Ralph Brown

All posts tagged Ralph Brown

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A TV show such as the NBC series “The Blacklist,” likely wouldn’t have aired 20-years-ago, as the show revels in displaying corruption in the United States Government. The series has shown it’s viewers time and again, that there are villains and monsters within the Government, who are just as evil and deadly as the people on the Blacklist. We know that Alan Fitch, the former Assistant National Security Director was deeply involved in an international cartel, that if discovered, would see its members behind bars, or in the ground. The brief dealings we’ve had with Fitch’s boss the National Security Director, have made us wary of the character as well.

During the last few months, we’ve met a new Government official, whose flat-out told us he has no principles, which is how he attained his power. His name’s Tom Connolly, who at least in his own mind will become the next United States Attorney General and an old friend of Assistant FBI Director and Task Force Director Harold Cooper. Connolly’s proved he’s a dangerous man to cross, as Cooper found out first-hand in the series latest episode “The Longevity Initiative.” However, we’ll get back to Connolly a bit later.

Our opening graphic tells us we’re starting out in New York City, as we go into a laboratory and listen to a conversation between two men in their mid-thirties, in front of a wall-to-ceiling aquarium, filled with jellyfish.  One of them looks like a scientist, well-trimmed beard, glasses, wearing a tweed-jacket, the other sporting a sweater. The man in the sweater says to his colleague that this is the third one this month and the other man tells him he’s aware of that. The guy in the sweater says this isn’t what he was brought in for, he says I thought we were only supposed to find them.

The man in the sweater said he needs his colleague to be more careful, and the man in the jacket asks him if he’s now telling him how to do his job? The man in the sweater says someone’s going to get wind of this and we’ll end up in prison. His colleague says the man’s getting very well compensated for his risks and asks if he wants him to find a replacement and the man in the sweater says no.

A while later the man’s driving a delivery truck when a cop pulls him over and asks for license and registration, then asks to look in the back of the truck where he discovers three mutilated dead bodies. The driver shoots the cop, then steals the cruiser, leaving the truck and his victims behind as another cruiser arrives on the scene.

Charlene Cooper’s waking up the next morning, sees her husband Harold’s out of bed and his cane’s resting against his nightstand. She worriedly rushes to the living-room and Harold says for the first time in months he doesn’t need the cane. The trial project he’s on, has shrunk the tumor in his brain and he’s starting to feel like himself again.

Liz Keen’s still in her motel room, when her cellphone rings and it’s Tom saying he’s in trouble, Liz said the judge dismissed all charges and he says it’s not that. Red blew his cover in Dresden and now some dangerous people are looking for him and he can’t contact his handler. As soon as the words leave his mouth, the Major pulls up and tells him to get in, Tom tells Liz to have a good night, that evening and she hangs up.

After she’s arrived at the Task Force headquarters, Red and Dembe enter her office, Red clutching a gift bag. He pulls a bottle of wine out of the bag and gives it to her and she asks what’s this? Raymond says you don’t remember the vines, do you, the ones you and Sam used to pick grapes from? She smiles and says of course she does, they grew along the gate. Red tells her the bottle she’s holding, contains wine that she and Sam (her stepfather) made when she was a child, then wishes her a happy birthday. He says to share it with someone special, however the wine’s likely undrinkable at this point so he bought her another bottle of wine from 1981.

Reddington then gets down to business and asks Keen what she knows of the Longevity Initiative, and she replies she never heard of it. He tells her it’s a foundation run and started by Tech Billionaire Roger Hobbs, they’re trying to stop the aging process and allow humans to live forever in great shape. He then asks her if she heard of the shooting of the New York State policeman and she says there were three mutilated bodies found, but the suspect escaped. Red says they weren’t mutilated, they got experimented on, he believes that Hobbs’ started clinical trials and they were some of the patients. He then suggests she talks to Hobbs.

The foundation lacks a formal center so Hobbs meets Keen and Ressler at his house. Dressed casually and projecting self-confidence, he explains to the two agents that they’re attempting to solve the puzzle of death, they back projects that conventional investors won’t touch and the project means the world to him. Liz says that information’s come forth saying researchers linked to his project have begun clinical treatments on patients and he denies any involvement. He says he’s got a stadium full of attorneys, but he’s talking with them, because the project’s so important to him. Keen asks for a list of all his employees and he agrees to cooperate fully, but his facial expression shows some anguish as they leave.

