This review contains spoilers.
2.2 The Wife’s Tale
The second episode in the season begins with a flashback to when Chance was still an assassin and we watch as he kills an unnamed man in a house. Flash forward and Chance’s old contact, Donnelly (M.C. Gainey), lets him in on a contract for the unnamed man’s wife. Someone has already been hired to kill her, but Donnelly is letting Chance have a chance to protect her. There is obviously more to this than there seems.
After Chance pretends to be a blind date to get close to the target, Rebecca Brooks (Molly Parker), we are treated to some epic scenes involving the assassin who is hired to kill her. Needless to say, he would give Ezio Auditore a run for his money!
The team and Rebecca then try to figure out why her husband was killed and why she’s now a target. This leads to a shootout at the university where Rebecca works, and leads to the best use of a fire extinguisher I think I’ve ever seen. Guerrero and Ames manage to figure out that Rebecca’s husband was blackmailing a company, which is why he was killed.
Meanwhile, Chance and Rebecca chase down her husband’s work files and figure out why it was so dangerous. It seems he had a system to predict stock movements. This is when Rebecca figures out that Chance killed her husband and we’re treated to a rather tense scene. The assassin, though, has already tracked them down to the house and after a pretty cool fight Chance manages to subdue him. The twist here is that Donnelly already knew Rebecca’s husband’s work was worth a lot of money and wanted it for himself. When he shows up at the end to kill them both, it’s only the timely intervention of Winston that stops Chance being killed.
The first season of Human Target was quite light on back story for the most part and this season slowly seems to be addressing that. In this episode we get a direct look at what Chance used to do, something we haven’t seen much of before, and some of the consequences of it. Throughout the episode, we begin to see how much Chance’s past haunts him and the lengths he’ll go to to ease that guilt.
The episode also uses the (let’s face it) pretty poor narrative device of Guerrero having broken his glasses to team him up with Ames, as he needs a driver. This does lead to the funniest scenes of the episode, such as when Ames pretends to be Guerrero’s girlfriend to lift a phone from Donnelly and my favourite line: “Want to hear a joke about your brother? The punchline is he drives off a bridge.” Although her inclusion in the episode is a little tenuous, it does lay down the first bricks of an interesting relationship between Guerrero and Ames that could be incredibly amusing, as the characters play off of each other very well.
This episode also gives a hint as to why Ilsa Pucci has been brought in. When she finds out about Chance’s past and the things he used to do, she isn’t particularly happy with it, as she can relate directly to what Rebecca is going through, having suffered similar the previous week. Over the course of the episode, however, as she learns more about him, she begins to understandChance and why he does what he does.
Overall, this was another good episode which has continued the show’s slightly more serious edge this season. We see a bit more of Chance’s history and how it sent him down the road he’s on. It’ll be interesting to see where it leads if they keep this up. With Janet Montgomery (Ames) now added to the permanent cas,t we should also get to see a lot more of her and Guerrero sparring. Hopefully, they can keep up the quality the show has had so far and I look forward to next week’s episode, where Ames promises to take centre stage.