Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Invisible Man 1.13 - Cat and Mouse

Plot: The Chinese government is interested in the Agency's Invisible Man. Or so says some CIA guy. The Official, naturally, contends he has no invisible agent, but will be sure to keep his eyes peeled for one. As it turns out, though, China is convinced Bobby is the Invisible Man, and the Official wants to keep it that way. So Hobbes and Fawkes are stuck together until they can lure out their potential kidnappers, at which point they can be assured, the Agency's safety net will rush in to help. Darien's preference is to stay at home, Bobby's is to go to a bar he frequents, where everyone knows him as a successful owner of a textiles manufacturer. They are attacked by the valets, but the cops show up, rather than the Agency's guys.

Back at the office, the Fat Man and Eberts offer platitudes and more assurances. Hobbes however, is sure he's being hung out to dry. Darien assures him the Official won't do that, because he'd never find someone who'll work for as little as Bobby. Eventually it'll be Darien's head on the chopping block, which makes Bobby feel better, but leaves Darien wondering what that means exactly. The Keeper tells him there are two possibilities. One, they don't know what they're doing and kill him trying to remove the gland. Two, they do know, and simply bleed the Quicksilver out of him. At which point they don't need him and kill him. Oh goody.

So it's time to get sneaky. In practice, this means Hobbes and Fawkes leading their pursuers on a wild car chase through town that ends with Hobbes dying in a fiery crash. The funeral is a truly, truly touching affair, with the Official trying to get everyone to stop calling him "Fat Man", Darien hitting on people (and wearing his sneakers), but at least the Keeper is sobbing, and regretting not befriending Hobbes, who she describes as a lonely man. The effect is undercut by the fact Hobbes is observing all this with a directional mike and gets abducted because the Agency's safety net wasted all their bullets on the gun salute. Now Hobbes is a prisoner within the Chinese embassy. The Official and Claire - who was not told the funeral was fake and is seriously pissed about it, especially that Hobbes heard everything she said - create a diversion, largely by arguing with one of the embassy staff about the odd names Americans give their departments, but Fawkes is captured during his attempt to save the day. Turns out the Chinese knew who the I-Man was all along, and went after Hobbes as a way to lure Darien into a controlled environment where he couldn't escape. Now they can drain Quicksilver right out of his brain, and not give him a cookie or juice afterward.

So things are bad, but the Keeper convinced the embassy guys she had a syringe that if not given to the I-Man, will cause him to explode. In reality, it's some sort of smoke bomb thing that Darien is able to trigger by knocking it to the ground. he finds Hobbes, they escape the building, see two fellows loading the canisters of Quicksilver into a truck, Hobbes shoots them, rendering the van invisible but wasting the Quicksilver, and the day is saved. Except for the past where the Chinese will be back. And the part where they were still standing around in the embassy's parking lot during all this.

Quote of the Episode: Hobbes - 'Somehow your pain sort of eases me.'

The "oh crap" count: 2 (19 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? A guy named Man Ray, who said that anything original was made by desire, but a copy is made by necessity. And he quoted Will Rogers during the funeral.

Times Darien Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 0 (5 overall).

Still Fish & Game. Definitely should have gone with the "nearly run over" count.

Other: One thing I was worried about when I started reviewing this series was I knew there was a point when the plots would get a little weak. I had actually been surprised it hadn't happened yet, but this one, yeah, not the greatest.

In theory it makes sense. If one country had an invisible agent, every other country with any designs on being a major world power would either want one, or want to understand his powers so they could effectively counter him. It's a little awkward to have people constantly walking around wearing thermal goggles and carrying nets, you know.

In practice, it's a little too convoluted. Targeting Hobbes, then trying to capture him with guys disguised as valets. The whole mess with the different cars and the faked death, but the Chinese kept guys stationed at the funeral to make sure. But that's all a ruse to lure Darien into one specific room. It's too far down the rabbit hole into that "I know that you know that I know you think you know what's going on!" stuff.

So the overall story was kind of a dud. What did I like? Fawkes reading Philosophy Now. Wonder if he traded in Scientific American for that. Hobbes being bothered by being turned invisible. Darien no-selling the significance of the funeral by having his speech written on a tiny, folded up piece of paper. Oh, and the hitting on ladies stuff. Darien is so bad at the playing a role aspect of being a secret agent. Whereas Bobby does it even in everyday life, as we learned on our trip to his favorite hangout. Textiles, who knew? Oh, when the Official and Claire stall the embassy staff, Claire says the Fat Man's name was Roger Moore. I'm not sure why. Though they did announce only that they were with Fish & Game, which prompted the embassy staff to ask if this was about the Olympics, because "game". Which leads to the Official explaining the other meaning of it, complete with placing his index fingers on either side of his head to form horns.

Maybe it was all worth it for the final bit with Claire and Bobby. We know Bobby's interested in Claire, he's let enough things slip in discussions with Fawkes, and Claire is at least amused by him, but the part at the end was actually kind of sweet. It was especially interesting that Bobby was very genuine in what he said, thanking her for her words, having that sort of awkward mumbling he does in difficult moments (like when he tried to express himself to his ex-wife Viv in "Separation Anxiety"). No false bravado or smooth talk. Claire meanwhile, tried to play the whole thing off, pretend she knew all along and was just playing a role. Which is understandable, she was angry she was kept in the dark (they told the rabbi and the funeral director, but not her), and she's embarrassed she heard her say that stuff. But it's a bit of a reversal of what you normally see, where women tend to express their appreciation and dudes try to play it cool, pretend they don't have feelings because emotions are lame.

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