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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"Climate of Fear" Part 3
The Thing from Another World: Climate of Fear #3 (Dark Horse)
Script by John Arcudi
Pencils by Jim Somerville
Inks by Robert Jones
Cover by John Higgins


MacReady stands revealed as a Thing!


Story Summary


As MacReady's blood test seems to reveal him as a Thing, he turns the attention away from himself by suggesting the Argentine soldier, Cruz, is one because he was the one who buried Deseado, who did turn out to be a Thing. MacReady still has his flame thrower strapped to his back and immediately torches Cruz, who Things-out. Cruz's head escapes out a window until the troops burn it out of a tree outside. In the meantime, MacReady has escaped into the forest and a search for him begins. In the woods, MacReady wonders whether or not he is a Thing.


Back at the station, Childs continues the blood tests of the Argentine personnel. One of them turns out to be a Thing and is torched. The rest are confined to their quarters "for their own protection".


In the woods, MacReady uses the flame from his flame thrower to test his own blood once again (but we don't see the result), while, at the station, Quintana grabs up a hidden machete in his quarters and heads out, frustrated at the American team's orders to keep the rest of them confined. He goes to Dr. Viale to tell her of his intention to confront the Americans and she ridicules him, which just sends him off in a fit of hurt and anger. Viale, feeling ashamed of behaving that way towards him, heads out after Quintana. Searching for him, she finds MacReady stumbling out of the woods instead. He tells her he tested himself again and he's negative--still human. He's about to prove it to her when Childs steps into the picture as well. MacReady tells him he's clean, that the ashtray used to hold his blood must have been contaminated with Thing cells somehow. Childs replies that he knows all that...because, "I infected it!" he says as he Things-out!




Didja Notice?


Somehow, the group seems to now know that Dr. Deseado was a Thing even though he showed no signs when he was shot and "killed" in "Climate of Fear" Part 2. Possibly they found his grave was disturbed and empty after MacReady and the soldiers returned from the abandoned airfield with Childs (assuming the Thing did not cover up the grave again to make it appear undisturbed).


On page 2, it almost seems as if MacReady torches Cruz merely on suspicion of being a Thing (and as a cover to his own escape into the forest). Yes, the flame thrower proves Cruz is a Thing as he burns, but did MacReady really know that simply because Cruz was the one who buried Deseado?


On page 7, MacReady has fled into the forest and insists to himself that he is still MacReady, that he would know if he were one of the Things. As we know from the short story "The Things", that is not necessarily true.


In "Climate of Fear" Part 2, Simm was referred to as Colonel. Here, he is referred to as Commander; this makes more sense since Childs says his team is composed of Navy men and the Navy does not have a rank of Colonel. I think we can assume the earlier Colonel reference was a misprint.


On page 13, Simm mentions F-14s. The F-14 is a fighter craft of the U.S. Navy introduced in 1974 and retired in 2006.


Also on page 13, there appears what seems to be an aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy called the U.S.S. Buffalo. There has never been a U.S. aircraft carrier by that name (though there is a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine by that name commissioned in 1983 and still in service). 


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