A Measure of a Man
Tonight we see Becca being forced to recall details of a traumatic former case in order to prove her innocence, while, elsewhere, Michael goes to new lengths to protect both himself and Oksana. The show opens with Becca in serious hot water as she’s interrogated by the female CIA woman in charge of this operation. We saw her last week, but I’ve still not heard her name mentioned. The interrogation begins with one simple statement from the agent, “I think you know who took your son, and why.”
Becca stares at her for a moment before she agrees to “play” whatever word-mind game is about to ensue. The agent tells Becca that it’s Victor Asamoff, and she scoffs at that. The agent, then points out that there are only three fingerprints required to open the account that had all the stock certificates in it: Paul’s, Becca’s and Michael’s. She infers the Asamoff was double-crossed and taking Michael was payback. Becca looks at her as if it’s the most ridiculous thing she’s heard, given she saw Paul give Asamoff the certificates. When the agent then brings up the codeword “Operation Songbird”, Becca balks and tells her that case has nothing to do with her current situation.
The agent disagrees and begins to list the parallels of a mother who’s child is missing, and will go to any desperate lengths to get him back. The scene flashes back to Vienna 1999 when Martin is talking to Paul and Becca about this woman who wants her son back. She can give them explicit details on his criminal activity, but she won’t do it until she gets her son and they’re safely in the United States. Martin then tells them that Asamoff brutalized his ex-wife and they don’t know what’s been done to the boy so it’s Becca and Paul mission to kidnap Victor’s son, Maxim, and return him to his mother.
Outside, Paul reminds Becca that they agreed not to work together because of Michael, but she tells him that things are fine. He disagrees, informing her that Michael has come to him because he’s been bullied at school. She doesn’t understand why her son didn’t come to her with the problem, and Paul tells her that he was embarrassed – thinking that his mother might be disappointed in him. Becca appears visibly upset by this news and asks Paul what they should do? He’s already handled it, talking to the teacher and the other boy’s parents. He assures her that it’s going to be okay. Paul says in an upset tone that he thought since she was home, she’d spend some extra time with their son, but “then you go and volunteer for a babysitting mission!”
She looks at Paul flatly and tells him that Michael is going to be fine.Speaking of Michael, the scene next shows Michael and Oksana on the train discussing that they’re free and having a tender moment. He notices her lips are cold, and she tells him that she needs insulin but they don’t even have a full dose.
Meanwhile, Giancarlo is arguing with Dax about turning on Becca. Dax tells him that Becca has been using both of them, and he agrees because she has no other resources. Dax tells him that he’s blind. Giancarlo counters with Dax being pigheaded. Then, Dax makes it sound more cynical and ominous the way Becca has been “using” them, and assures Giancarlo that he has no idea what’s really happening out there. He asks to be enlightened, and Dax tells him if he does it then he wants something in return: Interpol’s full backing – warrants – support, whatever he needs. They make the deal. Dax tells Giancarlo that Asamoff is a bad guy, but he’s not the king of anything, and that he’s working for someone else who’s much bigger. They discuss all the corrupt European governmental agencies that can be in on this. He says they control drugs, black market diamonds, human trafficking, even murder as he tosses cards on the table then lists the ex-operative who’s turned bad. He holds up a Kind of Diamonds and refers to it as suspect zero, a man or woman who’s very, very smart because they’ve alluded the agency for years.
“It could be someone who we’ve never even thought to look at,” Dax offers. “Like someone we thought was dead for the last 10 years.”
Giancarlo mentions Paul but defends there’s no way that he could have known about all of this. Dax tells him to open his eyes and get ahead of it, because Becca Winstone is going down, and tells him he needs to decide if he’s going down with her.
Back in the interrogation room, the agent tells Becca that Songbird ended the way it did because she and Paul were working for the other side. Becca seems thrown by this woman’s tone and demeanor, believing that she’s guilty of something before she’s even heard her side. She tells her that she’ll answer her questions under one condition, and we all know what that is: that she’ll use the full resources of the agency to help her get Michael back. The agent looks as if she admires Becca’s moxie and agrees with a caveat. If Becca doesn’t prove to her that she’s clean, then they ship her off on the next plane to Guantanamo Bay.
Then, she shrugs and quips. “They’re not as friendly as I am.”
