Legends: Feminine Deception

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Episode recaps

Photo Credit: Courtesy of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The cold open in tonight’s episode is important, as I am sure it signifies the next story line. However, on a show with the quality of Legends, I can do without the Law and Order style cold open. The second the kid got off of his bike, I actually said out loud, “oh you’re a dead man”.

In an effort to catch up, the major bombshell from last week was something I have hinted at for a few weeks. Gates (Odum’s boss and #1 supporter) and Sonya Odum (Odum’s estranged wife) revealed that they are in fact in cahoots. They are in on this big something. It almost feels like the Truman show. We still technically don’t know what ‘it’ is, but its huge.

We find Martin Odum defending his actions in front of a group of condescending suits, again. It must be a huge drawback to the job of law enforcement or governmental agency. Too much time defending your actions. This time it’s not only the Deputy Director but also the US attorney’s office and Internal Affairs. The substance of that conversation, if we want to call it that, is relatively unimportant. What is important is the end of that scene. I’ve mentioned that Gates is ‘in on it’. After Odum says, “sounds like a fancy way of calling me a liar” he walks out. Then there is a long stare between Gates and Deputy Director. Which prompted me to yell out, “OH HE’S IN ON IT TOO!” We’ll see if there’s anything to it later.

The man in question from the cold open makes an appearance in a park with a slightly older American man. They communicated cryptically to ensure whatever ‘it’ is, is still a go.

There’s a knock at Odum’s door. It’s Gates. Who starts off their interaction by saying, “Well, you’re still in the FBI…”. Then informs Odum that as part of whatever this is, Tony Rice was transferred to DCO. Interesting. They had to do it at some point, I just figured there’d be more of a build up as opposed to the subtle drop in.

What followed is dangerous damage control. Gates brought with him a manila envelope with the picture showing Odum in Iraq that sent him to Texas in the first place. It’s not dangerous in the immediate future. However, with the way Gates is presenting this ‘doctored photo’, it’s going to come off wrong to Odum. And it should be enough to get the wheels in Odum’s head moving. He cannot trust Gates, and the sooner he comes to that conclusion, the sooner we can start to piece together the big story line.

The next scene, predictably, is Odum at home alone running what he thinks are facts through his own mind. In his day-dream sequence, Sonya says something intriguing. “You were in a coma. And when you woke up, you didn’t remember things. Not even me.” Calling it feasible doesn’t quite say it but, it is feasible that Martin Odum pre-2004 was a completely different person. The incident in 2004 whether it was some Jason Bourne stuff or just a horrific car accident, it seems apparent that whatever happened was literally the ‘start of the rest of Odum’s life’.

Aahhhh. Maggie’s having relationship issues. I don’t really care at this point, but they must have incorporated it for a reason. A reason that hopefully is more significant that having Agent Tony Rice standing awkwardly while she finishes a personal phone call with her back to him.

In the briefing room minus Odum, the State Department has clued us into the problem. Prince Abboud is coming to visit as the second highest ranking official in the Saudi Arabian hierarchy this is high-profile. He’s also in charge of the oil from his country which makes him very unpopular. They have a suspect, but I’m skeptical. Let’s remember Legends does not restrict itself to the typical guidelines of a procedural drama.

Has anyone else noticed, that anytime. Literally any time Ali Larter’s character Crystal is engaging (i.e. not wearing clothing that reads FBI is bold yellow letters) she’s playing the ‘slut it up’ angle? We find her in an art gallery giving our ‘suspect’ the signals, like he’s about to get lucky because his shirts tucked in or he’s drinking from a wine glass. The play however, was to grab his attention as a sympathizer toward his pro-Saudi regime change ideals. He was slightly more stand off-ish that one might expect in this scenario.

Odum and Rice sit in a car waiting for our special suspect to arrive home. He does shortly there after. While they are watching, and Odum is complaining, he does a “dead drop”. He placed a card or paper in a fast food cup, closed the lid and dropped it by a tree, obviously for someone else to pick up. The person intended for the dead drop is a women’s rights activist played by Christine Adams.

The next morning, Odum and Rice are parked outside her apartment building. Maggie conveys her admiration for Ms. Hani Jibril as a ‘freedom fighter for women’s rights’ to Crystal. Later, after Ms. Jibril leaves, there is a nice exchange between Odum and the ladies at the office. Odum mentions circumstances or loopholes that might make it legal for him to enter her apartment for recon purposes.

