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All posts for the month February, 2015

Photo Courtesy Of Liane Hentscher/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Liane Hentscher/FOX

There are celebrities, you enjoy as a child, but as you get older, for a variety of reasons, your admiration for that person, wears thin, or totally evaporates. Then there are celebrities, you enjoyed as a child and your admiration for that person, increases over the years. Leonard Nimoy was a charter member of that second group for me, an actor who like fine wine only got better with age. “The New York Times,” reported Friday, that Nimoy died at home on Friday morning, at the age of 83. The actor/director/author/recording artist, succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition that he announced he had last year. Nimoy, blamed his cigarette smoking as a young man, as the cause of the disease, though he quit smoking at 53.

The Boston native, whose father’s business as a barber, radically increased as his son gained fame, broke into the public’s consciousness, in September of 1966, playing the iconic character Mr. Spock on the NBC series “Star Trek.” Spock was the First Officer and Science Officer for the USS Enterprise, he was also half human and half Vulcan, with his Vulcan unemotional and logical side, mainly dictating his behavior. He wore Beatles bangs and pointy-ears and in an earlier incarnation, looked far more Satanic, than the Spock we came to know and admire.

Although the original version of Star Trek’s now looked upon as a classic for fans of science fiction, the series ratings never were strong, as many people had troubles grasping the concept. Called by many at the time, “A western set in outer-space in the distant future,” series creator Gene Roddenberry, actually used his platform to discuss the issues of the day. The interstellar settings and future time period, allowed Roddenberry to talk issues that would have been far too taboo, to discuss in a series set in the mid-sixties.

Spock was the breakout character of the series, and the foil to the highly emotional ship’s physician, Dr. McCoy, he also augmented Captain William T. Kirk’s bravery and brawn with his logic and intelligence, making the whole greater than the sum of the two parts. However the USS Enterprise, never got to finish its five-year mission, as NBC cancelled the series after the third season.

While Nimoy went onto replace Martin Landau in the CBS series “Mission Impossible,” his former series went into syndication and captivated the nation. Almost every independent and UHF station, were airing the repeats, in some markets multiple-times a day. Long before the Internet, fans of the show found each other, calling themselves “Trekkies,” or “Trekkers,” forming clubs and holding conventions.

After more than a decade of syndicating the reruns, it finally dawned on Paramount, that perhaps fans would like to see further adventures of the Enterprise crew, leading to six-theatrical releases. (Nimoy directed two of the films.) Suddenly Star Trek became a cash-cow, as Roddenberry introduced a new series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” on his own ad-hoc network. That would start a series of Star Trek series, including a prequel to the original, “Enterprise,” showing earthling’s first contact with other planets and cultures.

Star Trek underwent a reboot at the more than capable hands of J.J. Jacobs, with a new young cast taking over the iconic roles, including Zachary Quinto as Spock, who strongly resembled a young Nimoy. However, if for no other purpose, Jacobs set the reboot in a parallel universe, so that an elderly Spock, portrayed could be in the two films he helmed. One of the best moments takes place during the first movie, as Quinto’s Spock, sees Nimoy’s Spock from the back and calls him father. The elder Spock turns around and says I am not Our father.

Was Leonard Nimoy typecast as Spock? Probably, but it didn’t stop him from playing one of the most entertaining roles of his career, his reoccurring part as scientific-genius William Bell, Walter Bishop’s partner when both men were younger in the FOX series “Fringe.” We actually got two different versions of William Bell, due to some manipulation with the Space/Time Continuum, but both were expertly portrayed.

The first William Bell was a selfless soul, who sacrificed his life to save Walter, his son Peter and FBI Agent Olivia Dunham. The second version was a mad-genius, looking to implode all the parallel universes, killing billions, upon billions of people, to have just one universe with he as the only human inhabitant. Nimoy was strong enough in the role, that any thoughts of Spock never entered my mind.

Although Nimoy had virtually retired, the thought of this planet without him, immediately brought me back to my youth and all the pleasure he brought me over the years. Thanks Mr. Nimoy, Rest In Peace Sir.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The most entertaining episodes of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” tend to have an exciting crime of the week, accompanied by one or two long-term issues, that may get rectified as the hour concludes, and the most recent episode entitled “The Deer Hunter,” fit that mold well. It also continued a tradition that’s occurred periodically throughout the show’s second campaign, bringing in big name guest stars, who are past their prime to portray the villain. This time Broadway and Film star Amanda Plummer, filled the bill, almost unrecognizable as a woman with severe demons. As for the long-term story-arcs, one got resolved, while one’s in a definitive state of flux.

We see a person in a parka with the hood up, trailing this rather large man through an urban setting, interspersed with FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen, lecturing a college class on an ongoing serial killer known as the “Deer Hunter,” the murders started taking place in 2003, stopped for a while then resumed recently, with six new victims found within the last few months.

Keen tells the class that the killer’s incredibly patient, then tracks the victim, like a hunter tracks game, killing the victims with a crossbow. The victims are men, all large and tall and she tells the students, she believes the victim’s small and weak and the killings are in retribution for someone who fit the same body type as the victims, who brutalized the killer as a child. She also mentions that the “Deer Hunter,” takes a ceremonial bite out of the victim’s liver, removing all the victim’s organs with surgical precision and leaving them in a pile near the body. The victims, with their abdomen’s slit open, are then hung by their feet outdoors.

Turns out Liz’s friend who helped her guard Tom on the boat and has only been referred to so far as the Samoan (Kind of like the Haitian, in Heroes,) has a name and it’s Samuel. He’s worked out a deal with Metro PD Detective Wilcox, to testify that Liz and Tom killed Harbor-Master Ames, but it’s clear Wilcox wants to pin the murder on Lizzie. He tells Samuel, that if he changes one comma when he testifies to Government officials the next day, he’ll spend the rest of his life in the slammer.

Raymond Reddington picks up a payphone in the metro-area and the man on the other end of the phone says, he’s sorry he cut their first call short, but he was unsure the line was secure. Red asks who he is and the man replies, he can’t tell him yet, at this point we see the man from the back. He’s in an apartment overlooking the payphone Red’s on. Raymond says that Alan Fitch told him about the safe that had his number, why did he want them to hook up? The man says not now face to face, I’ll call you tomorrow at a payphone at 92nd and Broadway at 2:00pm, then hangs up the phone. We see the back of the man’s head, he’s got close-cropped gray hair.

Reddington heads to the Task Force and talks with Liz privately, saying he needs to talk to her about the Fulcrum and her saying she doesn’t know anything, Red calls her out for lying. He says he’s studied body language and facial expressions for decades and she’s not even putting on a good act. He says how’s this I’ll help you find your serial killer then you tell me about the Fulcrum.

Raymond has nothing but sheer disdain for serial killers, lumping them in the sewer of the criminal pool, along with rapists and pedophiles. However Raymond says the Task Force’s main problem’s their searching for a man, while the killer’s obviously a woman. He then goes through a litany of reasons why it has to be a woman instead of a man.

Ressler and Keen get contacted by the Medical Examiner to see the body and he says that the killer’s been exact in everything they do to the body in the last six murders, no variations what so ever. As they walk to morgue, a guy bumps into Liz, they enter the room and the Medical Examiner says he left the body covered, Liz realizes the guy who bumped into her was at her lecture. They stop him from leaving on the elevator.

Turns out Red’s correct, the serial killer’s a woman in her mid-fifties, with dark rimmed glasses and unkempt hair and she lives on the planet Xenon. She has a canary in a cage and a cat, cleaning itself on a chair, we hear Cass Elliot on her stereo singing, suddenly she looks up at her canary.

She says not to look at her like that, I’m fine, I’ll be fine. I don’t like it anymore than you do, but somebody’s got to do this. She then grabs a manila folder, from a stack of them and says to the bird, Mommy’s got to go cross town now and take care of Chad Henry, then shows the canary the picture her next victim. I won’t be long.

The man’s named Chuck Kruse and he’s a writer for Metro Crime Daily, that’s why he attended her lecture as well and all he was doing was taking pictures of the corpse. He then literally laughs at the pair, for believing their chasing the “Deer Hunter.” He says the “Deer Hunter,” was an artist, the last six murders, were committed by a copy-cat.

Liz gets a call from Detective Wilcox who tells her that Samuel’s singing more than the serial killer’s canary. He’s testifying the next day to Federal Officials, he places you at the scene and says you and your husband are cold-blooded killers. He then says he’s certain once Samuel testifies, he’ll easily get a court order to check on any case she was working on when she met Ames. Liz says this conversation’s over, Wilcox counters with I believe it’s just beginning.

A gray-haired uniform enters Reddington’s car, it’s clear they’ve got along history, the officer named Edgar tells Red that Samuel’s being transferred the following day between two and four in the afternoon. Raymond says he need’s it moved, Edgar says he’d do anything in the world for him, but the time’s set, he then gives Red a brown paper bag containing his wife’s coffee cake for Raymond. Red thanks him and his wife and the officer leaves.

Donald’s poring over the evidence when she walks into the office he’s working in. He says he really thinks Kruse’s correct that the last six killings got murdered by a copycat, but he can’t prove it. He looks at Keen and asks what’s wrong, she says nothing, then closes the door and tells him about the call from Wilcox. Ressler says go to Cooper and have him go to the higher-ups, who’ll nip the investigation in the bud. They don’t want this Task-Force split up.

He then says Tom killed Ames, but the headlines will read FBI Agent arrested for murder, they’ll take a bite out of you Liz. At that point the light-bulb goes off over his head and he realizes, he can prove or disprove his theory. Forensics soon supplies, the evidence the first six murders, had a larger bite taken out than the last six, the killer’s a copy-cat.

