And so it is. One last adventure from the ranks of the bi-personalitied spy set of My Own Worst Enemy (at least for now…hopefully only for now). You know that saying, "go big or go home?" Well, they certainly went big…
Spoilers – jump to the end for just my assorted thoughts
In Budapest, Hungary, Edward takes photos awaiting the arrival of a man named Chesnik, a defense minister selling old Soviet weapons on the black market, currently looking to unload a warhead of some kind. Chenik arrives and he notifies Mavis and Trumbull who are at Janus HQ. Edward is taking photos for proof of Chenik’s misdeeds as well as for identifying the buyer. Pretending to work for a travel magazine, he asks if he can take a picture of tourists, photographing the transaction behind them instead. Tony the Tech identifies the buyer as Daniel Shaw, ex-Department of Defense who files are mostly hidden. Trumbull has him contact a rep from DoD and tells Edward of Shaw’s identity, ordering him not to engage until they find out what side he’s working for. Too bad Henry pops up right now.
Covering by saying his comms went dead for a moment, Henry asks for them to repeat. Mavis gives a knowing look to Tony and tells Henry to follow Daniel. Tony sends Henry a text with Shaw’s picture so he’s on the same page. Henry says Shaw is on the move, Mavis tells him that while he’s an unknown quantity, they are concerned with what he’ll do with the warhead. Following him down an alley, Henry sees Shaw standing with a gun drawn at him. At HQ, they hear a gunshot, then static. Tony confirms the comms are dead – there are concerned looks all around.
Shaw has taken Henry to an apartment, putting him in a bathtub full of ice water and dumping more ice in as he explains how he used to report on the dangers of terrorism, yet no one cared until he became one. He tells Henry that the only reason he didn’t kill him is to find out who he worked for, but Henry’s entirely too cold to say anything. Shaw determines he’s not CIA or NSA and says to tell him who Henry works for or he’ll kill him, emphasis the point by pouring boiling hot water on him and burning him with a tea kettle. Henry says the Salvation Army. Shaw says it’s too bad because while he wants that info, he doesn’t need it. Radioing that there’s a body to come clean up, Shaw tosses a plugged-in hot plate into the water, electrocuting him as he nonchalantly walks out.
Henry convulses until the hot plate short circuits, then goes still…popping up a moment later, very much alive. And fortunately very much Edward. When the henchman comes in to get him, he beats the crap out of him and steals his phone, calling Mavis. She’s relieved he’s alive. He tells her Shaw is in the wind and to contact Interpol, but more importantly he’s figured out how to fix the chip.
Flying back to LA and in Mavis’ office, they discuss how high-doses of electricity activate the chip. While Mavis and Tony agree it’s dangerous, Edward points out that Trumbull will eventually figure out he’s broken and kill him (if Henry doesn’t beat him to it). Mavis calls Norah in, just in case. Edward says why not call in Raymond too, make it a family BBQ but Mavis says he’s in Boston on legitimate AJ Sun business.
Cut to Tom in a strip joint with a bunch of other businessmen. He goes to the bar to buy another round and a shady looking dude in a suit asks if they know each other. Tom says they don’t and, after a brief exchange, amiably walks away with the drinks. Shady Dude asks the bartender to see his ID. This won’t end well.
Back at HQ, Dr. Skinner expresses her concern for Edward’s safety while prepping him. Mavis and Tony are in the observation room. She’s shut down the security feed in the room for twenty minutes while Tony explains how he’ll be able to tell when Henry emerges. They hit him with the voltage and, well, it doesn’t go well nor does it work. In the hallway, Norah tells Edward that he’s no worse off than he was this morning. He disagrees – every mission he goes on is a suicide mission thanks to Henry. She tells him that things could change, he could teach Henry but he scoffs. Norah asks what he’s do if Henry was just some dude, he responds that he’d kill him. He gets an idea and quickly walks off without a word when she asks what he’s thinking.
Henry wakes up in a room full of pipes in the Los Angeles Harbor. In front of him is a laptop with a message from Edward. He explains that Henry can’t afford to depend on him on missions, that he has to learn to fend for himself. Plus he’d rather not die when national security hangs in the balance. To that end, he’s hired an assassin to kill him/them who’s already in the building and will close in on his location in five minutes. Supplying Henry with a gun, Edward says it’s either him or the assassin and he hopes Henry chooses to survive. Wow. Drastic much?
