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August 29, 2015

Hustle: Episode 17

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 27th 2006 2:14PM
Hustle(S03E05) The episode started with a young woman jumping into the Thames... a suicide attempt. After she arrived at the hospital (unconscious, but alive), we learned that she, Emily, was one of Stacie's good friends. Not only was she a kind friend, but she led a children's charity and had devoted most of her life to it. Emily's severe depression was caused by a vicious tabloid's claim that she had defrauded her own charity and had embezzled loads of money. Stacie went to visit Emily and, after seeing what a poor state she was in, vowed to seek revenge on the Weekend World.

The gang fully supported Stacie and began to figure out a con to take out the editor, Francis Owen, and the chief editor that ran Emily's story, Tim Millen. After sending out a fake questionnaire for a "who's who of journalism" article, the gang found out that the Weekend World has a strange obsession about the royal family's dirty secrets (usually false dirty secrets). So, they decided to work off of an old urban legend that Ash's mom used to tell him... What if the Queen Mum wasn't actually the Queen Mum?

Danny, posing as an enthusiastic young reporter, tracked down Tim Millen and expressed his admiration. I feel so silly because I immediately recognized Tim Millen's voice and remembered him as Hoover from the "Art" episode of Spaced. I mean, he was in "Art" for maybe five minutes tops, in a totally wacky get-up and yet I could instantly tell it was him. Man. I've seen that show way too many times. Anyway, Stacie, as a private investigator working with Danny, showed up as well, and tried to pull Danny away, urging him not to talk about "the case" (which Danny had briefly mentioned was about the royal family). Stacie and Danny verbally stated that they would go to Eddie's Bar to discuss the matters privately. They "accidentally" left their papers behind, so, after snooping through their findings for a bit, Tim followed Stacie and Danny for a bit. He watched as they greeted an old man (Albert). Eventually, he followed them to Eddie's Bar and handed over their papers, demanding to know what was up. Stacie didn't want Danny to say anything, but after Danny's "naive reporter" character was challenged, he dropped the hint that the Queen Mum was possibly an impostor. That piqued Tim's interest and later caused him to urge Danny to join the Weekend World. Danny agreed (it was his dream job) and gave Tim all the information... Apparently, Danny had met an old woman that once worked for the royal family. She told him that the real Queen Mum had died back in '41, but this was never revealed to the press because it'd be disastrous for British morale (during WWII). A young woman with an uncanny resemblance to the Queen, Cynthia Felgate, was put in her place. So, it was really Cynthia Felgate that had died back in 2002. Stacie and Danny had tracked down Cynthia's son, Harold (Albert with a birthmark on his forehead), and were ready to put his story into print.

Mickey (who has a great American accent) posed as Harold's publicist, carefully monitoring the process. After a quick meeting between all of them, they decided to see each other again to start recording Harold's story. On his way to the bar, Mickey was attacked and forced into a car. As it turned out, the mysterious men worked for Her Majesty and had been watching Francis Owen's gossip for a long time. Normally, they wouldn't bother with Mickey Stone and his silly little crimes (that confused me... he gets a lot of money), but they were not happy with the lies that he was currently putting into motion. They threatened that if the gang were to continue, their lives wouldn't be worth living. Mickey arrived to the meeting late, a little shaken. When they cut away from a scene that quickly, I know something sneaky happened. I had a feeling that we'd be seeing those mysterious men again sometime at the end of the episode. Anyway, Stacie showed up with some new information, saying that she had found the home where Harold lived when he was still in England (he was moved to America as a very young orphan). There, they met up with a man that lived on the same street, Ash, dressed as an old man with a crazy beard and everything (he got rid of the real owner of the home by posing as a exterminator). Ash and Albert pretended to recognize each other as old friends, living on the same street when they were very young.

Meanwhile, Francis Owen was looking over some of the "evidence" that the gang had compiled for him. The clincher for the deal was supposed to be pictures of a broach that the Queen Mum and Cynthia Felgate both wore (one was a real photo of the Queen Mum and the other was a girl from a lookalikes agency that Ash had doctored into a photo). However, that was not enough for Owen. He demanded a DNA test between Albert and the Queen Mum. Tim and Danny were to go to the royal collection, steal a bit of hair from the Queen Mum's brush, and send it in to analyze. The mission for Stacie and Mickey was to sneak in and plant Albert's DNA before Tim could get to it.

In the exhibit, Stacie and Mickey had to place one of Albert's hairs on to the brush in the case in a very short amount of time (there was only a three second window during which the cameras would not be on that specific case). Albert and Ash had hacked into the CCTV system and were closely monitoring everyone's actions, making sure that Danny and Tim didn't run into Stacie and Mickey. Danny could only distract Tim for so long, so Stacie and Mickey had to get to work. Mickey kept saying that he had a blind spot, but Ash panicked because he couldn't find one. Plus, the CCTV kept blinking out. Eventually, Stacie and Mickey placed in the hair just in time for Danny and Tim (posing as maintenance men) to pull it out.

After a DNA test, Francis Owen wrote a check for the story. 250,000 sterling, baby. However, being the jerk that he his, he ripped up the check just as he was about to hand it over. Mickey said that he'd take back all the evidence and not allow Francis to print it. Francis didn't really give a shit because he already had a DNA test. He already had the story, so why did he have to pay for it? The gang left, furious.

Aaaand here comes the twist. Mickey had gone to a rival tabloid and asked them how much they'd be willing to pay him to take down the Weekend World. He was given 100,000 to sell the rival paper a "Queen Mum Story Fools the World!" exclusive, which printed right after the Weekend World's story. Francis Owen was over. As for the messy CCTV, that was thanks to the mysterious men. After they had pulled Mickey in, Mickey explained that the whole thing was a plan to take down the Weekend World. After that, the mysterious men didn't seem to have much of a problem with it and even agreed after Mickey asked them to help. It was they that cut the CCTV at opportune moments (so that the guards watching the monitors couldn't see anything). The gang gave the check to Emily's charity and everyone was happy. Whoo.

I was kind of expecting a little Stacie/Mickey romance in this episode, especially after that moment where he comforted her upon hearing Emily's news. It's been three seasons... Where's the tension?!

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Don't want to be too critical here, but what possible purpose does this post serve? I'm a new reader of TV squad and just added the feed so maybe I just don't get it, but you basically just jotted down what happened on screen with a few comments here and there and one at the end. For people who haven't seen the episode yet it ruins the oh so gratifying twist at the end and for people who have, it's not much of a read since you're telling them what they saw already. I noticed this was filed under op-ed, so I'm guessing the purpose was a review and you didn't exactly analyze and/or review it. I don't mean to be a critic of your critical work, but I'm just wondering why this was written. Thanks.

July 27 2006 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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