We see a graphic telling us that we’re in Silver Springs, Maryland. We’re at the home of a young woman named Mary, who’s hired the serial killer, whose named Tracy to murder her husband, as he’s abusive. She’s worried about her son and herself and Tracy says, she’s tried going through the system and it’s let her down. She then asks if she has evil in her life and Mary says yes, she asks shouldn’t she be free of the evil and Mary responds yes again.

Tracy then says, she needs to know if Mary’s in or out, because if this comes back on Tracy, it will lead back to Mary as well. Mary looks Tracy in the eyes and says she’s in, Tracy claps Mary on the back and says good it’s done then. The next morning as Mary’s taking her son to school, he stops heading towards the bus staring at something, it’s daddy, hanging from a wire on their lawn, upside down with his abdomen slit open.

Liz and Donald head over to Mary’s house and question her, Mary says she knew something was wrong, as her husband worked construction and she didn’t hear from him. She says he’s normally home early, she then mentions if they believe her husband got killed by the “Deer Hunter” and Ressler says he does.

Mary says you folks really haven’t a clue about him and Keen says that some recent evidence has come to light, that’s given them new leads. Mary looks very uncomfortable and the agents soon leave. Ressler asked Liz why she told the victim’s wife that and Keen says she thinks Mary’s covering. Ressler agrees and they head back to headquarters.

The phone rings at 2:00 pm that afternoon, but Dembe answers it as Red’s not there. The man asks who he is and why he’s carrying a gun. Dembe apologizes for Mr. Reddington, but he had urgent business he needed to attend to and wants to reschedule. Again we see inside the apartment as the man chuckles and says that’s not how this works, then hangs up the phone.

Samuel’s getting transferred in a paddy-wagon with a cruiser in front, when suddenly both vehicles pull over. Edgar tells Samuel to hang loose, lets Red inside the wagon and tells him he’s got 70 seconds. Raymond then tells Samuel about a guy he went to high-school with who was the best dancer he’d ever seen. The next time he saw him was in 1988 in a grocery-store and the man was totally gray, he had a bad valve and was on the waiting list for a new heart until the day he died.

He then asked Samuel how long Isaac’s been on that list and Samuel asks how he knows about his brother? Raymond ignores the question, and says six-months, a year, possibly two and when will he get a heart and Samuel says they won’t say. Red says I can get your brother a new heart within a week, the finest doctors and the best rehab team on the planet and it won’t cost you a dime. Samuel asks why Red would do that for him and Raymond replies, because what Samuel’s going to do for him.

Aram and Samar come up with the commonality in all the cases, they all abused their significant other. The connection’s a service used by abuse victims called White Town Shelters. They go to the local branch and the branch manager promises to cooperate fully, however Tracy’s in the reception area and hears the conversation.

Back at her apartment Tracy’s talking to her assorted birds and cats, at first she says she’s overreacting, then says if Mary talks it would endanger the rest of the women. She’s not worried about herself, but she must protect the other women. She heads over to Mary’s but Ressler and Keen are heading there as well as Mary called them.

Tracy gets their first and she tells Mary the FBI’s figured it out and asks if Mary talked. She says they were over in the morning but she said nothing, they then pull up in the driveway and Tracy hits Mary in the head with a cutting board. Ressler goes to help Mary, while Liz runs after Tracy jumping a fence and seeing her, but then Liz get’s knocked out as Tracy hits her in the head with a shovel.

Keen come’s to in Tracy’s garage, she has Liz in a harness and is ready to kill and gut her. Keen head-butts the woman, but then she raises the harness and Liz’s suspended in mid-air. She tells Keen that her husband was the original “Deer Hunter,” but she caught him and he was going to kill her, but she killed him instead with his crossbow. She then thought there are other women living in the same situation she was in and it’s up to her to save them. She knows she’s sick and it’s a dirty job but she needs to do it.

Liz then says can I ask one last favor and Tracy says yes, Keen says if you’re going to kill me do it now, as I’m sick of your self-righteous lying. You’re a sicko and just like your husband you enjoy killing, you get a thrill each time you do it. You enjoy the buzz, you try to justify, what you’re doing, but you just enjoy killing.

Keen’s tactic worked and Tracy rushes to attack her, but she wraps her thighs around Tracy’s neck and starts choking the life out of her. She’s flashing back to Tom killing Ames, when suddenly Ressler busts through the door and tells Liz to stop. Keen let’s go and Tracy staggers away.

Detective Wilcox is in his glory, as he asks Samuel to tell the two Federal Officials what he told him about Agent Keen and her husband. Samuel says nothing, then Wilcox reminds him he’s under oath, the big man says he forgot. Wilcox then asks if he told him that FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen and her husband Tom killed Harbor-Master Ames and Samuel says, that’s what you want me to say. Wilcox chance to bust Liz is lost.

Red and Liz meet for coffee in an official building, Liz tells Red that he was right, the killer was a woman, he says she was right as the original was a man, then says together they were both right. Keen says she has the Fulcrum and will give it to Red if he tells her what’s on it. He says he’s already told her everything he can, if she finds out more her life will be endangered.

She says you don’t have to protect me and he says, on the contrary. If he hadn’t interceded earlier that day she’d be under indictment and she asked him what he did. He says nobody got hurt, actually a young man’s live was saved by the circumstances. She says, she’s leaving, but Red says the reason she’s holding onto the Fulcrum, is she believes if she gives it to him, she’ll never see him again, then he leaves.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.  

Courtesy of NBC

Courtesy of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last week the feds found no laptop at the Philadelphia City Hall. That’s because Katya and Mark got there first. Despite the clear risk of checking further, Alex attempts to do just that. Katya sends Natalie a text, “Plans changing, be ready”.

Let me just say one thing, then we can get past it. So far Allegiance is a very good show. Where it goes is still left to be seen. By design. There is one thing I just can’t get past. If Katya (specifically) and Mark are highly skilled agents who have only been their alter egos for the last couple decades, what’s the rush? A spy would know better than to try to speed things up. Katya is insistent on getting out as soon as possible. With that comes danger to Alex, Sarah and even those in the family in the know. You keep doing what is asked until they lower their guard. Minimal risk. Instead, Katya’s determination to get out as soon as possible is inviting risk.

New plan. They can’t copy the hard drive now. Instead, Natalie needs to get Sarah, and meet them at the Federal building 6 blocks away. Katya and Mark will utilize other means underneath the buildings. They won’t have to surface until they are in front of the FBI building. One catch, Sarah is out on the street, Natalie spotted her from her lookout spot. Sarah is ignoring Natalie’s calls.

Katya and Mark simply walked out like they were audience members for the Mayor’s speech. They get out and get close to where they were supposed to meet Natalie and Sarah. While they wait they open the laptop to see what is so valuable. Once they find what’s so valuable, the computer prompts them to enter the ‘second-tier password’, which they don’t have. The laptop just auto deleted itself.

Katya, Mark and Natalie meet in a parking garage. Natalie is blown away with the stupidity of trying to get into the laptop in the first place. Though the hard drive is destroyed, Natalie thinks she can encrypt the hard drive so at the very least, it will appear as if it has not been tampered with. They take the laptop to Victor. His demeanor suggests they know something.

A van pulls up to a very not downtown Philadelphia looking location. Two bodies that are hooded, get tossed from the van. The two bodies are Katya and Mark. Wherever they are, they are joined by a number of SVR higher-ups. Arkady being one of them. He’s been suspecting Katya of playing both sides since the beginning. She talks her way out of being killed on the spot. But only for now. Moscow will work on breaking the encryption, when they do things should get dramatically worse.

Alex sits pondering something as the Director arrives. The same director that was clear that this job had to work, and it didn’t. The Director proceeds to rip everyone involved up and down. Outside on the roof of the building Luttrell tells Alex that he doesn’t think Alex was wrong. Hunch or experience, but Luttrell just gave Alex a vote of confidence for the first time. Once back at his hotel room, Alex thinks to check something. There was a door that should have tripped an alarm, which it didn’t. Or at least not when the FBI went through it. It did sound momentarily when Mark went through it though.

Natalie meets with a former ‘flame’ who clearly was not the one doing the breaking up. He tries to parlay decrypting the video into something more and Natalie isn’t having it. Regardless, he’s on board. For now.

Sarah just got pinched for being in a group of kids smoking a joint. That might complicate things further.

Alex and Prado head back to City Hall to pursue Alex’s theory. Once inside, Alex finds the fuse box and discovers that the red wire has been cut. Then they follow-up to the crawl space he couldn’t check before. Two sets of footprints found in otherwise years of unmolested dust build up. Then they found their entry point, the old tunnel. They follow the tunnel out into the area of the church across the street where they entered.

Alex: Whoever planned this operation was very good, they were working on short notice.
Prado: How do you possibly know that?
Alex: Because they were probably filmed with that camera.

At home, Mark and Katya are laying into Sarah for her skipping school. Then she fires back with the double standard found in this house. Claiming that she can read between the lines, even if Alex can’t.

Alex and Prado can’t ask to access the Masonic Temple’s video footage because the entire operation is off the books. So Prado’s strategy is to build up a case using other evidence and then come back for the video footage later. Then Alex notices the public buses have exterior cameras.

Natalie attempts to break up with Victor but is unsuccessful. She couldn’t bring herself to do it. As she leaves, the ex-boyfriend who was to decrypt the video file emerges. He was able to do it. The important part is that the file describes a blast radius half a mile wide. That and account numbers. Natalie briefs her parents on what was found. Which doesn’t seem like enough for immunity. At the same time, Alex and Prado are going through bus footage.