Donald and Liz go to meet the Medical Examiner Dr. Jeffrey Maynard next and he tells them that all three victims had frontal lobe damage before they got abducted and experimented on. He realized it when he got the identity of the man on his table, William Eckoff who disappeared from a care facility three days earlier. Maynard says that cells were put into their brain, some human stem-cells, but other cells that weren’t human.

The scientist gets a call from the driver, who tells him he killed a cop and he’s fleeing the country and he suggests the other guy follows his lead. The scientist says he can’t do that then hangs up the phone, realizing his world’s falling down around him.

Harold gets a visit from his old pal the snake in the grass, Tom Connolly, who asks Cooper how he’s feeling. Harold responds partially thanks to him, he’s doing great, hasn’t felt this good since before he got attacked last year. Tom then reminds Cooper why you don’t let snakes grant you favors as the payback’s a bear, he brings up Roger Hobbs and says he hears Harold’s Task-Force’s investigating him. Cooper’s savvy enough to realize Connolly’s trying to get Harold to drop the investigation, but he denies that was his intention. He then tells Cooper to do what ever he believes is right, but we know he’s going to pull something.

Keen and Ressler visit the care facility that Eckoff got abducted from and find out from one of the patients, Eckoff was taken by a rep from Gold Crown Pharmaceuticals, named Lloyd Monroe. When they return to the Task-Force headquarters, Aram informs them that he’s bought a bus ticket in Buffalo to Canada and Keen tells him to get local police to stop the bust and arrest Monroe.

The Major tells Tom that he taking him to Hilltop Lanes, he’s to go to locker number B-15 and there are plane tickets waiting in there for him, he’s to take the first flight to London and meet a man named Mr. Pitts. Keen reaches into his bag and realizes his gun’s missing, he soon realizes Bill took it and he’s now about to kill him with it. He says to Tom the girl cost you your life, when they’re T-Boned by another car. Some men come out f the other vehicle and shoot out the Major’s car’s windows, then the old German man from Dresden grabs Keen and says Christoff old pal, we’ve been looking for you.

Monroe gives up his colleague almost as soon as he meets with Liz and Donald, the scientist’s Dr. Julian Powell, who used to work for one of Hobbs’ corporations, Sadobo Solutions. They raid his lab and find more victims and Dr. Maynard’s amazed at Powell’s work, as he’s tried to replicate the Immortal Jellyfish’s ability to regenerate when they get old or suffer mortal danger. That’s the cells he put into his victims brains.

Powell calls Hobbs, who tells him he’s discredited the Longevity Initiative and Hobbs with his experiments, but Hobbs will protect him if he gets to Hobbs’ home. Powell says this is bigger than you, bigger than all of us and hangs up.

The old German’s boss Elias, also survived the bullet barrage of Reddington, Ressler and Dembe in Dresden and they’ve got the Major and Keen bound on a couch. Elias slits the inner seam of Tom’s thigh with his knife but Keen says he won’t talk. Then one of the men bring Elias Tom’s wallet and there’s a picture of the ultra-sound of the baby he and Lizzie planned to adopt, with Lizzie’s name on it. Keen says he’ll talk if they promise not to touch Liz, then says she’s FBI. The old man tells Elias they don’t want trouble from the Bureau, so they agree to Keen’s terms, he tells them a client paid him to find out who in “The Disenfranchised,” murdered a woman named Sarah Hastings. Bill goes ballistic when Keen talks and vows to get even.

Hobbs calls on Red to eliminate Powell, but Reddington actually has other ideas. He wants to use Powell’s knowledge to try to recover a stolen memory of a young woman he cares about. The memory got literally erased from her mind as a child. Powell says in theory he could, but there’s a fundamental flaw in his work and tells Raymond he’ll show him.

Cooper gets a call from the doctor conducting the trial-program, Dr. Levin and Cooper says he’s feeling fantastic, Levin says that statement’s going to make his news even harder to share with Harold. They just finished a cost-evaluation meeting and it’s possible Harold could be pushed out of the program. Levin says he’ll do his best for Cooper as he cares deeply for he and Charlene. Harold hangs up the phone, realizing that Connolly’s applying pressure tactics to keep Hobbs out of trouble.

