Last week’s episode was so good that it left this week’s episode feeling a little flat. The story line fell into a deeply grooved format, complete with the first assumed bad guy, not really being a bad guy, and Christina holding a meeting in a very public place, with an assumed good guy, who, we can tell by her relaxed smile, she doesn’t trust AT ALL. (Sic: On the 180 rule broken in the below photos.)
During a Presidential visit to a steel factory, the Presidential nuclear briefcase (which is now a leather backpack) is stolen by the man in charge of safe guarding it. I’m going to assume that the reference to “steel” and the President’s insistence on attending a pep rally for job creation, and the Commander and Chief’s stated desire to personally tell the public about the National Security mishap, was just me reading way too much into the story line. But man, was the timing of this week’s episode perfect.
The “football” thief is a former military colleague of Bryan’s. When Bryan and Santana catch up with the briefcase, it turns out the military man’s son has been kidnapped by a hack-tivist group who wants to use the intell.
Kilroy tracks down the group’s secret facility. Bryan tries getting information out of one of the hackers, but the guy takes a cyanide pill. Bryan of course, always takes the death of those under his watch a bit too personally. The guy just tried to kill you Bryan, lighten up! Ok, maybe Bryan’s concerned about losing the location of the boy who was kidnapped.
They learn the group’s leader, Julius, who was reported dead, is actually being imprisoned without due process, in an unlisted Federal facility. The hack-tivists want the intel in the backpack to learn the location of the prison.
Hart’s group decides to break Julius out of the secret Federal facility and get the Secret Service man’s son back. Julius, being a good guy who realizes his group has gone too far in threatening a child, agrees to be turned into the real authorities and undergo due process instead of being freed. During the exchange, the General who put Julius in the secret prison, somehow catches up with the group and authorizes his men to kill them. He doesn’t want to be found out. We know he’s a coward because we only see part of his face as he phones in the kill order.
The exchange happens, but Julius doesn’t go with his wife. The ensuing confusing caused by the General’s assassins, is exacerbated by the fact that every car in the scene is black, and by the cinematographer breaking the 180 rule several times. So when a black SUV explodes we have no idea who’s car it is. We later assume it was the car Bryan, Julius and his now dead wife were hiding behind and that Julius is now dead. Why do we assume Julius is dead? Because Bryan has the same sad look that he had when the lackey hacker ate a cyanide pill.
In the end, Christina Hart has the Three-star General arrested. Finally, she is able to take down one of the bad guys who is posing as a good guy!
Despite the formula script, I was really happy about two things in this episode. First, there was a tighter logical sequence of events. It was far easier to follow how we got from A to B than in regular Season One stories. Santana has cars and equipment magically appear when needed, but I honestly believe that she has good connections to make that happen.
And we finally get undercurrent stories! On a minor level, Bryan continues to mildly doubt Santana’s methods and her contacts. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be mild chiding or real concern for her methods. But that may end up being her background story.
And on a bigger scale, Kilroy’s past starts to come out. He knows the leader of the hacker group personally. Even though no one else in the group knows, Christina definitely senses some issues with Kilroy.
My Favorite moments:
Believe Me, Just Cuz…
Bryan, who no security personnel know is working the President’s security, runs after the guy with authorization to carry the nuclear codes. He confronts the government officials with guns as if everyone is obviously going to believe him over their own man. I mean, why wouldn’t they, Bryan’s the hero?
I wished everyone had been given better lines in this scene. But what I liked about it was the truly realistic head butt that went down between the two actors. Poor Bryan.
Kilroy has a conscience
It’s confusing, I know. But Kilroy convinces Julius to help them, using his own anarchist’s creed.
If Looks Could Kill…
…Christina Hart would go away for a long time. She throws down some zingers this episode. When Kilroy fan-girls over the hacker group’s stunt to shut down Langley’s computer system years before, she gives him a strangle hold with her eyes.
You Can’t Handle the Truth
Christina finally gets to take down one of the insider establishment’s guys who has been abusing the system! She has the general who incarcerated prisoners without due process, arrested and lets the story out to the media. He of course believes his ends justify the means. He makes the hard decisions to break the law to protect Americans. Hart does too, but that’s ok, because we like her.
Kilroy is Kilroy-ed
This week we have a cliff hanger. Kilroy’s computer is hacked by the guy who is supposedly dead. They met while fan-girling at an underground hacker convention. Does Bryan actually believe Julius is dead? Or did Christina plan this? And if she did, will she test Kilroy with this information?
Taken is on a break until after the Olympics! See you then!
Picture source: NBC & Taken