Lightman spots the new player in the room and quickly deduces Komisky must be the handler who abandoned Franco in Afghanistan. Franco is actually Glen Welsh, recruited to special ops while serving time in the brig for manslaughter. Franco/Welsh gives up any hope for rescue and instead asks Lightman and Parks for his story to be told. Parks shows his loyalty to the chain of command as he replies, “It’s above my pay grade, pal.” Cal has a different system of loyalty, and he promises, “It’s right at my pay grade, if your story’s true.”
Franco’s trustworthiness is soon successfully put to the test as the marines use his directions to rescue the missing men. Unfortunately, while doing so, the marine hideout comes under attack. Adding to the misfortune, Emily walks in the room with the Lightman team just as a bomb severs communication to the marines and Cal. Not only is she horrified at what might have happened to her father, she has to accept he lied to her about his plans.
I liked the way Cal’s personal relationships were tied into the main theme, and Hayley McFarland is a delight as Emily. But I was a bit bothered by the logic of this story thread. If the situation is so top secret, never mind so possibly fatal, why would Emily have access to that room? I would think Foster would know to keep a sixteen year old out of that situation by locking the door. It certainly would have saved her from having to ask this teenager why she doesn’t break the news of Cal’s predicament to her mother, as if this is a reasonable thing to ask of her.
In Afghanistan, the stakes are now very high indeed and Cal cuts Franco open with a knife to see if his special ops story is true. Sure enough, the man has a transmitter implanted in his back. However, Franco’s own betrayal does not balance out his breach of loyalty to the military and Cal tells Franco he can either die by a bullet from Parks or he can fight the Taliban when they storm the cave and allow the rest of the men to escape. It’s the ultimate test of where Franco’s loyalty lies. He chooses his American special ops identity as his final identity and dies shooting his former Taliban comrades. Cal is thankful to have helped rescue the missing marines, but he’s honest enough to know he again played executioner, and though Franco was not exactly innocent, he was himself betrayed and put in a situation most people never face.