Odyssey ep 13 (American Odyssey)

*SPOILERS*

Series finale time and, in New York, Peter is trying to persuade Sophia that the Twitter photo of Odelle is genuine because a tourist took it. (No, me neither.) He says it proves SOC are corrupt, Baker is in business with terrorists and there is life on Mars. (Ok, maybe not that last one.) Sophia points out it proves nothing of the sort and sends him off to get something more concrete to save her and Greece from SOC and River Song’s clutches.

Wild-eyed crazy person Harrison, meanwhile, is at the NYT pitching his “So….I Loved an Assassin Who Killed My Father” story and bleeding on their nice furniture. Bafflingly, Kevin the news editor (?) actually seems impressed with this fool, and caves to his ridiculous demand for a by-line, but perhaps he just does that to get Harrison out of the office while there’s still time to get the blood stains out of the carpet.

No sooner has poor Kevin got rid of one moron babbling about SOC, however, than another turns up – somebody really needs to beef up NYT security – as Peter drops in to drop off his tuppence worth and his ill-gotten flash drive, the plan being to corroborate Odelle’s story, if and when she talks to the NYT, bring down SOC and, er, go to jail. Top plan, Peter.

Odelle herself, meanwhile, is in Barcelona with Aslam, waiting to meet Isabelle Rainey and shooting the breeze with Luc’s gorgeous ex-wife Christina. Mrs Ballard’s “casual” questioning of the former Mrs Girard about her handsome ex is less than subtle, but Christina is absurdly kind and gracious, and seems to be some sort of Ludelle (Oduc?) shipper herself, pointing out that Luc obviously cares for Odelle, although I think she goes a bit far suggesting he loves her. Steady on, Mrs Luc.

This is all obviously designed to smooth the way for Gregory Fitoussi (conspicuously absent from this ep: Hurrumph!) to re-appear and ignite an inferno of sexual tension in season two, which is a tremendous idea but absolutely no good to me since there isn’t going to BE a season two. Sigh. I suppose we’ll always have last week.

*wipes away tear*

It’s not over for Odelle yet, though, as Col Glen flies in to Barcelona to get a punch in the face and make the most half-hearted attempt to blackmail her into keeping schtum ever. Why he doesn’t just get his goon squad to bundle her into a black van instead isn’t immediately clear. Instead, he and the heavies wait till after she’s spilled her guts to Isabelle and try (again, very half-heartedly; I could have crawled faster than they were walking) to grab her at the airport. Instead of bagging the Colonel his prey, however, this just earns him another punch in the face, this time from an irate Mr Ballard who has flown in with Suzanne for a quick hug and a “WTF?” before Odelle says goodbye and dashes off again. Dun-dun-dun…

And so Odyssey ends, with neither a bang nor a whimper, but a load of loose ends and a wildly optimistic, if ultimately doomed, plea for a second season. Harrison is wallowing in bed, sulking and scratching because he shot Not-Ruby. Peter, having defeated Baker and saved Greece, now wants to save his marriage, as long as he can squeeze in one more dinner with his ex-lover first. Aslam, having made a late grab for the Idiot Ball, is running down a Barcelona street hoping that he’ll find Odelle in the queue for the Sagrada Familia. And Odelle herself, having finally worked out that a disguise might be a good idea, is in Washington with a new haircut, a new plan and Isabelle Rainey’s passport.

What now for all these characters? Nothing, I guess. The story may not be finished, but tiny ratings mean the show certainly is and, while I stuck it out till the end, I can’t blame the droves of people who didn’t. Luc was fantastic, Bob grew on me and Algeria looked amazing but neither of the three got the prominence they deserved. Instead, Odyssey wasted the majority of its time and ours on the appalling Harrison, the dreary Peter, and a convoluted plot hinging on 90% of the characters acting like imbeciles. This was an entertaining, if very silly, finale, but all that wasted potential…. Oh well. Goodbye, Odyssey. It has been fun, if not always for the reasons you intended it to be.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 12

*SPOILERS*

Finally.

One episode to go, and the Odyssey writers realise, at last, that they should be using Gregory Fitoussi/Luc a lot more than the Morons of New York.

Yes, it’s only taken twelve weeks of Harrison and Peter tossing the Idiot ball around for us to get to this stage, but, thankfully, this week’s Odyssey was Luc-tastic and infinitely better as a result. Hurrah!

More on that in a mo, however. As usual, let’s get the NYC side of things out of the way first, before we move on to the bien stuff.

The killing of Not-Ruby-Not-a-Reporter-Not-Anything-Anymore has hit Harrison so hard that he seems to have swapped personalities with Bob; as opposed to just being his usual cereal-for-brains self, it’s Harrison’s turn to look wild-eyed and crazy, yelling about everything, while Bob, er, doesn’t.

