‘All That Glitters’ Truly Ups the Stakes, and Paves the Road For the End of the Season
While I’m still of a mind that last week’s episode of The Endgame was one of the very best, All That Glitters comes in at a close second place. It’s clear now that the show is moving towards its own endgame, and things are heating up real fast. It all starts with a crank named the Serial Skeptic reporting with unnerving accuracy about the whole Federova situation. He seems to have figured out that the people Snow White has moved off the board are all enemies of Elena, and he’s even sporting a Free Elena t-shirt.
Doak and White House chief of staff Swanstrom are watching the Skeptic’s video, and they’re not happy with what they hear. The Skeptic is getting millions of views, and Swanstrom once again promises Doak a promotion if he starts dealing with the Snow White problem differently. He’s very eager to take Réal’s place, but then something surprising happens. Swanstrom suddenly faints, with a guard close behind. Before Doak nods off, he notices gas coming from a vase of flowers, and men wearing gas masks come and take the unconscious chief of staff.
Meanwhile, Réal is facing pressure from the White House to do something more proactive. He wants to make a big move, and take Federova’s daughter hostage. Val is very much against this plan and tries to convince Elena to stop her games and work with them. She points out that everybody in the picture has been dealt with, but Elena is still up to something. Elena says once the last person behind the church bombing has been dealt with, then they can work together. But first, it’s time for another story.
We get a flashback showing Elena and her adorable daughter Sofiya. Elena is telling her the story of a king who wants straw spun to gold, and takes a young girl hostage. As she is regaling her daughter, her husband Sergey is downstairs torturing another Belok agent. The man is tied to a post, and says he won’t reveal the location of Lady Belok. Sergey counters, saying he only wants to know about the gold.
In the present, Val is mulling over the story, and how the gold might be relevant to current circumstances. And then things get really crazy. A video turns up of Swanstrom in a water tank, and gold paint is pouring in, ready to drown her. As a fun side note, the president Wright we’ve heard so much about lately is played by Sasha Roiz of Grimm fame. He does a good job impressing the urgency of recovering his chief of staff to the FBI, and its clear failure will not be tolerated.
As all this is happening, the fake gold bar placed in the Federal Reserve a few episodes ago has nearly finished counting down. There’s 4 hours left to go until something happens, though the FBI is utterly unaware of this new problem at their door.
In the present, Sergey is talking with his attorney. It’s clear the man is privy to Sergey’s plans and knows that Owen is vital to them going off properly. Sergey says it’s a two-man job, but the attorney makes it clear it might now be a one-man job. He says it would take a miracle for Owen to get out of solitary in time. Either way, Sergey is determined to get back to his wife and daughter.
As the FBI is trying in earnest to figure out why Snow White kidnapped Swanstrom, who was apparently in the Peace Corps at the time of the church bombing, Doak is doing his best to advocate for the woman. Which would make me feel all warm and fuzzy if it wasn’t clear he only wants to save her to guarantee his own promotion to interim Director. He’s sweating with guilt, and unfortunately for him, Val starts to put the pieces together. But that doesn’t stop Doak from horning in on her investigation, which is now focused on the Serial Skeptic and a missing flower delivery van.
Somehow the Serial Skeptic went from a crackpot talking conspiracy theories to someone dialed directly into the schemes of Snow White. So Val and Doak bring him in for questioning. He’s been making trouble, and even sent his followers to Fort Totten protesting outside the gates. When they ask him questions, it’s clear he’s no criminal mastermind, just a conduit of information. Which likely means Snow White is feeding him information to use him for their own purposes. But with his latest tip, the FBI follows a lead from the flower van to a clay mine where Swanstrom is about to breathe her last.
Back in the past, Sergey’s victim gets loose right as young Sofiya finds him. She asks if he’s a prisoner that can spin straw to gold. The Belok agent plays to her innocence and draws her closer to grab her. Just as she screams, we hear a loud sound, and he drops to the ground dead. Mama Elena shot him from the staircase, and Sergey and her take the traumatized child upstairs. Federova is determined to make the world a better place for their daughter.
As Doak and Val drive frantically to the mine, Réal calls. He reveals to Val that he’s sending a HRT team to surveil Sofiya. Doak overhears them, and says if it were up to him, he’d send a helicopter to grab the girl immediately. When Val counters “good thing you’re not in charge”, all Doak says is “yet”.
The pair manage to get to Swanstrom just in time, and prevent her drowning. It’s still unclear why Snow White was after her, but Val and Flowers start to find some incongruous details about the chief of staff’s past.
In Peekskill, Owen is miraculously released from solitary. I immediately worried about this, and rightly so. Sergey talks with his attorney, only to find he had no hand in Owen’s release. Which likely means Owen is working against Snow White’s purposes now.
Without revealing the big twist in the episode, all I can say is it’s clear Swanstrom wasn’t Snow White’s final target. And as the timer finally goes off in the Reserve, it reveals something truly game-changing. With only two episodes left for this season of The Endgame, I’m truly captivated and cannot wait to see where those last episodes take us.