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Falling Water - Love is a Dreamer/Nothing Personal/Risk Assessment - Triple Review



Hello once again! It came to my attention last week that my assumption that this season was only eight episodes was in fact wrong. I gotta tell you, I'm not sure I've ever been so happy to be wrong! I'm super excited that I still had two episodes to look forward to, because I was prepared to say goodbye with episode eight. Let's get into it before tonight's real finale!


Love is a Dreamer

This episode opened on a grim note, with Taka visiting Sabine outside of her solitary confinement room. Turns out she's been trying to hurt herself, and even though Taka assures her they're going to figure everything out and get her out of trouble, she's determined that she should die for what she did. After learning the news from Taka, Tess goes to visit her in hopes of getting through to her with their sisterly bond. This sort of backfires, though, as Sabine reveals that Tess is actually adopted! When Tess asks why Sabine is revealing this, Sabine says that this is the last time Tess will ever see her. She's convinced she'll die in that place, either by her own hand or some other way. To pile more on to her not-so-great day, when she returns, she discovers that Lainie has run away.

Burton has been having some reoccurring war dreams about his bond with a boy named Ronald and his subsequent death. This latest one actually morphs into a job interview for Hull Bedford, where Hull reminds Burton that he's dead, and his former FBI friend shows up and does the same. Scary stuff. He pushes it aside for now and tells Tess he's going to track down Woody to see if he can reveal anything about the Shadowman. With advice from Tess, Burton is able to locate Woody in a nice '20s style lounge in the dream world, with Mayor Harding as the singer for the evening. You see, sure there would be consequences to his actions, Woody is hiding at a motel in Jersey and dreaming his days away to avoid Taylor Bennett. Unfortunately for Woody, his location is discovered shortly after Burton's plea for help and the Shadowman is sent to murder him. Luckily, Burton comes to the rescue and help Woody wake up before he is burned in a motel fire. While the Shadowman is reprimanded for his failure, Woody seeks out Burton and Boerg and agrees to help them, though none of them are very pleased that Woody has been working for Taylor Bennet. At the end of the day, Burton and Tess unwind in the living room for a bit before winding their lips together in a kiss that was a long time coming.

Taka’s journey took him and Alex on an investigation into the Shadowman. They start looking into the life of a man named Tom Dolan, and after speaking with his wife, his daughter, and showing a picture to the homeless man who bit his tongue off, they finally learn that Tom Dolan is the Shadowman’s real name. At the end of the day, Alex decides to finally return home to be with Christy, and Taka reunites with Sabine in the dream world using Boerg's machine, and he once again promises to find a way to get her out of jail.


Nothing Personal
We open this episode with Burton having another dream about his time in Darfur, again focusing on a
friendship with Ronald and his struggle to save the boy. The next day, Burton and Boerg interrogate Woody to figure out if they can really trust him to help. The immediate results are inconclusive. Burton later uses a punching bag to blow off some steam about the war when Tess arrives to discuss briefly discuss the family dinner Clinton has planned before diving in and revealing that she was adopted and now can't get in contact with her "mother". Burton tries to offer some advice, but Tess decides she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. She then tries to ask about Burton's issues and initially ignores his I-don't-wanna-talk-about-it attitude until Burton pretty much calls her a hypocrite. At the family dinner later, we find out that Ronald was Clinton's brother, and that today is his birthday. Just as we think it makes perfect sense now why Burton has been so upset about Ronald recently, it gets deeper in his latest dream. It turns out, Burton is actually the one who shot Ronald, mistaking him for an enemy combatant after the boy didn't heed warnings to return home. Tess, hearing Burton fussing in his sleep, witnesses this whole event when she tracks Burton down in the dream world. I've got to say, if I was Burton, I'd be pretty upset about this invasion of privacy after I clearly stated I didn't want to discuss it, but he just accepts the prying and opens up to Tess. The next day, he walks up to Clinton and confesses, falling in tears into Clinton's forgiving embrace.

While Burton took his emotional journey this episode, Taka and Alex have been working more on the Tom Dolan case, white Alex's journey turning pretty tragic. Before starting the day, Alex and Christy (who we finally get to meet) plan to have breakfast at their favorite place, but Taka texts Alex with a case update before they can leave. Christy isn't happy, but she's subdued a bit when Alex suggests they meet at the restaurant for lunch. The update is that Tom's wife woke up to find divorce papers burning on her front porch. They all assume it was Tom's doing, but his daughter insists he's not a monster and that this was the work of the divorce lawyer. This can't be the case, however, as Taka and Alex find the man hanging in his office. Needless to say, lunch is forgotten about, and Alex returns home later to a very upset Christy. They have a discussion/argument about Alex's recent behavior and the fact that she can't talk about the case before Christ goes to bed angry, mildly suggesting they should break up. Unable to sleep, Alex and Taka talk over the phone to try and figure out Tom's next target, and the answer is delivered to her directly: Christy. Christy comes at her with a hammer, and after a brief struggle Tom uses Christy's voice to tell Alex that interfering with families makes things personal. Christy then plunges the claw end of the hammer into her chest, but luckily Alex is able to stop anything serious occurring and Christy escapes with a nasty chest wound and a concussion.

