Tag Archives: Season Two Episode Three

Wayward Pines: A Blast From The Past Disrupts The Present

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The first season of the FOX Network series “Wayward Pines,” kept viewers on the edge of their seats as they slowly revealed the residents of the Idaho village found themselves living in the 41st Century and are the only humans left on the planet. We discovered that they lived behind an electrified fence for their own protection, as the fence kept Earth’s new dominant species, the Abbies at bay. Although the town’s residents led their lives in a constant state of paranoia filled fear, most didn’t have a clue that they spent 2,000 years in suspended animation and then revived until the end of last season.

That radically altered the dynamic for a second season for the show as the audience and most residents now realize the truth. They’d been plucked from our era by agents of Dr. David Pilcher, a visionary that realized humanity’s era was ending and the planet would soon be ruled by the Abbies. So he decided to construct a modern Noah’s Ark, a town that resembled Pleasantville, sitting above a state of the art facility that maintained surveillance in the town and outside the fence. He then populated the village with disconcerted and disoriented adults, but his main focus centered on the children, dubbed the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines.”

They say there’s a fine line between brilliance and madness and David Pilcher personified that in the flesh. Only a true genius could have seen the planet’s future and engineered the project to save humanity. However only a madman could play God and attempt to circumvent humanities fate with clueless residents that were told to forget about the past and concentrate on their new start in Wayward Pines. Rebel groups formed intent on escaping the town and return to their former lives, unaware that everybody they ever cared about or even knew had died centuries before.

That was until Invasion Day in 4028, when Pilcher finally snapped and powered off the electric fence, allowing the Abbies to jump the fence and feast on the residents. Realizing the only chance to save most of the residents and the facility they worked so hard to build, Pilcher’s sister and most ardent supporter Pam, shot her brother in the chest killing him instantly.

As we neared the conclusion of the first season’s finale it seemed that Pam and former FBI Agent Kate Hewson, would be the leaders of a new open and free society. However the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines,” had other ideas and the zealots got control of the village. Zealots or true-believers are extremely dangerous creatures, they only perceive things in black and white, they’ve got no interest in finding a middle ground. In their eyes there’s no room for compromise. These are the characters that season two revolves around and humanities fate lies in their hands.

The concept of the State usurping the parent in the eyes of a child proved quite popular throughout the 20th Century, with Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Nazi Party and during the Cultural Revolution in Mao’s China in the mid-sixties. These societies held such a strong grip on the kids they were grooming to one day lead their nations that some children actually turned in their own parents for being enemies of the state.

David Pilcher and Megan Fisher, a hypnotherapist in our era used the same indoctrination techniques on the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines.” This resulted in those students believing the only way to live happy and productive lives would be by following the teachings of “Chairman Pilcher“.  However, unlike Pilcher, Pam, Megan and Pope, these children have no memories of our society or knowledge of concepts such as compassion and compromise. That’s why the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines” is a far more dangerous foe then the people Ethan Burke took on last year.

Yes, Dr Theo Yedlin and his wife Rebecca and Pilcher’s protégé CJ Mitchum, will figure into this season’s story, but make no mistake, Season Two’s story centers around Jason Higgins, Kerry Campbell and their peers. If you had any doubts, episode three entitled “Once Upon A Time In Wayward Pines,” should have eliminated them, as we watched how Jason Higgins story evolved. We witnessed his grooming to become the future leader of this new society in flashbacks and forced to make two critical decisions as the town’s leader.

Although some threads from the first season continue dangling, (where’s Amy?) we received a visit from Nurse Pam in the latest episode and we found out what’s happened to her since “Invasion Day” and the day she killed her brother. Turns out Pam’s been living in a dilapidated house on the outskirts of town and she’s thought of as a Pariah by most of the residents. She and Jason had an uneasy agreement, that she’d remain secluded in that house and he’d pretend she didn’t exist, however she felt compelled to break the bargain and showed up at the house he shares with Kerry in the middle of the night.

We learn through a series of flashbacks that Jason was the first baby revived in Wayward Pines and David and Pam raised the boy as their own son. We see Pam and five-year-old Jason going through a book of those who’ll soon get revived, including Kate’s husband Harold, a man he’d murder execution style in the events that lead to Invasion Day. CJ Mitchum walks over in the middle of their conversation and warns the boy not all the adults will adjust to their new lives. He says what they’re doing’s unnatural. Pam reassures the boy that Higgins will know how to handle things.

Pam tells Jason she’s paid close attention to the town’s recent events and she’s troubled by how Higgins has handled them, including the rebellion, the killings and sending Ben to his apparent death. Jason tells her he’s been reading her brother’s plans about expanding their new society and Pam replies she’d been there with David every step of the way and knows every detail about his vision. She offers to lead Jason through every step and he asks her how would it appear if he brought her back into the fold. Pam responded that he’d look like an evolving leader.

Despite Kerry and Megan’s objections, Higgins welcomes back Pam and refers to her as the Mother of Wayward Pines, causing Fisher to scoff rather loudly. Jason asks the town to welcome Pam back with open arms but there’s just some scattered clapping from the adults. Higgins scowls and bangs his fist against his palm, which we learned last year’s how the “First Generation Of Wayward Pines,” demonstrate approval and soon all the youngsters join in.

No appearance by Pam would be complete if she wasn’t stirring up trouble with her catty remarks and she failed to disappoint as she chose to play with Yedlin’s mind, her first morning at the hospital. Nurse Pam showed no qualms last season about asking intimate questions about everybody’s sex-lives and she jumped to the topic quickly with Yedlin. Realizing that he and Rebecca hadn’t had relations since he got revived, Pam chastised him for not being a good citizen and help expand the population.

Theo asked Pam if she was in Hawaii and she laughed and said that bartender fixed such strong drinks that she and Pope had trouble getting out of bed the next morning. Yedlin asked why they chose him and Pilcher asked why he was so certain that he’s the one they had interest in? The conversation ends rather abruptly and we watch Pam take a syringe and hide it in her pocket.

The Abbies appear to have vacated the area, Jason first discovered evidence last week as they weren’t showing up on the security cameras. That got verified early in this episode, as two young soldiers explored the terrain outside the fence and the only creature they ran into was a baby deer. Higgins believes the time’s right for their society to expand outside the gate as Pilcher planned to do and sets up a meeting with Mitchum, Mario, Kerry and Pam.

While Pam’s main interest in other’s sex-lives maybe due to a combination of curiosity and bawdiness, Megan Fisher’s the town’s cheerleader for sexual relations. Addressing some of the students at Wayward Pines Academy she tells the students that it’s time to put the PRO back in procreation. When one young girl asks isn’t it true that they won’t get paired up until after they graduate, Fisher says she’s correct but that hasn’t stopped some of her classmates from getting a head start. There are at least a half a dozen girls looking no more than 14 who were visibly pregnant.

Yedlin drops by Rebecca’s beauty-parlor and she tells Theo to sit down in one of the chairs and she’ll clean him up. Yedlin tells Rebecca that Pam joined Pope on his trip to Hawaii and said that Rebecca drew their interest and Theo just got scooped up along with her. She says that she’s got huge memory gaps and then Yedlin asks her where’s her wedding ring and after hesitating responds they never gave it back to her.

Theo changes the subject and says Arlene told him that the Abbies vacated the area. (That scene was actually a highlight of the episode. In a series that displays very little humor, Arlene’s the comic relief character. She described her electro-shock treatments as her “little tune-up.” She told Yedlin in the hospital that the Abbies appeared to have skedaddled away from the woods outside the fence. When Yedlin asked if she really believed the creatures just up and left she replied that people got to have hope, otherwise they just lose their crap. She then asked Yedlin if he’d join her for a celebratory drink at the Beer Garden and Theo flashes his wedding ring. Arlene says what happens in Wayward Pines stays in Wayward Pines, as there’s nobody else to tell.)

Yedlin asks Rebecca if she believes the creatures just vacated the area and she responds that Theo seems to believe it based on all the information he’s received. Yedlin asks why everybody has such confidence in this kid and she replies that they groomed Higgins from birth to succeed David Pilcher. Yedlin asks if the kid’s a prince and she responds sometimes it’s better not to ask a lot of questions. Theo says he’s not like that and Rebecca replies she’s well aware of that.

Pilcher decides to pay a visit to the underground facility and when Mario questions whether she’s allowed to enter, she responds that Mario heard what Higgins said. He nods his head and allows her to enter the facility. She heads to the room that Fisher’s now based out of and we see cage after cage filled with Abbies and despite what Fisher told the students, the creature aren’t sedated. When Pam enters the room they growl, snarl and hiss at her as she makes her way to the back of the room. We then watch her open a cabinet filled with various drugs and she grabs a vial and pockets that.

Almost immediately after that Fisher wheels into her office and asks why Pam’s there and Pilcher says she came down to talk with Megan and try to mend bridges. Fisher says that she certainly doesn’t consider Pam a hero and Pilcher replies she shares Megan’s sentiments. Fisher then says that if Pilcher’s asking her to forgive her for killing David, she can’t do that and then asks Pilcher to leave her room.

Pam walks back to the dilapidated house she lives in and from a distance she sees two young boys spray-painting the word MURDERER on the side of her home in giant red letters. They see her and run off. When she reaches her front door, she hesitates for a moment and then says aloud well, that’s that then. She goes inside and heads to her bedroom and opens a trunk and pulls out a long red dress and lays it out on the bed. She then fills the hypodermic with the drug from the vial, but just as she’s ready to inject it into her arm she sees Yedlin heading towards her house. She puts the needle down and goes downstairs to meet Theo at her front door.

Yedlin’s hoping to get more information about Rebecca from Pilcher, but she’s not in the mood to play games and quickly gets rid of him. As soon as Theo leaves the area, Pam injects herself with the needle and we watch her shiver a bit as the liquid courses through her body. Then she heads to the meeting with Jason and the others about expanding human settlements outside the fence.

Fisher’s ingrained paranoia serves her well in this case as she has one of her techs take inventory of all the supplies. The young man asks what’s Variola Major and Fisher asks if it’s missing. The tech replies maybe one vial and she tells him to quickly recount the bottles and she’s going to call Yedlin immediately.

Pilcher’s the last one to enter the meeting and greets Jason with a kiss on the lips, then sits next to him on the couch. They start talking about Pilcher’s visions when suddenly Yedlin and Fisher enter the room. Higgins starts saying that they’re having a private meeting, when Theo tells them all to stand up slowly and make certain not to touch each other and then quickly leave the room. However he tells Pam that she’s to stay put and then announces she injected herself with smallpox.

Higgins’ can’t believe that Pam tried to infect the entire town with smallpox, a highly contagious disease that left untreated would wipe out the entire population. After Jason finally processes the information he orders his men to take the woman who raised him away as Fisher gloats.