Natalie meets with Victor again. This time a much shorter visit. She drops a bag and says she has to distance herself from him. He verbally resists, but she’s already out the door. Once outside, she gets very emotional.

Now Alex, Prado and Luttrell are all looking through bus video footage. They saw a man go inside, but not exit yet. Then Alex sees someone outside of one of the buses. Its Sarah, clear as day. He notices that its Sarah. Prado notices that Alex noticed something. He quickly advances the video so Prado won’t see Sarah. The horror on his face says it all. He steps outside and texts Sarah. Were you in Philly? Nat told me not to say. He asks her to meet him at ‘their Chinese place’. When Alex arrives, the place is empty. Except for a couple sitting side by side. The couple is Katya and Mark.

Justified Episode 6.6

Photo Courtesy of FX Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

For the second time so far in this final run, the creative team behind Justified has instructed us to forget what we thought we knew.

After Season 5 concluded and set up the final Raylan/Boyd showdown, it seemed as if Season 6 would consist of that dynamic to a dominant degree.  Then Avery Markham came on the canvas in the second episode and quickly established himself as one of the dominant “heels” (to use the pro wrestling vernacular) in show history.  All of a sudden, it looked like he, Raylan and Boyd were all going to be circling one another over the course of the last few episodes.

But after Episode 6.6, Alive Day, chaos is now the theme as all of the show’s main characters find themselves beset with new and unexpected problems.  The last man – or woman – standing at this point might be the one best able to compartmentalize the distractions and mounting issues.  And now, it’s safe to say that nobody without the benefit of real spoilers at this point can say with any confidence the order of events yet to come.  And that’s a good thing.

How did this episode turn everything sideways?  Let us count the angles:

1 Ava gets burned.  When Boyd gets home at the end of the last episode/beginning of this one and finds Raylan at the house, he thinks nothing of it.  On the surface, it was just one more time that Raylan stuck around waiting to question him on a matter – in this case, the disappearance of Dewey Crowe.  Boyd claims to know nothing and that was that.  But upon arriving home at the end of the episode and receiving a call from Limehouse, dropping a dime on Ava for her visit the previous day with her desire to run – well, now Boyd is going to piece together Ava’s betrayal pretty quickly.  Why would she want to run?  Why had she been acting so squirrely around him when she was first released from prison?  The answers to those questions will all point in one direction, especially since Boyd is aware that Raylan is sticking around Kentucky to take care of one more issue before accepting the Florida transfer.  It seems inconceivable that Boyd could ever harm a hair on Ava’s head.  But everything will seem up for grabs once he pieces together her actions.

2 Zach Randolph’s got some nasty post moves in the mines.  The dangers of the abandoned mine shafts, from the steep drops in various places to the threat of poisonous gases, end up plaguing Boyd, as he falls through the floor and has to be rescued.  But after he takes his leave, Ava’s Uncle Zach demonstrates some real treachery by shoving one of Boyd’s henchmen to his death when he finds something that the old guy wants to keep hidden.  He’ll no doubt pass it off to Boyd as a terrible accident, but now we know that Boyd has ANOTHER member of the Randolph family who could undermine him at any time.

3 Katherine and Avery: who’s zooming who?  All season long, Katherine’s been using her feminine wiles to get close to her old sackmate Avery while she sends Wynn, Boyd and the Dixie Mafia after his fortune.  But his shock proposal to her in this episode gave the first real indication that he’s on to her.  He tells her that he thinks that she ratted out her husband and led to his downfall; of course, she does not confess that she suspected him of that act and has been pursuing revenge.  But a later conversation with Wynn causes her to wonder if Avery knows of her suspicions and is somehow setting her up for a fall.  Even Art and Rachel aren’t sure of what exactly went down back in the day, so in the midst of the show’s final stretch of episodes, this old case seems likely to be reexamined – with ramifications for the two puppetmasters who are currently sleeping together.  That could lead to some awkward post-coital conversations!

4 Avery’s infrastructure disintegrates now that realtor Calhoun is dead and the Tigerhawk Security leadership is on the run.  For as much as Raylan likes stirring the pot with the bad guys – as demonstrated yet again toward the end of the episode when he points out to Choo Choo that Ty had clearly labeled him as a liability – it’s unlikely that he realized that he was beating Ty to the punch when he informed Avery of Calhoun’s unfortunate demise.  But the discord sowed from within by the move, as Avery pressures Ty to eliminate Choo Choo – leads straight to that unpredictable moment in the woods, when Raylan and Tim get the drop on Ty, Choo Choo and Seabass.  Realizing how much incriminating evidence the Marshalls already had on them, the special forces veterans decide to take their chances in a shootout-and-flee situation and they are successful.  Well, except for Choo Choo who bleeds out from his wounds, fittingly enough on a train track.  But now Ty and Seabass are on the run, and while they may be armed and resourceful enough to pop an Eric Rudolph scenario and stay buried in the hills notwithstanding a massive manhunt, they’ll be of no help to Avery in warding off the law and Boyd – and completing those remaining land purchases.  Were it not for Boyd’s own problems right now, you’d be tempted to drop the “better to be lucky than good” tag on him right about now.

5 Rachel is unsure that Raylan can complete the case as required.  On any great show, no menacing undertone can ever be ignored, so when Rachel seemed a bit apprehensive about some of Raylan’s actions in the field earlier this season, that should have been a tipoff of something bigger.  And in this episode, the visit from Art causes her to look in the mirror about what kind of office leader she’s going to be.  Her monitoring indicated that Ava tried to run and Raylan brought her in – which he didn’t report to her, of course.  So Rachel also wonders what else he’s not telling her and whether he’s involved with her again.  It can’t be ruled out because of the verboten nature of it, because he was sleeping with her in Season 1 when it was equally inappropriate.  Rachel realizes that Art would simply overlook any suspicions about how Raylan’s doing his job to choose the path of least resistance.  Still imbued with the idealism of (relative) youth, that’s not how Rachel sees herself handling such situations.  So now the prospect of Raylan getting pulled off the case before it is fully resolved cannot be dismissed out of hand, as shocking as that would be.

So now there are major, major disruptions afoot with the apparent trajectory of the season that had been building.  Avery, Raylan and Boyd (or Boyd/Katherine, as the case may be, since she’s the one who initiated going after the Colorado weed kingpin) remain on a collision course with each other, but the endgame is quite opaque indeed.  As the man who created this world, from his divine perch, Elmore Leonard has to be very proud of the colleagues who took his work to TV immortality and the roller-coaster ending that they’ve constructed.

As is now the custom with the Justified reviews here at NJATVS, here’s an extended version of commentary for this episode between Jason Jones and myself: an immediate post-show breakdown of the episode recorded in real time.  Past webcasts for Season 6 can be found when searching the Justified category on this site.  Additionally, here’s our Season 6 preview and our 10-hour Season 5 “box set” containing a season preview, review and analysis of every episode.

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Samantha Groves aka Root, made her first appearance on the CBS Series “Person Of Interest,” as a number selected by “The Machine,” as did Sameen Shaw, which leads me to ask the question, did we meet a future member of the team, in the latest episode entitled “Blunt“? This week’s number was a young woman whom we were introduced to as Harper Rose, although that’s not her real name. Harper’s not the computer genius that Root is, or is she a Government trained lethal weapon, like Shaw.

She’s an old-fashioned con-artist, whose got more identities, than most women have shoes. She’s as clever as a fox and is able to pit enemies against each other, while she quietly walks in, acquires what she wants, then slips out of sight. She had an easy rapport with Finch and Reese, while impressing a big man in the New York City underworld. This is total conjecture on my part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if actress Annie Ilonzeh, becomes a permanent member of the team.

This wasn’t one of the stronger episodes of the season, or in the history of the show, perhaps because the premise was faulty. The story revolved around Medical-Marijuana dispensaries in New York State, unfortunately the State of New York, doesn’t offer Medical Marijuana, the bill’s gotten caught in the State Legislature for the last couple of years. However, lets carry on with the story.

According to Rose’s records, she’s an anthropology major at NYU, back on campus after taking a year off traveling Europe. Reese’s on campus keeping an eye on her, when he notices she picked up another students back-pack and he follows her across the campus.

Suddenly we hear Root’s voice behind Finch, asking if he’s hard at work, she tells him she just got back from Sri Lanka, where they have the world’s greatest black tea, which she brought some back for Harold as a present. She asks if Harold’s recruited any new members and he replies, that he thought they didn’t want to involve others, after Sameen’s abduction. Root says in a city  that’s got 7..5 million people, they should come up with at least a couple of folks willing to fight for freedom. She says she’s got to leave, “The Machine’s” got her creating an app, which piques Finch’s interest.

Reese follows Harper through a dorm and she gets to her boyfriend Trey Wender’s room and he asks if he can cover his shift at work that night, he says he’s beat. After giving Trey, a hard time she says she’ll take his shift and kisses him goodbye, saying she’ll see him that night.

As John follows Harper to her job, Harold figures out that she works at a medical marijuana facility and in order to enter the building you need to have a registered prescription. Harold puts John in as Detective John Reilly, putting down PTSD and back-pain as his requirements for his prescription.

Harper shows up and she talks with the facilities manager Noah and he asks where Trey’s at, she tells him, her boyfriend got sick so she’s covering for him. A few minutes later Detective Reilly shows up and says it’s his first time there. Jordan kind of gives him the stink-eye, but she points him to the area she thinks he should head to.

