Writer: Mark Wilding
Director: David Barrett
Air Date: 10/01/03
Christopher Gorham...Jake Foley
Keegan Connor Tracy...Diane Hughes
Philip Anthony-Rodriguez...Kyle Duarte
Judith Scott...Louise Beckett
Emmanuelle Chriqui...Theresa Carano
Michael Anthony Rawlins...Alonzo Reed
Johnny Cantiveros...First Filipino
Erwin Rosales...Second Filipino
Lesley Ewen...Meter Maid
D. Neil Mark...Agent Barnes
Jose Vargas...Ruben Carano
Miranda Frigon...Tech Agent Susan Carver
In the Philippines, Alonzo Reed demonstrates micro semtex for a potential buyer, using an amount small enough to fit into a cigarette packet to blow up a bus. Half-way around the world in Govenlock, Jake and Kyle are wrapping up "Operation Canada Goose", capturing a semi full of confiscated weapons. An exhausted Jake returns home to D.C., where as he is opening the door to his apartment, his neighbour Karen brings him a stack of newspapers that had begun to collect on his doorstep, and asks him how his vacation went. Jake says cruise ships are great to get away from it all, and Karen is puzzled, as Jake had told her he was going to Yellowstone. Jake makes a lame excuse, and she notices a bruise and asks what happened. He says that when flight attendants say to use caution when opening overhead bins, they're not fooling around. Still suspicious, she mentions his bag is awfully big for a carry-on. Jake gives up, and goes inside, shutting the door in her face.
The next morning, Jake leaves voicemail for Sarah, fumbling over his cover as to why he was out of town. Kyle overhears his awkward lies, and points out that that's why most agents are single. Jake starts to head towards the lab, but Kyle pulls him along to Sat Ops. Lou fills them in their next mission. According to Philippines intelligence, arms dealer Ruben Carano is about to sell 100 kilos of micro semtex to a terrorist organisation known as Soledad. Carano is notoriously hard to spot, having only been made once in the last three years. Teams will be assigned to monitor his known family, including his daughter who has an art studio in the trendy neighbourhood of Adams Morgan. Jake is assigned to watch Theresajust watch. Not make contact. Jake notes in a self-deprecating manner that it will be just like college.
Sitting in his car, Jake watches Theresa in the rear-view mirror, using his enhanced sight to zoom in as she works on a painting. He reports back to Sat ops what she's doing, and Carver points out that a running commentary isn't necessary. he just needs to watch her. However, Jake has to jump out of the car as a meter maid approacheshis meter ran out, and it's a mechanical one, immune to his nanites. Just as he's about to get ticketed, Theresa Carano appears and plunks quarters into his meter. Jake panics, as he's not supposed to have any contact. She invites him up to her studio. Back at Sat Ops, Carver reports this little development to Kyle. As Lou, Kyle and Diane listen in, Theresa tells Jake about her job as an art restorer. Lou wonders how the hell Jake managed to run into the mark after only an hour on the job. Kyle is aghast, and asks Carver if Jake tried to pick Theresa up, but Carver tells him, nopeCarano picked him up, from the sound of it. Jake introduces himself to Theresa as "Alan Hergott." Diane notes that, according to the JMD, Jake is nervous. Lou decides it's time to pull Jake out of there. Theresa candidly tells Jake about how her father didn't want to have her like every other woman in their family, dependant on a man. Jake says his dad said the same thing. Meaning Jake's father. Over his earpiece, Jake is ordered to exit, and he becomes flustered and makes a lame excuse before fleeing. Theresa however is apparently charmed, and tells him he knows where to find her.
Back at Sat Ops, Jake tries to apologise for messing up the mission. Lou and Kyle are less than thrilled, and Jake notices Diane seems a bit hostile as well. He asks her what's up, and she just says that Theresa was acting awfully aggressive, inviting a total stranger up to her apartment. Jake tries to point out they'd had the whole meter incident, and why is it so impossible to believe that a woman like Theresa might actually be interested in him? Before Diane can answer, Lou and Kyle reappear and Lou tells Jake his screw-up is fortuitous. Lou wants Jake to spy on Theresa up close and personal. Kyle things it's a bad idea, but Diane insists that no, it's a good idea, as Theresa obviously likes Jake. Jake is uncomfortable, however, with the idea of using Theresa. Lou doesn't really care, and arranges for "Alan Hergott" to get a painting in need of restoration. As Jakenow toting an oil paintingwalks through the hallway towards the elevator, Diane catches up with him and asks if he's excited about his new mission, which also happens to be his first solo mission. He admits he's not, mainly because he's not excited by lying to a girl. Diane tries to tell him that it's not really lyingit's part of his job. The part he's not very good at, Jake tells her. She's a tiny big incredulous. Hasn't he ever lied to a girl before now? Jake tells her he never used to.
Jake arrives, painting in hand, at Theresa's apartment. She's happy to see him, and evaluates the painting. She takes Jake's hand, showing him the brush strokes. He's immediately nervous, and she asks him why he chose the painting. He tells her it's because it's open and simple, and the he likes the fact that he doesn't know where the path in the painting is leading. She smiles, and tells him to take off his shirt. He's going to help her restore the painting. He goes to the kitchen to get them some beer, and spots her caller id. Using the nanites, he discovers that it's empty. he flips through her mail, unaware that in the street below, he's being watched by Reed who is on a cellphone, saying "Don't worry, Carano, I'll find out who he really is and what he's really up to."
