All right, I admit, I was skeptical of "Jacked" getting a sequel. I mean, sure, we know what good friends Rob Morrow and Fisher Stevens are, (note the restraint in making a directionally challenged joke) but really? "Jacked" was so long ago! Hell, I was still working for the site that shall not be named! I mean, sure it was a fun eppesode, but not like "Spree" and "Two Daughters" which led to a seriously awesome follow-up. Did we really need a comic relief eppesode so soon after "Dreamland," and the annoyance otherwise known as Augie?
Apparently, we did, because, despite my initial meh-ness over Buckley returning, not only did I really like the eppesode, but also thought the Fedcakes got a hilarious practical lesson on pwning , since they're not aware of what it means. It was done in such a way that I wasn't left wanting to throw things at my TV. Who knew that was possible?
We begin with previouslies: Previously, Buckley kidnapped a busload of people, including Marshal Flinkman. The bus could only be saved by both real life, and fictional brothers snarking, and the reality that no one is afraid of Fisher Stevens.
Also, last time, we had a drinking game to go along with Buckley's antics, so I thought we needed one this time too.
- 1 sip for every time Buckley asks for or says something ridiculous.
- 1 shot for every time the massive response to the hostage crisis is panned over.
- 1 shot for every time Buckley hits on a female.
- 1 shot for every time Buckley gets meta.
- 1 shot for every person in the room who snickers when scorpions are mentioned. (By this I mean, in your room -- not on the television. If you're watching this eppesode alone, you do count, if you snicker / giggle / snort, etc.)
- 2 shots for every beauty queen on screen.
Prison: Don and David are there to talk to Buckley about why the hell someone would want to copy his style.
By style, I mean criminal activities, which, if they'd worked, were brilliant plans. Not that the Fedcakes think he's in on it. They just think he talks a lot, giving ideas to others. His talking is good, because otherwise, Buckley would get "lonely" and I don't even want to think what that would mean.
The style wasn't exact, because, this time, the criminals got away with it, and according to Buckley, they aren't done. Nope, they're going to hit a jewelry store in LA next. Not that the Fedcakes believe Buckley since he was 100% less than truthful last time and it would be a good idea if they remembered that!
La Maison d'Eppes: Charmita was procrastinating (procrastinating, a word which here means fill in your own definition) and is now desperate to get a lecture on something way too complicated for me to understand, prepared.
As for Alan, he shows an entirely different work ethic. He's really concerned about being late for work, and pays very close attention to the traffic reports. Either that or he's paying really, really close attention to her breasts, which would be hard not to do, considering her outfit.
When the report is interrupted by the breaking news of a robbery at the LA Minerals and Metal Exchange. Well, looks like that lecture preparation will have to be put off a while longer!
Hostage Site: Since TPTB seem determined to have Liz and Nikki together as little as possible, I'm going to let people come to their own conclusions. Anyway, Liz seems to be playing David's role as she fills in the Chief Fedcake on how the criminals got in to the exchange in the first place: dressed as janitors.
Inside the command truck, David shows the video of the hostage taking and how many angles the baddies have covered. The hostages are now dressed like the baddies, there's no way for the Fedcakes to see inside, and even the video feed has been replaced, with what I believe to be an old Woody Woodpecker cartoon.
In fact, the only luck they have was the manager's ability to hit the silent alarm. So now, they have something much bigger than a jewellry store, 26 hostages, and one Buckley to contend with.
We get a pan shot of the police presence, and it's made up o snipers, and technical equipment, and other such things rented from the standard TV tactical response unit. Inside tactical command, the Fedcakes' viewing of the most unfortunately named cartoon character is interrupted by a phone call from another cartoon character.
Buckley's stolen the prison librarian's webcam to call Don, and deleted all his porn -- the librarians, not Don's. I'm not saying that Don has porn, although, he is a guy and... I give up, there's no way to save that statement. Insisting that Don needs him, Buckley that is, not the librarian or the porn, -- oh hell, I give up on this sentence too.
At least Buckley has one useful piece of information: SWAT is getting too close to the doors, which are wired with bombs. You know what they could really use right now? A sniper, who is capable of crawling through a secured building without being caught (unless he wants to be).
Don's the most popular person to call in this eppesode, as now the baddies want to talk to him. Well, at least the head baddie is wrong about one thing -- he's not Don's best friend. Oh no, that role has been firmly filled by Buckley for the remainder of this eppesode. They might even go out for drinks
BTW, is it just me, or does the baddie's voice sound like he's trying to seduce Don, as much as convince the chief Fedcake to hand over a jet, so that people don't die?
Ordering Liz to get Buckley, I'm wondering if a) that's a wise idea and b) if Buckley isn't just a distraction for smooth-talking-criminal-guy.
