Tag Archives: Season One Episode Eight

Forever: It’s A Thin Line Between Pleasure And Pain

Photo Courtesy Of ABC
Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Although Henry Morgan’s lived for over 200-years, he’s still subject to the same emotions we go through, although he’s immortal, he’s still human after all. After being off last week due to the election-coverage, the ABC series “Forever,” returned with an episode that hit all the right notes, there was humor, poignancy, new and old romantic relationships and a murderer that led to his own demise. All that and we got to get a glimpse of Dr. Morgan’s first marriage and what surviving death did to that relationship. A great way to return to the airwaves and celebrate that ABC has confirmed the show will be on all season, despite mixed ratings.

The episode begins with a very well-dressed but mousy-looking man starts telling this very attractive blonde, about some new employee in his advertising firm, trying to take credit for his ideas. The woman tells him to shut-up, he sells chips for a third-rate advertising firm and to stop whining. She then says shut-up and take off your jacket, and she slips off her blouse and skirt, revealing a corset-type garment. She then puts, handcuffs on the man and a mask and ball-gag and starts whipping the man.

The next morning Detectives Martinez and Hanson and NYPD Medical Examiner Henry Morgan, examine the man’s dead body in the street. His name’s Richard Gaines and when they transport him to Morgan’s office and take off his shirt, they see the man’s chest and torso covered in whip-marks. Henry’s assistant Lucas, brings over a black-light and they detect older healed scars, showing a prolonged history of the practice. Henry and Lucas realize that Gaines got into sadomasochism. He pronounces the cause of death as asphyxiation, due to the collar marks on his neck. The two detectives and Morgan go to interview Gaines’ widow.

When they meet with Gwyneth Gaines, they awkwardly bring up the whip-marks and the widow says they’re from therapy and weren’t from her hand. She said Richard was a powerful man and afraid to show weakness and it nearly destroyed their marriage. But he went to domination therapy and he went back to being the man she married. She gives the domination-therapist’s name as Iona Payne.

Morgan and Martinez go to interview Payne and she says that Gaines is her client and she saw him the night before. Martinez starts asking about the session and the woman says she doesn’t reveal information about her clients, but Jo tells her Gaines died last night. Henry starts examining some of her equipment, focusing on a device that would choke her clients and likely left the marks on Gaines neck. Martinez says they’d like to bring her in for questioning.

At the station, Jo and Iona sit in the interview room, while Henry and Hanson sit on the other side of the one way window. Martinez says that Morgan called cause of death asphyxiation, but Payne says he’s incorrect, ruffling Henry’s feathers. She says he stopped breathing, because his body suddenly got too heavy to function properly, including his lungs. Henry slaps his forehead and says to Hanson that Gaines got electrocuted, seconds before Payne says the same thing to Martinez. When Jo asks why no burn-marks, Henry and Iona both say that an extended dose of a low-voltage electric device would, kill him without burn-marks.

That evening, Henry’s alone in the house bored out of his gourd, he’s to the point of playing with test-tubes when Abe walks in, in a wonderful mood. Henry asks what Abe did and he’s purposely vague, but Morgan notices he’s dehydrated and fixes him a tonic to replenish his electrolytes. When Henry gives Abe the drink, he smells a familiar perfume; it’s the scent Abe’s ex-wife Maureen Delacroix wears. Henry gets concerned as the couple got married and divorced twice and he’s afraid she’ll break Abe’s heart again. Abe says he knows what he’s doing and if his heart gets broken, he’ll know it still works.

The next day at the shop Abe’s surprised as Maureen shows up, as they had plans for dinner that night. The two are like teenagers and can’t keep their hands off each other and Abe closes the shop very early. Henry walks into the living quarters and sees Abe and Maureen dancing, smiles and leaves. He heads to Iona Payne’s office and she’s surprised to see him. He wants her opinion on how Gaines got electrocuted and she says she can demonstrate. Morgan says he’s afraid of giving up control, but she responds that he’s afraid of many things, but that’s not among them, and takes his suit jacket off, then puts him in some handcuffs over his head. She looks him in the eyes and she says that he’d gotten betrayed by someone he loved and trusted, which leads us to a flashback.

It’s 1815 and in front of the Morgan house Henry’s first wife Nora, weeps at his gravestone in her front-yard, but suddenly Henry walks through the gate saying he got back as soon as he could. She can’t believe its him at first, then embraces him and kisses him while she says she heard he’d been thrown over the ship. He says that now’s not the time to talk about that and they go into their home.

He returns to the present and tells her she’s correct, but she’s busy looking for something. It turns out to be the cattle prod that Hanson and Martinez found in the sewer near where Gaines body got discovered and her prints are all over it. They tell her she’s under arrest and then Jo takes a look around finds Henry in manacles. He says he can explain, but she says she’d rather not hear it.