Pam’s put into an airtight glass cell and Higgins heads there and asks Pilcher why. She says that they didn’t raise him to become the man that stands before her. Jason responds that he’s only following Pilcher’s example and she screamed at him we expected better than that from you. She says that the Abbies have already won and that if he really wants what’s best for his people, he’ll let the disease spread so that soon they will know peace. Jason looks at her with horror in his eyes and she realizes that he’s rejecting her plan. She says he can either allow the smallpox to kill her or he’ll have to kill her himself.

Yedlin informs Jason that Pam didn’t infect anybody as she’s still in the incubation period. Higgins sincerely thanks Theo and says that he’s a hero and saved the town and the human race. He says he hopes once the residents hear about this that they’ll appreciate Yedlin more. Theo says he’s got the antidote and he’s prepared to inject Pilcher with it. Jason says that’s not Yedlin’s decision to make and walks away.

Pilcher and Higgins share one final walk together and he asks her to finish the fairytale she made up about Jason and told him it throughout his childhood. Pam says that the boy grew up to become a man and he turned very sad as things hadn’t turned out as he hoped. However he closed his eyes tightly and suddenly he started to smile because the man realized that he was special after all. Jason then chokes the life out of the woman who raised him. Her corpse gets put into a body bag and they set the bag on a stack of burning wood and soon it’s engulfed in flames.

The Flash: Cisco Saves The Day

Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW
Photo: Jeff Weddell/The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

After coming out of the gate in its sophomore campaign with back-to-back chapters jam-packed with action and revelations the CW series “The Flash,” slowed the pace in episode three  presenting what could best be described as a transitional episode. Don’t take that as a knock, in a TV season that consists of 23-episodes a series needs chapters that set things up for down the line and this one accomplished that quite well. The hour also ended with two incidents that could affect Team-Flash over the next few weeks.

Our first few moments in Central City find Iris West in an unusual situation, getting shot at by two guys trying to prevent her from publishing a story exposing a real-estate scam they head-up. Iris calls Barry on her cellphone and tells him she needs his help badly. Even though she’s on one of the upper floors of a high-rise Barry tells her to jump and shows up in plenty of time to catch her and deposit her safely on the ground below. The Flash then knocks out the gunmen and take their weapons, leaving them in a neat package for the CCPD to lockup.

Back at STAR Labs Barry tries to enter the portal that’s now  part of the facility, but he bounces off it as if he hit a wall. Jay Garrick explains that the portal’s one of two doors that connect his earth to ours and in between those two doors lies a hallway. The problem’s that all three parts keep fluctuating so until they  can stabilize it they can’t enter it, he tells Team-Flash that’s his new project.

After meeting a mysterious woman only identified as Mrs. West last week, I’d assumed that she came from Earth-Two as Garrick did. However tonight we found out that Francine West hails from our planet and she’d abandoned her husband and young daughter 20-years before. Turns out Francine was a junkie and had overdosed, Iris saved her mother by calling 911 but Francine left the little girl in a dangerous situation with the stove burning. Joe had lied all these years that Iris’ mother died, to protect his daughter from the sordid truth.

Joe hands his ex-wife an envelope filled with money for her to leave Central City and never return. Francine refuses the envelope and tells him it’s time for her to meet her daughter, Joe infers she gave up that right when she left decades earlier. He gives her back the envelope and says please leave she says she’s staying in Central City as he leaves the lunch counter.

Patty Spivot nearly runs into Barry at CC Jitters and then she looks at him and says the Flash. Concerned at first that she’s figured out his secret, she explains that the shop’s running a promotion serving a brew they’ve labeled the Flash. He asks her if she wants to join his table and she tells him she’s got to get  to work. He goes to his table joining Caitlin, Cisco and Iris. Cisco accidentally bumps into a young woman and apologizes, the woman turns around revealing she’s Lisa Snart and tells Cisco he can bump into her anytime.

The tech-expert automatically assumes the worst and threatens to get Flash to show up and the criminal tells him to please do it. Cisco’s puzzled by her response and she tells him her brother Leonard, aka Captain Cold got kidnapped the night before. She says that the pair and Heat-Wave robbed a place and when they left the building Snart got grabbed and shoved into a van and someone hit her on the head from behind and knocked her cold. When she came to the van and Heat-Wave had gone.

Cisco and Caitlin take Lisa to STAR Labs where the Flash joins them and she tells her story to him. Turns out that Cisco can track Captain Cold’s Cold-Gun and he gives Flash the location. When Flash arrives he sees Snart’s robbing the place and the Scarlet Speedster tells him that Lisa thinks he got kidnapped. Captain Cold zaps Flash with his Cold-Gun setting him in ice from his chest down. Just then Snart’s father Lewis walks through the door and congratulates his son and the two leave. Cisco’s able to  save Flash by heating up his suit via remote-control and the ice melts off in seconds.

When Flash returns to STAR Labs he accuses Lisa of lying, but when she hears Leonard’s with their father she realizes something’s amiss. She says they both despise their father and her brother wouldn’t be with him willingly and says he’s a really bad guy. Caitlin’s shocked at the statement telling Lisa her whole family are criminals and asks what makes him so evil? Lisa lowers the neckline of her shirt revealing a scar and tells Caitlin she didn’t get that scar being a criminal, she got it being a daughter and walks off. Cisco tells the other two he’s got this and goes after her.

Lisa opens up to Cisco and tells him her father started beating her when she was seven. She says that Leonard raised her and if it wasn’t for him she would have turned out far worse than she did. She then smiles and tells Cisco she realizes he can’t picture her any worse, but she infers their father’s pure evil.

Joe shows up at Iris’ newspaper and he’s about to pull the boneheaded move and tell his daughter the truth about her mother at work when her co-worker Linda Park walks over and tells her they need her story as soon as possible as it’s going to be featured on the front-page. Iris and Joe get very excited and he tells his daughter they’ll speak later as she’s got to  finish her story.

Barry tracks down Snart at a restaurant and he tells him that his sister says they both hate their father and asks why he’s working with him. Leonard replies it’s complicated it’s family and says Barry should relate given his situation with his parents and tells him not to worry. He says they’ve got a deal that Flash leaves Captain Cold alone as long he doesn’t kill anybody and he refrains from telling the world Flash’s secret identity. Barry says that Leonard lives by a code that the old man doesn’t follow and if anyone dies he’ll come after them hard. Snart leaves the restaurant and Barry with the tab.

Joe calls Barry and asks him to  come to  the  house and he tells Barry about lying all these years about Francine and he’s freaking out about telling Iris as she’ll hate him for lying all these years. Barry comforts his surrogate-dad by telling him his daughter’s a grown woman and will handle the truth well. He tells Joe how fearless she was in  tracking her story and tells West that his daughter’s going to understand.

Turns out there’s a third member of Lewis’ team a tech-guy. The old man’s not too happy with him as he failed to succeed in an assignment Lewis gave him. The old man starts going over the plan  for the heist and he’s not worried about collateral damage but Leonard tries to persuade him to commit the robbery without killing anybody. The old man says that in their business killing somebody often is part of the job.

He starts going further into the plan and says that’s when Leonard kills the guards with his Cold-Gun and Snart once again says they can do things without hurting anybody. The tech-guy then  loses it and starts screaming at Snart telling him the only reason he’s on the job’s because of that gun and starts insulting him. Lewis pulls a sonic device out of his pocket and the tech-guy starts holding his ears and screaming in pain until his head literally explodes. The old man says nobody talks to his son like that.

Joe and Barry arrive at a crime scene that Patty’s been at for a while. There’s a body under a sheet and she lifts it to reveal the man’s headless. She asks Barry what kind of a tool could the murder used to leave the jagged scar on what’s left of his neck. Barry responds it almost seems like his head blew off and he says he’ll get the results to the lab so they can get something to work from.

Later that afternoon Joe tells Barry the victim’s name was David Rubenberg and he was a close associate of Lewis Snart. The lab showed Thermite in what remained of his skull and traces on  his neck and they realize the old man injected him with it and wonder if he injected Leonard.

Jay’s working on trying to stabilize the portal and Caitlin walks in to check out his progress. He then opens up about the loss he feels in regards to  losing his super-speed. He spent the previous two-years trying to save his world and now he’s just another guy. Caitlin tells him he’s far from that, he’s a brilliant scientist and physicist and she thinks he might help  the world more using those skills. Suddenly Cisco calls her and says he needs her up front immediately.

We see Caitlin examining Lisa with a look of shock on her face and confirms Cisco finding traces of Thermite in her head. Cisco tells her that when she got knocked out her father injected her with the explosives planting a bomb in her brain. But he assures her that he’s going to get it out of her and she’ll be fine.

Iris comes to her father’s home and says his message was cryptic even for him. Joe wastes no time or pulls any punches in telling Iris about her mother and the reasons he lied and said she died. He tells her she was a junkie who endangered her when she was a little girl. He says he didn’t want Iris growing up feeling her mother rejected her, so he invented this perfect mother that died when Francine left. He breaks down crying and begs her to forgive him. Iris says she understands exactly why he did what he did.

Flash and Caitlin try manipulating the bomb in Lisa’s head with a magnet when Cisco realizes what they’re doing and screams for them to stop as the magnet will cause it to explode. He says he’ll figure out a solution all he needs is time to clear his head and think the situation through. Just then Barry says he’s going to infiltrate the old man’s game as the tech-guy.

Barry head’s to the old man’s hideout and speaks with Leonard telling him they’re aware of the bomb Lewis injected into Lisa’s head and Cisco’s working on a safe way to extract it. Lewis  walks into the room and asks his  son who Barry is and Allen introduces himself as Sam saying he helped Leonard bypass alarms in a couple of robberies. The old man asks his son if he’ll vouch for him and when Leonard says yes Lewis says let’s go pull the job.

The trio enter a facility wearing maintenance uniforms and give their id badges to the security guards at the front desk. One of the guys tries scanning the tags and the computer fails to authorize them, so Lewis starts to grab his guns to kill the two guards. Thinking quickly Barry says they can call for verification but do they really want to get chewed out by angry executives about the overflowing toilets? They wave them through.

When they teach the floor  they want they see two security guards  nearby and again the old man reaches for his gun, but Barry gets them both off the floor at super-speed and then tells Lewis let’s go the guards are gone. He tells the two of them to keep lookout and he punches in four number codes until he’s granted access and the door opens. Lewis says good job kid it’s good to go  out on top and shoots Barry in the chest and he falls to the ground. The old man charges forward but Leonard stays behind for a second and says sorry Barry. When we return from a commercial we see what really happened, Barry grabbed the bullet in his hand at super-speed and slumped to the floor.