Noah comes out, says they’re having a money-pickup now and to close down the shop. Because of facility not able to put their money in FDIC banks, due to Federal Regulations, he’s got Dominic and the Brotherhood, doing the runs and holding the money. He tells her to pack a valise with all the cash on hand. However she grabs two bags, one she fills with newspapers and gives it to Noah, the other one, with the money in it, she keeps for herself.

Dominic’s two men come to pick up the money, they don’t get 500-feet, when two cars pull up in an ambush. They’re members of the Mexican Cartel and they engage in a shootout with Dominic’s guys. They get the valise and find newspapers in it and Reese tells Harold, that Harper scammed them all.

He goes after him and catches her and she says oh yeah you’re that fake cop, Reilly says that she’s messing with the wrong guys and she says she can handle the cartel. John says that might be true, but Dominic’s crew’s a different story. He tells her to drop the bag, which she does, but when John bend’s down to pick it up, she smacks him across the back with a baton, takes back the bag and books.

Harold’s trailing Root, but she’s got built-in radar and she soon loses him in a crowd, he says out loud nicely done Miss Groves. Reese talks to someone who knows Harper and he says he can’t tell him much, but that girl can dance. With likely close to a thousand spots, one can dance in New York City, Reese of course picks the right one. He asks her where the money’s at and she tells him it’s gone, after paying her bills, buying some friends drinks and paying off these guys she owed, the money’s history. John tells her that Dominic’s got Trey and unless he gets paid, Trey will soon die. She says she’ll take care of it and disappears, but this time Fusco’s there to catch her leaving the club.

Harold’s deduced she’s not Harper Rose, she just took over her identity as the real Miss Rose is still off campus. Reese and Fusco bring her to an apartment, with Harold waiting for them. She asks if it’s his apartment and he says he owns the building. She starts putting things together, Reese is a former Military/Govt. Ops, Fusco’s a real NYPD detective and Harold’s the money guy and they go around rescuing people, Finch calls it a public service.

Harold acquired the money to pay off Dominic, buying Trey’s freedom and taking the target from Harper’s back. John and Mini meet at a diner and John tells him that he’s got the money that’s owed him and he’ll trade it for Trey and assured the girl will remain safe. Dominic smiles and says he’ll go for that if he tells him who he really is. John says I’m NYPD Detective John Reilly as it says on my card. Mini asks what kind of detective’s going to cough up money like that for those two?

Dominic then brings up Elias and asks how come Reilly cuts him such slack, John says his and Carl’s agreement’s they stay out of each other’s way, hence no problems. Mini asks if he can have the same deal and Reilly says, if you stop killing innocent people. Dominic says that girl’s not innocent and offers Trey for the money, which John refuses. Four of Dominic’s crew shows up, but Lionel’s in sniper’s position, with his laser scope on Dominic’s heart. Mini says this conversation’s over and they all leave the diner.

Root meets with a representative of some tech firm named Javier Braga and he loves her app, he says he thought it was going to be some little achievement but he’s amazed at what she’s done. If his boss’ impressed as he is, they’ll soon be in business together.

Harper says she has to rescue Trey, he’s an innocent and it’s her fault his life’s in danger. She says she can do it on her own, but it would make things far easier if she gets back up. She then looks at Harold and asks you’re pretty technical, right?

Harper goes to the headquarters of the Spanish Cartel and they want her head on a platter, but she asks which would she like more, her head or tens of millions of dollars? Dominic holds all the money for the city’s dispensaries, and she knows where the cash’s kept. She walks them over there.

While she’s heading to Dominic’s with the Spanish Cartel, John descends from a rope to rescue Trey. He cuts him loose and then they get him upstairs and on to safety. The Cartel shows up, to find Mini and his men, but he tells them he moved the money earlier that day. Everybody’s got guns on each other, the Cartel members get arrested due to the serial numbers on their guns’ filed off. Dominic’s men are allowed to go free.

Harper called Mini to have him move the money, she said they both wanted the Spanish Cartel off the street. Dominic tells her she’s brilliant and to give him a call when she’s done being a vigilante.

Root’s introduced to the company’s founder, Caleb Phipps, legendary in his field. He asks if she’d like to work on a project for them and Root plays humble and says she’s overjoyed. Something tells me this company’s part of Samaritan.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday at 10:00 pm on CBS.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In the aftermath of Chief Dooley’s heroic but tragic suicide and the theater attack, where I must assume that was item #17, SSR finds themselves with more questions than answers. The quick deduction is that the theater patrons killed each other. Has me wondering if the Battle of Fingal was the same thing.

While investigating the crime scene, Sousa finds the baby carriage. Then finds the canister with “Stark” imprinted on it. Then he accidentally sprays himself with the mystery mist. Thompson comes over to check on Sousa when he hears the coughing. Sousa instantly attacks Thompson. The cops are able to knock Sousa out.

Dottie and Dr. Ivchenko get pulled over for running a red light. Dottie does what she does to get out of the ticket. On the cops journey back to his squad car, he hears over his radio an A.P.B. describing the vehicle and passengers he just pulled over. The cop turns back towards the vehicle to find Dottie’s gun pointed in his chest.

Sousa wakes up disoriented and shackled. Carter is able to fill in the holes of what happened, which jars loose Sousa’s emotional state at that time. He wanted to kill Thompson. He wanted to kill everyone. During a briefing shortly thereafter, Carter asks the question, “what is he after” (referring to Ivchenko). Then Howard Stark appears to suggest its him, Ivchenko is after. Stark is met with considerable hostility, guns and all.

Stark is his usual jovial self amidst arrest and potentially more. With him is a covered box. Inside is everything they need to know about the battle of Fingal. Stark created the gas that had those movie patrons tearing each other apart. It was also the source of the massacre at the battle of Fingal. Stark’s solution is to use him as bait allowing the SSR to set a trap and draw out Ivchenko.

Carter rejects the idea that this is the best course of action. Howard asks to see his stuff. Carter takes him to the lab where ‘most’ of them are. After a mild freakout, Howard Stark has a moment of clarity and attempts to take responsibility, even if it’s not completely his fault. On some level, it boils down to being concerned with how Peggy Carter sees him.

Thompson gives a painful update to the Howard Stark case to a gaggle of reporters from the steps outside City Hall. Howard keeps leaning in to give suggestions as to what Thompson should say next. “Hero” was just one word Howard suggested. SSR agents are spread out anticipating a move by Ivchenko. It worked as shots were fired just moments after Stark took the podium. Jarvis rushes Stark into an alley where a police car is waiting. Before the car is completely out of view, Jarvis realizes that two uniformed cops have been shot and left in the alley. Jarvis just gave Stark to the bad guys.

The new theory is that Ivchenko and whomever else are planning to hit Times Square. Retaliation for VE Day. Carter, Sousa, Thompson and Jarvis convene in an alley to try to piece this thing together. Thompson can’t convince anyone of consequence to cancel the VE Day celebration and no one can figure out the end game, except maybe Jarvis. Jarvis reveals that there is a larger, second vault. If by vault they mean hangar. There is a hangar with plane and cars. The gas was meant to be administered from the air. It seems this may have been all just one massively large attempt for one man to seek revenge specifically for the savage death of his brother at the battle of Fingal.

In Starks hangar, Ivchenko describes his motivation. Stark even willfully turns himself over to be killed if that is the goal, hoping to save many innocent people in the process. Ivchenko has no intention of killing him. Suffering and pain are on the menu today. Then Ivchenko begins rotating his ring while talking calmly to Stark.

Ivchenko joins Howard on one of those spirit walks into Howard’s most ‘shameful’ moment. They stand on what looks like a glacier. Howard, Ivchenko and a plane. Then a man comes running into view.

Soldier: Mr. Stark! Mr. Stark we picked up a signal from the Valkyrie,we think it might be Rogers. Sir, we found Captain America.

SON OF A _____!!! Then Peggy appears holding Cap’s shield. Back to reality, Carter and company run towards the hangar as a plane takes off. As they devise a plan, a last resort needs to be considered. As none of the SSR agents have any experience flying a plane, it looks grim. Then Jarvis volunteers, citing that Stark would want to be stopped at any cost.

Carter makes her way to the control tower where she finds Dottie and Ivchenko. Holding a shotgun on both of them, it seems well in hand. Then Dottie turns around talking in that painfully cheery tone she used that the Griffith, then proceeds to kick Peggy around the room. Peggy gains the upper hand momentarily, but makes a play for the microphone too early. The moment that Dottie starts monologuing is the moment Peggy takes advantage, ultimately kicking Dottie out of the window killing her on impact. With the wing of a parked plane.

Stark is completely under the spell and believes he is flying towards Cap’s signal, not Manhattan.

Ivchenko jumps the drop on Thompson. Almost immediately following, Sousa arrives. Sousa should have already shot him but he advances instead. Ivchenko starts his shrink routine and Sousa just keeps advancing. Then he hears the magic word, “Focus”. Sousa stops dead in his tracks. Ivchenko instructs him to shoot Thompson. Sousa slowly points his gun at Thompson, then hesitates, then knocks Ivchenko out with the butt of his gun.

Sousa (pulling tissue paper from his ears): Was he saying something?
Thompson: You son of a b****

Carter, meanwhile, is at the controls just as she was the last time she spoke to Steve Rogers. The parallels are creepy. Both cases, pleading for the man on the other line to cease their current plan. In both situations seemingly unable to persuade them. Then Jarvis gets on the line telling her he has Stark in his sights.

Peggy tries emotionally to convey to Howard (lost in a trans) that Steve is gone. Steve has died and there is no getting him back. Eventually there is silence, followed by a more groggy sounding Stark. Peggy instructs Jarvis to stand down. Much to Jarvis’ relief.
Apparently, Dottie did not die and has limped away.