IHOF: Charmita is terribly impressed by the ingenuity of the criminals, but figures they could get control of the cameras back in a couple of hours.
Prison: David and Liz are stuck with the Buckley duty. They must've picked the short straw, because Liz already looks like she'd rather have a tour of the sewers than be in the same room as the man. When Buckley jokes the pair of Fedcakes are "Mom and Dad," only to promptly hit on Liz, not only does it disgust Liz, but also gives us way too much insight about Buckley's sexual fantasies.
As if that wasn't enough, Buckley also wants ice cream. If ever there was a moment for fanfic writers to leave alone, this one would, definitely, be it.
Hostage Site: The camera pans over the law enforcement's response to the crisis. Bottom's up!
Inside the command truck, the bombs are, apparently, easily diffused. This is good, as I don't think anyone would take too kindly to the Fedcakes being in pieces (which, by the way, is totally different from getting a piece of Fedcake).
Because no one takes the attention away from the baddie, he has to call Don back, to taunt him about the snipers who aren't as competent as Edgerton, and how there's one sick hostage. He. also wants food -- good chicken dinners.
We get another pan of the response team (drink!) while the obligatory sick hostage is released.
Charmita's removed the emergency programming and put what was regularly scheduled back on. If only regular TV networks were so efficient.
Now the Fedcakes have had their last moment of peace for the entire eppesode because Buckley, complete with triple-flavour banana split, has arrived. You know, I can just imagine Buckley as a little kid in a grocery store. Imagine getting him through the candy aisle.
While Buckley's offer of vanilla ice cream for Don (like don's vanilla, please!) is refused, Liz has something really, really important to pass on to her boss.
The head baddie is Len Maddux, a former compatriot, a word which here means, Buckley's cellmate. Instead of killing the little twerp, Maddux listened to all the planning and adapted it for this job. At least, that's what Buckley says, so I'm more likely to believe that Maddux has the same power as Kitty Pride, and can walk through walls.
So Maddux is a bad guy, surprise surprise, but the Fedcakes have a bad guy of their own to help. the problem is, said bad guy didn't arrive soon enough to warn everyone not to turn off the power in the exchange. This means that now there's no way to disarm those bombs on the doors. Oops.
Maddux doesn't quite see it as the oops I do and more of an excuse to terrorize his hostages.
He also doesn't buy Don's story of a power outage. I have to say, I can't believe how lame that story sounded. Don, you're usually cooler than that under pressure.
Buckley takes advantage and insists he's not helping any more until he gets a new deal. Hell, knowing this guy, he'll probably ask for world peace and a pony too. Not that he's going to get it either, and he's going to have to take 2 more years and probation.
He's also going to have to live with Maddux stealing every item of his playbook.
Insisting there's an inside woman involved, (and making Liz want to take a shower since he practically drools all over her), and that there are safe escapes routes for Maddux's crew, Buckley, I have to begrudgingly admit, proves his worth. Well, that is until he does something that alienates me from him forever.
Considering the precariousness of the show's future right now, I firmly resent any visions being handed over to guest stars. Plus, it's all about trapping a dot, which we can easily equate to Maddux. It's not even a good vision.
Speaking of Charlie, I should mention that he arrived a while ago, but since Buckley is doing the adorkable professor's job, he's sort of superfluous.
Okay, so Charlie's all impressed by Buckley, getting all excited about "Heuristic learning."
"Sounds incurable," Buckley snarks. I giggle. Damn him for making me do that; I'm trying to dislike him! He also doesn't help by snacking on the hostages' food while ordering caffeinated beverages for everyone and picks a chai latte for Liz. Crap. Now not only do I giggle at what he says, but now I want him to order hot drinks for me.
I shall remain resolute. I will dislike Buckley. I'm in good company.
Maddux is back on the phone, and Buckley warns that he's probably just biding his time to burrow out of the exchange. The easiest way for the Fedcake to test this theory is to ask for more time. Well, that's according to Buckley, and considering I read the title of this eppesode, it frustrates me the Fedcakes can't have a meta moment to know what I know.
Doing exactly what Buckley says, just ingratiates the ingrate to the Fedcakes. Instead, it should've done the exact opposite. Okay, so searching underground wasn't entirely a bad idea, particularly because of what this adds to the show.
IHOF: It's Alan! Oh yes, Alan may always be the font of all things wise and wonderful, but he's not usually so directly useful to the case. He has all sorts of plans to offer.
Hostage Site: Alan's sent along all of his plans, just as Amita pops up via webcam to give Buckley a chance to hit on another woman who would be repulsed by his advances.
Remember what I said earlier about meta? Yeah, well, Buckley seems to have latched onto that one because guess where he had a scholarship? MIT. Wasn't our beloved midseason replacement that could supposed to take place as MIT? Is this a glimpse through the looking glass at what might have happened?