Cisco’s come up with a plan he’s going to place a high pressure weapon to Lisa’s temple and suck the bomb into the weapon. He says there’s a risk involved as it involves a blast of air, which could set off the Thermite, but Lisa tells Cisco she trusts him.

Lewis and Leonard head into a vault that’s protected by laser alarm system, but a blast from the Cold-Gun freezes the beams and Leonard walks through them shattering them. He tells the old man he’s got 125 seconds before the lasers defrost sounding the alarm. Lewis puts a stethoscope up against the wall of the safe and soon has it opened and steals it’s contents, some large size diamonds.

The alarm sounds and Leonard says they’ve got to split and the old man says let’s go, but they’re stopped as Flash enters the vault. Cisco has him stall for time as he lines up the weapon against Lisa’s head and he successfully extracts the bomb. Flash tells Leonard Lisa’s safe and he blasts Lewis in the heart  with the Cold-Gun. The old man looks shocked and says your working with the Flash I thought you hate him. Leonard responds he hates the old man more and Lewis dies. Barry asks why he killed him as Lisa was safe and he responds the old man  broke his sister’s heart, it’s only fair he broke his.

Their pact broken, Flash takes Snart into custody and comes to visit him at Iron Heights Prison, where his father was held for 20-years. Leonard says Barry best hope Snart doesn’t talk in his sleep and Barry laughs. He says you won’t you confirmed something today that I always believed, there’s good in you. You don’t have to admit it, but we both know it’s true. Leonard asks sarcastically should I become a hero Barry, what does that pay? Barry smiles and says you never know, perhaps setting up the transition for Snart’s upcoming role in Legends Of Tomorrow which premieres early in 2016.

Garrick’s stabilized the portal and Stein throws a book through it proving Jay was successful. He asks Garrick what he’s waiting for and Jay says that’s right I can go home now. However Caitlin whose crushing big time on Earth-Two’s Flash convinces him to stay until they defeat Zoom. He then says he needs a shower a meal and some sunshine and says he’ll see them all later.

Caitlin asks Professor Stein how he’s feeling and he says rest seemed to make him better. Suddenly his speech becomes halted, his eyes turn white and flames start emanating from the top of his head and through his hands and then he passes out. Barry says he started to heat up like Firestorm and Caitlin  says they need to examine him.

Our last scene shows us one of the portals open in Central City and we watch a figure walk through. The camera pans up to the person’s face revealing it to be Harrison Wells.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 8:00  pm on The CW.

Gotham: The Joke’s On Us

Photo Courtesy Of FOX
Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The FOX series “Gotham,” suddenly changed direction in the latest episode making a move that likely will have many fans of the show upset and perhaps irate. Other fans will look at this as a gutsy move by the show-runners, proving that the second-year series will keep viewers on their toes and let them take nothing for granted.

I’m going to break format this go-round and immediately address the elephant in the room. During the show’s first season Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin evolved into a breakout character of the campaign. Taylor’s Penguin broke away from the way Burgess Meredith and Danny DeVito played the role, in appearance and mannerisms. Both actors portrayed the character as he appeared in the comic-books of the Golden and Silver Ages of comics. Short and round with pointed noses, their speech filled with assorted grunts and quacks.

Taylor’s Cobblepot’s a mama’s boy and outsider who dreams of greatness and overcomes his cowardice to end up as the Criminal King of Gotham City. Penguin stabbed each of his benefactors in the back, yet he ended up the first season as last man standing. We watched him transform from Fish Mooney’s umbrella boy to controlling the entire underworld operation in Gotham City.

This year’s breakout character was Cameron Monaghan’s Jerome Valeska, a young man we met last season when Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock arrested him for killing his mother. When Valeska realized that Gordon nailed him for the murder of his mother many fans including this one, believed that Jerome would become perhaps the Caped Crusader’s greatest nemesis The Joker. Jerome starts to break down and cry for a second only to look up at Gordon and flash that unmistakable grin, Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and the Joker from the comic-books, all wrapped up in one magnificently evil smile.

Although those connected with Gotham never confirmed that Jerome would eventually evolve into The Joker, the first two episodes in this short season was enough proof that the ginger would become the deadly criminal. Valeska and four other inmates of the Arkham Asylum received their freedom when they got broken out by Theo and Tabitha Galavan. Valeska quickly became first among equals, becoming the leader of The MANIAX, stressing showmanship along with his brutal slayings.

Jerome terrorized Gotham City’s elite for most of the third episode until the show-runners hit the audience that likely knocked them out of their seats. Theo Galavan called an audible at the line and decided that Valeska could get sacrificed in order to further Galavan’s master plan, to take control of Gotham City.

The first image we see on the screen’s a perp’s getting thrown through a second-story window, his fall softened by trash bags in the alley. We pan up to see Jim Gordon standing in the window and he turns around to talk to his next victim. He tells the guy he’s looking for Jerome Valeska for killing a friend of his and asks the guy what he knows. The dude responds he’s never heard of Valeska and Jim throws a right to his jaw. The guy says he can help the detectives by spreading the word and Gordon tells him that anybody who hides or protects Valeska’s going down. To make sure the guy understood the message, Bullock then threw him through another window to the trash bags below.

After a little playtime for Barbara and Tabitha, Theo walks in with a tray of toast and coffee for Barbara and himself as Tabitha takes off. Galavan then tells Kean that his family built Gotham City, yet their name’s not known. He says he’s out to avenge his ancestors and tells Barbara she’s going to be his star. He then tells her when the time’s right he’ll help her destroy Jim Gordon, not kill him but destroy him body and soul.

Back at the precinct, Harvey suggests to Jim that they pay Penguin a visit, but Gordon brusquely dismisses the idea. Bullock heads to another part of the station, when Gordon sees a female uniform about to take the crime-scene tape off of Captain Sarah Essen’s office door. Jim barks at her to stop then puts the tape back in place. He then shouts to all in the precinct that they lost Essen and nine of their brothers in their house and the killer laughed. He told them to never forget that.

Lee Thompkins puts her hand on his shoulder from behind and he wheels around screams what, before he realizes it’s her. They go off to a corner and talk and Lee mentions the Gotham Children’s Hospital Charity Event’s that evening and she’s involved in the presentation. Jim says he can’t go, he needs to find Jerome.

Just at that moment Valeska and Tabitha arrive at Paul Cicero’s apartment, Cicero’s the blind psychic who admitted to Jerome last season he’s his father. Quickly Cicero’s bound and gagged as Jerome recounts the days of his abusive childhood and blame’s Cicero for never stepping in. He then tells the old man that he’s going to leave manufactured letters between father and son, so that Cicero gets blamed for breaking Jerome out of Arkham.

Back at the precinct Harvey tells Jim that he’s tracked down Paul Cicero and maybe he knows where Jerome’s hiding out. The two quickly drive over to the old man’s apartment.

Valeska stand’s over the old man with a knife and asks him if he has any last words. Cicero says

“You will be a curse upon Gotham. Children will wake from their sleep, screaming from the thought of you. Your legacy will be death and madness.”

Jerome laughs and starts to raise the knife, when there’s a knock at the door as Gordon and Bullock arrived. Gordon calls for Cicero, saying he wants to talk to him about his son but gets met with silence. Suddenly the old man groans and they bust down the door, an instant too late. Cicero’s dead as Valeska stabbed him in the eye and Jim realizes they left through the open window. Harvey examines the body and notices the corpse’s hand’s placed on-top of a tin can, when he moves Cicero’s hand he passes out from the gas coming out of the can. Gordon pulls him out into the hall but he’s barely standing. Then Jerome and Tabitha show up, Jim tries to choke Jerome but he’s easily subdued and Tabitha kicks him in the forehead.

The charity event for Gotham Children’s Hospital kicks off and amongst the guests, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce questions why they’re at the event and Alfred says that Bruce needs to be seen at certain functions, this being one on that list. Lee Thompkins comes over to introduce herself to Bruce, she tells him Gordon talks about him all the time and she wanted to meet him.

Alfred’s smitten and unaware that she’s Gordon’s girlfriend he starts to turn on the charm and make a play for her. Lee tells him she loves his stories and he suggests they have dinner at Wayne Manor. She starts to tell Pennyworth she’s got a boyfriend, but he mentions he’s good friends with the head-chef at an exclusive restaurant. Lee says she’s been trying to get a table there for months.

Bruce sees Selina at the event and tries to talk to her, but she tells him she’s working. She’s robbing Gotham’s elite of some of their “extra-cash.” Wayne mentions the entertainment’s a magician and Kyle tells him she hates magicians and says she’ll see him later.

There’s a last-minute substitution for the magician scheduled to perform. Taking the stage The Great Rudolfo and his lovely assistant, actually Jerome and Barbara in disguise, after they tied up the real magician and locked him in a trunk. Lee’s the hostess of the event and introduces the magician and his assistant.

Rudolfo performs a few tricks and then asks for a volunteer from the audience and asks for Bruce Wayne to come up. Wayne doesn’t want to do it but Alfred tells him to be a good sport. He comes up on stage and Rudolfo places him lying down in a box, Wayne’s head and arms sticking out one end and his feet out the other. Alfred starts to protest when Rudolfo takes two honed steel sheets and sticks them in a slot in the box. He separates the boxes and Bruce’s fine with his feet appearing to stick out one end while he waves to the crowd.

Lee asks Alfred if the performers look familiar and suddenly Kean’s mask slips off and she winks at Thompkins. Lee backs into the hallway and calls Jim telling him Barbara’s there and she thinks Jerome as well when she’s grabbed from behind and a hand goes over her mouth. Gordon rushes to the event.

Rudolfo’s asked for Deputy Mayor Harrison Kane to be his next volunteer and the official takes the stage smiling broadly. Rudolfo then says to the audience nobody’s getting out of her alive tonight and there’s nervous laughter, which turns into screams when he throws a knife into Kane’s chest killing the Deputy Mayor.

Gordon arrives outside the hall where the event’s taking place and a uniform tells him he’s not sending in his men. Jim stomps off and says he’ll go by himself when his cellphone rings and Lee’s number appears. He says thank goodness you’re okay only to hear Jerome at the other end. Valeska says to the detective he wishes he could see what’s going on then says actually it’s on TV so he can. Gordon gets to a monitor and sees Lee tied to a spinning wheel, with Barbara and Jerome on either side of her.

The waiters are part of the gang and start shooting automatic weapons at the ceiling, Alfred takes on one of the guys and almost has the weapon when he sees Bruce chasing Selina. Pennyworth’s caught off-guard and a blow to the head knocks him out.