Upon returning to SSR headquarters, Peggy enters the office, expecting her usual reception of silence and indifference. This day is anything but that. All of her fellow (male) agents are all standing and applauding her efforts.

A senator walks in the room and asks for Jack Thompson. Then begins congratulating Thompson as if he deserved all of the credit. And if that wasn’t overreaching enough, proceeded to tell the rest of the office what a privilege it must be to work for Jack Thompson. Sousa is incensed. He even attempts to charge in after the Senator and set him straight. Peggy Carter is not out for recognition. On a whim, Sousa asks Carter out for a drink. She says “maybe another time”. He seems a little dejected, but she seems rather flattered. Impressed even.

As a show of appreciation and remorse, Stark offers one of this residences to Peggy and Angie to live for as long as they may require it. Angie is blown away by its size and finer touches.

Angie (to Jarvis): You got a phone? I have to call my mother.
Jarvis: Naturally, (gestures towards the phone) there’s a phone in every room.
Angie: Oh my god! Are you kiddin’ me?
Jarvis: How refreshing to meet a person who appreciates the finer things…
Peggy: I appreciate the finer things, I just don’t want to know what happens in or on the finer things.

Howard is currently negotiating the surrender of his ‘bad babies’ in order to destroy them all. No government, not even the US Government can be trusted with those particular weapons. Then Jarvis says, “Not even this one” and pulls the vile of Steve Rogers blood from his inner jacket pocket. Stark believes the blood sample was lost while under Ivchanko’s spell. So this is Jarvis giving Carter the blood sample. “I owe Mr. Stark a lot, but he does not own my integrity”.

Peggy Carter stands on the Brooklyn Bridge and taking her time, slowly pours the remaining blood sample of Captain America into the river.

In what feels like the typical Marvel post credits scene, we get the answer to the question of will there be a season 2? Or maybe just trying to connect the dots in the existing timeline. Ivchenko is escorted to his cell wearing a metal rig that doesn’t permit him to speak. Once locked in, a familiar voice emerges from the darkness. Anyone familiar with the MCU knew it in the first syllable. Dr. Arnim Zola. The small scientist that assisted Red Skull in the Captain America: First Avenger movie and whose consciousness is found in Captain America: Winter Soldier. All indications point to Dr. Zola using Ivchanko’s expertise as part of a larger plan to grow Hydra in silence. Now this could just be connecting the dots, or it could be an indication of more seasons. Which would be smart. That’s roughly 30 out of 52 weeks where Marvel television could be a staple.

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Think back to that one moment in your life when everything was perfect, we all have that moment, whether it be at a concert, or your first kiss. When all the planets were aligned and there was perfect harmony in the universe, you felt invulnerable and the moment would last forever. However, the experiences end but the memories linger, warming our souls on these cold winter nights. The latest episode of the ABC series “Forever,” explored that topic deeply, as the victim in the murder they’re investigating, was involved in a role-playing game, meant to evoke an experience that took place in 1979.

We see a tone-arm being placed on an LP, filling the air with KC and The Sunshine Band’s hit “That’s The Way I Like It.” A young blonde-haired woman grabs a dress that would have look perfect on a disco-floor, puts on her makeup, then suddenly her cell phone rings, from inside a dresser drawer. The young woman picks it up and asks the caller what’s their problem and to stop calling her, the door knob to the apartment starts to turn and she says she’s got to go, she’s holding the cell phone in her hand when the door opens and says I’m sorry.

The next morning NYPD Detectives Jo Martinez and Mike Hanson are walking through garbage to get to their latest victim, it’s the girl we saw in the apartment. No wallet or ID, but there are Polaroid pictures of her and a fondue fork next to her, apparently the murder weapon. They notice bruises on her wrists, theorizing she got held down by her killer while she bled out.

Henry Morgan’s having his coffee at Abe’s shop before heading to work, when Abe brings a box from the cellar to the showroom. Henry asks what’s that smell and Abe says it’s wet cardboard and mold, a box of what he calls useless junk got soaked by a burst pipe. Henry says these are your memories, Abe points to his head and says all I need’s in here. However, Henry finds Abigail’s cookbook and Abe says that’s not junk. Morgan says perhaps you’re right Abraham, new day, new memories, I’m off.

Henry investigates the victim and he’s blown away, she’s wearing hair-spray and nail polish from the Seventies, her outfit’s a vintage original as well. This was carefully crafted to recreate the situation as close as possible, Hanson comes in with the identity of the victim, an NYU junior named Sarah Clancy, reported missing by her roommate. Lieutenant Reece, assigns Henry and Jo to talk to the roommate and Mike to go back to the crime scene and scour for more evidence.

Martinez and Morgan talk to Sarah’s roommate Jennifer, who says they were both from small towns and they really clicked and then they became best friends, but Sarah changed over the last few months and they grew distant. She says Sarah dropped all her class schedule except for one course and seemed obsessed with it. She gives the course information to the pair and they head off to NYU.

They enter a darkened lecture hall as a female instructor shows projected images of different forms of sexual expression. When the lights come up we see that it’s our old friend, Dominatrix Therapist Iona Payne, she and Henry make eye contact and after a few brief remarks, dismisses the class.

Henry and Jo walk down to see her and Henry says Iona, she quickly stops him and saying on campus, it’s Professor Dawes, but he can call her Molly. He thanks her, says she can call him Henry, then tells her they need to talk to her professionally.

She’s clearly distraught, when she hears of Sarah’s murder, the two had a lot in common, both had sheltered childhoods and she was mature for her years. Jo then says they have reason to believe she was in some role-playing situation and Molly says, Sarah talked about it with her in her office a couple of weeks back and she asked if she was happy and felt safe? Sarah answered both enthusiastically, but she hopes she didn’t dismiss a cry for help, Henry tells her it isn’t her fault. She offers her services to help solve the crime, Martinez politely refuses.

Mike Hanson’s pulling a Tom Sawyer on Lucas, as he has him wearing the hazmat suit and poking through the trash. Lucas finds a packet of junk mail covered with Sarah’s blood, near where her body was found all from the same address. They’ve found the apartment where the murder took place.

Henry and Jo check the place out and it is like stepping back into the late Seventies, magazines, accessories, the fondue pot, an analog TV and a Technics turntable. They then see a macramé wall-hanging on floor, when they lift it up they see it’s concealing Sarah’s blood. They also find another Polaroid picture, but this one’s from the seventies and it’s the original woman that Sarah portrayed in the role-playing situation.

Henry’s telling Abe about the apartment they found and he says it wasn’t his favorite period of the 20th Century. Henry then brings up Iona/Molly and Abe says oh that’s why you got the new scarf, your domination gal-pal’s back in town. Abe says I understand you’re nervous, it’s been a while, Henry responds he’s had relations, he’s certainly not a monk. Abe replies, that Henry’s had sex with some of the world’s most beautiful women, but they never went anywhere. When was the last time you had a date with someone you cared for?

We flashback to 1982, as we see a shaggy-haired Henry trying to apply some gray to his temples. He asks Abigail if she’s ready, the restaurant they’re going to are liable to give away their table if their late. We hear Abigail off camera says perhaps we shouldn’t go out, Henry says but it’s our anniversary. Abigail comes into view, it’s not Mackenzie Mauzy who’s played the role all season. Abigail’s 62-years-old now and while still an attractive woman, she’s no longer the slip-of-a-girl Henry met in 1945, she’s portrayed by Janet Zarish.

She asks how’s it going to look, an older woman out with a younger escort, people will stare at them. Henry says we’ll look like a distinguished couple in love, we braved a war and raised a child together. I’m rather certain we can survive a night on the town, it’ll be fun. Abigail smiles and agrees.

Back at the station, Hanson tells Jo and Henry they recovered Sarah’s audition tape for her role-playing gig, she’s saying what are obviously lines written by her partner. She stops, said her roommate just got home but she’d like to accept his offer. Henry and Jo bring the video to Molly. She says it’s not domination, it’s recreation. Jo says they need to track down apartment tenant from 1079.

Martinez and Morgan track down the former tenant, a man named Neville show him the picture of Sarah and he denies ever seeing her, Henry then shows him the Polaroid of the other woman, pain quickly crosses his face but then he says he doesn’t know her. Morgan starts folding and crinkling the picture, which destroys the emulsion on the pictures and the man finally begs him to stop. He says the picture you just destroyed is when my wife first told me we were having a baby, Henry produces the picture unharmed. Three weeks later she got diagnosed with breast cancer, she died in 1981. He then says he killed Sarah Clancy.

Neville’s taken downtown and questioned by Martinez and Hanson, but he’s fuzzy on the details, he then says he stabbed Sarah with the fondue fork in a downward motion, when Henry knows the wound came from underneath. Reece congratulates Jo on solving the case, but then Henry tells her he didn’t do it. Martinez says the case’s closed if you want to see Molly again just ask her out, how long ago was it since you and Abigail split up? Henry says a while and we flashback to 1982.

Abigail’s mortified as they return home from their anniversary dinner, the hostess thought Henry was so sweet for taking out his mother and everyone stared when he took her hand. We looked ridiculous, and Henry replies ridiculously in love. She says he’s blind and he agrees from the moment he laid eyes on her. She says every time she looks at him she feels old and he tells her to close her eyes.

He says where are you picturing us and she replies at the Queensberry Officers Club when you wore that suave tuxedo and suddenly we’re there, with Abigail at her most ravishing with Glen Miller playing. Henry says well we’re there and the two start dancing.

