Plot: The episode begins with Darien moving through the empty halls of the Agency, carrying a very large handgun. As he turns the corner who should appear at the end of the hall but Arnaud. Who Darien promptly shoots, causing him to fly back through the double doors. But when Darien runs down the hall, there's no body. Instead, Arnaud appears from another set doors back at the end where Darien was originally. So Fawkes shoots him again. Then Arnaud steps from a door partway down the hall. Shoot that Arnaud, now he's out of rounds, and here come three more. With Uzis. And Fawkes awakens as they open fire on him.
In the Keeper's office the next day, she notes his depressed appearance, which extends even to his hair, which is down and droopy. Fawkes admits he's had only two goals: Kill Arnaud, and get rid of the gland, and he's made no progress on either, and he's simply resigned himself to working for the Agency. There's not time to go further into it, because the Official needs to chew everyone out. The Agency will receive no more money from the government for the remainder of the year, so it's time to, as he puts it, "rip the throat out of this money drain," which feels like a mixed metaphor, but whatever. Beyond not using the heat or A/C, and having to recycle coffee grounds, employees have to bring their own towels to use in the restroom. Or, you know, just don't wash your hands. Save on the water bill.
This is all just a show for the rank and file, because the Official has a plan to get more funds. Turns out Arnaud funds his enterprises with a casino in Mexico, and he, Darien, Hobbes, and the Keeper are going to travel there and break the bank. The other three will play at various tables, and Darien will invisibly help them win. Sounds great, but in practice, it leaves Darien more unhappy. He's told he has to arrive separately, so while the other three get VIP treatment - limo rides, fruity umbrella drinks, cutting to the front of the line, Darien's stuck with the rank and file. But he does his job, and they make some dough. Later that evening, while Claire and Hobbes get up to something in the hot tub, Darien decides to indulge himself and steals a couple of large bricks of cash from the counting room. When the others reach the casino the next morning, they find it closed because of a robbery, and all 3 know the culprit.
They can't prove it, though, and Fawkes won't admit to having taken the $5 million. Even if he had, he won't accede to the Official's demand to hand it over to the Agency, in addition to the $1.5 million he helped them win. Back at his apartment, Fawkes receives a call from none other than Arnaud, congratulating him on the theft, and with an offer. The recipe for counteragent in exchange for the money. He even gives him an address to meet at if he's interested. Darien is understandably wary, but interestingly, Arnaud insists he doesn't need the gland any longer. Darien still tells him to go screw himself, but finds himself reconsidering the next time he goes to work. The Official has confiscated all of Claire's counteragent, and has decreed Fawkes will receive no counteragent until he forks over the money. And Darien is only 3 days away from Quicksilver Madness. His attempt to search the safe in the Official's office only leads to another argument between the two of them. The Official says just hand over the money and everything will go back to normal. Darien retorts that maybe he doesn't want things to go back to normal.
With no other option, Fawkes retrieves his car and the money, and goes to meet Arnaud. But the warehouse has burned down, though Darien does catch a brief glimpse of an oddly glowing shadow. I know, that sounds like a contradictory description. But it was the black outline of a man, with a yellow glow around him. With the headaches that signal Quicksilver Madness starting up, Fawkes travels to prison to talk with Huiclov, Arnaud's brother. Still limping from Arnaud shooting him in the foot. Huiclov understands why Fawkes would want to find Arnaud, but doesn't wish to sell him out. But he does recall his brother mentioning a Dr. Rendell. But when Fawkes reaches his car, he finally goes Quicksilver Mad. So now there's a crazy invisible man headed to a place full of injured and sick people.
Back at the Agency, the Keeper and Hobbes are both worried, but the Official has brought in an outside party to capture Fawkes, some asshole name O'Ryan that Hobbes has known since 4th grade. Before giving O'Ryan the job to capture Fawkes - dead or alive - he even sends Claire out of the room. Which turns out to be a mistake, because now Claire's mightily pissed about being dismissed in such a high-handed manner, and more than willing to defy the Fat Man by making a little counteragent for Hobbes to deliver to Darien. So it's a race to find him, and what's worse, Arnaud visited Huiclov, so he knows Fawkes knows about Rendell.
At the hospital, Fawkes aggressively asks a nurse where he can find Rendell, which prompts the nurse to hit the silent alarm. So Fawkes gets impatient, jumps the counter, beats up an orderly, and finds the information himself, then bails before security can get there. O'Ryan arrives and rushes inside with his two goons and their thermal imaging sunglasses. Hobbes was already there and watches them go, then scans the parking lot with his infrared goggles, and he spots Fawkes. He tries to convince him to come along, but while he's doing that, Darien's eyes go from red, to silver (with entirely black pupils, which looks really creepy). It's fifth stage Madness! Fawkes is unconcerned, and working to convince Hobbes to throw in with him. The two of them will travel the world, an unstoppable team, all Hobbes has to do is say yes.
