Human Target Season 2 Episode 1 review: Ilsa Pucci

Brand new Human Target kicked off last week, and we finally see what happened after last season’s cliffhanger, when Winston had been kidnapped…

This review contains spoilers.

2.1 Ilsa Pucci

Hey, dude, welcome back. Good to have you home.”  Guerrero

The second season of Human Target kicked off last week after a delayed return of the comic-based show. Here’s a recap of what happened, what new members may be joining the team and what we thought of the season opener.

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The first scene opens with Winston talking to his captor, interspersed with clips of him walking into a bank. Unfortunately for the bad guys, Chance and Guerrero are already in the bank dressed as cops. Chance tries to get a teller to sound an alarm, but apparently that isn’t very easy.

Unfortunately for the good guys, the bad guys planned on this and Winston has a bomb strapped to him. This doesn’t go well because of Guerrero blowing the bad guys hand off with a shotgun and Chance saying goodbye before disarming the bomb. When he said goodbye, he was talking about forever.

In a slight change to the usual format where the show jumps back in time to show how Chance got into an impossible situation, this episode instead jumps forward a week with the revelation that Chance really is gone forever with Winston clearing out the office. A few men dressed in suits led by Peter (the awesome Tahmoh Penikett of BSG and Dollhouse) walk into the office with a view to hiring the team and are informed that Chance is gone.

Flash forward another six months and we see Chance up a mountain in Nepal where he’s been meditating for three days. This is interrupted by a delightful brunette, Ilsa Pucci, arriving in a helicopter.

Cue the new opening sequence, which, in my opinion, fits the show even less than the last one.

Turns out that the Ilsa’s husband was murdered and now they’re after her, so she wants Chance to help her. Reluctantly he agrees to help and starts by getting the team back together. Back in their office the client explains why she’s hiring them.

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After her husband was killed there was a threat to her life in Geneva, where one of her security staff was assassinated. Peter expresses his concern that two people aren’t enough to safely watch the client at the party she’s throwing. Of course, there are three of them and a hilarious scene reintroduces Guerrero, where he takes a guy out the trunk of his car, telling him that it’s his lucky day.

Then it’s off to the party, where Chance is talking to Ilsa when her creepy lawyer shows up, just before Guerrero walks through the front door, and metal detectors, with a sniper rifle. Winston then watches a rather suspicious woman walk up to security wearing a security uniform and start having a go at them about not doing their job properly. Cut to a sexy montage of said woman discarding wig and suit while getting dressed up for the party. Amazingly, the blonde wig and security uniform seem to have thrown Winston, while Chance gives Ilsa the good news that someone is there to kill her.

The lawyer then brings over someone he wants her to meet, a Lars Neilson, whose ‘date’ we had just seen coming through security a few minutes ago wearing a blonde wig. She introduces herself as Melinda Wilson and something she does triggers Chance’s spidey sense. He tells Winston to grab her.

A chase ensues when Melinda runs away, with Winston having a little trouble keeping up with her, until Guerrero steps in. She thinks he’s security and asks for help. He obliges by punching her in the face. They find a ring on her identical to the ring worn by Ilsa. This warns Chance something is about to happen and just in time he tells her to get down, just before shots are fired into the room.

Chance figures out the sniper is a diversion to flush Ilsa out of the room, but Peter grabs her and takes her out anyway, while Peter’s staff stop Chance. Well, for a few seconds anyway and she gets into the elevator. A few shots are fired and when it opens at the bottom, she is gone and Peter is lying dead in the elevator. Chance chases the kidnappers, but is only quick enough to see her being driven away.

Back at the office, Guerrero is sitting with ‘Melinda’ tied up on a chair. Just before Guerrero gets a chance to torture her, Winston comes in. This seems to annoy Guerrero. It turns out her name is Ames and he was able to match a print. Winston had arrested her back when he was a cop. Winston then leaves the room, but as he’s leaving, Ames finds out Guerrero’s name and her face drops. Apparently, he has a reputation.

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Chance and Winston then have a conversation about what happened and what the plan is. Ames tells Guerrero that she’s not an assassin, she’s a thief. She was only hired to switch the ring and get out of there. After a little coercion, he finds she’s telling the truth and after checking private jets they figure out Ilsa’s being taken to Geneva. Surprisingly, it’s the creepy lawyer who’s had herkidnapped and she’s being taken to a bank.

Meanwhile, Ames has escaped being tied up and wants to help (looks like she’s going to be recurring. Hopefully they do more with her than they did with Autumn Reeser) and after reminding her of how dangerous Guerrero is, they let her.  Off they go to Switzerland.

In the bank, the lawyer escorts Isla through security before taking her husband’s eye out of a case for the retina scanner. (Told you he was creepy.) Inside the vault the lawyer only takes a briefcase. He was after Mr Pucci’s deeds and titles that are worth billions. Of course, by now the team are outside the bank just in time to see Isla make a stand in the bank. She knows she’s going to die, so she wants to do it there.

Ames is already in the bank, distracting a security guard while stealing his security card. Chance makes a joke about how hard it is to get an alarm to go off in a bank before shooting his gun at the roo, which again seems to work quite well. 

Chance chases the lawyer and his security staff up the stairs. When confronted, the lawyer holds a gun at Ilsa’s head, forcing Chance to drop his gun. Thankfully, Guerrero is across the street with a sniper rifle and he causes havoc just before Chance grabs Isla and they jump out a window into the river, where Winston, of course, is waiting to pick them up.

As the episode is wrapping up Ilsa talks to Chance about why he does what he does. She then offers to bankroll the team as a silent benefactor. The offer of access to a private plane sways them.

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The final scene sees Chance and Winston walking back into their newly refurbished office. Looks like Chance is back for good.

Overall, I thought this was a solid season opener with good action, humour, and A slightly ludicrous plot. Basically, everything that makes Human Target so enjoyable. Mark Valley (Christopher Chance)and Chi McBride (Winston)are great as always and seem to walk back into their roles pretty easily and, as usual, Jackie Earle Haley (Guerrero) just makes every scene he’s in. Getting him was an absolute casting masterstroke by someone.

The only down side was the criminal underuse of Tahmoh Penikett, although I may be biased due to my man-crush on him. I’m not sure what adding Isla Pucci (Indira Varma) as a regular member of the cast is going to add, but I guess we’ll see as the season progresses and I, for one, won’t be too upset if Ames (Janet Montgomery) is in it a lot more.