He meets Molly for drinks and she asks him if he’s thinking about the case and he admits he is and asks if he could have suffered a psychotic break, to cause him to forget holding down Sarah while she bled out? Molly says that doesn’t fit his profile, he was about creating not destroying. So they head to the apartment to reenact the crime.

Henry notices the indentation in the couch cushion and says that’s where Neville sat, Molly sits on his lap and the two start making out and Henry drops his glass. He suddenly realizes Neville wouldn’t have allowed the stain to form on the cushion. So Henry, Molly and cushion head to the lab.

Henry discovers Ketamine got mixed into Neville’s drink and he got drugged, so likely someone else killed Sarah. The next morning everyone’s called in on their day off due to Henry’s discovery, so they bring Neville out of his cell for questioning. Mike asks if he’d agree to having his blood tested as they think he got drugged, by someone putting Ketamine in his drink. Neville says he knows what Ketamine is and he killed Sarah. Henry says he’s covering for his daughter.

Cecily Neville, was born nine months to the day after the picture of her mother got taken, ran away from home at 15 and incarcerated for possession of Ketamine. She says check with her manager, she worked the night her father’s girlfriend got killed. Henry says Jo never mentioned the woman was her father’s girlfriend and Cecily tells of seeing a woman passing by the shop wearing her mother’s coat. She trailed her to the apartment she grew up in but of course it wasn’t her mother. However it wasn’t Sarah Clancy either. They realize it was Sarah’s roommate, Jennifer.

Jennifer attends Molly’s class and then asks to talk to her about switching  majors, and Dawes invites her back to her office. Jennifer soon says that Sarah was her roommate and Molly recognizes her coat, Jennifer says when she wears it, she feels like Sarah’s with her. Molly says she’s got to go to another meeting but they’ll schedule a meeting soon and Jennifer leaves. Dawes calls Henry’s office, but Jennifer comes back and knocks her on the head.

Henry and Jo head to her apartment, but she’s not there, however there’s a printout of Sarah’s class schedule. Just then Lucas calls Jo’s cell and says Henry got a crank-call from the NYU Psychology Dept. They race to Molly’s office.

Molly’s awake and Jennifer asks why she called the police, she didn’t mean to kill Sarah, she tried to save him from that nasty old man, but then Sarah got so mad. Molly says we’ll just tell the police you had a psychotic break, we’ll tell them, I’ll help you. Jennifer starts screaming she’s not psychotic and Molly says that’s just an excuse, a defense to get her off.

Suddenly Henry and Jo start banging at the door and screaming for Molly, Jennifer covers the professor’s mouth and starts pushing a blade into her neck. Henry sees the phone’s been knocked off the counter, busts through the door, Martinez gets Jennifer up against a wall and calls for an ambulance, Henry rushes to Molly who call him her hero, then passes out.

Jo and Henry are sitting at the hospital and tells Jo it’s a long time since he felt like this and Martinez responds that’s what happens when you open up to someone, you become vulnerable. The surgeon comes out to tell Henry, Molly lost a lot of blood, but she’s going to pull through. Henry asks to see her, and Jo pulls NYPD rank to allow Henry to see her.

He walks in and she says she’s always had a fantasy of being rescued by a handsome doctor. She then says she’s the one who got stabbed but he looks terrible, he says it was a harrowing night. Henry then says he’s started to develop real feelings for her and she asks isn’t that a good thing? He says usually, but she replies you’re not a usual guy. You don’t allow those feelings to come out, I don’t know who she is, but she beat you up really bad. Henry says the wounds are still healing, she says if he ever decides he doesn’t like her so much, give her a call. Henry kisses her on the cheek and leaves.

When Henry arrives home he smells something delicious, it’s Abigail’s lasagna recipe that Abe cooked up. He has a taste and says for a moment it felt like she was here, Abe says I hear you Pops. Suddenly it’s 1955, Abigail puts down her lasagna and Abraham says it smells great Ma, Abigail thanks him. Henry says every time he smells that aroma he wants to dance with a beautiful woman and takes Abigail in his arms and they dance. She says I’m a mess and Henry says your perfect, everything’s perfect. We flash to 1982 and we see Abigail and Henry dancing and she says it can’t last and he says let’s not talk about that now.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday at 10:00 pm on ABC.

Better Call Saul 1-4

Photo Courtesy of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Once the creators of Better Call Saul decided to launch it as an origin story for Saul Goodman, back in his days as a more honorable young attorney still going under his real name of Jimmy McGill, the question of how to differentiate the journey from Walter White’s descent into evil was a paramount one.  Through the first three episodes, the elasticity of the timeline, from Jimmy’s early adulthood to post-Breaking Bad, has demonstrated that the man underneath has worn the skin of Jimmy or Saul at various points in life.  This contrasts Walter pretty clearly, as his decision to “break bad” and embrace the dark impulses that he likely had all along was a one-way destination with few curves.  Jimmy was born with a good heart and his older brother Chuck’s values are a constant reminder of the family’s moral underpinning.  But the transformation that Jimmy makes into Saul over the course of this series is the defining one of his life (at least so far, unless the creators subsequently decide to show us any big changes in his life in Omaha), because it’s the one that changes him from sad, struggling, small-time attorney to Albuquerque’s Flashiest CRIMINAL Lawyer.

Another difference between Walter and Jimmy manifests itself in the degree to which each man consciously set out on their path.  The ride-along that Walt takes with Hank provides the critical moment in the series when the great scientist realizes that his skill set is perfectly geared towards the cooking of pure methamphetamine.  He initiates the partnership with Jesse and turns down that fateful road with clear eyes.  As for Jimmy, he had intended to leverage the Kettlemans into dropping the big law firm and signing with him, but the small-time scams that he would occasionally run – often on guilty parties like the Kettlemans anyway – were not enough to send him plunging headlong down the path to becoming Saul.  No, a man who ends up where he did requires a more drastic moment of truth than that.  But, as we see in Episode 1.4, Hero, the catalyst comes from the decision of an outside party: Betsy Kettleman waving fat stacks of cash in his face in exchange for keeping quiet about her family’s stolen loot.

Just prior to that, however, in the cold open, we get our past-is-prologue moment of the episode as “Slippin’ Jimmy,” back in the day, runs a complicated fraud with a co-conspirator, fleecing folks as greedy as them.  The meaning of this scheme is oblique until the last few scenes of the episode.

After the flashback, we’re back in the Kettlemans’ tent, where the parents were alone with their kids, their big bankroll and their fevered delusions of morality prior to Jimmy’s invasion.  Betsy’s bribe attempt is parried by Jimmy, who repeats his desire to represent them instead.  But he is rebuffed, as the Kettlemans fear looking guilty by hiring “a lawyer like him.”  Betsy dangles the green under his snout yet again as the scene concludes without showing his decision.

Back at the courthouse, Jimmy tells Mike that he was right to suspect that the Kettlemans were hiding nearby.  It’s clear that Jimmy has a newfound regard for Mike’s capabilities now that he knows his background, but, hilariously, Mike isn’t reciprocating being impressed.  We know that he will at some point, however, and by this point we know that there’s going to be a great story involved.

As Jimmy is finalizing Nacho’s release from jail, the criminal is likewise unimpressed with the town’s most colorful attorney.  Nacho clearly realizes that Jimmy warned the Kettlemans about the theft attempt and now the police, upset about having to let Nacho go, are going to be watching him closely.  Upon being warned that there will be consequences for his big mouth, Jimmy argues weakly that he wasn’t the snitch and states, more persuasively, that Nacho himself is responsible for the legal near-miss based on his sloppiness.  However, this beef hasn’t been squashed yet.  Stay tuned for more about that one.

Back at the office after hours, rifling through the aforementioned fat stack of cash that he did accept after all and inventing rationales about the services provided to earn the money, Jimmy offers the quote listed in the headline above.  His direction, hazy at first, proves to be part of a master plan: a new custom suit and work on his hairstyle.  His “friend” Kim, after leaving him a voicemail seeking to have dinner with him, finds out Jimmy’s mischievous plan when her boss Howard drags her to the scene of a new billboard: one that advertises Jimmy’s firm in a complete ripoff of their more successful firm’s trademarks.  At Howard’s request, she delivers Jimmy a cease-and-desist letter and friendly advice to back off and not further anger Howard.  His flip reply fools her – and the audience – into failing to perceive the depth of his master plan.

As expected, a judge immediately rules against Jimmy and provides a scant 48 hours to remove the billboard.  Having failed to get any TV stations out to the billboard to play along with his “David and Goliath” storyline, he hires his own crew and just as he is preparing to finish his pseudo-high-minded rant, he is interrupted when the sight of a dangling billboard worker captures everyone’s attention.  Risking life and limb in unbelievable fashion, Jimmy climbs all the way to the top and pulls the man to safety.  Suddenly, a man unused to receiving any voicemails on his work line has seven of them after becoming the town’s newest “hero” – hence, the episode title.

Howard sees straight through Jimmy’s stunt and the faint trace of a smile exhibited by Kim indicates that she probably did as well.  Still, the thought that Jimmy could have choreographed a stunt this elaborate and death-defying for two people – one of which, of course, was himself – seems too much to believe until he hides the newspaper from his brother Chuck, who knows all of his schemes.  Of course, the mere act of failing to bring in Chuck’s newspaper set off the older brother’s suspicions and at the end of the episode, he was crushed to read the newspaper after obtaining one – realizing in an instant exactly what Jimmy resorted to in the pursuit of new business.

