Tag Archives: Season Two Episode Eight

Gotham: She’s Wild About The Boy

Photo: Courtesy Of FOX
Photo: Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Monday night we watched Theo  Galavan apparently going out with a whimper instead of a bang while Barbara Kean took a licking but keeps on kicking in the latest episode of “Gotham.” After spending his entire life dedicated to restoring respect for his family in Gotham City, has one sloppy loose end led to all of Galavan’s plans and schemes fall apart like a castle made of ashes? Or will Theo emulate the Phoenix and rise from the ashes and become an even bigger threat to the city his ancestors got hounded out of?

If this episode truly marked the end to the Theo Galavan story-arc, it looks from this vantage point that he turned out to be far more sizzle than steak. Galavan may fancy himself a criminal-mastermind however the crimes he engineered were filled with showmanship, however except for the massive slaughter at Sarah Essen’s precinct  Gotham City was left relatively unscathed. Besides the attack which took the life of the newly installed Commissioner Essen and many of her officers, those broken out of Arkham Asylum by Galavan and his sister Tabitha suffered the most. All of the seven are either dead or badly injured except for Aaron Helzinger, who seems to have disappeared or gotten forgotten about.

However, I’m not quite certain we’ve had our last visit with the Galavan siblings this season, Gotham’s shown us that fans need to expect the unexpected. Tabitha got winged by Gordon late in the episode, but shouldn’t keep her out of action for long and we likely can look forward to Tabby try to break Theo out sooner rather later.

The episode begins with a nightmare that Barbara Kean’s having, starting out wonderfully as she walks down the aisle of Gotham Cathedral as Jim Gordon stands waiting for her at the altar. However like most nightmares the situation  quickly morphs beginning with their Priest Father Callahan turning into the Penguin. She glances back into the pews and where seconds before sat her wedding guests, inmates from Arkham are now in their seats.

Kean sounds like something’s stuck in her throat and a bird flies out of her mouth. Then she’s in the pews bound and gagged with Lee Thompkins now wearing a bridal gown. She wakes up and realizes it’s a bad dream, but then looks in front of her and she sees a present’s wrapped on the table complete with a bow and a card. The card reads simply Today, G.

Galavan’s looking at his city in the rain through the window in his office when Tabitha walks in and asks doesn’t the mayor get to sleep-in. Theo says that Jim Gordon’s speeded up his time-table and he hopes to meet with Bruce Wayne later and have control of Wayne Enterprises by the end of the day. Barbara enters the room and tells Theo she loves her present and she hopes it means what she thinks it does. He smiles back at her and says today’s the day you get to kill Jim Gordon.

Detectives Gordon and Bullock are having a meeting with GCPD Captain Nathaniel Barnes as Gordon presents his case against Theo Galavan lacking a shred of solid evidence to back his claims up. Barnes tells Gordon he’s relying on  hearsay and innuendo and they can’t issue a warrant based on that. The Captain tells his detectives they need to do some old-fashioned police work and get proof that verifies what they suspect and what Butch Gilzean and Penguin told Jim.

Gordon and Bullock leave the office and go back to the main precinct room when suddenly a couple of uniforms take out their  service-revolvers and tell someone not to take another step. Barbara’s standing there with a big grin on her face and asking Gordon what’s new? She tells the GCPD she’ll only agree to questioning by her former fiancée alone in the interrogation room. She then proceeds to play him like a concert violinist. She tells him to hurt her that she’s been a bad girl, he tells her she’s a good woman but she’s sick. Her face contorts about a thousand different ways in a second and then she bursts into tears.

Gordon rushes over from the opposite end of the room, puts hands around her faces and kisses her gently on the lips. Even Kean’s a bit rocked by that, suddenly smiling and saying I knew you still had feelings for me, he replies of course he still has feelings for her. He asks her to tell him about Galavan and how he engineered the situation and Barbara says she needs to show him something first and it’s not far away. Then she’ll tell him all about the man he hates.

Everybody realizes this is a trap, but Gordon suggests they play along. Another example in Jim’s mind what Bruce Wayne said to him early this season, doing the right thing isn’t always pretty. Does Gordon head into these situations believing he’s John Wayne and that good always triumphs over evil and he’ll come out victorious? Or is there a part of Jim Gordon that longs to go out with his boots on, believing he’d be far more powerful as a martyred symbol than carrying on the fight? Does he forget that he lost his colleague, friend and commander Sarah Essen and that the GCPD’s just as corrupt as it was before she got murdered?

An older car still in good condition’s driving along a road in the countryside, Ed Nygma’s at the wheel with Kristen Kringle’s corpse in a steamer-trunk in the trunk of his car. Nygma removes the steamer-trunk and a long-handled spade and scouts around for a spot to bury the trunk.

Silver St. Cloud greets Bruce with a kiss on his cheek when he arrives at the Galavan estate. She says that her uncle should be right along and Wayne asks her if she knows what Theo wants to discuss with Bruce? She says she doesn’t but he seemed awfully excited. Galavan arrives right then apologizing to Bruce that he’s tardy and says he’s looking forward to discussing some matters.

Barnes introduces Gordon and Bullock to the new members of the Strike-Force who’ll soon have their baptism-by-fire as they’ll be tailing the two detectives and Kean in a fully equipped SUV. Barnes tells them if he feels anything’s going hinky he’s pulling the plug and ordering them to turn around. Jim walks over to Lee and starts to give her his usual speech about he needs to do this, but she refuses to accept the excuse this time. She says this is all on him that Kean sucked him right back in that his sickness feeds off Barbara’s sickness. He says he’s not sick, Lee responds that seeing an abyss and being drawn to it is far from healthy.

Theo asks Bruce what’s his dream what would make his greatest wish a reality and Wayne responds finding out the identity of the man who killed his parents. Galavan asks him what he’s do with that information and the boy responds he’d kill the man.

Theo then says that his fondest wish is to clean up Gotham City and make it corruption free, but to accomplish that he needs Bruce’s help. He then tells Wayne that his family’s company’s involved in all sorts of criminal and corrupt activities and conducting barbaric experiments. Bruce looks a bit confused by thanks Theo for the information and tells the new mayor he’ll rectify the situation but Galavan smiles at him sadly and he says can’t.

He then tells the boy that if Wayne sells Theo his controlling shares of Wayne Enterprises he’ll root out all the corruption and clean up the corporation. Even though Bruce’s young this should tell him to start pumping the brakes, but what follows should cause Wayne to realize Galavan’s a snake. He holds up a manila envelope filled with what he claims is documented proof of who killed Bruce’s parents, including accomplices and photographs. He calls it a deal-sweetener and tells Bruce he has until the end of business that day to give Galavan his decision.

Nygma finishes digging the hole and has the steamer-trunk inside it when he raises a glass of wine and makes a toast to Kringle before he covers her with dirt. He thanks her for she took a man that was two warring halves and finally made him whole. An older hunter comes upon the scene and Nygma kills him with shovel as he’s trying to determine what Ed’s got in the trunk. Nygma says he’s going to have to improvise and tells the stiff not to go anywhere.

Of course Kean’s led them into a trap as the cruiser they’re driving gets T-boned by a tractor-trailer. A shoot-out between the Strike-Force and Galavan’s guys take place, but Kean escapes and Tabitha knocks Gordon out with a hypodermic filled with sedatives she sticks in his neck. When Harvey comes back to the precinct all bandaged up Barnes tells the detective to get home and get rested. Harvey instead goes into the basement and listens to audiotape of Kean’s earlier conversation with Gordon.

Nygma returns to the grave with some hacksaws to cut up the hunter’s corpse when he notices the finger-sandwiches he laid out were eaten by somebody. So not wanting to leave any witnesses behind he follows the tracks of the sandwich thief.

Alfred finds a deeply troubled Bruce in the cave and asks him if he wants something to eat. Bruce then asks his guardian what’s a realistic time-table for him to become the man who can clean-up Wayne Enterprises. Alfred responds that the process could take years, but that Wayne will become that man. Bruce then asks how many innocent people will die at the hands of Wayne Enterprises until he’s ready?

He tells Alfred about Galavan’s offer to purchase Bruce’s controlling shares of the corporation and that if he makes the deal Theo will provide the name of the man that killed his parents. Alfred says that’s extortion and Bruce responds there’s a thin line between extorting and negotiating. Alfred replies that the line still exists and Bruce asks if it’s wrong of him to want to give up and just get closure. His guardian hugs him tightly as he tells the boy it isn’t wrong at all.

