The episode opened with Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) walking along a boardwalk. There was a bearded guy named Ivan at a public chess table. Caffrey sat across from him and handed him a folded-up newspaper - clearly something was inside. The man studied the contents and then handed his own newspaper. There was a fake passport. Caffrey used some kind of scanner on the barcode and it came up showing one of Caffrey's known aliases:Nick Halden. Caffrey raised an eyebrow and asked how the guy did that. Shrugging, the man said that he didn't make them, he only sold them. Seconds later, cops converged on the scene and handcuffed both Caffrey and Ivan. It was a sting. Caffrey was just bait though and he met with Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) right there. Burke was mad that Caffrey went off script when tried to get that information. Burke was still suspicious about the missing $2 million from a previous episode despite Caffrey's protestations.
In the FBI office, Caffrey sorted out passports from different busts and it turned out the passports are made by same guy. Burke spotted a similarity in the spot where the seller had accumulated a lot of parking tickets - he called it a Doris Day spot, since in the movies she always seemed to find a parking spot, which is a huge statistical anomaly.
The scene shifted to Mozzie (Willie Garson) at Caffrey's place. He was trying to figure Derek Hagen's (Mark Sheppard) code. Nothing happening. He concluded they needed help and then posited that Hagen might be using them. (You mean a mastermind who managed to entrap Caffrey wouldn't think that far ahead? Perish the thought!)
Burke and Caffrey went to Little Odessa to what they thought was an abandoned building. It turned out to house an ice rink, a nice one. There was a woman practicing her figure skating - she was quite good. She spotted them and skated over, telling them in a Russian accent that they shouldn't be there. Burke showed his badge, and she blanched, telling him to put it away or they would get killed. Burke did, just in time before a big Russian goon skated over with a hockey stick in his hand. He repeated the same message that they shouldn't be here. Burke said they just had a few questions, and Caffrey smoothly stepped in, pretending to be a sports agent and Burke a figure skating coach. Before the commercial, he had seemingly convinced them that was the case.
After the commercial, the big goon, whose name was Sergei, said that the woman, named Katya, was not interested in competing and that they should vamoose. She desperately whispered in his ear in Russian that she DID need a new coach (she had gleaned that Burke and Caffrey could help her). Caffrey and Burke pretended they have a lot of other girls to see and were aiming to leave. After thinking for a moment, Sergei changed his mind and gave Burke a number.
Now the FBI had to construct a cover story for Burke REALLY fast, since he would be the one in Katya's presence most often. It had to be able to hold up. They took pictures for a website, though they practically had to use a cattle prod to make Burke smile.
While they were doing that, Caffrey was downstairs at his desk and he looked through the glass doors to see Rebecca from the museum from another episode. She was mad at Caffrey for losing her job and was also suspicious since she remembered she last had her badge in his company. She wanted to talk to Burke, which would have been REALLY bad, since Caffrey had gotten his handler's mind off the $2 million and now he didn't need her to make him think about the museum. Deftly, he steered her away by saying that she wanted to talk to an Agent Gruetzner of art crimes, who apparently was off in the field. He sent her off by saying they'd call her when he got back.
Burke went home to get a crash course on figure skating from Elizabeth, his wife (Tiffani Thiessen), since she apparently watched it a lot. She may watch it, but she doesn't really skate and she made Burke promise to teach her after the case was over.
Of course, Mozzie was selected to play Gruetzner. He was wearing a suit, which the bohemian thief CLEARLY did not like. He wasn't wearing a wig, which meant the prop department must have gotten tired of making them. Caffrey pointed out the he couldn't be there, since he had to be in Little Odessa. Mozzie pointed out that he could have Burke take off the tracking device (since why would a sports agent have a tracking device on his ankle?). He could then slip off and meet with Mozzie and Rebecca. They devised a plan to use a chiropractor's office, where the doctor would be away for lunch for an hour, to fool the former museum curator - they were going to promise to show her some of the pages of the Mosconi Codex to get her off their back.
Before they went to the restaurant where they were going to meet with Sergei, Caffrey showed Burke a glass that would negate alcohol, since there would be a lot of vodka. Burke said he could handle himself and the two entered the restaurant. Just as they came in, a guy saw Caffrey and yelled at him by his real name that he had dumped his ballerina sister. Burke told him to get rid of him before he blew Caffrey's cover. Caffrey led the guy to the Boardwalk and Burke went to meet Sergei. It turned out the guy was a plant of Caffrey's - once outside, he called Mozzie.
Burke met with Sergei, making an excuse for Caffrey. The two of them sat down to drink and the guy presented an immediate problem: They did research and Burke's cover name didn't show up in any search results. Burke had an alarmed look before the commercial.
After the commercial, it turned out they mispelled Burke's cover's last name. He quickly corrected it on the tablet they held and voila, a website appeared with his bio information. Sergei noticeably relaxed and drinking commenced.
Caffrey had run off to takes Rebecca to "Agent Gruetner's" office. Mozzie met them out in the lobby and sounded sufficiently agent-like to fool her. He said they want to talk to her about something and she sounded ready to listen.
Burke and Sergei continued trading shots. I was starting to feel inebriated, too.
Mozzie and Neal talked to Rebecca about the pages from the book that had been in the museum, but under the cover that it was really the FBI's and how they had gotten it was strictly classified. She looked ready to help. Both Caffrey and Mozzie glanced at the clock. There was 5 minutes left before the chiropractor returned with his staff and possibly blew their cover. Caffrey then added that a dangerous person was looking into the pages too and that time was of the essence.
After another shot, Sergei said that Burke drank like a Russian and that he could start tomorrow. Burke left the restaraunt and Caffrey met him with a coffee to help start sobering up. Burke tossed him the keys so that he could drive the car back to work. Caffrey ran off to get the car ready and Burke met with Agent Clinton Jones, who was nearby as backup. Jones confirmed that Caffrey had indeed taken off, but couldn't follow him and leave Burke alone. Burke got suspicious.
Burke was home talking with Elizabeth, looking for a stack of files, his curiosity about Caffrey stoked. Elizabeth inadvertently sidetracked him, telling him she was a bit jealous of Burke taking long hours and working with this female skater. She also added that she was worried about her husband being back in the field, especially with Siegel's recent death. Burke assured her that it wouldn't happen to him and kissed her.
Burke and Caffrey were back at the rink, Burke to teach and Caffrey went to look around the rink for signs of the forgery business. Burke was skating and talking to his student while pretending to train her. She said that Sergei used to be a good man, but now he treated her like a possession. He wanted her to marry him and if she said no, he will kill her. Rock and hard place. Suddenly, Sergei and his friends came to observe. He started talking about technical skating terms like a Salchow Jump. Burke impressed him with his technical answer.