Woody and Boerg, meanwhile, had a few back and forth sessions this episode, all basically about whether to trust each other. After Woody discovers his accounts have been frozen and flagged, he has a chat with his favorite bar tender who informs Woody that men came by the bar earlier looking for him. He promises not to say anything, but gives Woody some very good advice: "Quit being a prick." Taking that into consideration, he hops into Boerg's dream and officially agrees to help the team out.


Risk Assessment
We open our penultimate episode with Taka using possibly the worst tactic that's ever been used to try to get information out of someone. He hop's into the dream of Tom's daughter, Emily, to try and interrogate her in the dream world. When the simple questioning isn't doing anything, he decides to show her the brutal murders her father is responsible for! Obviously, she doesn't handle this very well and ends up sleep-walking (or rather sleep-running) out of her house and nearly into traffic before Alex comes to the rescue. Taka is a little shaken by the experience. After being chewed out by Alex, Taka returns to his friends at Boerg's lab and updates them on what happened to Christy, which intrigues Boerg quite a bit. Taka later confesses to Burton what he'd done, likely looking for some reassurance for what he'd done. He attempts to justify it by comparing it to showing a suspect crime scene photos, but Burton is definitely not letting him off the hook, and compares him to Dolan (though he definitely says "No" when Taka asks if that's what he's doing). Taka and Alex tail Emily to see if she will lead them to Tom, and sure enough he meets up with her at a cafe. During their conversation, Emily asks about the things from her dream, and he admits that he did those things, but that he did them for her. She's spots Taka and Alex coming up to the window and warns him to run so he won't get caught. He runs, but he then gets caught. After expressing to Taka that she wishes she could kill him, Alex heads to be with Christy in the hosptial where she tells her everything about the case and swears she'll take care of the man that hurt her.

Meanwhile, Woody begins his undercover job with Taylor Bennett. He shows up at her house and tells her of a powerful dreamer that Boerg is working with (it's Tess, but he doesn't reveal that) and says that if they can get and sell this dreamer, her half of the profits would more than make up for what she lost when Woody went rogue with the Whitaker job. She agrees that he brings her the dreamer, everything will be water under the bridge. Woody then meets a nice girl at a bar, and the two of them really start hitting it off. Until Woody calls Bennett right in front of the girl and demands she stop having him followed. He saw right through her, what a smart cookie. Woody gets some push-back from the team later when he divulges his conversation with Bennett, and while Burton admits his strategy was sound, they were all pretty upset that he handed over Tess's statistics. Later, Burton and Tess stake out Woody and Bennett's meeting with the buyer, but the "errand boy" shows up instead, and that boy just happens to be Jeremy! Burton follows Jeremy after the meeting, and amazingly is able to tap into his phone despite how painfully obvious he was being during the whole process. They figure out what hotel he's staying at and hop into his dream where he's meeting with the real buyer at a bar. The buyer, Dr. Ginsberg, is outraged to learn that this deal is with Taylor Bennett, he says the deal is off and that they should focus on finding Tess. When they report back to Boerg's lab, Boerg reveals that Ginsberg has supposedly been dead for 30 years. Intriguing. Tess decides that they are going to lure Ginsberg to New York by using herself as bait.


Verdict
These three episodes were sort of a mix-bag of things. "Love is a Dreamer" was sort of a stagnant episode that served mainly to drop breadcrumbs in a larger story. While they were very important breadcrumbs, the episode really didn't go many places, and the fact that Lainie has run away was quickly glossed over. "Nothing Personal", however, was a far better episode, and this was likely due to everything that was set up in previous episode. The payoff of Burton's war dreams was very strong, and the scene of his unheard confession to Clinton was great. It was also great to watch Tom's retaliation to Taka and Alex speaking with his family, not only in the previous episode, but in this one as well. In terms of the lengths Tom will go to in order to keep himself out of trouble, the scene of Christy attacking Alex is right up there with Sabine killing Taka's mother in my book. It was exciting, it was shocking, and it reminded you that this isn't a man you just mess with. We then took half a step back with "Risk Assessment" to lay some more breadcrumbs. While an intriguing and engaging episode nothing too serious really happened (aside from Taka almost killing Emily), and it was really all just a setup for our finale, as most second-to-last episodes often tend to do. Overall, though, the series is continuing to move forward, and these were three solid episodes in the show's season.

What did you think of these three? Were you shocked by the Alex/Christy scene? Do you think Taka's decision to show a teenage girl the murders her father is responsible for is probably the worst thing ever? Sound off in the comments below!

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