Abe wakes up on the couch in a bathrobe, extremely disoriented when Maureen comes in and joins him. She tells him she searched her entire life for the best the world could offer and she had it all the time, him. She asks him to leave New York and travel with her and live out their Golden Years together. She then asks him why these old things are holding him back, not realizing it’s the oldest thing in his life, Henry that’s the reason.

Morgan asks Jo how the questioning with Iona’s going and Martinez responds, like everyone else she says she’s innocent, but Henry says he’s inclined to believe her. Martinez tells Henry that Payne likes him and Morgan’s a bit shocked, Jo then says how can the man who knows everything have missed that. Martinez tells Henry that she was a therapist before she went into domination-therapy, but got kicked out of the Medical Association, for having an affair with a patient. When she broke it off, he killed himself.

Martinez gets a warrant to search Payne’s office and she’s making some pretty catty remarks as she looks around. Her cellphone rings and it’s Hanson, but she loses the connection. He calls again and the call’s breaking up, but Jo asks Hanson to keep the line open and then explores the room with her phone, discovering a surveillance device under a statue. It’s police issue and last got checked out in 2002, by a retired detective, now a private investigator.

Henry and Abe talk and Abe tells Henry he’s going to take Maureen up on her offer and travel with her, she makes him feel alive. He wants Henry to meet her and Morgan’s shocked as Abe always insisted that Henry never meet anyone he got involved in. Abe says that’s because Henry never ages, but at his age, he’s worry-free. Henry will join them for dinner the next night. As Abe talks about having someone to count on, Henry flashes back to 1815, where he lies in bed with Nora. She once again asks why he won’t tell her what happened while at sea. He tells her she’ll never believe him, she looks him in the eyes and says he’s got her heart. She wants him to give her his and trust her.

Hanson, Martinez and Morgan talk to the retired detective about the device and he’s giving them nothing. He says illegal surveillance comes with a stiff sentence, but if they grant him immunity from prosecution, he’ll sing like a canary, they say yes and he tells him his client’s Gwyneth Gaines. She wanted to make sure there was no sex, but all she did was beat him. He then insults her a couple of times, and Morgan socks him in the mouth.

Jo heads back to see Mrs. Gaines and she admits she didn’t trust her husband and wanted to find out what Iona did to keep him satisfied. She felt terrible that another woman turned him around instead of her. Martinez then asks where Gaines was at 11:00 pm the night Richard got killed and she admits she was Payne’s appointment, making Iona innocent. She agrees to write sworn testimony so Payne can get released.

Henry walks Iona out to the parking lot and she says that she’s interested in him and he says isn’t that crossing the line again as a patient, she says she doesn’t want him as a patient. She then kisses him and infers she’ll be in touch. Henry smiles, then again flashes back to Nora. Now things aren’t happy, Henry’s ready to slit his wrist to prove he’s immortal, not insane. Nora stops him telling him she believes him and apologizes for doubting him.

Henry walks to his bicycle but a van pulls up, a guy gets out and zaps Henry in the chest with a cattle prod, until he blacks out then throws him in the back of the van. We switch to Abe and Maureen and Abe’s worried sick that Henry’s yet to arrive, he knows Henry’s in trouble, otherwise he’d be sitting with them. Maureen then tells Abe she realizes Henry’s Abe’s son and Abe says she’s correct. He calls Martinez who says she’ll check around, then goes outside to see Henry’s bike’s still locked up.

She and Hanson start going through surveillance footage and see Morgan get abducted, the van’s plate less, but Jo recognizes the tattoo as from one of Payne’s patients. She heads there with the picture of the tats and Iona says its Cliff Wadlow, a patient that’s been down to restricted sessions. She gives Martinez the address and says he’s likely to get violent given the issues with his stepfather.

Wadlow’s a full-blown psychotic and putting Morgan through horrific torture,  telling the Medical Examiner that Iona’s all his and he saw him kiss her. Henry says he knows what it feels like to get betrayed by someone you love and trust, then we see the end of Henry and Nora’s marriage as she has him taken to the Insane Asylum in a straight-jacket and he pleads her to stop. She says he’s sick, he hasn’t been the same man since he returned. He says because he’s not the same man.

Henry regains consciousness and Cliff says he’s going to make him more pain then Henry’s ever received and Morgan says he doubts it, but Wadlow zaps him with a car battery. Just then Hanson and Martinez arrive and Henry turns the electricity on his abuser, killing him. Abe gets a call from Martinez that Henry’s fine and Maureen realizes Abe won’t join her on the trip.

The final scene, Henry finally joins his workmates at their favorite watering hole. It’s a first step in living in the era he’s in.

