I watched the promo for this week’s episode three times and, in the week leading up to this ep, I still kept forgetting what it was supposed to be about. That’s not a great sign. There was nothing wrong with this episode, but I did not love it. I wanted to, I really did. It certainly had a recipe for awesome: Atlantic City, Leon, Bear? And yet, much of it fell flat.
Apologies for the lateness of this review. Blame the Doux Reviews Twitterati who bullied me into watching Veronica Mars. Man, that show’s addicting.
I typically love Vegas-y episodes of anything, but I just wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Sorry, PoI, better luck next time. Don’t get me wrong, it had its moments, but the writing seemed uneven. Perhaps it was the splitting up of our cast. Carter and Fusco were off in their own little world this week and Finch and Reese spent the majority of the episode apart. Despite their being in constant contact (via the miraculously invisible ear pieces made famous by Alias) something is lost when they are apart.
I was again confused by the HR side business. Am I just being blonde here? Was the blackmail of Yogorov related to Elias or was it just like Quinn said: HR needed money and the Elias connection was just a coincidence? Szymanski (the officer framed in this episode) was the cop shot during Elias’s abduction of Moretti in season one. In addition, Szymanski and Carter were the ones to arrest Peter Yogorov in “Witness,” the episode Elias pretends to be the innocent English teacher. It’s not just me, right? This is confusing? Also, could we have named Szymanski something less spellable? Geez. What’s wrong with Smith? Thanks, writers.
Adding to this confusion is Beecher’s involvement. If we’d seen him on screen with Quinn it might have been clearer, but all we get is one line from him to Carter about how he had a source saying Szymanski was dirty. I really think Beecher doesn’t know he’s being played. He seems like a stand-up guy. Speaking of stand-up guys, Fusco inadvertently gives Carter some help in tracking down HR, which he is still mixed up with. I’m getting so sick of this story. It’s gotten all tangled up and not in a fun way. I hope we end this mess soon and get back to the things I really care about: the Machine, Reese, Finch, and Bear.
Done with the bad, onto the good. Leon is back and bringing the guffaws with him. After his first scene, I was afraid we wouldn’t see him again (PoI does love to tease us that way), but he fortunately popped up later, still pining over a pink-haired hooker. Poor Leon.
I also really liked Makris’s money laundering scheme. It is pretty darn brilliant in its simplicity. I do worry, though, that’s it’s not environmentally responsible. Did you see the trash can full of pill bottles? If you’re not going to reuse those, at least recycle them. Just because you’re a crime boss doesn’t mean you don’t leave a carbon footprint.
You know, I wouldn’t want to do it forever, but gambling someone else’s money away doesn’t seem like a horrible job. Might be fun for a few weeks. Please contact me if you are a casino owning criminal in need of someone to launder your money. I’ll be needing a complimentary suite and a steep discount at the bar. I’m willing to drive to Vegas, but if you want me in AC, I’ll be needing a plane ticket as well. I await your call.
Finch continues to spend money like it’s going out of style (I hate that phrase but I’m using it anyway). This week, he loses three million at the casino (he gives one million to Leon to create a distraction, which I’m assuming is lost, and he gives two million to Lou whose winnings are seized as evidence) and he gives away the two million dollar watch he broke in “One Percent.” I think it would make for a cute episode if Finch had to do what he does without his money. He can’t get to it for some reason, so there’s no sending people off on free vacations, buying businesses for the deserving, or multi-million dollar distractions.
Bits & Pieces:
Finch is Harold Quail this week. I should put together a list of all his avian aliases. I wonder if, back in his spy days, all of Reese’s aliases were candy-themed. John Hershey. John Snickers. John Twix. John Pop Rocks. Probably not.
While I found funny the implied violence of the shot of Reese standing around bloodied men, it did make me wonder about a comment Billie made a few weeks ago. I wonder if the 44 year old Caviezel is having trouble keeping up with all the stunts. He still kicks ass, but he’s had remarkably fewer stunts recently than in the first season. Shades of Angel season five?
Leon gets pedicures. I exhibit no surprise.
(sorry, I know there’s a lot, there was just a lot of quippyness this week)
“Are you the Nigerian scammers? I can’t believe you’re actually Nigerian.”
“Wait, you plan to kill me. Okay that’s a big mistake. You better get out of here while you still can.”
I love the earnestness with which Leon says this. He’s actually trying to warn the people about to kill him. Funny stuff.
“We have to stop meeting like this.”
“But I’m always so happy to see you.”
“I was an international spy, Finch. I know how to play baccarat.”
Is there anything Reese doesn’t know how to do? I want to see the episode where he and Finch attempt to put together something from Ikea or bake an angel food cake or something. It’d be nice to see them stumped for a change.
“Perhaps I should have considered a career in the clandestine arts.”
Finch has such a formal way of phrasing things that makes them inadvertently funny. “Clandestine arts?”
“I need you to tell me the truth about something.”
“There is no Santa; it was your parents.”
“I guess you’re not really with the IRS.”
“Is it that obvious?”
“So this guy’s dealing drugs?”
“That’s putting it mildly. Based on the financial information I’ve seen, he’s laundering profits on the order of eight figures.”
“Wow, I’m jealous...angry. Angry. He must be stopped.”
“A million? You trust Leon with that much of your money?”
“Absolutely not, but I’m afraid it’s the cost of doing business.”
“Hey dumbass, I cheated.”
“You gotta save me! That’s your thing!”
I do love Leon, but I also like that he’s used sparingly. He’d get a bit grating if he were a regular cast member.
“You know, for a genius, you’re an idiot.”
Yep. But we love our Finch anyway.
two and a half million dollars in chips