Category Archives: Legends

Legends: Who is Martin Odum, Really?

Courtesy of TNTDrama
Courtesy of TNTDrama

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This will be the Legends two-hour Season 1 finale recap. I do not anticipate that it will be short. However, if all of the previous episodes are any indication, it will be worth your time. And with that, here we go.

We pick back up in the middle of the interrogation that began last week when it was revealed that the captors know that he is not Sebastian Egan. While Odum sticks to that story, the beatings continue. As a well-trained FBI agent working for a black program, I’m sure that is not the problem. The problem is that last episode this same group got to Sonya and Aiden Odum. After another series of blows to the face, Odum sits up and says something intriguing.

Odum: There’s something you should know.
Bashir: Yeah, what’s that?
Odum (leans in close): I’m going to kill you.

As DCO tries to assess leads, which is coming up dry, Gates gets a text message from Sonya. “FOX ECHO ZULU 911”. Unless that is some completely different code, it almost seems short for the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. Translated to: F.E. Z. The 911 generally relates to urgent. So, not a lot of help.

Hassan (in Sonya’s home) places a video call to Bashir. Martin sees Sonya and Aiden and Sonya and Aiden see Martin, very bloody. Understanding the scope of the situation, Sonya fights back. Well. But not well enough. When the call is ended, Martin settles in and proclaims they win.

Bloody and beaten they stand him up and cut loose his restraints. Then Martin Odum lays waste to their previously held plans for him.
Gates sends Rice and Crystal to Sonya’s house. While their response was immediate, they did not arrive in time. Then Maggie gets a call on their secure line. It’s Martin. He informs Gates of what they already knew. But what Martin was not aware of, Sonya and Aiden were already taken.

One of the better (slightly unimportant) scenes yet, a bloody Martin Odum dragging in Bashir. Later, Gates finds Odum in the restroom trying to wash the blood off. Gates tries to insist that Crystal should do the interrogation. Odum does not see it that way.

Gates: Crystal is going to do the interrogation.
Odum: I get first crack at this, no one else.
Gates: That’s a bad idea.
Odum: My family. My prisoner. My interrogation.
Gates: Crystal will be in there too.
Odum: So long as she doesn’t get in my way.

I’m confident that you could guess how the interrogation goes. Odum barges in yelling about his family. Bashir claims to not know. The next bit of dialogue is given with Odum hand strangling Bashir. The ‘discussion’ calms down slightly. While Bashir is playing the “we found you, we can find you again” card, little does he know, the FBI is holding a similar hand. After staring at a surveillance photo of his own daughter, Crystal asks you leaked that Martin was FBI? Arcadia.

In a conference room, the team lays out what they have or more importantly what they don’t have. Maggie reveals that Arcadia was bought out by a military contractor Verax. Martin immediately perks up and asks, “did I work for Verax?” And literally the half a heartbeat between his words, Maggie stares off into the middle distance. I really don’t want it to be true, but the sliver of body language suggest that Maggie knows. Then Gates starts in with the whole “you were never in Iraq” bit. But Martin pushes on. In that calm almost annoyed way that he does, Gates asks to see Odum in his office.

Without even getting all the way in, Odum angrily presents his questions again. How did they know? Did I work for Verax? Surprisingly Gates responds in the affirmative on both the Verax front and the Iraq front.

Gates: They didn’t give me details. They didn’t know your name. They just said that I had to protect you and that your life was in danger.
Odum: So…Martin Odum is a Legend?
Gates: …Yes.

While being handcuffs to a cement block, Aiden pulls out Sonya’s cell phone that he was able to stash in all the chaos. He sends a text message to Martin (I’m really just waiting for a different identity to call him, for now we’ll stick with Martin Odum).

In Gates’ office, Odum tries to process what’s happening. Gates mentions that all of it is top-secret even at the highest levels. He then pulls out a folder from his bottom desk drawer and says, “I suspect the answers are in here.” Before he even begins to read it, he asks if Sonya is involved. Gates won’t answer. Instead, suggests they find Sonya and Aiden first, then he can ask her himself. Then Odum gets the text message, which Maggie triangulates. Rice explains from a previous op that all the houses next to the small airfield are vacant.

I still don’t know how I feel about Gates. This feels like it could move in a direction that does not categorize character as good or bad. That said, Gates’ next line may be the best pound for pound line to date. “And Crystal, put ’em to sleep.” I’m not a violent person. But I do have a wife and a young son. And as this is fictional entertainment, I hope ‘put em to sleep’ means what I think it means.

Yes. Yes it does. It means precisely what I thought it did. Due to the job there is almost always some sense of don’t shoot unless you absolutely have to. This was different. This was as if the house in question was a military exercise. The first second you have, take the shot. Take as many shots as necessary. It was beautifully choreographed. Now that everyone’s safe, this story is about to get hairier.

They decide to send Sonya and Aiden to a FBI safe house. While that may seem like standard operating procedure, it allows me to figuratively beat my chest about being right back in episode 2 about Agent Rice and Martin Odum. Rice began and adversary. Then a reluctant part of the DCO team. And now the following exchange confirms my theory. That while Rice seemed at the time to be a thorn in Odum’s side, in actuality they will become allies if not more based on the common fact that both men strive to find the truth.

Rice: I’m going to have Elasco drive Sonya and Aiden.
Odum: No, I want someone I can trust. (he hesitates, rocks forward in his stance) Tony.
Rice: You got it.

In a hotel restaurant there is a meeting between a Verax consultant and Jason Shaw the CEO of Verax. The consultant drops a folder and begins to brief Shaw on the various Legends they know of that all come back to Odum. Also revealing that Dobson was one of theirs. And that they were the ones that shot him outside the house. Then Shaw orders the man to bring in Martin Odum. And to tell the boys to be ready for a fight. Jason Shaw has been looking for this man (Odum) for ten years.

Odum is intercepted the next day by Crystal wanting to know what he knows before going into another meeting with the State Department. And while Hani Jibril will be released, Bashir is going to be charged with the assassination. Despite the overwhelming case and evidence, including a detailed confession of limited involvement from Bashir who named names, this as before will get brushed aside for the greater good of American Foreign Policy reasons. Odum storms out.

Crystal shows up at a very large house and calmly yells out for “Dad”. Clearly they are not on good terms. Apparently, Daddy was the head of Naval Intelligence in 2004 when operation “Raining Fire” happened.

Martin Odum is sitting in a chair that belongs to the Deputy Director of the FBI, Spiller. This outta be fun. Martin wants to know how he got outed. The director is calm but with a serious sense of concern behind his eyes. Odum claims if the leak didn’t come from DCO that put him and Malloy at the top of the list. Spiller points out a black accordion file that may prove his claim. It seems that Verax is not only a military contracting firm. They have their hands in everything from the Pentagon, Congress, Arcadia, and even operate as their own private CIA with their own military support. The Director wants to take Verax down and Odum needs answers. The Director charges Odum with a mission to find a man involved with Verax at all costs, stop him from doing what he’s planning on doing. Whatever that may be. As a nice little bonus, he was in Iraq with Odum in 2004 and if anyone knows who Odum is, it would be this guy. John Cameron.

