Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Unit - Recap & Review - Bad Beat

The Unit
Bad Beat

Original Air Date: 4 Jan 2009

Brittany W – TwoCents Reviewer
brittanyw@twocentscorp.com

Check it out, Unit fans. It’s the episode we should have had last week. Or whatever the week after “Mislead and Misguided” was. To where I’m wondering if CBS screwed up the airing order of this show. Anyway, we finally have some answers, of a sort, and at least we had some really great guest stars.

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[photo: CBS.com]

1 comment:

  1. Check it out, Unit fans. It’s the episode we should have had last week. Or whatever the week after “Mislead and Misguided” was. To where I’m wondering if CBS screwed up the airing order of this show. Anyway, we finally have some answers, of a sort, and at least we had some really great guest stars.

    In the main storyline, Jonas and Bob get involved in a game of high-stakes poker (that’s poker, not baccarat as the episode descriptions want to tell you) in order to re-secure the services of a rogue CIA agent who’s gone over to the Chinese. Said CIA agent is played by the really awesome Shaun Toub, best known for playing sacrificial lamb Yinsen in the equally amazing Iron Man. (Imagine my glee when I went, “Hey, it’s that guy!” in last week’s previews.) Further cool is that the head CIA guy is played by David Mamet regular Ricky Jay, also known as The Amazing Maleeni on The X-Files. In other words, we had a really good cast for this episode. Shame the episode didn’t really live up to that.

    I’m an amateur poker player myself, and while I’m by no means an expert, I like to think I know how it should be done. I’ve also seen a lot of it on TV when it became the new trend. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. In Casino Royale, for example, it had drama and suspense. In this episode I really didn’t feel all that interested. I even noticed one prominent error in gameplay. Not to mention things get heated in a hurry when, in what appears to be the game’s very first hand, after beating the snot out of the Chinese general an taking his watch to boot, Bob gets accused of cheating and dragged off. In the first hand! I get that this is only an hour show, but talk about rushing into things fast.

    Where’s everyone else while all this is going on? Charles – whose shoulder is now out of the sling we saw it in two weeks ago, so I can only conclude either he heals fast or this episode takes place awhile after the last episode – and Mack are working on a way to break into the casino’s vault to get to a safe deposit box. This consists of mostly hanging out in the service elevator shaft and in Mack’s case, trying not to get crushed by the descending elevator. Even as a stunt, that looks like something I don’t even want to think about, so props to Max Martini for pulling that one off. Charles retrieves the safe deposit box which belongs to the CIA agent, and places the watch that Bob won off the Chinese general into the box before replacing it in its proper place.

    Meanwhile, the show sort of starts to feel like 24 to me, in that Bob is being interrogated by some Chinese guy who reminds me of Trey Farley if he thought he was playing a Bond villain. Wannabe Trey gets him addicted to heroin, and at the end of the episode, Bob’s got a syringe and a decision to make. Not unlike Jack in season three. I find it strange that Ryan didn’t send Bob to the infirmary or something, but I hope that it just happened off-screen. I doubt the fact that he was all whacked out would go unnoticed. Of course, this is where I point out that Scott Foley directs next week’s episode, so maybe this is also a way to get him more time to focus on directing for the following episode.

    This mission is doubly important for the team: if they succeed, the CIA will get the charges against Bridget dismissed. Uh, what? Why would the CIA care so much? And if Bridget is supposed to be in hiding in South America as Colonel Ryan ordered, why is she all the way across the world – and wouldn’t it be risky to have her there? Not to mention from a writer’s standpoint, why introduce her being court-martialed if you’re just going to have her miraculously cleared of it all a few episodes later? It all seems like a big headache, but that’s what I get every time I see this woman. (Not to mention, after this episode aired, it was reported the show will be gaining another supposedly recurring character. Memo to the production team: you have probably one of the best casts on television. Stop messing with it.)

    Now onto the part of the episode that actually somewhat answers the questions we’ve been asking since whenever episode 410 aired. We finally, two episodes later, learn that Isaac Reed isn’t talking to anyone, but he might just confess to Kim. (Hey, memo to whoever arranges these episodes: wouldn’t it have been a good idea to show this one after “Mislead and Misguided” and not like, weeks later? Just a thought.) Colonel Ryan, who spends most of his time making his annoyed and ‘hasn’t this gone on long enough’ face – and really, who better at that than Robert Patrick – calls Kim and asks for her help. Kim isn’t thrilled (when is she ever) but she goes to talk to Reed because it’s the right thing to do. They go back and forth over which one of them was lying to the other for a bit, and we discover Mrs. Brown has a bit of a knack for making up stories on the fly. Eventually, we learn a couple of things: yes, Reed’s only-seen-when-it’s-convenient wife Marian was involved (I knew it…that woman was always creepy), that they moved money around for a couple people (Russians, I think) being totally clueless about it, and that Leon Drake the not-FBI guy was the one in charge. In exchange for saving his own behind, Reed agrees to meet with Drake so they can try to link Drake to the Russians.

    So of course…next week’s main story is something about a monastery. And then the week after that is a repeat. Thrilling, huh? Not to mention it involves the return of Charlotte Canning, who is for my money the most annoying and pointless character this show has ever had, and that includes Tiffy. It doesn’t help that this will probably muck up my Robert Patrick scenes, given that she’s his ex-wife. (Not that I ever understood why she needed to be on the show in the first place, except to very quickly end his affair with Tiffy – which then got brought up for another three seasons anyway – and because the actress who plays her is the wife of David Mamet.) Damn.

    There are a lot of loose ends involved here that I doubt we’ll see answers to. How far will the show go with Bob’s addiction? How far will Kim go (or get dragged) to get her life back together? Why does the CIA give a damn about the Unit? Will Robert Patrick ever get to do more than exposition? What the heck happened to Regina Taylor? Between the muddled writing and the CBS scheduling, I’m not sure we’ll ever know. But what do you think? Where do we go from here? Sound off below.

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