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Recap / The Sarah Jane Adventures S2 E7-E8 "The Mark of the Berserker"

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Sarah Jane leaves Luke with Clyde's mother Carla while she leaves to pursue an alien called Travist Polong. Meanwhile, Rani discovers that Jacob, a student at her school, has obtained a pendant that grants the wearer mind control powers but slowly turns him into a monster. Frightened of its evil power, Jacob throws the pendant away. With Sarah Jane gone and Mr. Smith shut down, Rani leaves the pendant in Sarah Jane's attic for safekeeping.

Clyde's Disappeared Dad Paul suddenly returns to his family after a five-year absence in which he ran off with Carla's sister Melba to Germany. Clyde and Paul go for a walk, hoping to get reacquainted. Hoping to impress his father, Clyde takes him into Sarah Jane's attic and shows off the alien technology they've found. The pendant calls to Paul, convincing him to steal it. Clyde and Paul leave Sarah Jane's house and run into a suspicious Haresh. While talking to him, Paul figures out the pendant's powers and tells Haresh to keep doing pushups. They are then confronted by Rani and Luke. Paul forces Clyde to forget Rani and Luke with the pendant and leaves with him. Haresh is left doing pushups, risking dehydration.

Paul and Clyde go on a shopping spree, using the pendant to get free clothes and an expensive sports car. Because Sarah Jane is in a building with no cell phone reception, Rani and Luke contact Maria and Alan Jackson. Alan finds out that the pendant will eventually turn Paul into a dangerous creature called a berserker. Alan then hacks into a UNIT tracking satellite. Using Clyde's cell phone number, they are able to track down him and his father. With Carla's help, they pursue them to a marina, where Paul hopes to steal a yacht and travel the world. When Clyde expresses reluctance at leaving his mother, Paul tells him to forget her too. By now, the pendant has almost completely taken Paul over. Being forgotten, Rani, Luke, and Carla are unable to get Clyde to listen to them. Fortunately, Sarah Jane shows up after receiving a message from Alan. As Clyde still remembers her, Sarah Jane gets him to trust his friends and mother. Together, Clyde and Carla try to reawaken Paul's memories of them. Sarah Jane takes out her compact and shows Paul his reflection, now deformed by the pendant. This restores Paul's old personality, undoing the Berserker's commands.

Clyde, Carla, and Paul have one last talk by the water. Clyde contemplates forcing Paul to stay with the pendant, but both know that he won't. Clyde uses the pendant to get Carla to forget everything that she learned about aliens and Clyde's adventures fighting them. Paul reveals that he ran away from Melba because she had become pregnant. Clyde tells him to go back to her, saying that he doesn't need him anymore. Clyde then throws the pendant into the water.


  • Abusive Parents: Clyde's dad turns out to be a selfish, irresponsible, manipulative dick. Clyde eventually makes peace with him, but realises that he's better off with him.
  • An Aesop: What Clyde learns throughout the story is that sometimes you're better off without having bad parents in your life. He at first wants to re-connect with his dad, but after all the conflict he causes irresponsibly, Clyde tells him to leave and at the end of the episode throws away his only keepsake of the dad.
  • The Berserker: The pendant is said to have been used by the Viking berserkers and transformed them into mindless but effective warriors. After using the pendant for long enough, Paul quickly degenerates into a twitching, ranting savage, barely capable of maintaining his train of thought.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sarah Jane is absent for almost the entire episode but arrives at the story's climax just in time to save Paul from himself.
  • Body Horror: The effect of overusing the pendant gives Paul unearthly pale eyes and bulging blue veins.
    • Paul very nearly inflicts this on an innocent Haresh Chandra, as he commands him to do push ups as a joke and leaves him in the driveway while he makes off with Clyde. As Paul's command has no ending clause, Haresh is still exercising until the end of the episode and is very close to dying of exhaustion with buckets of sweat dripping off him.
  • The Bus Came Back: Maria and Alan appear one last time. This is the first and only time Maria and Rani interact onscreen.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: The episode focuses on Clyde and Paul dealing with their fractured relationship, but of course alien jewellery is involved to hasten things.
  • Compelling Voice: Using the pendant, a person can make others obey their every command. Even benign, off-handed remarks such as "shut up" can force the listener to be totally unable to speak.
  • Continuity Nod: Paul mentions the Daleks.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Somewhat downplayed. It just happens that Rani picked up the pendant while Sarah Jane was away and the same weekend that Clyde decided to show his dad the attic.
  • Disappeared Dad: Paul and Carla fell out of love when Clyde was younger. Paul ran off with her sister Melba and went to live in Germany. When Melba became pregnant in 2009, Paul ran again, this time returning to Clyde.
  • First-Name Basis: Clyde's mom tells Luke to call her "Carla" instead of "Mrs. Langer".
  • Foreshadowing: Sarah Jane mentions how much she'd like to see her parents again. Guess what happens in the next story.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Clyde and his mum talk Paul through his memories, whilst Sarah shows him a reflection of himself in her handbag mirror and he remembers who he really is.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Paul forces this upon Clyde throughout the story as he tells his son to forget about all of his friends so that they can run away together. As a consequence, Clyde reverts to his slightly more jockish personality from his first appearance and as so much amnesia begins to corrode his sense of identity, he becomes increasingly scared and confused by the situation.
  • Mind Rape: The pendant's powers.
  • Mythology Gag: Doubling as a Stealth Pun, and possibly unintentional: the first recurring cast member to use the pendant, complete with getting a mark is Rani. She got "The Mark Of The Rani".
  • Papa Wolf: Clyde's father is able to overcome the effects of the Berserker pendant through his love of his ex-wife and son.
  • Shopping Montage: A rare male example with Clyde and Paul. Also, it would be better to call it a stealing montage because Paul is using the pendant to convince shop assistants to give away stuff for free, and to stop Clyde from being bothered by this.
  • Shout-Out: Using the pendant, Rani tells her father to impersonate Bianca Jackson from EastEnders.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Clyde's dad makes his only appearance in the series.