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18 May 2015 @ 04:14 pm
Review: Wine, Women, and War (p2 of 3)  
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Scene 34: Later at the National Medical Center, a very important man is delivered via limo [and I’ll just tell you that it’s Oscar, putting a face to his voice].

We follow him as he enters a restricted wing of the hospital guarded by Marines. [Well, actually “we’re” left in the hallway… rude! But thankfully we know a short cut around the guards anyway.]


Scene 35: We’re on our way to the Special Bionics Section of the hospital. Rudy meets Oscar at Steve’s recovery room door. He tells him that Steve’s physical damage has been repaired and Oscar misses or ignores the emphasis. He tells Rudy that’s good, so Steve is immediately ready to be sent out again.

It’s pretty obvious that Rudy wants to mention Steve’s pissy mood, but he doesn’t get a chance as Oscar breezes around him and gives Steve a phony, gregarious greeting.

Oscar tries to be overly friendly in his tone, but Steve will have none of it. He’s pissed that he was put through four weeks of “cloak and dagger” and was pitted against the Egyptian Navy and the safe was empty. He wants to know what was worth so many necks.

Goldman informs him about the “need to know” rule. This only antagonizes Austin further and he breaks the juice glass he’s holding. Rudy tells him to calm down, but Steve tells him he didn’t mean to break the glass and his arm must be faulty.





Oscar takes this as a cue to leave since they’re arguing isn’t going to accomplish anything, anyway. Steve aborts his leaving by telling him that there is some unfinished business they have, and it isn’t about the safe. He brings up Tamara and it comes out that Steve was directed toward her as a possibly sympathetic contact. Steve now tells Oscar that he was correct, but now that she helped him, they need to help her. He tells Goldman that he promised to get her out of Egypt for her help.

Oscar has to break the news that she was killed.


Scene 36: We cut to sometime later, where Steve is working his bionic legs. He reaches 60 miles an hour after Rudy took his downtime to install new advanced gyros to improve his balance while running forward. Rudy is all excited about this, but Steve doesn’t look very interested.

He’s still carrying regret over his mission and Tamara’s fate. Steve tells Rudy that all she did was give him information that he could’ve picked up at any tourist information center. Rudy sympathizes, not just with Tamara, but with everything that Steve has gotten dragged into because of his government sponsored upgrades. He shares with Steve that they believe that the Egyptians tried to force Tamara to reveal information because she was seen with him. They apparently took her for a spy as well.

[Well, honestly, she was targeted by OSI/OSO as a ‘sympathizer’….]

Rudy tells Steve that he’ll just have to accept that these things happen in their line of work. Steve’s answer is to punch through the wall, startling the Marine Guards stationed outside of Rudy’s med lab.





Scene 37: Sometime later, Oscar is in Rudy’s office to discuss Steve’s attitude problem following the mission. Rudy tries to get Oscar to give Steve some time, but Oscar says they don’t have it to give. He introduces the topic of Steve’s last mission by informing Rudy that Steve’s target was Arlen Findletter and that the safe was supposed to be a weapons catalog of Findletter’s clients. He’s become a blackmarket nuclear arms dealer that the agency has been after for a while now.

Goldman tells Rudy that they’ve good intelligence that Findletter is trying to sell American and Russian made Polaris-class missiles. Oscar says that as far as he knows, they’ve never even lost a Polaris missile. Rudy wonders what the problem is, if we haven’t lost a missile that Findletter is supposedly trying to unload, but Oscar tells him that a Soviet nuclear scientist was spotted speaking to Findletter in the Bahamas. That’s too suspicious not to follow up on. Oscar says they need Steve on this.

Rudy offers that physically speaking, Steve’s ready [Yeah, let’s just not mention the involuntary bionic hand spasm and also just assume that Steve did it on purpose]. But he also points out Steve’s lack of cooperative spirit with OSI [this in itself is a bit strange, since Rudy actually says “your organization” -- it makes me wonder if Wells is still working for OSO officially and there is some sort of arrangement between OSO and OSI… or it was just clumsy writing and more retroactive changing of the details of bionic’s history].


Commentary: Y’all know how I am about continuity. I really wish they’d just handled the transition from Spencer/OSO to Goldman/OSI as something that took place within the show’s continuity, instead of trying this approach. It would’ve been just as easy to toss in a few lines about OSI taking over the Bionics Project rather than trying to erase Oliver and OSO completely from the last movie. They just made such a pointless and stupid choice for no explainable reason.


