The Sentinel

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Not-So-Secret Service

So it's still fresh for him when he steps out on the porch to see none other than Pete himself, pleasantly asking if Kiefer has a lead. "Screw you," is Kiefer's collegial reply. Wow, Kiefer's really mad about Pete shtupping the First Lady, isn't he? Pete throws Kiefer against the wall and gives him a little lecture on showing respect at Charlie's house. You know, like Pete is. As Jill watches her two mentors with concern and confusion, Kiefer tells Pete to stay out of his way. He adds that Charlie "was upset about something at work. You have any idea what that might be?" "No," Pete lies, and Kiefer storms off while they continue to spit limp insults at each other. Jill catches up to Pete, who greets her by her first name and tells her that while she'll learn a lot from Kiefer, she shouldn't listen to everything he says about Pete. Heading back to the car, Jill asks Kiefer what's up between the two of them, and Kiefer blows her off. Jill's second day on the job, and already Mom and Dad are fighting.

In the next scene, Pete has gone over to visit Kiefer's wife, to try and get her to convince Kiefer that they didn't have an affair. What, Pete thinks this never came up? Completely pointless scene, even when it ends with Pete saying, "You still love him, don't you?" In fact, I think that even makes it more pointless.

Pete's out on the street near the White House, a neighborhood which is of course filmed so that we're sure to understand that every tourist, homeless person, and vendor probably wants to kill the President. Must be exhausting to be a Secret Service agent. Pete runs into Tom, who mentions the name Walter Xavier. Pete says Xavier's an old snitch he used on counterfeiting cases, and Tom says that Xavier called in, and refused to talk to anyone but Pete. Not sure why this scene had to take place on the street, instead of in the building and the office where both guys work, six inches away from each other.

Later, Pete's leaning up against a column somewhere as a Publisher's Clearing House van drives by. It's hollered at by a ratty-looking guy in a baseball cap, who comes up to Pete jabbering about how his mom's always telling him to fill out the sweepstakes forms. I wish this were as irrelevant as it seems so I could skip it. This is Walter Xavier, who shakes hands with Pete and wastes little time connecting Charlie's murder with what he claims is a plot to kill the President. "It's a little more difficult than it sounds," Pete condescends. "Not if you got somebody on the inside," Xavier responds. Pete is even more skeptical at the suggestion that somebody in the Secret Service wants to help assassinate POTUS, but before Xavier will say anything else, he wants a million dollars. Xavier sketchily drops his eyes as a Park Police officer ambles past, but quickly gets back to his point: he doesn't trust himself to protective custody, what with there being a mole in the Secret Service and all; he'd much rather take the money and disappear. And to convince Pete, he hands over a manila envelope before walking away. Pete's left standing there with the folder, and then we're looking at him through a telephoto lens across the reflecting pool while somebody snaps pictures of him at their leisure from right out in the open. Nice instincts, Pete.

The contents of Xavier's envelope have really stirred things up at Secret Service headquarters, where the Director and his Deputy have discovered that the folder contains all manner of clearance codes, passwords, and encryption keys, including some from today. The Director asks where the President is right now, and is told he's at a press conference at "his house." Oh, those nutty Secret Service code names. The Director wants a list of everyone with "Q clearance." I assume that has nothing to do with this.

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