This would all be unsettling enough, but the writers have clearly decided to mess with us even further by introducing a pseudo-Shakespearean note to proceedings: in what I assume is intended as an homage to Lady Macbeth, Harrison has a cut on his arm (apparently sustained during the NotRubicide) which seems to grow and mutate every time he tries to wash the blood away because he cannot wash away the GUILT and the PAIN, dammit.

Perhaps some wet wipes and a band-aid would help?

Anyway, while Harrison is running around being as thick as usual but twice as obnoxious (sample dialogue: “You focus on this and I’m gonna post to my blog – Ruby, OSELA, my father’s murder!”), sad sack Peter is stalking Sophia, who, now she’s actually Greek Prime Minister, isn’t taking his calls. But is entirely cool with him coming up to her suite for a little…. arguing about SOC.

Sigh. Sadly, this is not a euphemism. Sophia is as bored with Peter’s whining as everybody else, and has decided “whatevs, show’s cancelled, let’s save Greece by making a deal with River Song from Doctor Who” much to her ex-lover’s chagrin, because he gave up everything for this, you guys. EVERYTHING.

Sigh again. In short: the NY plot continues to suck. So let’s get back to the Africa plot which, this week, is part travel show, part surprisingly sharp commentary on Western-centric notions of charity and part Gregory Fitoussi romancing somebody. SQUEEEEEEEE.

Mills’n’Boon prototype Luc – this week teaming his glorious sunglasses with those fabulous headset things people wear when they’re in light aircraft on TV – has arranged to fly Odelle and Aslam to the gorgeous Algerian coast, in his private plane, and put them up in his beachfront villa with the stunning sea view, in the picturesque town where he has built houses and a school. Houses and a SCHOOL.

Swoon.

His plan is then to transport Odelle to Spain via his private fleet of boats and trucks, because Luc apparently has more extensive transport and building infrastructure than the UN.

Of course, I’d have dissolved in a puddle of goo by this stage, but Odelle is made of sterner (stupider) stuff and is too busy planning a (bleak) Luc-less future to collapse into the bearded one’s arms.

Being overcome with White Saviour Complex, she assumes she’ll be taking Aslam with her to the US, where the Govt wants to KILL her, and everything will be fine. Being smarter than everyone else on the show put together, Luc quite correctly points out that Odelle is being a) racist, b) high-handed and c) stupid. Being a teenager, however, Aslam gets all huffy with both of them, slopes off with a girl named Naima and spends the night at her incredibly relaxed father’s house, securing a job in Libya. Oddly, nobody mentions that civil war means Libya is not the best place for a young man to head for employment at the moment, but now I think of it maybe Naima’s father isn’t quite as relaxed as he’s making out and this is some fiendish plan to get Aslam away from his daughter….

Ach, who cares? The real news is, of course, that with the kid out of the way for the night, and the townsfolk throwing a (well-deserved) party in Luc’s honour, our man gets to charm Odelle with a new dress, compliments, a blanket by the fire and a slow dance. *Fans self.* This is perhaps a little out of the blue, since, before this week, they seemed to barely tolerate each other, but never mind. It’s adorable and the best the show’s ever been, so I say again: SQUEEEEEEE.

Palpable magic in the air aside, though, everybody just about restrains themselves – “I think I’ll walk a little more” apparently being French for “I’m off to take a cold shower” – till the next morning when Luc finally makes his pitch for Odelle to stay, Odelle says she can’t despite her feelings (!) for him, and – HOUSTON WE HAVE LIFT-OFF – Luc gives her a long, lovely kiss which still doesn’t change her mind because husband, child, duty blah blah … yes I know, Odelle, but my GOD, woman. Talk about sacrifice.

Despite the minor bruise to Luc’s feelings (let me know if you need a hug, cheri), however, he still drives her out in his motorboat(!) to his, er, other boat so they can share a sweet, wistful goodbye before she and Aslam (who has stopped playing hard to get) sail off to Spain. Or not: a random tourist has tweeted that #OdelleLives, which means that all Luc’s work last week was for nothing; OSELA, Col. Glen, Harrison and Peter are back on the case, and next week’s final episode is unlikely to be anywhere near as fun and entertaining as this one.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 11

*SPOILERS*

After all this time circling the same plot drain, this week’s Odyssey sees Peter and Harrison finally meet, as Harrison crashes the “Yusuf Qasim’s a killer” press conference in his usual “rant now, have no chance of proving anything later” fashion and Peter stands around wondering what to do now.

It only takes a few minutes of puzzling over who gets to wear the “I’m with Stupid” T-shirt for things to go wrong, though. Harrison gets all huffy and suspicious, and storms off, deciding he will NOT tell Peter everything he knows, thank you very much. This is a major disappointment to Peter, who has already been dumped by Sophia and is about to be dumped by both SOC and his wife, and a major surprise to me, since Megamouth Harrison has spent the entire season spilling his guts to every single person he’s come across. Now that he’s met someone who might actually want to work with him, he clams up?

