Or at least, they don't take gender into account in deciding whom they're attracted to, or whom they fall in love with. Which means one thing: That sexual tension between Tahmoh Penikett and Drake the trainee Trag a while back? That was all real. And now I feel especially cheated. But there's still time for a Drake-Roman romance, it seems.
Seriously, does anybody NOT ship Drake and Roman after last night's slashtastic episode? In which Drake does one of his famous 180-degree pivots and decides he doesn't want to be a Trag any more, simply because he wasn't willing to kill Roman? And then helps Roman to stop the threat of Dark Cyber before the spores of the deadly plant wipe out the entire town full of humans. The whole episode was like a Drake-Roman romance, with the two of them teaming up and sharing some genuinely nice moments of laughing at the insanity of their situation.
Of course, it had to end with Roman making out with Emery, because this show really wants us to buy into the Emery-Roman-Grayson love triangle. But I've decided, when recapping this show, to just overlook the love triangle stuff, because it's largely forgettable in any case.
So the main plot of last night's episode was about trying to stop the bioterror attack, and saving poor Lukas from the spores he inhaled. And the subplot was about Grayson dealing with the fallout of his mom being unmasked as the Grand Matriarch of the Red Hawks. (Never get tired of typing "Grand Matriarch.") And in a sub-subplot, the teacher/spy Mrs. Benton (Stephanie Jacobsen) gets closer to the truth about how Julia was cured of cancer.
But really, all the nice bits in this episode were about developing the relationships between the characters (that weren't involved in the love triangle.) I found myself wondering, at times, what this show would have if it had gone slower with the plot escalation and spent more time just establishing its characters. Like, the whole subplot where Eric the ex-Red Hawk fixes Julia's car in exchange for trigonometry tutoring? Was incredibly sweet and well done. Also, the exchanges between Julia and Grayson felt really genuine and nice. The friendship between Sophia and Lukas also had some really good bits.
And last but definitely not least, the relationship between Drake and Taylor, who had that ill-advised hookup a while back, is becoming one of my favorite things on this show — the bit where Drake chooses to make Taylor feel better, and tells her that Zoe said Taylor was the best friend she ever had (when Zoe actually tried to kill Taylor) was realy nice.
Pretty much every relationship that isn't the dreadful love triangle is gelling nicely on this show, basically. When the show isn't trying to ram plot points about competing terrorist groups and conspiracies within conspiracies down our throats, it's developing into a nice teen drama about kids becoming friends. Early on in this show's run, there was a tendency to push a simplistic dynamic really hard — all the humans and aliens hate each other, except for Roman and Emery, so that they could be the special couple who we invest in. Hence Star-Crossed. But this show seems to be getting better the more it allows the characters to have complicated, uneasy friendships.