Scene 38: Later, Steve is working on his arm under Rudy’s watch while Dr. Wells tries to get Steve to not sell Oscar short. He insists that Oscar is a good man.

He smilingly tells Steve that Oscar has already agreed that he could use a rest. Steve glares at Rudy and asks what the catch is. Rudy replies that there isn’t one, before making it clear - in the guise of telling Steve all of the things he has access to - that he’s not actually allowed to leave the floor of the hospital. How he thought this was going to fly in anyone’s guess!

Rudy tries to explain that this is only until the current mission that Steve was a part of is completed, but Steve won’t have any of it. He reminds Rudy that he’s nobody’s robot and storms out of the weight room.


Scene 39: When he exits, he sees an old friend in the hallway at the drinking fountain: This is Harry Donner of the Air Force. After getting through the MPs, they get caught up with what is happening in their lives with Harry complaining that he’s off to Tokyo soon.

The Tokyo assignment isn’t the problem, actually, it’s just that Harry had a mutual acquaintance’s place in the Bahamas rented for two weeks which is now interrupted by this new assignment from on high. Harry talks up Doyle’s place like it’s Paradise on Earth and Steve decides that the Bahamas sounds real good as a place for some much deserved R&R from the OSO/OSI missions-that-suck thing.


Commentary: And for some reason, Steve doesn’t ask why Harry is at the hospital wandering around in front of an MP guarded restricted area. He doesn’t question the “hey, I just so happen to have this great vacation spot all paid for that I can’t use” story either. I take an immediate dislike to Harry Donner though, so maybe it is a coincidence: After all, I just happen to know that Oscar would like Steve in the Bahamas at this particular moment.


Scene 40: That evening, Steve spies on the two MP guards in the hallway. He goes to his window and finds bars over them. But obvs, his bionics can handle those. He takes an [offscreen] jump to the ground to be on his way out from under the “NASA quarantine” that he used as the explanation for why he was being kept in a restricted area to Harry.


Scene 41: We get a shot of the airport, suggesting Steve is getting on the soonest plane out of the U.S.

This is confirmed a moment later as Donner is dropping Steve off at the Overseas Departures terminal. Harry tries to set Steve up with a sweet honey that can show him a great time when he gets to the island, but Steve is still smarting from leaving Tamara in the lurch.


Scene 42: After Steve gets into the terminal, Good Friend Harry Donner doesn’t waste any time getting on the car phone to report Austin is on his way.


Scene 43: Jet flies with the moon behind it through the skies.

Aboard said jet, Steve sits in contemplation when he’s interrupted by the stewardess asking if he’d like a top off on his champagne. Steve turns to the blonde sitting next to him, taking her for the woman that Harry was trying to set him up with. He starts telling her that he just isn’t interested in spending time with her, despite whatever Harry may have said. She acts completely mystified as to what he’s talking about.

Steve points out that the flight is less than a quarter full, so they don’t just seat strangers next to one another like this unless there has been an arrangement made in advance. He suggests that if her and Harry had some sort of bargain, he’ll pay her off to go away.

She doesn’t look like a woman who has been paid [read prostitute] to be Steve’s companion. She says that she understands now what he means. This gets an entirely appropriate response in turn.





She tells him that now he understands. Steve’s bionic hand again clenches without his conscious control and he shatters the champagne glass. With the wine in his lap now, she tells Steve that she doesn’t think they should wait for landing to go their separate ways and adds that since he currently seems to have a social problem, she’ll happily be the one to change seats.

The guy across the aisle laughs at him and tells him you can’t win them all. He calls him Colonel, recognizing him from television from his walk on the moon.


Commentary: So, here we need to talk a bit more about the revisionism in Steve’s personal history. In the first movie, Austin was a civilian test pilot, which is why he could get away with his “too cool for uniforms” behavior on the runway when addressing the officer in command. But here, his history has been changed to having been in the Air Force, rather than being a civilian astronaut. This is clear by him apparently having been Colonel Steve Austin during his time on the moon.

But it also tends to highlight a problem with making Steve such a renowned character: There are going to be way too many instances of Steve Austin working undercover where nobody seems to recognize him as the guy that was all over Newspapers and Television, which is pretty frickin’ ridiculous for this time in space history. [It’s unfortunate, but this would easily be believable if he was a shuttle pilot.]