Moron.

Unceremoniously ditching Peter (something of a theme this week) then, Harrison goes off on a brief, ill-advised road trip with Not-Ruby-Not-a-Reporter to a secluded beachfront cabin so they can have naked, mechanical sex (again) in front of a fireplace and I can throw up on my sofa cushions.

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Happily for my sorely-tested stomach, however, this unpleasantness doesn’t last long. Harrison finds out Not Ruby’s secret, Not Ruby tearfully declares that she’s “sick, (she’s) twisted and (she) fell in love with” him (the first two characteristics possibly explaining the third, I suppose) and commits suicide by cop, because we only have two more episodes to go and Odyssey is cleaning house.

Or should I say “cleaning Shaman’s Hut, Slums of Timbuktu” since the on-screen titles helpfully point out that’s where Odelle is now being held, in a very odd sub-plot, part of which makes sense and part of which is completely demented?

“You bring death, Odelle Ballard,” (I’ve been saying that for weeks) says Mr Shaman, “You will suffer,” before cutting her, half-drowning her and force-feeding her hallucinogenic mud, which… WTF?

Mr Shaman’s pronouncement that “Death is the only way,” does turn out to be entirely correct, of course, the magnificent Luc having enlisted him (and somehow wrangled the homicidal child soldiers too) as part of an elaborate scheme to fake Odelle’s death for the benefit of the most gullible Osela operative in the world. “Gun full of blanks and some blood. Fools them every time,” Luc muses. “Not if they’ve ever watched tv before, mon amour,” I reply. “But bisous, nonetheless.”

The death-faking part of the plan is fine, good, even, with Gregory Fitoussi carrying it all off with his usual aplomb and making up for the awful New York plot in the process. But the torture and tripping Odelle endures seem bizarrely unnecessary. Why put her (and us) through all that? Did the Shaman refuse to help unless they put in a five-minute dream sequence? Or did the writers think we couldn’t ship Luc and Odelle unless Dead-but-still-jealous-Serena came back and told us to?

It’s all very strange. But just about worth sitting through to get to Luc’s “I saved your life…. Now you’re dead, so you can live,” and “Come on, we have a plane to catch,” at the end. Hurrah! Odelle’s ungrateful and ungracious to him as ever, of course, but I think we’ve already established she’s a fool. Or she’s still strung out on hallucinogenic mud. Either way, if she doesn’t want Luc, I know an Odyssey recapper who’d be happy to take him off her hands…

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 10

Ugh. An episode featuring a number of nasty moments starts with perhaps the most revolting: Harrison the Moron and Not-Ruby-not-a-Reporter in bed, naked, mid lip-lock.

You GUYS. A girl can only take so much.

Thankfully, we’re saved by the ringtone; a hysterical phone call from a distraught Bob claiming Not Ruby killed his mother puts a pin in the, er, “passion” and spares the audience further unnecessary distress. Of course, Harrison doesn’t believe it (I ‘m not sure I do, either, in fairness – why would she kill her second biggest fan?) but has just enough brain cells to leave Not Ruby at home while he simultaneously tries to calm poor Bob down, contact Khulus and not get beaten up by Osela heavies. Speaking of whom: I’m no expert, but if you were a “private security” force for hire, and your services included hush-hush assaults and murders, would you really want to brand yourself with an easily identifiable, Google-able team tattoo? Could you not make do with a secret handshake?

No matter. While Harrison fails on all counts (as usual), Not Ruby tries to bamboozle her boss into thinking she’s “not a killer.” Her boss isn’t fooled for a second, though, since he remembers watching episode 3 when she killed Harrison’s dad. So, Not Rubes is told she’s to kill Harrison pronto or someone else will. Once they’ve told him who killed his dad and broken up Harruby forever.

At which point, my eyes roll out of my head and down the back of the sofa in protest because come on, you guys, Harrison and Not Ruby have the chemistry of dry Weetabix and Abdul Abbas turning out to be Santa Claus would be more believable than the idea that they’re in grand, doomed love.

Not that the Harrison/Not Ruby sub-plot has a monopoly on unbelievable when it comes to this show, though, since, elsewhere in New York, walking whine Peter inexplicably manages to persuade poor Imam Khulus (who has both Harrison *and* Peter stalking him at the same time, my God) that he (Peter) is “the only one who can help Yusuf.”

Mr Qasim, however, isn’t quite so easily persuaded by our man with no plan’s promise to “do everything in my power to protect”him. Nor is the audience, given that both Danny Gentry and Traitor Joe can speak to the fact that Peter has no power. Or they could if one wasn’t dead and the other one wasn’t offscreen awaiting trial for treason.

