Tuesday, October 23, 2012

666 Park Avenue, Season 1, Episode 4: Hero Complex

Things change drastically for Henry in this episode. First of all, he gets an email from the councillor (now splattered or fried) telling him that he isn’t going to get an interview. Jane is there to comfort and Gavin is there to commiserate, pushing him again to consider running for office rather than working for those who do. Still, Henry thinks he needs to concentrate on his own job first. Which Gavin accepts – but then warns him that Henry’s office is currently investigating Gavin for inside information over the Alpern deal – but makes it clear he doesn’t blame Henry nor does he expect Henry to use any influence on his behalf.

At work, Regina Wilson, the ADA, questions Henry about his relationship with Gavin. Gavin bought the Alpern development when it had a toxic waste dump next to it then sold it on for profit to Chinese investors almost overnight and before anyone had any idea about the dump. She throws out several pictures of them together and points out they’re very close socially, same parties etc etc. Henry protests and asks if he’s being followed – she replies that Gavin is, Henry just happens to be there all the time. Henry claims that nothing illegal or unethical is happening but they point out it looks bad and he will lose everything – his career, his job, his reputation, everything. Unless he co-operates and spies on Gavin for them. He refuses but they urge him to sleep on it.

Before the big party at the mayor’s house Olivia wants Henry and Jane to travel with them but Henry begs off. He tells Gavin he needs to distance himself socially from them while the investigation is ongoing. Gavin says they’re just trying to rattle him to get them to spy and to get at Gavin – and points out that Henry’s boss is on the take from ever developer in the city. Henry is shocked, he’d never heard this, Gavin didn’t want to put him in an awkward position.

But Henry is suspicious – the Dorans are so extremely nice to him and Jane, lavish gifts, high level access, invites to parties – he begins to worry (at last) that Gavin expects some quid pro quo. Gavin dismisses it, he sees talent, and he dismisses the insider knowledge – he never buys property without checking it out and that includes soil samples. Gavin offers him a drunk – but Henry turns and leaves, despite Gavin’s warnings. Olivia, who has been secretly listening, suggests it’s time to cut Henry loose – and Doran ominously suggests he will do what he has to do, when he has to do it.

Later, Henry sneaks up to Gavin’s penthouse and snoops round his computer, copying files on the Alpern development onto his thumb drive. In his haste to leave, he forgets the cap of his thumb drive.

Jane has her own little project – her suitcase she’s dragged up from the basement. The tumblers on the combination lock keep moving on their own, working their way towards open even while Jane can’t manage to force the lock. The Spooky Ghost girl repeatedly appears to express her fear of the suitcase, one time appearing and disappearing in front of Jane, freaking her out enough that she shuts the case in her cupboard and stops trying to open it (she could have put it back where she found it).

Olivia has an issue for her though – the thief in the Drake is getting out of hand and has now stolen her diamond brooch (and someone’s suitcase from the hidden room, right Jane?). Something needs to be done – a detective or something.

Speaking of the thief, Nona cleans up her flat and sets out cookies to welcome, Ingrid, her therapist. She’s disappointed that Nona’s grandmother is again missing and isn’t entirely convinced by Nona’s insistence she’s fine, peaceful and no longer needs therapy sessions – she wants a session when Nona’s grandmother is there. As Nona leads her out, she takes the opportunity to steal her sunglasses.

She goes down in the lift with Jane who compliments her on her new sunglasses. When the lift opens, she hurriedly hides the sunglasses when she sees Ingrid still in the lobby. Ingrid asks Nona if she’d seen her glasses and she denies it. Jane is introduced and asks about them because of the thefts; Ingrid describes them and Jane instantly puts 2 and 2 together.

She goes to see Nona in her flat, her grandmother is away, again (though the excuse changes) and asks if Nona has seen any of the missing items. When Nona denies it, she takes off the gloves and demands she give them back – and if she’s going to steal don’t be fool enough to wear the evidence. After threatening her with Olivia, Nona swears she doesn’t have the Jane’s necklace but she may have some of the other things – a bag of them all appears on Tony’s reception desk to be handed out to their owners.

Outside Jane ambushes Ingrid the therapist to return the sunglasses to ask some extremely unethical questions about Nona. Ingrid protests her ethics then breaks them anyway, telling Jane about Nona’s dead parents and absent grandmother. She says Nona needs someone she can trust – with a strong implication it should be Jane, complete stranger stalker lady! This therapist isn’t the best in the world, is she?