Now that's a moment I'd highly encourage the FF writers to jump all over.
I should also mention that Buckley recommends Costa Rica for Charmita's honeymoon. I've got to say, that it's got to be a beautiful country if his experience with it is drug-running, yet he still likes it. On the other hand, I can't imagine anything more of a mood-killer than a bride turning to her husband and saying, "Aren't you glad Buckley recommended Costa Rica?" Therefore, I have to side against the Costa Rican honeymoon.
The delivery guys take in the food to the exchange and there's a momentary glare on the door. I mention this not only because that glare is important later, but also because there is enough light on the set to actually cause said glare. That alone has got to be worth a mention.
Alan and Nikki chime in via video conference to provide an unfortunate red herring: the easy access to the sewers from the exchange. Just as Don's thanking Alan, Buckley gets all snarky about the number of Eppes men in the FBI.
"Actually, I'm an urban planner," Alan replies, "But I have an FBI file." Oh, continuity gods, you do love this show.
Buckley goes from hilariously meta, to NPAL™. Like we couldn't predict, from the sheer volume this guy talks, that he would earn this week's NPAL™. "Next, you're going to tell me you have another member of the family who's an astronomer sending you satellite images." Yeah, that was a clunker of a line.
Now that the Fedcakes have all they need, like the plan, the location of the bombs, and enough meta to last them until doomsday
And, on the way out the door, he hits on Liz again.
As the Fedcakes prepare for entry, Charlie reassures Buckley that Don hates him. Hee!
A bunch of things happen at once:
1) The Fedcakes find that only hostages are left in the exchange. Hostages were dressed up as the criminals as a decoy.
2) Buckley is taken into custody by a criminal pretending to take him into custody, only to be shot and abducted by the officer and two other men dressed as delivery guys.
3) Charlie responds to the shooting and violence the way he always does, hides. Whether it be physically, or emotionally, Charlie's got a record of retreating from violence.
4) The criminals steal the command truck. Oh, that's so not going to look good on Don's service record.
After the commercial we find out that through the use of duplicate delivery uniforms, mirrors, and light (since light would be an excellent weapon considering the last two seasons of lighting on this show) the criminals were able to switch places and escape.
IHOF: Nothing's been taken from the exchange, other than Buckley, which to Don, smells like Buckley trying to escape. I'm trying not to think too hard about what eau de Buckley would be like.
Despite Don's gut telling him that Buckley engineered the whole thing, Charlie's math says otherwise. That looking-glass allusion I made earlier just keeps getting more and more appropriate.
Before I think we've fallen too far down the rabbit hole, Nikki distracts us with the inside woman, one Lola Sacco, who David recognizes as Miss Morro Bay 2005 (drink!). David knows pageants? Awkward.
"The promote world peace," is David's eventual answer. Hee! Yes, but the question for me is, do they also promote ponies and shoutouts?
Security Company: I guess I should've included the information that Lola's responsible for the security cameras at the exchange. Her company still holds the contract, well, at least until the end of this eppesode.
I instantaneously do not like Miss Morro Bay 2005. (Oh yes, and do I sense a meta-moment with that title there?) She's way too glib considering one of the contracts, and group of security cameras she's responsible for, got hacked. You'd think she'd a) know and b) be more concerned.
Thus when she passes off the David and Nikki to her cubicle mate, Gil Harkness, as because she recognizes Maddux as his boyfriend, I'm suspicious.
Harkness had a fling with Maddux for two weeks, and clearly wasn't that attached to him. That's good, as it saves Nikki and David trying to explain how, in the middle of a hostage situation, Maddux sounded like he was hitting on Don. Not that I blame Maddux. One's got to take rare opportunities like that whenever they're presented.
Unlike the other Harkness I knew and loved until I was traumatized over the summer, this one can die, and since he wished to avoid that, he gave Maddux all the information and access to the exchange that he wanted.
IHOF: Don's gut is creaming that something is wrong. No, it's not the nervous tick he has of checking his watch, it's the feeling he gets when he knows the whole story isn't true: watching and rewatching video. This time,it's video from "Jacked" when Buckley's screaming about how he's really the one in control. Wow, wasn't that nice of him to foreshadow a whole year earlier.
Speak of the devil, and the devil calls, from the trunk of a car. The devil also tries to convince Don that he had absolutely nothing to do with the exchange hostage situation. I'm proud that Don holds steadfast in his disbelief.
That is, until Don fades under Buckley's persuasion, and becomes concerned the little creep will wind up as roadside litter. Come on, Don, be like me and don't care!
Nope, instead Charlie has to get in on the action, except he can't because Maddux's phone is cloned. For me, the real question is, why doesn't Maddux notice his expensive phone is missing? Could that be because the guy using it, is in on everything?
