Val’s Advantage Doesn’t Amount to Much in the Latest The Endgame
At the end of last week’s The Endgame, I was hopeful that Val finally had an advantage over Elena Federova. And while that seems to still be the case, Elena manages to tie Val and the FBI up in knots in Gold Rush. Spoilers ahead.
It all starts with a flashback. Elena and Sergey in 2018 are busy torturing a man named Pasha Antonov. He’s the man who set the explosive that destroyed their church and killed Sergey’s mother in the process. Federova starts cleaning the tools and then sets to work talking to the cowering man. I have to say, Baccarin channels all her intense V energy and is both alluring and terrifying at once. She promises the man that if he tells her who sent him that she won’t kill him. And once he does, she keeps her word. Unfortunately for Pasha, she said nothing about Sergey killing him, which he gladly does.
Back in Fort Totten, Val is talking about Pasha with Elena. Apparently, the people that hired him worked in the Cutler presidential administration. And the photo they recovered, which featured two of the now removed members of the cabal as well as the newsman, has them all huddled around looking at drone footage of the destruction of the church. So yea, Elena has no sympathy for the people that destroyed much of her life, and honestly, I sympathize with her a little. When Val tries to make common cause, asking Federova to hand over some of the 7 banks as a show of working together, she laughs it off, saying that would remove her leverage. And besides, Val is already doing what she wants, so why bother?
One of the two men not accounted for in the photo is Ahmed Abdel. As Réal coordinates with the White House, they realize that Ahmed worked for Titan, which had a hand in designing the security for the Federal Reserve. Which is exactly where new mischief is afoot. Snow White has gathered two people with security clearance and plans on using them to gain access to the gold vault. First, though, they have to blowtorch their way through an external gate.
Val heads to Ahmed’s house to talk with him. After essentially pushing her way in, armed men appear outside. They’re wearing the same masks Snow White uses, and they’re ready and willing to murder Ahmed. Luckily for Val, Ahmed has all his security tapped into his phone, and she uses it to good effect as the man hides in a panic room. A Roomba saves her life twice, and she manages to take down the armed men, killing all but one of them.
When Elena is confronted about why her men tried to kill Val and Ahmed, she’s utterly perplexed for the first time we’ve ever seen. She says they weren’t her men, and Val believes her. She wasn’t coy or mysterious, which means something odd is happening. And it all ties back to the Belochs.
Snow White wasn’t supposed to be able to get through the Reserve’s security, but a series of flashbacks show how they acquired fingerprints and other metrics to manage it. Plus, they have two bank members, and that’s most of what they need to get farther and farther through the layers of strict security measures. The FBI and White House are going crazy as this happens since if the world thinks America can’t safely protect their own money, the value of the dollar will plummet.
The FBI uses what Val learned last week to good effect, and realizes Elena is receiving secret messages from all the banks, plus one other location – Peekskill Prison. They assume the man using the phone is Owen (they still don’t know Sergey is alive), so Anthony goes to visit his former friend. Owen is pleased to see Agent Flowers at first but quickly clams up when Anthony starts asking about his involvement with Elena, and whether he knew that doing so would put his wife in danger. Owen is angry and tight-lipped. Once Anthony leaves, Owen goes up to Sergey and promises him that if anything happens to his wife, he’ll murder Sergey and Elena himself.
The FBI manages to get Ahmed to the Reserve so he can tap into the security and keep Snow White out. There’s just one problem – he’s actually working with Elena. We get a couple more flashbacks to 2018, and at first, we see Elena and Sergey were planning on killing the man. But then a surprise pregnancy changes her course. Now she wants to make the world better for the child growing inside of her, and so she recruits Ahmed.
We never learn how exactly, but it’s clear she was successful in convincing the man to join her cause. Once Ahmed is situated inside, he scrambles the communication between Doak and Val and sets to work. Eventually, when everyone is distracted, he uses his phone to read his own biometrics, opening the last gate to the gold vault.
Afterward, Ahmed immediately unscrambles the phones, and Doak realizes he was being played. Val and Doak rush into the vault and find a member of Snow White there with a suitcase bomb. He only gives them a minute to disarm it. They realize they can’t safely move it without knowing if there are any tripwires. And if the bomb goes off, all the gold in the vault will be vaporized. So Val teams up with Doak to remove the firing pins, and miraculously it works.
I immediately felt that was way too easy, and turns out I was right. Later on, we get a final flashback showing that before Val and Doak got into the vault, Elena’s man took out a piece of fake gold and placed it amongst the rest. And it looks like that fake bar is actually another bomb, slowly ticking away.
Gold Rush ends with Elena once again playing with Val’s head. She had been talking a lot about Isaac Bigby, the man who killed Val’s mother. Asking Val what she would do if she had a chance to get vengeance. Turns out, those weren’t hypothetical questions, since she presents an address to Val, and says Bigby is alive. Then it ends with Elena saying how next time Val will tell her a story.
Overall, Gold Rush was a good episode, though I was a bit frustrated that Val’s advantage meant so little. Also, I find it a bit hard to believe that Val didn’t see through Federova’s ruse with the gold vault, since she’s been so keen on uncovering other deceptions. But here’s hoping next week’s episode of The Endgame puts things back on track.