Henry searches for an exit to no avail. Playing the rest of the message, Edward adds that there are no windows and he’s wielded the doors shut so there’s no easy escape. Henry starts recording a message, saying there’s no way Edward is serious since he’s all about self-preservation. Only it’s no bluff – a shot fired from above barely misses Henry and interrupts him mid-sentence, sending him scrambling.
At Janus HQ, Trumbull is speaking with Elizabeth at the DOD. He says he wants the personnel file for former-Global Security Director Shaw. She explains he was quietly "put out to pasture" a year ago because he thought the Patriot Act and other related programs weren’t severe enough. Trumbull breaks the news that he just bought a warhead which she knows contains enough material for three dirty bombs. The scenario most likely is that Shaw will go after a US target abroad in order to force policy changes. Elizabeth okays high clearance and access to all of Shaw’s files, telling Trumbull to get him.
Meanwhile, Shaw is dismantling the warhead carefully in a hotel room somewhere and reallocating the materials to suitcase bombs, complete with timers. Booooo! Hiiiisss!
Back at the LA Harbor, Henry runs frantically through the building. He stops to try and use his cell but its battery is dying and there’s no signal. It beeps at him because of its hunger, which alerts the assassin to his whereabouts. The hired gun (who kinda looks like a high school senior) finds the phone on a box but doesn’t see Henry so he moves on. Henry moves from his hiding place and goes the other direction, but runs into a metal gate and the noises alerts the assassin who gives chase. Running and dodging fire, Henry falls down some stairs and retreats further into the room. Finding generator controls, he shuts them down cutting the power and leaving them in the dark.
Tony updates Mavis on his progress on reviewing Shaw’s files, saying it’ll take about six hours to go through all the data. He also says that he thinks he’s figured out another way to activate Henry/Edward’s switch but it’s risky. Mavis tells him to set it up but be discrete.
Angie and Mary have returned home from Christmas shopping when Shady Strip Club Dude shows up, asking which one is Mary. He says his name is Green and that he goes way back with her husband, who used to go by the name Raymond. Mary says she’s never heard anyone call him that, to which Green replies that maybe she doesn’t know him that well. Telling her he ran into Tom at the strip club in Boston, Angie says she thinks he should leave. Tom drives up at this moment and asks what he’s doing here. Green says he looks good for a dead man, which confuses Tom even more and garners a compliment from Green on his acting skills. He adds that when Sullivan gets here, Tom will drop the act because he doesn’t enjoy games. When Angie says she’s going to call the police, Green leaves. Mary asks if he lied about the strip club, which he confirms but she walks away before he could explain anything. He looks at Angie who just kind of walks away.
Meanwhile, Henry has used the laptop message to distract the assassin. Lighting a flase in the dark, it takes Assassin Man off guard allowing Henry to kick the gun out of his hand. Trying to plea his way out of it, this only causes Henry to be distracted long enough for AM to disarm him. AM dives for his own gun which gives Henry time to grab his and take off once again. Running down a narrow hallway, the two exchange fire. At the end of the corridor, Henry climbs up a ladder and makes his up and to a padlocked exit. Shooting off the lock and successfully making it outside, he puts a metal beam across the door, blockading AM in. Climbing on the ledge nearby, Henry finds himself high above water on a giant freighter ship as AM bangs on the circular glass pane. Henry jumps just as AM breaks through the glass.
Finally back at home, Henry sits on his bed in a towel holding his bandaged arm and staring blankly at nothing in particular. Angie walks in and asks if he’s okay, what happened. He says he got into a fight at work, almost a physical one. When she asks with who he says it’s not important. But he was scared that he wanted to hurt the guy, wanted to kill him. She says it’s perfectly normal to feel that way, but it’s not doing it that keeps people from becoming monsters. After some comfort sex, Angie asks if Henry wants to talk about the fight but he doesn’t want to. She explains that she doesn’t want to become like Mary and Tom, where he doesn’t tell her anything anymore and it’s hard to know what to believe. This is when she mentions Green harassing them which complete kills Henry’s happy vibe.