Theo Galavan takes the stage and says to Valeska that he can’t let this go on and when Jerome asks him his name he turns to the cameras and announces Theo Galavan. He says to Jerome that there must be one cell of compassion within him and he says he appeals to the good in him. Kean knocks on top of his head with a hammer and Galavan falls to the stage.

Selina grabs Bruce and almost has them outside when he says he has to go back for Alfred. She says she’s not going back and he tells her he understands, then says he misses her and heads back to the dining room. Selina shakes her head and heads for safety.

Wayne’s just outside the dining room when he hears Jerome saying he wants Bruce back on the stage. Bruce stands and looks from behind a curtain until Kean says shoot the butler and Alfred’s brought out. Valeska says if Bruce wants to save his friend he best come out, he’s about to enter the dining room when he feels a hand on his shoulder. It’s Gordon and he tells him not to go.

Bruce says he can’t let anything happen to Alfred and he runs in shouting I’m here. Alfred stops him and asks what he’s doing, he gives Alfred a pistol that Gordon gave him and tells him the Detective’s in the hall. He goes to Jerome and he puts a knife against his neck and starts slicing slowly. Gordon and Alfred lack a clear shot at Valeska, suddenly Galavan rises from the floor and severs Jerome’s jugular with a knife. Valeska slumps to the floor still with a huge grin plastered on his face and his eyes wide-open.

Theo talks to Valeska as the life ebbs out of his body. He tells him he’s sorry he deviated from the script but he found it necessary. Valeska dies on the stage with his face frozen in the grin and Galavan’s looked at as the city’s new hero.

Jerome Valeska didn’t become The Joker, but he inspired a following. We watch a guy in his thirties laughing hysterically watching Valeska killing people. Then we watch a kid with braces laughing like a lunatic as he watches. We finally see two homeless stragglers stab a bag-lady to death and then one guy kills his partner.

The final image’s Jerome’s corpse with that grin frozen on his face, as we hear Cicero’s words ringing in the background.

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

Tyrant: The Sins Of The Father Repeated By The Son

Photo Courtesy Of FX Network
Photo Courtesy Of FX Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Jamal Al Fayeed President of the mythical middle-eastern nation Abbudin, never wanted the pressure of being a leader. A simple man with earthy-tastes, he told his brother Bassam that he really wanted to be a table-maker. A simple carpenter living his days in anonymity, with no pressures greater than having the table he created, ready when the customer wanted it.

Fans of the FX Network’s Original Series “Tyrant,” realize that Jamal’s wishes weren’t granted, as he succeeded his father last year as President of his homeland.  To say his decisions since taking office are misguided, would be putting things quite kindly for Jamal. The world believes that he hung his brother Bassam, after a failed coup attempt. However Al Fayeed could not bring himself to kill his younger brother, leaving him in the middle od the desert to fend for himself.

In the previous episode, we saw that Bassam got saved by two men heading back to their village. We also witnessed what appeared to be an unrepairable rift develop between Jamal and the Chinese Ambassador, Abbudin’s new partner in oil development. The Ambassador’s wife got shot in the arm by agents of rebel leader Ihab Rashid, at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Shunshin oil-refinery, as the gunmen tried to assassinate Al Fayeed, but his shot was far off it’s target.

The Chinese Ambassador told the President that China won’t do business with a country that failed to protect his wife. Al Fayeed responded that the man responsible for the incident would have his head on a stick, before the Chinese representative woke up the next morning.

We start the episode the following morning in Al Jaffa, the village that the rebels live in. Halima the young women we saw spray-painting “Free Bassam, Free Abbudin,” in the second season premiere, approaches her younger sister in the market and asks if she bought any figs. The younger girl makes an excuse why she didn’t, however Halima tells her to head to the other side of the market and get the fruit.

Halima meets up with her spray-painting partner in crime Marwan, who tells her he’s thinking of taking up arms to speed up the revolution. Halima says they promised each other they would abstain from using weapons as violence solves nothing.

We move to the headquarters of the rebel movement as Ihab Rashid gets a call from his second in command. He tells Rashid that large groups of soldiers just jumped into a bunch of military vehicles and heading for Al Jaffa. Ihab’s still on the phone when he sees the first military vehicle pull up. He immediately shouts to everyone one in the room to get out and seek shelter.

Back in the market the air’s filled with smoke and people start coughing, then gasping and falling to the ground. It’s obvious what happened, the head of the Abbudin military and Jamal’s uncle Tariq Al Fayeed, went behind the President’s back and ordered his soldiers to attack the village with chemical weapons.

Marwan tells Halima they must flee for there lives, but the young woman says she has to find her sister. Seconds later the sister arrives screaming that her eyes are burning, she was in the part of the market where the gas got released. We see bodies lying all over the ground.

Jamal storms through the palace and walks into the sauna, where Tariq is sitting. He grabs his uncle by the throat and throws him against the wall. Tariq says that Jamal can truthfully say he didn’t authorize the attack, the General says he saved his nephew, just as he saved Jamal’s father over 20-years before. The President tightens his grip around the old man’s neck and looks as if he’ll kill him there on the spot.

Tariq says that Jamal has a choice, he can kill his uncle and tell the world his military-commander acted behind his back. Or he can say that the rebels had the supply of chemical weapons and that they’re rockets hit them, the government had no idea that the rebels had a supply of chemical weapons. He says some will believe you, while others will not. However in time they’ll cease caring and Jamal can govern Abbudin however he wants. The President releases his neck and storms out of the sauna.

The two young men that found Bassam unconscious in the desert, are members of a Bedouin village. Their goal is still to turn Bassam over to the government for a reward, but their first goal’s to keep him alive. The older of the pair breaks into the village doctor’s office and steals an IV bag filled with fluids, that Bassam told them he needed. They start to head back to the spot they have him hidden, when Kasim and his mate run into the second of Kasim’s father’s wives. She asks him what’s in his knapsack and when he doesn’t answer she snatches it from him.

They head to where Bassam’s at and the woman named Daliyah helps hook him up to the IV bag. She tells Kasim and the other young man to fetch Kasim’s father and let him know they have a guest.

Jamal heads to his desk and sees an envelope waiting there for him. Enclosed are pictures of the victims from the attack. He flips through picture after picture of men, women and children, his face growing paler with each picture he sees. He finally stops looking and just closes his eyes in anguish.

He then meets with the Chinese Ambassador, who looks at him as if he were a barbarian. He says that China can’t be partners with a man that used chemical weapons on his own people. Jamal says that he didn’t authorize a chemical attack and their intelligence believes that the chemical weapons were being kept by the rebels. The Ambassador looks at him and asks if this is true, Jamal says our intelligence tells us that the rebel forces are crushed and the resistance is over. The Ambassador smiles and says that his nation would insist on a full United Nations investigation into the matter, but once that’s completed he believes the two countries can go forward on their project.

The President addresses the nation and the world on TV, saying that Western Propaganda has tried and convicted his nation, when they’ve done nothing wrong. He says that he didn’t authorize an attack of any WMD’s and that Abbudin’s Intelligence agencies believe that Ihab Rashid had chemical weapons at their headquarter. Back in Al Jaffa, Ihab Rashid’s still alive but coughing badly. He’s watching Al Fayeed address the world with a look of contempt and distrust on his face.

Back in the States, Molly talks with her son Sammy about his father. He says that he doesn’t think that Barry liked his son and Sammy really felt the same way. He says he signed up for a college class and registered under Molly’s maiden-name, to not stand out. The professor brought up Barry during their last class and said that he was a great man. He says every student in the class echoed the Professor’s opinion, but he stayed silent. He looks at his mother and asks if his father was such a great man, what did he leave him?

Back at the Bedouin village, the father Ahmos and his first wife arrive back at their home and meet Bassam. Ahmos says his son told him that Bassam claimed to be a medic in the army, but asks him why he wears the clothes of a prisoner? Al Fayeed says that he deserted from the army as he could no longer support the governments policies. Ahmos first wife says they should turn him in, he’ll only bring trouble to the family, but her husband says he’s their guest and he’ll do know such thing. He turns to Daliyah and tells her to get their guest some fresh clothes and show him where to clean up. He also provides Bassam with a cellphone to call his wife.

The doorbell rings at Molly’s home and it’s the attorney James Timmons she met the week before at the memorial for Barry. The lawyer informs them that he’s been in contact with the lawyers for the Al Fayeed family in the Middle East and it turns out Barry was not cut out of his father’s will. In keeping with Middle Eastern custom, the money’s now the property of the family’s male heir, Sammy. He’s inherited $100 million dollars.

Leila heads to the hospital in Al Jaffa to comfort the victims. A mother’s distraught because her young son’s lost his vision. The First Lady of Abbudin, tells the woman that she’s sending her personal physician and his staff to the village to treat the patients. Suddenly there’s a commotion as Halima tries to get close enough to talk to Leila, she tells the soldiers she knows the young woman and starts to talk to her. Halima shows Leila a picture of her sister and tells her she died in the attack.

Leila tells Halima how sorry she is for her loss, but the younger woman asks her how she can be sorry and guilty at the same time. Al Fayeed’s shocked by her words and tells her the government did not utilize chemical weapons. Halima asks if she repeats the lie often enough, does Leila believe it becomes the truth? She says her sister’s blood’s on Leila’s hands, then throws blood all over Al Fayeed. She’s taken out of the hospital by the guards, but she screams that the resistance is now stronger since the attack.

Kasim’s still determined to get the reward money for the escaped prisoner and he calls his buddy whose a private in the Abbudin army. He tells the private they have a medic who deserted from the army named Khalil and he wants to collect the reward. The private tells Kasim he must be stoned and delusional as there’s no record of any deserters. Kasim hangs up and tells his mate that the escaped prisoner lied about his identity.

Samira Nadal goes to the morgue to check out how badly the attack hurt the village and the resistance. She tells Ihab that there must have been over a hundred bodies and she saw about 30 members of the resistance among the dead, including Rashid’s second in command. Suddenly there’s a slamming on the door, Rashid opens it and then lets in two members of the resistance that escaped the attack.

They tell Ihab and Samira that they must leave the village, that the only reason they survived the attack was they were working at the refinery. Their wives and children are dead and they tell Rashid it’s his fault, as they supported him. They are no longer welcome in Al Jaffa.

Kasim tells Ahmos that he called his friend in the military and their guest has lied about his identity. Ahmos’ youngest son’s milking a goat and asks “Khalil” if he’s a Muslim and the man says he is. He asks him then why doesn’t he pray and Bassam responds he’s out of practice. The boy says he can’t be a good Muslim without praying and offers to teach him.

Ahmos tells his youngest son to go and help his brother, then he tells Bassam that his son found out he lied. Bassam tells him he told him the essence of his story, but the older man says that still isn’t the truth. Ahmos asks why there’s no report of his escape and Bassam replies because he’s supposed to be dead. Suddenly a military vehicle pulls up and Ahmos tells Bassam to go inside.

