They are tying up loose ends. Maggie and OA separate to search for the suspect, believing he is still inside the apartment complex. Maggie spots him in a mirror and there is a fight as they collide. She is an all-around badass, holding her own for some time before he briefly gets the upper hand, strangling her. She fights him off, but not before she sustains a nasty cut on her forehead. He escapes, but Maggie shows OA how he left his bloodied handprint on the wall. They have his fingerprints; they can ID him.
Not Shocking: Snake is a Snake
It is “Snake”. Snake is Stepan Tsarko and they raid his address, not finding him there, but discovering the brands of the victims in a keep safe. OA looks horrified, and they share a moment outside on the balcony, where OA talks a little about his past. OA then realizes that Stepan has a perfect view from his balcony to the woods across the water to where the bodies were buried. This case seems to get to him more and more.
Another officer discovers a picture, and they realize that the property manager (Eliza) is in on it, and she is friendly with Stepan. Kristen confirms this, and they realize Stepan worked with his cousin, Oleg, and Jacob, the property manager to run this entire trafficking ring.
They decide to set up a sting, trying to lure Stepan out to arrest him. OA wants to do it, but Valentine is picked by Mosier, after Mosier tells OA he has great undercover experience and she doesn’t want to burn him on something as simple as a John in a motel. On that note, OA agrees, but still looks annoyed.
Valentine is humorous as a John. We also learn from Mosier he used to be vice, which is the first piece of background information we get about his character. He has three girls show up to the hotel, where they confirm services. As this happens, OA and Bell discuss the 1 in 5 statistic that Maggie told Hailey earlier in the episode. He has three sisters and a mother, and this clearly angers him. Maggie confirms this again and OA goes silent.
They are able to arrest Stepan, but the townhouses are empty, and they can’t find the other girls. Kristen says there is sand on Stepan’s tires, and the girls in the sting tell the police that they came from a beach house, not more than two hours away. An EZ pass confirms it’s in Long Island.
“Everything you just said is why he’d respond to me applies to you.”
In one of the best scenes of the episode, Mosier then tells Maggie she is going to get the location from Stepan. Maggie points out to Mosier prior to this that Stepan hates women and will be off his game because of this. Mosier says, “Everything you just said to why he’d respond to me applies to you”. There is this sense of respect between the two women and maybe some foreshadowing for future episodes. This is an awesome lead up to an even better interrogation. As Mosier guessed, Stepan is cocky and enraged by Maggie’s questioning. Missy Peregrym shines in this scene. They get the location of the girls.
The team gets to the location, where they take out two men, before accidentally missing a third. OA notices just before he lunges on Bell, and the two men fight while he yells at Maggie to stay back. The man does not win the fight with OA, he goes to “sleep”, and the two of them follow the rest of the team into the basement, where over 50 girls are huddled. They find Brooke, reunite her with Hailey, and the episode ends with Maggie telling Hailey she is a fighter, but leaves the room with tears in her eyes.
What I Liked:
- As a social work major in college, I love the honest portrayal of sex trafficking. This is a topic we discussed heavily in my program, and the statistic 1 in 5 is both true and depressing. I think the show touched upon it both honestly and brutally, but also with some elegance. You see how it affects OA, who we learn has three sisters and a mother at home. I think it’s important that the show touched on how it affected him. Women already know the risks and the horror of it, but sometimes it’s not as expressed to men. Also, it just portrays OA as a good guy, which I like. I keep repeating myself here, but Zeeko Zaki can say so much with one expression. I really enjoyed his scenes this episode.
- Off that, his fight scene toward the end with the guy was really good. You could tell something was building up during this case. He was constantly shot down, whether it be unintentionally by his partner, by the medical examiner (more on this later), or by Mosier even if she has good intentions. He is so deeply affected by this issue but is forced to take the sidelines many times in the episode. I think taking that one guy down was enough to cool his ego and show his fellow teammates that he is an important part of the team.
More of What I Liked…
- My favorite scene (or scenes) of the episode are the lead up to the interrogation between Maggie and Stepan with Maggie and Dana. I feel like we are seeing little pieces between Dana and Maggie in this episode that makes it seem as if Maggie is shadowing her and learning from her. Hopefully we do get to see what a badass Dana is in the field soon, but I love the “passing of the torch” when she tells her to go in. Furthermore, Missy Peregrym shines in that interrogation. It reminded me how much I love her as an actress, and how vulnerable she can be while also maintaining why she’s fierce and strong at the same time. One of my favorite scenes of the show thus far, I would even say.
- In tune with that, I also loved the beginning scene where Maggie is doing a bit of profiling. She is able to determine some key facts about their killer while Dana smiles and encourages her. I love the women supporting women theme of this episode, which you see between the girls who are trafficked, too.
- More backstory on OA! This is exciting, even if it’s only a couple details. He has sisters, and he has deployed to Iraq. We don’t learn much about his service, but it’s little crumbs that hopefully lead to more centric details later. (A girl can dream about OA knowing Hadi Tabbal’s future character as a friend, right?)
There was a lot to like…
- We finally get a little background on Agent Valentine. He worked vice before the FBI. I feel like we know the least about his character considering he’s been on all three episodes, so this makes me happy. We don’t see him ever leave the office, other than his sting scene tonight, and I also wonder if there was a reason for that.
- I loved the end scene where Jubal mentions that people are obsessed with shark week even though way more people get attacked by dogs than sharks per year. Dana’s follow up to OA about a serial killer breaking into your house and killing you vs. the more likely scenario of the person sleeping next to you (12x according to her) was also humorous. While very true, it makes you think about these statistics. What makes us as people so intrigued by the unlikely
What I Didn’t Like:
- Yes, I do have something for this episode. So, there is a scene where the medical examiner is telling OA and Maggie about their victims, and Maggie catches onto a detail before OA does. He then tells OA, “It’s not easy catching up with her, is it?” It is meant to make Maggie look good, which I get. But I feel as if this scene, albeit possibly intentional, is meant to make her look better than OA. I don’t think this is the case by any means, and if this was not intentional, is poor writing because you shouldn’t have to use your one character’s strength to exemplify another character’s supposed “weakness”. I suppose we’ll see if these are breadcrumbs for a future episode declaration.
Questions I have:
- We seem to get the impression that Bell and OA work well together; do we think eventually that is going to fall apart before the season’s ending? Bell is already seemingly under Mosier’s wing, and I feel like this could drive a wedge between the two partners. Time will tell.
- Is there a reason we don’t see Jubal Valentine leave the bull pen? Furthermore, will some characters become recurring? So far, we have five “main” characters: OA, Maggie, Kristen, Jubal, and Dana. This seems like a small team, at least for shows like it, and shows done by Dick Wolf.
- Fans of the Brave who watch this show are very curious to how Hadi Tabbal is going to fit into this puzzle, as am I. When will we see him show up?
- Maggie ends this episode in tears, leaving the hospital room of Hailey and Brooke… did the case get to her, or was there a chance that she was a 1 in 5 person who knows in some ways, how these two girls felt? “You’re a fighter.” It takes one to know one, right?
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