Monday, November 14, 2022

RW506 - Dark Skies S01E03-04 - Moving Mercury


In this weeks episode of The Dark Skies Rewatch, Cory and Tom are on the run and spaced out as they discuss season 1 episodes 3 & 4, Moving Targets and Mercury Rising.

Moving Targets:

Written by: Brent V. Friedman & Bryce Zabel

Directed by: Thomas J. Wright

Original airdate: September 28, 1996


In Roswell, 1947, a contingent of soldiers, military brass, President Harry Truman, and Lt. Cm. Frank Bach bears witness to the arrival of an alien aircraft. 

In 1963, John and Kim abandon their car in the desert, shooting it and trying to make it look like they were attacked to cover their tracks before heading off on foot. 

Back at Andrews Air Force Base, Bach and company are trying to find the missing evidence that Loengard took and gave to the President, but come up empty. John contacts Bobby Kennedy and he lets John know that the evidence is under protection in Dallas, and tasks John with getting it back. 

John and Kim arrive to find Jesse Marcel. While John talks with Jesse, Kim keeps a lookout, and Marcel tells John that he met with the president the day before he was assassinated. The President told him of his plan to let the world know about what happened at Roswell, and gave him the evidence due to having a bad feeling about his trip to Texas. He returns the evidence to Loengard, telling him he never saw anything like the floating piece of material when he was cleaning up at Roswell. Pressing Marcel to tell him more about Roswell, Jesse talks about how he witnessed an alien coming down to meet them, only to later see the US military attack the UFO, causing it to explode and crash. 

Kim sees one of Bach’s men, Albano, after their search of a nearby hotel room once again turns up nothing. She calls to warn John and Marcel, and while John escapes, Marcel is caught by Bach when he pauses to retrieve some personal effects he left behind. Bach tries to interrogate Marcel but he refuses to be bullied.

John and Kim trail Steele to Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club. They see him retrieve some rifle shells from a cop, who he pays him off. Inside, Steele meets with Jack, telling him he needs to shoot Oswald, the man who was arrested for assassinating the president. Kim manages to sneak inside and sees the two men talking. Jack wants to refuse the order, but Steele reveals that he has been infected by the Ganglion Hive, and he starts to further infect Jack with the Ganglion presence, as tentacles come out of his mouth and into Jack’s. John calls Bach and tells him about Steel being under the Hive’s influence, after which they learn that Oswald was shot. They plan for Kim to use her credentials to get back into the White House and get the evidence back to Bobby Kennedy, while John goes to find out about a pilot named Paul Fuller that was mentioned by Steele.

Steele tries to get Bach's authorization to go after Loengard but Frank refuses. They manage to trap Steele in a room, and use the ART method to get the Ganglion out of him. Steele fights back but eventually succumbs to the treatment, and drops into a coma. 


Loengard gets arrested by Bach when he tries to infiltrate Andrew Air Force Base and he confronts the captain, asking what happened at Roswell. Bach confirms Marcel’s story but adds in the fact that the aliens that landed demanded the immediate surrender of their planet. This resulted in Truman ordering the attack on the alien ship, and trusting Bach’s advice to do so. Truman further orders that once it’s all over, he wants Bach in charge of cleaning up the mess. Loengard reveals that the pilot he was investigating is the pilot who will be leading a squad for the president’s funeral. Bach realizes that the plane is likely to crash into the visiting foreign dignitaries and will wipe out a good number of the world leaders. Bach and his men head out to stop the pilot, successfully subduing him.

Elsewhere, Steele wakes up from his coma, now sporting one completely white eye, and escapes from Majestic. John escapes with Jesse, and together they try to chase down Steele, who has hijacked a helicopter. John gets into the helicopter and a fight ensues, with John tossing Steele out of it.

At the funeral, Bach’s right hand man Phil Albano grabs Kim and takes the evidence from her. John shows up and stops him from taking her any further, but fails to retrieve the evidence. Back at Majestic, Bach tells Steele’s wife that he died in the line of duty, but Phil shows up to tell him that they couldn’t find the body and that he is likely still alive. 

History As We Know It:

Thomas J. Wright is a pretty steadily working TV director, although he did get his start with the movie Torchlight, which starred Pamela Sue Martin and Ian McShane; a movie about 80’s cocaine addiction and the effect it has on a marriage. He’s directed episodes of The Twilight Zone, Highlander, Space: Above and Beyond, The Pretender, X-Files, Dark Angel, Taken, Dinotopia, Smallville, Alias, and many other shows and TV movies.

Jack Leon Ruby April 25, 1911 – January 3, 1967) was an American nightclub owner and alleged associate of the Chicago Outfit (Chicago Mafia, Al Capone) who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963, two days after Oswald was accused of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Dallas jury found Ruby guilty of murdering Oswald and sentenced him to death. Ruby's conviction was later appealed, and he was to be granted a new trial; however, he became ill in prison and died of a pulmonary embolism from lung cancer on January 3, 1967. It is not known why he shot Oswald.

In September 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald, shooting him on impulse, and out of grief over Kennedy's assassination. These findings were challenged by various critics who suggest that Ruby was involved with major figures in organized crime and that he was acting as part of an overall plot surrounding the assassination of Kennedy.

Majestic 12 was reportedly created by Truman in 1947 under the direction of Vannevar Bush, an inventor and engineer and also part of The Manhattan Project. In 1984, documentarian Jaime Shandera claims to have received mysterious documents at his home purporting to be files taken from MJ12. People have debunked them over the years, stating that the verbiage used is not consistent with military organizations and mistakes in rankings of several officers. 

