'My Own Worst Enemy' makes sacrifices
Sorry for my tardiness in getting this week's My Own Worst Enemy posted for your perusal. I had a household emergency to deal with. Nothing derails your plans like flooding water. Yay.
Spoilers- skip to Assorted Bit & Pieces just for my thoughts
When we last saw Henry, he met a fake FBI agent (who really works for Janus) at a train yard to testify to Edward secret doings in a misguided attempted to protect his family. Before Fake Fed can pull the trigger and get rid of him, Dr. Skinner (Saffron Burrows) shoots first. This, understandably, blows Henry's mind.
Skinner explains that Fake Fed's real name is Proctor and he was "a watcher" - his job is to spy on operatives and make sure they're not on the fritz (and terminate them if they are). Skinner is the head of "systems management," which she describes as Janus' internal peace force. She uses the info from therapy to ensure Henry/Edward is working right. Making Henry pick up the body, they climb to the top of a corrosive liquid train car and dump the body in there. Ew. But smart. Now that he's missing, Trumbull will make her investigate.
The next morning at home, Edward (as Henry) comes downstairs and sees the family dog who growls at him. "The one member of the family I can't fool," he says. "Rat me out and I'll end you." Cue the dog scampering away. Talking to Angie in the kitchen, she tells him that Mary thinks Tom is having an affair and she's hired an private investigator.
Mary is driving the carpool today and talks to Angie about the situation as Edward calls in Mavis to warn her about the PI. This is when he finds out that Raymond's been missing/radio silent for the past 20 hours. He wants to come in immediately to get him but hold your horses - Mavis tells him about the missing watcher and that Trumbull suspects him. Ed's suspended pending investigation and, if Henry pops up during it, he's in big trouble. In the meantime, Edward must go to AJ Sun as Henry and chill out until he's called...which happens two minutes after he gets there.
Dr. Skinner meets him at the elevator downstairs and tells Edward to do as she tells him. Henry sits in a stark white room across from Trumbull and hooked up to a high-tech lie detector. He tells Edward that he's always been found of him but if it turns out he's broken and that he killed Proctor, he will be terminated. Skinner enters and Trumbull exits. Using a pen light that's really a ultra-frequency audio player that only Henry can hear, Skinner asks questions while the recording asks separate questions so Edward can past the test.
Cleared, Edward wants to go after Raymond in Beijing, which Trumbull reluctantly agrees to (he doesn't want to lose his best two agents) but won't send Edward in alone. He's sending Paula in with him (who's alter-ego is an ultra-nervous subordinate of Henry's). Once at the military facility in Beijing, Paula distracts the guards outside by pretending to be pregnant and about to give birth as Ed gets inside the building. He kills about eight guards while making his way to Raymond who was getting shocked at the time. Breaking him out, they find Dietrich (the US government scientist that had gone missing) and Edward radios to Paula that they're on their way. She takes out the two guards and as they get in the waiting car, more guards show up and open fire. Too bad Henry emerges right now. Oh, and Paula gets shot four times in the back. In a panic, Henry radios for help...identifying himself as Henry, not Edward. Raymond takes the wheel and they speed off.
Back at Janus, Mavis asks what Paula heard. Raymond says it's enough. Henry doesn't want Edward to find out because he'll kill her but Raymond doesn't mind so much. Mavis cut off the comms before Trumbull could hear Henry break cover but he's still suspicious. Oh, and Tom's wife is crazy suspicious too. Paula's suburban identity is named Ellen and her husband Rick thinks she got hurt while they were being carjacked. Henry must go to the hospital to comfort him.
Speaking to Tony the Tech, Raymond finds out that Tom's being set up to actually be having an affair so Mary drops the investigation. They set him up with an operative going under the name of Melissa and Tom meets her at a restaurant where the PI snaps some pictures.
At the hospital, Henry talks to Rick and apologizes, saying it should be him lying in the bed. While there, he notices an orderly and a janitor that he recognizes for Janus. That doesn't sit well with him.
Edward goes to see Skinner and thanks her for saying his life. She tells him that Paula may have heard Henry break cover. Skinner also says that Edward can't control Henry but maybe she can if he trusts her. It's at this point we find out that Edward and Dr. Skinner are...involved. Henry wakes up in a strange bed the next morning but doesn't see who's there. He sneaks out carrying his clothes in his hand, half dressed.
Back at AJ Sun, Tom shows up and finds Mary waiting for him in his cubicle. She shows him the pictures and they have it out in the office. Mary tells Tom he makes her sick and leaves crying. Henry shows up as she goes to the elevator. Seeing Rick and Dr. Skinner in the hallway, he asks how Ellen is doing. She's still out but the doctors are cautiously optimistic. Cut to Henry raving about the situation to Dr. Skinner in her office.
