Sunday, July 06, 2014

Invisible Man 1.15 - Ghost of a Chance

Plot: Darien barges into the Official's office to find him sparring with that CIA guy from two weeks ago. Fawkes is told to leave, but instead goes invisible and watches the conversation. Agent Miller wants that invisible agent, and this time, he's got the President on his side. So the Official is up the creek, but this does give us a good moment with Fawkes becoming visible right in front of Miller, who nearly has a heart attack. Once he's recovered, we learn that Darien is needed to help convince/scare the Prime Minister of Santa Ruego to vote against his country deploying a biological weapon as a defense of their border. It isn't aimed at the U.S. mind you, but with just a few keystrokes it could be, we are told by a smarmy guy with slicked back hair talking to an entirely different group of people about the same subject. This group wants the weapon approved, and they will be sending someone to make sure it happens.

So Fawkes, Hobbes, and Claire travel to Santa Ruego, but the U.S. Ambassador is very displeased to see Hobbes. Something to do with the Ambassador's daughter. However, they go to see the P.M. Arias anyway, and Hobbes gives a good spiel about an economic aid package the U.S. will provide if only the P.M. votes against the weapon. But Arias observes a gust of wind blowing through the curtains at a critical moment, as says no dice. He's very superstitious, which is why Fawkes is here. He's to pose as the ghost of a Marine gunnery sergeant who was killed when Arias' father attacked the embassy years ago while he was overthrowing the previous fascist regime. Darien's first attempt involves floating candlesticks and making his eyes visible, so that they appear to float before Arias.

It still doesn't work, because that other agent is about, and she somehow drowned a man in an empty hallway the night before. So Arias is convinced it is the work of the fabled La Llorna, Destroyer of Life, Woman who Wails, and that she wants him to hold firm on protecting his country's borders. Not sure how he figures that, but I'm not sure why he interpreted a gust of wind as a sign to hold firm against U.S. entreaties. Anyway, Darien will have to go back, and interrupts Arias during a massage. Ghosts, man, what a bunch of jerks. Before he can start scaring Arias, the Prime Minister sees some wet footprints and follows them to the pool, where a woman surprises him, tells him to protect their country, then drags him into the pool to make the point. Somehow she vanishes as Arias climbs out screaming for his guards. For the record, Darien stood there and watched, debating whether to get involved, I guess for fear of blowing his cover. Nice work, action hero.

It doesn't amtter anyway, but La Llorna visits Darien in his room that night and starts making out with him. She uses the kissing as an opportunity to spray water down his throat, but Fawkes is able to fend her off. They talk a bit, flirt a bit, she leaves. He tells the Keeper and Hobbes about it, but there's little they can do. There's only one night left before the vote, and Fawkes needs to get Arias going their way. So it's off to the mansion, but La Llorna is already there, drowning Arias. Fawkes fights her off, and ultimately forces her retreat, but Hobbes is unable to capture her. Anyway, Arias votes to scrap the BioX weapon, so the plan was a success. As they prepare to leave, Darien spots her across the road, they talk, flirt, make threats, offer warnings, kiss a little, then Hobbes shows up and ruins the mood, so she departs. Back to wherever she came from, to be chewed out by Pat Riley Jr. there for failing. But she assures them she can handle the Agency if it interferes in the future.

OH, if you were wondering. The reason the Ambassador hates Hobbes, according to Hobbes, is that when he worked at the embassy 15 years earlier, he was patrolling one night and heard a noise, entered the bedroom of the Ambassador's 19-year old daughter, Rachel, and found her laying on the bed naked. He tried to depart, heard someone coming down the hall, ducked back inside, pleading with her to put some clothes on. But she liked to flirt with him, so she sat there, playing with her hair. The person coming down the hall was the Ambassador, who barged in and found them. This is Hobbes' version, as related to the Keeper.

Quote of the Episode: Darien - 'I don't know. I guess it was just a freak thing.'

The "oh crap" count: 3 (23 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? The English proverb about trying to lock the barn after the horse is gone. George Bernard Shaw, who said his way of joking is to tell the truth, because it's the funniest joke in the world. A Burmese proverb that blind men aren't afraid of ghosts. And Oscar Wilde, who thinks it takes courage to give in to temptation.

Times Fawkes Goes Quicksilver Mad: 0 (6 overall).

No car incidents, and no change in their department.

Other: Claire certainly seemed disappointed that Hobbes insisted he would never fish off the company pier. Tell him how you feel, Keep, maybe he'll change his mind. On second thought, that'll stoke his ego, and that's when he becomes insufferable.

As it stands, I have no idea whether to believe Bobby's story. I'd laugh at the beautiful young girl flirting with him, but we've seen his ex-wife, and seen how the ladies flock to him at the club where he claims to be a textiles magnate, and when he was hanging out with models last week. He has a knack for it. Beyond that, though, why would the Ambassador barge into his daughter's room like that? Not very diplomatic. Why would Bobby be worried if someone saw him leave her room? Presumably his patrolling would be a normal occurrence. He explains he heard a noise and went to investigate, and maybe says she had knocked a book off her beside table. Things don't quite add up, but the Bobby we've seen does seem to have principles and integrity, so if he says he would never date someone he worked with (or for), then I feel like I should believe that. Of course, we could follow the Man of Steel theory, stating Hobbes must try once, before he can decide never to do so again.

But that would be stupid.

Do ambassadors drive their own vehicles when they visit foreign leaders. Because I'm pretty sure Hallywell got into the driver's seat of that SUV when they first left Arias' place.

I was sure the fact Fawkes didn't know Spanish was going to be an issue. How do you play a ghost that scares a man in a primarily Spanish-speaking country? Answer: Play the ghost of a guy who spoke English. I like the fact that Fawkes didn't change his voice at all, yet Arias did not recognize it even though he spoke with Darien that day, on the exact same subject the ghost is approaching him about. This is either a comment on how superstitions and irrational fears blind people to other answers, or it's a joke about how all English-speaking Americans sound alike to Arias. Although, in a world where people can design invisible men and women who can seemingly become water, being afraid of g-g-g-ghosts doesn't seem too irrational.

I enjoy that the Official uses any inquiry into his invisible man as an excuse for extended sketches with Eberts. This week it was, 'Eberts! Get this invisible man in here! But sir, I don't know what he looks like.' Part of what makes me enjoy it so much is that he clearly enjoys it so much.

OK, I've danced around it, but we have to talk about the problematic aspect of this episode. The U.S. government decides it is acceptable to scare the crap out of a foreign leader for its own benefits. Sure, compared to some of the shit the U.S. has actually pulled over the decades, it's fairly small potatoes, but it makes me think of that quote from Kissinger in that book I read about the fall of the Allende government in Chile. Something to the effect of, if they don't use democracy properly, we don't have to honor it. "Properly", in that context, meaning doing what's in the United States' best interests, whether or not it is in Chile's. I mean, I'm glad Santa Ruego isn't going to be setting up a biological weapons defense, but that's a general concern about biological weapons, rather than a concern that oh, someone will hijack them and use them against the U.S. It makes Santa Ruego look like a country not capable of running itself, so the United States has to step in to guide them to the right choice. Except that can't be done by simply discussing why the biological weapons are dangerous, perhaps in terms of retaliation or escalation from the country Arias is actually concerned about. No, it has to be by turning their Prime Minister into Scooby-Doo.

Better than assassinating him, I suppose.

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