Gordon regains consciousness to find he’s tied to a wheelchair, with his hands bound behind the chair by rope. (Don’t these  villains ever watch TV or go to a movie? Galavan’s got BILLIONS, spring for a lousy pair of handcuffs!)  He looks around and realizes he’s in a church along with a gagged and bound Father Callahan and some stragglers Barbara’s henchmen rounded up and tied up who are now seated in the pews as witnesses.

Harvey after listening to the conversation over and over suddenly realizes that Kean’s got Jim imprisoned in the church they were to get married in, Gotham Cathedral. Barnes and Bullock along with the Strike-Force head to the church.

Kean starts chiding Gordon that he realized that she was setting a trap to ensnare him but he still went ahead as he thinks he’ll always win, or perhaps die. He says he doesn’t want to die and she tells him that too bad as that’s the option that she’s chosen for him. He asks her if she’s going to give him anything on Galavan and she reveals that Mayor Aubrey James is stashed in a warehouse on the China Docks.  She then asks what Lee must think about all this and then says lets ask her and she’s wheeled in on another chair. Now Gordon’s got a reason to cut those ropes binding his hands together.

She starts taunting Lee and asking if she knows how Gordon got reinstated to the GCPD and Lee replies that he killed a guy for Penguin. Barbara clasps her hands in glee and says she never thought Gordon would have told her. She then asks Lee if she thinks she knows Jim better than her? She pulls out a long knife and says she loves her more than Thompkins and places it against Lee’ chin. Lee distracts her by saying she loves her wedding gown and asks where she got it? Gordon breaks free of his bonds and grabs Kean’s sawed-off shotgun and kills the two henchmen, she scatters into the upper pews in the church.

Jim tells her to put down the blade and she tries slashing him. He defends himself and knocks the blade out of her hands with the rifle-butt. They struggle and she crashes through the stained glass window, Gordon grabs her hand tells her to hold on. She tells him she loves him and lets go. She survives the fall ending up with numerous broken-bones, a concussion and heads into the ambulance in critical condition.

They find Mayor James in a warehouse with the wooden box still encasing his head. Barnes asks the Mayor who did this to him and James bellows whom do you think. Bruce’s about to sign over his shares to Galavan when he suddenly announces he’s changed his mind. Just then Gordon, Bullock and Barnes walk in and Jim tells Alfred to keep the boy away from Theo. He then hits Galavan in the jaw and tells him he’s under arrest. when Theo asks on what charge Gordon spits back kidnapping and torturing Mayor James.

Back in the country Nygma’s followed the tracks back a to a motor home, darkness has fallen and the lights are on inside. He hesitantly starts touching the camper when a man stumbles out the door causing Ed to fall and lose his glasses momentarily. Ed puts on his glasses just the man drops the pipe he held above his head and sinks to his knees. Ed whispers out Mr. Penguin and a badly injured Oswald Cobblepot pleads for help.

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

Tyrant: Searching For Trust In Times Of War

Photo Courtesy Of FX
Photo Courtesy Of FX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Sometimes we can run as fast and as far as we can and still end up at the place we started. Bassam Al Fayeed tried to run away from his destiny for over 20-years. However even after being left for dead in the desert by his older brother Jamal, Bassam’s on the verge of helping his brother save Abbudin and in turn his presidency. The phone conversation between the two brothers in the final scene of the latest chapter of the FX Original Series “Tyrant,” was just one of a series interesting events, in an action packed episode that seemed to fly by.

The first scene takes place in the hotel room of Molly Al Fayeed, whose surprised when she wakes up next in bed next to her attorney James Timmons. She sees that she’s fully clothed as is the attorney, turns out they both imbibed heavily the night before on Chinese whiskey and simply passed out in her bed. Timmons infers he has feelings for Molly, but he says what ever this is, they’ll have time to figure it out once they get back home to California.

Molly’s elation about heading back to the States, doesn’t last long as she gets a disturbing call from Sammy. He tells her he’s on the road with Marwan and they’re about to meet with the leader of the Red Hand, a group that’s trying to defeat the Caliphate Army and need funding. What neither Sammy or Molly realize, is the man Sammy’s heading to meet is Barry/Bassam.

Barry’s treating an injured child in Ma’an when another aerial barrage rocks the area the Red Hand occupy. Siddiq enters the shelter and says the Caliphate Army must know that’s where the Red Hand’s hiding, but Bassam tells him that an aerial attack’s emanating from the government. He then makes a call on his cell phone, Siddiq asks who he’s calling.

Jamal’s praying in Arabic, calling out to God to show him the right path and keep evil away from his family and his country. He switches back to English and asks that if someone whose committed the evils he has, even has a right to pray. He tells God he realizes he’s being punished for killing his brother, but asks how much of a price he has to pay? He’s lost his grandson and half his country, he’s willing to sacrifice himself, but asks that his son Ahmed be spared.

Leila storms into the room and berates her husband for his self-pity. She says that God has too much to do, to punish Jamal. She then says you’re the President and Abbudin needs you, stop your crying and get back to work.

Colonel Mahmoud enters Rami’s office and tells him a man claiming to be Khalid, the leader of the Red Hand’s on line three, Rami asks if he’s legit and Mahmoud says all he knows is that’s whom the caller claims to be. General Said gets on the phone with the man who in reality’s his uncle and starts asking for proof. Bassam responds he’ll give him a target, the address of the compound that houses all the Caliphate Army’s leadership. Rami says he could be setting him up to bomb innocent civilians. He says that he wants the Red Hand to set-up a Caliphate Army cell and take them down and then he’ll believe him. Bassam says he’ll call back with the target.

Mahmoud tells Rami that he best let Jamal know what’s going on, after all it should be his decision to make. Said tells the Colonel he’s absolutely correct and he’ll inform his father. However Rami keeps the information to himself, a decision that will come back to bite him.

Bassam tells Daliyah that he needs to contact Munir and get a target. Daliyah looks shocked, she asks him if he’s willing to work with his brother? Bassam responds one devil at a time.

At the hospital where Nusrat’s recovering from her miscarriage and hysterectomy, she tells Leila that she keeps second-guessing herself, about what she could have done differently to save her son. Her mother-in-law responds that’s nonsense and it wasn’t her fault. Nusrat says yes, but this changes everything and Leila suggests they talk about it when they get home, but Nusrat wants to discuss things right then.

Leila’s a viper, very protective of her family and can strike at any second, which is what happened next. She told Nusrat that they’re family and she thinks of Nusrat like her own daughter. However one day her son will be President of Abbudin and then one day his son will become President. Nusrat finishes the sentence, a son she can no longer provide, then asks if Ahmed’s aware of this?

Leila says not yet, that her daughter-in-law will end the marriage, telling her husband she loves him to much to saddle him with a barren wife. In return the Al Fayeed’s will set her up for life, wherever she wants, Paris, London, Dubai. Leila says you need to leave this country that’s taken so much from you, then she leaves the room while Nusrat starts to contemplate her world’s fallen apart.

Bassam meets with Munir and he tells him that the Caliphate will be targeting five homes of Christian residents that evening. Bassam says they can evacuate all the occupants and load all the homes with explosives and they’ll detonate the bombs when the soldiers enter. He tells Munir he did a great job and then the teenager starts to breakdown and cry. He says he doesn’t recognize his brother Kasim any longer and last week feels like ten-years ago. Ihab Rashid’s gone insane due to the death of his wife and Munir’s not certain how much more of this he can take. Bassam hugs the teen, but the softness that we’d expect to see in his eyes doesn’t appear.

Marwan and Sammy meet with Halima and one of the members of the Red Hand and they frisk Sammy. He’s not carrying a weapon, but they find his wallet. At that point the advice his cousin Ahmed gave him about keeping his identity unknown’s meaningless. He looks Halima in the eyes and tells her he’s Sammy Al Fayeed.

Jamal arrives at the home of an elderly well-to-do man, who appears to be an Iman or some sort of religious leader. He says that Jamal hasn’t been to his home since his father passed away, but the President instead of responding to the statement tells his host he thinks God hates him. He then talks about all the bad things that have occurred since he left Bassam in the desert and asks his host his interpretation. The man responds God’s will and Jamal says, or is it his hatred of me.

The man says he’s not going to straighten out the problems in his country, until he first straightens out the problems in his palace. Jamal asks the man if he thinks someone in his house is working against him and the man responds with some cryptic statement.