The soldier’s the private that Kasim called and Ahmos tells the young man that he’s Kasim’s father. He tells Ahmos that Kasim called him the night before saying they had an escaped prisoner and since he was in the area he figured he’d check it out. Ahmos chuckles and says that since the private knows his son, he’s likely aware of Kasim’s problem with drugs. He then says that their guest is a cousin from another part of the country and apologizes for the trouble, the private says no problem and gets in his vehicle and leaves.

Bassam thanks his host for not turning him in and Ahmos says he admires his convictions and his courage. He says he has nothing but contempt for a regime that once again gassed their own people. Bassam asks him what he’s talking about and it suddenly occurs to the older man that Bassam couldn’t have heard that a thousand people in Al Jaffa died of a gas attack. He says the sins of the father repeated by the son.

Leila’s gagging and crying back at the palace as she uses a scrub brush to get the blood off her hands. She tells Jamal she can’t believe what Halima said to her. He responds by saying that many in Abbudin won’t believe the story they’re telling the world. Leila suddenly realizes that Tariq actually did use chemical weapons on the village.

She’s now totally losing it, saying she didn’t want them to do the same things his father did. She says she wanted the people to love her, but they can never make this right. Jamal says this is just a small bump in the road and soon, the people will only think of her as their lovely and gracious first lady. He then says to Leila they need to do something to get their mind off the attack.

Bassam uses the cellphone to get caught up on all that’s happened in Abbudin since he’s been gone. He thanks his host for the use of the cellphone and Ahmos asks him if he called his wife, Bassam replies he hasn’t. He says he’s an enemy of the state and he’s concerned if he contacts Molly, they might go after her and his children. Ahmos tells his guest he can stay wit them as long as he wants and Bassam says that would put Ahmos and his family in danger. Ahmos tells his friend to feel no obligation to stay or leave.

Ihab Rashid prays and then kisses the forehead of his second in command. He then wraps his old friend in a shroud as Samira watches.

The afternoon prayer session takes place in the Bedouin village. Bassam stands at the back of the mosque, then walks ahead to where Ahmos and his youngest are praying and Bassam joins them in prayer.

Jamal’s decided to get Ahmed and his wife and Leila involved in a game of charades and the President’s trying to act out the phrase, but his family has no idea what the phrase is. Jamal finally says Gone With The Wind, like the book but the younger couple appear to never have heard of the American Classic.

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

Halt And Catch Fire: Nightmare On Nerd Street

Photo Courtesy Of AMC
Photo Courtesy Of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There are no truly good or bad characters so far in the second season of the AMC Original Series “Halt And Catch Fire,” although all of them are capable of having selfless, as well as destructive moments. In the episode entitled “The Way In,” we saw a lot of those destructive moments while still leaving time for some selfless acts. Much like the nation in 1985, our characters are in a state of flux as they attempt to find a foothold where life’s deposited them.

We start out in the home of Gordon and Donna Clark, as Gordon’s sitting at his computer trying to perfect a mapping program he’s developing for Mutiny. Donna takes the headphones off her husband’s head and tells him it’s time for him to take their daughters to school. He tells her he’s close to completing the program and she says he’s been obsessed with it for the last two weeks. He tells her he’s named the program Sinorous.

Tom Rendon shows up for his first day at Mutiny on a bicycle, explaining to Cameron he doesn’t have a car. She asks if he has a horn, he replies he left it at home along with his rubber nose, leaving the viewer to realize this will lead to another rocky relationship for Howe.

John Bosworth pays a visit to former Cardiff Electric executive Barry Shields, who stored Bosworth’s vintage Mustang while he was in prison. John says his ex-wife got the house, the government got all the rest but he still has his ride thanks to Shields. Barry says that Bosworth more than earned the favor, putting food on his family’s table for 20-years. He shouts in glee when Bosworth climbs into the car and starts up the engine.

Joe MacMillan’s beyond miserable working in the data entry department of Jacob Wheeler’s oil-company, he suggests to his supervisor Eugene Bowdich a way to minimize reoccurring errors. Bowdich tells him that data control takes care of that situation, then suggests that MacMillan develop a hobby, Bowdich says his hobby’s collecting Tito Fuentes records. Joe asks his supervisor if he’d like some coffee, then leaves the office and sits down on the floor of a hallway.

Lev is giving a presentation for a new game he’s designed to the Coder-Monkeys, his concept’s that a pair of hands grab a dish of Jell-O from a refrigerator shelf and if you grab the plate you win the game. Yo-Yo and Bodie think that the game would be tons more fun, that if the Jell-O was rancid and the object was to poison the family to death. Cameron quickly puts a stop to the sniping, then asks Rendon if he has any avenues to explore, he mentions something and Howe asks if his idea has a story and Tom asks if it has to? The conversation’s further proof that these folks aren’t on the same page.

Cameron then hands out floppy-disks to everyone that contain copies of chapter 22 of Parallax, their most successful game. She tells them to look it over during the next few hours and then they’ll meet back later and discuss everyone’s opinions.

Bosworth’s driving his car with Johnny Cash blaring on the stereo as he sings along. We see him pull into the parking lot of the El Royale Hotel, an attractive blonde tells him he’s late and John asks if he’s making her late for her other boyfriends? The woman smiles and says let them wait, as they enter the room.

Sarah Wheeler’s going through a bout of writer’s block, when Joe calls and complains how rudimentary their systems are in his department. He suggests they invite Gordon and Donna Clark over for dinner, she replies she thought those people made them uncomfortable. Just then Bowdich belly’s up to Joe’s desk and MacMillan says he needs to go and hangs up. Bowdich asks if that was a personal call, Joe remains silent and picks up the phone again and asks to speak with Jacob Wheeler. He tells the person on the other end that an appointment at 4:00 pm would be a perfect time for him. Bowdich’s face loses all color as Joe hangs up the phone.

We head back to the El Royale and we find out that the attractive blonde that Bosworth had some afternoon delight is his ex-wife Ginny. She’s still a flight-attendant, apparently the same job she had when she first met him, calling him the man in 25-B. She then tells him that she just got a new long overseas route with a layover in Tokyo. That could put a crimp in plans for future meetings, but he says he’ll just come by the house.

She says she doesn’t think that’s a good idea and he says he’ll see her this weekend. She responds she hopes he’s joking. He asks her if their encounter was just a bribe to keep him from coming to Galveston and she asks him to promise he won’t go down there. He stays silent but sort of nods his head.

Joe waits for Wheeler to finish his phone conversation, then Jacob says let me have it. MacMillan suggests that the company combine data collection and analytics into one department. The move will curtail the leaking of data, decrease risks and increase profits. Wheeler says enough and MacMillan smiles and says he isn’t finished, Jacob says that he is and for Joe to go ahead and do it. He then asks whose in charge down there and Joe tells him Eugene Bowdich and Wheeler says to fire him and gut the entire staff. He says things will work better if MacMillan hires his own team.

Joe’s thrown for a loop by Wheeler’s reaction, then says he’ll need a few days to get his act together and Wheeler says take as long as he needs. As Joe turns to leave, Jacob says that if you’re on a packed train it’s okay not to take an empty seat, your stop might be next, or you could be a Good Samaritan. But some think they don’t deserve it, implying that he has confidence in his daughter’s fiancée.

Gordon and Donna are flabbergasted to find a message on their answering machine, from Joe inviting them over to dinner with he and his fiancée Thursday night. At first their conversation centers on what this fiancée must look and be like, Donna imagines a blonde fashion-model type, a woman who’s haughty. Gordon thinks she’s more submissive, after Joe’s experience with Cameron. However to Donna’s surprise Gordon wants to go to the dinner.

Back at Mutiny Headquarters Cameron’s asking the Coder-Monkeys their thoughts on the new edition of Parallax and the room stays kind of quiet. Bodie then says he likes the female vampires with the fish-bodies, Cameron then asks Tom what’s his opinion and he says they should talk privately later. However Howe forces him to voice his thoughts and he tells her he hates the game.

He then goes on to say that Cameron’s taken the story from one chapter and the graphics from another and then threw them in a blender. He then mentions a character that he wanted to grab by the pubic-hair and have the character transport him to another game. Howe then goes into her room and starts pacing and thinking over what he said, likely agreeing with everything Rendon told her.

Gordon says to Donna that they should beg off of the dinner, but she won’t hear of it telling her husband he should have declined the invitation when they received it. She goes off to get ready and he starts quoting Marlon Brando as Jor-El in Superman, saying that earthlings are good but need guidance. He then sends Sinorous over to Mutiny.

Gordon and Donna are dressed up like they’re heading to a fancy restaurant, while Joe and Sarah are sporting chinos and t-shirts, which makes for an even more uncomfortable start to the evening. Donna says that the place is cozy and Joe says they have a bigger property out in Austin, acting ashamed of their tiny apartment.

Bosworth sits in his Mustang and watches Ginny holding-court, outside of the restaurant they’re holding the rehearsal dinner for his son James’ wedding the following day. John doesn’t leave his car parked across the street from the restaurant, but he’s still far too close for her liking.

Back at Joe and Sarah’s apartment, Gordon tells MacMillan’s fiancée to make sure that Joe doesn’t hold out on her, with the windfall he got from the sale of Cardiff Electric. Joe then tells Gordon and Donna that he didn’t receive a penny from the sale, that Nathan Cardiff ripped up his check in front of him.

Yo-Yo summons Cameron from her room and tells her that Mutiny’s being affected by this rogue program, that’s not only infecting the network and their subscribers, but it’s erasing the games. Rendon says they have to shut the network down, but Cameron tries to get Donna on the phone. She gets the number where Gordon and Donna are at from the babysitter, then gets totally shocked when she hears Joe say hello on the other end. She remains silent and he hangs up the phone. She tells the Coder-Monkeys to shut down the network.

Bosworth’s son James climbs into the passenger seat of the Mustang and says that everybody knows he’s there. He then asks his father can’t he pick up a phone and John says he wanted to say this in person. He then puts on his glasses and reads a toast he had prepared to read at the rehearsal dinner. He says he wishes he could have been around more often in his son’s life and wishes he was a better father, but he’s extremely proud of his son.

James asks if he can take the speech to show it to his fiancée Lisa and Bosworth hands him the note. He then asks his father to come to his wedding the following day and Bosworth says that Ginny would implode. James says that he and Lisa want him there and John says some other time, then shakes his son’s hand.