Shaw and the consultant (Tom) meet with the Chairman of Arcadia while duck hunting. When one person of power aims to meet with another person of power beneath him in any hunting scenario, take it to the bank, the subordinate person of power is already dead.

Odum arrives at the safe house. Sonya, maybe sensing the quiet before the storm, suggests Martin quit his job so the three of them can leave together. As if she isn’t involved. She holds to her story of the car accident. Finally after pushing and pushing she cracks a little. And even follows this line up with the classic, “I’m afraid if I tell you, you won’t love me anymore.”

Martin: You tell me the truth damn it. Who was I? Who was I before?
Sonya: I don’t know. I don’t want to know.

Martin notices the guard posted is no longer there. Shots ring out. Both Martin and Sonya are on the floor now and Aiden is yelling in the distance. Martin finds an assault rifle by one of the doors. Sonya asks for a gun. He hesitates but gives her his sidearm. I am worried about her prime objective in this scenario, but I’m hoping she doesn’t cross him. Then she gets up and moves forward, gun drawn. And after all that bs about taking a self-defense class. She’s not fooling anyone with that covert agency training.

Martin and Sonya independently take out all four men. Then Sonya emerges from the house. Holding a wound between her chest and shoulder. Next we find her, Martin and Rice in the ambulance. As I’m sure she senses death around the corner, she is apologetic for not telling him sooner.

Sonya: When you were struggling, I wanted to tell you for so long.
Martin: Tell me now. Tell me now, please.
Sonya: In 2004, I was an agent for the CIA. Stationed in Germany. Assigned to help a Mi-6 operative who was injured in the war.
Martin: I was in Mi-6? What?
Sonya: I was ordered to get you to the US and make you disappear.
Martin: Why?
Sonya? To protect you.

As it turns out, Sonya was not permitted to know Martin’s real name. As convenient as it sounds, the lie that was created around Martin did become real. Or so she says. Aiden was the product of a loving marriage, regardless of the circumstances that it started from. And then she flat lines. We can just go ahead and assume the slow motion and shaky camera effect singles the end of Sonya Odum.  And that concludes the “Wilderness of Mirrors” episode, or Part 1 of our 2 hour finale.  We shall start Part 2 momentarily.

Intermission copy

Part 2 starts off with a younger looking Sonya standing over Martin’s hospital bed. The voice on the phone is Gates. He’s teller her to get him out of there because someone is coming. She quickly disconnects Martin from all of the machines, places him in a wheel chair and positions herself to take out the unwelcome visitor. Point of conjecture. Sonya shoots this assailant with an agency issued sidearm (without a silencer). It’s after hours in a hospital. Pretty sure everyone within reason heard that shot. And she never stopped to pick up her bullet casing. I’m fine with assuming that she did, but it would have added realism to the scene has she bent down to pick up the casing. Just saying.

Correction (for now). It appears that Sonya is clinging to life. Still unclear as to how long this will last or where her character goes if she does.
Martin sits down with Crystal in the hospital outside Sonya’s room. She spills what she knows about Operation Raining Fire. That it was a cover up. 400 or so dead including a regiment of Marines. Then she turns to him and basically says, “your turn”. He explains that he was there and that Martin Odum is a Legend.

Martin Odum: I’m the man who knows too much. Except I forgot.

I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that this next seen feels a lot like the Admiral Marcus angle from the most recent Star Trek, Into Darkness. The FBI Director has a closed-door meeting with DCO (minus Odum) to talk about Verax. The assumption on the safe house leak is that the FBI is compromised. Yeah, take a moment and let the realism of that wash over you with warmth and optimism. Anything Verax from this moment on stays in this room. He is directing their attention to the prime target, John Cameron. The same guy he asked Odum to get.

Shaw and Tom meet again privately. Tom has a problem with targeting an American on American soil. Shaw rejects the premise completely citing that ‘fortune favors the bold’. Shaw claims that they will take out the only person causing them a problem. “John Cameron will take out Martin Odum. And Odum takes the fall.” And now, I am skeptical of everyone. Everyone.

In the morgue, Odum and Rice check on the stiffs from the safe house shootout. Rice takes pictures with his phone and sends them to Maggie. While they can’t get a match on the facial recognition software, she does notice something. A faint rectangle below the deceased tattoo. By applying an infrared filter on his phone Rice can see a series of numbers beneath the skin. Martin takes his phone and scans over the same part of his arm. 02TH-X11-38C3 shows up.

Odum, Rice and Crystal head over to an apartment that belonged to one of the diseased assailants. While searching through the apartment, Odum’s phone rings. The voice on the phone sounds altered. Then again it also sounds creepily like the voice of Sam Elliot. Not a whole lot is given up on that phone call. But now Cameron knows they are looking for him and Cameron doesn’t believe that Odum knows as much as he thinks he does.

They found money that Rice ran the serial numbers on. Which then unhashes the plot of the A-Team remake. Billions of dollars just stolen from Iraq in the fallout of the war. The assumption is that Cameron was behind it. Then the truth seeker in Rice asks questions that all lead to, “Were you in on the heist? Is that what this is about?”

They follow the trace on the call to a run down motel. They get inside and the place is completely vacant. Not even sheets on the bed. But there is that Iraq picture taped to a mirror. They get out of the room immediately. Just in time to see a black Suburban driving their way. They jump in the car and speed off. SUV in pursuit. Then there is a black pickup coming at them head on. The truck opens fire and eventually causes our team’s car to flip.

The entire motel thing was a set up. Sole directive was to secure Odum.

Outside the motel, Rice has had enough. He’s beginning to put the pieces together at least as far as the bureau’s turn the other cheek mentality towards Odum. Who is Martin Odum. Crystal looks blankly back at him as if there is something she knows.

Next we see Martin being dragged into a make shift holding cell. He is awakened by the entrance of Jason Shaw. Martin recognizes him immediately. Shaw reveals that Odum did work for him at Verax in Iraq ten years earlier. Until he found out Odum was a spy from Mi-6. Then they inject him with something. I’ll keep my thoughts on this one to myself for the time being. Suffice it to say, I feel very strongly that I’m finally seeing the end game develop on over the horizon. The billion stolen was not pacifying money. It was money to fund the insurgency. Shaw wanted to re-purpose those funds. And to sell it, the soldiers had to die. Which he chalks up to casualties of war.

That’s when they discovered (or beat out of him) that Odum was Mi-6 and planned to expose the whole thing. They even found the rumored WMD’s that were never found. Seized as insurance. Then with the help of Evans (from early in the season) he escaped. He ran into a tent and called for an immediate air strike. The person on the other line hesitates as it is a ‘Friendly Position’. To which Odum replies repeatedly, “we have a broken arrow”. Broken Arrow refers to a military term for all available aircraft to execute an air strike on a friendly position because it has been over taken by hostiles.
Shaw shoots Odum in the shoulder and leads him outside of the tent. Throws him to his knees and points a gun at his head. Just before Shaw is able to pull the trigger, the air strikes came. Knocking Shaw off-balance and thrusting Odum into what looks like an empty grave. What follows is visually the closest thing you can conjure to actual Raining Fire.