It’s going to lead to a lot of “Oh, come on!” moments in future when he’s dealing with way too many people to buy that nobody recognizes his face. This is especially true in episodes where he’s suddenly undercover as himself and everybody knows his celebrity. The show tried to have it both ways, so logically, they really blew it but it’s generally -- generally -- something that we can overlook, but still….



Scene 44: In the Bahamas, Pan Am gets a shout out. Book Pan Am for your next vacation folks! [Or uh, I guess not.]

From the runway, our Justifiably Indignant Blonde is picked up in a diplomatic limo flying the Soviet flag. A stewardess asks if Steve’s alright as he watches the blonde get in the limo and he tells her that his judgment appears to be off today. He looks down at her boobs and then smilingly tells her to “keep ‘em flying” before continuing to disembark.


Scene 45: Steve is dropped off by his cab to good old Doyle’s place. There he goes ahead and calls in to Rudy to report that he is alright. Without informing Rudy where he went, he does mention the incident with his hand happening again and Rudy links it to an adrenaline surge caused by his being angry or upset in the moment the hand reacted. He offers it’s a minor adjustment, but Steve cuts him off to say that it’ll have to wait a few days and that he doesn’t need to worry, as Steve isn’t anywhere that is likely to make him angry.


Scene 46: Montage, Montage of non-bionic activities like swimming and jogging at normal humans speeds. As Steve is on the beach, he notices the same diplomatic limo that picked up the blonde sitting outside of one of the beach homes, strangely close to the one he’s currently renting. He goes up and opens the gate, looking to apologize for insulting blonde on the plane, but is met by a man who doesn’t speak much English. He does speak pretty well in Russian though, and the submachine gun says plenty. Steve is shooed off the property.





Scene 47: When Steve returns to his rented house, he finds the actual lady who is “a friend of Harry’s” waiting for him. She doesn’t like the way he’s smirking and says she’ll just leave and he agrees that would be great. But then he offers that maybe she’d like to have a drink, first.

This is his way of tapping her [Not like that! At least for the moment.] as a source of information about the house next door to them.

When they finally get around to names, Cynthia Holland lets Steve know that Harry’s instructions were actually to just let Steve know what is around to do, like sport fishing and golfing and then she was to stay out of his way to enjoy his vacation. They end on having a much less antagonistic relationship than Steve was expecting, since “Cyn” is ready to play no more than expert resident.


Commentary: I was ready to be annoyed at Cynthia’s character, because I expected her to pull out the “Harry said to show you a good time” and being the sort not to take “no thank you” for an answer. But by the end of the scene, I was okay with her flirty, but not obnoxiously pushy line deliveries. And I found myself a bit charmed by Michele Carey -- which was a bit of a bummer since I fully expect her to be working underhandedly for Oscar as this whole thing is so obvs a set up from his office.


Scene 48: The next day on the golf course, Cynthia is lining up a ball when Austin ruins the shot by shouting out to an acquaintance at the wrong time. The person he just happens to know if Alexi Kaslov, and who is with him but the blonde [who I’ll just finally name myself right now: Katrina Volana].

Oh, and what a coincidence! With the two of them is none other than Arlen Findletter. What are the odds?! [Pretty frickin’ good, if Oscar is involved in this chance meeting.]

Alexi is oddly standoffish when reconnecting with his old astronaut friend, and Arlen comments on the coincidence of the three of them already being so acquainted. Steve doesn’t react to Arlen Findletter and so may not know that this is the man whose safe he was breaking into outside Alexandria… yet.

Steve is a bit nonplussed by Alexi’s cold shoulder and Arlen mentions that he could swear that he and Austin had met before, something that Steve denies. He doesn’t mention that Arlen would know him from that walking on the moon bru-ha-hah with the media. So Arlen just says that perhaps it will come to him later.


Scene 49: Cyn snots at Steve when he returns that it isn’t nice to leave one woman to converse with another, not to mention ruining her backswing. He comments that he saw an old friend, but Cynthia also noticed the cold shoulder and suggests that perhaps he needs a personality course, if that’s how his old friends are treating him.

This leaves Steve annoyed again and when he swings at his ball, he puts too much force behind it. The ball goes and goes and goes in full view of everyone on the course.

