'My Own Worst Enemy': Love & High-caliber Ball Bearings
You know what I hate? My DVR. I really hate it. But at least I could experience some justice and vindication via this week's My Own Worst Enemy. Enjoy it now because soon it'll be gone...
Spoilers - skip to the bottom for just my assorted thoughts
Henry is bound and lying on a dusty floor along with a few other hostages. A group of their captors comes in and the leader announces that they haven't gotten a response so they'll have to kill one of them. And he picks Henry. Dragging him outside, they set up a video camera and roll tape. The leader states that a certain person hasn't been returned to them so they will execute their first hostage. As the second man takes aim, Henry calls out, "He's gonna shoot! He's gonna shoot!"
Cut to 72 hours earlier at the Virunga Estate in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Heavily armed guards stand watch in the house as two figures stealthily streak across the lawn in the night. Flashing back to Janus HQ, Trumbull profiles Serge Kharako - the former commander of the FDLR and personally responsible for mass genocide and other unpleasant atrocities - and tells Edward and Raymond that their mission is to capture him and deliver him to an nearby international criminal court. One of Kharako's former drivers supplied them with information of his whereabouts. Mavis adds that they have no jurisdiction in Congo so if things go south, they were never there.
The briefing scenes were inter-cut with Raymond and Edward successfully reaching Kharako and tranquilizing him. Carrying him out in a combination bag/stretcher, a hand shoots out and grabs Edward as they pass a window. Gun drawn, the man who grabbed him tells him that his name is Alexander De Santos and is an American citizen. Edward tells Raymond to take the "package" to the truck. Alexander is one of several being held at the estate and used to work for "The Company." He says that if they take Serge, his men will kill them. Raymond radios that he's back at the trunk as Kharako's men realize he's missing. Sounding the alarm, Edward promises Alexander that they'll be back for him and the other captives. Coming under fire, Edward takes cover behind several cars trying to make his was to the back gate. Raymond backs the truck up and crashes through it just as Edward sets a 10 second charge on the last car. He takes off running and the explosion gives them enough cover to make it out. Raymond asks who Alexander was and Edward says, "One of ours."
Back at the house, the dog makes a few noises at Edward who says he isn't happy he's their either. It's morning and Angie comes in saying the house is too quiet. Both kids are growing up and getting lives and she doesn't quite like it. Edward has an early meeting and asks to talk about this later. Going into the bathroom, Angie shifts topics and says that she wants to have another child. Of course Edward is surprised. She asks if he's having second thoughts since it was "his" idea. Edward covers and says they'll talk about it later.
Walking out of the elevator at HQ, he leaves a message for Henry telling him to talk Angie out of wanting another baby. He'll gladly have sex with his wife but he refuses to change diapers. Dr. Skinner happens to be walking down the hall right behind Edward and overhears him which triggers a short conversation about how complicated the relationship situation is and that they essentially have to suck it up.
At the debriefing meeting, Trumbull says that Kharako will be transferred to stand trial in 24 hours but wants every bit of info out of him possible before hand. Skinner recommends that he should be interrogated by someone who can gain his trust quickly so he drops his defenses. She wants to draw up some protocols to be followed but Trumbull says they don't have enough time for that and assigns Edward the task. Mavis asks when the rescue mission will be initiated, Edward adding that Alexander was presumed missing when his plane went down two years ago and that he was with the company. Trumbull says the compound was evacuated right after the abduction and doesn't want to launch a mission without knowing their exact location. If Edward can get the info from Kharako, he'll consider it.
Edward and Skinner discuss interrogation tactics in the hallway, Norah stating that Kharako is a "preening narcissist" and that standard techniques won't work. Edward asks is she has any suggestions. Norah dresses Edward up as a two-star general since he'd expect nothing less than that to question him. Putting in an earpiece, Edward enters the room and begins the process. Norah coaches him on what to say - including that he'd studied Kharako in school.
Meanwhile, Mavis has Tony the Tech bring her a list of phone calls from Norah to Edward. There are a lot of them and much more than any calls to any other agent.
Back in the interrogation room, Edward and Kharoko have moved to drinking and smoking cigars, sharing hearty laughs. Skinner tells him to say that it's a shame people in the West don't understand his methods. Mavis walks in the observation room and checks on the progress. She also lets Norah know that she knows that she and Edward are sleeping together. And that it has to stop. Meanwhile, Kharako has moved on to waxing poetic about raping virgins. Classy. Edward is having a hard time keeping it together at this point and ends up knocking the table over and lunging at him, demanding to know where they took the hostages. Kharako claims ignorance and two agents and Norah rush in to get Edward off him. While Kharako shouts his outrage at being manhandled, Mavis says there's been a new development.
She screens a ransom video from the Union of Congolese Independence who are demanding Kharako's release in the observation room for Edward, Raymond and Norah. The hostages are shown on the video and, when they get to Alexander, Mavis is visibly affected. She wants an ID of the hostages and to see if they can get the location of the base from the video. Norah says they'd have a location if Edward had listened to her. Way to rub that salt in the wound, Norah.
