Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Invisible Man 2.16 - Sense of Community

Plot: Fawkes and Hobbes are in hot pursuit of some guys in a car, but like Buford T. Justice, their pursuit ain't so hot. Despite Hobbes having souped up Golda with surreptitiously diverted funds just two episodes ago, the van is back to being a broken-down piece of crap. As it turns out, the Agency is in dire need of funds (even with the money they're supposed to be getting from Alex' connections?), but Eberts has stumbled upon an Agency of Sequestered Seclusion, which is swimming in cash, though they can't determine what it's for, who it answers to, or anything like that. And the money seems to be getting paid out to a bunch of dead intelligence operatives. Except for Paul Grant, he's not dead. But when Fawkes and Hobbes pay a visit, he's ready to leave, and here come three more guys, including one dude who looks like Bald Bull from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, and they gut-shoot Paul, Fawkes, and Hobbes.

Fortunately, it's with tranquilizers, and now Fawkes and Hobbes are in the Community, a secret place for operatives who had their cover blown. They fake their deaths and move there to live out their days, safe from all their enemies. Except Fawkes and Hobbes didn't get their cover blown, but they're stuck there all the same, under the watchful eyes of camera-toting helicopters, fenced in with motion detectors and particle beam weapons. Of course, the unseens people in charge don't know about Darien's Quicksilver Madness issue, so there's a bit of a time limit on their escape. Especially since the Official has no idea what's happened to them, and has no money to pay for other agents to find them, and all of Claire's equipment is being repossessed, because it was all rented, so she can't even say when he got his last shot.

Hobbes and Darien aren't having much luck finding a way out, though Hobbes does find his old partner, Jack Carelli, and makes friends with a nice lady spy named Elaine, who apparently was a master of all those seduction and deception techniques Alex is supposed to be so well-versed in. Which means Bobby has a hard time trusting her motives as genuine when she shows up on his doorstep (the people in charge have already moved all of Bobby and Darien's stuff into bungalows) with champagne. He almost gets over his paranoia, but remembers Darien needs to get out of there, and rejects love for friendship.Then he nearly gets blown up because someone tampered with his gas line (though the explosion strangely doesn't damage Darien's place, which shares a wall with Hobbes'). As Paul points out, everyone here has a nice, safe life, which Darien and Bobby's attempts to escape endanger. So everyone could be out to kill them, including him. As it turns out, it's Carelli who's behind it, and not even because they're trying to escape. It's because it was Bobby's fault Carelli got burned. Hobbes blabbed to his shrink, who was a double-agent. Oops.

Anyway, Hobbes beats Korelli, Darien risks going invisible to bring down one of the helicopters, because he noticed they can pass safely through the particle beams, and they use it to reach a maintenance hatch and get out. Back at the Agency we learn the Official brokered a deal where the Agency of Sequestered Seclusion will give them enough hush money to keep the lights on, though he doesn't realize their office is now littered with monitoring devices, and Bald Bull is just waiting for them to let the secret slip and throw them in the hole.

Quote of the Episode: Elaine Lowe - 'You know how government contractors are: They're always cutting corners.'

The "oh crap" count: 1 (31 overall).

Who's getting quoted this week? Pretty dull week. Carelli used the "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated" line, Darien used 'we're not in Kansas'. But there was Sophocles, who said there was nothing more demoralizing than money.

Times Fawkes Goes Into Quicksilver Madness: 0 (6 overall). Surprisingly, they made it out in time. I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see Crazy Invisible Fawkes wreaking havoc among the spies.

Other: The way they're playing up the money woes the last couple of weeks, this has to be a deliberate plot point. Chrysalis exerting lobbying pressure to weaken their only potential foe. Or maybe it'll turn out to be the side effect of Darien's father refusing to kill that Congressman. His legislation to reduce spending on security agencies is hitting the little ones - who have the narrowest budget margins to begin with - hardest. That'd be amusing, in a no good deed goes unpunished sense. Save a politician's life, he slashes your funding.

But it's getting a little ridiculous if we're to the point the Agency can not afford any agents other then Bobby and Darien (and Alex, who basically brings her paycheck with her). The Official had to send Eberts to try and track down Hobbes and Fawkes, fer pete's sake. He'd have been better off sending Claire. At least we know she knows how to shoot. Not that it mattered, Darien and Bobby made it out on their own.

Oh cripes, when Elaine paid Bobby a visit, they started up with the saxophone music again. Agh, noooo. I suppose it's too bad for Bobby he's spent so much time around Alex. She so seems to enjoy using the seduction and deception stuff on him strictly to amuse herself, that now he's paranoid when another practitioner of the arts approaches him with what appeared to be genuine interest. As she explained, all the other guys in the Community are either 100, or macho jerks. Though Bobby can be a bit of a macho jerk, but I guess it's more harmless bluster, and he doesn't bring it out unless he feels threatened.

It was nice to see him turn her down because he felt he needed to focus on escaping, for Darien's sake, even if it didn't feel entirely necessary. He'd clearly settled in for the night, was down to his undershirt and all, so he wasn't planning an escape right then. I think Fawkes might have understood. And while Bobby didn't outright say he had a special lady back on the outside, he didn't say he didn't. So he has given up hope on he and Claire. I really find that kind of sweet, even if I wish he would just take the plunge and be honest with her about his feelings. She clearly knows, but she's, I don't know, too locked down herself to make the first move. Either that or she's respecting his "No fishing off the company pier" rule, even though I'm pretty sure that's not ironclad.

Can't get over how much that guy from the Agency of Sequestered Seclusion looks like Bald Bull. Now we need Hobbes running in a pink sweatsuit while the Official bikes along next to him, telling him to get a subscription to Nintendo Power if he wants to know how to win (which is a pretty shitty thing for your trainer to tell you, really).

I'm not sure what I think of the reveal that Bobby's responsible for ruining Carelli's career. It makes a certain amount of sense, that countries would insert agents as therapists to get secrets. And it fits Bobby's tendency to sabotage himself with his various hang-ups. But he was so happy to see Jack still alive, and it seems clear he felt the loss of Jack keenly. Partners are important to Bobby, probably because he feels like if he sticks by them, then he has someone who will stick by him, in spite of his issues. The idea that Bobby ruined someone else's career, and not just his own, it feels like a low blow, a refutation of one of Hobbes' most important principles. But I guess it was needed as an excuse for Carelli to try and kill him, though they could always have chosen one of the other spies to do that, or had Carellia be mistaken about who was to blame.

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