Keep the Ends Out

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Sara M: B- | Grade It Now!
Keep the Action Out
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

I thought the "Previously On" segments for Survivor were bad, but it seems that Rubicon, concerned that viewers might be incapable of following the slowest-moving plot in the history of television, has it beat. And the narrator somehow sounds even more smug than Jeff Probst, which I didn't think was possible. We open on shots of buildings, as usual, before the camera slowly tilts down to show Will making his way along a sidewalk, a cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Across the street, the most obvious tail ever follows Will. He's so obvious that even Will can spot him a mile away. So very obvious, in fact, that the narrator of the "Previously On" segment didn't see fit to mention him, and he mentioned everything. Will bends down and pretends to tie his shoe (brand new Converse -- don't the costume departments on shows like these try to make it seem like the characters actually own the clothes they're wearing? No one's Converse shoes look that new. Not even when they're new) to get a better look at his tail without arousing his suspicion, which is giving the tail way too much credit.

Will finally arrives at his destination -- outside API to meet with David's wife and his former mother-in-law, Joan. David's death appears to have given Joan a serious case of anemia. Eat red meat, Joan! David would want you to have some color in your cheeks! Joan is there on the weekend to collect David's things, the fate of which has become the single biggest plot on this show so far. What the hell are they going to do when David's stuff is finally taken out of his office? Will offers to bring David's stuff down, but Joan says she wants to see David's office for the first (and last) time. "You've never seen his office?" Will asks, surprised. He is aware of the fact that both he and David work in a top-secret government agency that they aren't even allowed to tell their own families about, right? So why would he expect Joan to know anything about it or have ever been allowed to visit it? Why is she allowed to go inside now, for that matter?

Will and Joan walk inside the building, where we discover that the usual weekend security guard is home with the flu, so a weekday guy is filling in for him. FASCINATING. He escorts Will and Joan to David's office. Joan says it doesn't look like she imagined before muttering something about "church and state" which I believe was David's way of telling her that his work and home life were separate from each other. Joan says she never knew if she was the "church" or the "state" part of that saying, although since David wasn't actually talking about either of those things, I don't see how it really matters. Or how Joan really matters, actually. Like, will we ever see her again after this? Probably not. Do we know enough about her or David to feel her sense of loss? No. Let's all just assume that she's wandering around a bleak New York street looking sad all the time and leave it at that, okay? She says she doesn't "feel" her dead husband in the room like she was hoping she would. Will just stands there and lets her ramble on. As usual, he has very little to add.

Joan lets Will load all the boxes into her hatchback as she tells him that her and David's estranged son Evan is in town and he wants to see Will. Will is surprised, no doubt unaccustomed to hearing that people actually want to see him. Joan says that Evan is "better" now and always liked Will, something Will doesn't believe. He says Evan never liked him and he doesn't blame him. Neither do I! For all of Will's faults, at least he's self-aware. He agrees to see Evan, and Joan drives away.

Will, on the other hand, gets to walk home because Joan didn't offer to give him a ride even after all the help he gave her. Ha ha! He sees his tail waiting for him at a corner and goes back into the office to ask the guard to show him footage from the camera outside. He jumps behind the guard's desk, which the guard doesn't appreciate, reminding Will that he's not allowed back there. "I know," Will says; "I'm sorry, please?" I don't think he's sorry though. In fact, Will seems to enjoy taking advantage of the kindness of his underlings. He shows Will the footage of what's going on outside, and sure enough, the tail is standing on the corner, obviously waiting for him.

Meanwhile, in another plot we don't care about, Maggie is walking her daughter Sophie home from school, where she learned that fish don't have eyelids but not how bears go to the bathroom when they're hibernating. Well, that's the kind of education you get at weekend school, I guess. Maybe next time, the show won't go to all that trouble of setting up the fact that it's a weekend before cutting to a kid leaving fucking school. Put an ounce of thought into it, writers. Of course, Maggie has no idea what the answer to that question is, and suddenly some guy appears. Sophie runs up to him and gives him a big hug, as this is her father. "How was school?" he asks. Would it have been that hard to say "weekend science enrichment program" instead? It might seem like I'm being too hard on the writers, but when only three things happen in an entire hour, I expect them to be executed perfectly. Anyway, Maggie is obviously surprised and not pleased to see her daughter's father. Not like any of us really care that much about Maggie to give a shit, but okay.

Katherine, meanwhile, is still hanging out in bed being sad and stuff. Doesn't she have two young children to raise now? Where are they? Maybe they're in weekend school. She stares at a photo of her husband as a small boy until the phone rings. Of course, she doesn't answer the phone. She lets it go to voicemail. Wheeler is calling, and he knows she's listening and still in bed even though it's very late in the day and now, apparently, it's a weekday. So I guess Maggie's daughter wasn't in weekend school after all. Check plus, writers! Katherine picks up the phone and Wheeler opens with "I don't like you hating me," like he's ten or something. He says his wife is away for the week and invites her to have dinner with him tomorrow, like she isn't still grieving over the tragic and shocking suicide of her husband or anything like that. Tom's been dead for like a week now, Katherine! It's high time you threw off that mourning veil and got back into life. Katherine accepts the invitation and hangs up on Wheeler without saying good-bye or finding out what time dinner is or where.

At APIT, we're still trying to figure out what's up with Yuri Popovich and his friends. German intelligence officials refuse to give them any information on George Beck, but Grant and Tanya were able to get plenty of information about him since he's a fairly prominent public figure, running an investment firm that deals with companies in Europe and, of course, the Middle East. I think Tanya's only interested in Beck because she thought he had something to do with Beck's Beer. Because she's an alcoholic. Supposedly. Also, George Beck isn't the guy's birth name -- his mother is German but his father is Syrian, and he was born Nassir Vallamamoud. The Beck name is from his mother's side and he changed it in college. Grant chalks this up to Beck figuring that he'd get further in the business world if his name wasn't "Mohammad Von Muslim." Um, it's "Mohammad Al-Muslim," Grant. Or I would have accepted "Mohammad McMuslimpants," but only from Tanya.

Anyway, Will just yells at Grant for not being culturally sensitive before asking Tanya if George is religious, a.k.a. Mohammad Al-Muslim. Tanya starts to say that George belongs to what appears to be a moderate mosque, but then Miles interrupts to ask why they're even doing this work, since Russians and Germans aren't their area of expertise. Will says this is what they were ordered to do. "That isn't an answer," Miles says while doing his best impersonation of French Stewart. Seriously, Miles. Open your freaking eyes. He whines a request to hand the assignment over to the team that works on Eastern European matters so they can focus on their

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