Theresa talks Jake through the restoration process, while Carver, Diane, and Kyle listen in. Diane makes a snarky comment about Theresa, and Kyle prompts Jake to try and find out more about Theresa's father. Jake steers the conversation in that direction, and is surprised when Theresa tells him outright that her dad's an arms dealer. Kyle perks right up, and calls Lou over. Jake is still shocked at Theresa's honesty, and she tells him it's not something she tells most people, but that he's not most people. As dad's go, she's very close to hers. He never missed a birthday or a school play when she was growing up, and they talk often. He even sent her a pair of shoes a few weeks back from Caracas. Kyle and Lou trade looks. Now they have a location, and can have their agents start circulating Carano's photo. Jake asks Theresa when they'll start painting, and she says that the painting needs to dry overnight. He'll just have to come back tomorrow.
The next day in Sat Ops, Kyle goes over what they've learned. Carano was spotted in Caracas three days prior, and left for Costa Rica. Jake assumes his part of the mission is now over, but Lou wants him to keep his date with Theresa and try and find out how Carano is communicating with Theresa. That night, Jake arrives to find Theresa wearing a dress. She admits that the painting still needs to dry another night, but she's made them dinner. As they dance, Jake uses the nanites to access Theresa's palm pilot, which is sitting on a table in plain sight. He finds a number labelled "Papa." Theresa notes he's scrunching up his face, and then kisses him. Later in Sat Ops, Jake traces the number. According to the call log, Carano called her twice in the last nine hours from a hotel in San Salvador. Lou puts agents on the hotel. Eighteen hours later, Carano is spotted by a team of NSA agents. Soledad is nowhere to be found, but Carano is killed in the resulting shoot out. Jake is guilt-stricken. In the lab, he tells Diane that it's all his fault, and she reminds him Carano was dangerous and Jake was just doing his job. That's little comfort to Jake, who gets a call from Theresa on his cellphone. Meeting her in her apartment, she is weeping, telling him her father was shot eleven times. Jake consoles her as best he can.
Lou confronts Jake about going to see Theresa without authorisation, and Jake admits that he did. Theresa is burying her father in D.C., next to her late mother on Friday. Lou tells him she's sorry a girl's father had to die, but not that a dangerous arms dealer is gone and Jake shouldn't be sorry either. Lou tells Jake to file his report. Carver gives Jake the entire NSA file on Caranoeverything they've had on him for the last six years. As he's paging through it, writing up his report, he remembers things Theresa had told him about her father. He pauses writing on "Eleven times." Jake presents his report to Lou, who pages through it, asking if it is everything. He responds that he'd like permission to see Theresa again. She grants permission, and Jake goes to Theresa's apartment. She gives him the painting, now restored, and tells him it gave her something to keep her mind off what happened. Jake comes clean to Theresa, telling her he's not Alan Hergott, but an NSA agent and it's his fault her father was killed. Furious, she throws him out. Jake leaves, and Reed steps out of Theresa's bedroom, impressed at her playacting. She says it helps that men are the same everywhere, always underestimating women. With the NSA now out of the picture, she's ready to deliver the semtex to Soledad.
At a small landing field the next day, Jake approaches Theresa, who is still playing the grieving daughter as a coffin-sized box is off-loaded from a small plane. Jake tells her he wanted to be there for her, and he'll leave if she wants him to. She tells him no. he tells her he's sorry about what happened to her father... who died in Belize two years earlier. A shocked Theresa listens as Jake tells her how he discovered her father's plane had crashed, and she had covered up his death and taken over running the business in his stead, hiring people to pretend to be Ruben Carano when the occasion called for it. The day they met, Jake had thought he was watching her but in fact, she'd been watching him and playing him from the moment she'd first put that quarter in his meter. However, she tipped her hand when she'd told him her father had been shot eleven timesa fact the NSA hand't known yet. Her people had told her before the report had reached Washington. Which made Jake wonder how she planned to get the semtex into the country, and realised that smuggling it in with her dead fake dad's body was her plan. NSA agents dressed as airport grounds crew open fire, and Theresa almost gets away in the resulting fire-fight, until Jake catches up with her car and decks her.
That night, Jake, painting in hand, is heading to his car when Diane calls out to him. Catching up to him, she asks what he's doing with the painting. Jake tells her he's taking it home as his reminder that he can't trust anyone, not even himself. Diane is taken aback at the bitterness in his tone, and tells him he can't let the job get to him. That the way to keep balanced is to spend time with people whom he can trust. Cheered somewhat, Jake asks her where she's from, and they talk about where they grew up as she walks him to his car. Later that night, the painting now hanging in his apartment, Jake composes a letter to Sarah, trying to tell her how he really feels about her.
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-plotJake's realisation that his status as an agent has one major drawback, namely, his inability to have any kind of meaningful relationship outside of workis 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."
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..."
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 ... ?"
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