Steve blows it off as being “all in the wrist” and it’s allowed to pass though certainly Alexi and Arlen are quite interested in this feat.


Scene 50: When Steve and Cynthia return, there is a handwritten note waiting under the door. The note is from Mr. Findletter inviting Steve and guest to dinner that evening.

Cynthia asks after whether Steve even likes girls, and he confirms that he does in fact. He tells her he even wanted to take one to the moon to try certain experiments in zero-g, but NASA wouldn’t let him. He offers that what she really wants to know is why he hasn’t made a pass at her. Steve’s explanation is that he read somewhere that you shouldn’t be in a hurry to get over a hurt [referencing Tamara again] and that our ability to feel is what separates us from machines [his bionics] and institutions [the OSI].

Steve tells her to take off her clothes, to her utter confusion after what he just said. But his intent is for her to get into a bathing suit as they’re going for a swim before dinner.


Commentary: I really liked Lee Majors in this scene. He’s a bit flirtatious, without being seriously so and he and Michele have this quirky energy between them that makes them cute without being cloying and I like that Steve isn’t playing “the hero tramp” role here. It’s nice that Tamara’s having paid the price for so little a thing as being seen with him is heavily weighing on him and he’s deliberately not trying to screw the feelings away with Harry’s set-up.

Of course, I still can’t trust Cynthia. Even though her questions don’t seem out of the ordinary or too nosy, there is something in the way her face is set when she’s waiting for an answer that makes me think she’s still in on the Goldman plot.



Scene 51: That night, Steve and Cynthia arrives for dinner, which isn’t a small dinner party, but a huge casino affair. At the roulette wheel they’re joined by Katrina who is there to ask that Steve come to meet Alexi alone before Mr. Findletter joins them.

Cyn asks to come too, but Steve shoots this down using his “system for winning at roulette” which requires 1000 spins of the wheel in order to come out again of the game. Cynthia looks a bit worried as Steve leaves with Katrina.


Scene 52: Steve is escorted back to the Soviet compound/Alexi Kaslov’s place by Ms. Volana. Kaslov tells Steve that he wasn’t happy to see him earlier that day, which Steve confirms he had the sense of. Kaslov goes on to tell Austin that he wants to partner up, but Steve has no idea what Alexi is talking about.

It is quite apparent very quickly that Kaslov knows of Steve’s involvement in the spy game and assumes that his target is Findletter and the missing warheads. Alexi doesn’t have time for Steve’s “games”. He pulls out a thin folder and gives Steve a rundown of his activities, including how many times he’s been seen in the same building as Oscar Goldman - a man who Soviet Intelligence is very familiar with. In addition, he also knows about Steve being nearby Findletter in Alexandria when his boat mysteriously exploded. Further, the Soviet’s have learned that someone deliberately requested a seat next to the Undersecretary for External Security and that now he finds Austin’s “vacation home” sitting conveniently next to the Soviet Union’s mission home to the Bahamas.





The latter information is of course coming as news to Steve. Steve tells Alexi that what he told him was the truth, but he’s also obviously pissed… and not at his Russian friend. He tries to leave only to find the bodyguard standing there in the way. Meanwhile, Alexi goes back into his desk. He pulls out a gun, and apologizing, shoots Austin!


Commentary: Obvs, Steve must’ve been hit with a tranq or the movie has really taken a twist and a half and the next movie will have Zombie-Clone-Austin as the spy. But what I just wanted to mention was David McCallum. Although I don’t find him bad necessarily as the Russian agent, I also expected him to be more charismatic than I found him and was left a bit disappointed. He was incredibly handsome in the 60’s, and he’s full of charm in NCIS but in this movie it feels like he’s holding back somehow. I’m not sure if it’s the direction he was given, or the choice to play his agent as “cold” but it felt throughout this scene like he was only half trying with the material. It made it difficult for me to buy [especially after the previous scene of them together] that he actually thinks of Austin as an old friend from their astronaut/cosmonaut days.

I did like how he knows a lot about the OSI, as you’d imagine the Russians would be at least as good at spying as the U.S., if not a bit better. And I liked the way that Lee acted out Steve’s putting the pieces into place. Finally, this scene was welcomed just because it points to Austin finally beginning the true bionic-agent part of the telefilm. It’s not that I was bored with Steve On Vacation, but the pacing is a bit slow when we’re only watching him doing his R&R schtick and flirting with Cyn.