While Odum is restrained, they used tech to scan his face and record his audio. Previously in the first part of this 2 hour finale, Shaw met with Tom and said, “and Odum takes the fall”. The entire premise of this show has been who is Martin Odum, really. So far not a lot of headway until this moment. Martin Odum is John Cameron. The US government thinks they are hunting Cameron. Verax has set them up to believe that and now Verax is compiling evidence to throw this whole thing on John Cameron. Who is also Martin Odum. The voice on the phone did not belong to Sam Elliot. The voice was altered and belonged to Jason Shaw.

The plan as constituted is to kill the Director of the FBI and pin it on Odum/Cameron. A sniper took the shot. Odum screamed out. Shaw knocked Odum out cold. And of course, the place with the tech is completely vacated leaving Martin Odum waking from his state of unconsciousness. LAPD is responding to shots fired across from Martin’s location. Martin stumbles out to the roof where a sniper rifle is perched. Just then Rice and Crystal show up. He cooperates because everything is going to plan as Shaw said it would. Rice at least looks to believe him.

Back at HQ, the computers and monitors all go haywire. Then someone has piped in a feed that shows Martin confessing to the shooting. Gates continues watching the feed from his office when Spiller and Shaw’s “consultant” walk in unannounced. The consultant is Conrad Tomlin who works for the National Security Council. Spiller brought him in to coordinate the investigation and ease the transition of leadership. Which conveniently puts Spiller in place as the acting Director of the FBI.

Any concerns I had previously to the nature of Gates and his motivation was immediately squashed around the 53 minute mark of the second part. With Spiller and Tomlin suggesting he deliver Odum and let him take the fall, Gates resists. And in his Gates-iest moment to date, he let’s be known that he is not on board.

Gates: Martin Odum is not responsible for killing Director Bennett.
Spiller: That is not our position Gates
Gates: But it is mine.

The next scene, I’m not even going to bother to relay. Crystal sits before a congressional hearing. Just imagine any congressional hearing you’ve ever seen within the realm of fictional television.

Gates rolls up next to a building in his car and Odum step in. Gates has supplied Odum with a passport, assumed fake passport. He’s even reached out to Mi-6. Off the record, John Cameron was a Legend who has since been disavowed. Gates has displayed his loyalty a few different times now and does it once again in this car. Before getting out, Odum asks Gates to watch over his family. “I’ll be in touch”.

Courtesy of TNTDrama
Courtesy of TNTDrama

Tonight: Legends Two Hour Season Finale

Photo Courtesy Of TNT
Photo Courtesy Of TNT

Anyone who has been following this journey of “who is Martin Odum” is not going to want to miss tonight. We have seen a wealth of “Legends” executed brilliantly by Martin Odum (Sean Bean). We’ve also seen some evolution in character development that, at least for me, have played out to this point exactly how I’ve wanted them to. Agent Rice, for now, seems to be an ally in the search for truth. One way or another. It has been revealed that Gates and Sonya Odum’s motivation and allegiances are cloudy at best. All the while we’ve followed the big picture season (if not series) arc play out. New characters that are as unfamiliar to us as they are to Martin Odum. And it goes without saying, the big question on everyone’s mind. “Who is Martin Odum?”

As for tonight, we are staring at the first 2 hour season finale. Hani Jibril is still detained. With the undesirable eventuality that if this carries on too long, she could face prosecution in Saudi Arabia. Worst outcome possible for a woman rights activist. We also have the governmental angle. The State Department is not going to take responsibility for the death of a Saudi Prince on American soil. Even if one of their own was a key player in the assassination attempt. They expect DCO to jump on the grenade. Not likely. While all of that went round and round, Odum has been playing exterior angles. Using a Legend to get the attention of those they know to be behind this assassination. And finally two things no one in this line of work wants to discover. 1) The bad guys know Sebastian Egan is Martin Odum and 2) Since they know he is Martin Odum, they have pursued and found Sonya and Aiden Odum.

While I am on the edge of my proverbial seat with anticipation about what will be revealed and what won’t, remember this is Legends. An extremely well presented show that throws convention out of the window as it pertains to typical drama formats. This in no way follows the procedural blueprint. They finish a story line when they decide to finish the story line. Not because 60 minutes has elapsed. One story line even concluded around the 12 minute mark of an episode. So, while I do not have an advanced copy or read any spoilers that I did not write, I am not confident that this whole thing will get tied up nicely with a bow. I do not expect closure on the season/series arc. One reason is that I truly don’t want this to end, it’s too good of a show to be a limited run engagement. The other is that it would fly in the face of everything we’ve seen thus far.

Whether you DVR it or watch it live, come back to NJATVS after the show for our 2 hour episode recap. Hopefully it won’t be the Magna Carta, but with this show, we offer no promises.

Legends: A Dead Prince Is Just The Beginning

Courtesy of TNTDrama
Courtesy of TNTDrama

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last we spoke, Hani Jibril was being escorted away following the attempt on Prince Abboud’s life. Immediately following the chaos therein, Aaron Rawley races back to his apartment. He frantically starts to gather his essential belongings when he gets a call from the Arcadia Chairman. The Chairman is cool, calm and collected. He informs Rawley that the money has been wired. Just before Rawley can hang up the phone Hassan just happens to be there to put Rawley to sleep. Just long enough to inject something between his toes that stops his heart. Then Hassan picks up the phone and says, “it’s done”.

The immediate problem is on DCO’s plate. The director informs Gates that they will not take the fall for this. DCO knew of a credible threat and failed to prevent the death of the Prince. Aaron Rawley was a state department employee. That seems to be DCO’s sticking point. How can DCO be blamed when the state department had one of theirs as a significant player. I sense all the wrong buttons being pushed in the name of “National Security”.

Meanwhile, Crystal alongside some tool whose childhood dream must have been to play ‘bad cop’, questions Hani Jibril. She clearly is outside the loop on this. Crystal asks questions while Colombo over there just tries to sell the hard-line. Crystal eventually gets him to leave long enough to get a legitimate read on Jibril.

Gates escorts Jibril in handcuffs to a black SUV, presumably to get her to a holding area before her arraignment. Just as Gates tells her that they are trying to help her, she looks up to see Odum in FBI gear including the badge. She does not take it well. “You lied to me”. Some people are incredible. Yes. He lied. The moment you realized he’s a FBI agent, the fact he lied should carry with it zero shock. And now that you know he’s an agent, the next logical deduction is that Sebastian Egan was there for the right reasons. Eventually the SUV pulls away and Odum looks at Gates with real intensity behind his eyes.

Odum and Rice follow-up on a lead to find Rawley. Which they do, rather easily. Hassan killed him with that injection and then hung him with a typed and printed (unsigned) suicide note. They both look at this knowing something is off. Odum points out that the victim (Rawley) went through the trouble to hang himself with his jacket on but his socks off. In short order, Rice finds the injection point.

Rice: Looks like an injection point.
Odum: With the right drug you can stop the heart. No one’s the wiser. Staged suicide, case closed. Most autopsies will miss it.
Rice: You mind if I ask how you know that?
Odum: I just do.
Rice: You’re what my wife calls a ‘poor communicator’.

There are reasons that I would never make it working for an agency like the FBI. This scene is one of them. The state department basically tells Crystal and Gates that they are going to eat this. Rawley will not be mentioned and Hani Jibril is going down for this crime. And why? Because “this is the kind of spark that can ignite a war”. The only thing worse than letting an innocent person burn at the stake (so to speak), is looking at a man in a suit saying quite indignantly, “are we clear”? Really does make me want to shout profanities at my television.

