You’re Never Alone in New York (But You Inexplicably Have a Great Apartment Even If You’re an Artist)
Will. Will, Will, Will. You know why he works at API? Because if he worked in ops, he’d be dead in 20 minutes. Last week, ya’ll commented about the boneheadedness of his character and this week, well, yeah, we got more of the same. However, he does seem to get the ladies wet with a tomato, wine, and a big gun. Apparently, that and bugs in one’s apartment leads to dirty sex with a stranger (and then cuddling the next night, which doesn’t interest me so much). Will took his wine, tomato, and big gun across the alley to artist Andi’s (although, we learn like every other “artist” in New York, she’s actually an office worker. She probably also moonlights as a bartender when she can). He walks into her apartment, makes a crappy sandwich and some small talk, then proceeds to stare out her window into his own apartment. She starts talking about sex and he starts talking about bugs and then hides a bunch of files in her bathroom while she sighs, packs up her blue balls, and grabs an extra pillow.
Andi also grabs a video camera, which makes me think she might be a kinky bitch, but then she and Will just set it up and wait for nefarious shit to go down in his apartment. Will assumes that since he broke a bug, they’ll be back to replace it. Will fixates on his own windows while Andi asks him awkward questions about how someone as awesome as him isn’t married, which, with Will’s alternating silence and distant answers, leads her to exclaim, “Oh — she DIED.” Yes, honey, he’s a widower. A brooding, bugged widower. If she wasn’t already hot and clawing for her diaphragm and a couple of luudes, she is now.
Elsewhere in New York, Kale Ingram runs into Truxton Spangler getting out of a town car. Now, we see some pretty incredible shit go down on this show, but having us believe that someone named their son “Truxton” is one of the most egregious. I Googled it, and it’s the name of several U.S. towns and an alternate spelling was the name of a U.S. Navy Destroyer in WWI. Otherwise, it’s a bizarre name and is repeated often this episode by other characters as we learn that Truxton is the lynchpin that keeps the narratives together. He and Kale talk in veiled language about Will, with an understanding reached between them but not so much for us. Kale believes that Spangler finds Will to be a “problem” but Spangler isn’t biting, he’s just being cryptic. He does bring Kale some ginseng tea, which was a nice gesture, although I was sure it was laced with sodium amytal.
In the next scene, we meet Maggie’s replacement, Emily, who is mousy and awkward but probably won’t go through your trash. She comes to alert Grant that his ginger ball buster of a wife is waiting outside, won’t leave, and is irate. She’s come to deliver the charming news that her and her forced toughness have been canned, and to berate Grant for not making enough money. This scene sets up Grant’s family dynamic and also allows him and Miles to relate to each other later in the episode. However, this is also the second time where we get a weird, intrusive camera-angle POV (the first was in Andi’s apartment, as she videotapes Will). I don’t like this, “Rubicon,” not one bit. It’s unexpected and unwelcomed; you can’t flip the technique nine episodes in without an explanation. And don’t have Grant stare menacingly into the surveillance camera at the end of the scene. That’s trite, yo. When I stare into the security cameras at work, I at least give a little wave. Enough with the menacing stares. Especially from Grant.
In the next scene, Miles stands outside API smoking and Will comes up, harassing him about loitering. Tanaz Sahar, the suspected double-agent, was killed three days ago and none of the intelligence sources can get their stories straight. Additionally, Tanya’s on a temporary 28-day reassignment, drying out somewhere in White Plains, probably. Grant and Miles prepare to bunker down and spend their lives at the office, which to most would be awful but to them is a welcome reprieve from their miserable home lives. Little does Miles know it’s going to get even better for him to be trapped in API: Julia, the hottie translator from a few weeks ago, is temporarily joining their team. That Urdu came in handy after all! I like this for Miles; he’s a frenetic but not-unlovable character and I like Julia’s character for him. Toward the end of the episode he fumbles through asking her out for coffee, but then not coffee, and she suggests, of all things, a BAR and they go off to hang out. It’s a sweet pairing of analyst nerds just tryin’ to live their lives in a crazy world of espionage and broken homes.
On their way to the meeting, Will runs into Maggie. She apparently came back to retrieve a pair of shoes. Now, when I was fired from my job, I had one shot to get all my shit and peace out. I guess attaching one’s lips to Kale Ingram’s ass allows for considerations outside those offered to regular Joes like us. She tries to apologize and make excuses and Will, in a burst of ballsiness, brushes her off with a smile and a have-a-nice-life. She’s so clearly tortured and he is just over her bullshit.
Will heads up to the roof and shares a muffin with Kale. Kale’s offer of breakfast pastries is a trope to keep the surveillance cameras off their trail. No audio on the roof, but cameras, eh? Fine. Kale tells Will that Truxton showed up at his place at 6am. Will replies that it’s because he destroyed a bug. They banter past each other, Will lashing out against Kale, and Kale trying to reel the off-the-handle analyst back in. Trustworthy or not, Kale shouldn’t be pushed away; Will could stand to learn a little about surveillance and espionage from Kale’s ops past.
