Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.3 - The Importance of Being Eberts

Plot: Someone is hacking into the Agency's computers. I know, I'm surprised the Agency can afford them, too. Hobbes has gotten a line on the hacker through his informants, which he refers to as "HobbesNet". The tip was good, but the hacker escapes, which leads to the Official chewing them out and assigning Eberts to their team as a field agent, over his and Hobbes' strenuous objections. Eberts' involvement does pay off as he was able to trace the hacking attempts to a cyber cafe, but the owner (who raided Sam Axe' shirt supply) is unhelpful. Fawkes and Eberts sneak in the back way, but are discovered before they can make much progress. Eberts does a better job hand-to-hand fighting than Fawkes, but is briefly felled by a chair to the back of the head.

He seems mostly OK, though he actually keeps talking after the Official tells him to shut up. The Fat Man announces that unless this case is wrapped up in 24 hours, they must shut the computers down, which will shut the Agency down - including production of counteragent. Though you'd think Claire would have the necessary components and their ratios memorized by now, but I guess you have to requisition supplies, and. . . whatever. Hobbes is convinced Eberts in disloyal, and tries to keep a close eye on him as Darien gets some counteragent. The fact he and Darien walked in on Eberts holding the Keeper's hands might have something to do with it. Darien certainly thinks so, but when Hobbes mentions Eberts winked at him, Darien's curiosity is piqued enough to ride home in the taxi with Eberts (invisibly of course), where he notes Eberts home is a mess, and that Eberts left again almost immediately. After midnight. Darien didn't follow, so he misses Eberts attaching something to the back of Claire's computer. He does find an odd substance in the bathroom trash can.

The next day, Fawkes discusses his concerns about Eberts with Claire and shares the thing he found with her, the two oblivious to the doohickey that was attached to her computer. Hobbes arrives, telling Fawkes they have to investigate a lead Eberts tracked down, but Eberts won't be going along. It leads to a construction site, but down below there are server banks, with wires leading to a room. A room with a bomb attached to the door and someone inside. Darien Quicksilvered the door so they saw the bomb, and they enter through the roof, finding Eberts, tied to a chair. Rushing back to the Agency, they try to discern why someone would impersonate Eberts, and eventually he realizes there are certain terminals in the Agency which aren't connected to the outside, only to the other secure terminals in the building, and could only be hacked from within. He finds the device, recognizing it as a keystroke recorder, just as the other Eberts has used a different secure terminal upstairs to begin downloading Claire's files.

There's a scramble through the building, and naturally the two Eberts meet first. The true Eberts is swiftly identified, and the fake is. . . Arnaud. Who strips off the disguise (and his clothes), and bails with the handheld device full of Claire's files. Fawkes pursues and we get invisible guy on a skateboard chasing an invisible guy on a bike. Darien is able to hit Arnaud with a rock, causing him to drop the storage device, and it instantly breaks. But then Darien has to swerve to avoid a lady with a stroller and crashes into a car. Arnaud is pretty gleeful, until the bike gets plowed into by a truck. No trace of his body was found. Afterward, we learn about how Arnaud must have used DNA samples from Eberts to clone small parts of his face to make a mask, and also that Eberts' first name is Albert, which is also Hobbes' middle name. Awww, they bonded. Maybe.

Quote of the Episode: Hobbes - 'There's no backspace in combat!'

The "oh crap" count: 1 (4 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Billy Joel's song "The Stranger", which I happen to like. Not my favorite, but Top 10, easily.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 0 (0 overall)

Other: First off, I'd like to thank the writer of Gone Girl for getting it turned into a film. I haven't read the book, mind you, nor do I plan to, but Hulu gave me the option of watching the 2.5 minute trailer in exchange for not having any ads during the episode. So I agreed and went to the bathroom. Outstanding.

I just realized watching this episode that one problem with Arnaud being invisible all the time is we can't see Joel Bissonette's reactions to things. At least we know Arnaud is still working on trying to fix it, in his usual manner of stealing other people's work. Half a scientist, indeed.

I sort of suspected it was Arnaud after Eberts got hit with the chair. Mostly because they made absolutely sure we didn't see any sign of the person who swung it. You'd expect them to at least step into the frame to inspect their handiwork. of course, then Claire starts talking about growing small bits of cloned parts of Eberts' face, and I started to wonder if the Chameleon didn't survive the swan dive into the empty fountain in "Eye of the Beholder". But no, it was Arnaud. I love how it's his ego that ruins it. He doesn't respect anyone enough to let them get the last word, so of course when the Official tells him to shut up, he has to argue. Oh, the Shut up, Eberts count this week was 3.

There is one problem with the culprit being Arnaud: the cab ride home. Arnaud is invisible all the time. Even if he's wearing a mask that has eyes that externally match Eberts, they can't be actual, functioning eyeballs. He still has to be relying on his Quicksilvered vision. And it was already established, and backed up during the chase at the end, that one person who is invisible, can see another invisible person. So how could Fawkes sit there in the cab, right next to Arnaud in the back seat, and not be seen? Even if Arnaud looked straight ahead the entire time, he surely would have picked up something in his peripheral vision.

I like Eberts encouraging Fawkes to make him invisible by describing it as "shoom". You know, you do the thing, and shoom, you're invisible. That was priceless. I wish I'd been paying more attention to Hobbes' reaction. He must have been utterly disgusted. And then he was so disappointed when Fawkes left him behind to sneak in with Eberts. 'He's the computer guy, I'm the guy who goes insane if he uses too much Quicksilver.'

To be fair, Fawkes was nice to Eberts than Hobbes, probably because Fawkes doesn't care about the Official's approval, so he's not in competition for it. During the second chewing out from the Fat Man, when Hobbes suggested Eberts fainted, rather than got hit, and they started sniping at each other, Darien looked distinctly uncomfortable in that position. Maybe he just thought it was embarrassing for both of them, but I think he didn't enjoy seeing Eberts take a bunch of crap.

Anyway, it was nice for Mike McCafferty to get some screen time. Eberts has been almost exclusively a background character, but he's been a fun one. His role as a target for Hobbes' insecurities, and especially the moments where he stands up for himself against Bobby. His somewhat pedantic manner, the way that he often seems to be in perfect sync with what the Official needs, or will need. There's a little Radar O'Reilly to him, so it was nice to see him get a chance to shine, show his mettle and his wits.

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