The next morning, Tom and Mary go in for couples' counseling with Dr. Skinner. She skillfully manuevers things so that Mary agrees to drop the private investigator. Reporting this to Mavis, Skinner reveals that she also tapped Mary's cell phone and has a transcript verifying that the PI was fired. Trumbull pops up in the hallway at this moment, telling Skinner that between the PI and the dead watcher she's slipping. Tony arrives and tells them that Ellen is awake. Trumbull decides to accompany Skinner to the hospital to hear Paula's debriefing first hand.
Henry shows up and finds the floor deserted. Going into the room, Ellen opens her eyes and they talk briefly, revealing that Rick went home to get the kids so they can see her. Meanwhile, Tony activated Raymond and told him that Edward needed a favor. Henry had called Mavis asking where the two agents she placed on the floor had gone and then hears the elevator. Hanging up, he goes and sees Raymond standing in the hallway with a bouquet. They speak, Raymond pretending to be Tom, until suddenly Henry's demeanor changes and he tells Raymond to cut the crap. What appears to be Edward tells Raymond that Ellen's been taken care of. Buying it, they leave together as Trumbull and Skinner arrive from the opposite hallway.
Entering Ellen's room, she's still very much alive. Skinner has Tony activate Paula remotely. The first thing she asks is if the mission was successful. Trumbull says yes and asks her what she remembers. She doesn't remember getting shot but she does remember Edward calling for help and using the name Henry Spivey. Well crap. Trumbull knows the truth now.
The next day, Trumbull readies everyone to terminate Edward. Dr. Skinner goes to visit Paula in the hospital to upload memories of the accident before Rick and the kids show up. Paula regrets compromising Edward since he saved her life.
Back at Janus, Edward arrives and is escorted into a room by two men. He tells Trumbull he's making a big mistake. Mavis is there but is silent as Trumbull tells Edward that no one thinks this is his fault, which he's sure offers little comfort, and that this isn't death, just the end of a life. Enter Paula...wait...no. Make that Ellen. With a gun. She tells them that they're twisted, that she has these memories of missions. She looks at Edward and calls him Henry. He talks to her and approaches slowly, eventually taking the gun from her hand. The guards take her away as Mavis concludes Paula was the broken operative, implicating Edward to cover her tracks. Trumbull says Dr. Skinner told him Proctor had begun investigating other operatives, including Paula. Trumbull apologizes.
Unfortunately for Paula/Ellen, she has to be awake to be wiped. She asks to be spared but it must be done. Mavis overlooks the process with Tony the Tech and muses how Edward seems to have a guardian angel. Not only did Skinner somehow help Edward pass the lie detector, she set Paula up to take the fall. So Paula is terminated and no longer exists...now she's just Ellen. And she's leaving AJ Sun. Henry shows up at the party and she's all happy and squeezes his arm, which hurts. Turns out that Edward injected himself with a nano-virus that remains dormant unless subjected to the termination process. Now that Henry knows that he can be free and live a "normal life," Edward wants to make sure that he doesn't get them caught on purpose. If Edward dies, they both die. But Henry is okay with that because at least Ellen gets to be free.
Assorted Bits & Pieces
- The Civilian Life Crisis this week revolves around Henry's son Jack. At the beginning of the the episode, Edward gives Jack his guitar for his after-school lessons and notices that his knuckles are bruised. Jack says he fell but obviously that's not what's going on. Edward leaves a video message for Henry letting him know that Jack's lying about the lessons, but at least he's a good liar. "Score one for my gene pool," Edward says. Henry spoke to Jack's guitar teacher and found out he hasn't been there in three months. When he and Angie try to make him tell them the truth, he says an address and tells them to be there at 8pm that night to see what he's been doing. The go there that night and find out Jack's been doing martial arts, and he's crazy good. The exhibition fight that night involves thin metal poles, hence the bruising on the knuckles. Henry is impressed at first but then freaks out when he realizes that maybe Edward's nature has more influence on his kids than he thinks. Later, Edward watches the tape with Jack and messages Henry that he's proud of the kid - it was a real father/son moment and it's a shame he missed it.
- At one point during his rant to Dr. Skinner, Henry says he woke up in a hotel room with "some tart" - considering she was the tart in question, I liked her subtle reaction.
- I like the way they terminate agents. I wouldn't call it a twist exactly but it totally makes sense. I mean, they can't just make someone with a spouse and kids disappear. That would be far too complicated.
- Poor Tom/Raymond. But can we take a moment to clap it up for Mike O'Malley? Because he's doing a fantastic job on the show.
- And while we're at it, poor Paula. Edward/Henry saves her life only to have Skinner frame her and get terminated. But way to go Skinner on the quick thinking. She's crafty, that one.
- I like how they wrap up plot points quickly but I can't even imagine where the show's going from here. But at least Henry's learning to be less of an idiot. He faked being Edward to Raymond masterfully at the hospital. Now if only he can learn not to freak out so much. Also, I wonder where/when/how Jack's martial arts prowess is going to come back into play?
Your thoughts on the episode? Do you feel as bad for Tom/Raymond as I do? Is Henry finally learning to be crafty? Any guesses and what will happen down the line?