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Writer: Jesse Stern
Director: Michael Grossman
Air Date: 11/05/03

Christopher Gorham...Jake Foley
Keegan Connor Tracy...Diane Hughes
Philip Anthony-Rodriguez...Kyle Duarte
Judith Scott...Louise Beckett
Marina Black...Sarah Carter

Guest Stars:
Warren Christie...Steve Clemens
David Nykl...Vasily Koronkieqicz
Kurt Evans...Tech Agent Hart
Tyler Labine...Seymour Lafortunata
Miranda Frigon...Tech Agent Allison Carver
Grace Park...Fran

The show opens with Jake being all manly and macho, talking trash to a rubber sparring dummy whose head Jake accidentally puts a fist through. Kyle notes that he hopes Jake is never pissed at him. The two depart, so as not to miss the incredibly exciting mandatory staff seminar on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. However, Diane is definitely not feeling harassed when an attractive young cryptographer sits down next to her and engages in some lascivious eye contact. Meanwhile, Agent Carver has intercepted a scrambled phone call that they are having trouble decoding. Flash to Vienna, where a very bad man accepts a job that will put him in D.C. on Monday, and then ruins a very nice rug.

Monday, Diane is over the moon, having spent a fantastic week-end with her new beau Steve Clemens, while Jake has spent the entire week-end as a couch potato, slave to football. However, Sarah has been having a deep and meaningful relationship with his voicemail since their kiss the previous week, and the two make plans to go to a local fundraiser the next night.

Kyle reveals he is a Styx fan, and then tells Jake he has a job for him--to try and decode the call Carver intercepted. Jake does his nano-thang, and is confused when the call still appears to be gibberish. However, Lou immediately recognises it as Polish, and the hunt is on for Vasily Koronkieqicz, a notorious kidnapper. The phone calls they've intercepted mention the National Bank of Poland, and Carver starts running facial recognition software on the banks security cameras. Kyle takes Jake down to the dungeon to meet Seymour Lafortunata--a human resource, literally. Lafortunata's job seems to consist of acquiring intel through talking to people. Lots and lots of people. Very quickly. Kyle's eyes glaze over, but Jake, recognising a fellow geek, is more friendly. Jake and Kyle head over to a the National Bank of Poland, where Jake uses his nanites to get Vasily's most recent transaction and routing number--$500,000 dollars.

After following leads for hours trying to track who hired Vasily, Jake shows up in Diane's lab to chat but Diane is immune to his offers of a quiet evening at chez Jake playing Boggle. When Diane admits she has a date, Jake starts to get just a touch jealous. Especially after Diane introduces her to Steve. Jake pulls an all-nighter, dozing off at his workstation. Kyle finds him there the next morning, his computer finally having pulled up a match. Vasily is at 6th and F streets. Kyle and Jake stake out the corner, and make Six Million Dollar Man references when they spot Vasily. They take off after him, but Vasily surprises Jake, slashing him across the abdomen with a knife.

Diane rushes into work to make sure Jake's okay, but her assistant Fran has already patched him up. Feeling guilty, Diane frets, but Jake is pissy about the fact that she and Steve have gotten closer. Jake looks up Steve's personnel record, then switches back over to his actual job to show Kyle the name of the man who apparently hired Vasily: Wladimir Sticj. Jake passes on the intel to Lafortunata, and then heads off to meet Sarah at the St. Sebastian fundraising carnival. Things start off awkward and go from bad to worse when Jake and Sarah run into Steve and Diane. Sarah and Diane watch their men compare carnie game prowess, and Sarah questions Diane about how she actually knows Jake. Sarah had assumed that Jake and Diane were an item at Kevin's wedding, which Diane hotly denies. Steve wins Diane many frightening looking stuffed toys. Jake wins Sarah a blue frog the size of Denver by using his nanites to cheat at a strength game. The "Atlantic City Nite" fun is over, however, when Jake spots Vasily. Jake has Steve call it in and goes after Vasily--who is poised to finish the job he started when Steve tackles him and pulls a gun, ready to kill him. Jake stops him, and they go back to Ft. Meade where Kyle questions him. Vasily refuses to name his target.

The next day, Diane patches Jake up, and tells him about how Steve is getting a commendation and they're going to go out after work to celebrate. Jake's little green monster comes to the fore and he asks if Diane knew Steve was divorced--revealing facts he read in Steve's personnel file. Plus, who brings a gun to a carnival? Angry that Jake is checking up on Steve, Diane accuses Jake of having lost the ability to relate on a personal level. She saw how awkward he was with Sarah. Jake tells Diane about the kiss and admits that the best he and Sarah can hope for is that he doesn't have to lie to her constantly--nobody can ever know the real him. Nobody except Diane.

