Written by Dario Scardapane
Directed by Kari Skogland
Lewis digs a foxhole in his backyard, then camps out in it. Opening credits. Frank finds Turk. He wants to know where the high-tech arms shipment he got from the Greeks is. He didn’t actually get it. They’re selling it to someone else. Turk does, however, have a lovely pink rifle Frank can take. He very much does not want this dude killing him. Frank pistol-whips him to knock him out.
David’s watching his home video feeds, then Frank gets back, very annoyed that he got such a lame haul from David’s info. David’s info is the cops’ info, so whoever has these weapons now, it’s successfully on the DL.
But not from Homeland Security. Sam knows where the Greeks are going to hand off the weapons. Sam needs Madani’s signature on the tactical plan. In comes Rafi, head of operations, with whom Madani is very close. The investigation into Wolf’s death is being highjacked by the Inspector General, because he was dirty. Madani doesn’t like having her investigations taken away from her. Rafi wants her to work cases like this Greek arms deal and prove she’s good at this job.
David is amused by Frank’s unwillingness to pay for illegal weapons. He gives Frank crap about his rather messed up code. Then Frank gets a call from Sarah. David isn’t happy Frank has her number or vice versa. She’s calling because she needs “Pete” to sign something before the insurance will fix her car. David decides he’s not helping Frank get his weapons until Frank does this for Sarah.
Curtis finds Lewis in his foxhole. Lewis doesn’t want to go to group. He doesn’t understand why he can’t sleep well in his own bed when he could sleep fine in Iraq. Curtis warns him that this foxhole is not designed well for this climate, but Lewis isn’t listening anymore. He wants to sign up with ANVIL, not talk more. Frank gets to casa Lieberman. Zach’s being difficult and Leo is trying to fix the disposal. Frank helps her. It’s really sweet. Then there’s an unpleasant moment when Frank says something negative about David. He offers to fix the busted headlight.
Billy gives a speech to a bunch of former military guys about what their time and training was worth and what it can be worth in their futures. Lewis is among them, and he’s the only one wearing his army jacket. Billy is selling them a fight and brotherhood, not just money.
David hacks into Homeland Security, which means he’ll know where the weapons are. At Homeland, Sam is briefing a team on how they’re going to bust the arms deal. They’re going to move in as soon as money changes hands. Madani kinda takes over Sam’s presenation, which he doesn’t appreciate. She tells him about getting recruited by Rafi for her knowledge of Farsi and her ancestry, but she has only ever seen herself as American.
Lewis and the other potential recruits are doing an intense workout, and Lewis encourages another guy to push himself harder. Billy seems intrigued.
Frank tunes the guitar David has sitting around. David found the guns. Frank decides they need a different vehicle before they go for these weapons. Cut to a chop shop warehouse where a couple of guys are torturing a couple of other guys for information of some kind. One already died. In comes Frank, stopping them from shooting him by holding up a grenade and pulling the pin. He tosses it and shooting ensues. The guy tied up wets himself, but the grenade is a dud. Frank kills all the chop shop guys. David nearly throws up, for which Frank scolds him about leaving DNA evidence behind. David has a difficult time with the up-close reality of Frank’s methods, but they take the Mustang in the warehouse and head out.
Curtis warns Billy off hiring Lewis because of the backyard foxhole and the almost shooting his father. He thinks it’s only a matter of time before Lewis snaps, so that probably shouldn’t happen in an actual combat situation. He’ll take care of Lewis. Billy pulls Lewis away from the other applicants to tell him he can’t risk hiring him. Lewis figures out it was Curtis, and he’s furious with him even though Billy says he does background checks on everyone. Lewis leaves in a fury.
Homeland’s team is in position for the bust. At the basement lair place, David now wants out. However, it is a two-man job. Frank pisses him off asking if this is what Sarah meant about him never getting his hands dirty, so he grabs the gun and goes with him. Homeland is about ready for the grab. David is listening in, and he blares music over their comms. Frank drops down onto the gun truck and tosses both guys out of the cab. Sam calls Madani on her phone and she orders for them to go forward without comms.
The follow car gets to the now parked gun truck, but Frank is inside, and he wards them off with a flamethrower. He lets them choose between flamethrower and river. They jump in the river. Also, Madani’s camera feed from the follow car is a loop. She goes in her own car to find the missing truck. David is now driving it, while Frank drives the Mustang. Frank and Madani end up in a chase, then a game of chicken. David, who was supposed to leave, comes barreling in to T-bone Madani’s car. Frank pulls her out of the upside-down car, and she recognizes him. She asks if he killed Wolf. Yes he did. Her car blows up and Frank and David get away with the guns.
Okay, the first time I watched this, the chase sequence with Frank and Madani made no sense. It still feels a little unnecessary, but at least now I understand why it happened. This episode kind of feels like the plot is slowing down, or taking a detour. It’s an entire episode about subplots and getting more guns. But I’m okay with that. This plot is freaking complicated, so a detour helps me sort it out, and it’s good for the character development of several characters.
Things I Either Liked or Which Made My Heart Hurt for Frank Castle
Things I Didn’t Like
Frank might have agreed to work with David, but this is an extremely cantankerous partnership. It’s impossible to argue with Frank or get him to back down, and David definitely wasn’t prepared for the reality of being Frank’s missile guidance system. I love it. They’re so fun to watch, and by the end of the episode, David proves he’s capable of getting his hands dirty, while Frank softens the tiniest bit when it comes to David’s family. They’re promoting each other’s character development! Woo!
Madani is a real hotshot. She doesn’t like being told what to do and she believes she’s better at this job than anyone else. She was definitely right when she described herself as arrogant. Having multiple investigations yanked out from under her has left her desperately wanting to control something, so when her normal arms bust plan goes sideways, she takes matters into her own hands. (I’m glad that, so far, even when she’s being reckless and stupid, she at least makes sense as a character.)
Lewis is jealous of Curtis’s amputee status, because it means he has a visible sign of his time at war. People see a soldier when they look at him, but they just see some kid when they look at Lewis, like what he did meant nothing. Heeeeey. Lewis is the soldier in the hole, like what Curtis talked about the first time we saw him. The differences between him and the soldier in the story are that he dug his own hole, and he’s not calling for help.
Billy is quite the businessman. At this point, if I had to guess when he stopped being Frank’s friend and started being a corrupt villain who would work with Rawlins against his best friend, it was after the flashbacks we saw last time. He makes a good recruitment pitch, but these men and women in ANVIL are just tools to him.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.