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


Gotham: A Very Competitive Job Market

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX
Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last week the new FOX series “Gotham,” aired a landmark episode, revealing layer after layer of intrigue, finishing with an ending that made most viewer’s jaw’s drop. However, in a 22-episode season, as the show-runners look to reveal results slowly, we can’t realistically expect so many layers of the onion, to get peeled back each episode. They need to build the story at a pace, that will produce a new dynamic for its second season (and with the amount of promotion the Network’s giving the series, it seems a safe bet, it’ll get renewed.)

We’re viewing the coming of age of two Iconic characters, Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon and the city’s masked crime-fighter, the Batman, as a boy when his only identity’s Bruce Wayne. What we should expect to witness, is the character’s growth in each episode, taking them one step closer to the fate we realize awaits them. In that aspect, the latest episode entitled “The Mask,” hit the mark, as both Gordon and young Wayne took some big steps in their evolutions. Both characters got hurt, but came back to gain the final victory.

The episode opens in a dilapidated poorly lit large office and we see a man wearing a shirt and tie, suit pants and suspenders, he then pulls a black ski mask over his head, revealing just his eyes and nose. As he looks up, he sees another man identically dressed, getting ready to attack him. They use everything they can lay their hands on in their battle, staplers, paperclips, tape dispensers and they go after each other mercilessly. One of the men takes the blade from a paper-slicer, off its hinges and attempts to use it as a sword, the two men struggle over the blade until one slices the other’s jugular vein, killing him instantly.

The next morning the man’s body’s found outside miles away from the building by some uniforms, and Detectives Gordon, his partner Harvey Bullock and GCPD scientist Ed Nygma, inspect the scene. Nygma tells the pair, that the victim died around midnight but his body’s got moved to this spot, just a couple of hours earlier, then he asks if the detective want all the fingerprints found on the victim and pulls the assailant’s thumb out of the victim’s ear.

The pair head back to the station-house and Harvey heads into Captain Sarah Essen’s office. She asks how Gordon’s doing and Bullock says his partner’s justifiably angry, after being deserted by all his fellow officers when Carmine Falcone’s enforcer Victor Zsasz invaded the station to deliver Jim to Falcone. Essen says she regrets leaving, but Gordon told her to leave since everyone else vanished. Bullock says he wasn’t including her as a deserter.

Jim and Harvey start checking “criminal doctors,” physicians who got disbarred from the Medical Association, now earning what they can, patching up people who can’t go to a licensed physician. They enter one office as the doctor’s attempting to fix up a renowned criminal, Bullock asks him if he replaced a man’s thumb that morning and the doctor replies that he didn’t. That’s when Gordon discovered the same black ink that covered the victim’s body and knew the guy lied. He admits he did the procedure that morning, he didn’t get a name but a business card from Sionis Investments, dropped out of his pocket.

We return to the office complex and see three men dressed in the same clothes the combatants wore, locked in cages and asking when they’ll be released. A man in an African tribal mask says, they know what they need to do to gain their freedom.

The next scene’s set at Barbara Kean’s apartment and Jim walks into the apartment and gets hinky, because it’s dark. With her being imprisoned by Zsasz in the previous episode, Gordon’s jumpy and it turns out Barbara is as well, as she’s standing there when he turns around with his backup pistol pointed right at him. She apologizes and says she just got nervous, he tells her she shouldn’t handle firearms after she’s been drinking.

The trauma she went through has her very shaken up, she says each time she’s outside she feels that monster’s presence. Jim tells her Zsasz’s just a man not a monster, and she falls apart. She asks Jim to tell her she’ll be alright, she won’t get kidnapped again and there’s no monsters, even if he needs to lie. He says there’s no monsters, but she gets little comfort from his words.

The next morning, Jim’s packing up the gun to leave it at the station, when his fiancée stops him and apologizes for her behavior, but now she’s over it. She then says that she asked Jim to let her into his life on the force and now she’s definitely in it. But once again she sounds displeased that she got what she asked for.

Harvey and Gordon arrive at Sionis Investments, and they’re shocked to see every male financial analyst, sports some heavy-duty bruises, quite unusual in a white-collar office. They’re brought into meet the owner of the Investment firm, Richard Sionis, whose office’s crammed with tribal masks and swords of all eras. (It’s possible, that he’s the father of Roman Sionis, The Black Mask, whose a longtime adversary of the Caped Crusader in the DC Comics.) Bullock asks about all the warrior gear and Sionis responds, it inspires him seeking investors trying to steal them from other firms and to conquer. Gordon inquiries why his staff’s so banged up and the investor responds they play hard-core touch-football.

