Human Target

Episode Report Card
Monty Ashley: B- | Grade It Now!
The Russian Job

Hey, it's Barney the Dinosaur! So that's what's happening on Idol this season? Weird.

Anyway, on with the show we're actually here to watch. And we start with a chase scene! It's hard to tell who's chasing whom (you heard me!) or where they are. They run through a busy street and the one doing the chasing gets hung up on a chain link fence. Then he collapses, holding his belly. He calls someone named Aaron, who helpfully tells us that the guy on the other end of the phone is Danny. Danny's dying, and he asks Aaron if he got a package. Aaron has no idea what's going on, and Danny's too busy dying to explain it. He has time to rattle off a long numeric code, though (4155550112, if you're curious). He dies. A mysterious offscreen person with a gun decides not to kill him, since he's already dead. Well, sure. We see the offscreen person's black gloves as they pick up Danny's cellphone to see that Aaron was the last number called.

Aaron arrives home to find that the place has been ransacked. I assume that's the case, anyway. It's not really all that messy, but the pictures are askew. Because whoever was here thought there might be something hidden behind this three inch by four inch picture, but they didn't want to go to all the trouble of taking the picture entirely off the wall. As he investigates, Chance shows up and introduces himself by name. So I guess we're not doing that thing where people demand his name all episode (SPOILER: Oh yes we are!). Aaron freaks out and attacks him with a bat, but Chance explains that he's a friend of Danny's, who is Aaron's brother. Chance explains (while calmly avoiding Aaron's bat) that Aaron called his number. So that random string of numbers was a Chance Hotline, which is something I completely missed on my first viewing. Also, it only took Chance four hours to get from area code 415 (which is San Francisco) to wherever they are now. Chance convinces Aaron that he's a friend of Danny's, by the secret inside knowledge that Aaron and Danny were both into Erin Grey on Buck Rogers.

As Chance drives Aaron away, he explains that Danny was in Counterterrorism as a spy hunter. Aaron appears to have died of a "custom poison" and that he was following a Russian agent. I will immediately guess that the agent is a BYOO-TEE-FUL WOO-MUN. Chance tells Aaron that they're going to the Russian Embassy. In Washington DC, which means that Chance has a really fast way across the country to get here so quickly. Oh, and Aaron's a reporter, although that won't come into the story in any way.

Winston sets up computers in a hotel room, so I guess the whole gang rushed across the country as soon as the phone rang. Chance plans to go into the Russian Embassy just like Danny was planning to. Winston points out that Danny knew what he was looking for, but Chance is not deterred. Guerrero enters to report that he can't break into the embassy, but he's promptly distracted by the prospect of decoding Danny's notes. Chance points out that some guy named Alexei Volkoff shows up all over Danny's notes (the ones they haven't decrypted yet, so it's good that they have pictures). Winston and Chance take an Exposition Sidebar so Chance can tell us that Danny did something for him in Kosovo. Winston doesn't want to invade Russian soil (that's the embassy) but Chance doesn't care. Danny's killer is going to be there today, and he's going to go in and get him. Do it for Danny!

During the commercial break, Windows 7 explains the plot of this show. Man, I hope they do that for Lost, too.

Russian Embassy. A lot of limos. Chance has a tux, so he fits right in. This time, he remembers to touch his ear when he talks remotely to Winston, but we can clearly see that there's nothing in his ear. He tries to get in as Danny's cover (C.C. Baxter), even though he doesn't have the photo ID. We learn that Alexei Volkoff is Chief of Security. We also learn that Winston doesn't mind chatting away in Chance's ear while he's in the middle of highly dangerous infiltration jobs. Chance is met by Peter Blanchard, the State Department liaison. Chance has him call the Secretary of Defense, who backs up Chance's claim, although he gives him a stern lecture first. Aaron looks croggled, so Winston explains that "He wasn't always the Secretary of Defense." Oh, well then! Volkoff has been standing by looking ominous for most of this time, but he wanders away when the Secretary verifies Chance's identity. A woman comes up to Chance and tells him that his (Mr. Baxter's) guest has already arrived.

Back at base, Guerrero claims that it's "a simple Beaufort-Null cipher," which does not stop Winston from trying to backseat-codebreak. Guerrero was a boy scout, which makes Winston shudder. There are a lot of antidotes listed, but none of them worked. Meanwhile, Aaron's nose is bleeding. Ticking clock! Guerrero takes off to trace Aaron's steps. Anyway, they think that the codename for the spy who killed Danny is "Raven." In the Russian Embassy, the party is in full swing and Chance is ready to work on Volkoff. He also pulls a pin from under a table, which will hopefully collapse and distract people.

A byoo-tee-ful woo-mun in a red dress slinks up to talk to Chance. She's Carrie Jacobs, Baxter's guest. Chance gets on the Invisible Phone to tell Winston that Carrie's a hooker that Baxter hired, and she walks over to interrupt his not-at-all-surreptitious conversation with no one. He slips her forty bucks before the table collapses, sending ice sculpture everywhere, then he grabs a keycard and goes upstairs after Volkoff. She's still standing downstairs radiating shock and disapproval. Upstairs, Chance uses the keycard to sneak into a room.

Guerrero breaks into an apartment while wearing a gas mask. The neighbor lady is suspicious.

Chance talks a lot during his sneaking. It's not the way I'd do it, but I guess he's the professional. He listens in on Volkoff as he talks to the Spetsnaz (Russian special forces, which I know because I played a lot of certain spy-themed role-playing games in my youth). He also steals a letter opener because you never know when you'll need to open an envelope. Chance hides under a desk when someone comes looking for him, but Volkoff calls the guy away. Chance reports to Winston that there are way too many Spetsnaz on site for regular cocktail party, and he thinks that they're looking for the same spy he is.

Searching Aaron's place, Guerrero has a purple flashlight, which might do something in the CSI vein. Or he might just like purple flashlights. The room is pretty well lit, which means he doesn't really need a flashlight at all. And as Chance flips through the Russian guard roster, his nose starts bleeding. Guerrero calls in to report that the poison is airborne and lethal. And Chance breathed the air from that apartment too! Ticking clock!

Winston describes the symptoms, which eventually include a loss of motor skills. That'll be hilarious! And then Carrie shows up and kicks Chance in the face. Fight scene! The music wants us to think that it's like a tango, but it isn't, really. It's more like a fight scene. I recapped So You Think You Can Dance this last season, so I'm pretty sure I know the difference. Anyway, Carrie ends up sitting on Chance's chest poking a pen into his neck, but he's got the letter opener poking into her leg, so they're at a standoff. Chance explains the sitch. Oh god, I mean "situation". Please don't tell anyone I said "sitch". Carrie introduces herself as "Emma Barnes" of the FBI, who hates "scumbag mercenaries" like she assumes Chance to be. Should they be having this conversation in the security office like this?

Emma (no longer "Carrie") explains that Raven stole the plans for "some kind of weapons prototype," which he was going to sell here at 5:00. They agree to work together. She asks for Chance's name and he declines to give it. That's still not interesting.

Guerrero shows up at the office with a defibrillator. No one looks all that relieved by that. He turns it on and

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Human Target




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