That comment, of course, starts another argument. Walking through the hall, Edward tells her not to make this personal while Norah insists if it had been any other person, he'd have listened to the directives given and that he ruined everything before they could make a break through. Edward says he wasted four hours "yucking it up with that psychopath" only because it was her plan. She then says Mavis was right, letting him know that she knows about them and that they should end it. When he replies, "End what?", it sends her off the deep end. Pushing him into the wall, she goes off on a tirade...which he'll never hear since Henry begins emerging almost immediately. By the time she gets to demanding respect, our ever-confused Henry is in the house. "Oh crap," she says.
Oh crap is right because Henry has popped in just in time for another briefing with Trumbull. Mavis and Raymond are there as well. In eighteen hours, the UCI executes the first captive and they still don't have a location. Raymond suggests delaying Kharako's transfer but no can do, he's to be on a plane in two hours. Trumbull says the window is closed and leaves. Mavis has other plans. She wants Raymond and Henry on said plane to interrogate him on the way, telling Raymond to fill Henry in on what's been going on and giving him the green light to do whatever it takes to get the intel.
Norah sees Tony in the hall and asks if he's been able to identify any hostages other than Alexander De Santos. He hasn't yet. Curious, she tells him she wants all the info on Alexander he can find - official and classified. Seeing Henry, she goes over to talk to him. Raymond told him about why he's wearing a general's uniform and Henry says it was a good idea. Norah apologizes for earlier. He says that it's okay but asks where she thinks the relationship is going since Edward's kind of married with two kids. Speaking of which, Henry gets a call that Angie is upstairs.
Changed into his normal clothes, he listens to the message from Edward in the elevator and is up to speed on the baby situation. Angie is there to bring him coffee and said goodbye before he leaves on his next business trip. They discuss having a baby briefly and he says he's not so sure about what he wants, that he feels like two people who want different things. Angie says she understands and that one eventually wins. She advises him to listen to his better half.
On the plane, Henry sits across from Kharako and Raymond next to him. It's a quiet, awkward ride that gets much more awkward when Raymond injects Kharako with a drug used for intubating patients. Essentially, Kharako will slowly suffocate and feel every moment of it. Henry freaks out and demands the antidote, saying that he refuses to watch him die. They argue until Kharako says he'll talk if they give him the antidote. After revealing the location of the camp, Raymond reveals that he just shot Kharako with distilled water but congratulates Henry on "selling it" so well.
At Janus HQ, Mavis is coordinating the strike forces with the help of Tony and two other agents. There are five hours left until they start executing hostages and the nearest ground support, including Henry and Raymond, are a half-hour away. Skinner enters with a profile on Samibi, the leader of the UCI. She says she's a pragmatist loyal to the cause but not necessarily Kharako. He'll most likely surrender when faced with overwhelming opposition. Trumbull calls asking who authorized this mission. She says he did contingent on finding the base. He corrects her - he said he'd reconsider. With US interests in the Congo, a raid of that magnitude wouldn't be ideal. Since Kharako has been delivered, he orders Mavis to scrub the rescue. She radios to Raymond and tells him the mission is off. He tells Henry but Henry asks if maybe he misheard the order - it's a bad connection after all. Raymond fakes losing transmission and Mavis only tries halfheartedly to call them off. Henry realizes that they're on their own and gets a little pie-eyed.
Norah enters Mavis' office and remarks that she basically ordered an invasion. She clarifies that it's an observation not a criticism as she would've done the same thing. Not much is in the files, but Norah did read between the lines to figure out Mavis and Alexander De Santos were involved. Mavis says they were together for six years and three months. It ended badly since Alexander left The Company and gave her an ultimatum, him or the job. "I'm stubborn," she says. Norah asks if this experience colors her view on her relationship with Edward. Mavis says there are many compelling reasons why being involved with someone in the organization is prohibited. When Norah says she sees, Mavis says she doesn't think she does...but she will. Switching gears, Norah asks if she'd heard from "Edward" and Raymond. Mavis confirms that they made the jump and are in the bush, they're on radio silence and with no back-up. They won't know anything more for 92-minutes until they possibly make a checkpoint. On her way out, Mavis asks if Norah shared the info in the files with Trumbull - if he thought her objectivity was compromised, that would explain why he scrubbed the mission. Norah assures her she didn't say a word.
With an hour left until the deadline, Samibi discusses how they'll have to begin executions soon with some of his soldiers in French. Another soldier comes in and says they've detected movement nearby. Samibi orders him to send out mobile patrols in the area and search for intruders. Alexander translates for one of the other captives and gets yelled at for it. The person they detected, of course, is Henry. He drinks out of a canister and makes a face but, unfortunately, he's spotted and has to take off running. He radios to Raymond that he's on the run. Henry ends up getting captured and one of the soldiers removes his headpiece and crushes it under his boot. But he still has his tiny earpiece.
