'Human Target' - 'Run' Recap
by Mike Moody, posted Feb 11th 2010 9:30AM
(S01E05) High-speed car chases! Police baton beat downs! Seat belt strangulations!
The 14-year-old kid in me loves this show.
So does the currently overworked and underpaid adult version of me. Like a lot of folks these days, I'm just looking to wash away the week's stresses with some fun, old-fashioned hump day entertainment. Thankfully, 'Human Target' is happy to oblige.
This week's energetic hour offered more kicks and wittier one-liners than last week's mountaintop tussle. "Run" was a confident episode. It felt strong and sturdy, not unlike the series' awesome third outing ("Embassy Row").
So far, when at its best, 'Human Target' fires fast and precise, like a high-caliber machine gun. It delivers the goods -- action, adventure, casual references to contract killings -- with ease and drops clues to a deeper mystery, or mythology, just itching to be explored. That's quite an accomplishment for a show that's only five weeks old.
Still, something's gotta change, and fast.
I'm having a blast watching Chance 'Die Hard' his way through all of these missions-of-the-week, but the show is starting to get too formulaic. I want to see some real character development, or at least a mission that has some heavy personal stakes for Chance.
Since its premiere, 'Human Target' has hinted at a greater arc for our hero by dropping references to his dark past and his unhinged emotional state. I'm anxious to start exploring that arc.
I'd love to see 'Human Target' split the season between stand-alone eps and mythology eps, similar to 'The X-Files' or, more recently, 'Fringe'. Anyone else out there hoping for a more apparent ongoing arc to emerge here?
OK, let's dive a little deeper into the episode at hand... Mark Valley seemed to awaken from the stupor he was in last week. Guest star Kristin Lehman did a great job as the client looking to root out corruption in the city's police department (and resolve a few daddy issues along the way). Here's hoping she returns on a recurring basis. Like Winston said, the boys could always use a friend at the court house.
The twist that came in the middle of the ep wasn't shocking at all. It was obvious from the start that Allyson was related to mob man Whitey Doyle ('X-Files' Smoking Man William B. Davis). But I can forgive that. The real fun came with watching Chance take on the entire San Francisco police department.
Sure, the action scene in the inspector's car was utterly ridiculous, but it was great fun to watch. So was Chance's smug attitude toward the crooked cops. It seemed like a dumb strategic move for Chance to show all of his cards at that moment, but I guess that just speaks to his unhinged spirit. He's a professional, but he's also in it for the thrill.
Of course, Chance couldn't close the case all on his own. Our man Guerrero, who had just finished shampooing the trunk of his car (hmm... I wonder why?), was ready to lend a hand. Jackie Earl Haley still kills as the shrimpy go-to guy for technical troubles. "What's his story?" Allyson asked. Wouldn't we all like to know?
I was sad to see Winston's buddy from the force, Detective Jenkins (Chris Mulkey), bite it close to final act. It seemed like the character was being set-up for multiple eps as Winston's police department contact. His intel on Allyson came in handy, and it was nice to see that at least one local cop wasn't on the mob's payroll.
And just what kind of mob boss is Whitey Doyle? He gave himself and his entire empire up just to make amends with his estranged daughter? Sergei Bazhaev from '24' would eat this guy for breakfast. It would've been nice to see Davis, so threatening and memorable on 'The X-Files,' do more than just frown and deliver a sappy speech. What a missed opportunity.
I loved the fast pace of this ep. Also loved seeing Chance wake up from a lazy afternoon snooze, sharing his noodles with the dog. That was a nice quirky character moment. I'm looking forward to more of those as we get to know this team a little better.