Corruption Is The Name of the Game In The Latest Endgame
The latest episode of The Endgame:Judge, Jury & Executioner, does a good job of putting the show on a more stable track. It begins immediately after the events of last week, and Val is not happy with Elena. She believes the written address that supposedly shows where Isaac Bigby lives is a mind game and says as much. When Elena smugly counters she’s never been anything but honest with Val, the sign of true friendship, Val bets she could strangle Elena to death before anyone could stop her. I really like this side of Val, and it helps both humanize her and keep her interesting. Plus, it helps show how the death of her mother motivated her rise in the FBI since she was there when she was gunned down.
Just as Val is about to leave, Elena says she’s trying to help exorcise her demons and asks if Val is getting much sleep. Val puts on a brave face, but we quickly see that she’s being dishonest. She has a fake-out nightmare sequence where it looks like she’s awake. But then bullets come tearing through her building, and she screams “mom” as she sees an older woman dead on the ground. Only to wake up and look once more at the address given to her by Elena. She and Anthony scope out the building and see someone living there, though they go by another name. She’s still convinced it could be Bigby, and the fact her mother’s murderer might be alive is tearing her apart.
Meanwhile, the next person on Elena’s list is kidnapped. Her name is Caroline Walsh, and she’s a federal judge already under the protection of the FBI, since she was photographed in the same scene with everybody else Snow White has gone after. And it probably doesn’t hurt she has history with the FBI Director, Rogelio Réal. But none of that saves her from Elena. Once Réal leaves, Snow White makes their move. They knock out the security detail, break into the house, and take Walsh. More interesting is that they have a new face with them, a man named Alfonso who just broke effortlessly out of prison and who was put there by none other than Judge Walsh.
The main thrust of Judge, Jury & Executioner deals with two concurrent missions. One by Val and Anthony, to investigate the kidnapping and see what they can find. The other involves Doak. And though he’s normally an arrogant, bumbling fool, he finally gets his act together here. He has a plan to liberate the second bank of its hostages and kidnap the Snow White lieutenant holed up there. She’s busily hacking into Federova’s account and transferring millions into cryptocurrency. The FBI has a phantom program watching them, but they’re confident they have the upper hand. So they’re surprised when Doak offers to trade Louie, another Snow White lieutenant and the boyfriend of the woman running that bank, for all the hostages.
As for Val, she starts to see something isn’t right about the Walsh kidnapping. She keeps finding clues and breadcrumbs that lead her to suspect something wasn’t kosher in the Alfonso case she oversaw. Val is also haunted by memories of her mother, who taught her that lying is not only wrong, but leads bit by bit to corruption. Which, incidentally, is what Elena’s latest note tells her – to follow the corruption.
Réal isn’t happy at all during the episode. He outright threatens Elena at one point, telling her not to underestimate him. Elena says he started as an honest man, but who knows how quickly that can change. She also implies that Caroline Walsh isn’t as trustworthy as Réal wants to believe. Something he can’t wrap his head around, at least until Val starts putting the pieces together.
Doak brings Louie into the FBI van and offers some incentive before the hostage operation. He says if there’s no funny business, he’ll give him the wedding ring they found, which is meant for his girlfriend. Then they move on to the bank, and at first, it’s going well. Then Louie’s girlfriend peeks her head out the door and nearly gets shot. In the confusion, the hostages getaway but Louie reunites with his lady love. When the FBI goes in guns blazing, they find a hole that allowed Snow White to escape. Worse yet, the wedding ring, Doak’s leverage, is missing. Somehow Louie palmed it when he wasn’t looking.
Sergey and Owen are having some problems as well. The man they put in the infirmary with eye drops last week, Horek, is up and talking. Sergey pretends to still be friendly with him but tells Owen he should have allowed him to kill the man. And to complicate matters further, there are only a few days before their big operation happens, and the ferret-faced weasel man has teamed up with a serial arsonist for muscle.
Val and Anthony finally find where the judge is being held hostage by Alfonso, on the heels of discovering that Alfonso is an innocent man. Even more egregious, the judge apparently has been doing the work of the sinister Beloch family, putting away innocents to hide crimes committed by the Belochs. She finally confesses to her captor, right before they both fly out the window. Somehow they both landed safely on a skylight, and the man escaped. When Réal comes and asks Walsh how long she’s been dirty, she tries to be evasive first, and then threatens she’ll take his job. Furious and disappointed, Réal tells his men to put her in cuffs.
Doak finally does something right near the end of Judge, Jury & Executioner. It looks like Louie and his girlfriend have escaped, and are boarding an airplane when he appears behind them. Turns out, he had the foresight to put a tracker on the wedding ring, and he manages to take them both into his custody. Granted, he misses Alfonso hiding on the same plane, but I don’t mind an innocent man escaping.
Val finally discovers the courage to confront Bigby, but he refuses to admit his identity. After a long and tearful discussion about how wonderful her mother was, Val is about to leave when Bigby gets his nightly delivery. He lights up, and then starts choking to death. Turns out, Elena laced his cigarette with cocaine, and it was a fatal dose. Val is angry and confronting her, when the lights in Fort Totten suddenly go out. It looks like the Beloch family is making a move to take out Elena, but we’ll have to wait a couple weeks for the resolution. Be sure and check back then for our coverage of the second half of this episode of The Endgame.