If you thought last week’s Chase was a little rough, you’ll be further unsettled by this week’s, which sees Prison Break‘s Robert Knepper semi-reunite with former castmate Amaury Nolasco in the case of a former mobster out to rack up the body count in order to inflate his ego. Sheesh, couldn’t the guy just buy a giant lifted SUV like the rest of us?
The show opens with a bang as the team is in hot pursuit of another fugitive; Annie thinks she’ll just jump off a railing after him, but Jimmy hauls her back just in time. She’s brassed off, but a lot less so when she realizes the guy didn’t survive his leap of faith. Jimmy’s personal life is putting strain on him, and it’s starting to show; he feels compelled to warn Annie that even for their line of work, she’s pushing her luck. I’m too busy admiring how good-looking Cole Hauser is. Thankfully, Marco interrupts them and me by telling them about a potential spree shooter named Frank McClusky, who’s killed two people seemingly at random and was quite happy about it.
Of course, Frank’s girlfriend swears up and down that he’s a lovely guy (it’s always the nice guys, isn’t it?), but she does tell them that he had business elsewhere that she didn’t ask about. When she sees the pictures of the two deceased guys, she tells Annie that they and one of their friends robbed her at gunpoint when she and Frank went to a movie. It all makes sense now. Where’s the third guy?
Annie and Jimmy question the one survivor of the auto shop shooting, and that’s how we get started on what liking a Neil Diamond song (ew) tells the world about you; namely, Annie deduces that Frank has to have a Boston background. Lo and behold, the Boston task force has a couple hundred pages on him, namely that Frank is dead and the guy calling himself Frank is Jack Druggan, a former Boston mobster with a big ego. Creepily, Annie starts referring to Jack in the first person in the resulting meeting, and everyone goes along with it. It’s a weird retread of the “game” that used to be played between Jordan and her father on Crossing Jordan years earlier. Jimmy thinks right after that is a good time to have another talk with Annie, telling her, “You’re not your father. You don’t have to kill yourself to prove that.” He has really miserable timing, considering they’re in the middle of figuring out their case, but his point is nonetheless made.
Not long after their arguing, Jack has found the third participant in the robbery and shoots him three times. The Marshals are definitely behind the eight ball now, especially when Jack decides he’s going to start having fun with this by messing with them. He’s posed for a new picture and turned up to see his girlfriend – with a present and a proposal. She’s too weirded out by the fact that he kills people, though, and turns him down (which takes more stones than I think I’d have in that situation). He leaves, blowing up the surveillance car outside her salon on the way out. By the time our heroes get there, there’s nothing left of it or whomever was inside.
Thanks to some legwork from Luke, Jimmy and Annie think they know where Jack might be headed. They’re right on the money (literally) as he’s got the next guy that wronged him tied to a chair outside the poor man’s pool, and he’s soon shoved in to drown. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about this show, it’s that the bad guys seem to rack up quite the body count before the Marshals manage to catch them. That can’t look good at the end of the day.
Our team turns up too late to save the drowned man, but over his body they discuss where to go from there; Jack has all of the guy’s money and Annie deduces he’s been working in the guy’s halfway house just to recruit ex-cons for his next big score. The last seventeen years in hiding have been used to plan and plot. He gives one heck of a recruitment speech while the Marshals manage a diversion. They search the halfway house, but Jack and his two new cohorts, armed robbers Tucker and Lennie, are long gone and soon heavily armed. Jack adds two more to his body count in the process, for a total of five.
Annie questions Tucker’s wife about the potential whereabouts of her husband by pulling out the “my father was a criminal” card, and she tells Annie that the family was supposed to reunite at the Dallas airport in three hours. The team heads for Dallas, where Jack and his team are holding up an armored car outside a bank. Not long after, the Marshals find the body of one of the armored car team in an unmarked van nearby. Annie’s knowledge of Jack’s criminal history helps her deduce that it was never about the bank; Jack stole the car in order to take it to the depot and rob that instead.
Tucker loses his nerve and surrenders once the Marshals show up. Lennie’s trying to pull off the robbery, but he’s foiled by Luke and Daisy. Jack decides to come out firing, using the armored car as a shield. This could go on for quite some time, except for that he’s really bad at reloading, and Annie uses that delay to jump him, much to Jimmy’s complete horror. For the the third time, he warns her that she’s an idiot, but despite how close they allegedly are, his warning falls on deaf ears and a petulant pout.
Chase continues to show off some exceptionally disturbing peformances from the actors who play the show’s villains, and it’s great to see some sort of dynamic developing between Jimmy and Annie, but there are a few points that still ring hollow with me. It seems entirely too much of the show is made up of Annie deducing things based off information the others give her, as if she’s taking a pop quiz entirely by herself. The show’s risking turning itself into a one-woman band while everyone else stands by. (For example, what did Rose Rollins really do in this episode?) I get that Annie’s father is a criminal, but that doesn’t mean she should always come up with all the answers.
Furthermore, if Annie really does have that uncanny a knowledge of criminals, then the fact that the bad guys get away with a lot before they’re caught doesn’t make sense. Jack manages to kill six people before Annie and Co. bring him in, and I don’t see how that would be permissible at the end of the day, even if they get him in the end. Not to mention that, as Jimmy points out, Annie does some downright stupid things that are likely to get her killed. I’m sure, or at least I’d hope, that her boss would chew her out for behavior like that. I’m waiting until she’s severely injured and Jimmy gets his chance to say “I told you so.” Her attitude reflects the show’s tendency to revolve around her. That’d be clever irony if it wasn’t so grating.
Next week, House‘s Jennifer Morrison joins her real-life boyfriend Amaury Nolasco, playing a mother on the run with her child. Until then, I’ll be over here hoping that Annie comes to her senses and remembers that there’s more than just her on this team.