So wait … what is Annie’s new plan now then?? What is she planning on doing now that she’s let herself get captured by Henry ... just sweet talk him into coming back to the U.S. so they can prosecute him? I suppose we’re not supposed to understand it till next week.
The end with Henry and Annie coming face to face was a pretty fun moment. I’m starting to form a theory though, on a key reason why this season has been so frustrating to many of us. I’ve seen people online consistently complaining that they are sick to death of Henry, and begging the CA powers-that-be to just kill him already. And I certainly can’t blame them; it has gotten tedious. But I had to question why that is, because I was totally thrilled when I found out Covert was doing one long story arc this season. I still think that was the right choice. And I also have no issue at all with a season-long “big bad,” as long as the big bad is interesting and as long as the overall storyline is compelling. And Henry absolutely was an interesting character ... he still continued to be for the first 6 eps of this season. So what happened, and what is the problem then at this point?
Here’s my theory. The progress that Annie and team have made against Henry from start to near-finish of this season has been soooo slow going, and they’ve made soooo many screw-ups along the way, that ... well that in itself is frustrating enough to watch. But add to that the fact that as these guys have screwed up with Henry over and over, we’ve also had to watch as every single major character has colossally fucked up their lives worse and worse, and just when you thought they couldn’t fuck it all up worse ... WORSE. ALL of this in pursuit of this seemingly endless chase into oblivion.
In a sense I get it, because in real life, this isn’t something that would be easy. This IS something that would totally fuck up your life if you tried to accomplish it. And I can definitely appreciate that this is what the writers were going for. But the ways in which these characters have permanently screwed up their lives as it’s gone on and the straight-up idiotic decisions they’ve had to make to get there in many cases is problematic for me as viewer. I don’t want to be constantly yelling at the screen, “NOOOO, what the hell are you thinking!? WHY are you acting like such a dumbass!!” ... for the entire season ... over and over again. There’s only so much I can take as a viewer before I lose respect for these characters. And the fact that at some point Henry seemed to move from a 3 dimensional person to something uncomfortably close to a comic book villain certainly has not helped either. I could go on about that issue too, but I won’t. I was just thinking about this stuff for my season finale review next week, and the way Henry and Annie basically came full circle at the end of this ep made me figure that now is as good a time as any to talk about this stuff.
So what about this ep? Well ... it was fun ... the Hong Kong setting was super cool of course. Pretty sure they’ve never gone to Asia to film before. I went to Hong Kong once when I was 15 and now I just want to go back. The best thing about the ep might have been Oliver, actually. I don’t necessarily know that it’s a good thing if may favorite part of an episode is the guest star. But hey, it's something. We had Oliver to keep us going. He’s pretty damn hot and he kept me interested the whole time he was on screen. I wanted to know more about him, which is rare for me with a random guest character.
Watching Team “Walderson” get foiled yet again by Henry was frustrating as hell, but it’s to be expected with the penultimate episode of the season. They can’t catch Henry now, otherwise they wouldn’t have anything to do in the finale. The episodes towards the summer finales and fall finales tend to sometimes feel too rushed to me in terms of the writers trying to accomplish too much in too short a time (see: eps 4.07-10 and the last few eps of S3), but I actually felt that the pacing of this ep was good. It didn’t feel rushed, and most of the storyline felt pretty logical, all things considered. I wondered for a sec how the hell Team Walderson had such specific time/location info on the courier’s meet for the brush pass right at the beginning of the ep, but, duh – Joan gave them all that info last week. I wasn’t paying attention to those details then because they weren’t that important yet. Heh.
In terms of Annie and Auggie, the characters are currently working fine for me apart from each other. It's when we get specific "A&A" scenes that they go right back to grating. Of course I want them to, at some point in the future, eventually work things out. But this is NOT the time; it’s far too soon, and they have wwaaaayy too much baggage and crap to work through first. So in the meantime when we're given scenes like, “Oh hey look!! It’s A&A walking through Hong Kong and they’re gonna talk and we’re playing a pretty little emo tune in the background to tell you how you SHOULD be feeling about this!! You should be heartwarmed!!” I’m sorry but no. Don’t tell me how to feel. I have a brain in my head and it doesn't stop working the second a pretty little ditty starts playing in the background. If I’m already feeling the way you want me to feel because you told the story in a way that puts me there, then awesome. But if not, no. Stop. It’s just annoying.
And then we have the issue of how A&A are acting around each other right now, which is in a way that makes me want to stab. Annie, it’s not that I don’t get that going dark has been hard on you ... I mean ... you did kill a dude in the meantime and you royally fucked over Sana and her husband. I completely get that. That’s rough. But I still had to kinda chuckle at your “Sometimes I don’t remember what life was like before I went dark” thing considering that it’s only been 3 or 4 months. And the next time you give Auggie puppy dog eyes, I am going to vomit. Can we please take a tally of how many times you have apologized to him now, considering that he has apologized to you exactly ZERO times!? And based on the way he slurped his noodles over there with nary a care in the world, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think he did much of anything wrong here. You took it all on yourself and he seems more than happy to go ahead and let you do that. Oh my gosh but he’s holding your hand now though!! He’s soooo sweet!! Aww!!
Uggh. All I can be happy for on that front is that we only had to endure a relatively small amount of it. I pray there’s even less of it in the season finale. Oh and what about Joan and Arthur in this ep? I didn’t see it coming that Classy Lawyer Lady Bianca would be in Henry’s pocket, and I have to admit I was a little happy when she died. She was pretty annoying. And then the final scene where Henry’s hitmen dudes try to kill J&A ... it was, well it was unexpected and it played slightly oddly to me, though it certainly did have me on the edge of my seat. If they had killed Joan I might have quit this show right then and there. The part where she shot the dude was a little cheesy, especially the idea that she miraculously decided to check her phone just at the right time. But by then I was just glad she wasn’t the one getting killed.
O.k. lemme give my few random thoughts before I summarize:
- I thought it was kinda funny that they didn’t show the courier get hit by the car. Maybe they ran out of time/money to deal with that with all the HK filming. ;-)
- Oliver to Walderson, re: their Henry Wilcox plan: “You’re going to fail.” Correct.
- So Braithwaite and Henry clearly worked out their differences, I guess.
- Auggie rarely gets to have any fight action, but he got a pretty nice one in here.
- Calder to Annie: “I think I’ve finally learned not to try to stop you when you’re mind’s made up.” Yep. My mom is exactly like this and I eventually learned that lesson with her too. At least my mom’s not out there trying to take down bad guys and save the world.
Fun ep if taken on its own ... but it certainly doesn’t magically resolve all the issues of season 4. And it kind of needs to at this point for me to rate it super high. What do you guys think? Was Chris right on Twitter? Am I wrong? Tell me in the comments.
NOTE: I will be a teeny tiny bit late reviewing the season 4 finale next week, because while it airs, I will be sitting in a movie theater with a bunch of screaming teenage girls waiting to see the Catching Fire first midnight showing. Because, obvi. Where the hell else would I be?? Heh anyway I usually publish these early on Friday morning, but it’ll probably be a bit later in the day next Friday for the finale review.