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Salvation - Seeing Red & From Russia, With Love - Review

Due to its ridiculous airing schedule, we’re a little behind on Salvation, so let’s catch up quickly in this review. It’s clear that the network wants to get the show finished before the fall season begins, but its ultimate fate is still up in the air. Last week’s two episodes were “Seeing Red” written by Christina M Walker and directed by Robbie Duncan McNeill (well known to Star Trek Voyager fans, but also a very prolific director now) and “From Russia, With Love” written by Dennis Saldua and directed by Nick Gomez. I did quite like the play on the title with the last episode as there was a lot of love going around in that episode and the big news is the possible budding romance between Darius (Santiago Cabrera) and Grace (Jennifer Finnigan).

Catching up to these two episodes, we’ve seen that Darius is stocking the ark – which Grace and Liam (Charlie Rowe) discover is Salvation in the secret bunker – with all manner of art and historically significant items. I’m enjoying the 160 project grapple with who should be saved based on merit. Darius is arrested and tortured, proving that Claire (Erica Luttrell) is not a nice person and she repeatedly seems to bring out the bad side of Harris (Ian Anthony Dale). Darius is cleared and the traitor turns out to be Croft (Dennis Boutsikaris) who murders Lazlo (Aaron Poole). Liam figures out that they can make the EM drive work by using the crystal in Darius’ meteor to line it.

Once the EM drive is operational, Croft shows his true colors and reveals he’s working with the Russians and steals it. Liam is taken captive and ends up killing a guard and thinking he’s killed Croft. This leads to Jillian (Jacqueline Byers) becoming suspicious when he has nightmares and she finds clothes covered in blood. Amanda (Shazi Raja) continues her pursuit of the truth by striking up a friendship with Jillian and ultimately driving a wedge between Jillian and Liam that forces Liam to tell Jillian the truth. She is furious that he kept the secret of the asteroid from her and leaves.

Grace learns more about Darius in “Keeping the Faith” when he takes her to Lazlo’s house, which is a safe house. The first thing Grace sees is a picture of Darius and Lazlo as kids with a girl standing in front of a treehouse. Later, Grace meets Theresa (Autumn Reeser) – Lazlo’s sister – who tells Grace to call her Tess. And of course, that’s the reason Darius’ computer is a female named Tess, and his personal space is the Treehouse. Grace sees that Darius is in love with Tess – or was – and in the next episode – “Chip Off the Ol’ Block” – we find out that Darius’ uncle Nicholas – played by the ever wonderful John Noble (who is the sweetest man you will ever meet in person!) – is the reason Darius was estranged from Tess.

“Chip Off the Ol’ Block” is another nice title with a double meaning. Darius is not a chip off the ol’ uncle block. Nicholas is not a nice guy and is all about maximizing profits and “winning.” As it happens, Darius’ meteorite is a chip off the block of a larger piece that Nicholas has. Nicholas refuses to let Darius display the meteorite in the Smithsonian – and tells him the Russians just tried to buy it. Darius, Liam, Harris, and a team put together by Harris break in and steal some of the meteorite. Darius has some high tech tazer-rifles for then to use so that no one has to get hurt. How the little bit of powder they get can possibly be enough is a mystery… but we’ll go with it. Nicholas is furious and wants retribution.

Meanwhile, Grace reaches out to Russian Ambassador – Katya Veselov (Irene Poole). They meet covertly at the reflecting pool. She tells Grace that the Russians stole the EM drive as retribution for Atlas. At the Pentagon, we meet Harris boss – Secretary of Defense, Randall Calhoun (Brian Markinson). Calhoun is furious that Harris went behind his back. Grace and Harris kiss when he returns and it seems that his jealousy over Darius is over and so is being cautious about their relationship. However, when Grace is woken by Zoe (Rachel Drance) the next day, she finds out that Russia is threatening war!

In “Seeing Red,” the Resist hackers tell Amanda that Tanz industries is linked to Atlas – they are also her source for photos: the meteorite with Tanz technology and Grace picking up her nuclear material. Grace presses Harris for more information on Atlas – it’s clearly why the Russians are hostile, and he tells her it’s a dead program. We eventually learn that it was a meteorite weaponized with Tanz technology.

Amanda apologizes to Liam, but insists her dishonesty is justified by the people who died in pursuit of the truth. The two meet, and I really thought that Liam was being played by her, but when he kisses her, he clones her phone. He was just looking for information, and the pictures lead him to Resist.

Darius is frustrated that the government is stonewalling them, so he takes Grace and flies to Russia. Grace tells Zoe about Harris before she leaves on her secret mission. Zoe freaks Dylan (Andre Dae Kim) out by friending him on Facebook.

Claire, meanwhile, gathers evidence incriminating Grace – like her conversation with Katya. She tells Harris not to let his personal feelings get in the way of his job – and that becomes the choice he has to make.

