and sees a photo of two victims, he gets dizzy and agrees to let Saunders examine him. Jesse goes to his room and asks Adam to show himself. Adam appears and says he believes the Dominion let Burns get away so he could finish his research. Meanwhile, Saunders’ tells Brennan and Shalimar that William has begun to age again, but when they go to tell William this news, they discover he’s gone. At the Veterans hospital, William enters Patty’s room, but she becomes frightened of the young man and runs away just as two guards appear and grab William. At Sanctuary, Shalimar discovers William paid a visit to Patty and Brennan taps into the video camera in the parking structure to see William being put into an ambulance. Using traffic cameras, Brennan follows the vehicle to an old pharmaceutical lab and Jesse heads out. Meanwhile, William is taken to Burns where Gallant enters and tells him that in order to stay young, he must get shots of the serum on a regular basis. A short time later, Burns receives the initial injection and grows younger immediately. The young Burns (Howard Hoover) pulls out a gun and aims it at William, but before he can fire, Jesse enters, takes out the two guards and Gallant. William suddenly elbows Burns in the stomach, knocking the gun out of his hand. William grabs it and shoots Burns, who ages rapidly before letting out one last breath. When Brennan, Shalimar and Lexa arrive, Jesse tells them to destroy everything. That night, an elderly William returns to the Veterans hospital and gives an emotional Jesse the Medal of Honor he received in the war.
Lexa: Jess, what's with you? You're taking this so personally.
Jesse: It is. My grandfather was a member of the Tomcats unit.
Jesse: Yeah. They gave him the medal of honor after he led seven attacks off Granada Island. His plane was hit by enemy fire, but he survived and spent half the night in shark-infested waters before he made it to shore.
Lexa: Wow, he sounds like quite the war hero.
Jesse: Yeah, he was. Is. So now you know why I need answers.
Lexa: Yeah. Well, I'll see what I can do.
Jesse: Thank you.
Lexa: Until then, maybe it's time you checked in with your grandpa.
Jesse: My grandpa and pa had a falling out when I was younger. I don't even know where to start looking.
Lexa: Well, maybe it's time you tried.
Adam: He's in the advanced stages of lymphatic cancer, Jesse.
Jesse: Adam, what the hell?! You're dead.
Adam: I needed you to believe that. Since the explosion, I've been in hiding. But it's important that you keep that a secret. My enemies are everywhere. I'm sure you have a million questions. Right now there isn't time. You have to trust me, Jesse.
Jesse: Trust you? Adam, you've been lying to me for a year and now you want me to trust you?
Adam: This isn't about us. This is about your grandfather.
William Kilmartin: Well, God bless America. Fo the first time in my life I don't mind being a lab rat. Who do I have to thank for this new lease on lfe?
Jesse: Right now we're still trying to figure that out, Grandpa.
William: And look at you. I can't believe it. Last time I saw you, you were six years old?
William: Oh, that's right. Your mother brought you by to talk about a report you were writing for your history class.
Jesse: That was a pretty big deal. Not every kid's got a war hero as a granddad, you know? You were even going to talk to my class until my dad made you back out of it.
Lexa: Mr. Kilmartin? Lexa Pierce.
William: Well, hello there, darlin'! You must work for my grandson here.
Jesse: Well, actually--
Lexa: That's right. I do.
William: Well, that's a pretty fancy plane you got there. What are you packing in that thing?
Lexa: Twin turbo jets.
William: Nifty! I've read about those.
Jesse: Yeah, my granddad was trained at Presidio.
Lexa: That's pretty impressive. Now, I heard you could fly under bridges and blow wash off clotheslines?
Jesse: Tell her, tell her.
William: Well, I pissed off a lot of housewives in my day. Not to mention a few husbands.
Lexa: Listen, Mr. Kilmartin, just to be on the safe side, we're gonna have one of our doctors come in and check you out.
William: Are you kidding? I feel like a new man. I could dance all night. Darlin'?
Jesse: Well, well, well. Is this going to be a regular thing?
Adam: Maybe. How's your grandfather?