After a quick riverside meeting, the artist formerly known as the Jack of Spades works it out for himself anyway and, rather than relying on Peter’s imaginary power, decides to do something completely, insanely stupid instead – stupidity clearly being contagious on this show – and assassinate a U.S. Senator because, obviously, the way to prove to the world you’re not a terrorist is to murder an elected official in broad daylight in front of an entire security detail who just stand there being useless.

FFS.

Which leaves us with whatever’s going on in the Mali part of the plot: a lot of flip-flopping, that’s what. Odelle doesn’t want to kill Evil Frank. Then she does. Aslam does want to kill Evil Frank. Then he doesn’t. And Luc isn’t on Odelle’s side. Then he is. Then he isn’t. Then he recruits an army of dehumanised child soldiers to take her to their Death Hut because… oh, who knows?

There’s usually some fun to be had in the Mali plot but it’s just nasty this week, the apex (or nadir I suppose) of its unpleasantness being what I think is the show’s attempt at brutal realism (but really, why start now, Odyssey?): a truly horrible sequence where the child soldiers psychologically torture and kill a defenceless old man. In fairness, it’s a powerful, harrowing collection of scenes, but it’s also out of place and depressing in a show so silly.

Still, this week’s episode does manage to surprise me with a couple of major character deaths I didn’t see coming. And Luc telling Odelle it’s not her fault and letting her go is a nice, almost shippable moment – squee! I do think his child soldier/Death Hut plan has to be about protecting her rather than betraying her, but we shall see what next week brings.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 9

*SPOILERS*

It’s a family affair on Odyssey this week as Peter and Ron both have Daddy-daughter issues, Harrison continues to trade on his Dad’s name and poor, put-upon Bob loses his long-suffering Mum.

Since she’s been raging at him for weeks now, Peter’s daughter Maya turning up unannounced at the Decker house for Daddy-daughter comfort seems both unlikely and unwelcome, but she seems to have fallen out with her Mum instead now, so I guess absence makes the heart etc etc. Which is apparently also true for Sophia; four years away from Peter and suddenly she’s all sweet talk and “I have you” and “I’ve given my security detail the night off, how’s about it, honeybunch?”*

(*possibly not a direct quote.)

Peter just about manages to resist her and her frankly fantastic hair, but this heroic self-denial may all turn out to be for naught since Maya turns up AGAIN – FFS, what kind of safe house is Grammy running? – looking for more hugs or something, and is outraged to think Sophia may have been there, hugged that instead.

As Daddy Decker tries to juggle his ex-lover, his daughter and his hunt for Yusuf Qasim, meanwhile, Ron wonders, entirely reasonably, why some strange, adult woman keeps hanging out with his tween daughter Suzanne to “talk Tolkien,” because even Ron knows his daughter’s not that interesting.

Of course, Suzanne is outraged at her father’s interference and the thought of her little Fellowship of the Ring breaking up, so poisons herself with deadly nut cake (as you do) to create a big drama, get lots of attention and keep her spy friend. But don’t try that at home, kids! Maybe just find some age-appropriate pals to hang with instead, huh?

Suzanne isn’t the only one who just escapes death in New York, mind you. Harrison goes to a very odd demo to meet Yusuf, only to find himself meeting some other guy instead – because Yusuf’s not as stupid as Harrison – and only for Ruby-not-a-Reporter to shoot the other guy in the head. Um…

As usual, the show’s chief moron believes Ruby-not-a-Reporter’s excuse for being in the vicinity of both him and the now-dead other guy, but at least some of Bob’s persistent warnings must’ve sunk in, since even Harrison’s not quite prepared to believe everything and eventually persuades Ruby-not-a-Reporter to admit she’s not-even-actually-a-Ruby. After which, these two dreadful people have sex. Ugh.

Moving swiftly on, Bob is having a terrible week. In the most excruciatingly awkward scene of the season, he tries to kiss Harrison who turns him down surprisingly sensitively but utterly mortifyingly, nonetheless. And then, just to really put the boot in, his Mum dies of what appear to be natural causes. Which is sad, but also an odd development in a show that’s supposed to be about an international global conspiracy.

In fact, a huge chunk of the family-themed stuff (Maya, Suzanne, Bob’s Mum) this week seems entirely unnecessary to the plot, but Odyssey wouldn’t be Odyssey without a bunch of superfluous storylines taking up screentime, so it’s hardly a surprise.

Never mind all the NY nonsense, then, at least the African sub-plot is still progressing reasonably entertainingly, if no thanks to the increasingly insufferable Odelle.

Just when she’s about to be dragged off by bandits, alpha male Luc drives up in a flurry of sand and machismo: “She’s mine!” he says, firmly (*fans self*) before threatening, bluffing and bribing the bandits into submission, and carting Odelle and Aslam off with him. OMG!