Caffrey snuck into an office and hit paydirt immediately: passport factory of several printers. Outside, Sergei was about to go back to office after telling one of his cronies to watch Burke. Sensing possible disaster, Burke told him he wanted to show some hockey pointers. The arrogant Sergei said no at first, but Burke brought up the Miracle on Ice, a sore point for any Russian. That got Sergei grabbing his hockey equipment
Caffrey found an important file on Sergei's computer and printing out papers. In the middle of it, a goon walked in and Caffrey grabbed a phone and pretended to be talking to someone about contracts for Katya. He bluffed the guy to leave him alone and after grabbing a gun laying on the desk and shoving it into his waistband, he gave two more minutes and deprted. Phew. Caffrey stuffed printouts in his jacket.
Burke was having a contest with Sergei, shooting pucks at a target in the net.He did quite well, well enough to make Sergei ask for best of three. Then trouble came in in the form of Ivan, the seller from the beginning of the episode; of course, there had to be another monkey wrench. He'd blow Caffrey's cover if he saw him. Right before the commercial, Caffrey and Burke exchanged a worried look.
After the break, Burke saved the day by distracting the goons with a slap shot against glass, allowing Caffrey to slip away. At the FBI, Burke was informed that the courts had dropped the ball on holding Ivan, not knowing there was an open case. It turned out to be moot. Ivan was killed - they fished his body out of the river. It looked grim - with Ivan dead, a whole new wave of passports could come in and they wouldn't know who was selling them. They had to figure out how to get them all in a room. Caffrey pointed out that they can't resist a party. How to get a party? Get Katya to agree to marry Sergei - an odious task that she agreed to do, telling Burke that she had been through far worse.
The party was at a restaurant called Tatiana. Sergei asked Burke where his wife was, and he replied that she had the flu (just a sly little callback to the previous episode). Nikolai, the guy who had seen Caffrey in the office, was leaving. Caffrey had to stall him. He stole off while Burke prepared to give a speech. Downstairs, Caffrey tried to get Nikolai back upstairs to have a drink. Burke capped off the speech by announcing they were all under arrest. Cops burst in. Still downstairs, Nikolai knew the jig was up and started fighting Caffrey, who was losing. Jones wound up saving him. Upstairs, Sergei held Katya at knifepoint with Burke aiming his gun and shouting for him to drop it. Katya wound up stabbing Sergei in the leg, getting her free from him. A handcuffed Sergei told Burke to remember his face, with the FBI man just dismissing him.
After tying up some loose ends at the FBI office, Burke and Caffrey saw Katya off. Burke then met Jones outside and asked about surveillance video. Jones replied that it showed a taxi dropping Caffrey in front of an office. Burke and Jones went into the building. Of course there was a commercial break.
Mozzie came to Caffrey's place and said that Rebecca called and that she doesn't want to press charges. Caffrey went to meet Rebecca and Mozzie warned Caffrey to leave his heart off his sleeve. A guy who likes to woo the women he's with having a problem like that? Never.
Meanwhile, Burke was at the Chiropractor's office. Nothing seemed out of place, then he glanced on the floor near a desk and lo and behold, he found an FBI pen. Sloppy, sloppy, Mozzie. Then Burke and Jones were at the Killed In Action wall at work with Agent Siegel's picture.
Caffrey met Rebecca at a library. and I guess as sort of an icebreaker, she admitted she had done time - she'd spent a night in jail at a Moroccan prison for accidentlly stealing a precious tile. Caffrey begain laying on the charm. Then he apparently made a mistake - he told her that they have only one chapter of the Mosconi Codex: Chapter 13. She immediately threw up her hands and said that she was tired of playing games. She laid down the hammer: Mosconi was really superstitious and had never wrote a Chapter 13. She proved her point and showed two of his other books. No Chapter 13. Oops. Caffrey had to be wondering what kind of game Hagen was playing.
The episode ended with Burke and Elizabeth skating in a dark rink with only a spotlight. They kissed and then skated off into the darkness holding hands. I have to admit that after seeing Person of Interest on Tuesday, I was expecting a freed Sergei to come bursting out and shoot at the two of them. The episode ended happily, though. Phew.
There's a two-week wait until the next episode, but from what it showed, Caffrey and Rebecca already start to get hot and heavy. So much for heart being off-sleeve, huh?
CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
This was the second part of a three-show arc, where "A Hero Will Fall." All the previews seemed to point towards Kevin Chapman's Lionel Fusco dying, but the showrunners have been known to completely mislead everyone.
The episode opened with footage of John Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) talking about the head of the corrupt police squad, HR, Alonzo Quinn (Clarke Peters) as they dragged him away from the crooked judge's place. They decided to go to the FBI. The scene then shifted to the judge's place, with the harried jurist sitting in a ransacked place. The corrupt cop Patrick Simmons showed a picture of Reese to the judge, saying he was coming up with a plan and that they will find Carter and Quinn. Simmons was also working on story about how the house came to be in that condition and then shot the judge. Real cold. He wanted Quinn and Carter alive, but his directive for Reese: Shoot to Kill.
Outside: The Machine called Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) and gave a bunch of numbers. That's never a good thing.
Reese, Quinn, Carter got on a subway to go to the FBI office. Reese said the cavalry was coming. Part of that cavalry was Fusco, who was putting his son to bed at the moment. He showed him the key that Carter had given him for the lockbox that had all the information on HR, and tucked him in bed. After closing his room door, he found Samantha Shaw in his kitchen. After she told him the situation, that they were going to have to get Reese and Carter, Fusco tried to set boundaries. Shaw replied with a bored voice. "I'm already sorry I have to listen to your whiny ass all the way to Queens." She's very empathetic. Not.
Reese was the number, since Simmons had put the bounty out. As if on cue, a group of thugs came into the subway, one of them brandishing a knife. Really. A knife against Reese? Hah. Commercial.
The show started again with the thugs bouncing out of the subway and the three fugitives exited. Quinn, the defiant one, pickpocketed Reese's phone and broke it, severing a very important connection to Finch. Once they realized the communication with Reese was lost, Shaw suggested that Finch talk to the Machine. Finch demurred. Shaw pointed out the Machine talked to Root. Finch was not convinced and decided to separate Shaw and Fusco. Every horror movie fan all said, "Uh-oh..."
Finch went to talk to Root in her Faraday Cage in their library. He opened the conversation in an odd way, saying that he used to see the machine in his dreams when he built it, but Root had changed the DNA and corrupted the image. She replied that while the Machine spoke to Finch, she had a more intimate relationship with it. Root then struck a nerve by asking if the 'big lug is in trouble', meaning Reese. She offered her help, as if Finch would just forget that she kidnapped Finch and dragged him around the country while killing people. That was just mischievous fun between friends, right? Finch said that bad things would happen and she said that he has probably burned through previous 'helper monkeys' anyways. The only thing missing was her wearing a mask and talking about Chianti and fava beans.
Simmons and a detective named Petersen (played by Lee Tergesen, one of my favorite character actors) were talking while running a road block to try to catch Carter, Quinn and Reese. Walking through the subway station Shaw saw an Asian gang looking at people with suits. She contacted Reese, who was in an ambulance, wearing an EMT uniform. They rode by Simmons and Petersen and since it was dark, they almost made it. Of course, Simmons had to look at the back of the ambulance and saw a bloody handprint on the side. It may have been a deliberate signal on Quinn's part, but it was likely bad luck. He screamed to stop the ambulance and Reese took over driving while gunfire rained. Fusco laid down backup gunfire and the ambulance drove away. Of course, Simmons probably tracked down the path of the shooting and captured Fusco. Uh-oh. Another phone smashed. The prop department probably paid more than usual for its prop phones in this episode.
