November 12, 2008

My Own Worst Enemy #2 "The Hummingbird" (2008 episode)

Directed by Felix Enriquez Alcala. Written by Jason Smilovic. Created by Jason Smilovic

Trumbull (James Cromwell), the enigmatic leader of the government organization, is concerned with the erratic behavior Edward has started to display on his missions, so he decides to personally supervise the interrogation of a recently recovered prisoner. The problem? Edward isn't Edward at the moment. He's meek, everyday Henry.

Though I wonder how long they'll be able to come up with crazy situations for our hero(es) to flip in, I have to admit this is a clever one, showing us one man suffering through his own internal "good cop, bad cop" view of the situation.

Also of great interest is Henry's sinking realization that his entire childhood is a concocted cover story. He pours through pictures, home movies, school year books, desperate for something real from his past that he can latch onto, and Christian Slater absolutely nails his despair as he continually comes up empty handed.

While I'm glad they finally answered the question as to whether or not Tom/Raymond is a part of the same mental manipulation program, I'm still a little uncertain as to the specifics of the cover corporation everyone works for. Is everyone there an agent of some sort? Is it a mix of real people and plants? I don't know. And what about Saffron Burrows as the company therapist? Is she just an eye for Trumbull or could she be taken into the central group's trust so as to better help Henry deal with his situation?

And here's the part that I'm getting stuck on: what, specifically, is so important about Henry/Edward that Mavis is unwilling to kill him? He could potentially blow his cover any moment, he's already bungled a few important assignments, his unpredictability is a threat to the whole program... so why not eliminate him? I know, I know, there wouldn't be a show if they did that, but I'm not yet convinced there's a reason to keep him around. It's a major hole in an otherwise clever show.

And it really is quite clever, with snappy writing, slick direction, and a great cast. I just wish they could sort out these little issues before the stuff that doesn't work overwhelms the stuff that does.

My review of My Own Worst Enemy #1 "Breakdown" (2008 episode).
My review of My Own Worst Enemy #3 "Hello, Henry" (2008 episode).

No comments: