Episode 15 - Queen Sacrifice
11 April 2010
Synopsis: Dyson Frost's video indicates that Mark is important in what happens next. Mark looks into Frost's past and finds a lead from his old chess playing days. When the lead is murdered Mark and Vogel decide it's time to take down the mole once and for all. They lock the Mosaic task force in a room and interview them one by one. Janis fingers Marcie as the mole and investigations bear this out. Marcie makes a break for it but Janis takes her down. Janis reveals to Simon that she is also a mole and knows he killed Flosso. Elsewhere Keiko starts working for a garage but is arrested, Bryce kisses Nicole and Mark moves out much to Charlie's distress.
The Good: The investigation into the mole was thorough and much needed. It was good to see it handled with a degree of competency and the suspected agents unable to communicate with anyone while they were questioned. Dyson Frost's explanation that he has had many flash forwards was interesting and the logical explanation for how he knew about future events. His interaction with Mark is somewhat intriguing. Bryce kissing Nicole took place as expected and it made sense that after all his talk about Keiko she would suspect he wasn't thinking of her. Keiko's new garage job and arrest were certainly unexpected twists in her tale. The formula on the mirror was a plausible excuse to bring Lloyd and Olivia back into contact. Mark placing security on his family was a nice touch to show his care for them and fear for what he is involved in.
The Bad: Oh dear. After the orgy of mad plot developments which surrounded Simon's back story (112) this episode had some scenes which were equally laughable.
Mark decides to look up Frost's chess records, after all a chess pieces is one of the few clues they have on him. Mark then happens to find the right opponent and the right match where Frost had played a certain number of moves at a certain number of seconds interval. Not only did Mark track down the records of this particular game but he then deciphered the Morse code message hidden within it. He then worked out that that was a cell phone number and called it reaching Frost's voice mail. There are five things wrong with this scene as far as I can tell. One is that Mark found this particular game and saw significance in it, a somewhat implausible reach for a hard working but hardly genius FBI agent. Second is that Frost came up with such a ludicrously complicated way of signalling an FBI agent, fully twenty years in the future. Third that Mark could illustrate all this miraculous math work so beautifully in computer graphics which effortlessly demonstrated his brilliant deductions. Fourth that Frost would go to all that effort just to call up Mark at the end of the episode to say hi. Why not just call up and say hi, did Mark deducing it all have any bearing on anything? And fifth that putting all that together made this about as awful, unconvincing and parody-worthy as anything you will see on TV. I can think of three scenes (one from Waynes World, one from Austin Powers and one from South Park) off the top of my head where this kind of ridiculous nonsense is sent up for laughs and it's amazing that no one working on this show stepped in to point out how silly they all looked. This was added to later when Mark walks in on Demetri reviewing security footage. Amazingly Demetri is focussed on the exact location where she signals her handlers and Mark spots it instantly.
Just as bad but in a different way was the revelation that Janis was a second mole working within the FBI. Just like in many a bad TV drama (I'm looking at you 24) there was no evidence given to make the audience suspect Janis. When you withhold evidence from your audience the twist has no impact. We had no reason to suspect her so the revelation falls flat. It's also sad to see her give the "evil" smile at the end too. She has been one of the better characters on the show and been shown to work hard and treat her friends well. To see her reduced to this cheesy turn to the dark side is such a letdown. By revealing her treachery to Simon it opened up the can of worms that is his back-story again. Is his sister still being threatened? Is Dylan still a target? All details which have been conveniently forgotten and they damage the story. Viewers will naturally wonder why Simons doesn't turn her in. The answer seems obvious, because she knows he murdered Flosso and his life would be in danger. But isn't that already the case anyway? By killing Flosso didn't he put his life and his family's life in danger? It's a big mess.
I absolutely loved Stanford coming up to Mark at the end and smilingly claiming "We all have our ways." He was basically implying that he had kept tabs on Mark's investigation behind Mark's back. Or in other words he was spying on Mark and got information that he shouldn't have otherwise got. Sound familiar? Yeah THAT'S WHAT A MOLE DOES! So the writing was trying to say "Good old Stanford knows what's going on. He's like our very own Dumbledore keeping tabs on his charges." But what they ironically ended up saying was "Who cares if there was a mole, anyone can pry into this investigation, its wide open!" The stupidity amazes me.
Keiko's sudden knowledge of car mechanics felt pretty unconvincing. Yes she was a gifted mechanical engineer and it's not implausible but it just didn't fit with anything we have seen of her so far. Her interactions with the slightly unnerving Gutierrez were similarly hard to buy into. I almost laughed at how intense his facial expressions were in the sushi restaurant. What happened? Did he think Joseph Fiennes was playing his role too lightly and the show needed more grimacing?
I still think Olivia has no good reason to kick Mark out of the house. He was willing to work on the marriage; she insisted they move despite him being the key to potentially saving the world. If Marcie is working for some evil organisation then I understand her gunning down her colleagues. But if she was simply paid off (to help her brother) to signal information then her murderous rampage should have been deeply out of character.
The Unknown: Who was Marcie working for? Who is Janis working for and why? Frost's flashforwards are a little hard to fathom. Presumably you could tie yourself up in knots explaining how he worked out who to signal in the future and how. Hopefully there will be some semblance of an explanation.
Best Moment: Locking them all in a room to have the investigation, that made sense.
Epilogue: This show is done. The collection of implausible nonsense is growing every week and I don't want to see them try and untangle it all.
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