Welcome back! It’s been brought to my attention that I might not like the show as much as I used to. That really got to me. Made me think. Contemplate. Wonder where it all went wrong. I dug down deep to the bottom of my soul. To see what I had inside. I dug down deep to the bottom of my soul. I tried and I tried. But I felt…
Let’s do this. Flashback to Morocco, 2010. While Stanton purrs at some detainee, ace CIA operative Reese gets bored, shuts off the monitor, because it’s not like the detainee could possibly turn on Stanton or kill her or anything like happened on Homeland, and decides to check his messages from his old cell phone from 2001. Luckily, he still has the SIM card because Jessica, the love of his life for an entire six months, decided out of the blue to call him. Convenient! And I’m sure the CIA has no way to monitor his actions. I hear they’re a real hands-off agency.
Despite having zero contact with him for nine years except a chance meeting in an airport, she suddenly needs to talk. This isn’t a contrivance at all, though. He gets all Smurfy and calls her back and she’s just sitting in her car, waiting for the call. What? Whatever, despite him being halfway around the world she starts mewling about needing a friend to talk to and how he was right, in the end we’re all alone. Isn’t there someone within, like, a time zone or two she could talk to first? Doesn’t have to be a friend. Could be a priest. Maybe a therapist. They’re there to help, Jess. She starts crying and Reese, under the impression he has a 9-5 job, says he’ll be there in 24 hours. How? Who cares. He looks really pretty when he promises.
Maybe this shot will distract from how dumb this scene is.
Oh hey, look it’s Carter. Still whining about not knowing who to trust. How many times has she had this conversation? A good rule of thumb is “saves my life = trustworthy.” Just a thought. She tells Reese that she does trust him, since she already almost got him killed by trusting a badger-faced guy and he keeps coming back like a bad penny, but she’s not sure about Fusco, because even if he saved her life, Fat Don said he was dirty and she always chooses to believe the least likely person to be telling her the truth. That way she can always be so vexed when she gets bamboozled. Carter’s making her gassy face of concern throughout, so you know she’s worried.
Sorry about that. I had chili for lunch.
Reese tells her he’ll take care of it, because it’s not like she’s a decorated veteran and “respected” homicide cop who should be able to take care of herself. She still wants to know everything about how they work cases and Reese nonsensically hands her a photo of the latest number saying they’ll “work it together.” But it’s just some guy cheating on his girlfriend. His real girlfriend, who had enough time to plot his murder and still landed on “Let me kill him in front of about 100 witnesses in a crowded bar,” storms in just in time for Carter to arrest her and then bitch at Reese that he didn’t help. But whatever, Finch has a new number.
Can you believe a writer got paid for that scene?
Yay! Fusco! He’s dragging some perp into an interrogation room but disconnects the camera. What? Oh, Capt. David Johansen’s there, asking for his money. The perp doesn’t know what he’s talking about because he doesn’t pay off the cops and Fusco’s squirming. Capt. David Johansen tries to be all big man and slap the guy around telling him he pays the cops now, but he still looks like David Johansen and anyone who sang Hot, Hot, Hot isn’t intimidating. Plus, he also looks like Casper the Friendly Ghost. Perp says he’ll pay but he has to get the money, so Capt. Casper sends Fusco with him.
Down at the library, Finch recaps Carter’s concerns about Fusco but Reese still doesn’t want to tell her about him because the fewer people who know about Fusco the safer he is. This prompts Finch, out of the blue and with no reason whatsoever since he’s trusted Fusco numerous times in the past to quip about how now they’re protecting Fusco? Dick. I hope he doesn’t need Fusco’s help saving Reese’s ass later in the episode. Reese blows it off as protecting an asset.
I’m an asshole.
Enough crapping all over Lionel, let’s find out about this week’s number. Tommy Clay, another outer-borough, working class family man. No criminal record, upstanding, law-abiding, works for an armored truck service, and Reese will be working with him. Finch managed to arrange all this in the middle of the night. Exposition, exposition…blah blah blah. Someone’s planning on robbing the truck, and let’s look at how ruggedly handsome Jim Caviezel looks in his uniform.
Admit it. You don’t care what just happened.
