This week on Taken, Bryan and a prisoner are the quarry of war criminals. And we learn Bryan’s dad taught him how to be a killer when needed.
Bryan is put on the front lines to escort a prisoner to DC from Ohio. The team was recruited to take the prisoner, Paul Graham, instead of the federal marshal. I suspect that the guy below is not to be trusted. I bet he shows up again as a turncoat in another episode. How else did the bad guys know the flight plan of the plane? He just looks like a bad guy and Hart’s group doesn’t trust him.
Their plane goes down in the wilds of West Virginia, when a drone fries the electronics of the plane. Bryan and Paul are the only survivors. The prisoner is really a witness to war crimes in Iraq and is being hunted by his past partners. Despite walking away from the plane crash, Paul Graham manages to hurt his leg falling down a hill.
Hart and Kilroy try to use the bootlegged software to locate Bryan. But since it’s deep woods West Virginia, there is no towers for cell signals. Santana is needed to be eyes and ears on the ground.
Paul finally confesses that he took hush money. His conscience got the best of him and now he has to confess, to live with himself. He’s also been lying to his family about the dangers of his job. I assume Bryan doesn’t judge him too harshly, since he never told his girlfriend about his dangerous job until it was too late.
The pair find shelter in a hunting cabin containing what appears to be old moonshine. I assume it’s really old, because the backwoods of Appalachia are more known for pot farms now. The war criminals hunting our cultural-geographer-turned-witness, catch up with them. Or maybe it was Bryan who caught up with the bad guys to lure them into his traps. After several MacGyver tricks, Bryan and Paul get away and Santana signals her location, with the fireworks she bartered for with her heat sensitive goggles. Be it a warlord in Africa selling missals, or the kids from Deliverance playing with fireworks and guns, the barter system is universal.
My Favorite moments:
Of Mice and Real Men.
Bryan doesn’t have his own office at Hart’s headquarters. He checks in with everyone else’s hardware, a potential bull in a China shop. He’s impressed with Kilroy’s computer. It has a mouse. And Kilroy, ego that he is, has to explain just how impressive his “computer” is. I think Bryan is playing dumb. Last season he stole a drive and hacked into the secret prison camera for Mejia.
Santana’s hardware is more up Bryan’s alley. But she wants Bryan to keep his hands to himself there too. It’s probably best Bryan sticks to light artillery.
We are reminded that Kilroy is under house arrest with Christiana. What does he do in his off hours? And when will he hack his ankle bracelet? You know he will evetntually.
Bryan bumps into the bad guys. I love the facial expressions as he attempts to lure them in. First he pretends to be lost. When they don’t believe him, he pretends to not know anything. Then he goes into stealth mode.
Mills pulls the mercenaries through his maze of booby traps. But the main bad guy, Hicks gets to the hunting lodge anyway. Bryan electrocutes him with the old “wet floor plus turning on the generator” trick. I don’t understand why Bryan didn’t just kill him, but he doesn’t. He ties him up and they go looking for civilization. All the men Bryan ambushed, survive, regroup and come after them again. Lesson: Just kill them if they’re trying to kill you.
When Paul falls down again (how did this guy ever manage in Iraq?), Bryan motivates his ward to keep going to see his family again. Bryan is a far kinder motivational speaker than his role model. How was Bryan motivated? Do you remember when Batman fell into the well and his dad saved him, teaching him the lesson that it’s ok to fail.
Well, Bryan’s dad would have pushed Batman down the well and forced him to bite the head off a bat to come home that night. In flashback scenes, we see his dad abandon Bryan in the woods, forcing him to learn survival skills when Bryan wouldn’t kill a deer. The scared, cold, younger version of Bryan caught a rabbit but couldn’t bring himself to kill it. Just as tender-hearted Bryan was about to give into hunger, dad showed up and stopped the carnage, permanently scarring Bryan for life. His dad can sleep at night, knowing Bryan’s capable of killing if necessary. Oh, the humanity! Bryan may not have actually taken a life, but his innocence had fallen down a spiraling rabbit hole of anxiety, guilt and fear of loss. Thanks, dad. Maybe this is why your son never calls you, Mr. Mills!
Hart puts two and two together. The real criminal behind the war crimes in Iraq is the contractor willing to do anything to turn a profit and save his reputation. He sent Hick’s team to kill Paul, and he had Hicks executed to bury any government inquiry. Since he assumes she’s new to how things work in this business, he only gives her a minor threat. His arm grab is a reminder that he sees her as a defenseless woman. Her initial reaction seems to be helplessness.
Is she playing him? Then she shows her brewing anger. How can she remain so calm? Because Bryan has him in his sights, literally.
Don’t we all wish we had a sniper we could signal at any time? This is the fourth man who underestimates Hart in two episodes. I hope she gets him on bigger charges and sets that face eating serial killer on him.
Paul tells his family about his past. He really didn’t have a choice, Christina Hart already told his wife everything. And Bryan lets his parents know he’s alive, but not where he’s been for six months. He’s not quite ready for that. I wonder when he’ll talk to Asha. She deserves closure. And I wonder how soon this guy will start messing with Bryan’s life.
Picture source: NBC & Taken