Kasim finds Munir counting boxes and tells him his brother that he’s leading one of the teams that are arresting the Christian families and he wants Munir to accompany him. Realizing the homes are filled with explosives, he says he can’t go, he has to finish this task and Kasim has to help him. Kasim tells his brother he’s crazy and they’re both going to arrest the Christians.

Bassam and Siddiq are on top of a building with the detonator in their hands, when the soldiers approach. Bassam’s excitement’s tempered when he realizes that Munir and Kasim are among the soldiers who are soon going to enter the homes. Siddiq says they have to abort, they can’t lose a good man on the inside like Munir. That’s the only way that Siddiq knows Munir, as an ally on the inside of the Caliphate Army, but Bassam has a much deeper relationship with the teen. Munir’s the son of his late friend Ahmos Al Yazbek, the man who took him in when he was near death from the desert, the man who died by his side when they released some of the prisoners held by the Caliphate.

There was a time not long before, that Barry would have agreed with Siddiq’s suggestion to abort, but instead he said that if they failed to detonate the bombs they’d lose General Said as an ally. He says they have to go through with the bombing. Munir however had to strong a sense of self-preservation and wanted to save Kasim as well. As soon as the doors got bashed in and the soldiers rushed into the homes, Munir backed up about 100 yards and called to Kasim saying he couldn’t see. Kasim rushed towards him and the bombs got detonated, with them both far enough away to survive the blast.

At the palace Rami’s overjoyed at the news reports on TV that the Red Hand killed twenty soldiers from the Caliphate Army. He shuts off the TV and turns to Jamal, saying this man’s the answer to our prayers, we’ll meet with him and he’ll be a great ally. Jamal’s contempt’s barely contained when he says to his son, you mean this man that you neglected to tell me about until right now? Rami says he was being cautious and Jamal says that decision cost them the chance to kill Ihab Rashid and the rest of the Caliphate leadership. He says from now on he’s to be informed before any decisions get made and he’ll be the one talking with the leader of the Red Hand. He then tells Colonel Mahmoud to follow him and they leave the room.

Jamal asks Mahmoud if he knew about this and he swears that General Said promised to discuss it with Jamal and he assumed he had. The President tells the Colonel he trusts him, but he’s not sure how much he trusts his son. Mahmoud says he made a mistake, Jamal asks was it he that made a mistake in bringing Rami to the palace, perhaps the Rashid blood that came from his mother burns too hot. He then tells Mahmoud to arrange a call to the head of the Red Hand.

General Said and his top aide meet on a balcony and the head of Abbudin’s Air-Force tells Rami that he should get a jet gassed up and sitting on the runway, to escape the nightmare he’s heading into. Rami says he’s my father, the man responds, Idi Amin, Papa Doc, Saddam Hussein, the family all disappeared first.

Bassam returns from the bombing of the soldiers, to find Daliyah waiting for him outside the shelter they live in. She says that Halima brought the rich American kid there, but the kid’s Barry’s son Sammy. Al Fayeed doesn’t believe her at first and then says that Sammy’s far from rich. However she corrects him, telling his son scored a huge inheritance when Barry died.

Barry says to Daliyah to send him away, but she tells him he has to talk to him. She says Sammy came all this way and he deserves to know that his father’s still alive. Barry realizes she’s right and goes to the alley where his son’s waiting. He looks at him for a few minutes then walks towards him, Sammy doesn’t recognize him immediately but Barry removes his head-dress.

He tells Sammy how Jamal had sentenced him to execution but couldn’t go through with it, so he left him in the desert to die. Somehow he survived and with the world believing he died, he decided to remain dead. He said he didn’t want to hurt Sammy or the rest of the family again. The response infuriates Sammy who tries punching his father, but Barry grabs and hugs him and the two hug each other.

The drama’s far from settled however, as Barry says that Jamal would have kept him from returning to California and at best all he’d be is a voice on the phone. He said he wanted the family to move on, he wanted Molly to live her life and go on without guilt. Sammy says he always thought Barry felt he was a disappointment, but it turns out that Barry’s the disappointment. Barry tells his son he can’t stay there and has to go home but Sammy refuses. He asks Siddiq to set Sammy up with sleeping quarters.

A member of the Red Hand approaches Bassam with a cellphone and tells him that President Al Fayeed’s on the other end. Bassam puts a handkerchief over the phone and talks to Jamal. The President asks him who he is and Bassam responds he’s the man that’s going to help him fight the Caliphate Army. Jamal says that in times like these, it’s hard to know who to trust, but there’s something in his voice, that makes the President believe he can trust him. He then asks can I trust you and Bassam replies, yes Mr. President.

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

Halt And Catch Fire: Jacob Wheeler Gets Revenge

Photo Courtesy Of AMC
Photo Courtesy Of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Even when Joe MacMillan attempts to do the right thing, he ends up alienating people he tried to help. Rather than allowing his former girlfriend Cameron Howe, to sell her company Mutiny in a deal that he setup, MacMillan resigned his position with Western-Group Industries and told Cameron not to consummate the deal. However, he failed to realize just how low Jacob Wheeler would sink to show his new son-in-law that he still held the winning hand. Although Joe’s a master of playing both sides against the middle, Wheeler’s played the game far longer and has likely forgotten tricks, that Joe has yet to learn.

MacMillan’s far from the only character on the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” dealing with unforeseen problems in the latest episode. Gordon Clark’s brain damage’s becoming more apparent each week, dulling his skills and making him incredibly paranoid, leading him to lose his employees Ed and Larry and spy on his friend Stan.

Cameron comes to grips with the reality, that in order for Mutiny to stand out from the rest, they have to make games less of a priority than their chat-network Community. Gaining new game subscribers has flat-lined for Mutiny, while Community’s become the tail wagging the dog, a point that she finally accepts and understands, after talking with a subscriber.

The episode begins at Mutiny headquarters, as Cameron’s writing code with headphones on while Donna stands in front of Howe’s desk. Cameron takes off her headphones and tells Donna, that Joe told her not to sell Mutiny that they’d ruin it. Donna’s shocked, as Cameron distrusts MacMillan and she’s always bad mouthing him, however she says she believes him. Donna says that almost all the employees wanted to sell and Cameron says she’s not apologizing. Donna says they best find a network pronto, Cameron agrees.

Joe and Sara arrive at Jacob Wheeler’s office and inform him they just got married at city-hall and Wheeler’s upset that Sara didn’t tell him before they got married. He asks Joe if the idea emanated from him and Sara says she’s the one who came up with the plan and she insisted on it. She then tells her father she’s going to share the news with Caroline, which causes Wheeler to realize that he and Joe are about to have another discussion, because Sara hates Caroline.

MacMillan tells his new father-in-law that he truly appreciates Wheeler giving him a job and so much support, but he and Sara are leaving Dallas and heading to Silicon Valley and live in California. He says he’s sorry to drop all this on Jacob at once, but Wheeler says perhaps this is for the best. He says no hard feelings and shakes MacMillan’s hand and wishes him good luck in all his future endeavors. He then tells Joe that he’s got a ’57 Bel-Air convertible in mint condition and tells him they should borrow it for two weeks and have a honeymoon.

Gordon and Donna are in bed asleep, when he wakes up in the middle of the night. He’s kind of half sitting up when he sees Jules Duffy standing at the foot of his bed and she says Hi Gordon. Gordon freaks and turns on the light, then realizes he hallucinated seeing Jules. He turns out the light and tries to get back to sleep.

Mutiny’s holding a picnic for their subscribers in the house’s backyard. There’s a huge paper banner with Welcome Mutiny Users in spray-paint. Everybody’s pumped for the party except for Cameron. She stays involved working writing code and fine-tune the new game they created.

Gordon and Larry are putting together computers, when Clark tells Larry they just got 250 orders to fill. Larry gets nervous and asks how just the three of them will assemble all those units and Gordon says they’ll hire a couple of kids to help them. The conversation breaks off when Ed comes into the garage with their buddy Stan, back from California. Gordon asks Stan how things are going on the West Coast and Stan says he’s looking at a bunch of different projects to get involved with. Gordon says unless Stan wants to grab a screwdriver and help, he better leave as they’re very busy. Stan tells the guys he’ll be at a local restaurant if they want to meet him for lunch, Ed and Larry say they will. Gordon snaps his fingers at the two engineers to get back to work.

MacMillan’s back from his honeymoon and goes to Jacob’s office and meets his replacement, Jesse Evans. Evans has gone the entrepreneurial route, he built a network and then sold it to Oracle. However he’s very excited to take over what Joe started with Western-Group. He says he expects to be operating in four-markets in the second quarter, then 24-markets by the fourth quarter. At that point his voice becomes just a droning sound as Joe’s tuned him out, now regretting his decision to resign.