Tommy’s jabbering about the job and Reese still hasn’t over-identified with him. They make their stops so Reese can exposit about how unprepared they are for a robbery. While Finch is trying to find the perp by scanning cars in the vicinity of the truck, Tommy and the driver decide to prank Reese. Showing that in addition to common sense, internal logic and continuity, the writers threw out their senses of humor, Reese gets his panties in a wad over it while Finch tut-tuts about how “endearing” that is but then reminds us the Machine is never wrong, resistance is futile and Oceania is still at war with Eastasia so the robbery will still occur. Reese, still pissed that he got pranked, smarms that when the robbery occurs the crew’s in big trouble. Isn’t that why he’s there?
It’s best not to spook the killing machine.
Flashback to Morocco, and hello, Badger! He’s there to let Reese and Stanton know their first scene was unnecessary, except for the Jessica BS, because they’ve been reassigned to Ordos, China. Reese literally says, and I quote, “No can do. I need to take some leave. Family emergency.” HAHAHAHAHAHA. Badger should have shot his ass on principle, but instead tells him he has no family, the situation is urgent, and he’s going.
Miss you! Kiss you!
Reese, still not getting that he’s low man on the totem pole, and just the hired muscle anyway, tells Snow to find someone else. Corwin slinks out of the shadows, spooking Reese enough to pipe down. Was he always such a shitty operative? Michael Westen would have gone there, ate a yogurt, wore some really bitching doll clothes, been in and out of China and still gotten to Jessica’s whiny ass within 24 hours because he’s a PRO-FES-SION-AL.
Corwin exposits about the Stuxnet virus, not realizing that Richard Clarke would be on Maddow this week explaining how the source code is pretty much freely available online to be modified at will, but she doesn’t really lie that someone at the Pentagon sold a secured laptop with the source-code (to the Machine) on it. They need to retrieve it, and since the software will exploit any open communication channel, no phones or personal communication devices.
It’s not our first rodeo, Reese.
Then as the ladies leave, Badger shows why he’s in senior management and tells Reese that once they’ve retrieved the package, he’s to “retire” Stanton because she’s been getting kickbacks for working with a Hezbollah go between and now Reese has to clean up their mess. Get it done, and he can have all the leave he needs. For his part, Reese passed over into a coma about five minutes ago and missed the veiled threat. Then he tries to call Jessica to let her know he’ll be a little late but doesn’t leave her a voice mail. Why? Who knows, probably to be more tragic when she gets killed. SPOILER!
The lights are on, but he’s not home.
Back in the present and some inconsequential discussion about this week’s number. Hey, they couldn’t care less about him so why should I? Anyway, Reese gets a call from FUSCO! Finally. He recaps what we saw in his earlier scene and tells Reese that Capt. Casper is shaking down anyone because HR’s kickbacks have dried up without Elias. Then he tries to garner some sympathy for the shitty position Reese has put him in but Reese has no fucks to give for Fusco because Carter has claimed them all. But not in any interesting way, just in the “make sure I never have to experience the consequences of my rash behavior,” way. Fusco mentions that at least he’s getting some kickbacks of his own and then actually asks what he should do with the money. Reese, again showing he has no fucks to give for Lionel, says he just cares about HR and to do whatever he wants with the money.
Why did I save this asshole’s life again?
But who cares about an ungrateful bitch, Little Fusco gets in the car and brightens Lionel’s day. Awww, the kid’s hella cute but looks like he could be Kevin Chapman’s kid, so there are good genes somewhere in that fireplug. Fusco takes a look at Little’s hockey gear and it’s pretty shot so he offers to buy Little some new gear to put his ill-gotten gains to good use.
Little and Lionel Fusco.
Some dumb shit “banter” between Carter and Reese where she once again questions the illegality of Reese’s actions because she’s Leonard Shelby and if she doesn’t tattoo it on her arm she forgets it in 15 minutes. Then she exposits about who’s casing the armored truck and pretends to offer to help so Reese can say he has it covered, because he remembers how she bitched at him about having to arrest the teeny, tiny chick by herself at the top of the episode. What would she do with those guys? Whine them into submission?
You’ll probably need help. Not that I’m offering, but I could recommend some people.
