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'Human Target' - 'Baptiste' Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 18th 2010 6:32AM
human target baptiste recap
(S01E08) I take back what I wrote last week. Kim Coates' Bertram is no longer the best and most memorable villain on 'Human Target'. That title now belongs to Baptiste, played by the awesome Lennie James.

The guy was brilliant as Chance's sadistic and stealthy nemesis. I would've been happy to watch Baptiste sit and trade barbs with Chance on that bench for the entire hour. But this episode had a lot more to offer, including some juicy intel about Chance's past, and the welcome return of Emma Barnes (Emmanuelle Vaugier) and computer geek Layla (Autumn Reeser).

Spoilers after the jump.

This episode was deceptively thin on plot. Basically, Baptiste flew into town to blow up a building packed with Chinese and Taiwanese diplomats (and steal a few watches). Chance caught his scent and did everything he could to stop him. Simple.

The real meat was in all the references to Chance's dark past. Characters have alluded to Chance's dark days before, but Baptiste laid it all out on the table: Chance used to be an ice cold contract killer, he trained Baptiste and they worked as a team, and he gave it all up when he fell in love with his final mark, Katherine Walters. Baptiste also referenced Chance's old boss, a figure we first heard about a few episodes ago. Apparently, "the old man" was very fond of Chance (can't blame him there) and he took it rather hard when Chance decided to bolt and become one of the good guys. Baptiste had to clean up the mess, which involved killing Katherine.

This Ghost of Hitman's Past also gave us some new info about Guerrero. It turns out the dude's a dad! I sure didn't see that one coming. He better keep that kid safe. If Baptiste is to be believed, the old man is gunning for Chance and all of his friends, and he's really pissed. This uber-villain doesn't sound like your ordinary mustache-twirlin' big bad. Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to seeing him show his face.

It looks like Layla is gonna be a recurring character on the show, which is fine. I see nothing wrong with 'Human Target' getting its own Claudia Donovan. Layla is smart, cute, and she gives Guerreo someone to talk to besides Winston. It seems Guerrero and Layla could develop an interesting and twisted relationship, judging by his sobering final words to her last night.

The intense rooftop brawl between Chance and Baptiste made up for last week's lack of hand-to-hand action. And who didn't love watching Emma wrestle Chance to the ground the moment he walked through the door? I'm not really interested in exploring Chance's love life, but if he has to hook up with someone, Emma is probably the best of the bunch. At least she can help him close more cases with her resources as an FBI agent.

The pacing was a little off this week, but that was mostly overshadowed by the fun action scenes, lively banter between Emma and Chance, and James' feature-worthy performance. I hope we get to see him again soon. Real soon.

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This is an excellent show and this was a great episode.

March 22 2010 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is fox. Even if it's winning it's timeslot now, it won't matter once they move it to late Friday nights. I love the show but I don't see it having a second season.

March 19 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan H

Human Target may not be killing in the ratings, but it is winning its timeslot, both in overall viewers and in the key demographic of 18 - 54. It will most likely not be canceled, and may even get a renewal. Here's to hoping!

March 19 2010 at 7:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best episode so far. No comments about the rather blatant but still very cool "Paradise Lost" motiff in the background? Seemed extremely appropriate given the topic of the conversation.

I bet "the old man" is someone we won't see until a series finale. Of course, this is Fox, which means the show will be cancelled well before a proper series finale can be written. We can't be more than a few weeks away from Fox deciding to move this show to Friday nights at 10.

March 19 2010 at 7:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Interesting parallel to the first-season arc of Dollhouse, with the reveal of the back story that brings the character into sharper focus. To me this gives Human Target some of the depth I felt it was lacking.

March 18 2010 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Agree with John from Raleigh, this was the best episode so far which proves you don't have to pack large FX action sequences into an episode (okay maybe just one large fiery explosion). And Guerreo just gets better and better.

Did anyone notice the large mural behind Chance and Baptiste in the subway? That was a nice detail, which I guess makes Chance the fallen angel or prodigal son of whatever evil organization he used to belong to.

I hope "the old man" never makes an appearance this season. Better that he remains a mystery, for a while anyways.

March 18 2010 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It'd be interesting if they got Rick Springfield to play The Old Man. He's 60 years old, so it wouldn't be an entirely inaccurate description (and PR gold for him if it took two hours in the makeup chair to make him look his actual age). If he returned as the "original" Christopher Chance, it could explain the current series' departure from the comic in a single JJ Abrams-style retcon.

Obviously this would carry far more weight if anyone cared about the original series, and if there weren't many far better actors available to serve as the Big Bad.

March 18 2010 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm really liking this show, and I hope it comes back next year.

March 18 2010 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John From Raleigh

I thought is was a great episode and my favorite so far. I hope the producers are able to keep the quality of the writing up and the show stays on the air for quite some time.

March 18 2010 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So glad to see Autumn Reeser and Emmanuelle Vaugier again.

March 18 2010 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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