At Janus HQ, Henry tells Raymond about the situation and doesn’t get any elaboration from him short of verification that Raymond indeed knows who Green is. Because that dude threatened Tom, Mary and mostly importantly Angie, Henry tells Raymond he better handle the situation or…or…he’s telling Mavis! Tony runs into Henry and tells him he might have found a way to fix the chip switch. He hugs Tony happily, but perhaps he should’ve held on to that hug since in order to trigger it they have to recreate conditions Shaw subjected him to. With Mavis and Dr. Skinner present, Tony theorizes that the ice bath dropped his core temperature enough that he was clinically dead. With no electrical impulses to power the chip, it shut off and the electrocution rebooted it. Almost flat-lining, they get him out of the tub and Skinner does CPR. Mavis asks if it worked but Tony doesn’t know, he’d never seen anything like what the brain scan showed. The CPR works and Skinner asks if it’s Edward…but it’s not. Strike Two!
Henry talks to Norah about being disappointed that the switch didn’t work. She asks if there is a part of him that would miss knowing what happened to him every day, that he’s a part of Edward. He denies it emphatically by saying Edward locked him in an abandoned ship with an assassin. But she says he escaped and, after being his counselor for 10 years, she believes he wouldn’t have survived such an encounter two months ago adding that he’s changing whether he likes it or not. In the middle of her next nurturing bit of speech, Edward emerges, turns, and kisses her.
Edward, after some happy-joy-joy with Norah, shows up to Mavis’ office with Tony, Trumbull and Raymond also present. Of the five possible targets Tony identified, they’d already found one of the bombs on the way to an US Embassy but that leaves four possible locations. Trumbull wants two-man teams at each location, Mavis directing them to the American school in Dubai. They are to leave in a half hour. Leaving the office, Raymond says he need Edward to fly solo on this so he can take care of the Green/Sullivan situation. He, unlike Edward, doesn’t believe other people should die for his mistakes. Raymond stole a lot of money from those guys and killed one of their friends – he joined Janus to escape his past. If Raymond doesn’t deal with the situation now, he won’t get another chance to. Edward gives him the okay.
At the American School in Dubai, a geared up Edward walks through the halls and radios to Mavis that he’s in position. Checking on Raymond, Edward says his comms went down in transit and that all messages should be routed through him. Peering into a classroom, he sees a class in session. He walks in identifying himself as US Intelligence and asks why they’re there, the Dubai police should’ve evacuated the building. The teaches says the police gave them the okay to come in an hour ago. The whole school is populated. Henry begins the evacuation and asks why the place is packed with kids. In the Situation Room, one of the other staff members said that the Dubai bomb squad searched the building and cleared it, allowing people back in without checking with Janus. Trumbull says that Shaw was counting on finding a loophole like this since it used to be his job. Tony says there are three possible places the bomb could be. Edward says to hurry since they don’t have much time.
Raymond shows up at his house and Sullivan and Green drive up right after. Mary watches them talk from inside. Sullivan tells Raymond he wants his money back with interest, that way Green will only kill him. If not, Green will kill him, Mary and possibly the kids. Raymond says he has his money but he won’t do the exchange here, which is somewhat reluctantly agreed upon. They’ll meet at 10pm at Griffith Park.
Edward searches the grounds, starting with the auditorium. He sees a little boy with a backpack standing near the stage. Asking what he’s doing there, the boys says a man told him to stay. Before he can get the kid out, Shaw appears, gun trained on Henry. He gets on his knees and is told to toss his gun. Mavis hears that Shaw is there and redirects resources to the school. Using a remote device, Shaw activates the timer and says that he can get out of there in seven minutes but he doesn’t the children can. Slowing putting the gun down and luring Shaw closer, Henry attacks and knocks the gun out of his hand, allowing the boy time to escape. The fight and Henry ends up on top of him on the stage, choking Shaw and demanding to know where the bomb is.
This, of course, is when Henry reemerges. "Oh crap," he says when he comes to. Shaw quickly gains the upper hand as they struggle and land on the floor, this time Shaw is doing the choking. Trumbull says the school’s been evacuated but the ensuing radiation from the explosion would still kill thousands. Mavis asks if "Avenger" has found the bomb but gets nothing but static. Realizing something’s wrong and fairly certain Henry is back, Mavis explains that they need to find the bomb or else people will die and that no one is there to help him. This elicits a interested look from Trumbull similar to the beginning of the episode.