I, of course, am on high shipper alert here: “handsome man rescues pretty woman from terrible fate” is Romance 101, surely? Sigh. Apparently not on this show since, never mind romance, Odelle can’t even manage rudimentary good manners. Does she at least thank the man for risking his own neck to save her and her sidekick? Does she heck. She makes snotty remarks about his service in the Foreign Legion instead. If Luc really is planning to hand her over to Evil Frank – bundled up in the back of the truck again, after a brief tussle and some tough talk – when they all get to Timbuktu, I couldn’t blame him. Much more of her obnoxiousness, and I’d be tempted to hand her over myself.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 8

*SPOILERS*

Hey, guess what? Qasim’s not been picked up by Homeland Security, after all. Hooray! I got that wrong. Which is just as well for the show, since the half of the cast currently looking for him would really be stuck for things to do if he had been. Keep away from those losers, Yusuf!

Speaking of which…. Loser no.1 Peter has decided, since all his previous plans have ended in bloody disaster (see: Gentry, Danny and Thug, Nameless Scary), to try a different tack and pretend to make a deal with Baker and SOC. “If you don’t do what they want, they’ll hurt the children?” asks a shocked Mrs Peter, kicking off what seems to be “Silly Questions” week on the show. Well, Mrs Peter, they killed a whole troupe of soldiers and the drone operator about to blow the whistle on them, and then they framed your husband for murder, so, um, what do you think?

Given the obviousness of the answer, Mrs Peter, her angry daughter and cheerfully clueless son (bless him, he seems to have slept through all of eps 1-7) head off to visit Grandma quick-smart, while Peter stays behind to work on not getting anyone else killed. Good luck with that, Peter!

Elsewhere in New York, Odelle’s husband Ron and daughter Suzanne are on a sort-of-date (too soon, Ron, too soon) with Lucy, the supposedly grieving fiancée of one of Odelle’s colleagues. Lucy, however, is enjoying both Ron and her food way too much to be a grieving anything. “What did we do before quinoa?” she wonders, grabbing the silly questions baton with both hands. Um…. same things we do now, Lucy? If you’re actually a spy, surely you can come up with better lines than that.

Suzanne manages to avoid this ode to pseudocereal by running to a nearby bookshop where a seemingly random – oh, Suzanne, honey, as if – woman buys her The Lord of the Rings, ostensibly out of kindness, but really because she’s a spy too. (Does she know Lucy, I wonder?)

Fellow spy/assassin Ruby-not-a-Reporter doesn’t care about quinoa and is nowhere near a bookshop, though, so she decides to try a different, unnervingly intimate method of charming Bob’s mum (who she’s met twice for all of five minutes) instead: massaging her sore legs. I mean… what? I’m sure they hurt, but… what?

A justifiably creeped out Bob kicks Ruby out, but then has to endure the mortification of his mum pointing out he’s in love with Harrison and encouraging him to go for it, because Ruby fan Bob’s mum is the worst judge of character ever. FFS, Mrs Offer. Harrison would make a terrible boyfriend, just like he makes a terrible everything else.

But Bob and his mum are not the only ones inexplicably smitten with this imbecile, oh no. Supposedly hardened spy/assassin Ruby has also succumbed to Harrison’s invisible charms; gazing tenderly at him as he sleeps, bafflingly reluctant to end his misery and the audience’s by killing him like her boss wants her to. Oh, Ruby. Is there a shortage of eligible men in spy/assassin circles? And by “a shortage”, I mean ABSOLUTELY NOBODY WHO IS NOT A MORON that you could go out with?

*shakes head*

As usual, then, the only part of the show worth watching is the Africa part. Lots going on there this week, as the devastated Diallo manages to lose Shakir, his men, Evil Frank and consciousness all in the space of about ten minutes, leaving Evil Frank free to walk to Tienfala in pursuit of Odelle and the flash drive.

Odelle herself, meanwhile, is busy pretending to dislike the grumpily irresistible Luc (girl, it’s Gregory Fitoussi, come on). “I’m sorry,” he says (although he’s not) “I always get a little cranky when my girlfriends get shot in the head!” Hee. Perhaps I shouldn’t have laughed, but I did.

Undeterred by Luc’s refusal to go with them, though, Odelle and Aslam hit the road again, which means, yes, our intrepid twosome just miss Evil Frank (again) but also means they finish up the episode stuck in the desert surrounded by bloodthirsty bandits. Which makes idiot Odelle asking Luc, the smartest person on the show “How have you survived so long being so stupid?!” not only exceptionally silly, but also deeply ironic. And absolutely hilarious. Heh.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 7

*SPOILERS*

Poor Yusuf Qasim.

Years living peacefully in hiding, no problem at all. Till he has to spend 5 minutes with Bob and THAT IDIOT HARRISON, and then BOOM. His cover’s blown and he’s bundled unceremoniously off to some Homeland Security hellhole.

*Shakes head*

Of course, this is what happens when folk wander around shouting out every top secret aspect of the top secret plot for everybody in effing New York to hear. And Harrison surpasses even his own astronomical standards of stupidity this week, turning up yet again at Tennant’s office to announce to the entire building – “It’s about Yusuf, Darnell and the Jack of Spades!”