Now for some drama! Last week we left Annie in the hands of her fictional created Russian mafia enforcer, Kandinsky. He has her tied to a chair and wants to slice out her eyes unless she tells him who gave her the information. She protests it’s fiction which doesn’t impress the fictional dude. In panic she decides to throw her boss, Ned, under the bus (or in the wood chipper in the case) and tells him he’s her source. While he goes to speak to Ned, she manages to struggle out of her bonds when she knocks the chair over.

She goes to the police. Hah, no, that would be too sensible! She goes to her bosses (what, hoping to run into Kandinski?) and finds her boss’s mangled body. Her phone rings and Kandinski informs her she’s next. In terror she goes to the poli- oh who am I kidding, no-one expects common sense here. She goes to Gavin, hoping her landlord can solve her problem. He agrees to make sure she never sees Kandinsky again if she will write one more column – he’ll even give her the headline – about Henry’s boss being corrupt. No innocent lives will be lost and she’ll be saved.

Of course if she truly believes her writing comes true, she could have written a column about Kandinsky being found dead from a sudden heart attack, or losing both his arms in a terrible car accident. Or just print a retraction. I’m just saying.

She writes the column and goes to work, relaxing that Kandinski isn’t going to cut out her eyes and her co-worker congratulates her on her latest piece – corrupt city official with ties to the mob! Annie talks about him going to jail but her co-worker doesn’t think it likely. No way the mob will let him be arrested and provide evidence against them, she thinks they’ll send a hit man – probably her friend Kandinski.

Annie panics and hurries to intervene (by printing something, anything? No! Of course not!) by going to the mayor’s fancy party to warn everyone.

This is the party the very distracted, tense Henry and Jane are invited to and, dressed to the nines, they head out. They run into Nona in the lift and she trips and touches Henry – getting a vision of a man with a compass tattoo shooting and killing him. Torn by Jane’s kindness in not exposing her as the thief, she warns Jane to keep a man with a compass tattoo away from Henry.

While they are all gone, Tony the concierge hears bell chimes from Henry and Jane’s apartment. Almost in a trance, he lets himself in, takes out the suitcase and opens it – it’s unlocked. Black smoke billows out forming a face – the little girl ghost whimpers under the bed. Tony blinks and wakes up, confused, outside their door and continues with his business.

Interlude aside, it’s time for awkward scenes at the mayor’s party! Where Henry tells Gavin he has to be seen to be above reproach, Gavin puts the lie to this by giving him back the thumb drive cap – showing how above reproach Henry is. Olivia then chews out Henry and Jane for turning on Gavin, introducing Jane to the whole mess.

She gets him alone and he explains the situation and how his career is on the line. She says it doesn’t matter whether it’s the boss or where’s he’s from, he can’t let any of them intimidate him – not his boss, not Henry.  When Henry goes back to the party and meets his boss he tells him he has all the files on the Alpern development, but he won’t look at them and nor will his boss – because it’s wrong and unethical (awwww). His boss is cynical and says high horses and city politics don’t mix - - but then nor does screwing with Gavin Doran and life – as we see when everyone’s phone suddenly goes off with a news report about the boss and his mob-tied corruption.

Jane is jostled by a waiter – and sees a compass tattoo on his wrist. It’s Kandinsky. She screams Henry’s name just as he raises a gun, giving Henry the second he needs to grab his boss and hit the floor, the shot misses. In the panic, Henry gets up and manages to knock the gun out of Kandinski’s hand as he stands over his boss ready to shoot him.

But a stray bullet from the gun has hit… Annie, right between the eyes.

Back to the Drake to tell Tony the bad news. Gavin and Henry have a brief meeting where Henry apologises and Olivia congratulates Jane on resolving the thief issue and assumes Jane as good reasons for protecting them.

In the aftermath, Jane goes to see Nona to tell her Henry is fine - but Nona denies even having a vision or saying anything. Jane insists, says Nona’s special and offers to be a friend when needed. Back inside her apartment, we finally meet Nona’s grandmother – she seems to be catatonic.

Henry throws his thumb drive into the fire (never heard of formatting?) and Jane gently talks to him about keeping things from her in order to “protect” her.

Gavin and Olivia celebrate everything working out – the investigation against him is suspended Olivia: “I sometimes forget you can do magic”) and Gavin says Henry is allowed one mistake.

The Black smoke from the briefcase coalesces into a man…

Things are happening – we can see more of the scale of Gavin Doran’s power, using people’s wishes for his own gain (suggesting he can’t just do these things for himself?) and with the black smokey man and an acknowledgement of Nona’s visions, there’s definitely things moving afoot. Which is a great step forward – I hope. I do think this is episode 4 and the plot really does need to get moving now.