After the commercial, Shaw was talking to Finch. When it came to locating Fusco, she didn't find it very feasible. "Remind me to hire an optimist," Finch deadpanned. The scene shifted to Fusco tied up in a fortune cookie factory. Simmons was feeling cheery, describing how Fusco would be screaming. Chapman really turned in a great performance here, cracking wise. The punches began. Simmons held up the lockbox key that Fusco had, and the formerly dirty cop replied that it was for his locker in the Y. Simmons then read a bunch of fortune cookies until he got the one he wanted: "Tell the people holding you everything or they will break your bones." I think he made that one up, though.
Quinn, Carter and Reese were on the street, looking for a place to hide. Reese and Carter saw some gangs looking for them and did a quick turn, breaking into what turned to be the morgue. Reese grabbed a phone and contacted Finch, Carter figured out through their conversation that Fusco was being held. Outside, a cop was sitting in a car talking about not finding Reese. Shaw slipped in next to him and after a brief conversation, put a grenade in his hand and made him hold onto it. She asked where Fusco was and the cop stalled. With his lip quivering, he said that if he crossed Simmons, he would hunt down his family. He picked the wrong person to complain to. Shaw was unmoved and threw the pin into the backseat and exited, leaving a very panicked cop.
We went back to the fortune cookie factory to find Fusco in bad shape. There were distinct sounds of bones cracking. He was still quite defiant, but he was up against a psychopath in Simmons. The monster mentioned his child and as casually as asking someone to get some milk, he called an accomplice to kill the kid. Desperate, Fusco gave an address for the bank, somewhere in New Jersey.
Things got worse for Reese and Carter very quickly. Cops outside found the gang who had caused them to make their hasty exit and one member showed the morgue's broken lock to cops. Momentarily unaware of how bad things were getting, Reese and Carter were talking in the morgue. They shared their fatalistic views on life and their near-death experiences. Carter talked about birth of her son, a C-section. Reese said he thought of suicide, but the events that happened in the show's first episode saved him and that she was the best thing for him. After a moment, they kissed, culminating about two seasons' worth of sexual tension. He then said tenderly that she changed him. A major buzzkill then occurred: They saw people swarming the morgue. Carter declared they were coming in for the kill. As Scooby-Doo says: Ruh-roh.
The post-commercial break saw Reese and Carter barricading themselves and then Finch leaving Root breakfast. She was puzzled, since it was 4 in the morning. Finch said that he has to go. and left after resisting another entreaty of hers to help, even though she said she understood why he didn't trust her. She did casually say that she was sorry for his loss, which he responded with a shocked look.
We were taken to Simmons outside a bank, but Fusco had lied. It was the wrong bank. Fusco said that he would take them to the place himself, but an angry Simmons retorted that he kept his promises and told Petersen to have both killed. Back in the morgue, a cornered Reese and Carter were looking for things and Reese told her to look in supply closet for some chemicals. Carter came back out -- we know where this was going, right? -- to find the room empty and an air vent open. She called out his name, knowing he was possibly sacrificing himself. They talked outside the door, with Carter laying a guilt trip on him, saying she'd hate him if anything happened to him. He wryly replied that she was stuck with him and that he'd see her on the other side. At Fusco's place. a corrupt cop had his clearly terrified son on the bed while he stood in the doorway. Petersen wanted to twist the knife a little bit and had Fusco talk to his son before he was to be killed. Again, Chapman was excellent here, He was trying to comfort his son in what would probably be his last moments, telling him to close his eyes. There was a gunshot. Then Shaw's voice was on the phone. She had saved Fusco's son. But that meant that she couldn't save Fusco. Fusco nodded grimly at the news, but he seemed happy that his son was alive. He shook it off and stared death in the face. Of course, there was another commercial.
Fusco was staring down the barrel of Petersen's gun. But it was odd, he was talking calmly to him. Petersen was gloating, saying he had broken Fusco's fingers. "That made it no big deal to break my thumb," Fusco replied. That meant he was able to slip out of the handcuffs, and he managed to grab Petersen and choke him from behind with the cuffs.
It turned out to be Finch in the morgue. He dropped one guard with a taser and then started pulling on the power supply door. It was still dark and Reese started shooting. After some gunfire and dropping all but one cop, he managed to get out, holding his arm while hoping the lone cop would follow him outside. Finch turned on the power and used the loudspeaker to announce that all was clear. Carter dragged Quinn outside.
We saw Reese walking outside, with the Machine predicting his survival chances, which were dropping precariously by the second. Fate intervened, though, with Reese getting arrested by apparently the last two honest cops in NYC, due to an anonymous tip from Finch. They figured he would be safer in custody. Carter managed to get Quinn to the FBI, which began a whole montage of arrests, including Quinn getting a mugshot. The Machine said HR was neutralized.
Fast forward a bit. Things seemed back to normal. Finch ran into Carter outside her precinct. She was a detective again. She indicated to Finch that she knew about the Machine, which had Finch with another shocked look. She said she would make sure Reese was released. Another scene showed Fusco with his son at hockey. Shaw got in the car's back seat, but Fusco didn't say anyting about boundaries. He said thank you, which Shaw accepted.
It was later that night. Carter found Reese in holding as a John Doe. She walked him out and Finch was getting ready to drive Reese back to the library. It was mentioned that Simmons was still loose. Just as Finch was getting out of the car to cross the street to get Reese, a pay phone rang, to indicate a number. Finch stood frozen, staring at the phone. While Finch stood there, Simmons came out of an alley and shot both Reese and Carter. Carter winged Simmons, but got a bullet mid-center for her troubles. While Reese, badly hurt himself, held Carter, she died. Finch could only still stand there in disbelief.
Previews for Part III seem to show a very, very unhinged Reese. It should be fascinating, though it will be difficult to say if people will have processed the events of this episode in time. A week is very short.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Recently, The Walt Disney Theatrical Company announced that there would be a stage production of the long-beloved classic film The Princess Bride. This could present a worrisome situation for fans of the movie. People like me who still stop what they are doing and watch it on TV when I come across it despite owning it on DVD. Can they capture the same thing on stage? I'm not sure.
This production may be very, very hard-pressed to capture the whole virtual eye-winking at the audience the film did. There was a zaniness that lay under every line spoken, even in the so-called serious parts. Every actor in the film was practically jabbing their elbow into the rib of the movie-viewer: "This is so terribly, terribly serious. Right? nudge nudge" Plus the movie was cast perfectly, with it being nearly impossible to view any other actor playing the role. Can we really imagine someone different than Cary Elwes playing Westly? Who will play the beautiful Buttercup? Mandy Patinkin was magnificent as Inigo Montoya. Billy Crystal better make an appearance, as well.