Now, Charlie's got to figure out the best route criminals could take that would avoid law enforcement, like police stations, and, as Buckley chimes in, doughnut shops. Oh, Buckley, sometimes you're so hilarious, and others you're such a judgmental ass.
In order to help himself be found, Buckley gives Charlie some landmarks, all of which are common, and, well, a flat out lie.
Oh, and now the battery runs out, the classic cell-phone lie and yet everyone believes it!
Sticking a bloody bandage out the window, Buckley's last words are dramatically cut off by the dying cell phone. Oh, it's drama worthy of a Shakespeare company
Abandoned Lot: Nikki and David, because TPTB seem determined to not let me use the names Artemas and Athena as often as I'd like, are sent to examine the car Buckley was traveling in. What they find inside are the unconscious bodies of Maddux's two henchmen.
They also find the phone and a heck of a lot of blood. It convinces the pair of Fedcakes that Buckley's prediction that he'd be disposed of at the side of the road, is true. I'm not so easily convinced.
IHOF: Snow White admits in interview that he didn't see Maddux kill Buckley. He also comments about how Maddux took Buckley "for a walk." Liz, and my BFFedcake severely disappoint me by not asking the most obvious question.
The plan was to use the exchange to launder the money they made form the bus hijacking. The baddies already had account numbers and passwords to get it done, because of one simple reason. They had a spy.
Later, Charlie's found out what the spy (not Theoriginalspy) planted: a thumb drive in a camera that was attached to a something that could read all the passwords off the camera data. Charlie compares the technology to reading braille.
There's just one small glitch in Maddux's plan. Since he didn't take the technology out of the camera, Charlie will be able to find out exactly where and how the money was laundered. Oops.
As Charmita needs time to decipher where the money went, they have time to discuss where they should honeymoon. You know, anything suggested by a career criminal, would be a bad idea. Come to think of it, there aren't a lot of people on this show from whom vacation advice.
For instance, unless one wished to camp, Edgerton would be a back person to ask. Also, Larry probably couldn't make up his mind about what to recommend, while Rosencrantz and Guildenstern would bicker and/or wager about their choices.
Maybe, perhaps, Liz is the only hope?
As for Charlie, considering he dismisses Costa Rica for rain and scorpions, he's not one to pick a honeymoon destination.
Don doesn't help. He only knows about the scorpions. There's only one conclusion I can draw from this.
Luckily, Charmita's found where there money trail ends, thus letting all discussion of a honeymoon go by the wayside. As for the money, it ended where it began, but just in a different form, diamonds. Now, who would be keen to pick up the diamonds?
Exchange: Why, look, it's Miss Morro Bay 2005! And looky there, it's Maddux too!
And now we have two other important people on the scene.
The inside of Lola's bag looks like Edward Cullen's chest: sparkly.
IHOF: Maddux tells David and Liz what the title of this eppesode did: it was all a con job, with the word con holding a couple of different meanings. He's also not too happy about getting screwed over by Buckley, and, conveniently, Buckley's the only one not in custody yet he's the one who started off this eppesode in prison. The Fedcakes, and Maddux, are not amused.
Lola's also feeling betrayed, but unlike Maddux, she never saw it coming. Although, she was trying to cut Buckley out of the deal, but Buckley saw through her: and had 240000 skimmed off the original 16 million, in the form of a transaction fee, to use as a nest egg on the run.
Blah, blah, blah, woman scorned, Lola gives up Buckley's location, Hotel St. Eve, room 301.
Hotel St. Eve: Don and David bust in, guns drawn and I want to whack my head into a wall several times. A few weeks ago, this same pair didn't understand the concept of pwned and now Buckley's given them an IRL example. The only thing in the room is soggy take out, and a message on the computer, which I believe translates to na-na-na-na-boo boo, or, to be more technical.
La Maison d'Eppes: The take out is very soggy, as Alan points out, and even I'll try to make things better by adding at least the only criminal to get away was the one least likely to kill anyone.
Wait, that probably didn't help, did it?
As Charlie's trying to see if there's some hidden message or data on the laptop, a web call comes in, causing the entire Eppes family to crowd around the computer. It's painfully obvious what Don's thinking.
Hey, Buckley's not gone to Costa Rica at all! Instead, he's
Going all meta, Buckley waxes poetic on how He and Don could've been friends,
Thus, we leave with everything unresolved. It's like that moment at the end of the cartoon, just as Sam is about to do away with Ralph, and the whistle signifying the end of the day blows, saving Ralph from actually dying -- as opposed to falling off a cliff or something equally as cartoonish. Therefore, I'd like to offer my opinion of what may happen the next time Buckley, the over-engineering mastermind, and Don, the dogged Fedcake, meet.
You can find that opinion, here.