Why not shout it a bit louder, fella? I don’t think they heard you on Jupiter!

Bafflingly, Tennant still agrees to see him – why do people keep talking to this fool? – and gives him yet another name to add to the list, just to tangle up the plot a little more till Odyssey’s moron-in-chief gets arrested by Homeland Security himself. Hurrah! The longer they keep him, the better. Provided it’s at a sound-proofed off-screen site, far away from my tv viewing.

While Harrison is being locked up by the intelligence services, however, Peter is trying to avoid being locked up by the police, having got himself caught up in a little breaking, entering and murdering at SOC’s secret lair data centre. The best way to keep your part in this type of thing secret is, of course, to tell your politician ex-lover all about it over your presumably tapped phone line (genius) and to be incredibly shifty about the wheelie bin you’ve hidden your evidence in when the police arrive. Putting out your wheelie bin, taking back your wheelie bin, generally getting very agitated about your wheelie bin, that type of thing, while the extremely interested detectives sit outside your house watching your wheelie bin ballet. Smooth, Peter. Real smooth. I’m sure nobody suspects a thing.

As the New York storyline continues down its irredeemably silly path, then, the New York Times reporter heads off to Bamako to meet Odelle. But, because Luc is as annoyed with the story as the viewing audience and tries to have both Odelle and the show cancelled early, Odelle has already gone! Leaving nothing but a DVD and poor Shakir Khan as welcome gifts for Evil Frank….

Oh, Luc. I sympathise, I do. Especially since everyone else keeps making kamikaze “Hey, here I am! Here’s what I know! Come kill me!” calls to the baddies too. (I mean, FFS Suzanne! Or “Molly” as your dad inexplicably called you this week. You suddenly have some actual evidence of the conspiracy and you phone to tell the conspirators about it? Are you related to Harrison?) But the “Time to Die!” stunt with the phone is a bit harsh, non?

Not that it works, of course. As mon amour exaspéré points out when Odelle and Aslam turn up on his desert doorstep again: “Everywhere you go, people die. But you don’t. Why is that? Why do they always miss you, huh?” Ah, mon cher. You noticed that too, then?

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 6

*SPOILERS*

This week on Odyssey, the three leads compete to see who is the stupidest, doing them, the story and the show no favours at all.

In New York, Peter’s daughter Maya is now sleeping with the wee slimeball Cameron that Peter yelled at last week, because somebody decided this show needed yet another pointless sub-plot tacked on to the spaghetti junction of storylines we’ve already got. Pimping teenagers out isn’t enough for Alex Baker, though, so while Cameron sleazes away on one side, Alex tries to broker/blackmail a meeting with Sophia via Peter on the other, using a photo of her, her late husband and the suddenly very important Yusuf Qasim.

Oddly enough, although nobody has mentioned Mr Qasim – known to the U.S. State Dept as the Jack of Spades, because he apparently wandered in from a Frederick Forsyth novel – before now, Peter and halfwit Harrison can’t get through a scene this week without this dude’s name cropping up. He’s a terrorist, except he isn’t. He was killed, except he wasn’t. And he hasn’t been seen in umpteen years, except…. Oh yes. It takes Bob less than 5 minutes to track this elusive fellow down so he and Harrison can follow him in perhaps the silliest sequence of events to have happened so far on this show. (And that is a very high bar.)

While Peter still has just about enough – if precious little – sense to realise he’s in over his head, however, and hires a secret operative of his own to help out, Harrison continues to overestimate his own ability to walk and talk at the same time and carries on “investigating” his father’s death. In practice this means that, YET AGAIN, Harrison takes Ruby-not-a-Reporter – FFS DUDE – everywhere he goes, while loudly telling everyone who will listen as well as anyone who will not, all about Black Sands and his father’s murder.

Despite a visibly terrified Bob warning him every single week that Ruby is BAD NEWS, the defiantly moronic Harrison even takes her round to the Offer house so she can make pantomime villain faces and he can ignore them. My GOD.

Which leaves us with Odelle in the oasis of comparative sanity (since Harrison and Peter aren’t there) that is Bamako. After seeing Shakir’s tv appeal about Aslam, Odelle is itching to head out to Club Cachette but instead of delightedly shoving the harbinger of death out of the door while they still can, Mr and Mrs Kindly Trader persuade her to stay put in their house while Mr Kindly Trader goes to scope things out with Shakir. Mr Kindly is, however, spooked to find Luc (yay!) has beaten him to it and is busy scoping things out with a suspicious Shakir himself! Unfortunately for Mr Kindly, said scoping involves Luc seeing right through him (Luc’s shades are basically a superpower at this point), so that when Mr Kindly does eventually shove Odelle out the door (with the best of intentions), Luc’s there with a gun, a flash drive and a smirk. Yay! Luc and Odelle finally meet! But boo! She beats him up, takes his phone, ignores his advice not to and tries to call her family, thereby – YET AGAIN – alerting Col Glen to her whereabouts because MY GOD, ODELLE, OF COURSE THEY ARE INTERCEPTING CALLS TO YOUR HOUSE, YOU MORON.