I'm afraid, however, that there will be a scene in the play, with whoever is playing Montoya suddenly standing in a spotlight and bellowing out in song, "My name is Inigooooooooo Montoyaaaa. You killled my father!! Prepare to diiiiiiie/ No, don't you... No, don't youuuu dare bother/ trying to cry... just prepare to diiiiiiiiiiie!" (If this lyric is actually used in the play, I'd like to be contacted so I can get some royalties).
The fact that Alan Horn, the Disney chairman who played such a big part in guiding the movie along, is taking this under his wing is an encouraging sign. Also, William Goldman, the genius who wrote the book and screenplay for the film will be taking an active role here. If there was anyone who could get what would translate well to the stage, it's these two. This allays some fears. Also, it's not the first time a classic film comedy has come out well being translated to the stage. I'm talking of Spamalot, which rose from the ashes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It will be a wait-and-see situation.
One thing I know for sure, though. They are going to have to get somebody literally huge like The Big Show from the WWE to play Fezzik, No weaklings will be allowed to try to fill the late Andre the Giant's shoes. Their pulling this off though, is not incontheivable...I mean...inconceivable.
Recently, Disney announced that Netflix would be showing four Marvel superhero television shows: Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage. The four shows will also combine for a mini-series that features another super-group like the Avengers: The Defenders. Should this be news that has every comic-book fan clapping their hands with glee or should they be venting on message boards while howling with loud protests?
The thing in Netflix's favor with these shows is the run it's had with its original entertainment. First it pretty much shocked everyone with how great the first season of House of Cards was (then again, Kevin Spacey could do a show where he sat and read the phone book aloud to the camera and it'd be riveting). Hemlock Grove was a bit of a miss, but it quickly got back on the strong side with the utterly fascinating Orange is The New Black. So, with that early track record for producing quality shows that can draw in viewers.
Another thing that is certain to draw in people is their penchant for putting up an entire season's worth of shows in one fell swoop. It's going to make for some huge binge-watching sessions: all the better to get word out about it. While people are enjoying Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the weekly wait is often aggravating. Giving those fans a chance to see it all at once is another very smart move on their part. Seeing "I BINGE-WATCHED LUKE CAGE LAST NIGHT" on comic book forums and hopefully thousands of Tweets about it are some of the best results that Marvel and Netflix can hope for.
A crucial thing is how they cast these shows. It's one thing to have someone like Clark Gregg play Agent Coulson...fans will be watching VERY closely to see who is chosen to play Luke Cage. The state of special effect technology today is such that these people and their superpowers could be conveyed more convincingly than in past decades. That will greatly reduce any 'cheese' factor. Personally, I can't wait to see who plays Cage.
This is a deal that can make everyone look good: Marvel, Netflix and those who invest in those companies. As long as these are done right, it can open the door for even more of these types of shows. Although in that case, there is the possibility of oversaturation.
Soon, though, to borrow from an old, old slogan (yes, I'm dating myself just a bit here), fans will be logging in to Netflix and saying, "Make Mine Marvel!"
Sony Pictures Television/ABC
It was time for another lesson in entrepreneurship on Shark Tank: five hungry sharks and four different pitches to be either torn to shreds and devoured or invested in.
The first in the tank was a "product to ensure you always know who is at the front door." The pitchman, Jamie Siminoff, stood behind the closed front doors and knocked. Lori Greiner, being the gracious one, asked who it was: some of the other sharks looked like they were wondering what the heck he was doing. He announced himself as "Jamie, ready to pitch" and Greiner told him to come in.
Siminoff, who wanted a $700,000 for 10% was selling the Doorbot - a video doorbell for smartphones. "Think of it as caller ID for your front door." He demonstrated with a cardboard cutout of Kevin O'Leary and mocked the structure of his deals. The other Sharks were laughing, but while O'Leary was smiling, his eyes looked non-plussed. It's never a good idea to make a billionaire non-plussed, Jamie.
They asked questions about distribution: he had it online currently, but in November, Staples would sell it.. He said it costs $199 and he pays $81.83 per unit to make it. This is a question that the Sharks love to ask. He had done a million in aggregate sales so far and that there were no current competitors that fit the mold of being a smartphone-only doorbell. They were concerned about burglars but Siminoff said that if it was ripped off the door, they would replace it free of charge.
Greiner, while being encouraging that there could be things to expand, was out first for not being convinced it would be distinguished enough to separate itself from other markets.
The next domino fell very quickly. Mark Cuban was out. He liked the quality of the product, but didn't see himself adding enough value to company. It was at this point that Siminoff seemed to start getting a hangdog expression, like "None of you are going to invest here, are you?"
As if sensing something, Daymond John was out next. He saw the possibility of ADT using it as part of their product, but he struggled with where it would exactly fit in the marketplace. He did offer a thin-smile of condolence with his refusal.
Robert Herjavec was really adamant that he didn't like the security aspect of it, since others alarms were hardwired. He said that this might be hackable. This of course led to a quick "I'm out."
This all came down to O'Leary, who also calls himself 'Mr. Wonderful." This is the same guy who Siminoff had mocked to start off the pitch. He apparently wasn't moved by the pitchman holding up the O'Leary cardboard cutout again. But he also was about possibly making money and offered him the $700,000 and 5% equity plus his favorite addition of royalties: 10% until the money was recouped and then 7% in perpetuity. Siminoff didn't like the royalty in perpetuity bit and threw back an offer of $700,000 plus a 10% interest rate and 3% equity, which O'Leary summarily dismissed. After Siminoff turned down his offer, O'Leary hit him with his phrase "You're dead to me." The other Sharks seemed supportive of the entrepreneur's decision.
Update: Usually they update about a particular successful pitch from early in the season, but this time Barbara Corcoran took some of her most successful entrepreneurs on weekend retreat and made it basically into an ad for a Shark Tank book. It was funny seeing her in casual gear though; usually she's very businesslike on the show.
Second in the tank was Julie Busha for Slawsa, which was a "new take on condiments" that was a cross between slaw and salsa. Her catch-phrase was "It's slaw-some", which made me mad that I didn't think of it. She asked for $150,000 for 15% . She had $212,000 in sales in 4,200 stores, with Kroger being a big retailer. They liked that she hustled and got these stores herself. The price of her product was 20% more than other condiments since it was a more labor-intensive job. In the middle of her pitch, she got teared-up over being debt-free, because that is what made her able to buy the existing company. Her and her husband had been so diligent in saving that she had more than enough money to not take a salary.
Cuban felt he couldn't contribute, despite her point that she wanted to sell this in his sports arenas. He didn't see that as enough to invest and was out.
The items were too sweet for Herjavec and he felt he couldn't invest in something he didn't like. He was out.
Daymond was not jazzed about the product either and he also bowed out.
Greiner didn't want to be in the slawsa business though she liked the product. As is generally her custom, she let her down easy when she said she was out.
So once again, it was down to O'Leary, who didn't like the valuation. Since it was a one-woman business, he felt there was too much risk. He said he could do a deal and then she'd walk out and possibly get hit by a bus. He was out.