Powell takes Reddington to his fiancée’s home, she also suffers from a frontal lobe injury as he crashed a car after falling asleep at the wheel, six weeks after they got engaged. The house is exactly as it was when his fiancée suffered her injury, with the calendar reading April, 2005. He tells Red that he faked all his results so Hobbs kept bankrolling him, but he’s a failure. He takes a revolver out of a desk drawer and shoots himself in the chin.

Hobbs and Reddington are at Hobbs’ home listening to a news report on Powell’s death and Hobbs congratulates Red on doing a good job. Raymond replies it’s done nothing can come back to you, Hobbs’ thanks him for sparing him the rest of his days in a Federal Penitentiary.

Lizzie’s furious at Red for she assumes killing Powell, but Raymond tells her he killed himself. He then tells Keen not to rush to make Roger Hobbs an enemy. He says to Liz that a dark cloud’s approaching she’s not aware of and when it arrives, he’ll be a really good friend, exactly at the moment he needs to be.

Harold goes to see Connolly and Tom’s in a tux, getting ready to attend a fundraiser, he remarks that Hobbs came out fine. Cooper asks if Tom’s aware of the phone call he received saying he might get bounced from the medical trial and Connolly plays dumb, then says he won’t get kicked out, as Tom will make a call. Then he says that’s what friends do for friends.

Liz sits in her office alone the night of her birthday, when Ressler walks in with a box of takeout food from her favorite restaurant, she breaks out the wine she and Sam made and the pair are soon sloshed and very content. Raymond sits in the back of his car, looking at photographs of a young girl growing up, that resemble Liz strongly.

The Major’s outside, with his back against a chain-link fence, talking on his phone, he tells the party on the other end he doesn’t care about time or money, he wants Jacob Phelps, (Tom’s real name) found. Tom’s standing in front of a fire destroying all the phony passports and documents Bill gave him over the years. Liz then enters her motel room still tipsy, when Tom shuts the door and pins her against the wall. She asks what he’s doing and he says he didn’t know where else to go.

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

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

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

1943 we find the Russian doctor in a wartime camp. He is asked to help by using his “powers” to convince the wounded mind that they will feel no pain. Maybe a little insight into a further plan for this doctor. It was effective enough that a doctor could take a bone saw to a man’s leg and that man feel literally nothing.

Back at SSR, Sousa and the rest take turns interrogating Carter. They could save themselves a great deal of time by accepting that Carter is much better at this than them. Sousa is particularly cold. Dooley predictably acts like Dooley in this situation. However, Jack Thompson is not himself. Nor should he be. Carter saved his skin and at the same time, proved her metal and than some. He is the only one to accepts that none of this is adding up. Regardless of the evidence they think they have, they are still barking up the wrong tree.

Carter: You think you know me. But I’ve never been more than what each of you have created. To you, I’m a stray kitten left on your doorstep to be protected. The secretary turned damsel in distress. The girl on the pedestal transformed into some daft whore. You’re behaving like children. What’s worse, what’s far worse is that this, is schotty police work.

With Dotty in the wind, a misstep Carter was happy to point out, we find her purchasing a baby stroller. Responding to the store clerk’s presumption that she’s not far along (pregnancy wise) Dotty replies with, “it’s coming sooner than you think”.

Jarvis nonchalantly walks into the entrance to the SSR that is disguised as a telephone company switchboard. He finds the lead lady at the end of the row and asks to see Chief Dooley. She play the ignorance card as she reaches for the revolver fastened under her station. Jarvis tries to convey that he’s been here before and that she should just patch him in on the board. With one significant piece of documentation the entire SSR would be interested in.

Jarvis: I’m looking for Chief Dooley
Operator: I’m sorry, I don’t know who that is.
Jarvis: He runs this operation. The SSR that is. I’ve been here before for questioning.
Operator: Sir, I wish that we could help you but we are very busy here, only authorized personnel are allowed in here.
Jarvis: If you could just punch him up on your board and tell him that Edwin Jarvis is here…With a signed confession of Howard Stark. (everyone in the room abruptly stops)

The ‘confession’ has Stark owning up to everything, even things he could not physically done. The confession was supposed to be enough to get Carter and Jarvis freed. Dooley’s many things but stupid isn’t one of them. Again, something doesn’t add up. Instead, they retain Carter and Jarvis and wait to meet with Stark personally a few hours from now. In the meantime it seems that she will be cleaning out her desk.