Back on the train, Oksana is weakening as Michael surmises that someone’s got to be on the train with a cell phone. He leaves the rail car and walks along the top of the cars to try to find one. However, what he finds is the guard from the mansion-prison who’s chasing him.
Flash back to the agents to discover that the train is registered to Victor Asamoff and it’s scheduled to stop in two hours. Giancarlo tells Dax that Michael is on the train as Martin looks on. Dax doesn’t believe him but goes to see for himself.
Back in the interrogation room, Becca is telling the female agent that she and her son had a great relationship. Then, it changes scene to Martin explaining that he’d been the other agents, one of them Violet, that he should never have let Becca and Paul work on that case together, not because they were dirty, but because they were parents.
The scene shifts back to Becca telling the female agent that she and Paul hadn’t been seeing eye to eye, and that, perhaps, if she’d been paying closer attention, she could have seen the signs. The agent seems to dismiss that theory because of the type of highly trained agent that Becca is, she couldn’t see the truth about her own husband? That doesn’t wash with her. Becca recounts by saying that the agent has clearly, never been married. The agent gives her a touche smile.
We flashback to Becca with Maxim’s mother, in an auditorium where children are playing musical instruments. Becca inquires how long it’s been since she’s seen her son. She painfully states two years, and she’s afraid of how her ex-husband may have poisoned Maxim against her. He threatened her that she’d never see her son again, then she glances over at Becca and says, He’s always been a man of his word.”
“Not this time,” Becca assures. “We’ll get him to you.”
Then, when the woman makes a comment that she feels Becca is judging her, she tells her that she’s not because she’s a parent herself. Still, the woman feels the need to defend, saying that he would have surely killed her had she stayed with him. The only comfort she took in leaving was that she knew he had never raised a hand to their son.
Becca replied. “You had to leave to save him,” and that she understands that. She then tells her that she tries to make the world safer and gets trying to save one’s son. Just then, Maxim sees his mother. Becca assures her that she and Paul will take care of him as if he were their own. Becca hands Maxim a necklace that his mother asked for her to pass along to him. He realizes that it’s the last Christmas present that he gave to her. He tells Becca that he wants to be with his mother. She instructs him to go to the bathroom where her husband is waiting for him.
Back on the train, Oksana loads a gun. Michael tells her no, but she says that he’s done terrible things to her and it’s the only way. The man looks inside the car but doesn’t see them so he keeps moving. Then, he spies a remnant of something outside Boxcar 5 and goes back. A fight ensues with the guard from the mansion-prison. Michael gives as good as he gets and pushes the man into the doorway of the train car and Oksana runs behind him and pushes the man out. The train stops and they jump off and run, but the man gets up and chases them.
Back in interrogation, the female agent looks puzzled about something and states that Becca wasn’t in the men’s room with Paul and Maxim so, perhaps, he lied to her about what really went down. Becca disagrees and flashes back to the memory:
Maxim wants to go to the bathroom and tells his guards that he doesn’t want anyone watching him “pee”. They give him his privacy. Inside, Paul is there with a change of clothes and tells him that he’s making a brave choice. Maxim warns that his guards have guns and Paul assures that so does he. Maxim wants to see it, so Paul removes the bullets and hands him the gun. He brings up his father, but Paul tells him not to think about that, as he hands him a soccer uniform. Then, they discuss sports. Maxim is an NBA fan and mentions Kobe Bryant, telling him that he’s the best.
Flashes back to Becca trying to assure the female agent that they never had any idea that Maxim was Asamoff’s son. They were given the name, Gregor Navalski. She tells her that she finds it hard to believe in light of Becca’s personal connection with the man, but Becca has no clue what she’s talking about. She hands Becca a photo of Asamoff, Maxim and the mother.
Becca seems troubled and reminds her that the CIA has had her under investigation for a decade. She then asks, “Can you show any contact between Asamoff and me?”
The agent brings up a bank account that contained the life insurance money that was received when Paul died. Becca doesn’t understand the connection. The agent notes she’s been drawing small bits out of it for years. Again, Becca doesn’t understand where she’s heading because she believed Paul was dead, which doesn’t indicate fraud of any kind. The agent nods then drops the bomb: ”That would be true if there was an insurance company.”