The third pitch in the tank was Magic Moments. This was created by three guys from Detroit, Michigan, Trevor and Blake George and Sanford Nelson.
The product was a new way to for people to share favorite images. They could take a picture on their smartphone and then use an app on the phone to put those photos on any product and supposedly make money off it. The products ranged form mousepads to iPhone cases. They wanted $500,000 for a 15% stake. The problems cropped up immediately. They had no numbers though they couched it with terms like "Pre Revenue Sales." This made every Shark roll their eyes. There was the question of the legality of using people's photos for sale and they countered that they use CafePress as an exclusive vendor, which gave them access to the company's legal team.
Daymond grilled them about fundraising. They said they had raised $500,000, though it was friends and family only. Those are some really deep-pocketed friends and family, huh?
O'Leary was the first out: he couldn't get past the valuation of it and he felt he could emulate it for 1/3 of the price. When Mr. Wonderful, who usually is one of the last to bow out is the first one to say no, that's NOT a good sign.
Cuban thought it better to do web-based photos and not just have it go from the smartphone straight to the product, since a lot of people like to edit the photos in something like Photoshop. He was out.
Daymond didn't think they have proof of concept, especially in something like photography and the Internet, where there are so many apps out there. He was out.
Greiner was very uncomfortable about selling everyday pictures that other people took, so she was out.
Herjavec was not convinced that a real marketplace existed, so he was out.
There was no deal from a Shark again. Maybe the fourth one would be the one, though I had a bad feeling that wouldn't be the case since the preview showed Herjavec yelling "I'M OUT!!!!" at someone and that hadn't occurred yet.
Last in the tank was Surprise Ride, which was the brainchild of Donna and Rosy Khalife, who were sisters and refugees from Lebanon. Their product was geared toward family fun and education. They asked for $110,000 for 10%.
After their pitch, they handed out Surprise Ride packages, which were very well made. They had tailored them to each Shark's interest; Herjavec's had something about race car driving, a subject that he is a fanatic about.
The Sharks got down to brass tacks. The product cost $24.99 for a six-month subscription and they had shipped 800 to 220 subscribers over the last 4 months. O'Leary hit them with two questions that he always likes to ask start-ups: Customer Acquisition Costs and the Value in Customer Profit Margin. Rather than the deer-in-the-headlight expression that O'Leary must have anticipated, they answered his questions with no problem, earning a cheer from other Sharks. It helped that one of the sisters had a background on Wall Street.
What helped them was that it was a scalable business and they had raised $100,000 from an angel investor. They were anticipating $500,000 in sales for the year and felt they had a large potential customer base in mothers..
Daymond didn't like the valuation. He used the example of his own company, FUBU. When he first started, he sold 800 shirts. That meant he had sold 800 shirts. No crazy valuation. He was out.
O'Leary again saw a proof of concept issue. He was out.
Herjavec saw them as underestimating what hustle would be required to get this done. Despite his misgiving, he did make an offer: $110,000 for 25%. Here's where the two girls really screwed up. They practically didn't acknowledge the offer or say anything like, "Thank you, Robert." They just turned their gaze to the other Sharks and asked for other offers, Even I was cowering at home from Herjavec's death glare.
Greiner was telling them that she saw herself in them and telling them they could make anything happen. An exasperated Cuban was rolling his eyes. "She's telling you she's out in 9,000 words." He was right. Greiner was out, telling them to do it on their own. She said she was out. They were begging and Herjavec interjected that Greiner was out. The girls made Mistake No. 2, telling him basically to butt out.
Cuban then blasted them for their wanting to rely on other companies to drive their products. Entrepreneurs need to drive their own destiny.
Herjavec then really took it to them, changing his mind. The girls massively screwed up by not immediately taking his offer or even acknowledging it. Ironically, Cuban was munching on the popcorn that the girls had put in his package. They even played the immigrant card on Herjavec, but he was unmoved.
O'Leary summed it up: "You are now legends on Shark Tank. You had a deal and couldn't close it."
So... there were no deals this week. Judging by the previews with one entrepreneur pumping her fist, I think it gets better next time.
The episode opened with Peter Burke and his wife in a very steamy bathroom, trying to be amorous. As viewers know, Burke's a huge baseball fan, so he used some terminology like 'extra innings'. Just as the umpire was about to yell, "PLAY BALL!", he got a flushed face. Yup, Burke, who prided himself on never getting sick or missing a day of work...was sick. Likely the flu. Game postponed because of...um...dampness.
Cut to Neal Caffrey's apartment. Mozzie, who was still hanging around despite his windfall from the previous episode, was trying to convince Caffrey to keep beehives. Apparently they can be profitable, and Mozzie needed them so that he could keep doing things like getting wine, which he likes drinking. Caffrey reluctantly agreed to one hive and departed for work.
Caffrey ran into Burke and Elizabeth en route and showed a newspaper with a picture of a boy, Patrick Wolcott, whom Elizabeth knew many years ago. The boy had slipped from sight in Europe decades ago and apparently had returned from hiding to see his father, a rich mogul for whom Elizabeth worked. She went to the Wolcott residence with her museum's art portfolio and found their longtime butler, Stanton, leaving after being dismissed. Patrick had returned to be with his dad who is sick -- terminally ill, apparently -- news which Stanton had apparently leaked, thus leading to his firing. She sat down with Patrick while reminiscing and when thumbing through the portfolio, he pointed out a Picasso and he said that he loved it and wanted it. This set off alarm bells for Elizabeth, since he hated Picasso before when she had known him. After leaving the Wolcott home, she called Caffrey and asked for him to look into the possibility that this was an impostor. Caffrey went to Burke's office and backed Elizabeth and convinced a clearly sick Burke that he coould go in undercover at the Wolcott residence. He was not able to convince Burke, who was already looking very ragged now, to go home, though.
After the commercial break, Stanton was in FBI office and had scoffed at first at Caffrey's plan to be the new Wolcott butler. "I can buttle. It's a verb." Caffrey impressed him with his powers of observation and he nodded his assent to the plan. Caffrey went into his undercover mode and was able to pull off a very convincing butler act. Caffrey's first plan of action, where he tried to give Patrick a glass of water to drink on a tray, figuring that he would take a few swallows and put it back on the tray (boom, easy fingerprint test), but Patrick took it upstairs to his room, to Caffrey's consternation. In the interim, Elizabeth came back to put the art in the Wolcott residence, including the new Picasso piece.
The episode then cut to Burke in a meeting with other FBI staff in a conference, including Agent Clinton Jones. The meeting was going smoothly until Burke, in mid-sentence, realized that he was going to be very, very sick and had to go next door to his office. He grabbed a wastebasket and. tried to brave it while on conference call with the other agents in the other room and wound up barfing for his trouble. Loudly barfing, which elicited a really funny reaction from one of the other agents. This was great work by Tim DeKay. A clearly agitated Jones put down the hammer and sent him home, something that Burke did NOT appreciate.