Gordon angrily accuses him of lying and Sionis, gets impressed, calling Jim a warrior and asking how many he’s killed? Gordon grabs the investor by the knot of his tie and tells him he knows Sionis killed the victim and the other man responds prove it. Gordon and Bullock walk out , but Jim follows a trail of blood to the men’s room and finds a guy whose a nose-bleeder, his nostrils stuffed with tissues. But seconds later a man walks in with an injured hand and Gordon knows it’s the guy, who promptly knocks Gordon to the floor, then he gets knocked down by the door as Harvey slams in the melon with the door.

Let’s briefly look at  the other two subplots of the evening. The first concerns Fish Mooney and her mole in the Falcone camp, Liza. Mooney gives the young woman a vial of liquid that’ll knock out Falcone for two-hours during that time she can copy some files for the gang leader. Later in the show, Liza’s performed the deed but tells Fish, she wants out, but Mooney informs her it’s not an option.

The other subplot’s more interesting and more long-term, as Alfred’s decided it’s time for Master Bruce to return to his school. We’ve watched Bruce mature quickly, over the course of the season, but now it’s time for peer interaction. The boy argues that studies show home schooling’s more effective, but Alfred tells him he needs to interact with kids his age. When Bruce asks why, he receives every child’s most hated response; Because. Young Bruce won’t accept that answer, so Alfred simply tells him to march up the stairs.

He gets some welcome attention from some pretty girls, but then two slimeballs, greet him and sit down. One kid’s just sits there, while his buddy starts asking inappropriate questions about Bruce’s parents murder. Bruce walks away. He sees the pair again as the break to change classes occurs, the talkative one calls out hey Brucey and Wayne responds his name’s Bruce and doesn’t contain the letter y. The kid asks what’s Wayne’s problem and he replies they got out of line with their comments. The kid calls Wayne a snob and starts saying something about Bruce’s mother, when Wayne slaps his cheek, telling him to never mention his mother. But the slap’s like how a mother would slap her child and we know Bruce will suffer a beating.

Back at the station, Jim and Harvey question the murderer and he says he acted in self-defense. He then told them, Sionis puts all his potential employees through a battle against each other and the victor gets the gig. He says they got taken to an old office park, but they blindfolded him, so he doesn’t know where it is. He says he’ll sign a confession, but Sionis’ attorney arrives before he can.

Now to implicate Sionis, they need to find the facility, Gordon takes some names of empty office parks, owned by Sionis and of course finds the right facility on his own and doesn’t call for backup. He enters, finds the three guys in cages and asks if they’re the only ones there. A second later he finds out Richard Sionis, is with them, as he knocks the detective with a Taser.

Gordon’s woken by Sionis’ voice and he tells him via a speaker system that he’s about to fight for his life.  A TV monitor comes on and there’s a group of pretty-people, jaded thrill-seekers, who’ve found a temporary buzz betting on human combatants in these fights Sionis stages. We realize they’re watching the event via closed circuit TV, at a remote location. The three men from the cages, now freed, and wearing the ski masks, Sionis announces that the usual battles are between prospective employees, but this time it’s three against one and the man who kills Gordon gets the gig. The detective says this is their last chance to back out and Sionis says the killer also receives a million-dollar bonus. Gordon, realizes this fight’s going down.

Bullock attempts to reach Gordon, who of course can’t get to the phone, so he attempts to get some other cops to help find him, but gets no takers. Harvey then seems to prove he’s become one of the good guys, as he shouts to get everybody’s attention, then rips them apart for not helping one of their own. He says they’ve got a chance to redeem themselves for running out on Jim the first time, but they’re blowing it. Captain Essen speaks up and says she’ll help and that unleashes the flood gates as all get involved.

Now, even though it’s a three-on-one fight, we’re talking three finance-majors, taking on a man with a military background and he’s a GCPD Detective, my money’s on Gordon. And it doesn’t take him long to take all three out, disappointing the audience, who all bet on one of the three opponents. But they begin to cheer when Sionis appears, wearing his mask and wielding a sword. Gordon, subdues him, then straddles Sionis with Jim holding the sword above his head, ready to plunge it into his opponent’s heart, but refuses to give into the desire. He gets off of Sionis, just as Essen and a uniform arrive, the investor tries blind siding Gordon, but Jim knocks him down.

Alfred picks Bruce up at school and he sees the boy’s bruised and asks what happened. Bruce hems and haws, then finally tells Alfred the kid insulted his mother. The butler says that’s great and he hopes Wayne knocked his teeth out, but Bruce says the other kid’s bigger and he doesn’t know how to fight. They get into the car and stop on a street, Bruce doesn’t recognize, but both get out of the car. Alfred then hands the boy a watch, telling him it’s Bruce’s father’s and take good care of it. He then points to a house where the kid lives and says Bruce might have something to say to him. The boy smiles and walks to the house and rings the bell, seconds later the slimeball opens the door, asking why he’s there. Wayne says they’ve got unfinished business then punches the kid once in the mouth and once in the nose, as the kid’s face turns bloody.

Alfred says he thinks that’s fair play, then asks the little bully what he thinks? The kid’s shocked and says he tried to kill me, Alfred smiles then advises the kid to remember that and that Alfred would let him do it. When they get home, Bruce tells Alfred he’s angry all the time and asks if that will fade, the butler replies he doesn’t know. Wayne then asks if Alfred can teach him to fight and Alfred smiles and says  ”Yes…. Master Bruce, I can do that.”

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

Tyrant: Meet The New Boss

Photo Courtesy Of Vered Adir/FX Network
Photo Courtesy Of Vered Adir/FX Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Over the last two months, the fictional Middle East country of Abbudin and the main characters in the FX Original Series: “Tyrant,” have experienced a tumultuous ride. The nation’s long time President died, passing the reins of power to his oldest son Jamal, anti-government protesters took over the square of the capital and two families who despised each other for 20-years, sat down at the negotiating table. With the President Jamal Al Fayeed, secretly responsible for the death of the opposition leader, after pummeling the old man, his younger brother Barry/Bassam, believes that overthrowing the President’s the only solution to save their country for a long and bitter civil war.

This episode picked up shortly after the end of the previous one, as American Ambassador to Abbudin John Tucker, heads to the square to meet with Barry, who spent the night wandering the streets of his native land, drinking a bottle of scotch out of a brown paper bag. Al Fayeed informs Tucker that Jamal caused the death of opposition leader Sheik Rashid, after the old man goaded the President before a ceremony at the palace. The world believes, that the Sheik collapsed due to his ill-health, but Jamal admitted his deed to Barry, hoping his brother would make sure that Rashid never regained consciousness. After initially being repulsed by the concept, Barry injected Rashid with a drug that soon took his life and preserving the tentative peace between the two sides.

Tucker had told Barry, that there were members of Jamal’s cabinet that wanted him replaced and Al Fayeed tells the Ambassador that he wants to sit down with them and design a way to get his brother out of office, while retaining his freedom and his fortune. Tucker, asks him who Barry wants to replace Jamal and Al Fayeed tells him although he has run from the responsibility for 20-years, he’s the man who should lead the nation.

Tucker literally laughs in his face, telling Barry that he’s a pediatrician and drunk, then tells him to go back to the palace and sleep it off. Although Al Fayeed’s staggering, he tells Tucker, that he brought the Sheik back to Abbudin and cleared the square without bloodshed. He believes he’s the man to become the next President. Tucker tells him they never had this conversation and tells him to keep his plans to himself until the Ambassador contacts him.

Barry heads back to the palace just in time to catch his family eating breakfast. Besides his wife Molly, son Sammy and daughter Emma, Molly’s sister Jenna arrived in Abbudin overnight and greets her brother-in-law by telling him he smells of single-malt liquor. Molly asks her husband if everything’s okay, she worried when he didn’t contact her and Barry apologizes, telling her that he had worked on plans for the upcoming election. He then tells his wife, he’s going to bed for a couple of hours, but to please wake him to attend a memorial service for Sheik Rashid.

Barry and Jamal pay their condolences to the Sheik’s two sons and his brother Walid. Barry, then pulls aside the youngest son Ihab and tells him that the two families have to continue on the path that the Al Fayeeds had reached with his father, free elections in two-years. Ihab responds that lots could happen in two-years, possibly the end of life on earth. Barry makes a deal with Rashid for his support in return for holding the elections in nine months.

Back at the palace after the ceremony, Jamal’s wife Leila starts berating Barry for making a new deal with Ihab without consulting his brother. She tells him that she has her husband’s best interests at heart, but his brother may have his own agenda. Jamal, then reveals to Leila that Barry injected the Sheik with a drug that made sure he never regained consciousness, despite it going against his brother’s principles. He tells her that’s all the proof he needs that Barry would do anything for him.

The next morning Jamal’s holding a ceremony announcing a new state-of-the-art soccer field, that all can use, as he’s trying to win over his people. Yussef, former chief-advisor to the late President, drives Barry to the ceremony, but stops for a detour en route. Yussef tells Barry, that John Tucker had contacted him, as he leads the faction that wants to oust Jamal. They enter a safe-house, which Tucker tells Al Fayeed is a haven for weary travelers. He then introduces Barry to Lea Exley, whom Al Fayeed assumes is from the State Dept. but most likely she’s an operative for the CIA.