Seemingly random scene in a diner where Reese meets up with Tommy and the driver so the driver can establish that Tommy’s wife is a “ballbuster.” Nice. But he’s just a bitter divorcé. Then Tommy joins them and they focus way too much on the pretty young waitress with the expensive diamond bracelet she claims was a gift from her grandmother and Tommy jokes about Grandma having good taste. I guess their first choice of having blinking neon lights saying “In CAHOOTS” was too subtle.
I’m much happier leading a lonely life. My career as an armored truck driver is that fulfilling.
Reese is still managing not to over-identify with Tommy. Must be his sneery, tri-state accent. Or the fact that he towers over Reese, giving him a Napoleon complex for the first time in his life. Finch wastes time as he lets us know each of their stops until they get to the one where they’re picking up platinum. Assuming some Amish found a talking picture box, he also lets us know it’s very expensive. As Finch and the soundtrack get all panicky elite killing machine Reese gets jumpy when he hears a car’s tires squeal. Tommy does not endear himself by laughing at Reese.
Buck up, Reese. You probably weigh more.
But the robbery never occurs. While Finch wonders why, the truck blows up. Oh, that’s why. The blast knocked them into the opening sequence of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Never mind, they’re just wasting some more time with arty shots and muffled sound. POV finally shifts back to normal as Reese hears gunshots being fired at an armored truck because criminals are stupid. Reese gets out of the truck to save the day but the episode isn’t even half over so while he’s playing big man with a gun and shooting the criminals in their…vests I guess…Tommy comes out and shoots Reese and Murray, making sure Murray but not the guy who shot his accomplices is dead, then loads the not-dead criminals into their van. D’oh! Inside job.
Will he survive? I’m so scared.
We won’t know because we’re back in 2010. Reese and Stanton are in Ordos and they’re going in alone. Extraction team leader confiscates their phones, like this is the first they’ve heard of it, and tells them to set up some Kem lights when they’re ready for extraction. As Reese and Stanton flirt-sposit about not being told everything about the mission, so Reese can smirk that she told him it wasn’t their place to question orders, their boxes turn red (OH NOES). Then they turn a corner and see a bunch of dead software engineers. Oops.
Everything becomes ominous when it has a red box around it.
Back in the present, Finch is calling out for Reese who is in the hospital, conveniently being completely ignored by any and all staff while they work on Murray the dead driver, so Reese can pull out his IV. Carter’s magically there so she can Smurf that “It looks like he could use some help,” and hope people will finally realize she does more than just trust the wrong people so she can put everyone else in danger. Of course, Reese still needs medical attention so she’s still putting him in danger but let’s forget that. They manage to conveniently slip past the cop guarding them as a doctor/nurse/orderly literally looks the other way while she drags a big man in a bloody shirt away.
Next time block it with the extra in the background.
Realizing that they shoot Reese in practically every episode, Carter gets to exposit that, luckily, Tommy didn’t bother to shoot him in the head while he was lying there, clearly still alive, so he just has bruised ribs. Then they recap what we already saw so Finch can call Carter and smurf over how happy he is that Reese is still alive. I wish I cared, but I’m currently reading this book:
It is a Penguin Classic, after all.
Finch exposits how Tommy signaled the other guys and Reese gets all Big Man again and walks off, but with her scene done, Carter doesn’t give a rat’s ass that he’s injured and just lets him hobble off. Because that’s how deeply she cares and why she can never die, ever.
Yay! We’re back with Fusco watching Little play some street hockey in a playground. Capt. Casper shows up and is all business because he needs Fusco to pick up a package in Brooklyn. Then he says “Failure is not an option,” and that Fusco knows what he means, but is that code? Because if it isn’t, every English speaker knows what that means.
Shiny, happy people.
Down at the precinct and decent, pure and kind Carter is interrogating Tommy’s wife like she’s the one who robbed the truck. Because they found a jewelry case in their house but not the actual piece of expensive jewelry and never bothered to even dust it for prints. As Tommy’s wife continues to look confused, Mother Carteresa snots about guessing the bracelet just fell off the back of a truck, then…seeing the wife’s utter fear and confusion, course corrects and shows a little sympathy, lest we ever forget that she’s the “moral heart” of the show.