The subscribers of Mutiny have now filled the backyard, as people are eating, talking and playing games. Cameron still has yet to make an appearance and Tom Rendon finds her in her room working on some stuff. She’s gone against Rendon’s wishes and copy-protected the new game they designed and Tom gets upset. Howe as usual gets defensive and lashes out, telling Tom to break up with her. He says he doesn’t want to break up, but he has the right to get upset with her. She asks well why don’t you quit Mutiny? He says he’s not quitting and that he loves her.

Cameron’s eyes get huge and she asks you love me and Rendon says she’s twisting his words. However she says no, that’s exactly what you said. Tom’s about to respond, when John Bosworth comes into the room to introduce his son James to Cameron and Tom.

Larry and Ed return from lunch with Stan and they bring him back a sandwich. Then they tell them they’re quitting, that they’re both too old to take a risk with a start-up. Gordon thinks that they’re teaming up with Stan and are starting a new company, but they tell him that’s ridiculous. Clark tells them to leave and says they’ll be on the outside looking in. They say he’s likely correct and then leave.

The phone rings and Gordon gets a call from one of his daughters, who are both at summer-camp. He thumbs through a copy of Byte Magazine while he talks to her, then sees an ad on one of the pages and curses. He tells his daughter it wasn’t anything to do with her then cuts the call short. Gordon’s suddenly obsessed with an ad for JGL Custom Computers, $799 Standard Model. We’ll Build It For You. This is exactly the same thing Gordon’s doing with Clark Computers and he believes that Stan, Ed and Larry have stolen his idea and are behind this company.

MacMillan and Evans have a conversation, in which Evans makes very clear that Joe’s no longer needed at Western-Group Industries. He says this is his project now and he’s got everything under control. Then he wishes Joe good luck in California and MacMillan realizes it’s time for him to leave.

Gordon arrives at the picnic and shows Donna the ad, saying they stole his idea and then telling her his theory about Stan, Larry and Ed. Donna says that’s silly and he shouldn’t ask them if they’re involved, he’s just feeling the sting of betrayal because Larry and Ed quit. Clark says he’s going back home to get some rest, Donna says that’s a good idea.

Cameron finally comes out to the party when Lev and Yo-Yo arrive, Lev’s on crutches but says he wasn’t going to miss this. Donna gets Cameron to get on the microphone and thanks everybody for coming. She says she’s got a special announcement to make, that Mutiny’s new game will be online the next day, but gets little reaction from the crowd. She then asks how many of them use Mutiny for the games and a small portion of the guests respond.

Joe returns to the apartment and Sara asks him about his replacement and she can tell her husband doesn’t like him. He says that he’s very young and doesn’t have the background to successfully run the division. Sara tells Joe that he’s a force of nature and he’s going to take California by storm. She then suggests they go out that night and produces a baggie with four pills, MDMA. They take one each and start getting ready to go out.

A teenage girl seeks out Cameron at the picnic and thanks her for saving her life. She says she’s found a bunch of people she can relate to on Community and now she realizes she’s not a freak. She hugs Cameron and we can see by the expression on Howe’s face, this moment’s meaningful.

Gordon drives over to Stan’s house in the dark and breaks into Stan’s garage. He sees some personal computers on the work bench and starts looking through all the shelves when Stan walks in and turns on the light. Stan washed out in Silicon Valley, the computers are repairs he’s doing to get some money. He asks Clark if he’s back on Cocaine again and Gordon says of course not, why would he even think that.

Stan tells Clark that Donna told Larry to keep an eye on him and let her know if he did anything weird. Suddenly Gordon thinks that Donna’s trying to destroy the company. Just then the police arrive, Stan called them when he heard someone in his garage and allows the officers to take Gordon into custody.

Cameron goes up to Tom on the porch and asks why he’s been avoiding her since he said he loved her. Rendon says he does love her, in fact that word likely doesn’t do justice to the feelings he has for her. You can see in Cameron’s eyes she feels the same way, but she refuses to say the words. They kiss instead.

Joe and Sara are flying high at a dance club, Joe’s looking like Don Johnson’s younger brother, rocking the Miami Vice look. They each take a second pill and Joe says there’s one more place they have to say goodbye to. Next thing we know Joe and Sara are about to have sex in the server room of Western-Group Industries. However they’re interrupted as a bunch of Western-Group Coder Monkeys, excitedly run into a room. Sara leaves but Joe stays to check out what’s going on.

Jesse Evans walks into the room and praises his Coder Monkeys to the heavens, then pops a bottle of champagne and turns on a computer monitor. Western-Group has commandeered Mutiny, taken over their site and are now calling it West-Net. Joe’s face turns white, he goes down to the limo he and Sara are in and tells the driver they have one more stop to make.

Cameron apologizes to Donna about being stubborn and not embracing Community before this moment. She says she wants to get really involved and they start brainstorming. Donna calls for Carl to write down their ideas, but he’s frozen in front of a monitor. When he finally speaks he says Mutiny’s gone. West-Net now has all of Mutiny’s subscribers and they’re controlling all the chat rooms.

Joe’s still zonked on drugs when he stumbles into Mutiny and asks to see Cameron. She comes out and glares at him, he says he didn’t know, Jacob locked him out. He’s been on his honeymoon and moving to California. You can see Cameron’s not buying anything he says and Bosworth tells MacMillan he better leave. Joe tries to collect his thoughts enough to say something, but he fails and just leaves the house.

Cameron’s sitting on the floor in the hallway, looking desolate when Donna comes to talk to her. Clark ask Howe if she believed what MacMillan said, Cameron responds not a word of it. Donna asks what do they do next and Cameron’s eyes widen, before the screen goes black.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 10:00 pm on AMC.

The Musketeers: Porthos Finds His Pop, Rochefort’s Brain Goes Pop

Photo Courtesy Of BBCA
Photo Courtesy Of BBCA

Warning: Spoiler Alert

So, do we concentrate on the first 51-minutes of the latest episode of The BBCA Original Series “The Musketeers,” or on the last five minutes, which knocked viewers out, with a sneak left-hook to the jaw, leaving us all a bit dazed and confused? The temptation’s great to jump straight to the surprise ending, but we’d do a great injustice to actor Howard Charles and his character Porthos, if we chose that route. So have patience and we’ll get to the jaw-dropping ending in good time.

Porthos became aware, that his former commanding officer Captain Treville, knew the identity of the Musketeer’s father, since the premiere of season two, when the King’s soldiers rescued Treville’s old friend, General De Foix. The General showed interest in Porthos, and the Musketeer caught on, they’d interacted at some point. He thought La Foix was his father, but Treville told him that wasn’t the case. After surviving a serious gunshot wound in the previous episode, Treville promised to tell Porthos about his father after he got some rest.

We join the action, soon after that conversation took place, as Porthos and Aramis are going to meet the Musketeer’s father, the Marquis de Belgard. The come upon the estate to find two young teenage girls running to the front gate, a man chasing them on horseback holding a whip tells them to get away from the gate. Aramis asks what’s going on and the man claims the girls are his wife’s maids and they stole from her, he then whips the younger of the pair and tells her to get back to her quarters. Aramis asks the other girl, if what the man’s saying’s true and the teen nods her head, the man whips her and tells her to go back as well. He then asks what they want and Porthos, tells him they’ve come to see the Marquis, the man says he doesn’t receive visitors, Porthos says, he’ll see me.

The two enter the estate and climb a staircase when they meet an elderly man with long unkempt, hair and beard, who asks why they’re in his home. Porthos says they’ve come to visit the Marquis, the man admits to being him. The Musketeer then says his name’s Porthos and he’s Belgard’s son, he asks who told him this nonsense and he says his Captain with the Musketeers, Treville. Belgard respond’s that Treville’s treachery ruined his life, Aramis takes offense at the statement, then Porthos introduces his friend. The Marquis tells Porthos to follow him and his friend can remain there.

Belgard brings him into his study, excuses the mess, says since he withdrew from society, he’s become a recluse. He then says to Porthos, you have questions and Porthos asks if Belgard’s his father, he says he is, then asks if the Musketeer knows the sordid tale of the infamous Marquis de Belgard. When Porthos replies he doesn’t, he reveals that he was the head of the King’s Royal Body Guard, when Louis’ father Henri, got killed by a lunatic. They needed a scapegoat, so they chose him and La Foix and Treville, went along with them, condemning him with false testimony, leading to his Court Martial.