We learn that the money came from a numbered account in Zurich, and Becca realizes that Paul is the one who set it up so that she and Michael would be taken care of. The agent disagrees and thinks the money came from Victor as, “payment for a job well done.”Becca strongly disagrees.
The agent dismisses the protests and takes her back to the kidnaping of Maxim. Becca takes her through what actually went down. She disabled the guards and she and Paul got Maxim out of the building. They go to a car and Becca tells him that it’s okay because they’re going to take care of them. Paul then gives him a manly pep talk and they take off when another car is in pursuit of them. This show wouldn’t be this show if there wasn’t a killer car chase each week, and this is the point we get one. Paul and Becca get away from them, then, Becca hugs Maxim and tells him he’s safe – they lost them. They proceed to take him to his mother.
The scene shifts to Dax talking to his ex-wife, Candance, who’s threatening to move their children from London to the United States within the week. He argues with her that they have a custody agreement, and she can’t do that. He, then adds that she’ll be hearing from his lawyer. Giancarlo is surprised to learn that Dax has children. He asks if he wants to talk about it and Dax tells him no, but states that his wife is using his children as pawns to get to him. Giancarlo notes that Dax doesn’t seem like the kind of man who let’s his personal life interfere with his work. Dax notices the pop 101 psyche illustration that Giancarlo is referring to and says that he’s not taking his frustrations out on Becca because of what his ex-wife is doing to him. Giancarlo tells him that he and Becca were in love, but she was devoted to her family and a good mother. He knows she’s not lying. Dax flips the question around and asks, “now who’s not letting their personal life interfere with their work?”
Meanwhile, Michael and Oksana are walking down a grove, eating grapes. Oksana is terribly weak because she needs insulin. They find a small shed and he takes her inside. He tells Oksana that they’ll be safe here.
Back at interrogation, Becca informs the agent that Maxim was having second thoughts about what they were doing, but he wasn’t afraid. She thinks back. Maxim is antsy, telling Paul and Becca that what they’re doing is crazy, and he should go back. Paul diverts his attention away from his fear by asking him if he really thinks Kobe is better than Shaq? Maxim engages when Paul charges that Shaq is a “difference maker”. The boy tells Paul that’s only because he throws his weight around. Kobe, on the other hand, is smart. Paul seems pleased by the analogy.
“You take brains over brawn? That’s good to know.”
Paul then tells Maxim that no kid should be afraid of his own father. Maxim says he doesn’t know if he can handle it, and Paul assures him that he feels that way a lot. Then, he tells the Maxim that “it’s not the problems we face that define us but how we chose to handle them.”
He considers it then wants to know how long before he gets to see his mother.
Paul and Becca tell him not long at all, and they leave.
The agent wants to make sure she completely understands what Becca is saying because she wants no room for misunderstanding. Then, she reasons all that Becca has told her and poses in back in a question: “Maxim wanted to back out but Paul talked him into going through with it?”
Becca tells him they never would have taken him if they’d known how it was going to play out and this is where the shocker of all shockers comes into play: Martin is standing with Maxim’s mother when Paul and Becca bring him to her. In an instant, he pulls Paul’s gun from its holster and shoots his mother. Becca has her gun on Maxim, stunned by what she’s just witnessed. Maxim drops the gun and runs away into a waiting van. Becca gasps, “Oh, my God!”
Back at the interrogation rooms, she incredulously asks the agent if she really believes that Becca would set a child up to do that? Adding, “what kind of a woman do you think I am?”
The agent rattles off Becca’s past – raised in a series of foster homes, none of which kept her longer than a year. She notes that Becca is emotionally cut off and has trouble forming attachments or bonds. Then gets to her point: Becca was the ideal candidate to pull off that assassination because she had no loved ones at all. Becca disagrees, reminding her that by the time of the “Songbird” case, she had a family. The agent cuts her no slack, saying, “a child you saw between assignments, and a husband you were destined to cheat on. Break out the white picket fence.”
She informs Becca that if Songbird was indeed a set-up, they’d need someone with Becca’s “lack of emotional texture.”
Becca brings the point back to present day by claiming that her son is missing.
The agent asks. “Why didn’t you stop him?”
She says that she should have, because she should have known that all of this would come back on her. But, she wanted to believe that he could be safe and have a normal life.
