“Alexander Kirk is gone”, announces Red to Cooper. “And he won’t be back. It’s time to move on”. We’ve heard this sort of fourth-wall-breaching thing before: in The Good Wife, for example, when the appalling Kalinda’s Husband arc was ditched, or at the start of season 3 of Revenge, when The Initiative was buried. So whether this is a feint on the part of the writers, or an acknowledgement that the Who’s Your Daddy? storyline has delighted us for long enough, remains to be seen.
Meantime, though, Red has big news for the FBI: some advanced computer circuits have been stolen by the New Martyrs Brigade, a terrorist group, from a firm of defence contractors. For reasons which are never quite made clear, unless it’s to facilitate a fish and chips joke, the NMB shove them inside some fish, transport them from (somewhere) to (somewhere else) using Lipet’s Seafood Company, a, uh, seafood company, and start taking the circuits back out of the fish on the Lipet’s premises. But then Lipet’s and the NMB are, in turn, raided by an unidentified gun-toting balaclava-wearing gang, who make off with the chips.
Technology never stands still on procedurals, though, and facial recognition software has been rendered passé by a system which allows the user to see through balaclavas; something about fabric and contours, I think. This delights me, and also strikes me as a bit of a game-changer for cop shows. Anyway, when the tech is pressed into service on behalf of the NMB it reveals the raid was carried out by the Mossad; and that Samar, of all people, was on point. So the NMB abduct and half-heartedly torture her in order to recover the chips, although such is her loyalty to the Mossad and Israel that she won’t give the information up; the chips are tele-guidance circuits which would allow the NMB to fire rockets at Israel and evade its Iron Dome missile defence system.
Enter our old friend Oded Fehr as the newly-single Mossad hitman Agent Shur, determined to recover Samar and then, as he is no longer affianced, bed her. The former is achieved; but not the latter, because she’s in love with someone else (i.e. Aram). Which would have been big news for poor Aram a few months ago, but he’s been doing some soul-searching: he’s deposed by Panabaker in re her understandable suspicions about his last girlfriend; and he cops to, at least having terrible taste in women. Which gives him pause for thought about hooking up with Samar: a woman who would, while working for the FBI, lead an black-ops Mossad raid on US soil then lie about it. Cooper sacks Samar immediately and initiates a criminal investigation… actually he does neither of those things, which is a mystery, but not quite as big a mystery as the charismatic Fehr not having a regular gig somewhere.
While all this is going on – and it’s quite a lot – the rest of the show is somewhat perfunctory. Perhaps to prepare us for post-Tom life, the writers have stuck him in a converted warehouse doing little apart from hang with Liz and their baby. And Red, having set the main plot in motion, otherwise contents himself with blackmailing the President-elect, or perhaps the President, in order to get Liz reinstated as a FBI agent, possibly prompted by Cooper’s reminder that since Red entered Liz’s life all he’s given her is “pain, grief, and regret”. This episode was maybe a bit of a slow starter, maybe, but I enjoyed it.