Aramis gets greeted by Belgard’s daughter Eleanor Levesque, her husband’s the man they saw on the horse at the gate. She says she’ll get him some refreshment, when Porthos and the Marquis walk out and Porthos says don’t bother we’re staying for dinner.

Constance puts flowers on Bonacieux’s grave as D’Artagnan watches, he then tells her he’s glad her husband’s dead, this is fate giving them a chance to be together as they should. Constance feels guilty, that she was unfaithful to Bonacieux and she didn’t love him and she needs time. D’Artagnan’s frustrated and says take all the time you want, hopefully I’m still around when you decide you want me, then walks off.

King Louis’ sitting in front of the fireplace, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, rocking back and forth saying they’re trying to kill me like they killed my father. Cancel my public appearances and have someone taste my food, his new First Minister Rochefort, assures him he’ll taste the King’s food himself. He then asks Louis to sign these documents so he can keep things running smoothly for him, the French Monarch signs the papers without reading, which doesn’t bode well.

The Marquis makes a toast, to his son, who was lost but now found, he then looks to his daughter Eleanor, telling her to raise a glass. Her husband, stands up from his chair and says to Porthos, his wife isn’t related to him. Belgard tells his son-in-law to sit down immediately, he loved Porthos’ mother and he won’t allow him to get treated that way. Aramis asks if he loved Porthos mother, what happened?

Belgard says that Porthos’ mother was a servant for his father’s house, they fell in love and got married in secret. Shortly after Porthos arrived, his father found out and ordered his son to send them away or he’d disinherit him, but Belgard refused. He the says La Foix and Treville conspired with his father and came in the middle of the night, kidnapping them and them in the Court of Miracles.

He says after a time, for his sanity and the sake of his family’s name he married this girl’s mother, Eleanor responds she won’t listen to this. The Marquis says Eleanor got her mothers looks and personality, shrewish and defiant. Levesque stands up again and insults Porthos, the Musketeer said he didn’t come there to cause a fight, Levesque says we know why you’re here, throws a handful of coins at him. Porthos says if Levesque sits down right now he’ll let this pass and the man spits in the Musketeer’s face. Aramis stands up and growls, then hands his mate a handkerchief.

Porthos stands up and says remember you brought this on yourself, Levesque takes two swings, missing widely, Porthos knocks him to the ground while Eleanor calls him a savage. Levesque makes the mistake of standing back up, trying to continue, the Musketeer brings him to his knees, with two swift blows to the back. Aramis says Porthos should stop, unless he wants to kill him. Belgard chuckles, at last a champion, to defend my family name.

Rochefort summons Milady De Winter, to his office, apologizing for the way he treated her the last time they’d been together and says he thinks they can work together. She says you took away my life and an expensive present she received from the King. He apologizes and says there’d been a murderer on the loose and Milady says yes a female one working for Spain, almost as if she had someone on the inside. Rochefort dismisses the Priests, leaving the two alone. Milady’s now aware that Rochefort’s a spy for Spain and taunting him.

He then gets down to the reason he summoned her, her knowledge of Aramis, he asks if he’s sleeping with the Queen and she tells him he’s mad. He says check around, if she hears as much as whisper, report back to him, she says if Aramis slept with the Queen that constitutes treason, Rochefort smiles.

Aramis is in the courtyard of the Marquis’ compound when a wagon rolls up, he picks up some burlap and sees the corpse of the younger girl Martine. He asks Eleanor what happened and she said the stupid girl got kicked by a horse. Aramis isn’t buying her story, saying look at her throat, she responds the girl rode the horse, fell off got tangled in the reins and stomped to death. Aramis knows the girl was murdered. Eleanor goes to find the other girl Camille, tells her to clean up and gives her fresh clothes, telling her now she’ll earn her money.

Aramis follows Levesque and Camille into Paris and Levesque takes her to a house saying this is her home now, they’re met by a town house servant who lets them in and shuts the door. Aramis rides back to the barracks and tells D’Artagnan, Athos and Treville, he says that Martine was murdered and he believes that they’ve got Camille in that house for immoral reasons. Treville says don’t tell Porthos, or he’ll think they’re trying to bad-mouth his father.

Milady finds Athos in a hole in the wall pub, then asks him how much information leading to Rochefort’s downfall would be worth? He says he’d give her his undying gratitude, she says she wants 100 livre, he laughs at her says he doesn’t have that, she says speak to Treville, you want this information. He gets up tells her to tell the info for France, or for her own redemption, then leaves.

After speaking with Belgard, Porthos rides back to the barracks and asks the Captain if he and La Foix kidnapped he and his mother, Treville says they did, but there’s more to the story. He asks if Treville recruited him for the Musketeers out of guilt and the Captain says that’s not the case at all. Porthos however doesn’t believe him and takes off his Musketeers arm-shield, pushing it to Treville and leaving.

Doctor Lemay, finds Constance and proposes, she’s totally shocked and speechless. He says he loves her and promises to make her happy. He then says she needs time, but he hopes she says yes. She’s totally flustered and still speechless when he grabs her hands and kisses them.

Porthos heads back to Belgard’s home and the old man reaches into his desk drawer putting his hand on a pistol. Porthos says he spoke with Treville and he admitted what the Marquis told him was true, he tried to offer an explanation, but Porthos wouldn’t listen and resigned from the Musketeers. Belgard hugs Porthos and says welcome home son.

Aramis heads to the house he saw Camille dropped off at and tells the Town House Servant he wants to see the girl who got dropped off that morning. The servant replies the entertainment doesn’t begin until ten that evening, he says get me her anyway. He’s trying to convince Camille he can save her, when Eleanor walks in and asks what he’s doing, he replies their entertainment’s legendary and he’s hoping for a preview. She sends Camille back to her room and kicks Aramis out.

He heads back to the barracks and tells his mates what’s going on and Treville says they’ve no evidence that Belgard’s involved. Aramis says he doesn’t think the old man’s involved, Treville says if the soldier knew Belgard like he does he’d realize he was. D’Artagnan then asks if Porthos could be in danger and the four ride off to the town house.

The Marquis and Porthos are alone drinking wine and talking, when Belgard says he’s got something for his son, he pulls out a small painting of a Black woman and Porthos asks if that’s his mother. Belgard says it is, isn’t she beautiful and Porthos agrees.

The guests have arrived for the entertainment, an all male gathering, save for Eleanor. Athos and D’Artagnan walk in and Eleanor says this is invite only. Athos says they paid their admittance and some guy they played cards with named Levesque invited them. Eleanor says he’s her husband, D’Artagnan replies that her husband has exquisite taste and kisses her hand. The flattery gains her trust and she welcomes them.

Eleanor then announces it’s time for the entertainment and about eight-to-ten teen girls walk out, including Camille to get auctioned. Camille’s the first of the girls to get bid on, the bidding starts at 20 livre, makes it to 50 livre, then Athos says he bids nothing and he and D’Artagnan are taking the girls with him. Camille tells the girls to follow them and they run out of the house. Aramis is waiting with swords for both his mates and the three soon overpower them all, but Eleanor grabs a sword and tries to get D’Artagnan, who quickly overpowers her. He says he’d never killed a woman but he might in her case, then leaves.

They get the girls back to the barracks, Camille tells them her town Priest recommended her for a job as a governess for a Parisian family, Eleanor showed up in her fancy carriage and paid Camille’s father a year’s wages in advance. She got something to drink in the carriage, which knocked her out. She woke up locked in an outhouse with Martine, Levesque told them they were his prostitutes now and could never go home. However she has no knowledge of Belgard.

Porthos is in the courtyard of his father’s estate when he hears a banging sound, he finds the door it’s coming from and breaks open the door. Levesque has another girl prisoner, Porthos removes her gag and calms her, he’s there to help her. He asks who did this to you and we hear Belgard’s voice say, yes that’s an interesting question from the doorway. He’s holding a pistol, though it’s pointed to the ground. He says that he realized Levesque was involved in some criminality, but nothing like this. Porthos asks if he knew of any of this and he claims he hadn’t Eleanor hires the staff and Levesque runs the estate.

The two bring the girl out of where she’d been imprisoned and Levesque’s standing there asking the old man what he’s doing. He says he and his son are rescuing this girl and Levesque asks if he’s gone mad. Levesque’s men soon surround them, but the Marquis shoots Levesque in the abdomen, Eleanor screams to the man to shoot them, but the Musketeers arrived and Aramis fires the first shot killing one of the men.