Joe and Gordon are on the patio, drinking the bottle of wine that the Clarks brought with them. Clark says that Joe should have told him Nathan stiffed him, he’d have spoken up for him. Joe smiles and says he works in a basement and lives in an apartment, that’s smaller than the bathroom of his place when he worked for Cardiff. But he wouldn’t trade his life with Sarah for the check, he says she’s really special.

Donna comes out and says that Mutiny’s tried to get hold of her all night and their phones are now tied up, she says they have to leave. Gordon says it was really good to see Joe again and he’s sorry the evening had to end so soon. They leave the apartment and Joe looks lonely and very sad.

Donna starts ripping them as soon as she gets in the car, while Gordon says he was impressed with Sarah and she makes Joe happy, which in itself is a minor miracle. Donna says that MacMillan has her snowed, just like he snowed everybody at Cardiff.

Tom and Cameron are trying to assess the damage of the situation when the Clark’s car pulls up, Howe and Tom come outside and greet the couple as they’re getting out of the car. Cameron makes some snide remark about their dinner and then they get informed that some rogue program called Sinorous destroyed the network. The tension increases ten-fold, when it’s revealed that Gordon wrote and sent the program, Howe starts to go after Gordon but Yo-Yo restrains her.

Gordon tells her to calm down he’ll buy them new servers, but Rendon says the problems not server related the program destroyed games and original programs. Howe laughs that Clark scorns anything original, that he’s a sell-out. Gordon responds that if it wasn’t for Donna that Mutiny would be history, she’s paying the bills and keeping the company afloat. Donna tells Gordon to go home.

Later Donna tells Cameron that they’ve got two servers operating, Howe then says that while Donna works for Mutiny, Cameron lives there so she needs to take care of things 24-7. She then tells Donna to go home to her husband and if she pays a bill behind Howe’s back again she’s fired.

James is inside the restaurant talking with Lisa, when the valet hands him a set of keys and says your car sir. Lisa says that’s not your car, it’s Bosworth’s Mustang that he gives the couple as a wedding present. John takes a Trailways bus back to Dallas.

The following morning, Donna takes a cab back home and crawls into bed. Gordon apologizes for sending the program without telling her, she blames herself for not stopping him. He asks how bad is the damage and she gives him a look, that tells him to shut his mouth. She then grabs her spread-sheets and clutches them to her chest as she gets into bed.

Cameron goes into a full-blown panic attack just before Tom enters her room, she tells him to give her a second, then starts gasping for breath. He tells her to breathe, then sits her down and tells her to either nod or shake her head, he asks if he should call a doctor, or if she’s on medication, she shakes her head to both questions.

He then tells her to listen to his voice, and he walks her through one of the early adventures of Parallax. He tells her when he first encountered the game, it was like rediscovering the Wizard Of Oz, only better because he was inside of it. He then tells her how gifted and special she is and she regains her composure.

Joe punches his time-card then slams the door open to the department, Bowdich is on the phone and Joe tells him to meet him in the main-frame room. Bowdich says he’s just finishing his call and MacMillan growls now. While he’s waiting for Eugene, he watches as the computers come to life as the clock strikes 9:00 am. Bowdich walks in and MacMillan asks if the computers are only working from nine to five and Bowdich confirms that. Joe says then the computers are idle for 16-hours a day, Bowdich reacts matter-of-factly but a huge smile crosses Joe’s face. He’s found his new frontier.

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

The Black List: Repo Surgeon

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Always remember when you watch the NBC series “The Blacklist,” that every criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington gives up to the FBI, get turned in to help Reddington in some way. Sometimes it takes a while for Red to reap his reward, however in the third episode of this young television season, Reddington reaped the benefits immediately. The former Intelligence Operator turned Genius Crime Lord, multi-tasked quite well in this episode, that also showed some of Raymond’s partners, showing their true colors.

The episode began in the motel Elizabeth Keen’s staying in, trying to keep her paranoia in check that her former husband Tom’s searching for her to kill her. She wakes up and see’s Tom’s glasses on her night stand, then looks up to see him standing at the foot of her bed, his pistol aimed at her head. Tom says that Red’s aware he’s there and he’ll be there shortly, but she can’t trust him. He says that as soon Red kills Berlin, he’ll eliminate Liz. She tells Tom she’d be more inclined to believe him if he wasn’t pointing a pistol at her, and he puts the weapon on the counter. Seconds later Reddington comes through the door and fires multiple shots at Tom, making sure this time he’s truly dead. He then walks over to Lizzie and says she should consider herself warned, which is when she wakes up from her nightmare clutching her service revolver.

We see a middle-aged prosperous looking man sitting at an outdoor café, when a younger man with a shaved head joins him at his table, and the first man’s mood changes radically. The bald guy tells the other man, his time’s up and the man replies he didn’t contact the police. The other guy responds that was smart otherwise they would have hurt his lovely family. The man asks if there’s another way and the bald guy responds, that’s the way they do things. The older man tips the table on his companion spilling everything on the other guy and makes a run for it.

He almost gets hit by an SUV and the driver comes out to find out what’s wrong with him. The man tells the driver he needs to save him, but the bald guy arrives, injects the older man with a sedative and then takes him to an ambulance. The man regains consciousness as he’s strapped to a gurney in a hospital hallway and he starts pleading with anyone and everyone. He’s wheeled into the operating room and the surgeon smiles at him and tells him he’s afraid his time’s up.

The next morning in the Bowery, the cops start to rouse the homeless from their slumber on the streets, when one cop sees a man lying face-down on the pavement in a pair of pants without a shirt and asks the guy what happened to his clothes. The uniform finally gets a clue and turns the man over, it’s the man who was the patient, lying there with a gaping hole in his chest and missing his heart.

Liz contacts Red and he identifies the man behind the surgery as Dr. James Covington, once a renowned heart and lung surgeon who got disbarred performing an illegal operation on a child. Prosecutors weighed pressing charges, but he fell off the grid. Raymond tells her that he now harvests organs for his clientele, people of means, many of them criminals. Others who’re too far down on a waiting list for a new organ, they pay a premium and Covington keeps them alive.

Meanwhile Red and one of his partners in the syndicate a middle-aged Greek man named Niko Demakis,  talk about Raymond’s desire to get the rights for a port that would earn the syndicate lots of money. Niko responds that they don’t have enough of a presence in the area to present themselves as credible candidates, but Red says they’ll just make a deeper investment. Niko tells Reddington that the local official’s not aligned with the syndicate, he’s fighting a war against Berlin and the other partners have concerns, but Red says he’ll handle things.

Later that day Niko meets with two other members of the syndicate, who also voice concerns over Red’s plans. Just then a slight man walks into the room and approaches the three men. They believe he’s stumbled into their meeting accidentally, but this man who looks like a yellow raisin in a Beatles wig, says No Niko, I’m exactly where I want to be. Turns out he says he’s a representative of Berlin named Mr. Vargas and he’s there to offer them a deal. However, before I continue, I need to reveal that the role of Mr. Vargas’ performed by Paul Reubens/AKA Pee Wee Herman.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC
Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Vargas tells the three men that Berlin would like them to join his operation and leave Reddington. None of the men from the syndicate seems comfortable in the situation, but they listen to what he has to say.

Back at headquarters, Keen and Don Ressler learn from their medical examiner, that the man’s heart wasn’t his to begin with; he had been the recipient in a heart transplant. He tells them he’s able to determine that from all the foreign tissue remaining in the victim’s chest cavity. The two agents go to see the man’s widow and they ask how there are no records for her husband ever receiving a heart transplant. The woman starts tearing up, saying they’ll kill her if she talks, but Liz tells her they can’t protect her unless she does.

Her husband’s heart was failing and too far down on the waiting list to use conventional channels, so he contacted Covington and got himself a new heart and a new lease on life. Unfortunately, business went down hill then he started swindling his own company, he faced criminal charges and they filed for bankruptcy. However the widow revealed that Covington doesn’t sell organs, he rents them at a fee of 500 grand a year, when money kept flowing no problem, but he couldn’t pay them this year and Covington ripped out the heart as an example to others thinking of avoiding payment.

The woman revealed that they sent all their payments to a charity, that was a front for Covington’s organization. They search the files and find a doctor that got paid a hefty sum from the charity and track him down. Turns out the doctor’s a medical examiner and he’s been the one harvesting organs for Covington. He tells the agents he’ll do what ever they ask if they’ll protect him. He tells them that he calls the facility when he gets a suitable organ and they send over a courier.

They setup a sting using a pig’s heart, which the medical examiner says would fool most people that it’s a human heart. The bald guy’s the courier, he looks at the heart calls the facility grabs  the case the organs enclosed in, jumps on his motorcycle and takes off. They start to prep their new patient, whose a crime lord known as BB. The guy on the bike spots Ressler and Keen and tries to escape, but gets slammed into by a truck and bites the dust. Although they lose the lead they find out about BB from the paperwork and Red happens to know him quite well.

Niko shows up at Red’s office with some pictures of the other two partners with Vargas on the street, he tells Raymond they accepted Vargas’ offer while he remained loyal to Reddington. He thanks Niko for the information and suggests they take a trip and confront the two men. Red, Niko and Dembe travel in Red’s SUV, while four of Red’s soldiers follow in another vehicle. Red and Niko approach the two men and ask why of the three of them, only Niko told him about the offer from Vargas. He then nods to the soldiers and both pairs of men grab one of the partners, while they beg Raymond not to do anything.

Niko and Vargas meet together, the plan was setup by Niko to rid Red of his allies and now he wants Vargas to eliminate Reddington. Vargas shouts that if Berlin wanted Red dead he would have killed him, but Niko says now the equations changed since he turned in two men who were loyal to Reddington. Vargas, snarls that he’ll get it done.

Red finds BB at a local bar and grill courting death with every bite. He approaches the gangster’s table and sees the pretty young girl whose his companion. Reddington brings up the operation and BB tells the sweet young thing to take a powder. Red tells him he wants to contact Covington and BB says he’s got a number for emergencies and he’s not about to give it to Red. All of a sudden the gangster starts grabbing at his chest and says he can’t breath. That’s due to the act that Red kept sending over free drinks to BB, that the gangster thought were from the house, but Raymond added a little something special to each cocktail, Viagra. Red shows BB the two paramedics that will help him as soon as he calls the doctor.

Aram’s able to track the call somewhat, but can only narrow down the signal to a five block radius and Liz and Don go out searching. They finally track down the right building and they burst in on Covington performing an operation, but it’s a lung-transplant on a 12-year-old boy. Children don’t get offered adult lungs on the normal waiting lists, but Covington’s saving this young boy’s life with this procedure. They allow the surgeon to conclude the surgery before arresting him and they boy will live.

