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Allegiance - Chasing Ghosts - Review: "Highly Enjoyable"

Last night's fourth episode of NBC's Allegiance was another great hour of television. The storyline continues to take fascinating twists and turns, while taking the time to delve into the characters' past and shed some insight on the reasoning behind some of their choices.

Titled "Chasing Ghosts", the episode was written by Eoghan Mahony and directed by series creator and executive producer George Nolfi. Proceedings kicked off right where last week's hour ended, with Katya and Mark O'Connor hiding upstairs having just lifted the prized laptop from inside City Hall on behalf of the SVR, but on the verge of being discovered by their own son, Alex. It turned out to be a narrow escape for Katya and Mark, with Alex being ordered to come back down the ladder, but that didn't mean the chase was over.

With the mayor presenting a speech while the chase was on, Katya and Mark slipped out of the building posing as members of the press. They then took advantage of an empty subway to make it to the FBI headquarters, where they intended to use the laptop as leverage for protection from the SVR. Though examining the laptop at first to check its authenticity was a good idea, the inevitable automatic self destruction occurred, but not before Mark could capture video of its contents. Though the self destruction concept is used constantly on television and movies, it was refreshing to see a character with brains actually do something about it, so kudos to the creative team there.

When Katya and Mark finally returned with the laptop, the SVR also showed they had some brains and suspected the time it took for the laptop's return indicated possible tampering. Rezident Arkady Isakof had the duo bundled into a van, and taken to a secluded location where he made his intentions clear. The pair were let free a short while later, and a powerful moment between then followed. It's clear Katya and Mark are a strong couple, and committed to ensuring their own safety and the safety of their children. Katya talked about a time years prior when Mark was away on assignment with herself left at home to look after the kids. The pair both admitted to being unfaithful, which took me by surprise, but made for fantastic television. Couples that have been through a tough time but come out of it stronger are a rare find on television these days, so this is a nice change.

With the City Hall raid a failure, the FBI's director stopped by to give the task force a good going over. Alex was singled out, with this awkward demeanor not winning any brownie points. Agent Luttrell stood by his side though.

Both the O'Connor sisters saw much more time on screen in this episode, with Margarita Levieva stepping up to the task with a great performance. Natalie enlisted one of her ex partners to decrypt the jargon in the video her father took as the prized laptop was formatting itself. The decrypted video yielded evidence of an imminent explosion in Manhattan, and bank account information. Natalie also ended her relationship with Victor. Meanwhile, Sarah was caught skipping school and associating with other teenagers smoking drugs.

The dressing down by the FBI director got Alex's mind spinning, spurring him on to find out how the SVR managed to get the laptop. Him and Michelle successfully retraced the footsteps Katya and Mark took, and a perfectly timed bus caught someone entering the Masonic temple opposite City Hall. The comic relief Alex's demeanor provides was again exploited as him and Michelle waited for the bus service to provide the footage they were after. The chemistry between the pair continues to blossom, as we saw Michelle resting her head on Alex's shoulder on the train ride back.

The hour concluded in a diner where Katya and Mark met Alex, and came clean about their work with the SVR. This is a great wee cliffhanger, and looks to be the catalyst for a very Alex focused episode next week. Check out the promo here.

In all, this was another highly enjoyable episode of Allegiance. The storyline, with its interesting moving parts and ease of understanding, combined with likable characters and a dash of humor, has won me over. Thanks for reading - feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below, and visit Allegiance on my website, www.seriesmonitor.com/allegiance.

About the Author - Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan lives in New Zealand, and works in the IT industry. He is an avid follower of drama television and has a keen interest for television ratings and statistics. Some of his favorite shows right now are Person of Interest, Scandal, House of Cards, Orphan Black, The Blacklist, The 100, How To Get Away With Murder, Elementary and Castle. You can visit his television ratings website, www.seriesmonitor.com or follow him on Twitter, @SeriesMonitor.
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