As the gunfight rages in the courtyard, Belgard runs up to his study, with Porthos following him and Treville a short distance behind. The Marquis, grabs the pistol out of his desk, Porthos enters and asks what’s going on? Belgard says we shot Levesque, Porthos corrects him and says the Marquis shot him and the old man says his presence gave him the strength. Treville enters with gun drawn and tells Porthos not to listen to him, every time he opens his mouth he lies. Belgard aims his pistol at Treville, Porthos forces him to put the gun on the table.

The Marquis would lose his inheritance unless he got rid of his wife and son, and he pleaded with his two best friends to take them to the Court Of Miracles, or he’d kill them both. Treville and La Foix had pledged a blood oath with Belgard to protect each other, and he felt bound by it. He immediately regretted his decision, tried to find them but they moved on. Porthos earned his position as a Musketeer, Treville respects the uniform too much to give a man one out of pity.

Belgard tells Porthos to shoot Treville, when he sees his son won’t he grabs the pistol but Porthos shoots him in the hand. He then says he almost convinced him, but he overplayed his hand, then pulls out the picture, this isn’t my mother, you probably found it in some shop. He leaves, Treville sneers at the old man, says Porthos takes after his mother.

After a talk with Queen Ann, Constance realizes how stupid she’s been. She first refuses Lemay’s proposal, telling him she’s in love with someone else. She then runs down to greet D’Artagnan when he arrives, she says he’s the only man she’s ever loved, or will ever love and they kiss. She says she has to get back to the Queen.

The Queen’s in her chambers, when Rochefort walks in, looking rather strange He says he’s needed to talk to her in private, when he went to Spain to become her tutor, he gave her a jewel-encrusted crucifix. Ann looks uncomfortable says she has so much jewelry. He says she told him she’s treasure it always so imagine how he felt, seeing it around another man’s neck, she’s getting alarmed now. He says just tell me you’re in love with me and I’ll forgive all transgressions. She’s shocked, tells him he’s mad and tells him to leave.

She turns away, but says they’ll soon be together and kisses her on the neck, she whips around, slaps him across the face and says leave now or she’ll have him arrested. He says her cries will go unanswered, all the staff works for him now, he wrestles her to the floor and keeps kissing her. Constance walks in, realizes what’s going on and screams get off of her, the Queen grabs a long pin stabbing Rochefort in the left eye. He screams the King will hear of your affair with the Musketeer, then screams for the guards saying treason’s at hand. Constance and the Queen look at each other in horror.

The Story Continues Next Saturday Night, at 9:00 pm on BBCA.

The Blacklist: An Explosive Fall Finale

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The NBC series “The Blacklist,” concluded it’s Fall Season with one of the best episodes in the history of the show, filled with intrigue, espionage, strange alliances and multiple deaths. It answered lots of questions fans had throughout the series, while leaving them pondering new ones that arose in this hour, chief among them, what’s The Fulcrum? (More on that later.) The series goes on hiatus, replaced by “Katherine Heigl Saves The World,” then returns on February 1, following the biggest annual television event in this country, as NBC hosts the Super Bowl. That should lead to a lot of exposure for one of the finest shows on Broadcast TV.

The first thing on our screens, was a graphic stating four months earlier, then we watch FBI Agent Liz Keen, shoot her make-believe husband Tom, actually a spy for Red’s adversary Berlin. Reddington wanted to finish him off, but Keen said she needed to do it and told Raymond to leave. We ended the first season believing Tom had died, but in the opening montage, we find out what really occurred. Liz saved Tom instead of killing him, with a little help from her friends, a doctor who patched Tom up, a man who owned a boat sitting in a harbor unused and a heavyset man with an earing who babysat him. Liz kept him imprisoned on the boat for four months, his ankles manacled to the floor.

Using his knowledge to help track Berlin and his adversaries, Keen utilized the information for her own agenda, including setting up the meeting with Berlin in the previous episode. Tom supplied the name of an arms dealer for the Russian and Lizzie forced him to arrange a meeting, that Red showed up at, along with Berlin’s daughter, that he thought Reddington had killed.

That meeting was the first new scene in this episode as Berlin, attempted to overcome the shock that his daughter was standing next to him. Red then asked his adversary to explain why he believed Reddington had killed his daughter, nearly a quarter century before. Berlin then told Raymond that it began in 1991, as the Soviet Union started to collapse. He was a member of the KGB and attending a meeting of the senior brass, to come up with a plan to stem the revolt. While discussing their options, the building got hit by a bomb, killing 12 officials as well as any hopes of keeping the Soviet Union intact. They believed the bombing, was the work of an American and they thought Reddington masterminded the plan. His daughter went to jail as a dissident, he got shipped to a labor camp as her arrest tarnished his reputation. Then she got released from the prison and disappeared, Berlin started receiving body-parts, thinking they were his daughter’s.

Red asked Zoe what happened to her and she explained she got contacted by a man promising to give her a new life in the States and most importantly, keep her father from finding her. Red asked the man’s name and she told him she never met him, they just spoke on the phone, but his people referred to him as “The Decembrist.” Red tells Berlin, he may contact him soon about “The Decembrist,” and they all part company. Red contacts Lizzie and asks her to obtain any information on the mystery man.

The Task-Force techie, Aram Mojtabai’s an amazing man in my eyes, as each episode he finds a major clue that helps the Task-Force solve their Crime Of The Week. Mojtabai, impressed again in this episode as he found reports that “The Decembrist’s,” DNA was found on the recovered edges of the bomb that killed the KGB officials, but at the time the DNA database of this era didn’t exist. Aram ran the DNA against the database and found out that he’s an official for the Russian Government. Liz calls Red to give him the name of  “The Decembrist,” but puts him on hold when a call comes through from Tom’s babysitter, telling her to get to the harbor pronto. She tells Red, she needs to go, repeats the name twice and hangs up the phone. Reddington realizes something’s amiss.

Keen arrives at the boat and gets sick to her stomach, an elderly security guard for the harbor, who came checking on the boat earlier in the episode, but got intercepted by Liz, came back and discovered Tom, while the big guy went to have a smoke. He’s now tied up and the babysitter asks Liz what to do. The elderly man says this is FBI official business and he’ll keep his mouth shut, but Tom keeps insisting they need to kill him. Keen’s about to release the man, when Tom hoists himself up by some bars on the ceiling, wraps his legs around the old man’s neck and starts choking the life out of him. The big guy holds back Liz, until she grabs her weapon and shoots him in the foot. But the old man’s dead by the time she gets free.

Red meets with Berlin, who asks if “The Decembrist’s,” taken care of and Reddington replies not yet, then asks Berlin if he’d like to join him on a trip to Moscow? By the time they arrive, Berlin’s men ambushed the Russian official’s security team in an elevator and the pair meet the Russian as the elevator doors open. After some quick questions, Red realizes he’s not  “The Decembrist,” and asks who is? He reveals he’s United States Government official and Raymond’s partner in the cartel, Alan Fitch. Berlin then shoots and kills the Russian and even Red, thinks that’s too much. He then tells Berlin, it’s hands-off on Fitch and Berlin responds, yeah right! Raymond calls Dembe and tells him to call the florist.

Legendary actor Alan Alda, has portrayed Fitch for the show’s two-seasons a very shady and mysterious character, who viewers realize is an official with the U.S. Government, but the series never revealed what his position was, until this episode. Turns out the man involved in a secret global cartel’s the Assistant Director of National Security, as we find out during a meeting he’s part of. He then sees a delivery boy holding a large potted white flower, apparently a signal to meet with Red.

The two allies meet and Red asks Fitch if he let Berlin believe, that Raymond kidnapped and murdered his daughter and the explanation sounds like Alan got really ticked off when Red left the Intelligence Community. He also said that they had yet to hammer out an agreement, so this didn’t count as betrayal. Red offers Alan protection, but Fitch feels pretty secure with his Government security. He should’ve accepted Red’s offer.

Fitch and an aide, exit a building talking business, when a motorcade approaches, two men step out of the lead car, identify themselves as Secret Service Agents and ask the two men to enter the vehicle. They keep speaking when the “agent” in the passenger seat shoots the aide. The driver then says to his contact on the other end of the phone line, they have the package in Russian. Berlin’s men kidnapped Fitch.

