Apologies for my lack of review for last week’s Human Target, but I didn’t find much to discuss and it was right before Thanksgiving. I took some time off. It happens. Tonight’s episode, “Taking Ames” is probably on the same level of “meh,” particularly because of its focus on one of the team’s new members who just happens to be uninteresting.
Janet Montgomery is fine, Ames, in the first two episodes, was fine — albeit annoying. Because of her relationship with Guerrero, I kind of hoped that her past would be somewhat hidden from Chance, Winston and the audience, but I guess when you mix up the formula and bring in new characters, you probably have to try to present some good reasoning for it. Thus, “Taking Ames” makes an effort to make the young gal seem more like a well-rounded character, but for the most part, I don’t care anymore about her because of the events of this episode.
I appreciated that the episode didn’t include some dumb flashbacks or anything like that and I see what the episode is trying to do by portraying Ames’ journey to the straight and narrow, but there doesn’t seem to be much reasoning for it. She spends most of this episode saying how she wants a new life and wants to do the right thing, but I don’t recall there being a big motivation for why she wants to stay on the team. You know, aside from the fact that Winston would like to turn her in and Guerrero would like to kill her, so she wants to smooth things over with them.
And for the most part, Ames’ real value to the series seems to be that she looks very, very good oiled up and stripped down trying to sneak through tight spaces. So there’s that.
Apart from that, this is a fairly traditional episode of action television. Chance gets to kill a guy and then bring him back to life like he’s MacGyver and the mid-episode fight with Guerrero, Winston, Ilsa and The Cleaner was well-choreographed while doing some nice damage to the brand-new office, but the “Help the bad guys so you can actually take the bad guys down” plot was totally boring. I hate to throw Matt Miller under the bus, but so far, the locales of the set pieces have been veryChuck-like. Museums. Fancy benefits. Universities. Kind of familiar.
Even though I’m fairly new to the series — I’ve only seen the first two episodes of season one — I still find the best part of the series to be the chemistry between the three leads and thus far, the female characters are doing enough damage to that to annoy me. Again, I totally understand why these new females are around and am hoping that they provide some substantive value in the future, but with Ames’ aimlessness and Ilsa’s constant bickering and smoldering tension with Chance, it’s all too predictable for me. I think that’s kind of the point with a series like Human Target, but when it disrupts my favorite part of the series, I’m a little upset.
I’ll be sticking with Human Target, mostly because it will surely be canceled when it finishes its run in a few months anyway, but I’m hoping it gets better so that I don’t feel like I’m really wasting my time. “Taking Ames” isn’t quite there yet, but more episodes like this and I’m not sure I could blame FOX for canceling it.
Cory Barker is a graduate student at Bowling Green State University’s Department of Popular Culture focusing on television studies. He wrote television criticism for the Indiana University student newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student, for three years and started both a television-specific blog and podcast for the same publication. He now runs his own television criticism web site,TVSurveillance.com and is a contributor to TVOvermind, VisitorSite.net, and several other television websites. He can be found on Twitter @corybarker