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"Arms and the Girl"
Writer: Mark Wilding
Director: David Barrett
Air Date: 10/01/03

With "Arms and the Girl", Jake 2.0 begins to hit its stride. Trading on Jake's apparent inability to land beautiful women, the plot in fact manages to delight and surprise with not one, but two twists. Revealing to the audience at the end of act III that Theresa is in fact playing Jake, it comes as a genuine and welcome surprise to find that Jake was, in fact, playing her. Kudos to Mark Wilding's teleplay for maintaining the suspense all the way through. Also welcome is Jake's winning the day not due to his nanites, but by good old fashioned deduction. Jake's ability to "think outside the box" is put to good use, and shows that regardless of how he was granted active field agent status, he is coming into his own as an agent and is developing solid instincts.

Since the plots come with the guest stars, the quality of a guest star's performance can really make or break and episode and in this case, it definitely makes it. Emmanuelle Chriqui is charming and sexy as Theresa Carano, and her scenes with Gorham sparkle. Having a tight A-plot certainly gives this episode a major boost, and the B-plot—Jake's realisation that his status as an agent has one major drawback, namely, his inability to have any kind of meaningful relationship outside of work—is the real meat-and-potatoes of the episode. It also continues to develop the friendship between Jake and Diane, and Diane's crush on Jake is in full force, as she snarks on Theresa Carano. As in "Training Day", Diane's ability to cheer Jake out of a bad mood shows how dependent Jake is on Diane to maintain his equilibrium, and the two characters closeness feels comfortable and lived in, thanks to Gorham and Tracy's chemistry. "Arms and the Girl" also marks the first absensce of series regular Marina Black as Sarah, although she is mentioned in the episode, she does not appear. As there would be little room for her in the A or B story, she is wisely absent.

Also a major milestone is how Lou handles Jake's emerging maverick streak. She delivers the smackdown she has to, as his boss, and backs it up with praise when he comes through by playing by the book. It sets up a great dynamic between the two characters, and that tension adds levels to the series which keep the viewer engaged. Scott continues to deliver strong performances as Lou, and the episode also gives Jake his first outing as romantic male lead. Gorham proves he's more than up to the task, delivering a Jake that is endearingly geeky, yet also simultaneously attractive and in his own way, sexy as hell.

Quotes of the Week:

Kyle: "How'd you know it was this truck?"
Jake: "I interfaced with the driver's cell phone. My Serbo-Croatian's pretty minimal, but I thought he said something about his mother's cheese gun."
Kyle: "Aha. So in our report, we'll just say you heard the word "gun."

Jake (into cellphone): "Hey, Sarah, it's Jake. I guess we're still playing phone tag. But this time it's my fault. I was on a cruise to Yellow ... uh ... Panama. Yeah, yellow Panama. It's on the coast. It's a little touristy. But, um ... well, that's pretty much it. So ... you're it."

Jake: "You want me to just watch her?"
Kyle: "Yeah. Think you can handle it?"
Jake: "Following a girl around for hours? It'll be just like college."

Lou: "How do you run into the mark after the first hour?"
Kyle: "He didn't try to pick her up, did he?"
Carver: "Sounds like she picked him up."

Jake: "It just happened."
Diane: "Mm-hmm."
Jake: "What, what, what's that supposed to mean?"
Diane: "Nothing. You know, just seems a little aggressive. You're a total stranger, she gives you money, invites you up to her apartment on the spur of the moment..."
Jake: "Okay, we weren't strangers. We had the whole parking meter thing, we talked about art restoration..."
Diane: "Uh-huh."
Jake: "Diane, is it so impossible for you to believe that this girl might actually be interested in me?"

Jake (re: the painting): "Well, it's my reminder I can't trust people anymore. I can't even trust myself you know?"
Diane: "Whoa. Jake, you can trust people. Wha ... ?"
Jake: "Sure."
Diane: "No, look, wait. Wait, wait, wait. Wait, wait. Jake, just listen. Look, I know for the mission and all that, yeah, you can't trust anyone, but that's-that's just your job. I mean, you don't have to take that home. You just... you gotta find moments with people that you do trust. You know, and--and people with whom you can be honest, and then it keeps you balanced. You know what I ... mean?"
Jake: "Where are you from, anyway?"

© Tara O'Shea 2003

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