Ahh, The 4400 the current bastard child of my recapping schedule. In all aspects, this show has been pretty good this season, outside of Lily’s sudden onset aging and the fact that Dr. Berkhoff has suddenly gone missing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem quite as original (but there is still a giveaway going on) as previous seasons, maybe because of all the supernatural/alien invasion type shows popping up lately, but the character development is a lot deeper, and you know how USA network LOVES characters. Unfortunately, this means it’s a little harder to get into the show this season if you haven’t been watching it. That being said, it’s still a good show.If you have been following my recaps, you know that I am a big fan of the Tom Baldwin’s wife, Alana, largely because I think she is gorgeous and love her accent. In the past few weeks, we have been learning a lot about Alana, and this week is we got a whole lot more.
After Isabelle started working through the NOVA group in search of Shawn, there is only one person left that NTAC needs to find: Gary Navarro. You all remember Gary because he was the baseball player that asked Tom and Diana for help. Since then he has been used as a spy for the NSA, felt bad, and then used his mindreading ability to go after enemies of the 4400, many of whom were the same type of people who were hiring him not too long ago. Tom and the rest of the crew are closing in on him, but right before they storm down the door, somebody tips of Gary and he is able to escape.
Shawn Farrell was really happy that Isabelle saved him, but among the things that can really change the dynamic of a relationship, a handful of murders have to be around the top of the list. The body says yes, and the mind says no. Isabelle doesn’t know why Shawn is freaking out about Matthew (it was just a stroke) and the other people who died (they were terrorists), and if the ends justify the means, then Shawn’s mental health can justify a lot. Shawn says that he just thinks that he and Isabelle got a little too intense, too fast, and that it might be time for a break.
Before Isabelle can decide whether that break should be Shawn’s neck, another girl comes into visit. Seriously, doesn’t anybody knock in this place? It has to be one of my pet peeves. I have a couple coworkers who are especially skilled at not knocking. It’s not only rude, but makes it difficult to nap when I need a little refresher in the afternoon or am nursing a hangover. Anyway, Shawn’s visitor is Nikki, his brother’s ex-girlfriend who happened to break up with his brother because she was more in love with Shawn.
As soon as I saw this girl, I though she was dead meat. Just look at the way Isabelle is looking at her. She reminds me of my sister right before she stabbed me with a pencil when we were young, accidentally, I’m sure. Isabelle looks like she wants to accidentally rip Nikki’s head off, even if the visit is quite innocent. Nikki’s father has cancer, and although she doesn’t mention it, you know what’s coming next. Nikki wants a little help with her father, and we all know that Shawn will be happy to comply.
Alana’s job at the center has been a success, and she really seems to enjoy helping 4400 children, that is until the NSA round her up and took her away. What was the charge? Alluring accent in the first degree? Actually, there is no charge. They can hold her for a couple of days without charging her because she is a “person of interest”. They have evidence that she is a member of the NOVA group.
Wha? Alana? Really? Seems hard to believe, but as she is explaining it to Tom, she wrote a check to help out her old friend Ryan Freel pay some bills. Ryan Freel used it for some things that got him in trouble with government, and now Alana is paying the price. Tom tries to pull some strings with his boss Nina Jarvis, but her hands are tied. The investigation is officially sanctioned and the government has hired the Haspell Corporation to do the investigative work. A civilian company is doing the job of a government agency, including arrests, and there is little oversight from the government, and there is even less oversight of the government that is supposed to be running all of this.
So, who is behind this at the Haspell group? None other than Dennis Ryland. Funny thing happens when you work for the government. Even if you take the fall for a program that kills people, you can get hired at a think tank or some military subcontractor for some pretty good dough. You can be an enemy of the state and still rake in some nice coin on the lecture circuit.
Ryland took his official censure and parlayed that into a top job at Haspell. Although he and Tom used to be friends, and they once used to fight for the same things, that is no longer happening. In fact, Ryland resents the fact that Tom is married to the 4400, and resents the fact that he let Gary Navarro get so close in the first place. Call if cynical of me, but I definitely think that Ryland is using Alana to get back at Tom, and his mandate lets him do this all under the auspices of “official business”.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about Ryland is that he now has a very strange ally: one Isabelle Tyler. She’s been sneaking off for the entire day, and it looks like they are letting Haspell study her. She might have rejected Matthew Ross’s methods, but it looks like she has accepted her role to destroy the 4400. What better way to get rid of them than getting the man who wants them dead more than anything else on her side?