The damage already having been done, Odelle then tries to get smart and calls the NY Times nearest desk (which seems to be in Paris? Really? Nearest to Bamako?) before reuniting with Aslam at Shakir’s house and kicking Luc out – girl, will you just look at him? How could you? – but it’s too late. Evil Frank and OSELA are onto the call and poor Serena pays the price. Which sends an irate and distraught Luc (it’s not entirely clear how he avoided Evil Frank, but bygones) storming back to Club Cachette and will hopefully kickstart plenty of Odelle, Luc and Aslam adventures together because at this stage, Gregory Fitoussi and the reasonably fun Bamako plotline are the only reasons that I can think of for sticking with this ridiculous show.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 5

*SPOILERS*

Presumably having heard us saying the storylines are too complicated and off-the-wall, Odyssey’s characters spend most of this week telling each other as much of the plot as they can grasp, although, since most of Odyssey’s characters are pretty dim, this means they really aren’t adding anything to what we’ve already worked out, more that they’re just catching up.

Odelle’s up first, and, having inexplicably put her faith in Col Glen – AGAIN – she detaches herself from the Rescue General who, ironically, would have kept her safe, handing herself in instead to the CIA “safe house,” which is anything but. For the benefit of doomed intern/ junior staffer Rich who lives there (spoiler – not for long!), she attempts to recap the past four episodes but he doesn’t believe her, asking bluntly: “I mean, does any of it even make sense to you?” Heh. Talk about meta.

While seeing her own funeral on TV fills Odelle in on what she’s missed and who she should actually be running from (Hint: STOP telling your boss where you are, girlfriend), poor young Rich is still unconvinced. And is promptly bumped off by the OSELA death squad who are apparently hanging out round the corner. Which begs the question: where were all these dudes last week when Odelle was with the Ansar Dine and Evil Frank was taking them all down solo? On a tea break?

Once again, however, Odelle escapes death while the people around her don’t – as poor dead Rich is bundled up in a carpet, Odelle is jumping out of a window, impaling a leg in a dumpster and finding sanctuary with an exceptionally kind and decent market trader for whom I am now seriously worried. Dude, being within 500m of this woman is likely to seriously damage your health. In the sense that somebody will probably kill you.

Sigh. Back in New York, the increasingly demented Peter takes a turn explaining the story so far to a pair of “outside investigators” who couldn’t be more obviously shady if they brought their own trees to sit under. SOC funded Abdul Abbas, killed Odelle’s unit when they found out and killed Danny Gentry to cover it up, he tells them. All of which is correct, but these guys are being paid no-doubt excellent money not to believe him by people who aren’t wild-eyed conspiracy theorists yelling at their kid’s boyfriends (in perhaps the WORLD’s most unnecessary sub-plot), so his protestations are ignored, Traitor Joe is hastily re-branded as Joe the Patsy, and hey presto! The plot makes even less sense than before. Why would they set Joe up? To provide a scapegoat? For what? Peter’s the only person going after them and he knows Joe didn’t do it, so why not set Peter up instead and get him out of the way?

The other New York strand of things, meanwhile, has a two-for-one deal on the plot exposition front. Harrison’s father was murdered because he found something out from David Tennant, Bob explains. “Who is David Tennant?” asks Harrison. “The Tenth Doctor Who,” I chuckle to myself, because you have to make your own entertainment when suffering through a Harrison scene. Since he has the finesse and subtlety of a cement-mixer, Harrison promptly doorstops David Tennant, who then kidnaps him in a “black towncar” (“not a TARDIS?” I continue to chortle), explains Randall’s part of the sub-plot to him some more (because Harrison is too stupid to have understood it the first 3 times Bob explained it) and then sadly lets him go. Sigh. Could you not just have killed him, David Tennant? No, of course not, because somebody thicker than a vat of treacle poured into the middle of an oil spill has to re-gurgitate this part of the story for the benefit of Ruby-not-a-Reporter, don’t they?

FFS WHY CAN HARRISON THE IMBECILE NOT UNDERSTAND SHE IS EVIL?

Although, in fairness, even Ruby-not-a-Reporter’s boss/lover seems to be confused about that, leading to a completely random but unintentionally hilarious scene where he essentially accuses Ruby-not-a-Reporter of being sweet on the stupidest character in the history of characters. Dude. She’s evil, not insane.