Henry is tied up and is getting caned and questioned. To his credit, his taking the punishment very well. Flashback to Raymond and Henry meeting with Tony. He shows a new toy to them - the ECG Mark III weapons system, aka Electromagnetic Centrifuge Gun. It fires 50 caliber alloy balls with no recoil, sound and muzzle flash that fires 120,000 rounds per minute with enough speed to cut through concrete. It's also a precision weapon thanks to a special scope that lets the shooter "see through walls". But the absolute necessity of the weapon is an orally administered barium tracer (it takes between 30 and 45 minutes to be fully absorbed). It changes the agent's color on the scope's monitor from green to pink so as to distinguish friendlies from hostiles. While Tony's explaining this, scenes of Raymond setting up the gun while Henry drinks the barium and gets captured are inter-cut. Genius.
And this brings us back to where we started, albeit with a little more info. Henry was dropped on the dusty ground after being beaten up. He tells Raymond his location but Raymond says he hasn't turned pink on the screen yet. Alexander, who's sitting close, begins talking to Henry, asking how many people are there (disappointed by the answer) and asks which agency they're with. When Henry says Janus, Alexander knows about the chip in his head. Turns out he was a candidate but decided not to join up. He asks about Mavis and, when he finds out Henry works for her, he asks how she is and if she's married (he doesn't think so). Alexander starts reminiscing, asking if he's ever heard her sing, a concept that confuses Henry. Apparently she's a classic trained opera singer, an alto, and would sing Verdi while she made breakfast. This blows Henry's mind.
It's at this point that they drag Henry out to be shot. Raymond says he's still green on the screen. Upside: just as Henry yells out, Raymond is able to take out the shooter with one well placed ball. Samibi runs off after the hostage, Henry in hot pursuit as Raymond picks off the guards in the way. Downside: When Henry gets to where the rest of the hostages are and confronts Samibi, Raymond's screen goes down and he can't see anything.
With his gun trained on Henry, Alexander is able to attack and manages to disarm him despite his hands being bound. As Samibi and Alexander grapple against the wall, Raymond's screen comes back up and Henry tackles Alexander to get him out of the way. Raymond trails a line of fire across the wall and takes out Samibi, cutting him in half. Hostages, consider yourselves rescued.
Arriving back home, the ex-captives are greeted by their families as Trumbull looks on, smiling. He shakes Alexander's hand as Raymond and Henry deplane. Waling over to Mavis, she says that he and Raymond disobeyed direct orders and thanks Henry for it. Seeing the happy families hugging, he says he finally understands why they do it. She corrects him - why we do it. Henry asks about her relationship with Alexander. Mavis says he made the right decision to leave Janus. When Henry asks if she made the right decision, she doesn't answer.
When Henry gets back to the house, it's full of kids - both Jack and Ruthie have friends over. Angie's in the kitchen making food. Henry lets her know that he's had a talk with his better half and he's not interested in having kids. Angie's disappointed until Henry adds that he told his better half to go suck it. To celebrate, he asks if Angie can sneak away for a moment to get a head start on it.
Cut to Edward watching a message from Henry telling him that he and Angie are trying to have another baby and, essentially, to suck it. He's gone to make up with Norah. She's still mad and is reluctant to let him in at first but finally relents.
Assorted Bits & Pieces:
- I'm really going to miss this show. I dig what they've been doing the last few weeks. Sometimes I can tell where certain plot points are going (like the Norah/Edward-Mavis/Alexander relationship parallels) but it really doesn't matter since it's a fun ride. Boo on you NBC!
- I like that we go some insight on Mavis' past. Trumbull being a sort of enigmatic figure is fine but I think knowing more about Mavis is necessary considering her role in everything, especially since she's so protective of Henry/Edward.
- It's good to see Henry not only being useful on a mission but being on the same page as Raymond. Well, mostly. I think I'd be a little happier if this happened a smidge earlier but, given the way they've been developing the plot, the timing makes sense.
- Speaking of Henry, not only did he take that beating like a champ, he held his composure very well during the whole mission and made good decisions. I'm impressed.
- That ECG Mark III gun is one of the coolest things I've ever seen on a spy show.
- Speaking of the Mark III, the way the worked it in to the story was very well done. It came out of seemingly nowhere and I loved every second of it.
- Something bad is going to happen to Norah before the show ends, isn't it? Mavis' warning was far too ominous to not think the icy fingers of doom are resting on Dr. Skinner's shoulder.
- I'm glad that Serge Kharako is facing justice in an international court but...um...I was kind of hoping to see him die. Because he's such an terrible dude.
- Thank you for letting Tom's wife Mary be this week. She's had enough bad things happen to her lately.
- Oh, and Raymond is the awesome.
So what say you about this week's episode? Did you dig it? Favorite parts or lines? Too bitter that's it's being cancelled to actually talk about the show anymore?