Milloy: We don’t need you to be ok with this.
Crystal: Good. Because I’m not.

Maggie does some digging and is able to connect some dots. Bear with me on this. Rawley worked for an oil company->a few months ago Arcadia bought that company->after the sale, Prince Abboud gave the oil rights to a Saudi company instead->for Arcadia to get the oil rights, Abboud had to be removed. So there’s the rub. Maggie hit a snag with Arcadia’s firewall and needs to get around it. She is instructed to not get caught. When her little program doesn’t work, she is compelled to get from inside the building. Which she’s able to do, but the legality is a grey area.

The documents she was able to pull links the Chairman not only to Prince Fayeen (next in line) but also Rawley and Hassan. Since the documentation was secured illegally, all of it is inadmissible. So, the next step is to catch Prince Fayeen doing something illegal. Then see where it goes. The plan is for Sebastian Egan to write a series of articles divulging intimate details of this to draw them out. Or as Odum puts it, “we just need Fayeen to attempt to kill me.”

Now Odum has to sell it to Julian Drake at Joust. Who is a willing participant in this ‘Legend’. Initially he resists, but eventually is entirely too intrigued by publishing a series of articles that “ends governments”.

Drake and Odum meet a Feris Nadir. Nadir has covered the Saudi royal family for some time. He is there as an intermediary. He explains that Fayeen actually believes has been chosen by Allah to rule his people, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s the tenth richest man in the world. Also that there is a credible source inside Saudi Intelligence that claims there will be an attempt on Egan’s life.

Back at DCO HQ, Milloy is back again to throw her little hissy fit. The state department wants desperately to let Jibril take the fall because it makes their lives easier. They would be able to maintain a strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. An article in a magazine outlining how and why Jibril is being framed, doesn’t exactly fit into their plans.

Milloy: Undercover or not, you leaked classified information. There will be criminal charges filed. That I can promise you.
Gates: Need I remind you agent Milloy, the Sebastian Egan Legend is covered under the Intelligence Identity Protection Act.
Crystal: Which means you can’t reveal that Sebastian Egan is Martin Odum. And then there’s that pesky First Amendment.

Egan sets up a meeting with Feris. Meeting is a stretch. More like a Deep Throat like Watergate meeting in a parking garage. Egan sells it wonderfully. Feris falls for it hook, line and sinker. Egan passes him a flash drive with the evidence (that would otherwise be inadmissible), which they anticipate will make its way back to Fayeen. He also drops a lovely nugget that he has passed the same sensitive information to a number of other journalists in case something were to happen to him.

As this story line ramps up, Maggie drops a bit of a bomb shell on Crystal and the viewers. She’s been digging on Martin Odum’s life. As she has put it before, if she can’t find someone, they don’t exist. Now brilliantly, TNT did not allow her to divulge anything the viewer doesn’t already know. However, this short scene allows her to inform Crystal of what she knows or more importantly what she doesn’t know. This is important because it begins to narrow the gap between what we the viewers know and what Crystal, Maggie or anyone else not in cahoots knows.

The plan is simple, in theory. Egan travels to LA under an alias they are aware of. They pick him up and kidnap him. With the tracker injected under his skin, he should be easy to track. Seems simple enough. Even before Egan gets in the car, they send him a text message confirming that his driver is a wanted man on the terrorism watch list. After a stretch, the driver keeps taking aggressive sudden turns. Crystal recognizes it as a tactic to spot a tail. If only it were that simple. Just when they get back around to where Rice and Crystal are, he waits, then guns it through a red light. Thus buying them just enough time to drive the limo into a long semi trailer and thus cutting off any signal from Odum’s tracker.

The interrogation to ascertain the names of all of the people Egan passed the evidence to, goes about as expected. Egan gets slapped around and plays his part. However, there were two details I did not see coming. And if I may, is there anything better than being completely invested in a television show and feeling you have a slight grip on what is happening just to find out how wrong you are? Right about the time they reveal that they know Sebastian Egan is a cover and that his real name is Martin Odum (or so they think), another group of men show up at Sonya Odum’s house. Both things happening simultaneously. Sonya, whether it’s because Martin trained her for what to look for or she has training of her own, she immediately recognizes a problem and tries to elude them inside her house while protecting Aiden in the process.

While Sonya locks both of them in the bathroom, the men pursue. Sonya frantically attempts to contact someone. Who the someone is, could be telling. And the last thing we see before the credits is Sonya knocked down on all fours in her bathroom looking up a gun pointed in her direction.

Stay tuned to NJATVS as next week’s Legend will be a two-hour season finale. You won’t want to miss out.

Tonight: Legends-Iconoclast

Photo Courtesy Of TNT
Photo Courtesy Of TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert   

Martin Odom’s still undercover as journalist/gadfly Sebastian Egan, attempting to discover who were the assassins that took out a Saudi Arabian Prince with a drone in Los Angeles, in the previous episode of the TNT Original series “Legends.” Odom’s also trying to clear Middle Eastern women’s rights activist Hani Jibril as a suspect in the case. Jibril, stopped the Prince’s motorcade to discuss the plight of women in his nation, moments before the attack took place.

Of course with every episode of this series we’ve seen Odom gathering information about his true identity and likely he’ll get one step closer to solving that puzzle in this episode. Join Jason Jones after the show for his recap, providing analysis, insight and speculation on the episode as well as the series.


Legends: Feminine Deception

Photo Credit: Courtesy of TNT
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 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.

Legends: Just Who Is Martin Odom?

Photo Credit: TNT
Photo Credit: TNT

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last week we experienced a bombshell. It was quick so I hope you didn’t blink. While in Houston in search of Dobson, Martin Odum gets a phone call from Sonya Odum. Last week was the first episode to date where Sonya did not seem completely horrible. She came across as almost affectionate. Then just about the moment you are starting to believe maybe there still is a future for these two, Sonya hangs up the phone and looks at a silent silhouette of a woman sitting at her kitchen table and says, “how was that?”

Speculation being what it is, one of two things is afoot here. 1) The person in the room is an unwanted visitor and Sonya is under serious duress. And 2) the much more likely scenario is that whatever this is, Sonya is in on it. If she’s in on it, makes sense that she could create the idea that having Martin around is bad for her and their son. It’s sellable. The only remaining question is “who else is involved?”

In the sense of full disclosure on this ride, I’ll give you a few that I’m keeping in the back of my head. Gates (Odum’s boss) I am all but certain is an eventual bad guy. Sonya Odum, without question. I have to believe that Crystal is not based solely on her consistent objection to working with him. Rice is absolutely not. He may be a thorn in Odum’s side at the moment, but not only do I think he’s a good guy, I think he will somehow become almost an ally for Odum in the pursuit of the truth.

The final image we saw last week was Odum and Dobson getting T-Boned by a pickup truck. As we discover, was driven by the curly-haired guy from the Karaoke Bar. And as it turns out, he is somehow connected to law enforcement or a government agency. Normally I’d skip on past something like this but, Odum is following leads, using a Legend, and potentially interfering with a government sting on Kyle Dobson while on administrative leave.

