Okay, getting the inconsequential (read: boring) storylines out of the way first: Emily attempts to pull some students together in order to pretend to still be a teacher. After depressing the hell out of all five of her students, who realize they have better things to do than listen to Emily prattle on about how the U.S. doesn't exist any more, Emily and Allison sort of bond over their screwed-up families. Later, Darcy promises her daughter that she loves her no matter how many people she murders. In other knotted family ties, Mayor Dad is acting depressed and refuses to leave his camouflaged tree house, which makes Mom fret and hold conversations with April's gravestone, and Mimi struggles with Bonnie's hormones and spends most of the episode pouring her heart out to a chicken. (The chicken later dies, but it might have been from a self-inflicted hatchet wound to escape Mimi's confidences.) The big news is that Jimmy and Jake break into Hawkins's house to figure out if he's one of the fake F.B.I. agents who aided the terrorists. Jake sees enough in Hawkins's Magical Basement to convince him that he and Hawkins need to have a little handcuffed tête-à-tête. Hawkins tells Jake how he is now CIA -- not FBI, for those keeping track at home -- but it was an SD6-ish branch of the CIA, off the books, secret, undercover, rogue, whatever. Anyway, Hawkins -- using flashbacks, so we will believe him -- tells Jake that they were tasked with infiltrating a huge U.S.-based terrorist cell that was suspected of absconding with some old Soviet nuclear weapons. To do this, Hawkins -- with Sarah as his handler -- had to worm his way into the terrorist cell. It's very convoluted and confusing, but I also suspect some hidden awesomeness; I just have to unravel it. The big news is that Hawkins realizes that The Old Man -- as seen in satellite photos Hawkins took last week -- is the same guy who was heading up their secret CIA branch project thingy. After all this, Hawkins gets loose from his handcuffs, pulls a gun on Jake, orders him to get rid of Jimmy (or Hawkins will), and then unloads his weapon and says they have to trust each other. And THEN Hawkins takes Jake into the shed and shows him his package. Jake, his innocence lost, realizes that things will never be the same again.
Huge thanks to Couch Baron for covering last week's episode with his usual brand of complete and total awesomeness. I'm not too sorry to have missed recapping it, except for all the Waco jokes I could've made.
The writers decided not to give us a time-stamp on this first scene and risk further hair-tearing by yours truly, but I think it's safe to say that, since Darcy's got a wig on to approximate longer tresses and she and Hawkins are laughing and smiling together, this is BTB (Before the Bombs). Spectacularly clad in a red satin version of Marilyn Monroe's blowy white Seven Year Itch dress, Darcy smiles and laughs and kisses in Hawkins's general direction before he helps her into a cab. Hawkins tosses a casual look over his shoulder, and his smile dies when he catches sight of some suit studiously not looking at him. Just as Darcy asks what's up, the suit locks eyes with Hawkins and nods. Hawkins continues to stare at the suit, and after several groups of people pass by, the suit disappears into thin air. It's a stupid manipulation used only to create unnecessary mysteriousness. When we actually see this scene play out in flashback mode, the guy doesn't disappear. Dude, don't they realize Hawkins is mysteriousness personified? At this point, they don't need to invent any more! Sigh. Anyway, we flash back to present day and note that Hawkins is lying alone on his bed, remembering better times of ladies in red and non-disappearing disappearing men. Hawkins proceeds to mope all over his house until his BlackOpsBerry beeps with a message that reads, "When can we meet again? We're growing impatient." I have to say that the idea that these people type on these little machines in complete sentences is totally ridiculous. It would be more like: "Meet again? Impatient! Kill you!" And forget dealing with apostrophes. Hawkins thinks, his fingers paused over the teeny tiny keys, but he slides the BlackOpsBerry closed without responding. Hawkins leaves his house and jams a paperclip between the door and the jamb. Oh, Hawkins and his high-tech ways! It reminds me of when Anastasia Krupnik placed a single hair on top of her diary and then left the diary lying around the house, just begging to be read by her hippie, privacy-honoring parents.
In town, Jake carries Emily's stack of books -- all Little House on the Prairie -- and asks if holding classes is really worth it for six kids. Emily, her coat flapping wide -- guess the coldest winter in decades is really over -- smiles that six kids in a conference room is "not Harvard, but it's a start." I would like to note that while Emily is acting footloose and fancy-free about the weather (and oh-so-very cheerful in the wake of her fiancé's banishment), Jake is still sensibly zipped into a thick coat and sporting gloves. Because he's Jake. Emily thinks it's important for them to start getting things back to normal. "I've gotta be honest with you; if I'm a kid, going to school isn't exactly high on my list of priorities these days," Jake notes. Jake, was going to school high on your list of priorities even when you were a kid? The hidden bottle of bourbon hiccups, "NO!" Jimmy plods anxiously towards Jake and Emily and asks if he can borrow Jake for a few minutes; he needs Jake's help. "Gotta get you a bat signal or something," Emily snarks, as she takes possession of her own books and walks off. Shut up, Emily, you don't even know the half of The Super Skeet. And even if you did, you wouldn't be able to comprehend it. You'd probably just lecture him about his past wrongs and get all squintily judgey with him, while conveniently forgetting about the time you killed a man. (Just to watch him die.) Jake wisely ignores Emily and asks Jimmy what's up. Jimmy says that he's seen one of the fake FBI badges that the radio report said were being used by the terrorists. Here's a question: how does Jimmy know it's a fake badge and not just a badge? Jake takes a deep breath and asks, "Where?"