With Patrick out of his room, Caffrey tried to dust the glass and found it it wiped. Everything in his room was sanitized and he meant everything. A sanitized room meant no evidence. Elizabeth was downstairs looking at the new painting and Patrick stood behind her and surprised her. He was then reciting a lot of memories to her, but it seemed almost like a rote description. Neal found the sister hiding in Patrick's closet and she seemed to be harboring her own suspicions of him. Patrick came upstairs and Caffrey hid the sister in part of the closet and then managed to snag a cufflink from Patrick which had his fingerprint on it.
Since Caffrey was clearly not a live-in butler in his undercover role, he went to the Burkes, where he found Peter still sprawled on the sofa and Elizabeth bringing tea. He demonstrated how he got the cufflink by snagging Elizabeth's watch off her wrist without her even knowing. He talked about P.D.A - Proximity, Diversion, Attention. Peter got a call that told him that the fingerprint is from someone who didn't commit a crime. Peter then told Caffrey to use his own technique: G.A.F: Get A Fork.
Caffrey went home and found Mozzie, not wearing a bad wig again, but in something even sillier: A beekeeper outfit. Apparently he had acquired not one but three bee hives (Has Mozzie ever actually listened to Caffrey?). This actually turned out to be good, because Mozzie gave Burke a flu remedy, which contained honey and flavonoids. Burke was to drink three vials at different intervals. Caffrey had to go to the Walcotts for work and left Mozzie stays to 'observe'...which flummoxed Burke. Having a balding, bespectacled man peering intently at you does that.
While on the job, Caffrey tries to take Patrick's fork but was foiled when he stuck it in more food, which wiped out any saliva on it. Not one to be discouraged, Caffrey had some luck - he was able to intercept a delivery, which included an envelope with legal papers. He rerouted it to Burke's, where Elizabeth, who had been influenced by Caffrey, opened it. It turns out the impostor was possibly after a $40 million trust fund. Elizabeth went straight to the Wolcotts to ask for a blood test to verify the son's identity. The father was aghast, but Patrick, while indignant, drew his own blood...which made everyone on the law enforcement side wonder what his possible game plan was.
After another interlude where various companies tried to sell us viewers stuff, Peter came back to work, declaring that Mozzie's treatment was working. They had a sting ready if the blood test came back as the son being a fake. It turned out the blood test was normal and the father then fired Elizabeth for doubting Patrick's identity. With Elizabeth and Caffrey waiting outside to process the situation, Patrick came out with the family dog, ostensibly to take him to vet for a cough. Sensing an opportunity, Caffrey insisted on driving them both to the vet and did recon on him. By using a bike mirror, he saw the vet tech take something from his arm - so much for the sick dog. When he went to Burke's office and told him about it, Burke sussed it out that it was a Penrose Drain, which could be used to beat DNA tests. Apparently this meant that the real Patrick was alive... but time was ticking, since if the fake one got the trust fund, bye-bye real Patrick.
They tried to figure out how to get leverage on the fake one and decided to have Burke play an angry Croatian... make that an angry Polish man. Burke admitted, "I can't do Croatian." Burke went to the Wolcott home and was able to pull off a sort-of organized crime attitude while talking to him. He accused him of something that had happened while Patrick was on the lam in Europe. The fake Patrick tried to pay him off, but Polish Burke was having none of it. He gave him a number to call and told him if no answer, he would be at the welcome-home party for Patrick, which got pushed up to the next day. Fake Patrick went for a bike ride; apparently he would go there every day to get the real Patrick to tell him the memories of Europe and other things that he could feed to the family. He was in a panic and the FBI started to tail him. They had to switch off on the tails every few block, and one of the tails slammed into a car that made an abrupt right turn. Caffrey, who was sitting in the driver's seat of Burke's stakeout car (they clearly had an advertising spot there: they lingered juuuuuust a little too long on the features of the car, like the pushbutton ignition and the dashboard display on the windshield) took off after him with Burke sitting next to him, white-knuckled. Caffrey reassured him, "I'm a butler. I'm trained for this."
They managed to track him, but then they lost him. Caffrey saw water running on the sidewalk of a building and remembered that Patrick had said he had dropped his travel journal in the Aegean Sea. Maybe he had dropped it in water like this instead? Following Caffrey's hunch, they went down to the basement to find fake Patrick interrogating real Patrick about this so-called Polish connection. They then arrested the fake Patrick, with Caffrey there and getting in the smirking last word: "I'm not a butler." The real Patrick reunited with his family and Stanton came back. The episode actually ended on a happy note. No Caffrey moaning about Curtis Hagen. Instead, it had Burke and Elizabeth in bed, trying to start off where they left off at the beginning of the show. Elizabeth started feeling sick, but decided to gut it out and it ended with a kiss.
Warner Bros. Entertainment
Last night's episode, which opened a three-episode arc, began with surveillance footage of a delivery truck pulling up to a car on fire. A person shot at the truck and two people were subsequently knocked out and the assailant then drove off with the truck. Oh, yes, the mystery person was wearing a gas mask.
The show cut to the library, with John Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Harold Finch (Michael Emerson). Apparently the Machine, which is the center of the whole show, has issued 38 numbers. (A brief primer - this machine, which uses all kinds of surveillance footage, issues numbers for people who are in potential danger. It's then up to Reese, Finch and anyone in their network to save these people.) These numbers turn out to be all cops. Hmm.
Detective Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman), one of the people Reese and Finch regularly call on, came up to the morning scene of the smoldering car. Reese surprised him by also coming up and presenting a fake badge. It turned out to be a Russian driving the truck; for those who have been following the show, you know that the Russian mob has been intertwined with the mysterious HR, a criminal element of corrupt cops. An element that Fusco used to be part of. Reese and Finch knew that a war is possibly brewing between HR and the Russians, since HR was supposed to give safe passage for the Russians to trade their illicit wares. Reese wondered, "Who lit the fuse?"
This show REALLY does well in going back and forth in time. The footage rewound to Nov. 10 (the show pretty much operates as if it is happening on the very day that it airs). Another Reese/Finch cohort, police officer Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson), was meeting with Alonzo Quinn - a prominent member of City Hall, the godfather of the late Cal Beecher (a love interest of Carter's) and the head of HR, which Carter now knew from events in last week's episode. She purposely sounded pessimistic when talking with Quinn, saying she was thinking of stepping down from the Beecher investigation. Clarke Peters continued doing a great job of playing Quinn as a sociopath. Quinn left but not before Carter used another technology often featured on the show: She paired her phone with his, so that she could hear whatever calls he makes or receives. She heard him talking with Patrick Simmons, a corrupt cop and pretty much Quinn's right-hand man, to set up a meetup with the Russian Mafia and their big man, Peter Yogorov. They met and of course, Carter was nearby with a directional mike. Yogorov complained that he was more like an errand boy and then said that he was done. Simmons fired a verbal warning shot by saying that they wouldn't provide safe passage for their delivery vehicles anymore, which Carter duly noted. Simmons then told a dirty cop that he wanted him to stake out Carter.