Rice, you’re tempting the wrath from high atop the thing. On a phone call with his wife, acting defensive and muffling his voice with Crystal on the other side of the glass, how do you think this will end? At the very minimum, Mrs. Rice is going to suspect a little ‘foul play’.

Gates appears on the other side of the glass. I was almost expecting Rice to say, “he’s standing right behind me isn’t he?” When Crystal tries to explain what they are doing, Gates interrupts her right about the moment she utters the name Martin Odum. This show completely has my attention but next to Sean Bean transforming from Martin Odum to whatever the next Legend is, nothing is better than the stand-off scenes between Steve Harris and Morris Chestnut.

Odum is on the move with a wounded Kyle Dobson in tow. Odum gets a bus driver to abandon his route to get Dobson to a hospital. The entire time Dobson effectively plays the victim. Acting as if he can’t concentrate enough to answer the questions. He knows Odum looks familiar but cannot place it. The cops set up a roadblock. Odum tries to explain that he is undercover, gives the cops Gates’ name. They attempt to call the LA field office. Then Dobson looks over at Odum and the act fades away as he says,

Dobson: You’re a cop? So that’s why they can’t find you…

Back in LA, Gates gets the phone call. He verifies that the man in the back of the squad car is indeed his man and asked to speak to Agent Odum. What ensues is beautiful. If you’re familiar with the show and just haven’t caught this most recent episode, all I need to say is that this scene is classic Nelson Gates. Following the call he asks for Crystal. Crystal and surprisingly enough Rice are sent to Houston to give support to or escort Odum back. Not exactly clear as to which yet.

The whole, get Dobson to the hospital so he can answer questions, is not exactly going to plan. He is stable for now. Then we have a phone conversation between Odum and Gates. Gates gives up pretty much what he knows without hesitation. Odum begins to recant what he thinks he knows from the chop shop. A strange woman hands him a cup of coffee while on the phone. And of course in the moments between, Sonya calls. He ignores the call, but at some point Odum has got to piece together that there is something fishy about her.

Surprise, surprise Odum wakes up much later. A shady FBI agent tries to strong-arm Odum and fails. Odum runs upstairs and demands to know where Dobson is. The receptionist/nurse looks familiar. Odum accuses her of drugging the coffee. As Odum gets further from her, she pulls out a walkie-talkie and alerts someone who “he is approaching”.

A man in a lab coat pushes another man in a wheelchair onto the elevator. There is a familiarity there. Dobson hunched over says quite candidly, “You let Martin Odum jeopardize our mission”. Its getting thick. They exit the elevator and Odum comes out of nowhere to tackle and knock out the man in the lab coat.

Odum slips Dobson into the back of a Cadillac and makes a clean get a way. Odum calls Gates and Gates sends him to Austin. After the short call, Dobson sits up in the back seat.

Dobson: Where are we?
Odum: Don’t worry about it. How’d they find us in the hospital?
Dobson: You don’t think we use the same toys you do?

This conversation, if you want to call it that, goes back and forth with no real questions answered. Naturally, Dobson decides to inform Odum of just how badly he screwed up. Insinuating that Dobson’s men have orders to ‘recover me alive’ and they won’t stop until they do. And as Odum has the ability to do, completely flips the momentum of the conversation illustrating how after 24 hours, Dobson will be as dead as Odum will be.

I just love how efficient Rice is with a lock pick kit. Rice and Crystal venture to the chop shop to investigate further. The curly-haired guy from the Karaoke Bar and the car accident appears. Rice and Crystal draw on him. He plays the innocent card, making up some story about working on an engine all night. Rice asks what it is. The man answers, then asks if Rice is into engines. Rice responds in the affirmative and then the faintest of smiles begins to form on Rice’s face. The man runs for it.

Correction from earlier. I speculated that the curly-haired man may have been law enforcement or government. He is neither. I fell for the head fake. It appears he’s just another henchman working under Dobson.

A blessing and a curse from the use of a DVR is sometimes you see the first 20+ frames of the next scene before you actually get to see the next scene. This one has me muffling my own screams.

I KNEW IT. I FREAKING KNEW IT. Sonya Odum and Nelson Gates are as the kids say, “in cahoots”. As I suspected this is a Truman Show situation. Sonya is playing a part. Now it’s not completely fake. She apparently does have sincere feelings for Odum and they do have a child together. The question now (that was not answered) just how far does the deception go? and why?

Odum and Dobson on foot find their way to an abandoned house. Which is not exactly a good thing as Dobson has been carrying a tracker the entire time. Odum calls Maggie to triangulate his position. He is anticipating a “Custer’s Last Stand” scenario. While they wait, Dobson adds more to the Iraq narrative. Just enough that Odum starts to experience some firsthand memories. Then the sound of vehicles approaching. Odum takes Dobson into the hidden basement in order to “save his life”.

Outside 6-8 mercenaries set up with military assault rifles pointed at the house. One of them advances. Odum has set up some ‘traps’. The first guy gets an ax to the sternum. This is straight up Home Alone for adults. Odum dispatches the first wave of them, then goes back downstairs. A man who presented himself as Houston FBI field agent, is now yelling through the walls at Odum. Threatening to torch the house. In the next few minutes Odum talks it through with Dobson. Ultimately ending in a deal between the two. Tell Odum everything on the record and he will get Dobson out of this situation.

Dobson is escorted out of the house by Odum. There are legitimate agents in the house now. They venture outside. Odum is distracted by a glimmer in the distance. The kind of glimmer that comes from reflecting light off of glass. Rifle scopes have glass. Odum jumps to push Dobson off the porch. He’s too late. The sniper clips Dobson right in the chest.

Graceland: The End Of Mike Warren?

Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network
Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The USA Network has yet to decide if they will bring back their Original Series “Graceland,” for a third season, but if they do the dynamic of the house and the show would be dramatically different, due to the fact that one of the two lead characters seemingly died in the finale of the second season. Former FBI “Golden Boy” Mike Warren, (Aaron Tveit) whose reputation tarnished throughout the second season, had flat-lined  in his hospital bed after corrupt LAPD Detective Sid Markham cut off his oxygen tube long enough to suffocate the agent who had tried to take him down all season. Although Warren could be revived conceivably in the first episode of season three, Series Creator and Executive Producer Jeff Eastin, told “TV Guide,” “Let’s put it this way: He looks pretty dead to me. I’m not supposed to say officially yes or no, but I’ll just say he looks pretty dead to me.”

The move would be far from unprecedented in TV series, as Sean Bean, now stars on “Legends” on TNT, due to his character’s death in the first season of HBO series “Game Of Thrones.” However, it took a character that embodied the “All-American Boy,” in the show’s first season, to a man that got so driven to get a conviction, his former girlfriend and housemate Paige Arkin gave the agent up to Markham. The move however was not unexpected given the chain of events throughout the season and in the final episode.

We knew the housemates would be facing trouble in this episode due the ending of the previous installment. Charlie got kidnapped by Amber and some of her henchmen, Markham found out that the officer in his charge named Paul West, was actually working undercover trying to arrest the detective. Johnny met by Lucia at the motel they arranged to rendezvous at, but she stole a briefcase filled with marked bills meant for Markham. The money marked so that the FBI could prove he got the cash from Carlos Solano.

