Human Target – ‘A Problem Like Maria’/’Communication Breakdown’ Review

human targetI was a bit ambivalent about Human Target during the first season. High octane action, but a little empty at times, largely due to the lack of charisma shown by star Mark Valley compared to the more interesting Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Hayley. This season saw the addition of some female blood to the boys club, and while I have loved Brit Indira Varma in everything from Torchwood to Luther, I remain to be convinced why Janet Montgomery as Ames is there – although her being a distraction by stripping down to her undies in this week’s episode might provide a clue!

The double episode was a game of two halves for me. The first part featuring an old flame of Chance’s was fairly predicable and unoriginal, Winston’s attempts to use a bazooka with instructions in Hebrew was the best moment! The second half was a stronger episode, well, half of a stronger episode!

After Chance ignores Ilsa’s instructions in the first episode, the uneasy partnership they have forged looks to have finally fallen apart. The pair board her jet to talk it through while the rest of the gang head back to the US. Chance and Isla are shot down by the brother of the baddie Chance killed at the end of the first episode and they are stalked by the baddie through the South American jungle.

Meanwhile, Guererro, Winston and Ames have a troublesome new client who arrives with a bunch of mob guys on his tail and are forced to barricade themselves in the offices.

While I loved Chance and Ilsa’s story, the other plot was a real yawn for me. Despite quite liking the characters of Winston and Guererro, the plot was just too daft. Meanwhile, the quarrelling pair of Chance and Ilsa had to escape from a burning crashed jet, dodge bullets, avoid venomous spiders, not fall down cliffs and keep one step of a vengeance seeking killer. As I said, I love Indira Varma, although I am still not totally sure what the character is doing in with this crowd. Chance and co live pretty much outside the law surely. I suppose it is a case of suspending disbelief that they could kill quite so many people each week with never a visit to the courts. I liked seeing Ilsa out of her comfort zone, while she got another reminder of how valuable someone like Chance is is deadly situations.

The episode sneaked in a Fatal Attraction style ending as the seemingly dead baddie arrived at Ilsa’s place and she was attacked by him. After calling Chance and telling him flat out that he was there, she was forced to fight for her life and kill someone – something she had been unable to do earlier. Again, you need to forget that surely the time it would take Chance to get to her would be much longer than the scuffle we saw between her and the gunman, also that she would surely have been knocked unconscious or at least seriously injured by his blows. Will this lead to her allowing Chance a bit more leeway? Of course in reality, any sane person would run a mile from all this violence!

Generally speaking, I am enjoying this second season more than the first. There is a more light hearted tone and am I alone in finding the name Pucci funny? Probably..