Jesse: Pretty amazing. But somehow I suspect that you already knew that. Now, what's this all about?
Adam: It's imperative that you find Burns and destroy his research.
Jesse: Why? How is any of this a bad thing?
Adam: You'll see when you find the files on Operation Immortalis.
Jesse: According to The Dominion, those files don't exist.
Adam: That's not true.
Lexa: Jesse, this is a suicide mission. It'll never work.
Jesse: It will work.
William Kilmartin: Tell her as soon as we enter military air space, they'll start scrambling for an air assault.
Jesse: All right. Did you hear that?
Lexa: Yeah, I know. That's the suicide part of the mission.
Jesse: It's been great being with you. But I've never understood why my dad kept us apart.
William Kilmartin: Oh, don't blame him, son.
Jesse: Why not?
William: Well because you and I have been given a second chance. And you can't get back the past.
Jesse: What's this?
Brennan: The research photos taken in 1943 during the experiments of Operation Immortalis.
Lexa: This research reads like a horror novel.
Shalimar: Burns was trying to reverse the aging process by using the members of The Tomcats as human donors.
Lexa: Yeah, and he tried to transfuse their genetic vitality to transfer to others a test subjects.
Shalimar: You know the sad part? Half the men lost their lives in this experiment and then later they were listed as missing in action.
Brennan: Guess your grandfather was one of the lucky ones, huh?
William Kilmartin: I had no idea what they were doing to us. W. McGowan. My god, that's Whitey McGowan. They told me he was shot down in a raid over New Guinea.
Jesse: Grandpa, this is not your fault. There's no way you could have known what you were a part of.
William: Yeah well, the only reason I'm still here is because that bastard murdered someone else in my squadron instead of me.
Lexa: He'll be okay. He's just a little overwhelmed. It's a lot to get over, you know.
Jesse: Lexa, this isn't the kind of thing you get over. I'm sorry, but I don't get it. If The Dominion is as powerful as you say it is, then why did they allow this experiment to go on for so long before they decided to shut it down?
Lexa: Well, maybe they tried.
Jesse: And maybe we'll never know, will we?
Jesse: Adam, show yourself. It's time you filled in some blanks here.
Adam: I told you would find your answers in Burns's research.
Jesse: The Dominion let him escape, didn't they? They actually hoped he would finish what he started.
Adam: I don't have any proof, but it's possible that some people within the organization realized the potential of the therapy should it become viable. Which is why it's up to you to make sure that doesn't happen, or else people are going to die.
Jesse: How am I supposed to do that?
Adam: You've got to find Burns. Your grandfather's the key.
Jesse: You want me to use my grandfather as bait?
Adam: I never said this was going to be easy. I'm sorry.
Shalimar: You okay, Mr. Kilmartin?
William Kilmartin: I just don't deserve any of this. I have too many regrets. I wasn't the man I should've been.
Shalimar: Well, I think we all go through life wishing we could've done things a little bit differently.
William: Maybe so. I just hope it's not too late to make things right.
The Voice: When were you going to tell us about your little caper on McClarin's air force base?
Lexa: About the same time you were going to come clean about Burns's research being destroyed.
The Voice: We want all the material you stole from the facility.
Lexa: Mission was a bust. Couldn't find anything.
The Voice: In that case, I want you to use all measures necessary to locate Burns and secure his research. Do you understand?
Lexa: Perfectly. [to Jesse] Okay, you're right. Something deeper is definitely going on here.
Jesse: Adam, this is not the time to be holding out on me. Either help me find my grandfather or get the hell out of here!
Adam: I'm guessing that wherever he went, Burns's men were waiting for him.
Jesse: What're they going to do to him?
Adam: Well, they have to determine how effective the serum was in sustaining the age reversal.
Jesse: Look, according to our doctor, he's already starting to regress. What, that's not true? C'mon, Adam, you know something here. He's not dying, is he? Is he?
Adam: Jesse, there are no guarantees here. But it's up to you to make sure that Burns doesn't succeed.
Adam: Because his discovery comes at the cost of innnocent human life.
Jesse: Fine. You help me find my grandfather and I will make sure that that never happens.
