After a solid start, My Own Worst Enemy jumps into the pool of plot possibilities with both feet and no floaty. P.S. You know you’re exhausted when you fall asleep with your face on your laptop and awake to an army of random letters on your screen.
Spoilers below…skip to the Bits & Pieces section for just my thoughts and observations
Edward/Henry – it’s unclear which – is on a stretcher near death. As his focus fades in and out, Mavis explains he got doused with a concentrated toxin known as "Zombie Cucumber" that’s making his heart all wonky. If she doesn’t shock him with a defibrillator in the next sixty seconds, he’ll die.
Cut to 38 hours earlier. Edward is getting scanned in a machine by Tony the Tech Guy explains that his frontal lobe implant has a circuitry malfunction and he’s never seen something like that before. And Tony can’t fix it. Mavis enters and they discuss the situation briefly – people can’t know Edward is fritzing. Edward says Henry need to be informed, and Mavis agrees, but first Edward must go to Berlin.
Skulking about at night, he calls Henry’s wife for an alibi and he and Raymond go about their mission of infiltrating a compound. Raymond doesn’t like that they’re jeopardizing everyone just to protect Edward but…well, save the discussion for later because they have to extract their target.
In the car (with the German man in the trunk), Edward makes sure no one is listening and informs Raymond that before Henry emerges, he gets this odd feeling of anxiety. He also lets it be know that if anyone was to find out about that, if he is compromised in any way, something bad will happen to Raymond/Tom’s wife. Enter a confused Henry who is brought up to speed.
Back at The Basement, Raymond is unhappy and tells Mavis to "fix him or put him down." Henry doesn’t appreciate that and Mavis explains that they can’t deactivate him because Trumbull (played by James Cromwell!), one of the boss men, will get suspicious…and he’s standing right in front of me, isn’t he? Trumbull tells who he thinks is Edward that Paris and Moscow disappointed him and that better not happen again. Unfortunately, Henry must go in and extract info from the German Guy with Mavis in his ear via a tiny communicator.
The GG says he’s not a terrorist, that he’s a software developer. Trumbull is watching on a screen somewhere as Henry does and repeats what Mavis says. He tweaks and has to leave the room, but covers well. Talking to Mavis in an observation room, she reiterates that Henry has only existed for 19 years and all his memories are implanted. At home he searches through childhood mementos and can’t find any of his home movies. Henry tells his wife that he isn’t feeling well when she asks what he’s doing home so early. Angie says they’ll find them and says if he isn’t feeling well to go see a doctor. Which he does, only it’s a guy he went to college with and tells him he thinks someone put something in his head.
As he gets a CT scan, The Office has realized he’s gone missing. Telling Doc Raif Castle to keep the results on the downlow, Henry rides on a public bus and calls everyone he thought he knew from his childhood but no one is there. A big creepy dude walks toward him so Henry moves toward the back of the bus where a second dude sprays him with something. Raymond shows up as an EMT and extracts him which brings us back to the top. Except Mavis explains things a lot more in depth and essentially tells him that, if he wants to live, to cut out his bs and cooperate. He agrees and a couple shocks later, the man lives and Edward is back.
Returning to The Office, Edward continues with the interrogation. He doesn’t have to do much and he gets the location of the terrorist cell. Only he doesn’t believe him and injects German Guy with the needle. GG has a few seconds to tell Edward the real location before the poison hits his blood stream. Having left the room (I assume GG is poisoned), Angie calls to remind "Henry" about their date night at a hotel. Cut to Henry waking up next to Angie who says how much fun the night before was (especially "The Hummingbird"), complete with "You’re welcome!" written on his palm from Edward.
At the psychiatrist, Henry rambles about being jealous of Edward’s boudoir prowess but essentially rounds out his concerns by saying it’s his job. He’s supposed to be taking on more responsibility but doesn’t think he can handle it, that its become the third person in his marriage. In his cubicle at work, he calls back Doc Castle. Going to see him, it’s confirmed that there’s a "next-gen next-gen" chip in his brain that can’t be taken out. Getting all the copies, Henry tells Castle that he can’t tell anyone about this, not even himself – at least not without the password – and leaves.
