Writer: Jesse Stern
Director: Michael Grossman
Air Date: 11/05/03
This episode? Breaks all kinds of rules I've come to expect from action/adventure series. For one, it's handling the love triangle between Diane/Jake/Sarah in an adult, believable, and exquisite fashion--and instead of doing the usual TV thing of dragging it out as long as humanly possible, actually surprises by Jake hooking up with Sarah, and losing out on Sarah, just as he starts to realise that Dr. Hughes is something of a babe. Expecting a lame cheese-of-the-month-club excuse from Jake, it was surprising and fascinating that Jake--and the writers--had the guts to come completely clean to Sarah. Not only does it further the romantic triangle, but it gives a solid plot hook for Sarah's continued presence, and ups the stakes for the future if/when Sarah finally puts together the pieces of the puzzle and realises Jake was telling the truth. And rather than having Diane pine for Jake week after week, the episode showcases their friendship, while at the same time bringing the two of them closer together in an organic, natural, believable way.
Okay, the rule it doesn't break is a slightly contrived A-plot. Vasily was too obviously a red-herring, and he was written as a very one-note, bland mook. Also, it was never made clear why the mob hired both Vasily and Steve, unless Steve was meant to find out who the target was and lure Diane away so that Vasily could get to her... And? If someone's throat is slit? There's rather more blood than one can hide--and Jake would have smelled it immediately, not to mention it would have shown up on the security cameras. So that was a false moment of tension right there--and my only major beef with the A-plot.
In addition to the excellent Jake and Diane scenes, Kyle displays a great sense of humor and his and Jake's friendship continues to be a strong sub-plot. Lafortunata is an hysterical addition that adds a nice human factor to the spook biz. He's chock full of info and wants to share it--and he probably gives people info overload constantly. He's not completely obnoxious--he probably just grates a bit which over time makes people flee screaming. I love that Kyle has no patience for him, but that Jake has immediate geek-bonding. That's a lovely dynamic to play, that Kyle may have accepted Jake 100%, but that doesn't mean he's suddenly comfortable with every geek and nerd out there.
Quotes of the Week:
Jake: "Watched a little football... A lot. I think I may have watched all the football."
Jake (after Steve invites him to dinner along with him and Diane): "You know, I had dinner last night and the whole novelty's kinda worn thin."
Kyle: "Do you even really need to sleep, I mean, with those nanites and all?"
Jake: "No, Kyle. I just plug myself into an electrical outlet for a couple minutes, and I'm good to go for the day."
Kyle: "So, when you jog, do you hear that slomo running sound from THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN? You know... that 'do do do do do do do do'?"
Fran: "You've got a lot of guts, Jake. But if it weren't for the nanites, I'd be stuffing them back inside you right now."
Jake: "Well, I guess I'm fine then. It's not like I was stabbed, or anything. It's more like a slash, really. Like a big paper cut. Except with a knife."
Sarah: "Let me get this straight. You're a secret agent at the NSA and there are these tiny robots--"
Jake: "Computers, really. Microscopic computers. They're self-replicating, and they feed off the... uh... yeah. Ti-Tiny robots."
Diane (sexily to Jake): "Do you think you can take me?"