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TV Review: Human Target – “Corner Man”

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Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), the world's top security expert, has always been someone willing to push the limits of sanity in order to get his clients out of trouble. Some of those clients get in trouble by their own hand, others merely have unfortunate dealings with the wrong people. Like Eddie (Dash Mihok, Punisher:War Zone), for example. He's a boxer who has too much integrity to take a dive in the ring. Hugh Prentiss (Peter Wingfield, 24), a wealthy businessman, isn't happy about losing a good deal of his fortune to an honest guy. Can Chance stop Prentiss, or will he get his clock cleaned for good?

The episode takes on an international flair with an MMA tournament in Brussels. While the story is interesting, once again it goes back and forth in the timeline. Surely any writer worth his or her salt is capable of making a television show go through a weekly installment in a straight temporal line. A couple of character flashbacks are fine, but even those should be used sparingly.

Nice to see Valley shirtless this week. He has a decent body, so it helps to show it off every once in a while. The potential for higher ratings when he does go topless probably don't hurt either.

This week again, is per usual with the series, there is even more buildup to the eventual showdown between Chance and the boss he left behind when he went into business for himself. Although this person has not been mentioned by name yet, it's safe to conclude that the boss is a man. Personality wise, he's ruthless and certainly willing to hurt or kill anyone close to Chance in order to make his point.

Winston (Chi McBride) understands this well. He and Chance have a nice scene together where the depths of their friendship is clearly defined. I get the impression Winston knows about the former boss only by what Chance has told him, but it sounds like enough.

Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley) once again works his magic behind the scenes, getting information which is desperately needed to win the day. Here's a small hint about what he did this week — Ava (Grace Park, Battlestar Galactica) is not quite the woman she appears to be at first. Personally, I have a feeling she just might turn up in other episodes to come.

Haley really delivers each week with his deadpan humor. There's no hint of a smile when the one liners exit his mouth, but the dry wit is delightful. The moments between Guerrero and Eddie are sly wit mixed with slapstick and great to watch.

How many episodes are left? This week was the ninth and the season only has 12 total (a traditional full season being at least 22, but Human Target is a mid-season replacement and therefore expected to have a shorter season).  This may not work out badly for the series as a May finale could have be a problematic option. Why? So many long established shows are running theirs then, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle.  With only three episodes left, Human Target has the potential to finish early, snag a larger audience, and not get lost in the shuffle.

No word yet on a second season. Considering it's March, hardly surprising. The show is a solid piece of work, however. If FOX has common sense, the escapades of Christopher Chance will continue.

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