Arriving back at his cubicle, Henry’s computer comes on and tells him to activate the micro-receiver in his ear and phone in his pocket. It’s stuff from Edward, a way of securely communicating between the two of them based on biometrics. He explains that Arlene (the secretary played by Mindy Sterling) is the liaison between Henry’s job and Janus (the secret organization in the basement) and covers for his time down there. "She is not your friend," Edward says. "She has no idea that you’re broken, keep it that way." He also explains how to recognize mission texts at home and adds that he will find out what Henry was doing in Inglewood.
Arlene gets Tom and Henry and they go "off to a meeting" down in the basement. Raymond steps off but Henry is still Henry. GG took three needles of poison and still isn’t talking. Henry asks GG to spill what he knows to avoid being hurt further, which he does. In Mavis’ office, Henry is still freaking out about everything and Mavis essentially tells him to suck it up, buttercup.
At home, he’s tweaking and has a slight argument with Angie (after Tom had showed him what "The Hummingbird" is online at work) before getting a mission text. Mavis, Tony, Raymond and "Edward" sit around and get debriefed with Trumbull watching. The goal is to hack into the terrorists’ computer systems via a club in London. Henry is doing surveillance in the truck while Raymond infiltrates the building. It’s too bad Raymond gets potentially caught while copying the files. The two terrorists enter the room and several flashes and pops are heard. Henry goes in to check on Raymond. Instead of repelling down the side of the building, he pulls the fire alarm and goes downstairs instead. Raymond’s alive…but another terrorist pops up and the two fight. On the ground and being choked, Raymond tells Henry to run while trying in vain to get homey-dude off him. After a few moments of cowering and Raymond near death, Henry finally wakes up and chokes the terrorist to death with a phone cord. Except it was Edward.
Arriving at the house, Angie has transferred the home movies to dvd and Edward and the kids must sit through them. Edward grabs a beer from the fridge and Angie says the insurance called an had to kick back a claim for a CT scan. Saying it was just a mistake and that he’ll take care of it, "Henry" asks what office it came from…and she tells him it was from Doc Raif.
The next morning, Henry wakes up in bed and discovers they did even dirtier things than "the Hummingbird." She also mentioned that he went to the office in the middle of the night which doesn’t bode well for Doc Raif. Henry watches one of the dvds and sees the baseball glove he got on his 8th birthday. Finding it in the closet, he brings it to Mavis…who in turn show him the same video on her monitor. The party was originally Edward’s – they digitally replaced all the people to alter it. When he goes home, he looks pretty beat down and Angie asks if whatever he’s worried about involves the CT scan. Ooops.
Rushing over to Doc Raif’s hospital, Henry sees a bunch of police cars outside. Once indoors, someone tells him that Doc Raif has been killed. The proof is in the proverbial pudding as Henry looks down and sees Raif’s body on the pavement a couple stories below.
Assorted Bits & Pieces:
- They sure did cram a lot into this episode what with the currently un-fixable chip issue, the supervisor that must be kept in the dark, Henry’s extended identity crisis, the terrorist cell, Raymond being a potential threat, Edward repeatedly having mind-blowing relations with Angie, and Henry and Edward having to adapt to unplanned switches at terribly inopportune moments.
- Henry’s stubbornness, while understandable, was beginning to work my nerves by the end of the episode. I felt like 50% of Alfre Woodard’s dialogue was spent explaining and re-explaining the same three points. What part of "we made you up and the prospect of killing you isn’t particularly troubling" does he not understand?
- That being said, Christian Slater continues to do great work. Whenever he walks in the room, you can tell which persona he’s in (unless you’re not supposed to know). Also, the interrogation scene where Mavis is telling Henry what to say was played to perfection.
- I don’t see how Henry could possibly be surprised that Doc Raif ended up dead. I knew it the minute I saw him. P.S. Doctor Raif Castle is a great frakkin’ name. It’s so very daytime soap.
- One thing that absolutely needs to happen is for them to teach Henry basic self-defense skills. I know Mavis said something about not having time for it but come on.
- The bio-metric message phone was a nice touch. Much easier and more economical than having to burn a dvd all the time.
- I was pleasantly surprised to see James Cromwell pop up on the show. MOWE has a ridiculously cool cast.
- In the preview for the next episode, Henry is approached by what appears to be a Fed. The proposition of Henry becoming a counter-spy is an idea I can get behind, though I feel the third episode may be a bit too soon to full commit to that.
So what were your thoughts about this week? Do you like the new wrinkles thrown into the plot? Any wishes for plot developments?