Chase Recap: Love is Blind(ing), and Deafening

Romance is in the air, friends. The producers of Chase had the good sense to let the sexual tension between our heroic U.S. Marshal Annie Frost and bounty hunter Ben build for an entire week before letting us witness her cave in to his scampish charms. And what’s this— young rookie Luke seems overly concerned for Daisy’s well-being throughout the episode and then they make bedroom eyes at one another after downing a couple shots?

Despite the fact that I’ve watched every episode of Chase, I couldn’t have told you either Luke or Daisy’s name before tonight. This was the first installment that gave the other members of Annie’s U.S. marshals team a chance to shine, after she ended up in the hospital with ringing ears and a few scratches following her decision to run directly towards an exploding bomb to catch the bad guy.

Follow the jump to find out how a blind man managed to successfully detonate a string of bombs throughout Houston, and to read about the pretend coffee shop in Deep Ellum and the convenience store in South Dallas that got in his path.

The opening chase scene, set in Marina Del Rey, California, was no more than an excuse to bring bounty hunter Ben back into the picture. Despite the marshals’ best efforts, it was Ben who came away with one of the fugitives they sought. Annie was none too pleased with a member of her team who didn’t follow her order to jump into a motor boat that was getting away with their prey. This led to an early moment between Annie and Jimmy, where she made it plain that any member of her team who didn’t want to work the way she chose to do the job could look elsewhere. There was the promise of great internal strife among the marshals, but then she made up with her colleague in a scene that went like this: Annie: “We’re OK, right?”  Colleague: “Yeah, we’re OK.” No other discussion or emotional development necessary. They keep things simple.

Then we met the bad guy, a fellow named Puckett. You really wouldn’t like this guy when he’s angry. He places a bomb (inside a small red cooler) in Burt’s Coffee in Houston. (Which was actually set up about a month ago at Malcolm X and Elm Street in Deep Ellum). It kills everyone except one young blonde who suffers a few scratches on her face and a broken arm. With her help, and some fingerprints on the cooler, they trace the crime to Puckett and learn of a militia group with which he was involved that taught him his bomb-making skills.

The crazy gun-toting leader of the militia (who is strangely reflective about his group’s recruiting techniques) tells the marshals that Puckett was crazy even by their standards: “We give angry men a philosophy, a purpose. With Puckett anger was the philosophy.”

They then talk to Puckett’s ex-girlfriend, who gives them a big pile of his mail. Following that, they get a report that he was sighted at a small food store in Houston. (Actually the KP Food Mart on St. Augustine Drive in South Dallas.) But that report distracts them from stopping him at his real target, a gym where he has to ask some passers-by to tell him whether his target is still running on a treadmill that can be seen through the window from the parking lot. This is when it becomes clear to the audience that Puckett is nearly blind.

The marshals sort through the mail and find the connection between the crimes. Puckett is out for revenge against the people he holds responsible for having blinded him. He suffered methanol poisoning on a toxic waste cleanup site where he was working about a month before. It’s when he goes after the owner of the company he was working for — while the guy is shopping for non-organic peaches (Organic peaches cost a dollar more, he informs his wife) — that Annie and her team catch up to Puckett. He slips away as the bomb goes off, and Annie is caught in the explosion.

She is rushed off to the hospital, and her team springs into action. Daisy disarms a bomb on the bottom of a bus, with only a few seconds to spare. Jimmy gets the key bit of information needed to find Puckett’s next target, a train yard where huge tanks for methanol sit. Plus he locates the bomb on top of the train car just in time to detach it and throw it where it can’t harm anyone. And young Luke gets the honor of putting a bullet into Puckett’s head.

Meanwhile Annie remains in the hospital, where Ben has rushed to her side to prove his true devotion to her by buying her a new mobile phone. I could have sworn she had an iPhone earlier in the series, but he’s replaced that with an LG phone.  Guess they shelled out more product placement dollars than Apple.

So, how jealous did Jimmy look in that final shot, watching Ben pick Annie up from the hospital?  Am I right that Luke and Daisy were making a love connection? And what’s the name of that other guy on their team?

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