The chemistry between Odum and Rice as partners in the moment is lovely. I’ve wanted Rice to join DCO since the second episode. This is following the desired trajectory for me quite nicely. Inside her apartment, disguised as dishwasher repairmen, Odum and Rice begin to run through the residence looking for anything to tie her to the assassination attempt. While they begin, Odum notices a man outside taking photos of him in the apartment with a long zoom lens. Smoothly, Rice moves in to Odum’s space and suggest he (Rice) continues to look busy while Odum introduces himself to the amateur photographer.

What happens is a quick fist fight between Odum and Hassan that does not end well for Hassan. Who keeps repeating that Odum needs to contact the Saudi embassy because he has diplomatic immunity. Not knowing the letter of the law as it pertains to diplomatic immunity, I’m no expert, but I’ve got to think that the concealed weapon and shady behavior can’t be completely within the scope of the provision.

Gates swoops in to inform Odum that Hassan checks out. And for about the sixth time in this episode alone, anything Gates says is shrouded by the sensation of deception. As a team, they feel they need more information before deciding on a course. Gates wants Odum and Rice to get more information by way of Odum using a Legend. Introducing Sebastian Egan. Rice and Egan attend a lecture given by Ms Jibril. At its conclusion, a man (assuming he is of Arab descent) questions the manner by which a people become fanatics. Asserting that somehow the overreaching of the United States created the fanaticism. Trying to convince the crowd that the egg indeed must have come before the chicken.

Egan: And there we have it ladies and gentlemen. We see how far the rot has spread. And how tragically the foundations have crumbled. I’d just like to say, that I’m with Ms. Jibril on this one. I think we should fight theocracy all the way. Free speech, women’s rights, for a more pluralistic democracy. And I think you sir, should be ashamed for mocking the very people who guard you while you sleep. (Roaring applause for the size of the room)

After the event, Rice and Egan stick around to indulge in some refreshments. All part of the Legend. Sebastian Egan is a drinker. Even when Rice suggests maybe Egan should slow down, Egan (in character as the Legend) without skipping a beat gives a quick response about alcohol lifting the spirits, thus the name spirits. The next moment, Jibril shows up to voice her thanks for their vocal support. By the end of their very short exchange, Jibril claims she plans to make a movie and to get Prince Abboud on camera. Not exactly the assassination attempt confession they were hoping for.

The voice of the first suspect is heard on Jibril’s voice mail setting up a meeting for 3:30 the next day. Then immediately following, we see that same first suspect and Hassan working on what looks like to me, a bomb of some sort. A bomb very similar to the one that killed the kid in the cold open. The meeting was to minimize communication as security is getting tight. He also refers to her as ‘honey’ which is peculiar but may not mean anything.

Back at Odum’s apartment, Sonya waits. I really dislike her thus far in the series. Almost as bad but not quite as my dislike for Skylar White. Before I even watch this dialogue unfold, does anyone believe she isn’t there to patch things up and get back together? Not because her heart wants it, but because Gates ordered her to.

Egan: On one side, the Prince. With his trillions in oil wealth. And the protection of the world’s oligarchy. On your side, poster paper and sharpies.
Jibril: Don’t forget justice.
Egan: Just how far are you willing to take this, Ms Jibril?
Jibril: Women’s suffrage in Saudi Arabia? To the death?
Egan: Yours or his?

Egan is fishing trying to get Jibril to spill something. The only problem is that while she is not saying anything specific, she is saying things that would at the very least throw up red flags. Including but not limited to asking Rice if he has enough battery power as he is ‘the witness’. The Prince exits his motorcade. At the same time a man in a bow tie is the first to exit the building. It’s the same guy in a bow tie as in the early stages of this episode who spoke to Hassan about moving forward as planned.

The protest lead by Jibril heads away from the main entrance towards the east wing of the building providing minimal cover and a strategic point for intercept. She, as a rights activist would, requests an audience with the Prince so she could lay into a rant. Publicity or not a rant worthy of news coverage. Which Egan is not willing to provide. He pulls her away, allowing Hassan’s Amazon.com like four blade mini helicopter to swoop in and blow up the Prince’s car.

This explosion sends Odum (while still Egan) into a flashback whose imagery suggests that of the Iraq that Dobson described last episode. Then Jibril is escorted away by security. Roll credits.

Once again I would like to articulate my affection for Legends’ blatant disregard for procedural closure on story lines. A typical show will have a definitive beginning and end. Legends follows no such blueprint. And it makes for a much more interesting show. Tonight I was concerned that they might be headed to an episode that fits the procedural mode. Once again, they did not disappoint. We played Legends, well played.

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