Perhaps it is the unlikely location of the enemy in a quiet Washington D.C. suburb that wouldn’t seem the hideout of a public enemy. Perhaps it is the child, obviously the woman’s son, in bed with the target. But he still could have soundlessly dispatched her to oblivion and the child is young enough to where he would soon forget and heal from the trauma. Nonetheless, for the first time ever, Robie hesitates. His handler frantically calling for him to complete the assignment, urges him on in a near-panicked voice, but still Robie hesitates and then the child awakens and the intended victim stirs. Robie does the unthinkable--if hesitating is unthinkable, then this action is doubly so. He attempts to save the condemned, but her reprieve is short-lived as a sniper’s bullet pierces the window killing her and the child with one high velocity round.
Robie knows that the killing is not finished in this room on this night. Having hesitated, having failed in the mission, his value to his handler and his employer is as worthless as his actions a few minutes earlier. But, Robie has the advantage of knowing what comes next. He knows where his handler and the support team will set up in order to eliminate the liability he has become to them. So, he outguesses them, being far superior to them in tactics of escaping the scene of an assassination. Then he once again does the unthinkable. He rescues the victim’s other child, a baby still in diapers, from the apartment and leaves the child in a carrier at the door of another resident. Then, he evades his now would-be killers and executes his escape plan, which is not even known to his handlers.
As he makes his way to a second rate bus station to flea the city for New York, and then out of the country, Robie watches everything and everyone since he knows his hunters are deadly and efficient. As he boards a midnight bus with tickets bought anonymously as an exodus and a hedge against just such a failure of plans, he is vigilant as he must be to survive. As a man enters the bus just as it pulls out of the station, Robie identifies him as a man just like himself; a stone killer, a professional executioner. But amazingly, the killer doesn’t come for him. The killer starts to act against a young teenage girl a few rows in front of Robie and for the third time this evening, inside this hour, Robie once again displays, incongruously, his humanity. He saves the girl by killing the killer and then escapes the bus. But as the unlikely pair make their escape, the bus explodes.