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Whiskey Cavalier - Hearts and Minds - Review

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Hearts and Minds is a darker episode of Whiskey Cavalier, but it still manages to squeeze in some lighter moments despite its organ harvesting plot. This episode, however, feels out of place this late in season one. With the feel of the team, and the lack of mention of newer sometimes members (Tina and Emma), this episode would easily have slotted in just before The English Job.

Scenes that specifically felt out of place as episode 9:
When Standish pulls out his gun and says he can help, he holds it up like it is brand new, like this is the first time he’s been armed.
Will and Frankie sharing a glass of wine while watching You’ve got Mail, with Frankie arguing she only approached him to talk and got roped into watching the film. Before Spain, Trains, and Automobiles Frankie might have needed an excuse to drink with Will in such intimate quarters. We know they both like drinking with one another.
Frankie’s not good at being reassuring but she’s even worse here than she has been in recent episodes. Another check for the This Ep Should Have Aired Before The English Job column. What she learns during this episode are things we see her putting into practice in at least the last two episodes.
She already cares for Will. That started happening after he saved her life in the pilot, whether she likes to admit it or not. Even four episodes in this level of frustration and fear wouldn’t have been unexpected from Frankie after all she and Will went through during the first few episodes.
This one’s more subtle, but Will bringing up Christmas the way he does makes it feel like it was foreshadowing Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and SHEP/Spy Christmas.
Will, abducted and about to have his organs harvested, gets his hands on a gun and with Standish and Frankie’s help they all exit the hospital. There’s a bit of “hate-flirting” between Will and Frankie during this scene, and again calling it that feels out of place here. By this point the hate’s gone and there’s a growing respect. They hate-flirted in earlier eps, but I wouldn’t call what they’ve been doing recently anything less than just plain old flirting.

In a nutshell:
Team Whiskey start the episode in Hong Kong, where Jai’s fighting Will’s charm virus. Will just wants to bond. Jai would probably rather pull his fingernails out one by one with pliers than take part in this.
While Jai’s fighting Will’s attempt to bond, Frankie and Will are struggle with working together as leaders. Will’s been leading the team, but as far as Frankie is concerned they’re co-leaders. She might be the only one thinking that way though.
There’s some foreshadowing when Will tells Jai he has to stop bugging people. It really just shows that Jai must never ever stop bugging people.
Jai makes it clear he and Will won’t bond. He doesn’t like making connections, because losing people you care about hurts. It’s something he and Frankie have in common.
We learn that You’ve Got Mail is actually Will and Ray’s movie. Ray isn’t impressed to hear Will’s watching it with Frankie.
“Yes, I’m cheating on you, how does it feel?” Will fires back.
When the team is on the trail of an organ harvesting operation, and trying to get Will back, they’re supposed to be the Ukraine. Please try to blur out the Czech and English words a bit more. You could have pretended it was Slovakia. Whiskey Cavalier is all about tropes after all and movies like to pretend Bratislava is all creepy hostels, organ harvesting, and opening your own hotel with a USA dime.
So Will gets abducted and carted off to the organ harvesting hospital in Poltava. He still has his earwig in, so he can hear the team. And Jai’s bugged his jeans, of course.
Unfortunately, when the earwig is discovered it just means the team have to listen to Will being tortured.
Later, while talking to distract himself, Will tells Jai about his parents, their names, their love of holidays. It’s a bit of forced bonding, because Will loves doing this kind of thing when the other person can’t escape the situation. Jai could have walked away, but he wouldn’t. Not even Jai’s dislike of bonding would allow him to leave Will alone like that.
There have been moments, especially early on, when Will’s emotional moments felt cheesy or silly. But not here. When he’s talking about his parents, about the loss of his brother, Scott Foley’s acting hits our emotions hard. It’s a moving, heartfelt scene, and it feels real. There is no cheese here.
Will’s given a paralytic and wheeled in to have his organs harvested. He listens to the “doctors” discussing how he may need a shot of adrenaline if his heart stops and manages to throw himself off the table and inject himself.
The team, led competently by Frankie who is still learning and growing, have made their way to the hospital where Standish is pretending to need a new heart.
Standish isn’t good at fighting yet, so Frankie tells him to use what he is good at: deception, screaming, and surprise. Two of those sound useful. And it’s a good effort from Frankie at being supportive.
The post-mission scene in The Dead Drop, once everyone is home safe, is the much-needed sweet, light moment after a heavy mission. And the final scene in Will’s apartment is the comedic touch we all needed.

Best scene: Will giving Jai no choice but to listen to him talk about his family and their love of holidays. This scene is tied for best scene with Jai’s payback at the end when he bugs Will’s apartment and makes him listen to Bollywood songs at 3am.

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