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November 24, 2014

Review: Human Target - Embassy Row

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 27th 2010 2:00PM
human target embassy row
(S01E03) "Did the hooker just punch you in the face?" – Winston


No runaway trains or upside down planes this week. Instead, Chance crashed the Russian Embassy and teamed up with a sexy FBI agent to catch his friend's killer.

This was a great episode. It had all the elements of a taut big screen thriller, plus some excellent action and a few welcome quirky character moments. I've only seen three episodes, but I'm already hooked on Human Target. I'm ready to follow Chance to the end of the season and beyond. Here's hoping that Fox (killer of all things that make me happy) has similar plans.

It looks like Human Target is set on delivering plenty of stand-alone episodes with only hints at a greater story arc. I'm a big fan of shows that offer complicated arcs that stretch out over several seasons, but that's clearly not what's happening here.

Human Target
is a throwback to a simpler time; a time when the A-Team was blowing up tanks and Magnum was racing his Ferrari all over Oahu. (Thankfully, the show isn't nearly as artless or as cheesy as those '80s action series could be.) The show is a blast, and it knows how to deliver the goods: Action, adventure, humor and mystery all wrapped up in a fun forty-minute package. It's definitely not The Wire, but its still good TV.

"Embassy Row" was a big improvement over last week's nutty sneaks-on-a-plane ep. It was a nice change of pace watching Chance do his thing on the ground instead of trapped inside of a moving vehicle. The mission had him rubbing elbows with foreign dignitaries, Russian spies and the FBI in Washington, DC. It was the perfect forum to show us how deep the agency's contacts go. Apparently, the boys have a good relationship with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, even though Chance probably blew up his boat, his house and his horse (?).

I love how things can go from bad to worse for Chance in a matter of seconds. This time, the fly in the ointment came in the form of an airborne poison. Our hero was forced to save the day while dealing with the shakes, dizziness and a high fever. But all that couldn't stop him from participating in a brilliantly choreographed fight/waltz scene with hooker... er... FBI agent Emma Barnes.

I hope Emmanuelle Vaugier shows up again. She and Mark Valley had some good chemistry going on. And more Emma Barnes probably means we'll learn more about Chance's past, since she's clearly invested in uncovering his secrets.

And speaking of guest stars, it was great to see Firefly's Sean Maher on TV again. There he was in all his wonderful Sean Maher-ness, playing a desperate guy who was out of his element again.

This ep had its share of ridiculous moments – like Chance and Emma magically making it over the Embassy wall under a rain of bullets – but it wasn't as over-the-top as last week's. What do you guys think? Is Human Target growing on you?

Other observations:

- Guerrero's "feeding the cat" moment was hilarious. So is his 'stache.

- It's pretty cool how Winston can detect when anyone runs Chance's prints. It's also cool that his name comes up as "John Doe" followed by a super long list of aliases.

- Chance relaxes by playing videogames and dozing on the couch just like the rest of us!

- That was probably one of the best motorcycle chases I've seen in a long time. I know. I'm a 12-year-old.

[Catch up with free episodes of Human Target on Slashcontrol.]

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Europa

"Stingray" was darker though. I have it on DVD. But you are right, both are good shows.

February 01 2010 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dean

I am liking this show too. However, the setup is almost exactly like a short lived show in the 80's call Stingray. A mysterious man, taking missions to atone for his past. Taking on new identies with each mission, his only payement is that the person he helps owes him a favor. A favor he uses to help someone else. Both are good shows.

January 28 2010 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stuman714 from Indy

Great ep and show. Escapist NON-reality and a big dose of fun all rolled into one. Fox better not mess this one up!

January 27 2010 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Klo

I thought the perfect follow-up to Guerrero's "cat feeding" comment and the old lady seeing him put on a gas mask would have been for him to say he was allergic.

Overall, it's a fun show and I hope it sticks around for a while.

January 27 2010 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

Sean Maher had two guest spots in less than a week (he was on 'The Mentalist' last Thursday)--maybe he got a better agent?

January 27 2010 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

Oh yeah, and I'm glad Fox showed it on Tuesday for this week so it wouldn't get pre-empted by the State of the Union Address. I'm actually surprised they would "care" that much about a new show.

January 27 2010 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

"Did the hooker just punch you in the face?" - Winston

That was the best line of the whole ep. It wasn't just the line but the delivery. Made me laugh out loud. :D

This show is just good mindless fun and that's okay. Too much of anything is not good even when it's Masterpiece Theater. With the way the world is right now (economically, politically, natural disaster wise, etc.) a nice "mindless" hour of entertainment once a week is a good and needed thing. Not just a guilty pleasure.

January 27 2010 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WhatI

Agreed - this was a really good episode and I hope they keep it up - and you're right about this show being a throwback to a time when there was kind of a not-so-strictly-enforced set of "reality" rules. Yes, the fact that Chance wasn't hit by any of the 100s of bullets fired at him when stuck on the wall bugged me, but in the context of the show it wasn't a big issue. I'm also liking all the little subtle things (some "observations") thrown in that gives little clues to the characters' personalities or histories -things like that can make good shows great.

January 27 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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