The agent shakes her head. “Not Michael,” she says. “Maxim. Why didn’t you drop him when he was in your sights?”
Becca looks mortified, not believe what she’s asking. She reminds that agent that he was a 12-year-old boy.
The agent wants to know when the last time Becca saw him was, and she tells him that she’s not seen him since that day. The agent goads her, wanting to know if she ever wondered what became of him? Becca answers in a frustrated tone, “all the time!”
The agent tells her that she’s in luck, because she knows what became of him and hands Becca a file folder containing a picture of the young, blonde-haired assassin who took out the female lawyer on the yacht a few episodes back but spared Becca’s life. Her brows furrow in disbelief.
Next, we see Giancarlo and Dax chasing the train demanding that it stop. They find no Michael on the train. Frustrated, Giancarlo tells Dax that he believed that Michael was on that train.
Dax shakes his head and tells him that’s part of his problem – he always believes whatever Becca tells him. He says that Becca manipulates everybody, Giancarlo most of all. Then, he says disgustedly that they’re wasting their time there. Giancarlo doesn’t know what to think.
Pan to the hide-a-way where the guard finds Michael and Oksana. They fight and Michael ends up killing him.
Back to the interrogation room. The agent tells Becca that she should recognize him because he was there when she lead her agents into an ambush in Dubrovnic. Becca defends that he was shooting at her. The agent disagrees, asking, “if you aren’t working with his father, then why are you still alive?”
Becca considers it and says that perhaps he felt compassion for her years ago because she didn’t kill him. The agent counters with a “was that compassion or strategy” question. Becca doesn’t know what to think.
Flash back to Michael and Oksana. She consoles Michael, telling him that the guard was a horrible man who would have killed him, and he’ll always be the man who saved her. Michael is bleeding and crying. Oksana fades out, and Michael picks her up and carries her out, begging her to “stay with him.”
The agent, meanwhile, is telling Becca that she’s at her last chance. You accuses Becca of taking Maxim to kill his mother. Becca is dumbfounded by the charge. The agent tells Becca that it doesn’t really matter because she just got word from Agent Miller that Michael wasn’t on the train. She repeats it and Becca appears lost.
“Looks like you lose, Ms. Winstone.”
She leaves her alone, and Becca tries to absorb it and figure out what could have happened?
The agent then goes into a room where Martin is sitting and informs them that Michael wasn’t on the train, and she’s going to need his help to get access to some of Paul’s old cases. She tells him that they could finally be on the road to finding suspect zero, and Martin thinks that would be a good thing to come out of all of this.
Becca is pacing in the interrogation room when she hears a door open. She moves toward it and looks around. She calls out “hello” but no one answers and she realizes it’s a tunnel and takes off. The female agent goes back into the room telling Becca there’s one more thing she needs to know, when she realizes that she’s gone. Out of the shadows comes woman who stabs the agent. It looks to be Violet, the agent who was in bed with Dax a few episodes back. She’s just set it up to look like Becca killed the agent. Dax calls for an APB out on Becca then looks at Martin and Giancarlo and says, “do you believe me now?”
Becca gets outside and looks around for where to go next as the scene flashes to Michael carrying Oksana down the train tracks then back to Becca walking the street as her mind flashes back to Vienna in 1999 and walking toward Paul. Becca informs Paul that Maxim’s mother died at the hospital. She asks Paul if there was any way that they could have seen this coming, and he assures her that they aren’t responsible for this. She tells him that when the doctors put Michael in her arms, all she felt was fear. She knew she loved him, but all she felt was terror over all the mistakes she knew she was going to make. Paul tells her that she’s a great mother especially given that she never had anyone to learn from. She says she doesn’t want to be another parent who fails their kid, but she’s lost. Her reminds her of something she’d told him once: that she had an imaginary mother in the foster home, and assures her that she does for Michael all the things that she wished had been done for her. Becca cries and says that she just wanted her to show up, and Paul hugs her. The image moves back to Becca in the present walking down the street with Maxim following close behind.
Every week, I don’t believe this show can get any more intense, throw any more curve balls, and I’m always left wondering where in the world they’ll take us next. This week only accelerated those thoughts. There’s no way to predict how this is going to end; if Becca is going to get Michael back or if we’re going to find out who suspect zero is by season’s end in a few weeks. I’m in! I hope you are too. See you next week…
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