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The Player - Tell - Review: "Swan Song?"

This episode opens in the middle of a motorcycle chase and the end of a game. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Alex strut. As he won this game, he was strutting. It was nice to see. Another thing that was nice to see was that the writers remain true to Alex’s character. As he retrieves his prize, Cassandra tells him that the bad guy is getting to his feet. Alex shoots him in the knees rather than killing him.

Instead of getting a new game right away, Alex meets with Cassandra. His patience is growing short. Cassandra tries to convince Alex to keep calm. Is this the first time we’ve heard Alex question how Cassandra came to be trapped in this web? I don’t think so, but, if he did, he doesn’t get a better answer than he did before.

She does prove to be worthy of the trust he placed in her. Cassandra found what Ginny’s key opens. It’s a storage locker outside of Las Vegas. Alex recognizes the contents as things she needed to store after she moved out of the house they shared. Alex finds memories and a letter Ginny wrote to him, not the clues to the mystery he was hoping for. Among Ginny’s belonging are every letter he ever wrote to her. I’m ready to conclude that Ginny really does love Alex. Maybe she’s not in cahoots with her kidnappers.

As Alex ponders the letter Ginny wrote to him, someone slips him a clue (in the form of a book) and a cellphone. The mystery caller identifies himself as a friend. The voice reminds me of Alex’s buddy, Donovan; the one Johnson intimidated in to hiding and falsifying the information from the SIM card. Did anyone else get that impression? Although, their conversation implied that this person may be connected to whomever is going after The House. So, I’m not sure.

At any rate, the book leads to a man named Jack Fuller, who headed the U.S. Marshall’s relocation program until he retired and went off the grid. Cassandra recommends they force a new bet to mask their search for Fuller. This approach has the added benefit of giving them a chance to judge Mr. Johnson’s reaction to the game.

It seems it may have worked. Johnson is a cool customer. His poker face is pretty darned good, but when he turns his back on Alex and Cassandra, his eyes betray a bit of stress. His only comment; “I like the action.” But given that Cassandra’s actions flagged Fuller’s name in the Marshall’s computer system, Mr. Johnson revises the bet.

The Bet: Can Alex Kane Locate Jack Fuller, Professional Ghost, Before He Leaves The Country?

Johnson immediately calls someone and tells them they have a problem, and it should not become his. I figure he’s talking to Fuller.

Cassandra aims Alex at a government data processing center where fake birth certificates are being created. Alex heads for it. From here it’s a fairly standard hunt. Alex gets a name and, using Cal’s badge number, puts out a BOLO on Jack Fuller’s new name. Alex would have caught him, except that when you have access to the U.S. Marshall’s computer system, it’s very easy to add a name and face to a fugitive warrant. Alex is arrested. Fuller gets away from Alex, but not Mr. Johnson, who is sitting on the plane. I think Alex just lost his first bet?

He’s distracted from the bet by an angry call from Cal. Cal is rightfully angry that Alex abused their friendship by using his badge number. Alex tries to tell Cal to back off. Alex begs Cal to let it go, but the question comes too late. Cal is attacked. Alex breaks a few land speed records trying to get there in time to save Cal. Alex is too late to prevent Cal being shot, but he does manage to save Cal’s life. Cal’s thank you? He drops Alex like a hot potato. The sequence kind of felt like a way for TPTB to get Cal off the canvas, because his story isn’t working, but it could just be adding more complications to Alex’s life.

Cassandra leaves the office to follow Mr. Johnson in hopes of determining his real motives. Their plan is hijacked by Agent Nolan when she has her kidnapped and tossed in the back of a van. Cassandra is stripped and her jewelry destroyed. They even search her mouth! Cal finally starts to wonder how far out of bounds Nolan is operating. “Is this legal?” “Technically.” “Technically isn’t yes.”

Cassandra had the upper hand in this hardcore interrogation for almost its entirety. I think she was actually beginning to get to Nolan, and that’s why Nolan let Cal in to talk to her. Cal’s belief in what he’s doing was completely shaken. He even admitted to Alex that he broke his own moral code. Nolan did manage to land one major blow to Cassandra. She brought up a painful event (an event tied to her ending up working for The House?) from her childhood. An event, it seemed, that first brought Cassandra to Mr. Johnson’s attention.

The twist to all of this is that Cassandra reports to Mr. Johnson. The FBI has a lot of details correct, but they’re putting them together in the wrong puzzle.

Mr. Johnson meets with someone who seems to be involved with the Council. Johnson needs permission to forfeit the bet, because it could compromise him. The Council Member does NOT like Mr. Johnson. He agrees to Johnson’s request, but that’s about it. So I suppose this means Alex doesn’t lose this bet per se. {I did enjoy the way the council guy managed to put Johnson off his food. Kudos to Wesley Snipes for his subtle moment here. LOL}

In a move I did not expect, Mr. Johnson brings Fuller to Alex’s house. (Alex is a security expert, right? That elevator doesn't seem to have a locking mechanism.) Alex forces him to explain why Ginny was in that house. Ginny was waiting on Fuller to bring her the paperwork for her new identity, but men showed up before they were ready. She knew these men and they scared her. Ginny ran. Fuller has no idea where to. Johnson finally admits that he has no idea what is going on with Ginny. Her mystery continues.

Alex returns to the storage locker to read the letter Ginny left him. It’s a goodbye note she left before any of this happened. It is primarily about him being open to loving again. What Alex finds in the back of the storage locker adds credence to what Ginny’s mother told him. He finds a cache of pretty major weapons. That was a surprise.

This episode was primarily about the arc mysteries. I liked the way the managed to get the bet to move that story forward. We found out a bit more about Cassandra, got a tiny bit more insight into the hierarchy of The House, watched the near demise of Alex’s relationship with Cal, and found out quite a bit more about Ginny. Unfortunately, as things stand now this may be all of the information we ever get on these stories.

I do hope that, despite that, you guy will feel free to discuss the episode. What did you think about the use of an abbreviated bet story?

About the Author - Prpleight
Prpleight is a screenwriter and senior software engineer with solid geek cred. When not writing code, screenplays, or watching TV (sometimes she does all three at the same time), she uses her broadsword Bessie to battle evil. She's been a frequent contributor to the SpoilerTV discussion boards for several years now.
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