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My Own Worst Enemy Begins to Disappoint

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I have on more than one occasion defended My Own Worst Enemy. Despite its ratings slide and cancellation (the final episode airs December 15), I have argued that the show is actually quite fun. Now, in order to do that I have ignored small things like the incredible un-believability in the amount of traveling around the world these guys do in an incredibly short amount of time.

In one episode an agent was actually shot while out on assignment, flown back to Los Angeles in her critical condition state, and her significant other was called in and he believed that his girlfriend has simply been out with Henry when it happened. Okay… sure… maybe these guys are flying around the world at Mach 4. Maybe not.

Last night the show raised my level of incredulity that much more with a nonsensical plot. The basic problem of the story, as presented, is that clearly the producers got too wrapped up in their own efforts at being clever to think about what they were doing (see the first season of Damages as another prime example of that). Let's break it down, shall we?

Edward is in Morocco. He, unbeknownst to his partner, has stolen some sort of missile defense device, the Falcon (he and his partner were assigned to attempt an infiltration aimed at stealing it from an American base to as an exercise to test the base's security, not to actually take the device). Edward, needing to sell the device to a Russian who can tell Edward who murdered his parents, has gone off the reservation here. Edward goes directly from stealing the device to the location to make the drop of it. Henry wakes up just in time to have to perform the drop, and things quickly head downhill (not Henry's fault, but they do). The rest of the episode features Henry trying to work out what the device is and then Henry trying to prevent Edward from selling it and thereby making Henry/Edward a traitor to the U.S.

Okay, great, makes sense (mostly, anyway). What didn't makes sense was the ending. You see, the show opted to not have Edward be a traitor, I guess they didn't want to present that image. Instead, Edward explains to Henry at the end of the episode (via video message) that he just had to get the Falcon back from Henry in order to mock up a fake one which he wanted to sell.

Isn't that sweet? Isn't that just great? Edward, who we were worried this whole episode was a traitor, had no intention of actually selling the real Falcon to the Russians. Except, of course, that he totally did, I just don't think the producers realize it.

Remember the drop in Morocco. Edward went directly from stealing the Falcon to the drop point where he was going to give the Falcon to the Russians. There was no time for him to mock up a fake one, he only had the real one in his possession at the drop and he fully intended to give it to the Russians at that point. Had the drop gone done correctly, Edward would absolutely have been betraying his country.

Where does that leave us? Either the producers have been too clever for their own good or Henry is a complete moron and has utterly failed to fathom what Edward was really trying to do. This latter answer seems improbable and the former far more likely when one considers that at the end of the episode Edward did mock up a fake Falcon which he handed to the Russians while returning the real one.

It's disappointing, just really disappointing. Being clever is good. Being clever to the point where you out-smart your own story by having one too many twists is not.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.