“Hero” won’t be soon forgotten by anyone, for the amazing billboard sequence that defined it, nor the series-shaping moment that appeared to represent Jimmy McGill’s crossing of the proverbial Rubicon.  It’s a bit funny to think of “Jimmy McGill” getting this kind of publicity in Albuquerque when he was less than half a decade from being known to one and all as Saul Goodman (who, by the way, had his name’s true meaning referenced for the first time on this series and the second time overall including Badger’s “Breaking Bad” testimonial as “’S’all good, man!”).  That formal identity change can’t be long in coming because of the timelines that are in play.  And for the first time, it feels like we’re close enough to envision the formal end of Jimmy and the beginning of Saul’s adventures.  Given that the weakest year in terms of enjoyment for most programs is generally the first one – because of the necessary foundation-building that is occurring to set up the big stories of subsequent seasons – there seems to be no way that this show won’t continue to get even better at that point.

 

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Once again the Fox series “Gotham’s” proved that it’s aptly capable of juggling several stories at once during an episode, some getting resolved by the end of the evening, other’s taking the form long-term story-arcs. We saw both in play in the latest episode “Red Hood,” as the characters depicted in the title, no longer pose a problem to Gotham City. However the episode ended with a beloved character, clinging to life, while Fish Mooney proved even as a captive she still calls the shots.

Our first image’s five men pull up in a van, exit the vehicle and head towards the Gotham Bank which they intend to rob. Four of the criminals hide their mouth and nose with a bandana or a turtleneck collar, but the older leader Destro, notices one of the guys clutching this red cloth and he asks what it is? The gang member says he made it, it’s a hood intended to spice things up a little.  He puts the hood on and they walk into the bank waving their guns, Destro fires a shot at the ceiling and all the customers crouch down.

He starts to address the crowd, but the guy wearing the hood cuts him off and starts playing the showman. He jumps up on the bank tellers counter walking it like a catwalk, telling the customers they’re not interested in their money, just the bank’s money, that’s insured anyway. The elderly bank guard pulls a pistol from his sock and fires six shots at the Red Hood from 20 feet away and misses him with every shot. They knock him out. One of the members is counting down from two-minutes and when they reach zero they leave.  But they see six cruisers headed straight towards them, however Red Hood provides a distraction, throwing hundreds of bucks in the air, causing a small riot and allowing them to escape.

GCPD Detective Jim Gordon goes to the  bank to investigate the crime, even though he and his partner Harvey Bullock, work for Homicide and no deaths occur. Gordon notices the security camera and goes to the manager’s office to watch the surveillance footage. He’s joined by Bullock, who gripes about it being another creep in a mask. Jim says they did their homework, they just rifled the registers, left the vault alone and were in and out in less than two-minutes.

The manager’s secretary says she thought the man in the red hood was nice and Harvey’s incredulous, she explains he only took the bank’s money, left the customers alone and gave money to the people, like Robin Hood. Gordon tells her, Robin Hood robbed the rich and gave to the poor, these guys were just looking for a distraction to make their escape. Jim asks if the alarm went off recently and the secretary says a smoke bomb set it off about a week before. Gordon says they’ll need the surveillance footage from that day.

Yet another rainy night in Gotham City as we visit Wayne Manor, watching Alfred descending the stairs, holding a pistol as  he goes to see whose knocking at the glass doors. He sees a man wrapped in a blanket standing with his head down, he opens the door and asks if he can help him. When the man raises his head Alfred realizes it’s his old mate Reggie, who he hasn’t seen in 20-years.

As he dries out in front of the fire we learn that Reggie Payne served with Alfred in Her Majesty’s Special Air Service and fallen on hard times. He lost his wife Vanessa, eleven years earlier and then he lost the house and then he got lost in a bottle. Bruce comes down and Alfred introduces Reggie as an old friend that had fallen on hard times. Wayne insists that Reggie stay with them for the next few days.

Fish Mooney’s now aware that the facility’s she’s imprisoned in is a facility to house people, who’ll get used for their body-parts, from limbs to hearts. She’s taken to see the Administrator of the facility and asks if he’s the owner, the man responds that he runs the business for Dr. Francis Dulmacher. She turns around to leave and the man asks where she’s going, she replies they have nothing to talk about. When the doctor returns she’ll speak to him, the man says they got off on the wrong foot, has her escorted to his bathroom, to take a shower and get some clean clothes.

The Red Hood Gang’s in the headline’s of the next day’s paper and the guy who wore the hood says whoever wears the hood should be the leader of the gang. The gang’s soon down to four as Destro kills the guy and takes the hood saying he’s right.

Oswald’s nearly empty, has a terrible standup comic on the stage who eventually gets stuff thrown at him by the five or six people in attendance. The bartender then tells the Penguin they’re out of booze, Butch tells Cobblepot that Maroni runs all the liquor and has cut the Penguin off because he despises him.

The Red Hood Gang strike their second bank, this time Destro wearing the hood and tries to pull off the speech by his now deceased associate. One of the customers on the floor asks the leader if he’s going to share some of their bounty with them as they can use the money. Destro finally says here you go and throws some money up in the air, then with giant laugh says Sayonara Gotham.

Harvey and Jim are studying the new surveillance, when another detective brings an Asian man in who saw the face of Destro, as the gang parked the van near his restaurant and he took out the trash when they came back from the robbery. Destro took the hood off to drive and he says he can identify him.

Reggie sees Bruce getting ready for his boxing lesson with Alfred and tells the boy to let him see his form. They then shadow box for a few minutes but Reggie knocks him down twice. The second time the boy’s upset and tries to attack Payne, but he loses his temper and Reggie pins the boy’s arms behind his head. He says you can’t lose your cool like that or you’re dead, then he tells Bruce to hit him in the face, which the boy does tentatively. Payne says somebody gives you a free shot you give it all you got, hit me again, again, again, again. The fourth time Bruce hits him hard enough to make his nose bleed.

Reggie says now hit me hard enough to make me land on my back and Bruce says he’s twice the boy’s size. Payne says use that to your advantage, go for the knee or the ankle, make yourself a weapon out of anything around, he grabs a cane and throws Wayne a pool cue. Alfred’s who’s watched all along, stops the proceedings and tells Bruce to take a shower. Reggie apologizes for over stepping his boundaries and Alfred asks if Reggie ever raised a child, Payne shakes his head no. Pennyworth says either had he and it’s the toughest thing he’s done in his life.

Penguin’s in a car with two hired hoods, who are going to kill Maroni’s men and steal his booze. However some cruisers show up, say they’re seizing the goods and tells the men to walk away, or get arrested. After the last of Maroni’s men leave, Butch Gilzean shows up and says the cops are his and the booze is now theirs.

The restaurant owner Mr. Chang, picked Destro out of the police files, so Bullock and Gordon form a lineup. Chang immediately picks out Destro as the Red Hood, but Harvey and Jim decide not to arrest him, but let him go and tail him hoping to find the rest of the gang.

Fish returns from her shower and the Administrator has two of his guys grab her. He says he wants her eyes so she has two choices, she and her fellow prisoners can all die immediately, or we can see how long you as a blind girl can survive the basement. Fish says he forgot about the third option, grabs a coffee spoon and gouges her eyeball out, then steps on it.

Destro returns to his apartment followed by Bullock and Gordon, when he enters, he’s nearly scared to death when he finds one of the gang’s inside. The guy wants the hood to impress his girlfriend, who thinks he’s a loser. Destro refuses to give it to him, so the guy shoots him in the gut, grabs the hood and bolts out the fire escape. Jim and Harvey hear the shot, run up to find Destro’s alive, but needs an ambulance, which Gordon calls for. He then sees rejected loan notices from three banks, the two the gang hit and the third the International Bank Of Gotham, the gangs next target.

Alfred and Reggie are talking when Bruce comes in with a bottle of wine from the family’s wine cellar and tells the two men to drink up. We see, them a bit later with two empty bottles on the table and the two men swapping war stories. Reggie explains to Bruce they were part of the Special Air Service, carrying out covert operations, he also reveals Alfred got caught by some enemies but escaped. Alfred says that’s enough and it’s time for bed. Bruce says goodnight and leaves the room, but stays hidden around the corner.

Alfred tells Reggie, his stay ends tomorrow, he’s found some fresh clothes and he’s made a sandwich for him to take with him. Reggie asks why Alfred hides who he is from Bruce, he’s a war-dog, a lethal weapon. Pennyworth ends the discussion saying he’ll see Reggie in the morning.

Later that night Alfred hears some clanking of metal and realizes Reggie’s robbing them. He tells Reggie to put down the bag with the purloined goods and leaves. Reggie says he wishes there was another way and stabs Alfred in the abdomen, then runs out. Bruce hears Alfred scream and comes down to find his guardian bleeding heavily. He calls for an ambulance and tells Alfred to stay with him.

The next morning the three remaining members of the Red Hood gang, arrive at the International Bank Of Gotham, but are soon joined by a score of police officers. They engage in a shootout and the police kill all three men. Gordon’s cell phone rings and we hear him ask, what hospital and then says he’ll be right there. It was of course Bruce who called him, from Alfred’s hospital room as Pennyworth’s on life support. Bruce says to Jim, I can’t lose him, he’s all I got and he hugs Gordon weeping inconsolably.

The final scene takes place in the boardroom of Wayne enterprises, we find out that Reggie worked for the board to try to ascertain if Bruce had any evidence against them. Payne tells them all the boy has are newspaper clippings and some notes he wrote. The he says he’s just a kid, a really good kid. Molly Mathis gives Payne an envelope stuffed with cash and says she doubts they’ll need his services again.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night, at 8:00 pm on FOX.