When Isabelle comes home, Richard tries to have a chat with her. You know, the normal type of things fathers say to daughters when they are dumped and/or have just murdered a few people. Isabelle has come a long way, and actually asks her father for help. She wants Richard to talk to Shawn about getting back together with her. Richard almost laughs at the fact. How many fathers have actually gone up to a guy and said “Excuse, will you start having sex with my daughter again?” Of course, when Daddy’s little girl can melt your brain with a wink and a smile, that is a little motivation.
Richard does go to Shawn and says what Isabelle said, “If Shawn’s not with me, it will be harder on everybody”. “It” being some difficult things she is going to have to do in the near future. Shawn feels badly that he is being used because he is Isabelle’s only connection to a normal life. If he only knew that her mission was to destroy the 4400, he probably wouldn’t be thinking the same way. And it starts with canceling his plans with Nikki, who wanted to take him to sushi to thank him for reaching out and touching her father and making her well. I am sure she wanted Shawn to reach out and touch her body and make her, uh, swell, but after the warning from Richard, Shawn cut off the date, which was the best thing for both parties involved. Nikki might not understand, but when Shawn gets home and Isabelle is saying that Nikki is not right for him and she would be better off without him, he sees the obvious threat, but can’t do anything about it.
The phone records come in from Gary Navarro’s house, and the phone call came from inside the 4400 center. More specifically, it came from the office of Alana’s friend Heather Tobey. When Diana and Tom go to investigate, she has an alibi. Later that night, however, Heather visits Tom and tells her that there is somebody else with access to her office. None other than Alana herself.
Alana is released, and Tom starts questioning her about the key Heather Toomey let her borrow. He wants to know whom she gave it to, but she didn’t give it to anybody. She made the phone call, and she did it for Tom. After Gary came to the government for help, the government used him, and Gary is not a member of the NOVA group anyway, having disavowed after the death of TJ Kim. Alana can understand why Tom is upset, but she can’t figure out why he doesn’t understand. The only person Gary wanted to kill was Dennis Ryland, who almost killed her and a lot of other people, and she has no sympathy.
Tom’s plan was to keep quiet and hope it all goes away on it’s own, but that is not likely to happen. He confessed to Diana about everything, and they have taken themselves off of the case in hopes that their replacements won’t be as competent, but they aren’t the only ones searching. Heather Tobey has been picked up by the NSA, and it’s only a matter of time before she talks. But before Tom can figure out what to do, Alana gives herself up to the Haspell Corporation.
Obviously, this is Tom’s worst-case scenario, but he realizes that this is not about some form of justice, but rather getting back at the person that nearly killed him. Ryland wants Gary at all costs, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get him, and if that means interrogating Tom’s wife, so be it. If he wants to save his wife, the easiest way is to get her to cooperate with the investigation. At that point, Tom knows that if he wants any leverage in this battle, he is going to have to find Gary Navarro first.
Tom sees Alana in detention, but she is not exactly stoked on ratting out another one of her own kind, but Tom convinces her it is the only way to save her own life. Alana relents and tells him about a meeting place at the aquarium. Tom and Diana go there, see Gary, chase him down, and get him into custody. With his currency in place, Tom calls Ryland and proposes an exchange. Just like he thought, Ryland is willing to make the change, and they plan a place and time.
Now, let’s not beat around the bush. When Ryland is done with Gary, he will probably be severely beaten and then disappear in some shallow grave somewhere. Tom thinks it’s a fair trade for his wife, but Gary still can’t believe it. Before Tom and Diana promised to help him, he was just trying to make it in the minor leagues, and now he’s running from the government.
The exchange is made, and it seems like Alana is having regrets. We see Gary hooded and placed in the back of an SUV to a destination unknown. Eventually, it’s too much for him to take, and as Ryland truck is leaving, Tom runs them off the road. Ryland and his goons are disoriented, and Tom and Diana are able to handcuff them together and get away. Although Ryland threatens to report it, they all know that it’s a bluff. To admit that this ambush happened would be admitting that he wanted the switch to take place, and since that was largely off the books, Ryland would be in just as much trouble.
With that, it’s all official. Alana can no longer call the Pacific Northwest home. Tom has arranged to sneak her and Gary into Canada, and from there they’ll head off to Cuba. Among the cons is that she’ll might not see her husband again. Among the pros is that she’ll probably be even hotter with a tan, and she’ll have free health care. She hates the American government so much, it will be like she’s among friends.
Although we sometimes have problems with the execution of some of the subplots, I have to say that the overall story is working. Ryland is a great bad guy, and there are so many conflicts that have to be dealt with for the “good” guys and the bad guys. On top of this, Isabelle looks like she wants to go ballistic at anytime she pleases. It really makes you wonder who is the biggest threat.
What did you think of this episode? Will Tom and Diana get back together? What will Haspell Corporation and Rayland get from Isabelle?