Legends: Guilt, Sadness, and a Right of Passage

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Episode recaps
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Warning: Spoiler Alert

In last week’s attempted raid on the Chechen VX lab, we had a ‘good news/bad news’ scenario. Good news is that they were able to rescue the Hubbard’s. The bad news is that they found no VX gas. Meanwhile Auerbach (Martin Odum) secured a deal to purchase the VX gas the old-fashioned way. Despite his ‘questionable’ tactics in order to secure such a deal.

Last week, in order to maintain the legend and ensure a deal could be reached, Auerbach had to administer a small amount of VX gas into the eye-ball of some poor already dead nobody. Today with three mentions of it in the first five minutes one thing is clear. It was no little thing. This seems to be affecting the him.

After a quick update from Crystal to Gates about where they stand with Auerbach and the deal, we find Auerbach slouched in his upscale apartment with a gun laying on the couch but pointed at the door when Paulanos appears in the doorway. As expected, coitus followed. Then post-coitus, there is a sharing of “what could be if we lived different lives”. Then Paulanos shares the back story that she was orphaned when she was two and the Colonel adopted her when she was 10. Forced to live in cages, as she describes it.

Auerbach and Paulanos go to meet the Colonel in a park. After a little small talk, the Colonel presents the metal case that contains the VX gas. Auerbach gets a small peek into the box and immediately finishes the wire transfer. The Colonel without a single word, gets up and walks away.
As soon as Auerbach says the words, “pleasure doing business with you” Crystal and the FBI emerge from the bushes and unmarked vehicles. The very next instant shots ring out from behind windows in the buildings above. The sniper gets taken out a few moments later. Crystal chases the Colonel on foot. He is feet from getting away when his driver turns to shoot Crystal. Crystal takes him out with a single shot. Thus, leaving the Colonel with nowhere to go.

Auerbach runs toward his car with Paulanos following. She jumps in the back seat while Auerbach and the package stay up front. He starts driving. While Paulanos is freaking out in the back seat about what she cannot go back to, Auerbach takes off his sunglasses and rubs his eyes.

Paulanos: We can’t go back to the hotel. Where are we going?
Auerbach/Odum: You’re not going home. You’re under arrest. It’s over Anna.

I should mention that at the 16 minute mark, we’ve completely thrown typical episodic timelines out of the window. At this moment, it feels like we’re about to experience closure to the VX gas story line. With how this show disregard’s the expected timeline, I get the feeling one of two things will happen. 1) the VX gas thing is not over or 2) it is over and we’ll jump right in to the next thing.

This is not the first mention of Rice, but it’s the first scene worth mentioning. Rice is following leads on the Odum/Subway investigation. Said leads take him to Bixby’s diner. Around the corner some homeless like to hang out. After ‘Kenny’ tries to stab Rice with a flat head screwdriver, Rice subdues him. He presents a picture of Odum. Kenny recognizes him but mentions the woman. Rice rejects the idea that anyone other than Odum killed the man in the green jacket. Kenny is steadfast in denying it. The woman came out of the crowd, stabbed him and then (Odum) came running in.
There is a meeting including all of Crystal’s team, Gates and some guy I assume is Gates’ boss. They discovered that the VX gas is really hair spray. They quickly look through their options. Odum matter-of-factually asserts that he knows they have it. When they inquire as to how he knows that, the elephant is 100% in the room. Instead of telling them that he put the VX in the man’s eye, he simply states that, “I saw his eyes and mouth foam over. then he died a few seconds later”. When Odum leaves the room, you can see that Crystal believes something’s up.

Crystal goes into the interrogation room that’s holding the Colonel. We are conditioned to see the division of control in these situations and they are rarely in favor of law enforcement, not with a guy like the Colonel. Crystal plays right into his hands. Walking into a situation where he can grin and say,

Colonel: Do you know what we do to women like you where I’m from?
Crystal: Rape. Murder. Just like you did to Anna’s mother?
Colonel: Things happen in war.
(Crystal gets up to leave)
Colonel: Where is she?
Crystal: Right down the hall. Oh and by the way, only one of you gets a deal. I hope she’s not upset about something.

The Colonel opens his mouth before Crystal can leave. He wants a specific jet fueled, a clear path of airspace, and Anna. If not there will be a VX attack within the hour. Then another. Then another. And so on. Later, Maggie fields a phone call. She jumps out of her desk and runs into Gates’ office.

Maggie: There’s been an attack. On a city bus. They’re saying its chemical.

Side note. In shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Supernatural we have learned that no one is ever really dead. In Legends, I’m starting to discover that no Legend is really dead or compromised. In a video conference scene with the director of the FBI we see those in a position to do something almost standing off. On one side, get the Colonel out of the country so he can call it off (something seems fishy about that), on the other we don’t negotiate with terrorists (essentially, not quoting).

After trying to convince the Director that they need to turn Anna and use her as an asset for Dante Auerbach, Odum leaves to do just that. What ensues is beautiful. Not all time great, but beautiful nonetheless. The expectation is that Anna will be cold and not budge. Which is true. Then she starts in with the lies she was told by Auerbach. She thinks she’s going to turn the knife on Odum. But instead, Odum quickly turns the tables. Asking how Anna’s mother was killed. Then connecting the dots that the Colonel adopted her for no other reason than guilt. Guilt for raping and killing her mother.

