Taken 2 x 10: All About Eve is Also All About Bryan – Finally!

Tahen 2 x 10 - All About Eve

Photo by Panagiotis Pantazidis/NBC

With a title like “All About Eve” the audience knows that whomever Eve is, she’s got to be up to no good.  After all, everyone knows the story of Adam of Eve. They’re in the garden of paradise. She’s the perfect women.  Then, she’s tempted by the snake to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge – to become like God. That act brings death into the world, yadda, yadda, yadda. Eve didn’t really things through and didn’t mean to cause such total disaster  – but she did.

That metaphor has some bearing on Taken 2 x 10.  After all, the plot teaser was: “Bryan must stop an act of biological terrorism when invasive species are stolen from the Global Seed Bank in Norway.”   The story that unfolds actually does involve saving the world’s garden, and when we meet the Eve at a fancy fundraiser for breast cancer she certainly seems perfect.  

At the party, Eve Chambers (Rachel Nichols)  meets Maximillion (Sasha Roiz) – the head of a huge pharmaceutical company about to launch a new opioid drug on the market.  Aside from trying to get hospitals to use his new drug he’s there to convince Eve to leave her fundraising job at the non-profit Harvest Coalition and come work for him.  He even offers her three times her current salary!

 

Taken 2 x 10 - All About Eve

I just can’t see finding the same joy and fulfillment in pushing pills.  No offense.

Max still pushes it.  He invites her to come see the new “state-of-the-art facility in Tasmania” doesn’t answer because they’re interrupted by a photographer. Right after that, she gets a text saying that there’s been a robbery at the seed bank.  She promises Max a raincheck on the visit.

What’s The Big Deal About Seeds?

One again, Taken season two is bringing things you’ll never really thought about to light.  Usually, when we think of protecting endangered species we’re thinking about animals!  Clearly, though, plant biodiversity is just as important.

Initially, the biggest problem I had with Taken 2 x 10 was the opening where we saw this robbery. Like, seriously, the hallway to the world’s supply of seeds in case of a bio-disaster are guarded by one guy?  Eventually, it becomes possible to conclude Eve set it up that way….but who went along with that?

Taken 2 x 10 Is All About Bryan – Finally!

Anyway, as the video showed, the team got the job to find the culprits via the David Ramsey (Tahmoh Penikett).  He’s the contractor that tried to have  Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) killed in episode 2 x 2.  Having him be involved adds to the suspicion that there’s going to be something twisted about this case.  

Still, it’s nice that Bryan has an ax to grind again.  For a while, It’s felt like the character had been forgotten. Ramsey isn’t a favorite of Christina Hart (Jennifer Beals) either, but Bryan’s anger is more direct.  At least she takes Bryan’s threat of bodily harm to the man as “fair enough.”

Bryan’s Savior Syndrome

Taken 2 x 10 even has a fun sparring session between Bryan and Santana (Jessica Camacho). It also focuses on, “who is Bryan Mills?”  In the scene, Bryan gets the best Santana while trying to teach her a new move.  In their next go-round, she uses Bryan’s tendency to want to help others against him!

Taken 2 x 10

You know what your problem is? You have “savior’s syndrome.” You see someone in trouble and you cannot stop yourself.  You just have to help them – often to your own detriment.

Later, Santana’s point is proven.  Eve tells Bryan that the reason she joined the “Harvest Coalition” (a fictional group that has access to the global seed bank is to honor her sister Alice’s memory.

She was an environmental activist who tried to protect the planet from humanity’s short-sightedness.  Alice was my better half. After she passed away two years ago, I devoted myself to this work, in her name.

Naturally, Bryan relates to the story.  When Eve asks him about why he does what he does, he tells her his story about hunting down his sister killer.  However, he says that now he does what he does in order to honor his sister’s memory.

Taken 2 x 10 All About Eve Could Have Been “Go Ask Alice…”

Beyond the biblical idea of Eve, “All About Eve” is also the title of a famous movie starring Bette Davis and Ann Bancroft.  The Eve of the film starts out as a sweet innocent.  She’s soon revealed to be an ambitious schemer who does whatever it takes to get what she wants – and her name isn’t really Eve.  It’s “Gertrude Slescynsk.”  

In Taken 2 x 10, the name difference isn’t so drastic.  Eve Chambers turns out to be Evelyn Wright. She’s also the “economic hitman” known as Gemini.  What’s an economic hitman? Christina explains it to their hacker Kilroy (Adam Goldberg) – who’s the one that’s dug up all this information.

Economic hitmen are hired to infiltrate developing countries and manipulate their governments in order to steal their natural resources.

Even David Ramsey has heard of Gemini.  She beat him out on a job to stop marijuana from coming into the US from Mexico.  Eve did it without a single human causality by “introducing a biological agent” that targeted and “decimated” the crop.  Ramsey says it forced the cartels to “turn to other narcotics to smuggle into the US.” He notes to Christina that it was just as marijuana was becoming legal in many states.  

You and I know that’s not a coincidence.  Big pharma moves in, they play hardball.

Why Eve Does What She Does

Perhaps at some point, Bryan will be able to take some comfort in knowing Eve didn’t completely lie to him.  Her sister’s name is, in fact, Alice, and she did die two years ago.

The part that Eve’s lied about is saying that Alice was an environmental activist.  Evelyn’s better half was a beloved OB-GYN who got hooked on opiates after they were prescribed to her after some surgery.  Worse, she died an ugly public overdose death in her car that went viral.

