Tonight begins the week-and-a-half push toward Human Target‘s second season (potentially series?) finale. FOX is fast-tracking the final three episodes, starting with tonight and ending with the season finale just nine days away. That’s a whole lot of Chance to enjoy in a short period of time. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Bob Anderson (Todd Grinnell) didn’t get the memo that white guys shouldn’t attempt dancing to rap music, even if it’s in your car while stuck in traffic. Maybe that lack of taste is why a mysterious person on a motorcycle tries to kill him. After that, he turns to Chance and Winston for help, saying, “I’m like the last guy anyone would want to kill.” Chance and the team shadow Bob and his wife Angie (Lauren German, What We Do Is Secret), who produces a gun and one seriously evil look on her face. Really, the only way she could be any more obvious is if she started laughing maniacally. Chance and Guerrero manage to get Bob back to their surveillance van, but have to break the news to Bob that his wife really doesn’t love him that much, and is certainly not a teacher.
While Bob is majorly in denial over this turn of events, Winston and Chance begin to probe into Angie’s background, including a previous marriage to another guy who ended up floating in the Thames River. Meanwhile, Angie is visiting some of her Russian friends in a nondescript office building full of cheap filing boxes, talking about an impending deadline. “You and I will be long gone before they find his body,” she promises her friend. Winston and Guerrero are on her tail, although Guerrero really doesn’t want to see Winston rappelling off a forty-story building. Thankfully, they have Ames for that.
Here’s the bigger ‘WTF’ moment: Ames is a married woman. The guys know she was recently with Ilsa in Las Vegas, and now she’s back wearing a wedding ring. It’s not hard to connect the dots. So who’s the lucky guy? Some guy named Alejandro she met a few weeks ago. Wow, I would have thought it was Brody (from “Taking Ames”).
Meanwhile, Angie comes back home to Bob, all aflutter about their romantic getaway that they have planned that weekend. It would probably be more fun for her if Chance hadn’t invited himself along, pretending to be one of Bob’s coworkers named Larry. Angie is not fond of Larry. “Don’t kill me,” Bob says, and we all laugh at the irony.
Guerrero and Ames break into the Russians’ office building, and find something about a Project Graystar. Guerrero is barely able to send the encrypted files to Winston before the Russians get back and start blowing holes in their own office door. After that, he calls Chance with the news that Angie is obviously a Russian spy. At the same time, her Russian friends are calling her to tell her that her cover is likely blown, and she immediately suspects Bob’s new friend. Did I mention she packed a gun in her luggage? Yeah, she packed a gun in her luggage.
Dinner is massively awkward, as Chance tries to subtly frisk Angie for weapons, and she keeps glaring at him. When Chance says something in Russian and Angie responds, they both know she’s been made. Chance suggests and she agrees that it’d be a good time for Bob to leave, after which they both aim guns at each other across the dinner table. That would be too easy, though, so the guns aren’t really loaded and a fight ensues with anything and everything at their disposal. Finally, Angie manages to load a gun and start shooting, but Chance is able to get Bob away from her just as her Russian friends show up to help her out.
Back at the warehouse, Ames is talking to her new husband and Winston is annoyed that he wasn’t invited to her wedding. Guerrero points out that with his bitterness toward the institution of marriage, it’s no surprise. Our favorite cantankerous ex-cop discovers as they sift through data that the Russians have a classified file on Ilsa’s late husband, Marshall Pucci. He knows better than to mention that to Ilsa.
Forced out into the woods, Chance and Bob are hiding from Angie and her sniper rifle. “Oh my God, she is trying to kill me!” Bob blurts out, finally getting it, but Chance notices that she missed for whatever reason. Her second shot doesn’t, however, striking C4 she had in the back of their truck and blowing it up. Narrowly missing being turned into extra crispy Chance, our hero points out to Bob that maybe Angie does love him after all.
He gets Bob back to the warehouse, explaining that Angie isn’t trying to kill Bob, she’s trying to make it look like she’s killed him. “You think she had an exit strategy,” Winston states. “I think she still has one,” Chance replies. So why does she want to fake Bob’s death and her own? Winston explains to Bob that Angie’s a Russian spy named Natalya and the code he’s been working on is really meant to protect NSA spy satellites. The Russians want him killed so that he doesn’t finish the code and make the satellites unable to be hacked.
Guerrero tips Chance off to the existence of Marshall Pucci’s Russian file, which contains a picture of him with someone who is not his wife. Unfortunately, Ilsa walks in as they’re talking and Chance has no choice but to tell her about the file. Predictably, she flips out and recruits Ames to help her identify her husband’s mistress.
Chance gets Bob to set up a meeting with the Russians, under the pretense of trading the code he’s working on to save his life and reunite with his wife. Bob meets with Angie’s creepy Russian buddies and his even more creepily blank-faced wife. She just stares at him like a zombie and then pulls a gun, shooting him squarely in the chest and leaving him to die. Guerrero and Chance are pretty unconcerned, the former telling Bob that “she planned it so they won’t keep coming after you.” That doesn’t help him as he’s laying in the street bleeding.
Winston and Chance pursue Angie and her Russian employers, essentially playing a massive game of chicken between their two SUV’s, much to Winston’s annoyance. At the last minute, however, Angie takes her finger off the trigger, allowing Chance to shoot her. He finds her bleeding where her bosses have dumped her, and brings her back to be reunited with her similarly wounded husband, so she can profess her love to him while Winston considers hitting himself in the head with something heavy. Chance invokes that classic line from Love Story: “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” Even if you shoot the one you love, apparently. Bob later reveals he gave the Russians a computer virus and is set to reconnect with his wife. Guerrero sits down to help them create new identities and they head off on a boat. It’s happily ever after…ish.
“Kill Bob” is a great example of what I love about Human Target; it’s a great action series, but it’s also incredibly hilarious. I was laughing through most of the episode. Not only that, but I wasn’t sure which way the story was going to end up as the episode kept wavering back and forth over whether or not Angie was really going to kill her husband. Usually, series only throw a wrench in once, but this one kept me guessing up until the last few minutes – while I was still laughing, particularly at another perfectly deadpan performance from Chi McBride.
It’s not without it’s weaknesses, though. Lauren German’s not a bad actress, but there are times she looks almost cartoonish in her villainy, as if we may as well just give her horns and a pitchfork. It’s not subtle at all. There’s also the subplot about Ames and her Vegas wedding (and annulment), which I just don’t care about. It adds nothing to the show and, as Winston points out, it is completely random. Those two things are relatively minor, though, compared to how cool it is to see Chance shooting from a moving SUV, and things you can do with dinnerware. This is why Human Target is awesome: I wouldn’t ever think that one could do a non-campy fight scene over a dinner table, but this show can. It goes to places no other show would go, and does things you wouldn’t expect. Like Chance himself, this show is unpredictable but always good, and that is why no matter what happens, I’m always going to love it.
For tidbits and trivia from this week’s episode, check out The Human Target File.