The four sit down and discuss what Tucker refers to as the M&M’s; Military, Money and Media, all vitally important to staging a successful coup. Barry, says he can’t fathom getting cooperation from his uncle General Tariq Al Fayeed, commander of the nations military, but he’s told that the General has enemies within his ranks. As far as the media, Yussef tells him that Jamal’s daughter-in-law Nusrat’s father Hakim controls the country’s media and both parents despise Jamal. When Barry asks why, Yussef tells Barry that Jamal decided to test Nusrat’s purity the night of her wedding to his son Ahmed. He then tells Al Fayeed to imagine how his brother tested the young woman and that he’s Hakim’s wife’s cousin and will attempt to intercede on their behalf.

After Yussef and Barry leave, Exley tells Tucker not to become too attached to the younger Al Fayeed brother. Tucker responds that the situation’s perfect, its home-grown and they have a valid plan. Exley replies that Mike Tyson used to say everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Barry and Yussef arrive at the site where the soccer field will soon exist and Jamal reminds his brother about their days playing soccer as boys and then asks Barry if he remembers their fishing trips and his brother smiles and tells Jamal he does. Jamal, with a wistful look in his eyes says that they will soon go on another fishing expedition together, unaware that Barry’s planning his own expedition with Jamal as the quarry.

Back at the palace, Tariq and his right-hand-man Ziad, are meeting with Walid Rashid about the upcoming elections. The General tells Rashid that the people love his family and with the Sheik having died, he wants Walid to run for President. Rashid protests that he’s got no political aspirations and Tariq tells him not to worry that he’ll lose the race, but it will be a convincing show for the outside world and he’ll be compensated handsomely for serving his country.

Barry’s decided that with upcoming coup, that Molly, her sister and their kids need to head back to California for their safety, but he tries to delude his wife that they should head home for a week the following week while they still can, before he becomes too occupied with the upcoming election. Molly tells him she loves the idea, but she needs more than a week notice before heading home. Barry snarls back that he’s sick of compromising and he wants one thing to work out exactly as he requests. Molly’s visibly upset, but tells her husband that his wish will come true and they will depart in six-days.

Having been informed by Yussef, that Hakim’s too afraid of the General to join their coup attempt, Barry finds the old man at a local coffee shop. After making minimal small-talk, Barry tells Nusrat’s father that he needs his assistance to overthrow his brother, but Hakim replies that he fears for his and his family’s safety too much to join him. Al Fayeed then describes Abbudin in a few months after Jamal alienates the people and civil strife begins, he tells the old man that if refuses to help he’ll be hung and his wife and daughter will live in prison.

As he heads back to his car, he’s unpleasantly surprised to find Ziad waiting for him and asks him what’s going on and the military official responds he’s there for Barry’s safety and he should come along with him. Al Fayeed, pulls out his cellphone telling the soldier he’ll come with him right after he calls Jamal and Ziad asks him if he’s going to tell his brother about his plans to overthrow him. It turns out that Tucker had alerted him about Barry’s plan and Ziad will take out Tariq. He then tells Al Fayeed that Tucker sent him to follow Barry to make sure that he doesn’t attempt any meetings in public like the one he just concluded with Hakim.

Barry’s driven back to the palace, but sees Molly jogging en route and asks the driver to let him out and he goes to talk with her. She tells her husband that she’s made all the arrangements for their trip home, but Jenna will stay in Abbudin as she just arrived. Barry starts to lose it, then composes himself and asks her to take a walk with him and he reveals what’s unfolding to his wife. She takes a while to comprehend that her husband’s engineering the coup and he’s planning on replacing Jamal. Now it’s Molly’s turn to lose it and she unloads on her husband with both barrels.

She screams at her husband that he’s in over his head, he’ll end up getting killed and he’s given no consideration to her or their children. She calls him a liar and tells Barry that he made her a liar as well, because he made her promise to tell him when the time was to head home. She can’t understand why after abandoning his family and country that he’s pursuing his plan. She then tells him that she’s taking her family home.

The following morning, Barry’s having breakfast with his family when they’re interrupted by two of Jamal’s guards, telling him that his brother wants to meet with him immediately. Barry and Molly exchange a look of concern and the two guards lead him to the marina where Jamal’s standing on the dock looking out at the water. It turns out that Jamal wanted Barry to see the new boat that his brother bought for him so they could fish together.

The story will pick up again next Tuesday on FX.

Halt And Catch Fire: The 214s

Photo by Tina Rowden/AMC
Photo by Tina Rowden/AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Perhaps the best analogy for the eighth episode of AMC summer sensation “Halt And Catch Fire,” would be the juggler who keeps multiple plates spinning on sticks, forcing him to constantly move, ensuring that none of the plates ever hit the ground. There were so many individual brush fires burning within Cardiff Electric and in the lives of some characters, that one false move could have led to an inferno. Each of the show’s main characters were severely tested during the episode and the team behind the Cardiff Electric personal computer, dubbed the “Giant” almost led each member running to a different destination.

