Episode Title: "Rewind"
Synopsis: An unidentified hacker named Casper has a digital skeleton key that unwittingly puts him/her in the crosshairs of an assassin. Casper's murder is to take place on an airplane, leading Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) and his allies Winston (Chi McBride) and Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley) to concoct a plan to get both Chance and Winston on board the flight.
Their mission is to identify and protect Casper, but when catastrophe strikes, Chance has to save everybody on the plane, all while figuring out who caused the chaos.
Risk Assessment: First and foremost, let's point out the obvious. In the pilot episode of "Human Target," Chance already dealt with a life-threatening situation on a fast-moving transportation vessel. Now, the second episode puts Chance in the exact same situation, just on an airplane instead of a train? It's not exactly the most encouraging sign of this show's imagination.
Regardless, "Rewind" is still a compelling hour of television. There are multiple layers to the situation that Chance and Winston must unravel in order to succeed in their mission — they have to identify Casper, protect him or her (turns out to be a her) from whomever the assassin is (turns out to be a him and a her) and land the plane safely. Needless to say, none of these elements go off without a hitch.
The writers make it perfectly clear that the stakes in this episode are high. Casper has a skeleton key that can do great damage to sensitive intelligence circuits on the Internet, so her protection is of the utmost importance. But when the pilots of the plane are no longer able to fly, Chance and a flight attendant (Courtney Ford) are forced to take over the wheel. A fire in the bowels of the plane threatens to bring everybody down, so Chance is forced to flip the plane upside down to extinguish the blaze. Of course, after the maneuver, the plane refuses to flip right side up again. It's a messy situation to say the least, but it provides an incredibly entertaining popcorn experience for the viewer at home.
That's not to say that the episode was without its problems. Anybody who watched the past season of "Dexter" probably suspected that the attendant played by Ford was in on the plot, which isn't exactly the show's fault. Still, Ford's character had potential to stick around on "Human Target" as a competitive assassin for Chance to deal with again down the line. I would have liked the introduction of a rival agent and agency at this point in the game, and while it's not necessarily something the show won't pursue in the future, it feels like a bit of a botched opportunity to kill Ford's character this early.
Overall, "Rewind" was another solid entry in the early days of "Human Target." I'm looking forward to a more cohesive and long-term plot, but if it never comes, at least the show is wildly entertaining.
Next Case: In "Embassy Row," Chance hunts down his friend's killer while attempting to thwart an international arms deal. The episode airs on Tuesday, January 26th, as opposed to the normal Wednesday air date.
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