Adam: No. You cannot have it both ways. Even if you destroy Burns's research, there are others out there who are going to use your grandfather to reverse-engineer the process.
Jesse: Adam, what do you expect me to do? You expect me to let him die?
Adam: I'm expecting you to do the right thing.
Henry Burns: My God. It's as though he's been transported back from 1943.
William: And how many of our men did you murder to do this?
Henry Burns: What difference does it make? The life expectancy of a fighter pilot in those days was less than a year.
William: But they were willing to die for their country. Not for you.
Henry: Any advancement in science has its casualties. Isn't it better that a few men have to die to keep the Einsteins of the world alive?
William Kilmartin: How can you people stand back and let this happen?
Henry Burns: Save your breath, Major. You should be more appreciative. You're about to witness history in the making.
William: Go to hell.
Henry: Say! There lies the rub. By unlocking the key to eternal youth, I'll never have to go there.
Lexa: Jesse's not responding to his comlink. Why would he take off without us?
Shalimar: Well, I'm sure he feels like this is his battle. Part of me can't blame him.
William Kilmartin: That's okay, kiddo.
Jesse: Grandpa, you've gotta take it. You know what will happen if you don't.
William: No, son. This has to end here. I've already lived my life.
Jesse: Yeah, well maybe I'm just not quite ready to let you go yet.
Shalimar: I don't think that's your decision to make, Jess.
Jesse: Destroy it all.
Lexa: You heard him.
Brennan: What are you going to tell The Dominion?
Lexa: Something short and pithy. I'll be damned if anyone does this again.
Jesse: I don't know what to say.
William Kilmartin: Words are overrated. I know how you feel. Listen, Jesse, you've got to do me a favor and promise me you'll stop being angry with your old man.
Jesse: Grandpa, he was a poor excuse for a father.
William: No, Jesse. He did the best he could. He was right to keep you away from me.
Jesse: How can you say that? I mean, you were a hero.
William: The thing about heroes is that in real life, they're full of nothing but flaws. When I got out of the service, I didn't adjust real well to civilian life. Turned out to be nothing more than a selfish husband and a lousy father.
Jesse: I don't believe that.
William: Listen to me. Your dad was only trying to protect you. He wanted to make sure I didn't let you down the way I did when he was growing up.
Jesse: I understand.
William: There's something I want you to have.
Jesse: Grandpa, no, I can't take that. That's your medal of honor. You earned that.
William: So did you.
Adam: You did the right thing, Jesse.
Jesse: Is that what this was all about? Some kind of a test of trust?
Jesse: So how'd I do?
Adam: I think you already know.
Jesse: Am I ever going to see you again?
Adam: If the time is right.
Jesse: Typical evasive answer. I guess I couldn't have expected anything else, huh?
Trivia & Nitpicks:
This is the first time a bullet has ricocheted off Jesse to hit the shooter; usually they’re just smashed flat and drop to his feet.
Adam only tells Shalimar about Burns’s intentions to revive Project Immortalis once it’s clear that they are after Jesse’s grandfather. So how how long had Adam known about the project before then?
Though a chain link fence has been added and the garbage cans are strewn in a different location, the alleyway Peter Hansen’s running through is clearly the same we’ve come to know and love throughout S3.
Jesse's mother took him to see his grandfather when he was ten to do a history report, but Jesse's father cut off the relationship. Jesse should be commended on his eyesight as well as his memory, for being able to recognize the Tomcats tattoo from the indistinct smudge on Peter Hansen’s left arm in the dark...especially since he hasn't seen his grandfather since he was 10.
Jesse tells Lexa that he doesn't know where to start looking for his grandfather. Since when does Jesse not know how to find someone?
Santa lies to Lexa, saying that Burns’s research was destroyed during the atomic bomb testing over the Bikini atoll. Isn’t he at all curious about why Jesse and Shalimar were in the alley with Hansen in the first place?
Following a Mutant Xverse tradition, the de-aging serum is blue. Nothing blue in Mutant X is good.
