This episode, like the last, was a lot of table-setting, but we got more specifics about the relationships between Chief Black, Renato, and Hex. Those specifics give us a better understanding of what drives them. All of this is leading up to Hex going after Jonah, the one life she believes will matter to Koko above all others. Koko isn’t just hanging off of Jonah to tease him, or as some kind of act. He’s her restoration project, her bodyguard, and her little brother.
Is Hex hunting him just because she’s evil? Well, no. She’s a bitter former elite special forces officer who was cast aside by the military and joined up with the CIA. She also lost her fiance in the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. That attack was orchestrated by terrorists who got weapons from arms dealers like Koko. In Hex’s eyes that makes Koko every bit a terrorist as Bin Laden, and she’s going to make her pay nice and slowly.
Black won’t allow her to kill Koko, but he’ll allow her a “sacrifice” if it makes her feel better; after all, she’s his left hand while R is his right; and he needs both to fulfill Operation Undershaft. Yet Hex and R have totally different mindsets; Black’s two hands don’t know what the other is doing, nor do they understand. R owes Black a debt and wants to be loyal, but he’s none too pleased about Jonah’s life being dangled in front of Hex like a mouse for a cat. He’s safe right now, with the trust of both of his bosses, but inevitably he’ll have to make a choice he won’t like that will betray one of them.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
P.S. In one of the many flashbacks, Koko is totally freaking out; fearing for her life. You know, like any normal person would. R tells her he’ll protect her…but she has to keep smiling no matter what.
In England, Koko leads a HCLI bid for Predator UAV sales to “Country B.” She’s up against Euro Group, represented by the accomplished former actress and heiress Amalia Tolokohovsky. Amalia gets a head start on Koko, closing deals with nearly every potential client. Annoyed but undefeated, Koko holes up in her hotel room and orchestrates numerous deals at the 25th hour that flip all of Amalia’s customers. The tables now turned, Koko meets with Amalia. Third-party snipers by angered clients are neutralized by Lutz. Amalia announces Euro Group will pull out of negotiations, and then agrees to a buyback at a 5% premium. Koko is victorious.
Arms dealing is simple business: show your wares to the customer, they buy some, and you go on your merry way, right? Well, not exactly. With past episodes focusing on the prowess of the bodyguards Koko surrounds herself with, all of them were bystanders for her not-so-little UAV war with Amalia, who started it by getting greedy and trying to outmaneuver Koko. That was enough to fire Koko up for some serious laptop-piloting and junk food-munching. Arms dealing at this level is less a simple transaciton and more an intricate Swiss watch with millions of moving pieces, and she simply manipulates those pieces better than Amalia this week, and at the right times.
It’s fun to watch her initially get stood up at client meeting after meeting, and then see her bear down and do the hard work that’s necessary to defeat one’s adversary. She utilized her new CIA friend Chocolade, kept her eye on the prize, and showed former actress Amalia that she’s a pretty fine actress herself, when she needs to be. Her efforts result in pulling a stunning, absolute victory from the initial jaws of defeat, and nobody is hurt or killed in the processs. It’s no wonder why everyone seems to love working for the “princess”. This episode aptly demonstrated what happens when she harnesses her potential.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
Car Cameos: Lots – this series doesn’t skimp on recognizable vehicle models. Team HCLI seems to have adopted the Volkswagen Touareg as their go-to car, though they also ride in a Mitsubishi Montero. In one scene a Toyota HiAce drives alongside the ‘Reg. Amalia travels in a white Mercedes-Benz S-Class (a W221). There are also lots of recognizable cars in the airport parking lot: A Subaru Forester and Legacy wagon, a Peugeot 406, Toyota Prius, Lancia Delta, Mitsubishi Montero and Lancer Evolution, Toyota Progres and a Volvo C70.