This is how Evelyn became “Eve Chambers.”   Eve is out to avenge her sister. She plans to take out the entire poppy seed crop of AG pharmaceuticals – Max’s company.  They’re the one that had developed the drug that killed her sister. Worse, they’d just developed another opiate that’s supposed to be non-addictive.  Eve had discovered the new drug was actually more addictive!

Unfortunately for Bryan, all of this information had come a bit late.

https://youtu.be/_iC1Xawm8Q0

Eve got the drop on Bryan because his guard was down. He’d started to feel protective of Eve. It never occurred to him that she’d follow him, nevermind being the one to drop him.  Santana’s “savior’s syndrome” in effect? Even though that’s what the script says, I’m not so sure it’s a fit. As Santana noted, Eve fooled everyone. There was nothing to suggest Eve was using them.  Brian seemed more besotted than anything else. (That’s a whole other issue.)

Anyway,  thank goodness for the bullet-proof jacket Santana got Bryan! Without that option, Eve could have done something far worse to slow him down.  Also, it’s probably a good thing that he’d told Eve his story. It’s likely the only reason she chose to not kill him. As we’ve seen, she clearly has no problem with murder.

Going After Eve

Kilroy leads Bryan and Santana to Eve/Evelyn’s home in Norway.  There they find some of the packets of seeds. Eve had arranged to have several different types stolen, but there was only one kind she needed.  They also discover a shrine Eve has to her sister. That’s when Bryan realizes that Eve’s plan is not just to use the stolen seeds to destroy Maximillion company.  She’s going to kill Max. (Takes one to know one I guess.)

Given what they know about Max and the danger his drug is, Santana inclined to let Eve have at it.  Christina explains the danger of letting this invasive species loose. Because there’s no way to stop the seeds from infecting fields of poppies that don’t belong to AG pharmaceuticals Eve could wipe out the world’s supply of painkillers.

Santana is dispatched to return the seeds to the vault because Bryan has spotted one of Ramsey’s guys following them.  He wants to make sure they’re not trying to kill him again, so

Santana is told to make sure she’s seen.and followed.  Then he heads out after Eve.

The Takedown

By the time Bryan arrives fully on the scene Eve has already had Max’s grand tour of his ultra-modern facility.   It’s so fancy that the irrigation system gauges how much water the plants need and they doles it out automatically via a timed schedule.  While she smiles at his geeky enthusiasm, we see that she is boiling with hatred and loathing. At as so as she gets the chance she dumps the tiny seeds into the irrigation system water supply.

Christina and Killroy are back at base guiding Bryan and giving him the schematics of the place.  It’s a race against the clock to get the water turned off before the sprinklers go off and spread Eve’s seeds everywhere. That’s left up to Killroy while Bryan goes after Eve.

Kilroy ends up having to turn off the power to the entire place, but the seeds aren’t dispersed.  However, Eve does get the chance to clock Max over the head and inject him with an exact dose of the drug that killed her sister. Luckily for him, Bryan shows up in time to dose him with Narcan, but Eve gets away!.  

The Wrap Up

The Good News:

Eve’s research on Max and his company was enough to get his addictive drug stopped from going to market. – and send him to jail. There’s also a sweet end to a cute B story about Killroy and Christine.  

Taken 2 x 10

Through the course of the episode, Christine found out that he’s been using their computer to mine for bitcoins.  Kilroy learned that they both loved orchids and that she’s always wanted to see a super rare and expensive Kinabalu orchid in bloom. ( It takes years for one to do so.) blooms once every five.  He uses some of his bitcoins to get her one! Remember, Christine is the same woman who sent him to prison and has him out wearing an ankle bracelet.   Obviously, his resentment towards her has changed!

The Not So Good News

While Christine and Kilroy were having their orchid bonding, Bryan had snuck out to meet with Ramsey.  To his surprise, Ramsey tries to steal him from Christine’s team. Bryan’s not having it.

With Hart I get to help the people you forget and discard.

Ramsey calls Bryan a crusader and points out they usually become martyrs.  Bryan shrugs that off because he’d come to deliver a message. If he caught Ramsey’s guy following him again he’d kill him.  Furthermore, he’d then be after Ramsey. Foolishly, Ramsey seems to think he’d win that match.

The really creepy part has to do with Eve. We see that she’s just been offered a position at “Morgan Sachs.”  She’s must have taken on another identity. (Although she looks exactly the same.) What havoc will she be doing next? Is she working for Ramsey now? Bryan may still have a soft spot for her, which isn’t good. (I still wonder what the heck happened to his girlfriend from last season…)  Hopefully, he won’t get on a crusade to save her from herself!

Final Thoughts

This could have been a great episode, but instead, it’s just okay. As I mentioned earlier, the biggest problem with Taken 2 x 10 is the opening.  It seemed ridiculous to have just one guard at the doorway of the seed vault.  Until you discover what Eve’s role in the crime is, taking the idea of the seed vault’s importance is difficult.  This is a show that, for network television, has a high body count anyway.  Couldn’t they have had a pair of guards with a serious shootout?  The opening really undercut buying into the plot for about a third of it.

Still, having Bryan have something to get emotional about in a legitimate way (unlike what happened in episode 2 x3) was a good thing.  He now has a target for his anger in Ramsey.  Meanwhile, Eve looks like she could be Catwoman to Bryan’s Batman!

Hopefully, any new romantic entanglements will explain what happened to Bryan’s girlfriend from last season.  Did she die, was she furious at him for leaving her? That relationship was important.  How it ended has to have some effect on any new ones he starts.

Taken 2 x 10, All About Eve
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