Quote of the Episode: Arnaud - 'Stealing from the few to give to the many? How. . . proletariat.'
The "oh crap" count: 2 (37 overall).
Who's getting quoted this week? The saying of Greek myth, he whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Kenny Loggins, about being in the danger zone. A line from Hamlet about neither a lender nor borrower be, to thine own self be true. So at least they toned it down a bit from last week.
Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 1 (8 overall). I wonder if 5th-stage madness should count double.
Other: I know that Arnaud quote isn't the most representative of the episode - since Fawkes stole the 5 mil for himself - but I loved Bissonette's delivery too much not to use it. He sounds so amused by it. And when he promises not to harm him, he says it in this incredibly bored way, and even does this lackadaisical hand gesture (despite the fact he's on the phone). It's the same gesture I make when I want someone to get on with it, so he's just saying because he figures he has to, but it's very perfunctory, either because he knows Fawkes won't believe it, or he wouldn't honor it. I'd lean towards the former.
The Official dropped a sick burn on Hobbes after his fake budget rant. 'Bobby, if you want validation, there's a parking stamp in the lobby.' Whoo.
The Hobbes/Keeper relationship really heated up. First he compliments her on her dress as they prepare to go gamble (and she did look good). Then when they're back in the room, after Fawkes leaves, he gives her this wink and a head bob, and she's gets this, I don't know, mischievous, eager look? It was pretty suggestive. Maybe she just got in the hot tub with him, but he was already downing champagne (in a boater hat and a tank top, classy guy), so it could have led anywhere.
I liked the moment at the end of the Official's rant, when he asks if there are any questions, and nameless guy asks why Fawkes, Keeper, and Hobbes never have to wear suits like the rest of them.
While Darien's level of depression seems a bit extreme compared to recent, it does build off recent developments. He ran into Arnaud just two episodes ago, was nearly killed by him again, but failed to capture or kill him, and had no leads as to where to find him. Which does raise the question of how long it's been since then, if Arnaud no longer needs the gland. A year, so 52 weeks since he got the gland, 21 episodes, so 2.5 weeks between episodes, so 5 weeks? Whatever, but that would not only explain Darien's reasonable doubts that Arnaud isn't after the gland now, but would also reemphasize the fact that not only is he failing to kill someone he really hates, but it's someone who seems to delight in in tormenting him.
On top of that, last week he ran into Chrysalis again, and they raised the question in his mind of whether the Agency is doing everything they can to safely remove the gland. Now it turned out the Solution Beta threat was a red herring. But at the same time, he found out the Official leaked that to help drive Fawkes towards Chrysalis, so he could be a believable double agent. Which hardly seems designed to engender trust between employee and employer. And Stark wasn't wrong about counteragent being a leash, as the Official foolishly demonstrated this week. Confronted with Fawkes using his powers to his own illegal financial benefit, rather than the Agency's, the Official opts to crack the whip. He would rather Fawkes go mad and be put down like a dog than find a compromise. Which solidifies in Fawkes' mind that he isn't a person to the Agency, only a tool. And only intensifies Darien's desire to get the hell out from under their thumb, whether by dealing with Arnaud, or simply going on the run. Now that he's into Quicksilver Madness, he doesn't care about counteragent, just use the money for whatever he wants. And he asked Hobbes to come with him. That's sweet, assuming he wasn't just blowing smoke, and I don't think he was.
Speaking of the Fat Man, he really did drop the ball on this. He feels challenged by Fawkes, so he's showing less trust in everyone else, even though they're supposedly above the nameless rank and file. But by cutting Hobbes out of the search for Fawkes, and not assigning any other tasks to him, he leaves Bobby free to pursue Darien independently. And by dismissing the Keeper and her concerns so utterly, he leaves her more primed than ever to defy the Official. Hobbes has steadily moved to Fawkes' side over the course of the season. He's more and more willing to trust his partner and work with him or for his benefit, against the Official's orders. Claire's done it as well, but less frequently, and usually with more hesitance. Typically, it seems as though Darien has to show her he is really troubled by something and needs a chance to set things right (see episode 1.7). I don't think that's her being more inclined to follow orders; rather I think she's more cautious and meticulous by nature, and so she isn't going to be instantly won over by Darien's charm to indulge whatever whim or theory he has at the moment. Hobbes has been around him more, the greater experience is there, the trust level is higher, he needs less urging to throw in with Fawkes. But Claire still cares about Darien, and the Official being a smug jerk was all the impetus she needed, once Hobbes made it clear he was out to help Fawkes as well. I really liked that exchange, because Hobbes doesn't manipulate her into helping, he just gives her a little nudge. He's the devil (or is it angel in this case) on her shoulder, but she was already primed to disobey. Gotta love how Fat Man's attempt to stave off challenges to his authority has started nearly a full-scale revolt. Assuming this isn't all some plan on his part to get them to bring Darien in out of sheer spite. I can't put it past the geezer.