Of course, Odyssey’s insistence on devoting half of every episode to effing Harrison means limited time for Gregory Fitoussi’s super-cool Luc to remind everyone he’s the best character on the show but at least he gets a few minutes this week, instead of last week’s few seconds. Luc makes the most of it as well, effortlessly outsmarting Aslam and securing both the pendrive and basics of the plot (writers, honestly, we get it, there is no need for EVERY CHARACTER to keep explaining it), while still wearing the hell out of his sunglasses. Luc is amazing. And if I wasn’t already head over heels for him, his “she’s not my wife and her head looks just fine” to Aslam’s grumpy moralising would have got me there immediately.

Luc aside, though, “Beat Feet” seemed more about going round in circles than moving the plot forward. Still, with Shakir Khan on the case and determined to – hopefully – bring together the better characters (ie Luc, Aslam and Odelle) there may well be hope for Odyssey yet. There’s a fun show in there somewhere, if only they’d jettison the entire New York part of the story and let us focus on it.

Odyssey (American Odyssey) ep 4

*SPOILERS*

Blah blah New York, blah blah DOJ…. A re-energised Peter is determined to use the document/ smoking gun Sophia gave him to bring SOC down. This annoys Mrs Peter, who remembers the “mistake”(uh-oh) he made with Sophia four years ago and isn’t at all convinced he’s learned his lesson. Since it only takes about 12 seconds and a couple of crime scene photos for him to trust Traitor Joe with everything he knows AGAIN, I can see why Mrs Peter’s worried: her husband is clearly not a man who learns lessons. Her husband is an idiot.

This idiocy is further borne out by a bizarre scene where Peter and Traitor Joe crash some super-bigwig party to tell some super-bigwig Peter’s onto them. Peter, dude, they know. That’s why they carjacked you and stole your evidence and stuff last week, mind? And it’s why they’re now cracking down on your DOJ pal. Like I said: idiot.

I can’t quite decide whether Peter is quite as stupid as Harrison – still believing in Ruby-not-a-Reporter, OMG – though, since Harrison’s overwhelming obnoxiousness is clouding my assessment of just how much of a moron he is. This week, Mr Occupy-way-too-much-screentime surpasses himself by making his father’s eulogy (goodbye, Randall, you deserved better) all about himself and his search for the truth, instead of about, y’know, his dead father. I imagine we were supposed to be moved and inspired by the young man’s pluck but, given that Harrison’s search for the truth consists of the terrified Bob doing all the work and Harrison telling Ruby-not-a-Reporter all about it, I certainly wasn’t.

Forget the New York battle of the bozos, then, Bamako is the place to go on Odyssey this week, with all the best characters hanging out there, accompanied by all the best parts of the plot.

Poor Odelle is locked up in Ansar Dine’s “safe” house, with interrogator Omar threatening to kill her if Aslam and the flash drive aren’t found in 24 hours, and interrogator Omar’s right-hand man trying to rape her. (It really sucks to be Odelle.) She isn’t Special Forces for nothing, though, summarily dispatching said right-hand man with a spoon to the neck (OUCH) and making a break for it with the help of the Misses Ansar Dine while the Misters are distracted by the football. Boys, huh?

Sadly for Odelle, however, her exciting (and nicely soundtracked – I do like the music on Odyssey) dash through the narrow streets of Bamako comes to a stop in a dead-end street with Evil Frank and a gun at one side and the Ansar boys at the other. Picking the side marginally less likely to kill her where she stands, back she goes to a visibly amused Omar – “You did all that with a spoon? I would kill you right now if I wasn’t so deeply impressed” – who stops finding things quite so funny when Evil Frank moves onto killing his buddies instead.

As Team Omar ponders what to do about this, Aslam is at his uncle’s house, making unimpressed faces, trying to secure help for Odelle and kidding himself that Luc, the coolest man in the world, doesn’t know where he is. Heh. Of course, Luc knows where you are, fella. He’s not standing around directly under your window, looking amazing in his sunglasses, for a laugh now, is he?

While Luc calmly waits for the plot to remember what’s good for it and turn back to him, though, Aslam’s uncle unexpectedly takes a turn as the most useful person on the planet, summoning a Malian General to help, working out where Odelle’s being held and persuading said Malian General to mount the world’s most relaxed rescue mission (I have never seen a bunch of tv characters less interested in the building they just blew up or the guy that just escaped through it), all in less than half an episode. Et voila! Odelle is saved!

Or not. We do have nine more eps to fill, so our intrepid heroine is obliged to take yet another one for the team, grabbing the idiot ball from the boys in New York and contacting Col Glen, presumably to ensure another attempt on her life next week. Your plot thanks you for your service, Odelle. Although I do hope the fantastic Luc gets a bit more to do next time you’re in trouble; “Tango Uniform” was entertaining enough, but, despite only having one line and less than a minute of screentime, Gregory Fitoussi’s magnificently charismatic drug dealer walked away with the entire thing, outshining everyone else with ease. Give him more to do, show. It’ll be worth it.