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In the last episode a number of big picture and episodic plot points came into play. One of the lesser story lines was Sylvester’s affection for Megan, Walter’s sister with MS. In the last episode, Paige in no uncertain terms suggested that Sylvester act on his impulses despite his Walter related hesitation. As irony would have it, just as Sylvester was about to leave the shop, Walter asked if he’d like to tinker with the rocket. Sylvester said he had a date. Walter’s exact words were, “any woman would be lucky to have you”.

Today we start with Sylvester and Megan enjoying each other’s company in that early stages of dating sort of way. Megan points out the frequency of Walter’s visits and suggests he tell Walter as soon as reasonably possible so that Walter doesn’t find out another way. I foresee a problem with Sylvester finding the ‘right time’ to tell him.

Walter did a television interview. Yep. Let that marinate for a moment. Whether he’s aware of it or not, the interview and subsequent b-role paints a picture of Walter’s heroics and not the collective effort of the Scorpion Team. Eventually, the interviewer gets to giving credit to the rest of the team. Naming them and their respective areas of expertise. Giving of course the most simplistic and in some cases incorrect titles. Then the interviewer makes a colossal mistake. The interviewer identified Happy as the “nanny” and Paige as the master fabricator. Happy is still Happy but she is very much not Happy. And even though I can’t see Paige, I’m sure she won’t enjoy being thought of as the team’s “Nanny”. In typical Walter fashion, he can’t comprehend why the team is upset.

We have a case. A billionaire’s estranged daughter has been kidnapped in Mexico. The billionaire paid the ransom but that was then reconfigured to be a ‘down payment’. Inside 60 seconds, Sylvester was able to figure out what town she was most likely held in. The man is satisfied and is about the leave. Then Walter suggests they can pinpoint her exact location with a little time. Toby is not at all excited about this new reach. In short order Walter basically informs Toby that if the job is too much he need not assist.

The Mexican Federale escort was less than advertised. He drops them at a bus stop 10 miles out. Citing that a man in uniform and a marked car puts them in danger. So all of Walter’s “we won’t be handling the dangerous parts of this job” kind of just flew out of the window. Sylvester hints that he’s been trying to find the right time to tell Walter something. Walter suggests he just say it if he has something to say. A dirty old van comes racing around the corner. It’s the drug cartel. They take the money and race off. With Walter staring off in the van’s direction, Walter takes his advice.

Sylvester: Walter…I’m dating your sister.

After collecting themselves and tabling their little fight, Walter, Toby and the team work toward a solution. They receive an email video attachment with the estranged daughter reading the latest demands. Sylvester spots a rare bird in the shot and uses that information to deduce what kind of natural marsh they should be looking for.

At the location, it all seems too easy. The building/barn is empty. The moment after Walter asks out loud, “Why would they lure us here if it wasn’t an ambush”, automatic machine guns on track move and open fire in the team’s general direction. The guns are set on tracks and have motion sensor activated cameras. The entire team are pinned behind stationary objects. Walter takes a crate of oranges and sends them away from where they are to attract the attention of the motion sensors long enough to allow Paige to get out of her compromised stationary object.

Happy has a plan that Walter rejects. She sees similarities in this small Mexican town to the American one she grew up in. Using what she knows of the gun rigs, she believes she can get answers from the locals. Despite Walter’s strong objection. She’s getting the cold shoulder. Walking through an alley, the unsuspecting Happy gets knocked out, bagged, and taken.

Happy has been kidnapped by a child, hoping to improve his station in life, like the Cartel. His big misstep is assuming that an Americans come from wealthy families willing to pay obscene ransoms. Walter is getting owned by the recycling encryption code he’s been trying to beat. Then Toby starts to worry about Happy. On cue she appears.

Toby: Where have you been?
Happy: I…got kidnapped.
Toby: Kidnapped by who?
Happy: This guy (she pulls him into view). He wasn’t very good at it.

They argue over the risk of bringing a petty criminal into the fold. Walter insists that the kid doesn’t know anything and based on his criminal intent has no intention of pointing them in the right direction. Toby observes the kid’s body language and disagrees. Toby offers the kid what equates to a Price is Right Showcase for males 14-25 (video games, flat screen, etc). As a show of ‘trust’ Toby leaves the room. The idea is that the kid will accept and take them to the Cartel. Instead, Toby left temptations in the room. Namely wallets with cash and the tablet device he used to show the prize the kid was set to get. Instead of agreeing to the deal, the kid bounces. With the cash but more importantly the tablet. Which they can track.

Upon a basic Bing search of the tenement they believe is the location, many speed bumps reveal themselves. There are lasers and guards. Walter uses a diode from a coo-coo clock and connects it to the internal part of his tablet. The idea being that on site, the diode will send a series of signals out then bounce back with information leading to a rough idea of what (namely a guard) might be around the corner. Feasible plan in theory made more difficult by the constant bickering between the team. Toby and Happy are still upset about the TV interview.

The first attempt at using the diode to identify people they can’t see through the wall seems to work. They split up for more coverage. Paige knocks on a door and identifies herself as Sophie in need of fluids for her baby. In perfect Spanish. Once the door is opened, Paige gives the real story quickly, again in Spanish. The woman behind the door invites them in.

Cabe yells out “hey scumbags!” and unloads a clip from a machine gun. The Cartel lackeys, grab their guns and all head out. With the gunman looking for Cabe, Toby helps Happy scale the side of the building from floor 2 to floor 3. Cabe calls out again. A firefight ensues. Cabe employs the figurative ‘rope-a-dope’ positioning himself under a cement staircase.

Apparently not all of the gunmen left. Happy gets hit after telling the daughter they were here to get her out. He kicks her in the head then grabs her to pull her up. Then he says something that is utterly stupid. I love how the criminals in these shows act like cats. Whatever they ‘mark’ or steal, now belongs to them and is to be protected as their own possession.

Criminal: You come into our home and try to take what’s ours?

In the last possible moment before the gunman pulls the trigger to end Happy’s life, the kid that grabbed her the first time knocks out the gunman he seems to look up to so much. While Cabe is under some significant gunfire, Happy is lowering Zoe (the daughter) by a bed sheet to the second floor. They convene and depart together. Just to wind up facing 5 gunman with guns drawn. “You messed with the wrong people, my friends”. Let me say again how stupid this is. Not what the show is doing, but the criminal mentality. Criminals kidnap the daughter of an American billionaire. American Billionaire gives them essentially four million dollars and doesn’t get his daughter back. Billionaire sends a team to retrieve her. Criminals get indignant at the prospect of someone retrieving their family member that was illegally stolen and held for ransom. Where’s the logic? She was never yours, so why get so offended when the victim attempts to steal back what you already stole? It’s not a Scorpion thing, it’s merely a reflection of an actual mentality that exists.

A backup plan was put in place that is just now revealed. Happy and Walter reconfigured the motion sensor machine gun on the roof of the building. This one is set to only the area to the right of the door. The side the bad guys are on. They move any closer, and the machine gun will cut them down. One guy calls Happy a derogatory word in Spanish and steps forward. And subsequently get shot. Then we have a lovely back and forth, mostly from Scorpion members.

Happy: I improved your gun. You so much as move a trigger finger, you’re dead.
Walter: I can see that you’re all scared, that’s good it means you won’t do anything stupid.
Toby: Like move again.
Cabe: This is how this is going to go down. My friends and I are going to walk Zoe right out that door. And none of you are going to do a damn thing about it. You try to intervene, it’ll be the last thing you ever do.
Walter: I put a 24-hour battery on the motion sensor, so for your sake, I hope that you and your men…are disciplined.
Toby: Now remember. Your nose. Does. Not. Itch.

They find the young man from earlier walking down the same dirt road. Happy insists they stop. She then asks for Cabe’s watch. He mentions its value, both monetary and sentimental. She insists again, citing that he saved her life. “Sell the watch, get a train ticket and move far away from here”.
The emotional reunion between father and daughter may just grease the skids on what’s to come. Walter apologized to the group and after a short silence, everyone seemed alright again. With the exception of Sylvester. Walter gave Sylvester the cold shoulder throughout the entire mission. Which in some manner of speaking came after Walter gave him permission to date ‘any woman’, then insisted Sylvester just say what he wanted to say.

Sylvester: Why aren’t I good enough for your sister. I know the obvious. My stress, my anxiety, but I’m a good person. Which should count for something. It hurts me.
Walter: Sylvester, you are kind and generous and a better human being than I will ever be. But I have spent a very long time preparing myself for the fact that Megan will very likely die. My research is not going as quickly as I had hoped for. And I don’t know if I can save her, now I can handle the fallout. But you are not designed to process the pain that you’re going to feel. Getting close to her is dangerous, for you.
Sylvester: She calms me Walter. She makes me feel good about myself. And I know there is a risk. But if there’s one thing that’s worth the risk, its her.
Walter: I’m glad she’s found such a good guy.
(man hug)

Sylvester then shows up to visit Megan unannounced. He’s brought with him the coo-coo clock as a gift and music. Megan was told she’d never dance again. So Sylvester is going dance with her. She resists, but eventually obliges. Putting her feet on his, Sylvester is able to “Support Her” which he actually says to her in one of the great awkward but successful romantic moments one can see.

Mr. Elliot, the billionaire, comes back to thank Walter again. In doing so, asks about the rocket. Mr. Elliot is on the board with the gentleman who has put up the 15 million dollar prize for Aerospace Advancement. Walter’s goal of course being that a 15 million dollar check cut to MS research would fast track help for Megan. Mr. Elliot offers Walter a job to work at his think tank. Walter gazes over to his remaining team dancing. Toby specifically who is grooving with a colander on his head and declines.