And...act break. That is a horrible, horrible act-out. Seriously, what about that act-out makes you want to stay on this channel? Was this show originally cut with an eye toward cable? Because the pacing feels really off for a show with has commercial breaks. If anything, it seems that you should break for commercial after Malloy kicks Baghead into the river. Of course, that would make it difficult to use the flashback structure for that scene, but the flashback seemed clunky to me, anyway, because the tape recorder hidden in the dock feels unlikely and wrong anyway. This whole segment of the plot feels like it needed to be rethought, as far as I'm concerned.
After the commercials, ABC sends us back to the coal mines: dealing with Paige. She's eating lunch and is shortly joined by Todd, who's clearly trying to make nice. He tells her that he turned himself in, telling their instructor that he inadvertently saw someone else's answers. "Good," Paige says shortly. Todd sighs. "I'm trying, here. I'm taking the test over again," he says. "He commended me for my honesty. And now we can move on. You're going to have to go out with me." Okay, here's the thing: why does Todd want to go out with this uptight, sanctimonious girl? Someone on the boards noted that Paige is like Joey Potter, version 2.0. Special Agent Joey Potter, who is approved of and lusted after by all and sundry, despite the fact that she's actually really unpleasant and difficult. I thought I'd escaped you, Joey Potter, but I find that I can never outrun your evil reach. "Really?" Paige drips and crosses her arms over her breasts. Dude, men don't actually ask women out when they're being this bitchy. I know. I've tried it. "What's with the attitude?" Todd asks. "I'm a better man because of you. It's not like I asked you to have sex with me or anything. In fact, I forbid it. It's my first-date rule." Paige smirks. He grins, charmingly. "Come on, if the guys are gonna see I'm not a warrior, at least they can see that I can conquer as a poet and a lover," he adds. Oh, Todd. You had me, and then you lost me. I think you're as cute as can be, but no one talks like that. Paige shakes her head. "You lost me after no sex on the first date," she says. "Really?" Todd asks. Paige, patronizingly: "No, Stevens, not really," Oh, Paige. I almost liked you for a second there, and then you ruined it. She stalks off and Todd chuckles at what I suppose we're supposed to read as moxie. The sad thing is, I really like Leslie Bibb as an actress. But this character is completely unworkable: humorless, unsympathetic, holier-than-thou.
Over at the pool, the trainees are doing survival exercises. Todd chats in line, as Paige climbs onto the diving board, leaps into the water, and freaks. Todd has to leap in and save her ass. Apparently, she can't swim. Surely, she knew this test was coming. She couldn't take a class at the Y to prepare? Hate you, Paige. Everyone looks concerned as Todd hauls her out of the pool, but she refuses to sit down and rest, and instead heads back to the diving board. The instructor directs her to get the hell down, but she ignores him. Disobeying a direct order? Classy. "Go get her down," the instructor tells Todd, sounding as though they've been through this song and dance before. Todd and his fine abs climb to the end of the platform, chatting all the way. "You can't swim, huh?" he asks. Paige stares at the water and shakes her head. Oh, let her drown, Todd. "Back at the country club at home, we got this mother platform," Todd says cheerfully, telling her that it took him five times before he could get the nerve to leap. "Anyway, my mom, her name is Fay," he continues, but Paige interrupts, and asks him he if ever stops talking. Todd doesn't answer, but keeps chatting about his mother. "Oh, give me a breeeeaaaak," Paige says, leaping off the platform with the last word. And, of course, Little Paige Van Doren and her Incredible Moxie somehow manages to figure out the survival trick, and if her classmates start doing the slow clap, I am quitting. "You go, Paige," Todd says to himself. Todd! You're better than that. The Swelling Violins of Brave Americans swells on the soundtrack as Paige paddles around the pool with her pants around her neck. I want to vomit. The real FBI would have kicked her ass out of the Bureau before she got within six miles of this pool. "You just bought yourself a new agent review board, Van Doren," the instructor tells her. Marry me, instructor.