Scene 53: At the tables, Cynthia has just won and is excited.

In the room also is Alexi and Findletter. Alexi tells Arlen that the Soviet Union has agreed to his price on inspection of his merchandise. He also tells him that there will be no bidding, as the American will not be joining them. Arlen gives this a moment of thought.

Arlen takes this in stride, indicating that he has also been digging into Steve Austin since their earlier meeting and has reached similar conclusions about his role in intelligence as the Soviets. He tells Alexi that he didn’t want to do business with the Americans from the start, but only wanted to drive up the price a bit. Kaslov gives him a nod of understanding of his position in this. An agreement is made for Alexi to inspect Findletter’s wares the following night.


Scene 54: The following day, Cynthia is in the car telling someone that Steve never came back. This someone turns out to be Harry Donner and obvs he’s also in the intelligence field. He tells Cyn that the Russians overreacted (and confirming that Cynthia was part of setting up Austin to go after Findletter from the start as well… obvs, also an undercover government agent).

Cyn wonders about their next move and Harry gloomily tells her that if the Russians got a hold of Steve, he’s fish bait by now.


Scene 55: Cut to the ocean and a fishing boat bobbing on the waters.

Aboard is more semi-automatic armed goons. Steve lies in a stateroom below under the watch of a blurry shoulder. As POV pans out, we see the shoulder belongs to Katrina.

She tells Steve that he was tranquilized under Alexi’s orders. She tells him that he’s not sure if Steve was telling the truth about not knowing what is going on with their operation and so wanted him out of the way. He’s been extended an “invitation” for swimming and fishing aboard Alexi’s luxury cruiser until the Soviet op is completed.


Scene 56: On deck now, Katrina tells Steve that the captain has been given orders to allow Steve to fish any waters he chooses, as long as it’s not within 20 miles of any shore. Also on board of course is plenty of luxuries in the galley to keep him satisfied.

They haggle a bit, but Steve tells her that he agrees he’s on vacation as a guest of the Soviet Union, meaning he won’t go for the radio or try to cause trouble for them. He also tells her that if he changes his mind [uh-huh, unless this is turning into the Alexi Kaslov Caper…] she’ll be the first to know. She smiles and goes to make him a Moonshot.


Commentary: *sigh* Look, I like Britt Eckland and I know she’s beautiful and all of that, but the constant leering and suggestive dialog is really getting on my nerves now. We already had this with Cynthia, and both of them are taking time from Steve doing a bionic adventure.

This scene coming just after Steve finally learns why he’s really in the Bahamas is just putting off the real plot for a little longer and by this point: 41 minutes in, I’m ready for Austin to get to the spy caper action. Obvs, Steve is going to escape this gilded cage soon but this scene is still feeling like another interruption in the real story against the bad guy.

And truthfully, since the movie was made a 73 minute telefilm, I wish that we’d gotten more interactions or scenes with Arlen Findletter doing diabolical things or having clever, innuendo laden conversations with Steve and/or Alexi to show up his ruthlessness and quick mind. Right now, he seems like Mr. Generic Villain who should’ve been stopped with a quick assassin’s bullet to the head. There is nothing about him, except his tux, that is screaming “Arch Villainy” here.



Scene 57: In the rental place on the island, Harry is complaining about an amateur like Steve being there in the first place. Cyn reminds him that his purpose was as a diversion while she scouted the situation. The point was for the Soviets to be so busy watching Steve that Harry would be able to slip in and do the real spy work without notice.

He machos that this isn’t the first time he’s had to quarterback during a broken play. He leaves to case Findletter, complaining that he thinks Oscar has forgotten what it takes to score in the field.


Commentary: Okay, one more football reference and Harry needs to die.


Scene 58: On Alexi’s boat, Steve and Katrina are lying in bed… both still clothed, though. Steve tells Katrina that he’s all fished out, while they’re headed to *mumble mumble* presumably Bahama’s way.

He charmingly tells her that he thought they should spend their last few minutes together. She questions what he’s talking about and  reminds him that he gave her his word. He reminds her about that loophole regarding telling her when his vacation was over. Well, the time has come. He tells her that it’ll be dark soon and so he’s got to tie her up and escape so he can find out more about what is going on that she and Alexi doesn’t want him involved in.