Carter went home and found Reese waiting there. There's always an undercurrent between those two. Reese is very protective, but Carter wasn't having any of it this time. She said that she wanted to be left alone - since the law says he's a criminal and HR knew they work together. Reese seemed to respect that and then as he was leaving, tossed over his shoulder for her to call if she got in over her head. After seeing that the former CIA operative was gone, she took the phone that Finch and Reese contact her on, removed the sim card and smashed it with her gun. Well...that was a statement. Not necessarily a SMART one, but a statement.
Two more flashbacks were woven through the episode dealing with Carter and her ex, Paul, at different junctures in time - eight years ago and five years ago. Eight years ago, Paul was a defiant man who refused to get help for his PTSD during military service. Carter had enough and made him leave. At first he was defiant and even went to her home and sat with their young son. He got angry when she told him he still needed help and even smashed a lamp, causing her to reach for her gun. He left, angry. Then the five-year flashback showed that he HAD gotten help and while he knew it was too late to repair their relationship, he wanted to be there for them.. and he left her his number to call if she needed help. This all played a part in the end .
Flash forward to present day, with Carter and Fusco sitting near a dock. Carter had been shutting Fusco out, but her former partner reached out after she had lost her current partner in a shooting. Fusco was trying to figure out how everything happened, but Carter, who had actually been there, diverted his attention. After Fusco left, she made a phone call...which turned out to be to Carl Elias (Enrico Colantoni), an ally only in the sense of keeping one's enemies closer than one's friends. Elias, who had been in hiding, paid a visit to Yogorov, which was awkward because Elias had killed Yogorov's dad. After convincing Yogorov that he hated HR more than him, he left an incriminating file for Yogorov to pore over.
After Carter got a confirmation phone call from Elias and told him to lay low, a recent cohort, Samantha Shaw (Sarah Shahi), met with her unbeknownst to Reese and Finch (because they would have had a collective aneurysm) and brought a satchel of guns. That led up to the scene with the burning car and delievery truck. It was Carter who did it. Later, Reese and Finch saw the footage and after sussing out that it was a female, thought it was Shaw. Turns out Shaw spilled the beans that it was Carter, leaving both Reese and Finch in a state of consternation
An angry Yogorov called Quinn, accusing him of the theft of the truck. Quinn tried to play cool, but the mobster threatened him. This was interspersed with Carter on a nearby rooftop overlooking Quinn's office.
While Carter was busy, Reese went to her house (he tends to ignore personal boundaries) and found it empty but located a bulletin board with her HR list. Reese called Finch and then got a call from Carter. She asked him to trust her, which he did, reluctantly. Afterwards, Simmons called Quinn and while they were conversing, Carter shot out his window with a sniper gun, making him think it was the Russians, setting the stage for an all-out war, a war that Finch said favors HR, since they have the law on their side.
There were scenes of Russian men being rounded up by HR and then Carter went to a cornered Yogorov and warned him. The only solution? Have her arrest him, a point she punctuated by holding up handcuffs.
This was a half hour's worth. The writers do NOT dilly-dally, which makes a very fast show. It felt like an hour's worth of excitement had been crammed in that shorter span.
The second half-hour began with Yogorov in holding under a fake name. Carter said that he shot at Quinn and that she knows Quinn is head of HR. She also said that Quinn HAS to go down and needs him to sign a statement as such. The carrot that she dangled was moving his brother, who HR has in Rikers as leverage, to a safer facility. Yogorov bit, but not before warning her to be careful which judge she chose to get a warrant on Quinn, since there's a lot of money moving around. Carter assured him that she had done her due diligence.
Carter surprised Fusco outside his place and after some back and forth on the subject of trust, she admitted that she's protecting him and gave him the key to a safe deposit box that has everything on HR. Hey, if that's not trust, I don't know what is. Fusco was so moved at this that he wanted to help and ran upstairs to get equipment, but of course Carter ditched him, since she needs to be the lone wolf.
HR had the mobsters at a shipyard and were all set for some gunplay. Reese and Shaw were at the scene, hiding. But just as the HR cops pulled their guns out, the FBI came screeching in. After a brief conversation, they found drugs in the trunk of a high-ranking HR cop's car. Fusco called Reese to say that Carter ditched him.
Carter called a judge for a warrant, but after he agreed to, he hung up and called Quinn. Oops. Right then I had a vision of the ancient Knight Templar in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: "You have chosen...poorly."
Before heading to the judge, Carter called Paul and had a heartfelt conversation with both him and her son, who was staying there. After hanging up, she drove to the judge, who escorted her to his living room, where Simmons, Quinn and several other dirty cops were waiting. With guns. Quinn had to have a little speech, and Carter got him to keep talking...for them to record his words on his own phone (Knight Templar: "Oops. You chose wisely! Wisely!") and in that moment of stunned silence, Reese burst in through the doors like the Terminator, guns ablaze. Carter managed to grab Quinn, who got winged by a shot, and managed to drag him outside while he defiantly kept saying that this was the worst mistake she ever made. A cop car came screeching into the driveway, but Reese shot out its engine and they made their getaway while the cop took cover behind his car door.
Of course, though, Simmons got a picture from the police car dashboard. and directed that the image of Reese, Carter and Quinn be distributed to EVERYONE. Including criminal elements. The episode ended there...which was good, since I almost permanently whitened my knuckles during the last 10 minutes.
The wheels are rolling and it's going to be VERY interesting to see what happens in the next two episodes.
Listen, I know many people have been having Breaking Bad withdrawal symptoms. I know I have: Sunday nights just don't feel right. That's why it was such a relief to hear that Bryan Cranston would be making an appearance on How I Met Your Mother. He'll be reprising the role of Hammond Druthers that he played before that whole blue meth cook role took off. Actually, given how ruthless Druthers was towards Josh Radnor's Ted Mosby and his co-workers, he probably would have partnered with Walter White. It's still going to be really interesting to see him return to comedy.
It's been fun seeing people cross back on to network television after an extended stay. Betsy Brandt, Cranston's fellow Breaking Bad castmate, is on The Michael J. Fox Show, Dean Norris was in a mini-series in between seasons and Aaron Staton from Mad Men recently appeared on Person of Interest. It feels like they are back among the regular folk after being on higher fare on cable. It's almost like an Easter Egg: "Hey, I've seen that actor on another show!"
With Cranston, people forget that he was so good as the befuddled father on Malcolm in the Middle before taking his iconic role. When Breaking Bad first came out, people were saying, "Malcom's dad is a chemistry teacher who is going to be selling meth?" I think Cranston is making this pit stop in comedy to shed the moral weight and weariness that playing White must have felt, especially with his transformation from a man who was trying to do what he could for his family to an almost inhuman monster that didn't care who or what got in his path.
Cranston is one of those actors who can slip into whatever role he wants to play seemingly quite effortlessly and he's definitely not going to find his comedic timing off when he's on How I Met Your Mother. It wouldn't be surprising if the show got really good numbers because of Breaking Bad fans also tuning in.
