Plot: Claire has been working with Thomas/Augustin to recreate a drug Augustin had been making back in the day. At the moment of success, the Official immediately swoops in and takes it, so he can sell it to the CIA for some money to pay the Agency's skyrocketing electric bills. Claire only learns of this because Darien noticed she was down when he came for a shot, and went snooping. As it turns out, Beta-C is supposed to make people want to talk when asked a question, and the CIA have a traitor they've been interrogating for a long time (years?), but haven't gotten anything out of him yet. Claire is understandably concerned there's been no human testing, but says if she is allowed to adminster the drug, she'll go along.
The ends up being a mistake, because Stanhope pretends to be muddled from a head injury sustained while trying to escape a few days ago, but quickly takes Claire hostage, with the needle jammed in her neck. Darien has a brief chance where he could have stopped them, but has to turn around and stop an agent from taking a shot. Stanhope injects Claire and drives off with her. And once he realizes the effect of the drug - because he asked her - he is, unfortunately, smart enough to ask her the most important question: 'What is the most classified secret you know?' Which means he knows about Quicksilver, and so does his handler, and bulbous-nosed Russian named Dmitri, who Hobbes says must have faked his own death 5 years ago.
While all that has been going on, Thomas has explained that excessive talking in response to questions is only the first phase of the drug. In the second, Claire will begin talking to an inner voice, and in the third, she'll lose all inhibition, become self-destructive and violent. There is no antidote as of yet, but Thomas might be able to make one with access to Claire's computers. Meanwhile, Alex - still sporting that cast, though at least they explained it was from punching a wall - is called on to use her contacts to locate Stanhope, which leads to her walking into a steam room of fat Russians while an accordion plays in the background music. She gets the info, they find Stanhope, just as Dmitri goes inside, so now our two plotlines are even.
Dmitri immediately betrays Stanhope. Fawkes gets the drop on Dmitri, but somehow it gets screwed up and the guy escapes. But heck, Fawkes and Hobbes have Claire, that's the important thing, right? Well, Claire's into Phase 2, even though she knows the voice isn't real. And the voice reveals that Claire is very aware of how Bobby feels about her, which gets Bobby riled up, which gives Darien a headache, and then Claire has to pee, so they stop, and Dmitri tranq darts Hobbes and Fawkes, captures Claire, and stuffs her and Darien in the van. By the time Alex finds Hobbes, they're 30 minutes behind. Oh, and Darien is starting to go Quicksilver Mad. Which is a bit of a surprise for Dmitri when they reach the docks and he opens the van, not that it slows him down much, but Claire escapes, and forces the old guy to chase her up onto a catwalk. Claire is fully into Phase 3 now, so she's pretty much fine with throwing herself off the thing which Dmitri doesn't want. No worries, here comes crazy Darien, so the only one falling to their death is Dmitri. Of course, that leaves a woman with no regard for her safety up there with a crazy murderer, so naturally they start making out and oh god, why are they playing saxophone music?! Naturally, Hobbes and Alex find our two looney birds under a tarp back on the ground, which is crushing for Hobbes. But Fawkes gets his counteragent, Claire is returned to the lab where they attempt Thomas' antidote, and it works. In the aftermath though, everything is very awkward between Fawkes and Hobbes, and between Fawkes and Claire, and Claire and Hobbes. And that's where the episode leaves it.
Quote of the Episode: Darien - 'You actually care what an invisible voice inside her head is saying?' Hobbes - 'I know about invisible voices, all right? I know all about them.'
The "oh crap" count: 2 (30 overall).
Who's getting quoted this week? Voltaire, who said the great consolation in life is to say what one thinks. Mark Twain, who said man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to. And I think it's Shelly Chisum, who noted when morality comes up against profit, it is rarely morality that wins.
Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 1 (6 overall).
Other: We never did learn why the Agency's energy bills have suddenly risen so dramatically. Perhaps Chrysalis bought their power company and jacked up the rates.
It was nice to see they didn't just forget about Thomas. I'll admit I thought at first he and Claire were working on something to restore his senses to him. Somehow, it's hard for me to picture Claire working on something like Beta-C, considering the latter two phases. It feels like she should look at the potential damage that would do to people and say, "No thank you." But I guess "Germ Theory" demonstrated that Claire is one of those scientists who gets excited about learning something new, without necessarily stopping to consider the implications of learning it.
Also, it was nice to see that Thomas wasn't unaware of the fact he's being kept in a cell, and I think he's starting to sense they're lying to him somehow using Augustin as a spectre to keep him scared. That's his own doing, he won't accept he is Augustin, but I like the sense it's a slow-building pressure. It made me nervous when he was granted use of Claire's computer banks, because of what he might find in there. I don't know if he did find anything - Eberts was supposed to be watching over him - but that's going to linger with me until they pick the thread up again.
I didn't quite understand the sequence with the antidote at the end. They inject Claire, Hobbes seems concerned it isn't working, though how can he tell? Claire isn't talking, nor is she flirting with him. Thomas says it's not neutralizing the drug or something, but then it works after all. So I don't know. It was a little sloppy, like the writers didn't want it to just work smoothly, but didn't have time to really do anything with that.
Hobbes ditched the suit jacket this week for denim. It's not a bad look on him.
I know Dmitri was a bad guy and all, planning to take Fawkes and Claire back to Russia to pry all the secrets out of their heads, but still, shouldn't Darien be a little more bothered he kill a guy? I thought going Quicksilver Mad and killing people was a troubling thing for him, but we don't see any indication of it. Maybe because they wanted to focus more on the awkwardness between he and Claire over their escapades, and Hobbes being so hurt by it, but then, they really didn't take time to do anything with that, other than have everyone stand around avoiding eye contact. That's perhaps not out of line for those three; Claire tends to play things close to the vest, Darien has repeatedly - as recently as last week - worked hard to avoid talking about his feelings, and Hobbes, well Bobby tends to hide everything behind bluster. None of them are good at discussing their feelings, but I wouldn't have minded a few small scenes. Claire and Darien try to apologize to each other, and then each reassure the other it wasn't their fault. We got a little bit of Darien apologizing to Hobbes, because he knows how Bobby feels about Claire, but maybe something where Claire considers talking to Hobbes about his feelings for her, but pulls back, because she isn't sure what to say, because she's not quite sure of her feelings for him (or else she's worried about putting those feelings out there).
I guess they could be saving a big Claire/Hobbes conversation for somewhere closer to the finale. Those two need to get honest with each other at some point, though. Watching Hobbes try to disguise it, especially now that it's clear Claire is completely aware of the torch he's carrying, is painfully maddening.
In general, not my favorite episode. Claire working on an interrogation drug still seems off, and I find I don't like stories where the characters escape confinement, only to almost immediately get captured again. It's tedious wheel-spinning.