She tries to escape, but he pins her down… gently. He tells her that he didn’t make a fuss when she was kidnapping him, so he’d like to be civil about all of this. He gives her a peck to the tip of her nose.


Commentary: Maybe this is just one of my buttons, but I love the gentleman spy as a character. The always polite while trussing up his rivals, without turning it into enemies always appeals to me far more than the guns-blazing sort of action heroes. So during this scene I really found Lee charming again and I loved how he and Britt interact while he’s informing her of what is going to happen next.


Scene 59: After a shot of the deck and the sun lowering on the horizon, we skip back into the cabin. Katrina has been secured to a chair with a gag. She does try to protest, but the luxury accommodations assure that those above aren’t going to hear her through her gag.

Steve removes Katrina’s gag to kiss her goodbye and she insists that he can’t make it and she doesn’t want to see him dead. Steve tells her he’ll be fine, but she insists she can’t let him escape and tries to scream, so she gets the gag again.

On deck at least one of the guards has heard her feint cry. Below, Steve goes to the porthole and removes the heavy brass cover of it. To Volana’s astonishment, Steve starts taking apart the hull above the water line to create his own exit door.

Meanwhile on deck, our guard with the good hearing is proceeding down toward the cabin, but slowly as if not sure he should be interrupting in case Katrina is… entertaining… their guest.

He finally knocks on the cabin door. Steve apologizes to Katrina for “violating her porthole” and dives out into the night ocean. He draws in sharks and his eaten alive, leaving only his bionics behind… no wait… that doesn’t happen, I guess.

Guard breaks in the door and seeing Katrina bound, rushes to the hole in the boat and starts firing at Austin in the water. After being freed, Guard with the good hearing and Ms. Volana rush up to the deck and she cries plaintively for Steve to return, but there is no sign of him.


Scene 60: Back ashore, Oscar and Harry are talking. Harry tells Oscar that Findletter is supposed to be out of town that evening, so they’ll make an attempt on his safe for the catalog that night.

Goldman brings up Steve’s attitude when finding out about all of the deception to get him in place. Harry tells Oscar that Steve handled things fine after Harry was through explaining the urgency of the mission, rather than tell Goldman the truth.


Scene 61: Out in the not-well-hidden-not-night, Steve comes swimming ashore. Harry tells Oscar that he doesn’t have to worry about him handling Steve Austin, pointing out that he was the one to get Steve down there in the first place [Harry is a suck-up trying to earn points with the boss and sounds a little desperate to please], to Cyn’s looks of disbelief.

There is the sudden sound of somebody smashing through he door, and Cynthia’s shocked expression proves that Austin has made it back to good ol’ Doyle’s place.

He’s less than pleased to see Cynthia and Harry. Harry gets a punch to the face. Goldman greets Steve over the phone with grins, but Austin gives him an earful before slamming the phone down hard enough to break the receiver.

So much for Harry’s wonderful way of handling Steve and getting him onboard the mission in progress.


Scene 62: Later, Steve is in the bedroom packing when Harry comes in to assure him that he’s not mad about that jaw punch. They’re joined by Cynthia who tries to explain that they needed him to make contact “with the Russian” to give them an inside tract to Findletter’s arms catalog while everyone was busy being distracted.

She tries to convince Steve that they need him, but Austin is ready to get on the next plane off the island. Harry is ready to let him go as their not needing him anymore. But Cyn continues to try to convince Steve to help them by telling him that Arlen is responsible for killing Tamara in Alexandria.

Steve questions why he wasn’t informed of that before and Harry tells him it took them this long to confirm who was responsible. Cyn points out that the agency could’ve easily lied to him to get him to cooperate, but Oscar wouldn’t use the girl’s death that way, knowing how strongly Steve felt about her. Cynthia begs Steve to stay, but Harry is quick to point out he’d be under his orders.

Austin finally agrees, but says he needs to settle matters with Alexi first.


Commentary: This doesn’t seem like much of a scene to comment on, but I wanted to take a moment to speak about Oscar. We really needed a scene like this, because Goldman comes off nearly as badly as Oliver Spencer did, if not quite as assholishly direct about it. But making certain that we know Oscar has a center of human decency when it comes to his agent’s feelings will help us accept him in the next movie and especially in the series when Oscar and Steve, and especially Oscar and Jaime will be shown to have genuine affection for one another. This small bit of insight into the limits Goldman will go for the job helps us transition into Steve and Oscar’s relationship not being so full of vinegar, despite the fact that they’ll still have plenty of clashes coming up.