The episode opened on a productive morning at the Cardiff office-complex, as Sales Manager John Bosworth, programmer Cameron Howe, software engineer Gordon Clark and Senior Product Manager Joe MacMillan, planned out their itinerary for the company’s appearance at Comdex to introduce their revolutionary machine. Clark and MacMillan talk to Bosworth about all the money that the company will need to payout to make the right impression and they finish arrangements on getting a booth in prime retail space on the trade-show’s floor.

The camaraderie among the team disappears quickly when Gordon finds out that only MacMillan will represent the company at Comdex, as he naturally assumed that he was in on the trip and presentation. He ridicules Joe, telling him that although he’s great in sales, he knows nothing about the computer and he’ll be stuck if the machine glitches. MacMillan hits Clark below the belt, reminding the engineer of the disaster he and his wife Donna went through two-years earlier when they tried introducing their own personal computer the Symphonic.

Gordon goes back to his office and freaks out that he’s being left home after envisioning himself rubbing elbows, with industry visionaries like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. He tries listening to a stress-relieving cassette on his Walkman but seconds later chucks the machine against his office wall.

Donna’s back at their house, watering the back lawn, repaired from Gordon’s excavation mission in search of a Giant in the previous episode, when she realizes someone’s on her property. She heads out front to find her boss at Texas Instruments, Hunt about to get back into his car. She stops him and asks why he’s there and he becomes flustered and asks her to forget he was there. He seems interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with Donna, one she initiated in the previous episode by misreading his intentions and kissing him. She tells him that he can’t just show up at her house, he tells her she’s a fantastic woman and drives away.

She enters the house to find a very solemn Gordon and we can see that she believes that her husband’s aware of her indiscretion. However, she sighs with relief when he tells her that he broke their rule about consulting each other about purchases over fifty dollars, by spend 450 dollars for a hotel room for Comdex. She smiles blankly and tells him that’s fine.

Next morning Bosworth’s about to enter his office with a coffee cup in hand when his secretary tries to intercept him, but he brushes her off, walks into his office and sees a very angry Nathan Cardiff standing in front of his desk. John tries using his “Good Ol Boy Charm” on the owner of the company, but it fails miserably. Nathan brings up an earlier conversation between them, when Bosworth approached him to pony up the money that the personal computer division needed, but the owner denied the request and told his employee that when the division ran out of funds to shut it down.

John starts to exhibit his discomfort with the conversation, just as we realize that something’s amiss. How could the team make this giant presentation without any funds left in the budget? Bosworth tries to say that he was able to cut some unnecessary expenses and divert it to the division, but we can see by the look in Nathan’s eyes that he’s aware that his Sales Manager has done far more manipulation than what he stated.

We move to the outer office to see a group of FBI agents entering the building and we soon learn they are there for two purposes, to arrest Bosworth for hacking into the company’s bank account and diverting funds into the computer division and to shut Cardiff down and to seize all the computers on the premises. Clark walks into the office minutes after the agents arrived and heads straight to the “Kill Room” and proceeds to disassemble the Giant prototype. By the time the agents enter the room the prototype is now in pieces and arousing no suspicion from the agents, who take a computer from the office but leave all the components of the Giant behind.

Nobody can spot a scam quicker than a scam-artist, a role MacMillan has found himself in several times over the years and he grabs Cameron and pull her into an office, closing the door behind him. Joe realizes that Bosworth doesn’t have the skill-set to have hacked into the bank’s computer system and it’s unlikely anyone in his circle of friends have that knowledge either. He asks Cameron if she’s involved and the programmer tells him that she and John would have replenished the diverted funds with sales from the Giant. He leaves the office and runs into Gordon in the hallway and they make plans to meet back at the Clark’s house.

Cameron, Joe and Gordon sit down in the Clark’s garage and Gordon mistakenly believes that there’s no truth to the accusations, but MacMillan quickly makes him aware that’s incorrect. He tells Clark that Howe’s involved and the three start throwing barbs and accusations at each other and all three head their separate ways. Gordon calls Donna at her office and starts to unload all his problems, but she can’t handle it and tells him she has to attend a meeting. She brings some reports to Hunt’s office, but his secretary tells her he’s not in the office, then asks if Donna would like to sign the going-away card for Hunt, who handed in his resignation unexpectedly. Donna’s rocked by the news that he’s leaving and tries unsuccessfully to get further details from the secretary.

Gordon grabs a pair of bolt-cutters from his garage and heads into his car. We next see him in the Cardiff offices and he gathers up all the components for the Giant and carries them into his car and takes off quickly. Donna has no idea where he could be and goes to bed, but wakes up at 1:50 am and sees her husband has yet to come to bed. She finds him in the garage finishing reassembling the Giant and she screams at him that he’s tampering with evidence in a criminal case, but he corrects her as by leaving it behind during the raid, the FBI did not consider it evidence.