Lucia realizes by Johnny’s reaction that he’s with some branch of law enforcement and he tells her he’s with the FBI and is about to arrest her brother and her father, but he needs to get the money back to the Solanos. Lucia tells him he can’t enter her house with a briefcase of money, but she can so Johnny reluctantly takes her back to her father’s house.

Lucia goes inside the house and seconds later Carlito comes out to Johnny’s car and asks if he can get a lift into town. After refusing at first, Johnny agrees and the two head off to the nearby town. Carlito makes small talk, but ends it abruptly when he informs the driver he knows he’s an FBI Agent. Johnny swerves the car to the side of the road and attempts to grab his pistol out of his console, but Carlito’s packing and draws first. He tells Johnny he figured it out the previous night when he saw Jakes change the money from the briefcase to the marked bills.

Shortly, another car pulls up this one containing two of Carlito’s hoods and Lucia, after making them perform like puppets for him on their knees, he tells the agent that he realizes the FBI is orchestrating the drops of his family’s contraband across the border to the United States. He tells Johnny to tell his superiors that the operation has to continue to get enough evidence on the Solanos. He then says that if the shipments stop, so will Lucia’s life.

We see a beaten and bloodied Charlie being confronted by Amber and her British money-launderer, who believes that Charlie’s a cop. Charlie begs Amber to let her go, that she knows she’s not a police officer, but the stick-up artist walks away. Charlie screams out she’s pregnant and Amber tells the Brit, not to hit her in the stomach.

Briggs gets in the car with Markham and his crew to Mexico, unaware that Markham realizes he’s undercover. The conversation seems mundane on the surface, but realizing what Sid knows, it’s far more probing than Briggs realizes. They are 12-miles from the Mexican border and Warren sees them pass from where he and the crew of FBI Agents use as their look-out.

When the car pulls up to the Solanos, Briggs asks Sid if he can make one quick call about his baby on the way before joining Markham and the others inside and Sid tells him that’s fine. He actually calls Mike to check in and while the two are speaking, Warren asks Briggs if he’d heard from Charlie as she never met the backup team she was to engage with the previous evening. Briggs assumes that Charlie’s in imminent danger and he tells Warren he’s driving the vehicle the cops drove down in back to Los Angeles to find her, then hangs up the phone.

The FBI mission’s disbanded as the Bureau Chief got word that a package possibly containing a bomb arrived at their building and they’ve all been called back to Los Angeles. Warren tells his supervisor that Briggs just left the Solanos and he’s heading there to catch Markham, the superior tries to talk him out of it but to no avail.

Mike drives to the Solanos, but he realizes something’s wrong from the moment he arrives, as he enters the house he sees bloodied corpses strewn throughout the house including Carlos Solano. Some of Markham’s crew are dead, but there are still four gunmen patrolling the house. Warren takes out all four, but gets shot in the lung in his last encounter. He finds Markham on the ground, bloody but conscious, we never find out how he ended up in that position. Warren pulls out his pistol and aims the weapon at Markham, as he’s going to take advantage of the situation and kill him. However, police sirens start approaching and Warren takes off before the police arrive.

Briggs finds the warehouse where Charlie’s held captive and proceeds to take out all three gunmen up front, he calls for Charlie and she responds, but Amber knocks her out with the butt end of her pistol. She then fires twice at Briggs and misses, but Briggs hits her, she falls to the ground and he saves Charlie. After a trip to the hospital where she’s given some major pain medication, Paul brings her home and tucks her into bed.

Seconds later his cellphone rings and Mike’s on the other end. Briggs tells Warren that Markham blamed Mike for all the killings at the Solanos and the authorities are looking for him. Warren tells Paul, he’s been shot but if he checks into a hospital under his name he’ll be immediately arrested. Briggs tells him he’ll be over in the morning with a fake identity.

Mike’s woken the next morning by Paige, who’s arrived in lieu of Briggs with his new identity Mike Richards. She then apologizes to Mike for thinking that he had disposed of Lena’s body, as she knows Lena’s alive and somewhere in Arizona, as she wrote to her sister in the Ukraine and the postmark was from Scottsdale, Arizona. Warren’s delirious at this point and says to Paige that he’s glad that Lena’s family believes she’s alive, Arkin immediately realizes that Mike did incinerate Lena’s body.

Paige heads down to Markham’s station and tells the detective where to find Warren and gives the officer the name he’s checked in under. Paige heads back to the house and admits to Briggs that she gave Warren up to Markham. Briggs drives to the hospital as fast as he can.

Markham finds Warren and notices the agent’s suffering from lead poisoning and a collapsed lung. He then takes the heart monitor off Mike’s finger and puts it on his own, then bunches up the cord supplying Warren oxygen, cutting off his supply and suffocating him. He tells Warren during his final seconds that he knows all his roommates and will kill each one of them, so they’ll all reunite at the pearly gates. Warren’s eyes glaze over and Markham puts the heart monitor back on Mike’s finger and he’s flat-lined and the machine calls out code blue. Briggs heads into the room to see Mike lying there lifeless, Markham had already left. Medical personnel tell Paul he needs to leave the room and tears pour down Briggs face.

Legends: Follow the Breadcrumbs

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Warning: Spoiler Alert

With the closure of the VX Gas storyline, we find Martin Odum back in the FBI shrinks office. As a protocol measure one has to assume. This is clearly a cat and a ball of string situation. The doctor thinks she’s setting up annoying repetitive questions whose answers will indicate something. Let me just be a fanboy for a moment. You’re trying to get Martin Odum to divulge something that he doesn’t want to divulge? That’s cute.

As it turns out, and I should have seen this coming. It was telegraphed in hindsight. The condescending behavior toward the shrink was smoke and mirrors. She asked a question about the difficulty of the leaving the Legend. Feeling guilty about he had to do, which is precisely when he flipped the switch and got confrontational. Which is obvious when he storms out, he looks dazed. I’m getting a strong sense we are about to venture into the larger series arc of “who is Martin Odum”?

Agent Rice shows up at a bar that conveniently has Crystal drinking at said bar. Rice begins like any strange guy looking to score. Then says, “you’re going to be mad when I tell you this”. Then we see Crystal storm out. The obvious need for this scene is to set up some sort of back channel alliance between Rice and someone. Crystal is the only one actively questioning Odum’s fitness to do his job. Stands to reason, she might be buying what Rice is selling.

Martin’s wife knocks at the door. It’s our job to cover these higher level shows with a degree of objectivity and to do so as completely as possible. However, I don’t mind telling you that if I could fast forward through all of the scenes with Martin’s wife, my experience would be improved. Her role is necessary and Amber Valletta players her very well. This is quickly becoming a Skylar White situation. Difference here is that I (we) give credit to Amber Valletta for playing a character very well. Whereas too many of the Breaking Bad fandom ripped Anna Gunn because they disliked her character, even though she played it masterfully.

Before Sonya leaves Martin’s apartment she tells yet another story from his ‘actual’ past that Martin doesn’t remember. She tells it as if she was there, which is how the story goes. It is at the very least the third time she’s done this. Naturally, Martin heads to Google as soon as she leaves. And yes, he finds articles posted backing up Sonya’s story. I cannot help be believe we are seeing the beginnings of a Bourne Identity meets the Truman Show scenario here. If you step back from it, you can begin to suspect those in the story that could potentially be “in on it” and those that are legitimately just doing their job.

