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TV Review: 666 Park Avenue – “Hero Complex”

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During this week’s 666 Park Avenue, Henry (David Annable) learns that Gavin (Terry O’Quinn) is under investigation for his role in flipping  the Alpern property while knowing about the arsenic waste discovered there in “Murmurations.” Gavin’s prior knowledge of the arsenic waste on the Alpern property is a critical issue for viewers because this shows Gavin’s duplicity in his dealings while opening up new areas for the show to pursue.

This issue has considerable legal consequences because  arsenic waste poses a health hazard to the community and may violate federal U.S. EPA standards and laws. Until now, Gavin’s dealings have been privy to Henry only; in this episode, an aggressive investigatory agency begins probing Gavin. 

There is plenty of work for Henry’s wife Jane (Rachel Taylor) to do in this episode. A thief steals jewelry at The Drake and Jane discovers that Nona (Samantha Logan) could be involved.

Despite the dispute over stolen jewelry, Nona warns Jane that Henry’s life is in great danger from a man with an unusual insignia tattoo on his arm. The warning turns out to be correct and Henry’s life is saved purely by happenstance. This
scene adds a bit of the supernatural into the motley mix of themes in the show.

The episode opens with the office of Congressman Edwards canceling his interview appointment with Henry via email. This act resolves the open question of whether or not Henry will leave The Drake to work for Congressman Edwards.

Now, the action shifts to Gavin who repeatedly tries to get Henry to run for the congressman’s seat.  Henry wisely decides against pursuing the congressional route. 

This is a correct decision by Henry because investigators are already hot on Gavin’s trail for manipulative real estate dealings. The last thing Henry needs now is a messy congressional contest with an ongoing investigation of Gavin. This scene confirms Henry’s street smarts and keen political instincts.

Next, Jane and Henry are seen discussing an upcoming party at the mayor’s residence. Olivia (Vanessa Williams) approaches Jane to discuss a missing diamond broach and asks her to investigate. Jane admits that her grandmother’s jewelry is missing too and agrees to investigate. This incident gets Jane’s attention focused back on her job of managing The Drake.

The action quickly leads to a discussion between Investigator Regina Wilson and Henry about his prior knowledge of the Alpern deal and others closed by Gavin.  Ms. Wilson explains that they don’t seek to harm him but the office would like information about Gavin’s role in manipulating illegal land deals.

Henry musters up the courage to explain that Gavin flipped the Alpern property knowing that it was probably contaminated. For the first time, Henry is now implicated with prior knowledge of an illegal land deal by Gavin. The investigators request his  cooperation and receive it initially. This scene affirms Henry’s basic honesty as a person because he openly admits the folly rather than lying about it.

The action moves to a meeting between Henry and Gavin. Henry explains the appearance problems inherent in socializing with Gavin. As a lawyer, Henry realizes the moral and ethical dilemmas for him professionally. In addition, the
scene shows him rigorously opposing Gavin, which is an admirable trait.

Later, Olivia and Gavin discuss Henry. Olivia brings up the prospect of firing Henry and Gavin agrees that he may do so at the appropriate time. This scene only reinforces the manipulative character traits of both Gavin and Olivia.

Their predisposition is to cut Henry loose in order to save themselves from future accountability.  The audience is left wondering just how long Henry will tolerate these conflicts of interest before mustering up the fortitude to quit. Maybe Gavin
and Olivia might make this decision for him.

The scene turns to a discussion between the reporter Ann and Gavin. He requests that Ann write an incriminating piece about the city planning commissioner. He agrees to do Ann a favor in exchange for her cooperation. Ann writes the piece and implicates the commissioner with the mob. Ultimately, the city planning commissioner is indicted and the investigation of Gavin goes away at least for now.

This scene reinforces the growing willful deceit by Gavin in his business deals. Instead of cooperating with the investigators, he seeks to thoroughly discredit them and relieve himself of accountability. Again, this shows Gavin’s serious character flaws as a person. He can’t do the right thing and admit error. Instead, he arranges an illegal contrivance in order to escape accountability.

The scene moves to a gathering at The Drake. The tattooed man is seen scurrying through the crowd with a gun. Before he shoots, Jane warns Henry. He ducks and Ann is wounded critically while Gavin watches from the balcony. The audience is left wondering about what he knows concerning the entire incident.

Jane explains to Nona that Henry’s life was saved by her. Jane thanks Nona and expresses her unwavering confidence in her. This scene confirms the great value of Nona’s initial warning to Jane. Her advice to Jane is appreciated and her involvement in the jewelry thefts is forgiven completely by Jane. The two now bond more closely than ever before.

Gavin affirms his faith in Henry. He notes that the commissioner has been indicted and the investigation of Gavin’s real estate dealings has ceased. The episode ends with Nona placing a piece of jewelry outside Jane’s door.

Henry now has a growing body of evidence to support leaving The Drake and even reporting Gavin to the authorities. The trail began with his knowledge of the defects in the Alpern property flipped by Gavin for a tidy profit.

Gavin’s continuing pressure on Henry to run for congress provides more reason for Henry to decline running for the job. Certainly, Henry must realize that Gavin would ask for a torrent of political favors if he ever served in the congress.

Time will tell whether or not Henry succumbs to Gavin’s pressure to run for congress. In addition, the audience will wonder how long Gavin can continue to operate around the law and accountability to the general public.

Future episodes should resolve conclusively the growing confrontation between Gavin and the local authorities, as well as the increasingly strained relations between Gavin and Henry. In addition, viewers will be looking to see whether or not there is any possibility of redemption for Gavin or does he get even worse?.

Conversely, viewers will be searching to determine whether or not Henry’s character can withstand the moral and ethical dilemmas posed by Gavin rather routinely. Does Henry survive these dilemmas with his integrity intact or does he succumb to the pressure and temptations placed before him by Gavin?  Stay tuned.


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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.