Beauty and the Beast Keeps The Action Simmering and Reveals Shocking Truths
I know this might be hard to swallow after the events of last week’s The Endgame, but this was yet another mind-blowing episode. For those that can’t believe it, here’s the proof – I’m now fully rooting for Elena Federova. I had my doubts about the manipulative and urbane criminal before, but now that I can see most of the big picture, I understand and sympathize with her quest.
Now we all know that Elena’s last target is none other than President Wright himself. And she’s trying to flush him out with proof that the Federal Reserve is empty of real gold. Somebody took it all, and the implication is that Wright had a hand in it. Director Réal is trying hard to keep the circle tight, mostly to keep Doak out of his business. Réal, Val, Flowers, and Federova know about the entire situation, but people like Doak just know bits and pieces.
I have to say, it’s good to see Sasha Roiz again, especially in a morally questionable role. He blames Rogelio for the situation and offers an ultimatum to find the gold or step aside. But even that is a misdirection since he immediately turns around and starts grooming Doak to take his place as interim Director. The only good thing about Doak is that his ignorance helps shield Réal temporarily, but it’s painfully clear Wright only wants him because he’s a yes man.
Val tries hard to get help from Elena, who retorts the clock is ticking. Elena wants to indict Wright and jail him, and nothing else will suffice. Val asks again, and Elena tells her a story about a girl in a box. We flashback to happier times, with her, Sergey, and their daughter in a blanket fort playing around. The ladies are wearing tiaras and he comes in shambling like a beast, only for Sophia to summarily defeat him by sitting on his chest. It’s charming, and a stark reminder about everything Elena is fighting for. As we cut back to the present, Elena tells Val to search a lead with the Serial Skeptic about a matryoshka doll, moments before all the shit hits the fan.
The Secret Service butt in, and completely takes over Fort Totten, telling Val to leave or get arrested. Then they slap a hood over Elena’s head and chain her to the table, blinding her before they present some needles. And to nobody’s surprise, her mystery guest is none other than President Wright himself.
Val and Flowers follow Elena’s lead. Flowers acknowledges their president may be a dangerous criminal and worries a failure to find definitive proof could have dire consequences for them. But then things get so much worse. They arrive at the home of the Serial Skeptic, only to find a flaming ruin, with the Skeptic a charbroiled corpse. Apparently, his security detail was conveniently removed before a “gas leak” killed him. Thankfully, Val finds his car, festooned with stickers, and tracks the plates to another lead.
Meanwhile, Doak is looking into where the gold may have gone. With plenty of help, he finds the cameras at the Reserve were looped on 3 separate occasions, and that the gold might have traveled via a subway line. What he finds is that there are some odd discrepancies about the incident and that a member of the Secret Service might be involved.
Val and Anthony arrive at the home of a Diaz woman who was close with the Skeptic. Once they convince her they’re not part of the problem, Diaz shows them a room full of potential crimes committed by the Beloks. And one particular incident involved a car accident that derailed a presidential candidacy. With no other leads, they head to a garage owned by the driver in that incident.
Meanwhile, Owen is fishing for information under the guise of making certain his and Sergey’s plan is still on schedule. It’s clear Sergey no longer trusts him, and he starts watching him carefully.
The main event of Beauty and the Beast is Wright’s interrogation of Elena. Roiz and Baccarin trade all sorts of verbal barbs, and it’s apparent they’re evenly matched. She calls him a puppet president, and he tries and fails to coerce her to play ball. It’s clear he’s working with, or for, the Belok family, and is hunting for the very thing Val is – the matryoshka. Inside is proof of his complicity, something he can’t let see the light of day.
There are a lot of hard-to-watch scenes that Baccarin totally sells as she’s tortured by Wright. He doesn’t lay hands on her (though she does get some on him), but he repeatedly injects her with sodium pentothal. It even seems the drug is working at one point, and when he asks her where the matryoshka is hidden, she tells him to go to one bank to find it. And though he promises not to hurt Snow White or the hostages, he then tells his pet Secret Service agent to “deal with” Elena.
Luckily, all of Val and Flower’s legwork finally leads her to the conclusion the evidence is at the other bank being held by Snow White, and she manages to get there before the Secret Service does. By the end of the episode, Val, Flowers and Réal are suddenly in the crosshairs, and Elena is in real danger, perhaps for the first time ever. I’m not sure what is going to happen in The Endgame season finale, but I’m excited to see how it shakes things up.