Of course, it would be great if the How I Met Your Mother writers somehow worked White's "I. Am. The. Danger." quote in there just to appease us Breaking Bad addicts. If that happened, the television would probably just explode from awesomeness, as it should. Welcome back to comedy, Mr. Cranston, however short the stay may be.
Two forces are on their way to colliding: Lady Gaga and Saturday Night Live. Gaga will be hosting the show for the first time on Nov. 16 and like two galaxies merging, it's going to create something brilliant and spectacular.
The writers for the show have to be looking to the sky and thanking whatever stroke of luck came their way. The wardrobe people will likely be up several nights in a row thinking of the most zany outfits that they can and then burning those ideas and coming up with even more bizarre things. Remember, this is a woman that felt comfortable walking around in a suit made of MEAT. No, this isn't some kind of demonic possession-speak here.. she had actual slabs of meat strategically placed around her. Thank goodness there were no big dogs around.
This has the chance to be one of the most memorable shows EVER. There's so much ground they could cover...and Gaga is NOT afraid to do anything controversial. (Just as long as she doesn't pull a Sinead O'Connor, but she doesn't seem like she's a risk to do something like that.) She's also going to be handing the music duties, so all eyeballs will be on her for most of the show. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't get her in "Weekend Update" too.
What's disappointing is the lack of veteran cast members on the show. It would have been really interesting to see Andy Samberg (who did a memorable Digital Short with Gaga and Justin Timberlake a few years back), Fred Armisen or Bill Hader interacting with Gaga. Heck, Maya Rudolph could have done something REALLY good with her too. I'm sure that some of the more tenured cast members will be able to lead the newer players through the wildness that is Lady Gaga, though.
The people who are in the studio audience for this one will probably leave with one of two expressions on their faces: "That was AWESOME." or "That woman is WEIRD." But they will leave having been entertained, which is what Gaga does. The one thing that is practically guaranteed here is that there will not be a black hole formed, where all interest goes to die, with no escape possible.
The episode opened like the previous one ended, with Agent Siegel's body on the ground. Surveillance video showed an image of a hooded person walking away. These were on a projection screen in the FBI meeting room 15 days later, during which Agent Peter Burke admitted that while this investigation needed as much manpower as it could, there were caseloads that still needed to be handled as well..
After the meeting Agent Clinton Jones asked Burke if Neal Caffrey was off house arrest, since Siegel was his handler and he's...well...dead. He also told him that he still needed a new handler, a rather broad hint that Burke should resume his previous duties. Burke merely smirked.
Cut to Mozzie staying at Caffrey's, still trying to figure out how to get back on his feet. He seemed to be doing everything possible to annoy Caffrey, including asking him if he could air dry his body out on the terrace after showering, earning him a rather terse "No." Caffrey was still feeling guilt about Siegel's death. and he was wondering if he was to blame. Maybe he had inadvertently pointed him at his nemesis, Craig Hagen, who still has Caffrey under his thumb.
As Caffrey and Burke talk at work, Burke says he's taking over cases. Of course, a guy walked in three seconds later with blood on him and said that he needed to confess to a crime, while holding a plastic baggie of stolen money. It never takes long to prove Caffrey wrong. In the interrogation room, the guy said he got the head wound from being hit by a cab...and that he can't remember how everything happened. It's too bad he didn't write tattoos on himself like Guy Pearce in Memento.
After that, Caffrey talked to the guy, named Nate Griffith, and tried to bond. It started off badly when Griffith called him "Mr. Caffrey," something he bristled at. Burke felt the money and realized that it was probably stolen once before. Burke and Caffrey visited the robbery site and the manager played dumb and didn't let them look at the vault that was supposedly broken into. So...Burke and Caffrey went outside and made fake ID badges for the company and then went back in. They badgered a new employee there into making paperwork for a new account and while the guy was away from his desk. Neal looked at the work computer to determine who the vault belonged to: Nightowl Holdings. It was a shell company but the person behind it, Shane Jacoby, had ties to someone who Giffith has been seeing: psychiatrist Mara Summers. Both of them attended a lecture of hers, with Caffrey deciding to go undercover as her patient.
After a bit of cat-and-mouse, she agreed to sessions with Caffrey. In private, Burke warned Caffrey to not allow her to get into his head. "I'm a wall," Caffrey scoffed. Yeah, we could see where this was going, couldn't we?
Caffrey and Summers squared off in her office, interspersed with a scene of Burke rattling Jacoby's cage, with Summers making some points that Caffrey was a sociopath who was incapable of changing his ways. After a bit, Caffrey started getting woozy. Apparently she drugged his drink, leaving Caffrey reeling. Soon, he blacked out and was prey for her to ask him any questions. Later he woke up after she gave him smelling salts and he left in a state of utter discombobulation. He returned to the FBI office and they found out how she had tumbled on to Caffrey and Burke so fast: Griffith had innocently slipped to Summers after the first interrogation that he was being asked questions by FBI agents.
Later, Caffrey and Mozzie (there were no bad wigs in this episode, though he did have a ridiculous shower cap in the beginning) were talking about what happened in the psychiatrist's office and were puzzling out the drug. Mozzie correctly identified it as some sort of date rape cocktail and then mentioned Recovered Memory Therapy, which would let them find out what exactly Caffrey had blurted out to Summers while under the influence. The situation would have to be recreated, which meant Neal would have to drink it again. Mozzie made the drug, with some tweaks. We all know how well things go when Mozzie tweaks things, right?
While under the influence, Caffrey pointed out Mozzie could understand who he is, still a criminal himself. A bit perturbed, Mozzie left the room to think and came back to find his zonked-out subject gone, to Burke's where be is ready to confess.
This scene was pretty amusing: Caffrey was sitting on Burke's sofa, barely coherent and hugging a pillow. After a few puzzling minutes, Mozzie just strolled in through their front door. After explaining what exactly was going on, they decided to keep asking questions about the session before the drug wore off. Caffrey remembered a phone number she called. It was Jacoby. Mere seconds later, he was asleep.
Jones and Burke, sensing that Griffith was in danger, went to his place and found out Jacoby was holding his kid hostage there. They played dumb and pretended to leave, bringing Jacoby down and quickly arresting him. Now they needed to tie up Summers with a nice, neat bow tie. But how? There was no real evidence against her except for the word of two felons, Griffith and Jacoby.
The solution: Neal met with Summers and planted the same drug in her drink, causing her to confess and they arrested her. She sneered that Neal would never be more than he is. "I'm free, which is more than I can say for you." was his quick reply. Lady...you were Caffrey-ed.
Afterwards Griffith reunited with his family and left. Caffrey commented that the case was closed. Burke wasn't so sure; the money that Summers confessed to was gone. Caffrey just shrugged and played dumb. Of course, he wound up giving the money to Mozzie to gets him out of his place, probably before he wound up killing him for being the world's most annoying roommate. Of course, Mozzie had to stir the pot, asking him if he was tired of serving so many masters. Caffrey ended the episode on an ominous note, saying that he wants to cut all strings to puppet masters. Which means again, he's thinking of letting Burke down again. Dun Dun DUNNNNNNNNN.