This charade, and that’s exactly what it is, was all perpetrated by Jarvis in a moment of panic. Stark is not landing in Teterboro. There isn’t going to be a face to face. And Howard Stark did not sign a confession of any kind. With Carter and Jarvis detained, there is little they can do. The Russian doctor who recently began helping Dooley with his dying marriage is left alone. Like last week, he’s communicating with Dotty from across the street using Morse Code. Only this time Carter sees it. Carter writes in down and Jarvis reads the translation as she does so. It’s a time-table. “Prepare for the evacuation, 90 minutes”. To which Carter says out loud, “Leviathan’s coming”.

Her only play is to come clean on the fake confession in order to give a real one and I assume get people out of there in the next 90 minutes. Of course when the conversation transitions from what she did do and what needs to happen next, her pleas fall on deaf ears. Well, Dooley isn’t buying it. Sousa and Thompson might be. There is one last thing that could tip the scales. They found the sphere that hold Roger’s blood on her person. Something she wasn’t willing to divulge until now.

It worked, at least for now. They send a few men across the street to check out the claims of the communication between the Doctor and the building across the street. Dooley will keep an eye on the Doctor. If the Doctor believes he’s blown, this could end badly for Dooley. The word “Focus” and a few spins of his wedding ring, and Dooley is lost in the trance. Inside the trance, the Doctor suggests that after this they have something to take care of.

Apparently out of the trance, Dooley makes a b-line for Carter and Jarvis. He takes them into a small interrogation room. Then pulls a gun on both of them. He leaves them in there, locks the door, then breaks the key off in the door. Dooley with the Doctor evacuate the lab based on a false claim of negligence. The Doctor is looking for Stark item #17.

Thompson and Sousa are canvassing the building across the street. Dotty spots Sousa and retreats back into the room. She waits. Then re-emerges. She sees Sousa’s shadow and continues. Sousa tells her to freeze when she passes him. He should’ve just shot her like Thompson suggested. She eludes Sousa and Jason Bourne’s it down the stairwell (not once touching the stairs). She lands and a man has a gun on her. She smiles and does nothing.

Before the Doctor leaves with item #17, Dooley’s mind begins to break free. He actually says out loud that he feels like he should hold on to this item. The Doctor ramps up the mojo and things go as he’s planned. Dooley left holding a military grade vest of some kind. Dotty picks the Doctor up outside. She says that they’ve been compromised. He’s not shaken. Something about that vest seems to be enough of an issue that he believes the SSR will soon have their hands full.

Dooley heads home to see his wife and kids, but not really. It was all a dream set up by the Doctor. Dooley wakes to find he’s wearing the vest, except now it’s illuminating. Heat coils pulsating. Jarvis gets the agents up to speed on what it is and its volatile nature. As the coils heat up, as his internal temperature increases, it speeds up the heating process. At some point it will explode. So with no real good ideas, Dooley does the only thing he can to save his men. Steals Thompson’s gun.

Dooley gives his final orders. Thompson is to convey the situation to Dooley’s wife. And Carter is to get the man who did this. The vest begins to pulsate much faster. Dooley takes off running towards the outer wall shooting out the window, then he leaps out of the window. He explodes outside a good 5 stories above the street.
Carter thinks she’s got something, with the blood of Steve Rogers and Brannis set to steal something.

Meanwhile, Dotty takes her baby stroller into a movie theater. Turns on a gas valve of some sort, then locking the doors behind her. Cap’s blood is fine, but they discover item #17 is missing. The worst part is, Jarvis knows nothing about it. The gas released in the theater brings on coughing and eventually violent behavior.

An usher escorts a straggler couple to the theater in question. She sees the door has been closed with a crow bar through the handles. She opens it to reveal the remains of a blood bath. Could be very possible that this is what did all the carnage at the battle of Vinall.

Original Image Courtesy of ABC

Original Image Courtesy of ABC