James Forestall February 15, 1892 – May 22, 1949 The first US secretary of defense 1949 resigned due to Truman wanting him out, concerning mental condition and was always opposing his policies. He killed himself by jumping out a window at Walter Reed hospital from the 16th floor.

Theme Song and Opening Credits:
Mercury Rising:

Written by: James D. Parriott

Directed by: Tucker Gates

Original airdate: October 19, 1996 (3 week break)


Months after President Kennedy’s funeral, John and Kim drive towards Cape Canaveral, Florida. Kim feels a pull to go there, while the news reports on yet another failed mission to get pictures of the lunar surface. Kim awakens in the middle of the night to see a vision of an astronaut telling her that they have to help each other, as he reaches out his hand. Kim tries to grab it but is unable to reach it. 

The next day, Kim absentmindedly draws on the map, sketching a perfect copy of the crop circle John investigated months ago. Kim explains that she has no idea how she came up with the design, as they are suddenly pulled over by a cop. John suspects that it is actually a Majestic agent and smashes into the police car before peeling off. John suggests changing their route but Kim is adamant they go to Florida, explaining her visions of the astronaut.

Eventually they arrive at a motel outside of Cape Canaveral in Florida, and Kim sees a man on a motorcycle, feeling the pull towards him. As she approaches him in a bar, he recognizes her and reaches out and comments that she is actually real, suggesting he has had visions of her as well. A man named Gary arrives and tells the man, Ty, he needs to go, but he leaves a note with a crop circle drawing asking her to meet him later. The man behind the bar explains that they were Air Force pilots, as Kim reveals that Ty was with her when she was abducted.

Meanwhile One Eyed Steele is tracking down Kim and John.

Back at the hotel, they see that Bach and company have arrived, and John suggests they find a more secluded room. Kim is adamant that they go meet Ty, that she and her fellow abductee need each other, and that it’s the only way to find out what is happening to her. At the rendezvous however, as Kim walks away to find him, the man appears and attacks John for being a suit, but Kim defends her boyfriend. They talk with Ty, who tells them they work for a black ops organization who were launched into space to take out a Russian spy satellite known as Black Knight. As they were preparing to fire a missile at it, they found they had blacked out and lost two hours of time, with Black Knight mysteriously gone. He invites Kim to talk to his doctor, who asks her if she will undergo regression therapy, a technique she tried with Ty to figure out what happened, but thus far has failed.

Kim undergoes the therapy and begins recalling the events of her abduction, feeling as if she’s floating, seeing the aliens around her, and then focusing a light on her and the man in a space suit next to her, Ty himself. Before she can reach his hand however, he begins floating away as the aliens mentally tell Kim that he is not wanted, whereas she is. They grab her head and implant a ganglion inside her, as she wakes up from the hypnosis. 

The doctor remains a skeptic, suggesting further professional help. John is aghast she needs any further proof. He reasons that the following day's launch that Ty will be aboard, must have something to do with the Greys, considering Majestic’s involvement. 

Meanwhile One Eyed Steele is still tracking down Kim and John, killing a couple who unfortunately rented the room Kim and John had the previous night.

The next day at the launch, Kim awakens from a nap in the car, having dreamt of the abduction and remembering more details. She sees one more astronaut, Ty’s partner Gary, who was likely implanted after Ty was rejected. They reason that both men were cleared for duty, but then wonder who actually cleared them. The couple breaks through the guard checkpoint and makes their way to the launch area for the rocket. Bach tells his men to kill the pursuit and just continue the countdown, but John calls in from the launch area and explains about Gary being implanted. Bach looks into who cleared the men, and it turns out to be Steele, causing Bach to quickly halt the launch. Under Henry Kissinger’s advice, reasoning that the two saved them millions of dollars, Bach lets John and Kim go and sends Phil to arrest Gary. The rocket is then sent up with its backup pilots and successfully transmits a picture of the lunar surface. The images show not just the moon, but a triangular ship-like object with the crop circle marking inscribed on it. A press release is then sent out revealing that this 6th ranger mission has also failed to produce any lunar images, and has put a pause on the program.

History As We Know It:

James D. Parriott should be a familiar name to long-time Rewatch listeners. He was the creator of Voyagers! He was also the credited executive producer on the show, wrote many episodes, and even directed an episode.

Tucker Gates got his directing start on 21 Jump Street back in the 80’s. He’s gone on to a very successful TV directing career, including shows such as The X-Files, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Roswell, CSI, CSI Miami, Weeds, Heroes, The Office, The Good Place, and Bates Motel. He’s currently working on a show called Surface, but not the one you think. 


Ranger 7 would be the first mission to transmit moon surface images successfully. The previous Ranger missions did all fail for one reason or another. 

Henry Alfred Kissinger, born May 27, 1923 is a German-born American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and received the Nobel peace prize for negotiating a ceasefire in the Vietnam War, although two members of the committee resigned in protest.

The Black Knight satellite conspiracy theory claims that a spacecraft of extraterrestrial origin is in near-polar orbit of the Earth, and that NASA is covering up its existence and origin. The origin of the Black Knight legend is often "retrospectively dated" back to natural extraterrestrial repeating sources supposedly heard during the 1899 radio experiments of Nikola Tesla. Space debris photographed in 1998 has been widely claimed to be the Black Knight satellite. Space journalist James Oberg considers it probable that the photographs are of a thermal blanket that was confirmed as lost during another mission.


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