I may have harassed an innocent woman but I did it because I care. So very much.
Whatever, that was just to remind the viewers who took a nap earlier that Tommy’s having an affair with Ashley the waitress. Maybe they should have used that neon sign after all. Finch is at the diner, cloning her phone while Reese is putting on his shirt to distract us from how unnecessarily bitchy Carter just was because…moral heart!
My what a big…bandage you have.
Since they wasted all that time earlier, Finch exposits us to the Royce Motel so Reese can find the two guys he thought he killed earlier are now actually dead, but no Tommy. As Reese checks on the dead extras he hears someone at the door. Assuming it’s Tommy he takes cover but it’s just Fusco. Fusco shows the restraint of a saint when he doesn’t just shoot Reese on principle.
God, I hate you right now.
Back in Ordos, and in the carnage Reese manages to find one “mostly alive” engineer. Luckily, Stanton speaks Chinese. Despite being half dead and in excruciating pain, he manages to also be lucid enough to explain that “they came and took the machine away.” With his exposition done, and Reese’s back turned, Stanton shoots the engineer. Well, that’s one way to end the pain. Jibber jabber, jibber jabber a list that looks like SSN’s then Reese finds the laptop. Since the extraction team can’t get them until after dark, he thinks they need to find a safe place to wait so Stanton can act all guilty, waving her gun while wondering why they’d need a safe place since they’re the only living people there. Then she tells Reese to go first, just in case the previous two seconds was too subtle.
I think he would have preferred some Dilaudid.
Back in the present, Fusco and I are simpatico as he points out he should have just shot Reese. Reese can’t not be a dick to Fusco but Fusco couldn’t care less about Reese, he just wants to pick up HR’s cut of the platinum, since they helped set up the robbery. Reese lets Fusco know that Tommy’s gone with the platinum. Fusco finally loses his shit on Reese, reminding him that he’s working with HR because of Reese and if he doesn’t come back with the platinum he’s a dead man. Reese continues being a complete dick to Fusco and says he’ll find Tommy and Fusco just needs to come up with a good lie, which he’s good at, and that’s why he picked Fusco. Man, I hope Reese won’t need Fusco to save his life, again, later on in the episode. That would be awkward.
Self satisfaction is not flattering in this light.
Finch catches Reese up to speed about Tommy and Ashley as Fusco tap dances about the platinum. Capt. Casper doesn’t believe Fusco so Fusco tells him to go down to the motel and see for himself while some random extra just hangs out in the background. Really? Capt. Casper isn’t exactly sold on Fusco’s explanation but figures there’s only a very few places Tommy could fence the platinum on his own, assuming Fusco isn’t “shining [him] on,” (hmmm…interesting phrase) and they’ll go check them out together.
Shouldn’t they be a little more…discrete?
Ashley gets off work to find Reese being a creepy creeper in her car. He wants to know where Tommy is but she says she doesn’t know then cries that either something happened or he left her behind. Reese’s convenient gender assumptions kick in so he leaves her behind after snotting about her Louis Vuitton luggage.
Crying girls are my Kryptonite.
Reese and Finch exposit that Tommy’s planning on selling the platinum at Arturo’s Boxing Club then remembering that they have to include Carter in x-number of scenes Reese has Finch call her to send her down to the club to arrest Tommy. But Reese is on his own because before she can leave Badger and Preppy show up to let her know they’re closing in on Reese and not to talk to Donnelly because she’ll want to be on the right side when Badger finds Reese. Almost sounds like a love story.
Reunited and it feels so good.
Reese shows up at the boxing club then beats the crap out of Tommy, wanting to know why a heretofore upstanding citizen would throw his life away. He says
lazy, plot-driven writing he got tired of guarding everyone else’s money and figured he’d take his own. Reese cheeses some cliché as Tommy indulges him long enough for Ashley to show up. Damn, those lazy writers gender stereotypes keep kicking Reese in the ass.
Maybe this angle will distract people from how dumb that scene was.
Oh, aces. We’re back in Ordos. Stanton’s eating an MRE because Michael Westen never told her the secret of the yogurt, and speechifying about how they’re becoming obsolete as more intel is being gathered through technology instead of agents. Reese gets all Erykah Badu on her, thinking that they’re still there. As Stanton gets all philosophical again, Reese gets pretty/sad because the sun’s setting and he’s just a sensitive killing machine who doesn’t like killing girls.