Crystal goes in to Anna’s interrogation room with a tablet. She plays the video footage of the earlier conversation with the Colonel. Where he makes no attempt to deny raping and killing Anna’s mother. There is a subtle realization moment for Anna. Then Crystal lays out the deal which includes, “no more than five years in prison”. Anna’s face gets cold again. She slowly turns and says, “you want me to spend 5 years in a cage?” Which is important, because earlier she described her orphanage as all of them being forced to live in small cages.

The very next scene is Gates and Crystal escorting the Colonel to an SUV in a vacant parking garage. They are both visibly unhappy that they have to cut him loose. All part of the ploy. When he gets into the vehicle, Anna is already there. Looking very displeased.

The convoy is under attack. Explosions everywhere. Military vehicles come out of nowhere. As the feds jump out to neutralize the attack, most of them get hit. Including Crystal. Between you and me, I’ve spent each second of this as if it were planned. Once in the chopper and safely away from FBI custody, the man in the copilot’s seat turns slowly and removes his mask. It’s Dante Auerbach.

Auerbach: You picked the wrong man to rip off Colonel. You and I have unfinished business.

The chopper lands and they cordially enter a small house in the middle of nowhere. The house is completely vacant. Auerbach orders the Colonel to take a seat in the one chair in the room. The Colonel begins to chuckle as if to say, “look at this silly predicament we find ourselves in”. Auerbach does not hesitate. He hits the Colonel in the face repeatedly with a hand gun. Which is necessary to sell the bit. I should note that it is increasingly creepy that we are watching these two men figuratively dance around, and in the Colonel’s case, attempt to negotiate while blood is steadily trickling down his face.

Auerbach tells the Colonel to call off the other attacks as it would be problematic for his buyers. Once he does, the Colonel looks up and almost jokingly says, “still friends?” Auerbach leans in with a smirk and jams a Rambo style knife into his hand between the bones that eventually become the middle and ring fingers. The knife stays there for an uncomfortable amount of time. Then Auerbach proceeds to twist the knife before removing it.

Crystal enters the room Auerbach is now in. She makes an attempt to ‘support’ him in his efforts. Which Odum, reads as her trying to handle him or ‘manage’ him. There was a moment there, where Odum began to chuckle that weird almost sinister laugh and I actually thought was the beginning of him ‘losing it’. While that may still be a way off, he is taking the bus attack personally.

In the holding room Anna and the Colonel sit. One considerably more bloody than the other. He claims they will “kill us both anyway”. She does not respond. And in the first 10% of her head turn, it is almost a certainty that she will try to get him to admit he raped and killed her mother. Thus, putting in jeopardy this entire plan. However, she does the contrary. She gets the Colonel to actually give a heartfelt explanation. When he’s done, she walks over to him and demands he get her out of here. She’s pinning his own guilt against him.

This is the part where the good guy and his plan walk into the bank with the bad guy to retrieve the item. In this case it’s VX gas. However, with the way this episode has gone, I don’t feel confident that it will be an easy exchange. Furthermore, Crystal did a great job trying to put a hex on the whole thing with her, “we got him”. They go to open the vault. Auerbach shares his distrust. Which is the exact moment you should expect something bad. Like an explosion to the face for Auerbach. Also, it was obvious that 5 liters of VX gas were not going to fit into that size of a safety deposit box. In all of the commotion, the Colonel removes the two keys and inserts them into a much larger box. Where there is VX gas.

And now we have a Dog Day Afternoon situation. Oh…these freaking guys. With each man pointing a gun at the other man’s face, Anna picks up a guard’s gun and points it at Auerbach. He then pulls the other gun from behind his back. Now we have the Colonel’s gun pointed at Auerbach, Auerbach pointing a gun at the Colonel and Anna, and Anna pointing a gun at Auerbach.

When they return from the final commercial break, we discover pretty quickly that Anna’s gun is not pointed at Auerbach. Her line of sight just made it seem that way. She begins to slowly step toward the Colonel, always in her sights. There’s that moment when someone who is emotionally compromised is holding a gun and getting more emotional with every passing moment, and you believe she will lower her gun at any second. Then there are times when the emotional wreck pops the guy in the throat. As Anna alluded to before, she cannot go back into a cage. She raises her gun again and Crystal takes her out.

I have to say, at this point, I am almost disappointed when there is closure to anything in this show. I think I love the idea that there is no telling when the episode will end. Story line wise. That said, a very enjoyable episode. And here is the fun part. I get the suspicion that all of these episodes, the Virginia Extremist group to bomb the economic summit all the way to Anna and the Colonel, are a set up before we venture into the larger overarching story of Martin Odum’s legitimate identity. I think with closure on this story line, combined with Rice perhaps believing that Odum didn’t kill the man in the green jacket, and now the way this episode ended feels like a nice transition to the bigger story. However, this show is anything but predictable.

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