Title (S01, E09): Taking on Water: How Leaks in D.C. Are Discovered and Patched
Director: Ron Underwood
Written by: created by Michelle King, Robert King, written by Jonathan Tolins, Aurin Squire
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Tveit, Nikki M James, Johnny Ray Gill, Danny Pino, Tony Shalhoub, Charlie Shamin, Jan Maxwell, Zach Grenier, Megan Hiltz, Beth Malone and more
Executive producers: Ridley Scott, Michelle King, Robert King, David W Zucker, Liz Glotzer
Episode length: 42 min
Another episode consisting mostly of social and political satire that spoke to the absurdity of how things escalate and quickly get out of control on capital hill
Episode 9 of the series answered the higher calling of social and political satire that spoke to the absurdity of the human condition and targeted the ridiculousness of how things are done in our political system.
The bugs were not in evidence this time around, but the is a signifiant vent they are responsible for that may well one bak and bite them in their bug asses. There was no sign of Gustav in this edition of the series, and Rochelle only made a brief appearance in this installment. This time around the episode mostly concerned itself with human affairs and the idea that sometimes knowing only part of the truth can be worse than knowing nothing at all, especially if its none of your business.
The episode did have one big, shocking development in its depiction of the episode’s events that will give fans of the series something to talk about for days.
Here’s the recap (*warning, spoilers follow*).
The show starts out with the revelation on television by the show’s surrogate Rachel Maddow, Claudia Monarch (Beth Malone), who exposes the fraud being perpetrated by Red Wheatus regarding the Syrians being behind the fictional attacks that’s causing heads to explode, which we all already know are caused by the bugs.
Red responds to the accusation of his intentionally misleading the public about the Syrians being involved by shifting the focus of the conversation over to who leaked the information to the television show and where to place the blame. His ploy works, and soon everyone forgets about his role in things.
He calls for a special investigation into who leaked the information about the secret meeting with the CIA, and his bug people cohort Ella Pollack supports his call for the investigation, and that it should start immediately, ignoring the fact they had convened about something else entirely.
Its almost immediately too late to stop the momentum of the absurd situation and it becomes as inescapable as a falling row of dominoes in its inevitability. Naturally the witch hunt quickly assumes the leak to lie with Luke Healy, and incidentally Laurel, as the guilty parties who become the focus of the investigation.
The guy in charge, Lawrence Boch (excellent character actor Michael Gaston), visits Claudia Monarch, and when she refuses to divulge the source of her information, he has her arrested. Afterwards, he quickly visits Luke and pretty much says he knows Luke is guilty and suggests he get a lawyer, the situation is so quickly sidelined by Wheatus its amazing, and the show, once again, seems so on target that its scary how it seems like its satire is so close to how things likely actually happen in reality.
Red hires a private investigator, Ashley Cook (Tracie Thoms), of his own to look into Luke and Laurel’s past to find dirt he can use on them later if needed, and Gareth is there, and what Ashley finds out leads to big problems in his relationship with Laurel.
The episode starts out with them so horny for each other they go to the Smithsonian planetarium to fool around, but when things from her past come to his attention, he turns into a real jackass about it, judgmental and disapproving of some of the things he hears about, both true and untrue.
This gobbles up a lot of the episode’s allotted time, and by the end, she has decided they should take a break from each other. Somehow, I don’t think its the end for Laurel and Gareth, but the show sure made it seem that way.
The other storyline the episode is mostly concerned with is the mystery of room SRB-57, the room in the basement of the senate offices where the fellow that assaulted Rochelle in last week’s show went after she and Gustav interrogated, and released him.
Repeated attempts by Laurel, and Luke to get a look at what’s going on in there result in no access when they are greeted at the door by a very stubborn little man who identifies himself as Don Pickle (Jacob Pitts), who will allow no one entry to the room even when Luke tries to use his status as a Senator to get in.
Its not until Gareth uses some trickery does he finally gain access to the room, and sees a giant digital calendar on the wall counting down from 38 days, he also sees and even photographs some plans he sees on a desk which turn out to seem to be plans for an interment camp. It is revealed Red Wheatus is behind the secret activities taking place in there, and when Gareth confronts him, because as his chief of staff he should know, Red warns him off and tells him to not concern himself with what is going on in there.
Well Garth tells Laurel what he found out, and Laurel tells Luke, and Luke goes to Lawrence Boch , and tells him that maybe he’s investigating the wrong thing. When Boch later tells Red he going to expand his investigation into what’s going on he tells Red,
“Well if this is a war, and I’m the enemy why not pull out a gun and shoot me right now?”
and that’s exactly what Red does, he pulls a gun out of his desk and shoots Boch right in the head. Red’s intern Jed comes running in at the sound of the gunshot, and Red acts as if Boch shot himself.
When Jed goes to call the police, Red tells him to get a dolly and some drop sheets in a nearby hallway closet, and then Red goes to clean up the mess of Bochs splattered brains on the wall, and he hesitates and then tastes them.
He likes it, and scrapes the rest into a container and labels it as his and puts it in the office refrigerator for later. Jed comes back with the things Red asked for, and the next scene shows Red the next morning loading a bunch of bundles of trash into a garbage truck and there’s two bloody bundles instead of just one. Poor Jed.
There is another scene where the committee is waiting for Boch to show up, and Red tries to brush it aside and suggests they get another investigator instead, but the rest of the committee wants to wait for Boch, and out votes his suggestion. The whole matter of Red’s intentionally misleading the public in attempt to get support to go to wars has been forgotten. Its hard to stay what will happen next week. will Red get away with it, or will his impulsive behavior catch up with him and lead to the bugs and their sinister campaign being revealed?
Meanwhile, Claudia Monarch who was arrested by Boch at the beginning of the epode for not revealing her source for the story that started it all, is now back in the studio after being released from jail, and there to meet with her is Senator Diane Vaynerchuk (Brooke Adams), the one who leaked the story in the first place, asking Claudia to not say anything about where she got the information.
Its uncanny how scary the satirical portrayal of how things are dome on capital hill, seem so on the money and right on target, and despite how silly it seems sometimes, it still rings true as to how things are done and how they occur in reality. The job this show does as far as being great satire, is some of the best political satire I have ever seen.
This episode while having some interesting developments was not as amusing as it usually is, and with no Gustav and Rochelle, the focus this time around was not on the bug aspect of the show’s narrative, which, while a little disappointing, also implies the remaining four episodes will be chock full of big developments regarding the science fiction parts of the story which I assume will be coming to some sort of climactic point soon, or at least to a point where it will serve as a set up a second season of the show.
That is to say the episode was not completely laking in humor, but it was the creepy sort of humor born out of how well the political satire is done, and seems solos to reality that its scary. I have no idea if there is another season planned for the series or if this is one time shot, but it certainly has been a pleasant surprise for this time of year, and one of my favorites of this summers genre shows. Happy viewing