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TV Review: Human Target – “Ilsa Pucci”

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Human Target is back for its second season, and fans could not be more excited. Not only did the show get moved out of its problematic time slot on Friday nights, the Scheduling Gods had enough common sense to stick it back where it was last time, Wednesday nights. Considering Friday is already packed with CW offerings of Smallville and Supernatural, the move is a wise decision. Especially when one considers the former show is in the midst of a series finale. Just one niggle – shouldn’t Human Target be more of a nine pm deal? The action is intense enough to hold on, and the grittiness is not for the weak of stomach. Put The Good Guys in at 8pm, and it works well.

For those new to the HT premise, Christopher Chance (Mark Valley) is a private bodyguard whose clients are at risk of losing their lives. Although his background has dark and murky undertones, the skills he has gained over time are perfect for the job. Winston (Chi McBride) manages the company, interviewing those who seek the firm’s help and settling payment. As a former cop, the cool logic helps. Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley), on the other hand, is the guy who knows just about everything about anybody.

Obviously, these three are in a dangerous profession. When last we left them, Winston got kidnapped by a man looking for a ledger (“Christopher Chance”). Casting Timothy Omundson of Psych renown for a guest star appearance is pure genius. Omundson has the gravitas to pull things off without looking like a villain caricature, and bringing him back for a repeat performance is viewing delight. Tahmoh Penikett is no stranger to FOX viewers, as Dollhouse fans will crow. Penikett interacts well on screen, so his return is a welcome one.

By the opening credits, viewers know exactly what Winston’s fate is. This is hardly surprising with three cast members on the original docket. However, a new case brings Indira Varma on board as the client whose husband’s wealth puts her into the line of fire. Varma comes off as the quintessential Brit who knows exactly what she wants. She is also one of two women who are now series regulars. Janet Montgomery plays Ames, a young thief. More about these two new characters is coming as the series unfolds.

Varma is a good addition. She exudes sheer confidence without taking away from Valley, long established in the lead role. It’s going to be interesting to see just how money changes people, and perhaps a new sense of purpose comes about.

Montgomery has some rough edges. The scene at the office with Haley shows just how much. The ease at which she gets in and out of tough spots, though, is probably going to prove useful.

The question of who wants the client dead may or may not come as a shock. A nice red herring comes with a question of how a bank vault will be opened, but the answer is slightly unsettling.

I do have to ask, why in the world would a scene be set up with Chance unsure about a detonator? Valley just happens to have a military background as a demolitions expert. In other words, he is trained to blow up stuff. Surely he would take one look at an explosive and pull the starter out with his eyes shut.

Changes are definitely afoot for the Chance gang. Still, the show is worth watching. FOX has a drama with strong characters and plenty of action. Tune in Wednesdays at 8pm for all new episodes of the second season.

Need to rewatch a few? Go the FOX website for any you might have missed.

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About NancyGail

  • Seraphin

    I don’t think Chris Chance is unsure about the detonator…
    He knew exactly what he was doing but sayin that he doesn’t make Winston close his eyes long enough for Chance to leave the building whitout a painful goodbye.
    At least it’s how I understand that scene
    Nice Review and sorry for the mistakes (I’m French)