Dr. Gallant isn't very smart. An hour after being reamed out by Burns for allowing Hansen to escape because he didn’t anticipate how quickly Hansen would regain his strength, he injects William with a newly improved serum and walks off, leaving him alone to be rescued by Jesse.
Like Shalimar in "A Normal Life" and Brennan in "Divided Loyalties," Jesse doesn’t turn off his comlink ring while talking to Adam. His conversation should therefore be plainly heard by his fellow team members. Also, it’s silly that Adam tells Jesse to keep his existence a secret; Jesse’s already determined that the person who contacted him about his grandfather’s location on Sanctuary’s computer is the same person who tipped off Shalimar about the reopening of Project Immortalis at the beginning of the episode. Unless Jesse’s lost a few brain cells, he’s already figured out that Shalimar knows Adam’s alive too. And Adam should know that Jesse knows that Shalimar knows. See how unnecessarily complicated this is getting?
While young, Jesse’s grandfather has a southern accent, which he mysteriously loses as he ages.
Brennan doesn’t ask Jesse how he knows the files on Project Immortalis were not destroyed, or even how Jesse found his grandfather at the hospital. This is uncharacteristic behavior for Brennan, who used to get into screaming matches with Adam in S2 about withholding information.
Dr. Saunders has her own private office; it's strikingly similar to Dr. Marcus's in "Taking of Crows."
Dr. Saunders has devised a rather strange placement of chest leads for William’s stress test.
The good doctor tells William that his tumors have completely vanished as a result of the serum. But the serum should not have cured William’s advanced lymphatic cancer. If anything, since cancer is cells growing out of control, the serum's reversal of cell aging should have made his cancer much, much worse.
As large an organization as the Dominion is, why don’t they have inside access to the Immortalis files in McClarin Airforce Base’s warehouse?
Since Lexa said the base was "guarded like the Arc of the Covenant," isn't it weird that Lexa's able to just walk into the base? The ‘top secret files’ are kept in an unguarded room without a lock on the outside–she didn’t even need Brennan to electify the doors--and she makes herself visible once inside, so there aren’t any security cameras or even an alarm triggered by the doors opening without authorization.
Jesse and Lexa talk about their plan to grab the files right in front of Dr. Saunders. How is that a good idea? She is a Dominion doctor, after all.
Jesse and his grandfather fly the visible Helix in broad daylight past a busy highway.
Hologram!Adam really shouldn’t be able to lean on the wall.
Dr. Gallant: I’ve discovered the key to preventing cellular regression. The Sirtuan levels must be consistently regulated.
Burns: In other words, booster shots must be administered on a regular basis.
Dr. Gallant: Exactly. The same way a diabetic uses insulin.
*Hold onto this information; it will come back to haunt us in "The Assault."
Adam tries to convince Jesse that the only way to keep Burns or others from using William to replay the tragedy of Project Immortalis is to let him die. But we know that he was able to hide Keith Burstyn in the new mutant underground. Why couldn't he have done the same with William?
Mutant X tracks the ambulance by tapping into the department of transportation’s security traffic cameras; Brennan says they can continue to do so as long as they stay off the interstate. Are there no cameras on the highway?
Also, while Brennan's looking up the ambulance footage, the name on top of his screen is "Westland Casion." The Westland Casino was the name of Kristen Greg's casino in "Wages of Sin."
Burns drains the vitality from the body in the tank in order to make himself younger. Apparently, genetic vitality looks a lot like cherry Koolaid.
When Jesse enters Burns's lab to rescue his grandfather, Burns tells him to back off lest his grandfather die full of bullet holes. How does Burns know who Jesse is?
Though the two are clearly romantically involved, it isn't so clear exactly what the relationship is between Patty Paxton and William Kilmartin is. She doesn't recognize Jesse when he comes to rescue William, so she's probably not his grandmother. And her last name is different from William's so they're either not married or divorced. She seems to recognize him when he appears in front of her 60 years younger, so they've either known one another a long time or she's seen photos of him from his war days.
Why does Burns age after he’s shot?
In the closing credits, William's surname is given as the lesser known 'Kilmarten' spelling. Hee.
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