Later Martin runs us through a rapid fire recollection of some of the events that have tipped him down this particular path. The last of which involves the man in the green jacket telling him “the book has the answers”. There is a long number. “2037698185”. My first thought was a social, but its one digit too long. So the obvious next thought would be that it is a telephone number. “203-769-8185”.

I have made no attempts to hide my dislike for Ali Larter. Not Crystal, the character she plays. I am just not a fan. Call it the result of type-casting, but I just don’t like what I’ve seen from her. She always seems to play similar roles. So with that in mind, maybe I just haven’t seen her in a role I like. Either way, she is not resisting Rice very much. It doesn’t take a lot on his part to convince to at least consider what he’s proposing. She agrees to go with him to check out a lead.

Thank whatever God or Deity you believe in that they finally changed Maggie’s hair. The pilot, she was the only non-critical character (to that episode) that I even really noticed. Then they went with the Bieber on roids look. Now at least it’s tamer.

Maggie meets Martin at a Thai restaurant to discuss the number sequence Martin gave her. For a few seconds there, I almost fell for the head fake. Ultimately I was right on this one (which really isn’t saying much), the 10 digit number is indeed a phone number. This next comment is a testament to the quality of writing. Remember (just in case you hadn’t noticed) Maggie or Tina Majorino is also well-known for playing Deb from Napoleon Dynamite! I love how Maggie is smarter than everyone else at what she is responsible for. She does not have a wealth of lines but they are presented in a way that allows her character to have a quality not usually found on second tier characters.

At the residence of the man who owns the voice mail, that is tied to the phone number, that was in the book given to Odum by the man in the green jacket, the pieces start to fall together. Or at the very least that there is a connection. The man, like the man in the green jacket, has a broken awkwardness about him. After believing that Odum was there to torture or kill him, he asks for Odum’s name again.

Dennis Evans: What’s your name again?
Martin Odum: Martin Odum.
Dennis Evans: No your real name.
Martin Odum: That is my real name.
Dennis Evans: No it’s not. I know you man. I know you. You’re in the photo.
Martin Odum: What Photo.

There it is, clear as day. The picture is an 8×10 with easily 20 guys. Odum, this Evans guy and McCombs (the man in the green jacket) among many others. Time stamped for Feb 03, 2004. Which is convenient as that coincides with Sonya’s story of a car crash. This Dennis Evans character is clearly off his rocker, however, his story has some merit. There is something to this or it’s an elaborate attempt to get the viewer to go down the wrong path.
Rice and Crystal make their way to Veteran Affairs where they meet the doctor that treated McCombs. She claims that doctor-patient confidentiality prohibits her from providing what they need. Even after they inform her that the patient is dead. She stands firm. Now I’m no doctor but I was pretty sure that once the patient has passed, that protection no longer applies. Could just be I watch too much TV.

Maggie was able to chase down Kyle Dobson, the new piece in the puzzle. The trail of breadcrumbs points to Houston, but nothing more specific than that. Odum decides to travel to Houston using a Legend as an alias. One of my favorite moments on this show is when someone asks Martin Odum to tell them about a Legend they are unfamiliar with. Thank you Maggie. Love watching Martin Odum slowly become the Legend he’s talking about. This time with a thick southern accent.

Rice and Crystal follow the lead from Veterans Affairs which leads them to Dennis Evans’ residence. Dennis Evans will be dead, just a hunch. Yep. Dennis Evans, dead by way of large zip-lock bag suffocation. That and a severed thumb is found. Haven’t tipped their hand to who it belongs to. The obvious guess is Dennis Evans.

In Houston, Odum calls in favor from what equates to a CI. Back at headquarters Crystal and Rice are almost chummy when Maggie walks in to update them on the phone records check on Dennis Evans. Nothing. The question is, was Dennis Evans as much of a shut in as they claim or is Maggie protecting Odum?
Rice does not hesitate to break into Odum’s apartment. Not boot to the door mind you, picking the lock with a lock pick kit type of break in. All that really matters from this scene is that Rice finds a list crumpled in the trash that reads Len Barlow. He presents it to Crystal while she looks at a bathroom mirror with notes written on it. And we have the episode title moment.

Crystal: Len Barlow is one of his Legends. He’s gone ROGUE.

In Houston, Odum becomes Barlow with the expressed intention of drawing the attention of Kyle Dobson’s girlfriend in order to get closer to Dobson. Once Barlow gets Tara to put down her guard a little, a guy comes up to tell her it’s her turn to sing again. My experience with Karaoke bars is that no one sings twice in three songs. So my suspicion is raised. Then we have a typical bar stand-off that ends with Barlow saying “let me go or lose your hand”. Which actually works.

While Barlow waits outside the bar he gets a call from Sonya. They chat about nothing of importance to the story line. But, just then he asks, “are you sure about the date of the car accident, Feb 3rd 2004?” The demeanor in her face immediately changes. Starting to feel like we’re on the right path. She even goes so far as to say “I love you” which better have perked Odum’s spidey-sense. Then he hangs up. Back to Sonya she looks up at a vague figure that appears to have long brown hair, like the lady that killed McCombs…

Sonya Odum: How was that?

Barlow jumps the guy from before and jumps in the front seat with Tara. He convinces her to direct him to where Dobson is. When Barlow and Dobson find themselves in the same room, it is abundantly clear that Dobson recognizes Barlow (Odum) instantly. Barlow and Dobson have a cryptic conversation where neither gives up anything of consequence until Barlow pulls out a gun an neutralized the odds. Then it’s just Barlow and Dobson.

He peels out in a black Mustang with Dobson in the back seat handcuffed. They dodge a few of Dobson’s stragglers. Then just as you believe they have gotten away. The Mustang gets T-boned by a pickup truck. Begin with an accident, finish with an accident.

Legends: Guilt, Sadness, and a Right of Passage

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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.

Legends: Preserve the Cover

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Warning: Spoiler Alert

 Last week we discovered an incredible wrinkle. Whether they are disregarding convention or felt they could better tell the story this way. The show runners behind Legends made it clear, that they are not going to force a given story to fit within the parameters of a single episode. It may not mean much to you now, but I believe this wrinkle will go a long way in allowing them to tell the story they want to tell as opposed to the story they are forced to tell.

We start off with Richard Hubbard, the guy kidnapped last week whose been trying to live a clean new life with a new identity. His old life caught up with him and now he is being forced to create VX Gas for the bad guys. This cold open shows him doing just that. Until he sees an opening, knocks out a guy, fetching his wife and daughter, but finds a dead-end. A small army of Chechens prevent their escape.

First non-cold open scene and I am reminded of my dislike of Ali Larter. She always seems to play the same type of hardened character. However, I think it runs deeper than that. In this scene Gates (the boss) is debriefing the team. He says, “three days…” and Crystal (Larter’s character) jumps in. Like we’d forget she was in the room if she didn’t redirect attention back to her. And do I sense over acting? Everyone else is standing still, why is she walking the room like a Jerry Springer episode? In the end, it could just be that I’m overly harsh on this particular actress.