Back in the office, Julia’s pulling her weight as the new kid on the team. Turns out that Tanaz has been cheating with Iranian intelligence behind America’s back and either could’ve found out and had her offed. It’s also probable that Q’teb (the one they had “assassinated”) is alive and is also described in Afghanistan as “light skinned,” possibly European. Will doesn’t stick around to help them figure out the identity of this guy and peaces out to Andi’s apartment. When he walks in, he learns what we already know - chick’s been snooping and playing with his big gun while Will was at work. She creeps up behind him and attempts to rape his face, but Will pulls back. There’s no dialogue in this scene. Everything we learn is through their facial expressions and their eventual hungry devouring of each other. We get about five seconds of a steamy cable TV sex scene and it’s nice to see Will toss around in the throws of passion for a minute and not brood over post-its.
Meanwhile, Kale’s not having so much luck. His boyfriend is pissed about some plans that have gotten fouled up, and Kale’s distracted, not listening (which is good for two nights on the couch, I’m sure). Kale crosses the street and confronts a dude who’s been following him. He’s not pleased about being tailed and goes to Spangler’s office to get to the bottom of it. Spangler’s eating cereal, a nice addition to his quirky personality and is being a smart ass that only an untouchable boss can be. Kale wants to know if Will’s a problem. Spangler says that if Will were a problem, he would be handled, as problems are. He then rips into Kale in a backhanded way, saying he admired how Kale (regardless of salary or occupation) is still the same man - one with blood on his hands who doesn’t ask questions. Again, Kale is proving to be the most interesting character on this show and I’m psyched to learn more about his shadowy past.
Back in Andi’s apartment, we learn that Will is the type of guy who gets his rocks off and passes out. Andi gets curious and heads over to her window with the video camera, and watches Will’s windows. And THEN - the payoff. A flashlight. She calls to Will, who gets his lazy ass out of bed and joins her. Here again we learn that everyone sucks at concealing their actions and identities. The guy turns the freaking LIGHTS ON and it’s Donald Bloom with a briefcase and a bag, ostensibly fixing and replacing Will’s bugs. Did none of these people learn anything from James Bond movies (or, you know, reality)? If you’re going to act under the cover of night, leave the lights off because you can see inside windows that way. Oh, and if you’re running surveillance on a dude with extensive electronic elements and following them through New York, you might want to follow him to the next building over before raiding his apartment so openly. Ridiculous. Truxton.
Later, as his Lady Rembrandt sleeps, Will answers the phone and ends up meeting in a diner with Kale (and some pie… mmm… pie). Will tells Kale about Bloom breaking into his apartment and accuses Kale of playing both sides. Kale gives Will a copy of Tom Rhumer’s obituary and mentions that he committed suicide the same day as the crossword appeared. The two then get into the most frustrating argument in a relationship, with Will being all petulant and “stay away from me, I don’t need you!” and Kale being like “[deep sigh] honey, stop, you’re being ridiculous and I’m trying to help you but your whiny ass doesn’t see that” and Will’s all like “you have NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE ME” and “we’re DONE!” Ugh. These two.
Throughout this episode, we get glimpses into Katherine’s narrative as she connects Truxtooooooon to her husband. First, she meets with Tom’s first wife to ask about the photograph of the kids on the beach. Mrs. Tom Rhumer the First identifies Tom, James Wheeler, and Joe Bradley at Fisher’s Island. Bradley is the professor who preceded James at Atlas and also killed himself. When Katherine presses and asks about the clover, Mrs. Tom Rhumer the First tells her that it’s good luck and time to move on.
Katherine isn’t though, and meets again with the professor’s widow. She brings the photo (although the woman ostensibly has her own copy, but Katherine doesn’t know this). Mrs. Bradley also identifies Truxty Spangler in the photo, a close friend of her deceased husband who works at API. He came to check on her when Gerald Bradley died, but she didn’t know Tom or how they all knew each other, other than the fact that they all were friends as kids. Later, Katherine walks by the API building and down the street, peering up as though she were trying to see through its walls into its soul. No luck. Brick is pretty thick.
So, you want to know how the episode ends? ME TOO. Because Comcast is the devil, AMC CUT OUT FOR THE LAST EIGHT MINUTES OF THE EPISODE. Seriously — black for six minutes, thirty seconds of Will spooning his artist love, and then credits. Fuck you, cable. Anyway, I’m going to check the OnDemand and revisit the last few minutes because I’ve undoubtedly missed something important. I might also pause on the sex seconds too, because even though he’s infuriating, there’s something really, really hot about a brooding, widowed, bugged Will Travers.
Addendum: Apparently, I only missed the Spangler/Grant scene during the great Comcast blackout last night (phew). It was an important one though - basically, Spangler is grooming Grant to take over if Will suddenly “needs a rest.” Spangler views Grant as someone who has enough personal drama that he can be manipulated. He said to Grant the exact words he said to Tanya: “We take care of our own.” It seems like Spanlger got rid of Tanya by sending her to rehab; he knew he couldn’t manipulate her so he had to shelve her for a while. I’m glad I saw it because it’s certainly setting up a new element to Spangler’s interaction with Will’s team.
Adrienne Saia Isaac is a journalist and Philly expat living in Colorado with two pairs of skis, seven Phillies hats and her pit bull mix, Juno. Her main goal in life (besides finding gainful employment) is to drink whiskey out of Lord Stanley’s cup with Chris Pronger. You can read her rants and rambling at Ex-Pat’s and Geno’s.
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