CBS Television Network
This week's episode in a nutshell: The gang of John Reese — who had just returned after going AWOL due to his grieving over the death of Joss Carter, Harold Finch, Samantha Shaw, and Lionel Fusco — had to help Kelli Lin (Elaine Tan), an art thief, steal the Gutenberg Bible from a very, very secure building to emancipate her from the ruthless Czechoslovakian criminals who were holding her daughter hostage. The Czechs were also killing people to frame Lin. They did all this while also trying to thwart an intrepid Interpol police officer (Henri Lubatti) on her trail There was much banter, technology, gymnastics and also a modicum of punches thrown.
Did The Good Guys Win?
Yes. They were able to get Lin off free and even got the Interpol Agent on her side.
- Finch wagging his eyebrows at a patron, pretending that he and Reese were a couple at an art event, which led them to meet Lin for the first time.
- Finch looking mildly perplexed at the instructions on how to set up a 3-D printer. They used it to make makeshift fingerprints to get past a scanner at the building.
- Shaw's moment of pause when Finch told her to lick her latex fingers to help thwart the scanner's temperature reading
A Couple of Somewhat Unrealistic Moments
- A set-up of what look like gymnast bars on the ceiling for Lin, who had been a World Champion gymnast for China prior to her life of crime, to use to get over an electric fence. It was still nowhere near as silly as the stuff in Gymkata.
- Fusco somehow being able to intercede twice and keep Reese and Shaw from being arrested at different intervals. Cool scenes, but still...
It was a tie between Reese suddenly appearing in on the webcam in the room that the little girl was being held hostage and beating up her captor before freeing her and the silent tribute to Carter at the end of the episode.
Reese Angst Level
Minimal. He did have a drink poured for Carter at the end of the episode, but other than that, he was the same hyper-focused Reese who often solved problems with his fists.
Did Reese Kick People's Asses?
In one scene, he was overpowered by guards, but that was by design to allow Shaw and Lin access into the building. He did destroy the captor of Lin's child. So, yeah.
Was It a Good Episode?
Yes, since it was a straight-forward one, which was welcome after the long arcs of the past few weeks. I'm sure there will be more twists and turns in the near future, but this was a good change of pace. Sarah Shahi is really doing well stepping in as the main female lead.
"AWOL and air travel and he doesn't miss a beat." Shaw talking about Reese
"Finch, where's my spare weapon?"
"I moved it to the history section. Update your arsenal, John." Shaw thought Reese could use slightly more modern weapons
"I know how to work it... along with the .380 in my handbag. So watch it." Shaw getting all the good lines in the episode
"Did I just hear the word 'Mommy'?" Shaw, realizing that things had just gone really sideways for the gang after she initially thwarted Lin from getting the Gutenberg Bible
"I already cut myself loose." Lin to a shocked Finch and Shaw, who thought they had tied her thoroughly; fortunately, she realized she needed their help
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.