Scene 63: Steve is able to get ridiculously close to a Soviet mission in order to spy on Alexi and Arlen readying to enter a limousine. Alexi is being blindfolded.

Steve sneaks onto the compound and uses a guard's gun to choke him unconscious. He is somehow able to force the limo’s trunk open and crawl inside it while the car is in motion without any of the passengers noticing.

The limo is, of course, going to Arlen’s secret hideout where the merchandise is apparently being stored for delivery to the buyer.


Scene 64: Arlen tells the blindfolded Alexi to make himself comfortable because they have a long drive ahead of them. [Uh… a long drive? Are they going to be driving into the ocean to reach one of the 700 islands making up the archipelago? Because otherwise, I don’t think it’s a long drive to anywhere on the main island… on the other hand, I’ve never been so what do I know.]

Steve keeps track of their progress by constantly opening the trunk hood to check their surroundings, risking being discovered by anyone glancing out of the back window.

They arrive at a luxurious cemetery somewhere in the hills. The inside of the garage is filled with empty coffins, indicating that this may be a mortuary as well.

The limo is directed into an auto elevator taking it down to an underground facility.


Scene 65: As Arlen, Alexi and a bodyguard go deeper into this facility, Steve pops the trunk again to see the limo driver lighting up a cigarette. He’s conveniently standing with his back to the limo trunk, and close enough to easily be taken unawares.

Steve boxes his ears, one of which is done bionically, blowing out the eardrum and distracting and disorienting the driver with enough sudden pain to easily bundle him into the limo trunk.


Commentary: That was an odd thing, too. Wouldn’t it have been better to hit the back of his head and knock him out? That way he wouldn’t have time to yell in pain and alert everyone that something is wrong? Steve has no idea how far ahead Arlen is right now, or what his total guard compliment is or their locations.

Adding to the constant opening of the trunk hood… I don’t know… this seems like relatively bad spy work going on.



Scene 66: Over with Alexi, he’s being shown to an underground ‘hub’ with corridors laid out in a spoke pattern. Behind the doors of these ‘spokes’ lies the missiles of interest. Steve arrives and slips behind them just in time to see the wears and listen to Arlen’s presentation of the rocket’s power and warhead inventory.





First presented is a Russian nuclear missile which he correctly guesses came from a recently sunk submarine, currently assumed to be an accident. Next up is a Polaris missile from the U.S. stockpile. After the rockets are rolled back into their alcoves, Arlen escorts Alexi to his office to discuss business terms.


Scene 67: This leaves Steve free to give the Polaris a closer inspection. He memorizes the serial number on the casing and then slips back out to report in, hiding in the limo trunk again as it’s being pulled out of the underground facility by Bodyguard.


Commentary: Ugh. I don’t like this entire sequence at all. Steve is way too clumsy, not just in constantly opening the trunk to check his location during the ride, either {Which I can sorta accept as a script conceit since he needs to be able to find his way back to stop the bad guy later}. But once in the facility, he allows the limo driver time to yell out in pain in a large, cavernous location where sound echoes down corridors. Then he walks right behind Findletter and Kaslov with the echoing chamber suddenly not echoing his hard shoes on concrete. Then, my biggest problem: Steve opens the missile doors which causes the very noisy track system to move the missiles to activate, almost immediately upon Alexi and Arlen leaving -- which seems assuredly that they’d hear the noise. Finally, Steve somehow makes it back to the limo, where nobody questions where the actual limousine driver is located and manages to crawl back into the trunk without being noticed… again.

It all feels like too much Script God protection is helping Steve out here because he’s not being all that careful himself. I really don’t like the bit with the Bodyguard just hopping in the limo without even questioning Driver’s location, considering that this is a very, very criminal enterprise and you’d think paranoia would be a thing, but also it just doesn’t strike me that Arlen Findletter wouldn’t be the sort of man to keep tabs on everyone in his vicinity and having a henchperson vanish - even to the bathroom - without somebody knowing their location wouldn’t be tolerated by him. He’s too good of a criminal mastermind to assume that things will just go smoothly at any particular moment, especially when he’s dealing with the Russians and Americans and their stolen nuclear material.





TBC

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