Kyle and Lou pay a visit to the basement. According to Lafortunata, Sticj has been dead for decades and it is in fact the Russian mob who hired Vasily to kidnap a member of the nanite team. meanwhile, Jake meets with Sarah to apologise for running out at the carnival. Sarah wants Jake to be honest with her about his feelings--and so he is. He tells her the whole story; how he's a secret agent chock full of tiny, tiny robots. Sarah slaps him, assuming he is making up stories to avoid telling her the truth about how he feels. She storms off just as Kyle arrives to tell him that Vasily was after him--which makes no sense. Vasily could have had him, twice. He and Jake pay Vasily a visit--only to discover someone else has already been there. Vasily is dead, and Steve Clemens was the last man to see him. Vasily was after a member of the nanite team--but not Jake.

Jake and Kyle track Steve, who has taken Diane to a boat docked in Virginia. She's angry when Jake leaps onto the boat, but when Steve pulls a gun and admits that while he likes her, he likes the money he's getting paid to abduct her much much more, she tells Jake to use his nanites to turn the boat around. As Steve is thrown off-balance, Jake takes Steve down with a smile, despite pulled stitches. The next night, Boggle night at chez Jake's is full of very depressing and angry words on Diane's part, and anatomy on Jake's. Jake wins the world's most pathetic break-up contest, and Diane laments her inability to attract a guy who is just after her body. Jake compliments her on her mind, and has a spazy second where he thinks she's about to kiss him, but she's only out to kick his butt at Boggle once again.

Guest cast

This episode? Breaks all kinds of rules I've come to expect from action/adventure series. For one, it's handling the love triangle between Diane/Jake/Sarah in an adult, believable, and exquisite fashion--and instead of doing the usual TV thing of dragging it out as long as humanly possible, actually surprises by Jake hooking up with Sarah, and losing out on Sarah, just as he starts to realise that Dr. Hughes is something of a babe. Expecting a lame cheese-of-the-month-club excuse from Jake, it was surprising and fascinating that Jake--and the writers--had the guts to come completely clean to Sarah. Not only does it further the romantic triangle, but it gives a solid plot hook for Sarah's continued presence, and ups the stakes for the future if/when Sarah finally puts together the pieces of the puzzle and realises Jake was telling the truth. And rather than having Diane pine for Jake week after week, the episode showcases their friendship, while at the same time bringing the two of them closer together in an organic, natural, believable way.

Okay, the rule it doesn't break is a slightly contrived A-plot. Vasily was too obviously a red-herring, and he was written as a very one-note, bland mook. Also, it was never made clear why the mob hired both Vasily and Steve, unless Steve was meant to find out who the target was and lure Diane away so that Vasily could get to her... And? If someone's throat is slit? There's rather more blood than one can hide--and Jake would have smelled it immediately, not to mention it would have shown up on the security cameras. So that was a false moment of tension right there--and my only major beef with the A-plot.

In addition to the excellent Jake and Diane scenes, Kyle displays a great sense of humor and his and Jake's friendship continues to be a strong sub-plot. Lafortunata is an hysterical addition that adds a nice human factor to the spook biz. He's chock full of info and wants to share it--and he probably gives people info overload constantly. He's not completely obnoxious--he probably just grates a bit which over time makes people flee screaming. I love that Kyle has no patience for him, but that Jake has immediate geek-bonding. That's a lovely dynamic to play, that Kyle may have accepted Jake 100%, but that doesn't mean he's suddenly comfortable with every geek and nerd out there.

Quotes of the Week:
Jake: "Watched a little football... A lot. I think I may have watched all the football."

Jake (after Steve invites him to dinner along with him and Diane): "You know, I had dinner last night and the whole novelty's kinda worn thin."

Kyle: "Do you even really need to sleep, I mean, with those nanites and all?"
Jake: "No, Kyle. I just plug myself into an electrical outlet for a couple minutes, and I'm good to go for the day."

Kyle: "So, when you jog, do you hear that slomo running sound from THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN? You know... that 'do do do do do do do do'?"

Fran: "You've got a lot of guts, Jake. But if it weren't for the nanites, I'd be stuffing them back inside you right now."

Jake: "Well, I guess I'm fine then. It's not like I was stabbed, or anything. It's more like a slash, really. Like a big paper cut. Except with a knife."

Sarah: "Let me get this straight. You're a secret agent at the NSA and there are these tiny robots--"
Jake: "Computers, really. Microscopic computers. They're self-replicating, and they feed off the... uh... yeah. Ti-Tiny robots."

Diane (sexily to Jake): "Do you think you can take me?"

© Tara O'Shea 2003

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