Chase Recap 01/26/11: Release the Kraken!

Oh, Chase. It’s really not fair of you to do that to us. You can’t tease us with the prospect of seeing our beloved Annie Frost wrestle a bloodthirsty tiger, and then not even let her get close to being thrown to the beast. When the kidnappers who abducted her in last week’s episode drove up to that Mexican ranch and we first spied the giant cat prowling around in its cage, with a pile of bones nearby, I had visions of some grand woman-vs.-cat action to lift this NBC show to heights un-reached since that episode where Annie jumped from a helicopter onto a speeding semi.

Subtlety is not what you do, Chase. That’s just fine. You should embrace that. But when you choose to go over the top, really go over the top. Give us the giant-feline cage match. Get ridiculous with the action, not with the dialogue. Please?

In this conclusion to last week’s two-parter, Annie was whisked away to beautiful northern Mexico. There she enjoyed no-star accommodations at the world-renowned Allende Ranch. Complimentary room service was provided (one full rice bowl a day), so she didn’t have to lift a finger and was free to lounge on her hardly-bloodstained-at-all mattress. Entertainment was provided via a peephole in the door, allowing an unparalleled view of the tiger’s afternoon meal (probably some low-level cartel functionary who’d seriously displeased the boss.)

Meanwhile, Jimmy’s candle-lit love-making session with girlfriend Natalie was interrupted by a call alerting him to Annie’s disappearance.  I assume the cops found her car smashed up in the middle of the street (really in Carrollton) after she’d been taken. However, among the many aspects of the story that were confusing, Luke later said only five people were aware she’d been kidnapped. That would be Jimmy, Marco, Daisy, Luke — and Dallas actor Steven Walters (reprising his role from last week, as the resident computer geek perturbed to be missing his son’s football game).  Wouldn’t at least a few other people have known as well? Wouldn’t it have been the Houston police who found Annie’s car? And wouldn’t they have been aware there was a missing person?

I know, I know. Best to shut off the mind and hold out for some jolly good action. What we got instead was Jimmy working outside the bounds of the law because he believed it was the only way to keep Annie alive. The marshals knew immediately that Cordova was responsible (since he had held Annie responsible for the death of his wife in the first-part of the episode). They couldn’t peg it on the drug dealer though, so when they tracked down one of the kidnappers in Houston, they turned him over to the drug cartel that’s a rival to Cordova to do the dirty work of extracting the information. The head of the rival cartel was happy to oblige, after Jimmy threatened him.  This yielded the astounding information that Annie was being held in Mexico. What were the chances that a Mexican drug cartel would take her into Mexico?

Our gal Annie wasn’t just sitting around waiting for the cavalry. I wish she had been, because I really would have liked to see her go mano-a-mano with the tiger. It’d have been way better than watching her meet the boy in the cell next to hers and discover that he was the son of the U.S. Attorney Dan O’Neil, who was arrested for selling info to Cordova in the last episode. He’d only sold that information to keep his kidnapped son alive, you see. (And in case you didn’t see, Luke was happy to convey the point to the audience later in the show with an explicit piece of dialogue: “They had his kid? That’s why he became the cartel’s mole!” Thanks, Luke.)

Annie managed to use the old pretend-to-have-hanged-herself trick to get a jump on the guard, and she and the boy got away in a car that she was able to hot-wire. But the drug cartel wasn’t far behind.  They pulled into a gas station to steal the clerk’s car. (Side note: There was a Dos XX sign in the Mexican gas station that said “Dos XX Imported Beer.” Is Dos XX an imported beer in Mexico? Do neon beer signs only come in English? Discuss.)  Annie even pulled a gun on the poor guy.

Back in Houston, Jimmy and Marco arrest Cordova on an old speeding ticket warrant to keep him from getting to Mexico to kill Annie himself (which was the only reason she was being kept alive. So, wait, they were never going to feed her to the tiger?).  They beat out of him the information to Annie’s whereabouts.  Before they could make a move on the drug-dealer’s ranch, Annie was able to call the Hall of Justice from an abandoned house where she and the boy holed up.

As Cordova’s people finally caught up to her, another set of soldiers (working for the rival cartel) swooped in and killed all of Cordova’s men, thus saving Annie and the boy. The rival cartel was interested in helping the marshals bust Cordova once and for all, leaving more business for them. So they returned Annie to the loving arms of Jimmy and her intrepid team of U.S. marshals.

And I guess it’s back to business as usual in the next episode (two weeks away), even though Jimmy and Marco and Daisy and Luke broke all sorts of laws and probably should be in jail themselves for doing what they did. Fine by me if the producers just ignore any sense of realism and go for some real entertainment value.  Next time, though, if you’re going to bring a wild animal into the equation — and you should, maybe a shark or a giant squid  — you’ve got to follow through.

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