Red shows up at Niko’s with Dembe and asks him what’s so important that they had to rush down. Niko tells him that he wanted to look Raymond in the eye when he tells him he’s out of the syndicate, then admits he accepted Vargas’ offer not the other two partners. Vargas then shows with two henchmen and all have guns pointed at Red. Raymond walks over to Vargas, says chrome’s so flashy in describing his pistol then takes the weapon from his hand. Vargas turns to Niko to inform him that actually he’s the one who got fooled and the other two partners come out in perfect health. Red then tells all they won the rights to run the port he was seeking, the local official that held things up, was due to get a heart transplant, but the operation got cancelled and the man died. The man who replaced him is totally aligned with the syndicate.

With that announcement Reddington shoots Niko in the heart killing him instantly. Mr. Vargas screams, how many times do I have to ask you to not shoot anyone until you clear me from the area. Red tells his soldiers to get Vargas a chair before he faints.

The Story Continues Next Monday at 10:00pm on NBC. 

Ray Donovan: Gem And Loan

Photo:  Suzanne Tenner/Showtime
Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Donovan family’s moving up in status, as the title character of the Showtime Original Series “Ray Donovan,” agreed in the previous episode to move his family to the toney suburb Truesdale and in the third episode, he committed to do his best to get daughter Bridget into the prestigious Bel-Air Academy. However the Hollywood “Fixer For The Stars,” has a lot on his plate, including keeping Los Angeles FBI Bureau Director James Cochrane off his tail, and Ray’s father Micky out of trouble; which is a fulltime job itself.

We join Ray, his wife Abby, Bridget and the principal of her high school as the episode opens and the school official has exciting news to share with Bridget’s parents. She took the entrance exam for the Academy and scored in the upper percentile making her a prime candidate academically for the private school. However, being Hollywood one needs to have a benefactor go to bat for your family to get your child in the exclusive school and the contact that could help the Donovan family, Producer Stu Feldman, (Josh Pais) has blocked previous efforts due to his immense dislike of Ray. Donovan promises Abby, that he’ll try to make amends with the producer and gets in his car to head there.

As Ray drives to the producer’s house, his phone rings and Cochrane’s on the other and demanding that Ray get to his office immediately. or terrify his family when a SWAT Team knocks down their front door to take Ray away in chains. Although the local Bureau Director is far from being a physically imposing figure, he refuses to exhibit fear and talks down to everybody. Ray doesn’t react well to such treatment and calmly tells Cochrane as he enters the office, that if he ever threatens his family again, Donovan will kill him. Cochrane shows no reaction to the threat, instead starts talking about an outside threat, who’s out to prove that former Public Enemy Number One Patrick “Sully” Sullivan wasn’t killed by the FBI.

That “outside threat,” that Cochrane refers to as the “Boston Globe’s Lois Lane,” is Globe reporter Katherine McPherson, who strong-armed her editor in the previous episode to let her fly to the West Coast after Cochrane’s televised ceremony when he presented medals to the two agents credited with taking Sully out. McPherson checked sources close to Sullivan in Boston, and noticed discrepancies from the FBI account to what her sources told her.  She asks to speak to the agent that shot Sullivan and Cochrane refuses, she then asks about Micky Donovan and Cochrane tells her he has no knowledge of anyone by that name. Ray tells the Bureau Director to relax and he calls his chief aide Avi to watch the reporter and to keep her away from Micky.

Micky’s new parole officer Ronald Keith, has gotten him a job washing dishes and slicing carrots on the morning shift of a greasy-spoon on the wrong side of town. He tells his supervisor he’s taking a break and then heads outside to wear the other workers gathered, passing around a joint. Micky’s tempted but tells his fellow employees he’s on parole and being tested, but one of the guys tells him that he just needs a prescription for medical marijuana. Keith walks over to the group and tells the other guy, that Micky can’t go that route and realizing Keith’s a parole officer, scatter.

He puts an ankle bracelet on Micky and tells the ex-convict that he’s only allowed to go to his home and his job or the bracelet will shock Micky and alert Keith. Just then Micky gets a call on his cell phone and his former girlfriend and mother of his youngest son Daryl, Claudette’s on the other end. She tells Micky that she needs to see him and Donovan responds that he’ll meet her at a fancy restaurant at 6:00 pm. Keith tells Micky that if his bracelet signal shows up there, the old man’s heading back to the joint. He tells Micky to have her meet him at his apartment, but he tells the officer that he’s too embarrassed for her to see him like that.

Ray arrives at Feldman’s office and the producer’s befuddled why Donovan’s there. He asks his assistant whether they had a scheduled meeting and when told that he doesn’t, hesitantly invites him into his office. Feldman and Donovan have a history from the first season of the series, as the producer hired Ray to tail his mistress and they ended up in bed together. The Producer invited Ray and family to a party at the producer’s, arranged to bury the hatchet, Feldman told Abby about her husband’s affair and told her Bridget would be black-balled from Bel Air Academy. Donovan got revenge by breaking the producer’s hand and this meeting’s the first time they have seen each other since.

Donovan asks for Stu to help get Bridget into the academy and Feldman starts complaining about his mistress, she’s started a recording career and chopped off all her hair ala Miley Cyrus and the producer’s desire waned when she altered her look. He tells Ray that he’s obsessed with bedding a porn-starlet, whose know as the “Meryl Streep of Porn,” according to him. He’s made financial offers but keeps getting refused, he tells Donovan if he can arrange to grant his request he’ll assure Bridget gets into Bel-Air Academy.

Avi calls Ray and tells him that McPherson, showed up at Terry’s gym and Donovan tells his right hand man to make sure she doesn’t get away. Avi pushes her car ahead in the street-side parking spot, then puts his car behind her so close she would be boxed in. The reporter goes upstairs to talk to Terry and tells him she’s writing a book about Sully and heard Micky’s named mentioned as a close associate and she wants to talk to him. The oldest Donovan brother says his father’s not at the gym and he’s unsure of his whereabouts. She thanks him, heads to the car and finds she’s trapped.

Ray heads over to talk with the porn producer about Stu paying for a night with the actress he fancies, when the producer informs Ray that actress is his wife and she’s not a prostitute. She only has sex with other professionals of the industry and requires a detailed health check. Donovan walks out with an autographed picture of the actress and a definitive NO, from the producer. He then heads to Feldman to give him the picture and the response and Feldman, insults Ray and tells him that he hopes Bridget enjoys public school. He says he knows the way to get his fantasy fulfilled.

Donovan pulls up to Terry’s gym and sees the reporter seething out front, wondering how long she’ll remain trapped. Ray plays dumb and asks if he can help, when she explains the situation he tells her that his brother owns the gym and most likely somebody inside has boxed her in. She asks if he’s a Donovan and he responds he is as they head upstairs. After a charade, they find Avi in the shower and he apologizes and tells the reporter he’s moving his car.

Micky’s back at his apartment trying to remove the ankle-bracelet with a plastic knife when a fellow tenant of the building walks into his apartment’s open door. The man introduces himself to Donovan, he’s Shorty, another ex-con who got released when he contracted lung cancer as the state didn’t want to pay for his treatments. He tells Micky he’s got some tools and comes back with a screwdriver, which Donovan uses to break the bracelet, Shorty says he’ll wear it with some duct tape wrapped around it, so Keith will believe Donovan’s home. They realize the plan’s not going to work when the parole officer arrives seconds later, having been signaled that Micky removed the device.

Keith tells Micky that he’s got one last chance, if the ex-con spits on the sidewalk he’s heading back to prison. Micky notices Keith’s fancy watch and recognizes it as one of Ray’s. He asked Keith where did he get it and the officer responds that he bought it at the Gem And Loan Pawn Shop in Beverly Hills. When Micky inquires about the price, Keith responds that the question session’s over. Micky then asked if Keith had to pay with more than money for the time-piece, such as a piece of his soul and Keith silently walks out.

Feldman has the porn starlet and her husband meet him at one of his sets, and the couple gush over the facility. He introduces himself as an actor in the industry and provides them his health information, then tells the husband he’s going to shoot their scene with a hand-held camera, which the producer says he likes the concept.

Stu is actually having sex with this woman in front of her husband filming her with a hand-held camera, when his passion overcomes him and he puts down the camera, tipping the wife off that he’s a phony and calls over her husband, who socks the Sleazeball in the head while still in the act. The husband demands to know what’s going on and Feldman tells him he’s the biggest producer in Hollywood and  the husband kicks the producer in the skull knocking him unconscious.

Back at the gym, Ray’s trying to charm the reporter and steer her away from talking with his father. He says Micky’s old and fragile, he did bad stuff but paid his debt to society by serving his sentence in a maximum security prison. Micky just wants to live out his days in peace and he’s forgotten most of the past. Although McPherson acts amenable, she’s not buying anything that Donovan’s telling her, she says goodbye and heads for her friend’s apartment where she’s staying while in Los Angeles.

Back in his car, Ray’s phone rings and Feldman’s on the other end, tied to a chair as the husband stands menacingly above him. He tells Donovan to go to the safe in his office and get $200 thousand to pay the couple. He tells Ray that if he comes with the money he will guarantee that Bridget gets into Bel-Air Academy.

McPherson’s watching a Sean Walker marathon with her friend on TV at her friend’s apartment and as the credits roll, a name catches her eye; Consultant: Micky Donovan. She then calls the parole office saying that Micky applied for a job at her coffee shop and she couldn’t make out his address and phone number to contact him.

Ray and his other assistant Lena, arrive at the porn producer’s house with the money in a satchel. He and Donovan go to another room to count the money, when it’s verified he’ll release Stu. As the husband starts counting the money, Ray tells him that he doesn’t want the money as it would reflect badly on his wife and himself. He asks Ray, what he suggests and the camera goes black. Feldman and Lena are in the car when Ray climbs into the driver’s seat and tells Stu they are heading to his studio.

The next scene takes place back at the studio filming a scene as box-office megastar Tommy Wheeler’s (Austin Nichols) filming the climactic scene of his next big movie with the porn-starlet as the woman he rescues. The mainstream exposure she’ll receive is worth far more than the money, which Ray has kept and is getting laundered so he can use it to pay for the new house and Bridget’s school.

Once again Ray’s phone rings and this time it’s Keith telling him that someone at the parole office gave McPherson, Micky’s address and phone number and she’s headed their as they speak. They concoct a plan to get Micky to the restaurant to meet Claudette while Ray waits for the reporter outside Micky’s apartment. When she arrives he tells her his father not coming back that night and offers to buy her a drink.

Mickey and Claudette meet at the restaurant, and she tells Micky that she had to sign a sworn statement earlier at the Beverly Hills Police station that she was with Donovan on the night Sully murdered Sean Walker, as Micky was with Sully when he killed the movie star. He tells Claudette that he didn’t kill Walker and asks her to stick with the story.

