The New Professionals

Episode 5 - First Strike

       Hmmmm.... Well, for a little while there we were wondering what was going to happen next... Pity it didn't last very long.

       My original guess was that the plane was carrying some biochemical nasty, mainly because I reasoned that the USA already has plenty of nuclear material: it can't be too hard to get hold of. (But then, to start with I assumed - as, I guess, a lot of other people did - that Slade was part of the regular army rather than commanding his own.) But no - it turned out to be weapons-grade plutonium. Russian, at that. Yawn.

       I rather like the contrast between Hostage and First Strike. The former deals with what I would call real inhumanity, imposed upon a suffering people from outside their own ranks. The latter is more insidious, suggesting a creeping, cultural malaise that comes from within the culture, albeit encouraged - or at least not resisted - by those in power (1). It's a pity this couldn't have been explored a little more fully. It might have made this episode more interesting...

       Was Slade's final speech supposed to be moving? Or frightening? It just seemed jingoistic to me. Yes, the world in general, and so-called developed countries in particular, is a terrifying place in which to live - but trying to change it by holding governments to ransom (which is what I assume Slade meant to do) is worse than useless. A culture that can't prevent the slaughter of children (by gun or machete) in their own schools is not exactly in a position to enact self-metamorphosis. It's easier to call the perpetrator a madman, hunt him down, and compensate the families of the murdered...
       Of course, it could be argued that Slade is only doing what CI5 itself does - "fight fire with fire", and try to eradicate corruption "by any means possible". But would you trust a man who has a camp full of people killed, without a qualm, simply because they might get in the way of his plans?

       On that subject, does a camp full of murdered backwoodsmen count as a graveyard? And just where did Slade get 10 million dollars anyway? (Or did I miss something?)

       The discussion between Curtis and Keel as to what to buy Malone was a non-starter (2). And I refuse to believe that it's humanly possible for anyone, no matter how fit, to race up a warden's tower that high and not end up panting breathlessly at the top...

       So, was there anything at all memorable about this episode? Well, Curtis looks really cute with designer stubble. He should keep it - it suits him. Backup can make even combat gear look sexy (but heaven forbid she should ever have to camouflage her face!) Nice to see her 'in the field', and taking charge again. And Keel didn't end up either injured or in trouble!

       Overall, however, I found this episode (whisper it) boring. Predictable, pedestrian and disappointing. Why is the quality of the series so variable?

don't try this at home, folks...

But I can imagine a Bodie/Doyle/Cowley one....

Doyle - "Bottle of single malt?"
Bodie - "Boring."
D - "Another Betty, then. To take home with him."
B - "There's more than one? I know what I want for Xmas!"
D - "Not a chance, sunshine. Unless it's a blow up one."
B - "A blow up Betty. Sounds exciting..."
D - "Dangerous, more like. What about a new leg?"
B - "Already got all I need, thanks."
D - "For Cowley!"
B - "He'd need to have the old one off first."
D - "Knowing our luck, he'd have it stuffed and use it to beat poor unsuspecting agents with."
B - "Yeah... Is that what's known as getting his leg over?"

.....sorry, folks!.....

Nuclear, not nukuler.... What, precisely, is nukuler, anyway?

Did this episode remind anyone else of Lawson's Last Stand - or am I stuck in a time warp again...?

© 1999 WordWrights.

Hostage (Episode 4)

Samurai Wind (Episode 6)

Back to the Reviews Index

Safehouse 13