Introduce Dante Auerbach, Odum’s latest ‘Legend’. Nothing too critical. ‘Auerbach’ is looking to have a lackey broker a meeting to him closer to the Chechens. The beauty of the Legend comes in the next scene. He is to meet Polanos. He walks up to a table with a woman seated alone.

Auerbach: Excuse me, I’m looking for a Mr. Polanos?
Polanos: I’m Polanos…Anna Polanos.
(a sultry pause by Auerbach)
Auerbach: …What a lovely mistake…

Despite her resistance, Auerbach talks his way into keeping her attention. A very nice exchange that brings us more immediately into the characteristics of this particular Legend. He is a smooth talker. In this particular case, it seems like that is what is required.

With the efforts of Auerbach and the team at HQ, they were able to get a lock on Polanos’ cell and everything therein. Including a conversation with another asset to the deal. Auerbach immediately makes the decision to intercept that man and interrogate him. With an iron in place to burn him again, Auerbach convinces this chess piece to sever ties with Polanos. Which he does without hesitation.

A colleague and I had a conversation about this show prior to tonight’s episode. The focus of discussion was on the roles of Rice (Morris Chestnut) and Gates (Steve Harris). The angle that we both seemed to be in a basic agreement on is that the essential role of good guy/bad guy of these two men almost have to be misrepresented through two episodes. Let me add, that it is my opinion that this has been done intentionally by the show runners. At present, Rice is playing the investigator sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong in the greater pursuit of justice and truth. He comes off as a man destined to be a thorn in Odum’s side long-term. While Gates is pinned as the trusting boss who is firmly in the corner of the protagonist. I believe, and it’s only speculation at this point, that both of those statements will prove to be dramatically false and in no way a real representation of their character’s true self. I even used the phrase, “Gates CANNOT be trusted”. There is just a feeling there that is keeping my guard up.

Rice walks in shooting his small talk and Gates is not having it. Gates is short and uncooperative with his answers. Rice eventually turns off the charm and we have ourselves a good old fashion standoff. Not literally of course. You see this often. It is a staple of the show Justified. We cover it with current technology, take away the scenic old west, no revolvers or tumbleweeds, but if you peel back all of the physical superficial background, it is a standoff. And these two men play it beautifully. Neither one willing to give too much or concede their position.

I really do not like Mrs. Odum. That said, this scene is the first real indication of Martin Odum, the man behind the Legends unraveling. He is having a hard time recalling how he proposed to his wife. He is visibly shaky. Something is not right. And just like that, shaken and disoriented, he is able to slip right back into Auerbach in a matter of seconds after noticing Polanos calling his cell.

The “Colonel” who is the big bad we’ve been looking for has been ID’d. Furthermore, we find out that not only are he and Polanos connected, but connected on a very personal level. They have a history dating back to when she was an orphan. A serious daddy-daughter relationship, complete with intense guilt tripping.

Later that night Auerbach meets with Polanos at a swanky rooftop restaurant. They exchange small talk then she chuckles and says, “I’m learning more about you by the moment”. Cut to a couple of goons trying to hack their way into Auerbach’s condo. Naturally the first reaction is negative. The sense of impending doom that Polanos’ people are going to discover that Auerbach is Odum. But remember, this is a top ranking deep cover operative. I currently feel no such sense. Because it’s Odum as Auerbach, you almost have to concede that he’s too good to make such a mistake.

During this restaurant scene, we do get a quick glimpse into the ‘deal’. We are looking at VX Gas. It is a Russian developed process from the 1990s. So far everything stacks up. Keep in mind the end game is to recover the weapon (VX Gas) and save the Hubbards. So far so good. Then Polanos changes the subject. Then this becomes a personal meeting. Auerbach tells a story about proposing and why the marriage didn’t work. The problem with that is he seems to be crossing over stories. The proposal is not accurate to his actual real life, but I get the impression that the reason the marriage fell apart factor is from his real life. And of course, predictable or not, Auerbach sleeps with Polanos.

In a lovely twist I did not see coming, Gates pays a visit to Rice. In Rice’s home. Occasionally, a scene comes along that forces me to consider just how much I want to feed you. Considering the process of creating television, sometimes the art of it cannot be conveyed in text. The text just doesn’t do it justice. It’s the difference between giving a great script to great actors and giving it to a high school theater department. This is one of those scenes. I cannot simply describe what happens because the art is in the nuance.

Both men refusing to back down would be obvious. Both men escalating their threat position without hesitation. The question is, “are both men exactly what they say and how they seem? Or are both of them hiding something? Is just one?” On the surface it seems that Gates is protecting his asset. However, if we look deeper into the season (or even series) arc, there could be something much bigger at work here. What if Martin Odum is not who he thinks he is? Then one would have to deduce that Gates is hiding a lot. And if that is the case, you could further extrapolate that Rice is something different as well. My current hypothesis is that Rice is literally the ‘out for justice at all costs’ kind of agent. And if that is true, all Odum has to do is to prove that his virtue and motivations are sincere and Rice should immediately become an ally while I fear Gates will move steadily in the other direction.

Polanos sets up a meeting for Auerbach. He is placed in a truck with a hood over his head. What ensues was somewhat predictable. The Feds organize a raid on the area thought to be the lab for the VX Gas. Seems pretty obvious when the temperature readings are 500 times what they should be. Crystal (in head to toe riot gear/gas preventative gear) leads the team in. She finds the lab, gets a closer look and gets jumped. By Mr. Richard Hubbard. Next shot is her carrying him out. At the same time we see a Hubbard reunion, we can hear over the radio that they found no VX Gas.
Not surprising to me, 4 minutes and change to wrap up this story line and I seriously doubt it will happen. Some might be frustrated with this concept, but I for one am in love with it.

As it turns out, the intention was to take Auerbach to the Colonel and that location would be far from the lab. The Colonel begins to act sketchy and question if Auerbach is who he says he is. One of his men gets too close and Auerbach disarms him and in an instant, has an assault weapon pointed inches from the Colonel’s face. What follows we have all seen before. The dealer expects the broker (or representative of the buyer) to test the product and in turn kill an unknown man. This both verifies the product and proves to the dealer that the buyer is who he says he is. The fastest example I can think of is the moment in Batman Begins where Bruce Wayne stops being a member of the League of Shadows and starts to become Batman.

Let’s cut through any cryptic language. Auerbach does the deed. He drops VX Gas into the strange man’s eye. You can assume the man dies shortly thereafter. The Colonel says, “now we have trust”. That is a telling detail, at least for the immediate future. The bigger issue is one I will forever reference as the “Walter White watching Jane” moment. Anyone who is familiar with Breaking Bad will know exactly what I mean. There comes a time in some stories where the protagonist or even anti-hero is faced with a decision. The result of that decision could very well sway how the viewer perceives him or her. Any time we are dealing with law enforcement or the Feds there seems to be a line in the sand. Feds don’t take drugs, even to maintain their cover (see Graceland). They don’t kill people to maintain their cover. So when one of these characters is faced with a decision to save or not and to cross over that line in the sand, it affects people differently. Do you support Auerbach’s decision to cross the line an maintain his cover for the greater good or is your affection for him forever changed negatively for crossing said line? It is a junction in the story that either diminishes or enhances the story for you on a personal level. I will say that for me, at this moment, it has enhanced my experience with this show. However, I reserve the right to change my mind later.