>When Gryphon and his incredibly flexible flight partner burst through
>it, I was baffled. What's this? What the hell? Etc. And that's
>probably exactly what they were thinking
Thinking, heck, it's what Gryphon said. :)
>... but then the episode ended and I guess I got my wish, it wasn't a
>cliffhanger this time, but it just didn't feel like the natural end of
>the ride to me.
Well... you're not wrong, it really isn't. There is obviously quite a bit going on in this episode that isn't sorted out at the end. It's not clear to the reader or most of the characters what the heck was going on there. That's not intended to make them or you seem or feel stupid, though. It's just an indication that they're caught up in complicated events that they haven't fully unraveled yet.
This stems from several different factors, a couple of which are not necessarily narrative devices so much as artifacts of the process. One is that frontloading the mysterious action and then explaining everything in the back half of the same episode seems a bit... I don't know, weak? And the other is simply based in one of the limitations of the format. The "serial experiment" idea is to drop an episode on Friday, come what may. That's actually why last week's had a cliffhanger - otherwise, it would probably have run through, well, about where this week's ended.
Beyond that, though, where this week's ep ends is a fairly organic place to stop if the next episode follows through. It's a quiet moment with the immediate source of tension resolved, time for the characters to step back, breathe, and regroup - after which they can get on with figuring out what the heck was going on. And to be fair, at that particular moment, many of them have things to worry about that are higher on their personal priority lists - such as whether their commanding officer, their friend, and/or in one or more certain particular case(s) the imperfectly-acknowledged love of their life is going to make it. If it helps, think of it as a different form of cliffhanger.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.