They find where they’re hiding Fitch surprisingly easily, and quickly kill all the guards, then they see the bad news, Fitch has an incredibly complicated bomb, strapped around his head and neck. The bomb squad arrives and they’re stumped by the device, they transport Alan to the Task-Force headquarters, as they have a case that can contain the blast of a bomb. Fitch’s put inside with three men from the bomb squad and as time ticks away without progress, it’s down to one man. Alan’s aware the squad member can’t disarm the bomb and tells him to leave the container, then asks Harold Cooper to get him Red.

He tells Reddington, that with him dying, Red’s in tough shape with the cartel. Fitch then says many in the group doesn’t believe he has it, then he asks Raymond if he’s got the Fulcrum, Red remains silent, but Alan says they’ll want proof. He then gives him the combination to his safe, 8-30-44, his wife’s birthday. He says the safe’s in St. Petersburg in the wall of….. the bomb detonates. Red picks up Zoe in his car and asks if her father’s contacted her and by the glare she aims at him, we realize the answer’s yes.

So, what’s the Fulcrum? Well, Wikipedia’s first two references are a Marvel Comic Book Series and the English language paper for the University of Ottawa, both doubtful that’s what the cartel’s searching for. However, digging a bit deeper the Mikoyan MiG-29, a jet manufactured by the Soviets in the early eighties is also known as the Fulcrum. It’s described as an “Air superiority fighter, multirole fighter,” could this plane be the item the cartel covets? Most likely not, but it’s sure to prove an intriguing question when the show returns.

Liz heads back to the boat where it’s just Tom and the old man’s corpse. Tom starts playing with her mind saying her only choice’s freeing him. That could’ve been the moment when she realized she couldn’t kill him, so she makes a deal that if Tom gets an address for Berlin, she’ll set him free. She tells Ressler about what’s going on and he mildly flips out, telling Keen how wrong this all is. Tom calls his old contact number on a payphone but the operator tells him his codes obsolete, he tells the woman to tell Berlin to call Tom Keen. Seconds later the Russian’s on the phone telling Tom he thought he died, Tom replies he needs to get brought in, but Berlin’s hesitant until Tom starts inferring threats. Tom gives Liz the number, she removes his ankle bracelet and Ressler threatens to track him down.

At that same moment Berlin’s elated as Zoe’s joined him for lunch and he’s beaming like a school boy. He sees his daughter’s uncomfortable with his security guards, he sends them outside. She says she needs to leave, but he pleads for her to stay a while longer. Dembe and Red walk in, Red gives Zoe a passport and money and wishes her a happy life, as the pain registers on his face due to his daughter’s betrayal. Red pulls out a fifth of vodka and the two men drain it. As soon as Berlin puts his glass down Raymond unloads a round of shots into his chest killing him instantly.

Red enters the Task-Force headquarters and says Elizabeth we have to speak, a name he hasn’t used since the pilot. We see the anger in his eyes as he asks why she lied about Tom being  dead. She begins to make an excuse when he cuts her off and tells her if she told Red she’d need to admit, she still loved Tom. She breaks down and asks what’s wrong with her and Raymond responds nothing, then kisses her forehead.

The final scene we follow a cleaned up Tom into a bar, first we see Dembe, then Red sitting alone in a booth. Tom sits down and Red gives him an envelope and Tom explores the inside making sure he got what he wanted, then rises and starts to leave. Reddington says Tom’s never to see Liz again and Tom says gotcha. Raymond grabs his wrist and tells Tom to look at his face, then repeats himself. Tom says Lizzie held him prisoner for four-months and never talked about Tom and Red’s relationship. On that bombshell we now wait until February 1.

Ray Donovan: Cookie Bites Back

Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime
Photo Courtesy Of Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Although only 45-minutes, Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” presented one of their most powerful episodes in the eighth installment of their second season, including a shocking conclusion that this viewer realized was going to occur just seconds before it took place. The events of this episode radically changed the dynamic of the series going forward, as relationships got altered, in some cases permanently. It also continued the theme of this season, that’s shown us the world of “The Fixer Of The Stars,” crumbling in front of him on a bunch of different levels.

The episode opens with Donovan, waking up the morning after his son Conor’s birthday, which ended in a family feud. Ray wakes up hung-over, and quickly realizes his wife Abby never slept in the bed. He calls his assistant Avi, whose sitting in a motel parking lot where Abby is meeting her new lover, LAPD Detective Jim Halloran. They have breakfast in the motel’s diner and Abby tells Halloran she’s nervous that he’s going to breakup with her. The cop responds, that he isn’t but wants to make sure she’s serious about their relationship, she replies that she thinks she’s in love with him but that’s the only commitment she can give him. Halloran tells her he can live with that.

Ray drives by the school bus-stop and sees his daughter Bridget waiting for the bus with other students. He stops the car, asks if she’s alright and tells her he loves her. He drives away and seconds later the bus comes, but Bridget remains after all the other kids boarded. A minute later her boyfriend Marvin Gaye Washington, pulls up in his red sports-car and drives her over to his studio, so she can sit in on a session.

We see the first appearance this season of Ezra’s partner in his law firm Lee Drexler, whose been on an extended honeymoon with his new trophy-wife. He steps into his pool and starts to relax, when he feels the pressure of a foot on his head, standing above him is recently released convict Cookie Brown and two of his henchmen. The next scene shows Drexler at a table in his house with Brown and his two associates, Lee’s on the phone with Donovan, telling him that Cookie and his crew invaded his home and their going to kill him. Ray tells the attorney, that if Cookie had plans to kill him he’d be dead already and tells him he’ll be over shortly.

When Donovan arrives, he tells Cookie to put away his pistol and for his henchmen to wait outside. Cookie does as asked, then gets down to the purpose of his visit. Before Cookie went to prison, he gave Rekon, (Marvin’s guardian and owner of the record label he records on ) $30 thousand as seed money to start the label. Now that he’s free he wants control of Marvin in return for his investment. Drexler goes into “Lawyer-Speak,” talking about there was no written contract and Brown stops him mid-stream and informs Lee, that the rules are different in the hood. Donovan understands, Cookie’s not going to give up on this, so he asks Brown for a few hours to work out the details.

Micky gets a call from his contact at Paramount, Debra Gershon and she tells him that one of the biggest producers in Hollywood Jerry Weiss, (Richard Benjamin) loves Micky’s script idea and wants to meet with him. However Micky’s parole officer Ronald Keith, says he’s not going anywhere, so Gershon has to come see him. She shows up shortly afterwards and Keith tells her who he is and that the elder Donovan’s not going anywhere. But Gershon hires him as a consultant and he gives Micky permission to meet with Weiss.

Abby’s still in the motel with Halloran, when her cellphone rings, it’s a text from Bridget’s school saying she has yet to show up. Abby calls her daughter and Bridget lies, telling her she’s home and not feeling well, Abby offers to come straight home but Bridget tells her she’ll be fine and just go take a nap. Just after Bridget hangs up, Marvin steps into the recording booth.

Rekon shows up at Drexler’s house and the attorney attempts to show bravado, saying he’s not afraid of Cookie and Marvin will stay with Rekon. Donovan’s stunned at Lee’s ignorance, he tells the lawyer a restraining order’s not going to work with Brown. Drexler tells Donovan, he’s the boss and Ray will follow his orders, but Rekon jumps in and says Ray’s right. They have to give up Marvin for everyone’s safety. Donovan starts to leave to meet with Cookie, but Drexler tries to convince him not to, Ray tells the attorney to trust him.

Avi shows up at Ray’s office with Halloran’s police file, as well as his camera but he doesn’t want to show Ray the pictures of Abby and the cop. Donovan grabs the camera and looks for himself, but gets interrupted as Lena brings Cookie into the office. Donovan tells him that Drexler and Rekon have agreed to give him Marvin, but he thinks they should relocate because of “hard feelings.” Brown’s too savvy to fall for that and realizes Donovan wants him to relocate Marvin to keep him away from Bridget. He tells Ray that they’ll soon move to South Beach.

Donovan drives over to Halloran’s house minutes before the cop arrives. He lets the detective go into his home, then kicks the door in, but Halloran gets the drop on him, standing behind him with his service revolver. Ray tells Halloran he’s not to see Abby again, but the cop says that’s up to Abby. Ray steps closer to the detective, who has his revolver cocked and ready and Donovan dares him to shoot him, at which point the policeman lowers his weapon.

Bridget and Marvin have recorded a duet of the sixties standard “Sunny,” and Rekon tells him that this record will skyrocket him to the top. He has yet to tell Marvin about the deal he’s agreed to with Cookie, most likely wanting to discuss it with him in private.

