“Yes, you can Occupy the backyard. Perhaps we can pitch a tent.”
HEE. Harrison may be a moron – still believing Ruby-Not-A-Reporter, dude? Really? – but Harrison’s dad Randall is awesome. And intelligent and funny, and dragged into the Odelle investigation by stupid Harrison, which means of course that Randall must die. Sigh.
Odyssey is making something of a habit of killing off its more helpful supporting players – our leading characters track them down, practically issue a press release telling Societal about it (Peter, you NUMBSKULL, telling Traitor Joe about all your evidence ever), then escape largely unscathed when said helpful supporting players are assassinated in completely blatant fashion, because nothing says “nope, no conspiracy here!” like a stream of material-witness murders. Danny Gentry last week, Randall (and Randall’s spectacularly unlucky, er, friend) this… For a moment there, it looks like we can add Aslam to the list too, but since the precious flash drive would have perished with him, Aslam just about makes it through yet another week of gunplay and subterfuge. Hurrah! Not only that, but his luck actually takes a turn for the better: he regains consciousness just long enough to clamber onto a passing cocaine camel convoy (I am not making this up) and then wakes up again in time for tv night in Gregory Fitoussi’s Western Saharan living room, where there’s “no sign of life for miles, but the satellite signal is magnificent.”
Gregory plays impressively hirsute drug dealer Luc, who’s bad because, y’know, drug dealer, but also good because he pulls a bullet from Aslam’s shoulder and saves his life. (And because he’s Gregory Fitoussi.) If only Luc could fully embrace his inner hero/ trauma surgeon, give up the drug dealing and turn his camel convoy into a travelling treatment centre! Or a mobile diplomatic corps! I mean, even Ansar Dine and their roadblocks can’t resist him.
Aslam, however, isn’t quite as keen on Luc as I am – possibly something to do with the whole threatening to put the bullet back in thing, but I’m sure he didn’t mean it, Aslam! – and doesn’t hang around to find out just how close Ansar Dine and Dr Drug Dealer might be, preferring to take his chances with an uncle who turns out to be… Oh come on. The very same drag queen from Gregory’s telly? Even in a story built on a veritable mountain of contrivances and coincidences, this one seems a stretch. Although, dark horse Peter secretly knowing Greek super-politico Sophia Tsaldaris very well – swimsuit-clad meetings and fraught, meaningful gazes aren’t normal diplomatic practice are they? – certainly gives it a run for its money on that front.
As does the continuing survival of poor Odelle, lurching helplessly every week from one set of people who want to kill her to another: episode 1, the US government with drones; episode 2, the Tuareg pilgrims with stones; and now, episode 3, Al-Qaeda with
calzones a very big knife… twice? Oh, Odelle. I really hope this nice(ish, I mean, it’s all relative) interrogator fellow who’s taken an interest (the rescue by way of flying machete was INSANELY dramatic) will let you have a week off from facing imminent death in ep 4, but no guarantees, hey? Either way, I’ll be back to check in on you. Harrison may still be unspeakable (never mind labyrinthine conspiracies, Odyssey’s biggest mystery is “Why is nobody trying to kill him?”) and the story may still be over-complicated and mad, but episode 3 (like episode 2) was again more streamlined and much more exciting and watchable for it. And it added the two previously missing ingredients of humour and Gregory Fitoussi. Works for me.