Reaching for the nearby gun while being choked, Henry grabs some metal shrapnel instead and jams it into his leg with two minutes left on the countdown. Turning the tables, Henry grabs the gun and hold it to Shaw’s temple. He finally says it’s in seat 5A. The Dubai Bomb Squad arrives and Henry gives them the location. Carefully cutting open the seat, the squad member carefully opens the seat and finds the bomb with one minute forty-five seconds left. Henry radios in and says they got it, Tony later announcing that he has confirmation and the bomb has been taken safely off-site for radiation containment.
Mavis congratulates everyone on the good job and has Tony come with her when she leaves. In Tony’s workspace, he shows Mavis his findings. Reviewing the final three seconds of the experiment, he sees that Edward and Henry were switching back and forth at a very high speed – they just happened to have landed on Henry. With this data, they can go back to the way things were. Except there’s a weird air of sadness mixed in with their relief.
That night, Mary gets home and calls Tom, asking where he is. He says he went to get some ice cream, when he offers to get her some she declines. She then calls Onstar and pretends that she doesn’t remember where she parked her car. They confirm her identity and, after she gives them the license plate number, tell her to hold on while they search. Raymond, meanwhile, is meeting with Sullivan and Green. Opening his coat to prove he has no guns, he gives them a briefcase full of "everything [he] owes them." When they open it, they find it’s empty. Green, armed with a handgun fitted with a silencer, says it’s a shame because he liked Mary. She had, um, courage and spunk. And Raymond has a small knife hiding in his hand which he uses to shank Green in the neck with. Raymond takes Green’s gun and shoots Sullivan with it. It’s a damn shame Mary drove there to witness the whole thing in horror.
Back at HQ, Mavis tells Henry that he did a great job but they won’t be needing him anymore. They’re able to fix him. She thought he’d be happier, as did Henry. But he likes having control over his moods and doesn’t want to go back to being programmed on what kind of day he’s had. Mavis apologizes for Henry thinking he has some sort of say in the matter. Because, um, he doesn’t. Going to Tony’s workspace so he can explain what they found, Mavis and Henry discover he’s been shot in the head and his computer system has been wiped clean and is on the verge of crashing. Mavis deduces it was an inside job by someone who doesn’t want Henry fixed. Seconds later, the system crashes and takes out the power in the whole building leaving them, and sadly us, in the dark.
Assorted Bits & Pieces
- Really? This is how you’re going to do us, NBC? I mean, there’s been no formal announcement made that it’s officially canceled but it’s not like you guys ordered more episodes. Wow. You guys suck. A lot. Order more episodes all ready.
- On one hand I’m sad that Tony got killed because I really like him but on the other hand, a saboteur within the ranks of Janus is a great twist. In all likelihood, it’s not anyone we’ve seen before. Unless it’s Norah Skinner who’s a double agent. I’m just saying that I’ve always been suspicious of her, even after the last few eps revealing her love affair with Edward.
- Poor Mary and Tom. First of all, Raymond was sloppy. If I were him, I’d just follow the guys a bit and plant an explosive in their car, framing some mob folks or something. I mean honestly – a clandestine night time meeting? That rarely goes well when you’re working off the grid. Seriously. Blowing up the car or killing them in their hotel room or setting up some other local bad guys to take care of them for you…something, anything where you’d have plausible deniability. Preferably during the day when Mary’s at work. I mean, she’s already suspicious enough to have hired a private investigator. Green just showing up wrecked the delicate trust he’d managed to rebuild, clearly she’s not going to just let it go. Sloppy, just sloppy. I’d have thought Mary would be mind-wiped by Janus but what with the whole place going down, I doubt that’s happening. Maybe Skinner can help…use some Jedi mind tricks or induce amnesia or something.
- I really enjoyed this episode overall. They really should give it another chance – they should switch its time slot with Knight Rider. It makes more sense to be sandwiched between Life and Law & Order or at least not in one of the harder time slots.
- I gotta take a moment again to gush about the acting on the show. Without great acting, something this high concept would absolutely tank. While everyone does a great job, the biggest heaps of praise have to go to Christian Slater and Mike O’Malley. Being able to switch personalities like that in a split second and be believable isn’t easy. I especially appreciate the way Christian Slater’s eyes read differently in each part.
- Seriously, NBC. Produce more shows. Give it another chance. Give it the budget you saved by cutting short the Knight Rider season order. Seriously.
So my friends, this is the tentative end. Hopefully there’ll be more episodes in 2009. How did you like the episode? What did you think about the show overall? Any other thoughts?