Just an analog boy in a digital world.
Back in the present and…Finch is calling Fusco to save Reese. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Phew…HEEHEEHEEHEE. It’s almost like they weren’t both shit-talking Lionel earlier in the episode and telling him they don’t give a damn how he gets out of trouble with HR, because it’s not their concern, and basically leaving him for dead. Fusco hangs up on Finch and Capt. Casper wants to know who he was talking to. Fusco lies that it was his ex and makes up a to-do list:
Meanwhile, Tommy’s tying Reese up as Ashley asks for the platinum, but Reese is still clinging to the last vestige of his gender assumptions so she gets super squirrelly, making sure to get his attention long enough for him to figure out she’s planning to kill Tommy. Figuring Tommy’s a human shield, Reese starts obliquing about the law of the fishes and how he never knows if the people he helps are victims or perps but…whatever she shoots Tommy in the back.
Let’s move this along, fellas.
Even though she didn’t hesitate to shoot Tommy, Reese is the lead so he starts jawboning her about what it’s like the first time you shoot someone. Jimmy Darmody (JIMMY!) did it so much better so he takes a different tack and tells her the second time can be harder, but this was all just a ploy to use up some time so Fusco and Capt. Casper can show up in time to kill her and take the platinum
You’re so lucky you’re the star and I’m just a one-off guest star.
Capt. Casper confirms that the platinum’s in the bag then knocks the crap out of Reese a couple of times, calling him “Carter’s guardian angel.” Fusco doesn’t think beating Reese is a good use of their time, though, so Capt. Casper agrees and figures he’ll just shoot him. Despite having every reason in the world to let him, up to and including Reese sneering at Fusco that he doesn’t care how he gets out of trouble with HR, Fusco is still the better man in this situation and kills Capt. Casper, with Ashley’s gun.
Damn, why do I keep saving his life?
Since Reese is physically incapable of showing gratitude toward Lionel, he jerks about how Lionel’s getting good at this, and unless he meant “saving Reese’s ungrateful ass from certain death” what a dick move. Fusco doesn’t personalize Reese’s bullshit though, and just says he’s always been good at this. And THAT’S why he picked Lionel.
And never forget that I can easily be late the next time.
Back in Ordos and another UNKLE song starts playing as Reese shows why he was a pretty sucky killing machine. While Stanton gives him a perfect shot to “retire her” Reese gets all sentimental because he can’t kill a girl and still be dreamy. He starts to tell her about Badger’s order to shoot her, but she doesn’t hesitate to shoot him first because she was told he was compromised (He was, by the way, because of the SIM card and calling Jessica.) and it was her mess to clean up.
Foiled by your gender assumptions again.
Being shot makes Reese smart and he figures out that they were using the Kem lights not to signal the extraction team but to signal where to bomb the facility. What Reese lacks in general intelligence he makes up for in superhuman strength and manages to run out of the facility, with a big bullet hole in his gut, in five seconds. Then he takes a moment to look back, so we can see how pretty he is and forget how stupid that was.
Shouldn’t he have collapsed from blood loss by now?
Back in the library, Reese and Finch acknowledge that the main story was pretty lame while the Machine intercepts a call from Badger to Preppy. He thinks he has a bead on where Reese is and wants Preppy to meet him at the Royal Manhattan Hotel. They break into the hotel room, looking for Reese but finding a big stash of weapons and an awesome pair of platform stilettos. But before Preppy can fully admire them, he’s shot in the back. Badger comes out of the bathroom so he can be kneecapped. It’s Stanton and she thinks they have some catching up to do.
But she doesn’t have a head.
So, yeah. Not as bad as Flesh and Blood and even had some highlights, like Fusco and seeing what happened in Ordos, even if it was kind of anti-climactic and nonsensical, but that’s like saying getting your wisdom teeth pulled isn’t as bad as having reconstructive surgery on your jaw after it was shattered by a cinder block. I’d think by now they’d be aiming a little higher than “at least it wasn’t as bad as oral surgery.” On the plus side, only three more episodes to go.
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