Micky has made a new best friend in Jerry Weiss, who tells the ex-con he wants to sign a three picture deal with him. Unfortunately, the deal falls apart later that evening as Claudette’s husband Alan shows up at the party with a young lady. The two spar verbally at first, but then Alan throws a drink in Donovan’s face and Micky starts choking him. Jerry tells Micky he has to leave and minutes later Gershon receives a call in her car from the producer, telling her and Micky the deal’s off.

Ray heads home to find Abby fuming that he went to Halloran’s house. He tells her she’s no longer going to see him and she laughs him off. He then hands her the loan papers to sign so they can buy the new house in Truesdale, but she says it’s too late. She tells him to move to his apartment in Los Angeles and he replies it’s his house and starts tearing her clothes out of the closet. She starts hitting him and he tries to soften the tension by kissing her, but she bites his lip, which starts bleeding. As he heads out of the house, his phone rings and Drexler’s on the other end. He tells Ray that he spoke with Cookie and told him he couldn’t have Marvin, but that Drexler would give him $150 thousand five times his initial investment. Donovan tells him he’s made a mistake and we soon find out just how big a mistake he made.

Rekon and Marvin are sitting up front in Rekon’s vehicle while Bridget’s in the backseat. They are listening to the recording and Rekon praises it even more than before. Marvin compliments Bridget, she tells him she loves him and lies down on the backseat. As they pull up to a stoplight, Cookie shoots Rekon dead and Marvin begs for his life to no avail, as he’s shot through the head. Brown doesn’t see Bridget in the car and drives away. Shaking, crying and spattered with blood, she leaves the vehicle, walks about a thousand yards, then calls Ray as the screen goes black.

The story will pick up again next Sunday night on Showtime.

Graceland: The Ends

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

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Many years ago I worked for an older man originally from Germany, who used an interesting analogy in discussing management skills: When there’s hay in the barn, it’s easy to keep the horses happy, but what do you do when the hay runs out? Due to a lack of people skills and an obsessive desire to emerge as the Golden Boy from all the smoke and rubble, FBI agent Mike Warren finds himself dealing with a group of out of sorts steeds, in the eighth episode of the USA Network Original Series “Graceland.” The housemates battling on three different fronts, against the bad guys, themselves and with their inner demons.

The Solano Cartel’s sitting tight on all its operations due to the increased surveillance of the FBI, after the Bureau discovered them smuggling heroin over the border with Mexico, which makes it that much tougher for Warren and the rest of his housemates to bust the family and the variety of illegal businesses under their umbrella. However the FBI agent and his team, hope to put the family and their associates into positions, requiring the self-imposed moratorium to end sooner than planned.

Johnny’s allowed his emotions to overcome his judgment as he’s romantically involved with Lucia Solano, who he has hidden in his mother’s house, while her father and brother Carlito are in Mexico. She’s emphatically against turning to her family, telling the undercover agent that she hates their criminal activities and can’t turn a blind-eye to that any longer. However Warren wants the couple to head to Mexico and Johnny to meet with the father to offer alternative ways for the cartel to ship heroin across the border now that the Bureau have closed down Cal-Coast Bus Lines. When Johnny refuses to pressure into heading to her family, Warren makes Lucia a material witness in the triple-homicide in last week’s episode, forcing them to flee.

Briggs is working undercover for the LAPD Gang Task-Force, as the crew try finding proof that its chief Lieutenant Sid Markham’s been the inside source for Solano. Briggs, under the alias of Paul West has begun bonding with Markham and tells Warren that the detective does everything on the job by the book and quite effectively. Markham and his second in command have decided to cut ties with the cartel and walk away with their winnings.

Paul arouses suspicion however as he walks out of a strategic meeting of the task-force, to answer a cell phone call from a familiar voice. Kelly Badillo, widow of slain FBI Agent Juan Badillo’s attempting suicide and is at the gravesite she has for the agent’s missing body. Briggs jumps into his car attempting to stop her and Markham sends his second in command to follow him. Paul finds Kelly nearly comatose on the gravesite’s grass, with a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of prescription pills. He gets her to stand up, then helps her to the car and drives to the apartment he used last season to use as Odin.

Briggs gets the widow to ingest something to make her vomit up everything. She’s afraid to go to a hospital, as she could lose custody of her daughter as a result of the suicide attempt. As she gets sick in the toilet, there’s a knock on the door, it’s Markham telling him to open the door. Before he does, he coaches Kelly to tell Markham, that he’s a cop from El Paso, named Paul West. The detective comes in and after ascertaining the situation he makes a call and leaves the apartment. Shortly after he leaves, there’s another knock on the door and a doctor introduces himself to Paul as a friend of Markham’s and he’s arrived to care for Kelly.

Charlie’s in charge of separating Markham from his nest egg, as the team’s decided to rob the bank where the detectives safety-deposit boxes holding the cash are held, then arrest the crooks and the money tied up as evidence and unavailable to Markham. She meets with a guy that she and Briggs know from the past named Billy at a bar, so he can introduce her to whom she thinks is a logistics guy. She soon meets a hurricane disguised as a young attractive woman name Amber, who proceeds to rip apart the criminal team Billy’s set-up and then blow Charlie away with her plan to rob the bank.

The safety-deposit boxes are right above ancient sewer tunnels and Amber tells her they can easily dig down to the tunnel from an area nearby, then access the tunnel and follow it to the vault, then break in from underneath. She gives Charlie a package of schematics and diagrams with her number on the back and leaves as quickly as she arrived. A while later Charlie knocks on Amber’s door and suggests that they head up a crew to rob the bank, with each of them receiving 40% and the two others getting just ten percent apiece. Amber tells her she’ll meet her at a bar at 6:00pm with her decision and for Charlie to take a cab.

Paige’s minimal patience with Warren’s decision to keep open the sex-slave operation until they can connect it to the Solano family, has long since evaporated. She however gives Mike an alternative, keep the operation open but have the Bureau requisition $1.5 million to buy all the girls from the operator Sulla.

Warren sets up a meet with him, but Sulla tells him his employers fear of the FBI, prevents him from selling the young women. He then pulls back a hospital curtain and reveals a comatose man lying in a hospital bed, he’s Sulla’s younger brother, now lying in a vegetative state as a result of Sulla upsetting his employer. The brother got beaten with a rifle-butt handle expertly, keeping him alive but brain-dead and he infers that if Warren refuses to back off he could suffer the same fate. Paige’s not satisfied with the explanation when Warren returns to the house, so he reconnects with Sulla and offers to allow him to hold a briefcase with $250 thousand and Mike stays in the facility to protect his clients property.

Charlie meets Amber at the bar and tells her that she’s in on the robbery, but only if it’s just the two of them and a driver for the getaway car. She then tells Charlie that the reason she chose to meet there, was the place had surveillance cameras all around, but none of them are operating. She then gives Charlie a sawed-off shotgun and tells he to go into the bar and bring back the contents of the register and a cheeseburger. The agent walks in the bar like the Terminator, with a bandanna around her face and tells the bartender to open the register with one hand. The customers are a bunch of old bikers and when one attempts to move toward Charlie, she tells him his next step will be her last and then tells the bartender she wants a cheeseburger.

Amber’s waiting with a motorcycle and the two drive off into the night with Amber whooping from joy and excitement. She’s still in that good a mood when she heads into her bedroom, that she shares with Billy, as the two have sex. Charlie now has her partner to rob the bank, another piece of the trap to ensnare the Solanos in place.

Briggs heads back to the precinct to talk with Markham and he assures him that nothing like this will occur in the future. The detective tells him that everyone deserves one mistake, he was given a second chance and made the most of the opportunity. He then tells Paul, that all’s good between them and to head back and check on Kelly.

Badillo’s awake when Paul gets back to the apartment and she tells him that she spoke with her mother and her daughter will stay with her for the rest of the week. She then asks Briggs, what the coaching was about and who Paul really is. She tells him that she knows he at least met her husband and asks if Juan’s truly dead and Briggs responds he is. She asks how he died and Briggs’ stammers and stutters and Kelly socks him in the mouth, telling him to leave and never contact her again. Paul of course feels terrible as Badillo died as a result of a struggle over a gun, when Badillo masqueraded as Jangles in trying to ensnare Briggs last season.

Paul heads back to the house and Charlie asks him how he got the busted lip and he blames it on an incident on his assignment. He then tells her he’s going to shower and asks her to join him in bed when he gets out. As they make love, his mind wanders and suddenly sees Kelly’s face instead of Charlie’s and he gets startled. She asks him if everything’s alright and he lies to her telling her all’s fine.

Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network.