He tells his wife he’s crazy and she once was too, but she felt she had to mature and take on the role of the grown-up in the relationship. Gordon begs for her to remember who she was and believe in him and Donna tells him she supports him fully. He tells her that he’s driving to Austin as that’s where Cameron reportedly is, kisses his wife and takes off into the night. She heads into the house, calls her mother and tells her that she and her two daughters need to stay with them for a while. She asks her mother to pick up the girls in the morning and she plans to talk to Joe the next evening.

Howe’s playing video games at an arcade as Clark walks over to her and says he’s got next and the shock registers in her eyes. She develops a new-found respect for the engineer when he reveals he broke into Cardiff and stole the Giant, which now’s in his garage. He starts talking to her about her heading to Comdex along with him and Joe, but she’s against the idea at first, but Gordon shows some salesmanship by getting her to agree to join them.

MacMillan’s working his own angles, calling a potential customer about placing an order for some of the Cardiff computers before Comdex, but the man says he’s going to buy the IBM model. Joe counters that IBM doesn’t produce a personal computer, but the man informs him that word on the street says that “Big Blue” will have a model in production the following year. Joe decides to get the information straight from the horse’s mouth and catches a flight to New York to hear it from his estranged father. John Getz who’s cast as MacMillan Senior’s an actor that I remember as a very young man from the seventies. The characters that he played did not have the angst of either of the MacMillan men, but he’s done a great job in the role now making two appearances.

Father asks son why he’s in his office and the son responds to find out whether IBM is going into the personal computer market. MacMillan Senior replies they are and Joe takes it as an overt act by his father to crush him. The father tells his son that he has delusions of grandeur, that even if Joe Senior, wanted to accomplish that IBM would never allow it. He then says that if it’s any consolation the machine won’t start production for at least a year.

The son getting the information he came for, gets ready to depart and fly back to Dallas, but his father convinces him to have a drink and clear the air between them. We quickly get to the source of the problem between them and what led to his meltdown at IBM. Joe’ father told him, that his mother was dead for 23-years, only to find out shortly before his scary performance at IBM that she got committed to an institution for all those years and his dad told him the truth when his mother actually passed.

We learned a few episodes back Mrs. MacMillan had some severe mental problems and was abusing drugs when Joe was in grade school. One night she took him up to their roof to look at the stars and without paying attention, let go of his hand and the boy immediately lost his balance and impaled throughout his torso as he landed on a metal fence with each post topped with a point.  Joe asked if his father hates him because he reminds him of his late wife and MacMillan Senior replies he loves his son and he loved his wife. He then asks his son to return to IBM and Joe replies he will if he’s in charge of the personal computer division, his father says he’ll make it happen and it looks like MacMillan is going to leave his teammates floating down the river on their own.

Donna’s waiting for her soon-to-be estranged husband at the house and she walks into the garage and heads over to the Giant and boots it up. At first we can tell she’s impressed, soon she starts to enjoy and then a broad smile covers her face as she realizes Gordon encoded an encryption that they are the only two people that can read it She sees their original computer broken on the garage floor and attempts to fix it, but as she heads into the drawer she stumbles across a red ring box, smiles and then starts to cry, moments before she’s scared that he was losing his mind, those fears vanish upon discovering the box.

Back from Austin the pair head  to Joe’s and he doesn’t answer the door, however Cameron has a key and lets them both in. Not  as ostentatious as Gordon imagined. After the pair get some beer and a pizza, and while are eating and drinking on MacMillan’s floor the two open enough to each other to talk about their histories. Now we get the information that so effected Donna. He tells Howe, that he and Donna met while was in college and he really wanted this kit to build your own computer, but he was deep in debt and couldn’t get everything he wanted. As she knocks on his door he is frantically searching the ring.  After watching his effort in futility, she told him to stop looking for the ring, she found it and pawned it, and she got him the Computer Kit telling him that when he sells his first computer, she then would gladly take the ring back.  He told Cameron that the original guy who designed their first ring duplicated it completely and he has it hidden in the garage.

Joe finds Gordon and Cameron at his apartment and questions why they are there, Gordon tells him the three of them are going to Comdex and MacMillan once again ridicules his statement. However Clark then tells Joe that he has the Giant in his garage and the three of them can go there, take orders from customers and with the sad financial strength of Cardiff Electric, Nathan’s not going to refuse to get the added revenue. They have just one problem, they need funds so Cameron convinces Joe to sell his Porsche and although totally bummed, they now have the money to show off the Giant at Comdex. They head back to Clark’s house and Donna tells her husband she’s joining him for trip to Comdex and it appears that the marriage’s back on steady ground.

The story will pick up again next Sunday night on “AMC