Grace and Darius waylay Katya outside her church. She’s convinced that Darius spearheaded Atlas, but he insists that he started his company to help, not destroy. And that starts to sound more and more like we should start to consider Nicholas behind it. Darius and Grace tell Katya the truth. Darius doesn’t trust Harris, insisting that he’s a “company man.” Grace insists that Harris has evolve. Katya arranges for them to meet the Minister of Defense. When Liam discovers where the photo was taken, the whole plot is revealed – most of it. It wasn’t a meteor, it was a weapon, but it wasn’t supposed to crash into Russia. However, Grace realizes that they’re the bad guys in this scenario. Tess also gives Liam the location of Resist from Amanda’s photos.

Harris unravels all of Grace’s secrets and is angry about being betrayed. He suspends Grace’s security clearance. Darius and Grace end up on the run after they discover Katya dead in their hotel room. Calhoun is happy to kill off two birds with one stone and is simply going to let the Russians take Grace and Darius.

Meanwhile, Jill arrives home to find out that her father (Jeffrey Nordling) is engaged to marry her mother’s best friend Laura (Trish Fagan). Jill comes to terms with it, however, and when they offer to wait until she’s ready for them to marry, she tells them to grab their happiness and not wait. She doesn’t tell them about the asteroid.

In “From Russia, With Love,” Liam arrives at Resist and we find out that Dylan is a member. But even more shocking is that Resist was founded by Carnahan! It certainly makes a lot more sense for someone to have killed him for that than simply hacking a satellite for Grace. Dylan also tells Liam about the manhunt in Russia for Darius and Grace.

Darius manages to call Liam and tells him that if they don’t make it out, Liam is in charge, and he’ll have to make the final decision on the 160. It’s clear to Liam that Mason (James Gilbert) isn’t up to the job, so he takes the helicopter and heads to Boston.

Darius and Grace try to sneak out with ridiculous disguises and fake passports. Darius kisses Grace as a distraction, and she doesn’t particularly resist. When it’s clear they’ve been identified they give up and are taken to a run down house where Croft turns up. Darius attacks him in anger over Lazlo, but Croft sets up for them to meet with Minister of Defense Toporov (Mark Ivanir). He drugs them with sodium penthanol – not really a great way to build trust – but he does believe them when they say they just want to work peacefully together to save the Earth.

Toporov leaves the two alone and they share an intimate moment over music and dancing that leads to a kiss – but does it lead to more? They wake up on the couch together, but it’s not clear if anything really happened. There is no doubt, however, that Harris has sex with the Fiona (Taylor Cole) – his local bartender. And really? Can we believe that’s all she is? There’s definitely something hinky going on there.

Toporov agrees to work with Grace and Darius, and the Russian government insists that the two of them must spearhead the project. Toporov doesn’t trust Croft and the last we see him, he’s being dragged off to destination unknown.

Dylan is still freaked out about Zoe friending him, so he and Naomi (Lovina Yavari) discuss what to do about it. He decides to go over and pretend to just want to be friends, but he pumps her for information on where Grace is and what she knows. But it’s also clear that they connect over the loneliness they feel because of the secrecy their parents have to maintain. I wonder how long until Zoe is recruited for Resist?

Meanwhile, Jillian plans her father’s wedding and reaches out to Anton Bartok (Kenneth Welsh)- her famous grandfather. He turns out to be just as horrid as she’d lead us to believe! She asks him for advice about a “character.” This character has a secret and should she tell her family or let them remain in the dark. She never does reveal the secret. In fact, Bartok finally tells her that ignorance is bliss.

When Liam shows up, she’s ready to listen. She’s finally realized that he didn’t tell her the secret out of love. He proves he’s ready to change by showing her Salvation – one of her stipulations for coming back to work was to know what the 160 project was about – and he tells her that she can spearhead the 160 project.

Grace is arrested as soon as she gets home. Harris is angry and jealous. Grace points out that there were secrets on both sides. He also tells her that he can’t help her anymore – and he doesn’t want to. He’s listening to Claire and choosing his job over Grace.

Darius confronts Harris in his office and tells Harris that he knows it’s personal. Harris insists that Grace has become a completely different person since Darius ended up in the picture. Hmmmm. Might have something to do with the asteroid hurtling toward earth too… Darius gives Harris 10 minutes to release Grace or he’ll go public. In the end, it’s out of both of their control.

Harris finds Calhoun with Claire and on the phone with Topolov. He agrees to Darius and Grace running point and the Russian observers coming.

Darius takes Grace home. She doesn’t know how she can continue to work with Harris, but Darius, interestingly, gives her similar advice to what Claire told Harris. Focus on the goal and take the emotion out of it. Darius also apologizes for kissing Grace at the train station – what happens in Moscow, stays in Moscow…. Unless she doesn’t want it to… The final scene is an ominous set of boots in the dark in Grace’s house where she is now alone!

How are you enjoying the series? Is it moving too fast, not fast enough? Are you pulling for Darius and Grace or should she get back to Harris who seems to want to be a good guy? I’m hoping we’re going to see more of Nicholas – and wouldn’t it be fun to see him in a room with Bartok!?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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