Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Director: Adam Davidson
Air Date: 05/13/04 (UK)
Christopher Gorham...Jake Foley
Keegan Connor Tracy...Diane Hughes
Philip Anthony-Rodriguez...Kyle Duarte
Judith Scott...Louise Beckett
Where to begin?
Okay, let's start with the explosive culmination of 13 episode's worth of fantastic chemistry between Keegan Connor Tracy's Diane and Christopher Gorham's Jake. What's particularly satisfying is thatas hot as it isthe audience is right there with Diane in desperately wanting something yet knowing that she cannot have what she wants: namely, Jake himself. And it's not fair to her, Jake, or the audience to make love with an amnesiac stranger.
Jake's amnesia allows both characters to do things they cannot or are will not do otherwiseit's like having the chance to meet someone for the first time, and start over with nothing to lose, and everything to gain. But at the same time, Diane comforting a clearly terrified Jake, and Jake in turn comforting a heartbroken Diane is the sort of scene fans have been dying to see since Jake's admission in "Middleman" that Diane is the only person who can ever know the real Jake Foley. As sexy as the foreplay may be (and it is sexy in the extreme), it's the emotions and drama that are the meat-and-potatoes of the episode.
It's also intensely gratifying to know that Jake, with no baggage such as an 8 year unrequited crush on Sarah, had circumstances been different, would have fallen for Diane and seen immediately how beautiful she really is. And it's also nice to see Diane's ability to tease Jake out of a dark mood surfacing even with this changed and distant Jake. No matter who he is, Diane always has a connection with him. Which is precisely why Jake's pain at her apparent betrayal is so acute, and her utter despair when she realises she's messed up, she's in over her head, and she loves him too much to let him go, regardless of what she says to him to the contrary are so effective. The scenes in Diane's hotel room are exquisitely played by both Gorham and Tracy.
Christopher Gorham has range. Christopher Gorham has the kind of range that makes his portrayal of Jake Foley an honest to God delight to watch, week in and week out, and no matter what the final fate of the series, no doubt Jake fans will follow him wherever he goes from now on. Gorham is simply heartbreaking as a Jake who is lost, afraid, and so desperately lonely. It's particularly effective, given how open and boyish Jake usually is, to see Gorham so believably play a beaten down Jake. It's as shocking to the viewer as it is Diane. And by the time Jake regains his memories, his familiar smile is as welcome a sight to us as it is Diane.
The whole Fight Club device may be pulpy, slightly silly, and perhaps gratuitous (not that many of the female Jake 2.0 fans are likely complaining about copious shirtless and buff Jake. Not by a long shot. The boy has been working out, and unlike Sarah Carter, we can see it and are impressed.), but it does serve an excellent purpose. Throughout the series, Jake has always relied more on his mind, his wits, and the nanites interface capabilities than brute force. In any given fight, he almost always takes a number of hits before he's able to return them in kind. In short, Jake is not comfortable with his physical abilities when it comes to using them against another human being. Running, jumping, smashing through doors and walls? Not a problem. But he's never beaten anyone the way he does in "get Foley." Losing himself in mindless violence is an excellent way of showing the audience exactly how lost Jake has become.
This episode also is enormously satisfying when it comes to Louparticularly Lou's relationship with Diane. Since "Last man Standing" it's been clear that Diane's loyalties are to Jake first and foremost, and the NSA second. As in "Last Man Standing" Diane is supported in her deception by co-worker Fran, because Diane feels that Lou doesn't always have Jake's safety and well-being as a top priority. And, in Lou's defence, it's unrealistic to expect her to. Lou has a difficult jobone which requires personal and emotional sacrifices, for the sake of the greater good. Someone has to think of National Security first, over the plight of a 26 year old rookie agent who accidentally became a walking experiment chock full of billions of dollars of experimental technology. Lou sees the big picture, and does her best to try and serve two mastersthe NSA, and her team. Diane, however, is not yet able to distance herself from her friendship (and other feelings) for Jake. Which makes for compelling drama.
Also, the episode builds on the previous episodes in a believable and organic way. There is enough, form Lou's point of view, reasonable doubt to support the idea of Jake going rogue. It would be inexcusably remiss of her, as the Deputy Director of the NSA, to ignore the facts as she knows them (which, albeit, are not the facts which the audience is privy to) and prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Just as Diane lies to Lou because she believes in her own personal interpretation of "the greater good", Lou takes a similar approach with Warner in "Blackout." It shows how alike these two women are, while at the same time, highlighting how dissimilar Lou and Warner are. Warner lacks Lou's core of decency and compassion, while Lou lack's Diane's blind devotion to the individual above the team.
Of the regulars, only Phillip Anthony Rodriguez stands out as getting short shrift this weekhowever, he got the fantastic bridge scene last week, so we can forgive the lack of significant Kyle. And as always, Kyle serves as an excellent buffer between Lou and the rest of the team, being able to show emotion and concern where Lou cannotnot because she doesn't feel, but because she needs to present an invincible front. Rapper Wes "Maestro" Williams is just the right amount of cartoon mixed with real menace as Caesar, and even though she plays much the same role here as in "Last Man Standing," Grace Park does get a chance to flesh Fran a bit more as an individual. The audience can't help but sympathise when Lou and Kyle confront Fran, placing her in an awkward position that could be seen as betraying her friend. However, the scene does showcase Lou's strengthsthat she knows best, even when it doesn't seem that way. And that by not trusting her, Diane may have placed Jake in worse jeopardy. The local Philly police force's raid on what they thought was Jake's boarding house is a graphic example of what could have happened, had Jake not bounced the trace. And it would have been partly Diane's fault, for withholding important information.
Again, the same plot hole that plagues last week's episode surfaces herenamely, that it's difficult to believe that since they have Dr. Mark Benton, the NSA cannot learn from him that Jake has no memory. But it's not a gaping plot hole that destroys fans enjoyment of the two-parter; more a niggling after-thought, which can be easily dismissed by creative fans who want to believe it doesn't exist, and will no doubt explain it away in the back of their minds while re-winding and rewatching the end of act II and opening scenes of act III over and over again until their tapes wear out.
(Please. Let's not deny the truth, shall we?)
The heist itself is really a B-plot in a lot of ways, existing as a device upon which to hang the complex character drama which has won Jake 2.0 so many fans in such a short time. It may be a throw-back to the 1980s action/adventure drama, but the characters resonate thanks to excellent writing, direction, and performances.