Ray and Katherine are pretty loaded at the bar and he tells her that she reminds him of Bridget, because she’s so bright. The reporter then rambles on drunkenly how she knows that Cochrane and Ray are hiding thing from her that she’ll eventually find out Ray tells her that if Sully was with them he would look at her and say “Katherine McPherson, you’re a PISSAH!” McPherson responded in kind and they both laughed as the episode concluded.

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

Graceland: Tinker Bell, Daffy Duck And Drug Mules

Photo Courtesy Of USA Network
Photo Courtesy Of USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Mike Warren’s Task-Force made progress in the third episode of this season’s edition of “Graceland,” however it came with great cost, including one member of the house moving on, one member seriously wounded and a third member coming close to getting shot to death. It also featured a lot of frayed tempers and hurt feelings, as some of the housemates personal demons come to the surface. However by the end of the episode, they confirmed they had found the bus-line that Warren had searched in vain for months, the one that smuggles large quantities of heroin from Mexico into the United States.

The episode opens the morning after Jakes learns from his former lover Cassie, that she has decided against the Federal Agent having a relationship with their son Daniel. Jakes has done his best to climb inside a bottle of alcohol, but has had to settle for pouring its contents down his throat. He is back at the house, trying to pour himself another drink when he pushes a bottle off of the cart and it smashes on the floor. After he fills a glass, he mutters to himself and pushes the drink away.

He then heads upstairs and tries to get into his room, only to find that the door’s locked. The agent had moved out to an apartment in the previous episode and the new guy Wayne Zelanski (Deniz Akdeniz)  aka “Bates” got his room, but of course Jakes was unaware. He’s banging on the door and yelling, until Johnny comes out into the hall surprised to see him and realizes his friend’s loaded. He explains that since he moved out, Zelanski took over the room, which gets Jakes more frustrated. He yells for the new guy to vacate his room and “Bates” responds that he’s armed and ready.

Johnny asks Jakes if everything went alright with Daniel and the agent head butts Johnny in the nose and screams to him to never utter his name again. Johnny is ready to throw down when Charlie comes out of her room and tries to calm things down, Paige comes out of her room in an effort to keep the two guys from fighting. Briggs shows up next and convinces them to take it downstairs which they do, Paul tells Zelanski all is clear and he walks out of his room carrying a service revolver. Briggs asks Paige why she thinks Mike didn’t join them and she shrugs off the question, as he had spent the night in her room.

Warren joins the group downstairs and Jakes explains that he is going to ask for his transfer to desk-duty be stopped and he wants to remain on his beat and in the house. After a bunch of back and forth discussion, Paige announces that it is Mike’s decision since he heads the Task-Force. Mike decides that since Jakes’ status is in limbo, that Zelanski temporarily gets the room and a permanent decision will come down when everything shakes out. Jakes never hears the ruling as he has passed out in a chair. Briggs and Warren set up three office chairs with wheels in a row and deposit the sleeping Jakes on the chairs.

Mike walks into Charlie’s room and asks how her meet with Carlito Solano the night before and Charlie tells him it never took place. Warren’s shocked and asked what happened and she replies that Johnny has some ideas but that he and Zelanski are out of the house right then.  Johnny and Wayne soon enter the house carrying a box and talking about how they don’t want Warren to find out about it, but Mike overhears them and asks what’s in the box. Zelanski tries to lie his way out of it by saying its a backgammon set, then Warren asks Johnny whom he realizes can’t lie.

Johnny opens the box and reveals two antique dueling pistols and tells Mike that he had contacted Carlito’s right-hand man instead of Charlie and found out that Salana is a big fan of antique Mexican pistols. He then tells him and Charlie that he has a meet set up for the next day with Carlito, when he will present the pistols as a gift. Charlie points out a flaw in his plan, the pistols are not from Mexico, but France.

Mike heads downstairs and encounters Paige wearing a very sultry white dress. They have some flirtatious banter and are about to kiss when Briggs walks in the front door, calling Paige by one of her undercover aliases, “The Lady In White.” She is heading to score some cocaine from a dealer they believe works for Salana, known as Li’l Top or Top. Warren tells Paige he wants her to try to buy more than the dealer has on hand, such as a kilo, so they can determine when the shipment arrives by the bus-line. Paige tells Mike that it would scare the dealer off as she always buys just a gram or two. However Mike suggests that Briggs goes with her along with a huge bankroll.

Mike wakes Jakes from his drunken stupor and tells him he has work for him. He has a box of VHS tapes that contain surveillance footage from Cal-Coast bus-lines, the line owned by the Solano family and the line they believe smuggles heroin over the border. He tells Jakes he needs to watch all the tapes and look out for suspicious activity.

Paige and Paul arrive at Top’s house, he’s pleased to see “The Lady In White,” but suspicious of Briggs. Paul tries to win his trust by making up a story that his parents are from the Dominican Republic and although he was born in the States, his family would spend winters in their native land. They come inside the house and start talking with the dealer, Paige then tells Top that Briggs had recently won a pick-five lottery and won an enormous amount of money.

Briggs then asks the dealer if he can buy a kilo from him and Top gets suspicious when Paul pulls out the bankroll. Paige tells the dealer if he has problems they will go elsewhere and grabs for the money, but the dealer pins her hand to the table as he stuck a knife right through it. He then pulls out a pistol and points it at Briggs and asks him what was the name of the lake that his family stayed at in the Dominican. Paul comes up with a satisfactory answer so Top puts down his gun and pulls the blade from Paige’s hand. He tells the pair that he can’t acquire a kilo until Sunday, but he will hold onto their money for safe keeping.

Back at the house Mike is on the phone with his East-Coast squeeze Jess checking in with him on how the case has progressed. Johnny walks into his room, telling Warren he has an idea about the pistols, but Mike tells him he is on the phone and will speak with him later. Second later there’s another knock at the door and he screams to Johnny he is on the phone, only to find Paige standing there with her hand heavily bandaged. He tells Jess he has to go and asks Paige if she is okay, she puts on a brave face but did get a delivery day of Sunday from Top. Mike’s pumped when he hears the information as now they can estimate a time-line for the buses to arrive.

Warren walks into Wayne’s room and sees the new guy is packing his belongings, as he has figured out Mike was going to stay loyal to Jakes. He tells Mike that he is fine with the decision but asks Warren not to tell Johnny until after his meeting with Carlito, as it will be an unneeded distraction .

We head down to a surveillance van that Johnny, Mike and another agent are in. Mike goes over the code word with Johnny if he needs the backup team. He stresses how much he needs Johnny to come through and the other agent becomes defensive, telling Warren that he has watched Briggs talk his way out of trouble enough times that he’ll be fine. Warren then tells Johnny that he isn’t Briggs and Johnny responds in kind.

Johnny’s ushered into the Solano residence by Carlito’s right-hand man, who tells him to stay there as he talks to his boss. Lucia Solano, Carlito’s sister walks into the room and tells Johnny that he can leave his gift for her brother and vacate the premises. Johnny tries to explain what is going on when Carlito’s aide tells Lucia, that he is a guest of Carlito and she walks away. Johnny sits down in a chair across from Carlito and offers his gift which he tells his host are from the Mexican Revolution. However Solano’s far too knowledgeable and tells Johnny that the guns are French made and belonged to Napoleon. That’s when the agent tells his host his concocted story, that the guns were the property of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother who attempted to become King of Mexico and gave the guns to the country as a gift, but it failed as Joseph never became King. Whether Carlito believes the tale or is just amused by it, he lets Johnny off the hook.

Johnny then shows his host how to load the pistols and then Carlito challenges him to a duel. The agent tells him he wants no part of it, but Solano responds that he can either shoot Johnny at point-blank range or they can duel. Carlito and Johnny stand back-to-back and Solano tells him eight paces, turn and fire. Carlito cheats and turns around quickly, but Lucia walks into the room and yells at her brother to stop. She then orders everybody else out of the house, leaving Carlito, his aide, Lucia and Johnny. She then chastises her brother for attempting to shoot his friend in their home, when Carlito tells her he does not know Johnny, which upsets her even more and she swears at her brother in Spanish. The aide laughs and Carlito shoots him in the side of the neck.

Johnny rips off his shirt and tries to stem the bleeding using it as a tourniquet, he yells to the Solanos to call an ambulance. Lucia responds that if they call an ambulance it means cops, so she will have one of their van drivers take the wounded man away. Johnny replies that the man can survive but they have to get him to a hospital, even if they just dump him out front. Lucia takes over putting pressure on the wound and tells Johnny to go home. Carlito asks what his name is and then tells him he will call him. A very angry Johnny goes back into the surveillance van and tells Mike that he didn’t blow it.

Back at the house, Paige and Warren ask Jakes if he found anything on the tapes and he asks them if they would like to see the “Tinker Bells.” He then rolls tape of a bunch of different white young women, all wearing the same Tinker Bell backpack an odd choice for women of that age. Paige immediately concludes the girls are drug mules but Jakes disagrees. Mike then tells the pair to head to the Cal-Coast terminal and see if they can find some evidence.

The pair is sitting in the terminal parking lot, when Jakes tries to drink from a nip-bottle, but Paige grabs it out of his hand, she tells him that if he is going to work this surveillance he has to remain sober. Jakes then recalls a Daffy Duck cartoon, as Daffy is lost in the desert ready to collapse from thirst, when he sees an oasis in the distance. The duck runs to it as fast as he could and starts lapping up the water, only to start coughing and spitting out sand as it’s a mirage. He then tells Paige he knows she feels it to, when the conversation stops as Paige spots a young woman wearing the Tinker Bell backpack. She tells Jakes she has to talk to her and he responds that their mission is the bus she came in on not the girl. Paige disgusted told her housemate that the girl was a human being.

Paige goes into the terminal and spots the young woman, telling her she knows that she’s in trouble but that Paige will help her and then pulls her into the women’s restroom. She finds out the young woman is a refugee from the Ukraine and the people she’s working for promised her American citizenship. She then lapses into her native tongue and displays shock when Paige responds in Ukrainian. She finds out the girl swallowed drug filled balloons in Mexico and she’s supposed to travel on another bus to another town. Paige tells her to follow the instructions, and puts a cell phone into the backpack so she can trace the girl.

Paige and Jakes follow the bus that the girl came in on back to their main terminal, then drops off Jakes and goes in search of the girl. Warren arrives a short while later and finds out this is where they store the bus and likely where they unload the contraband. He asks Jakes where Paige is and he mentions the other town in search of a human being.

The final scene has Paige follow the cellphone signal to a parking lot but sees nobody around. She then calls the cellphone and hears it ringing just feet away. It is still inside the backpack, making Tinker Bell glow with each ring, but the backpack is in a trash can.

Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network.