Under the Cloak of War: Episode #215.
Tag: After narrowly escaping an assassination attempt, Adam sends Shalimar undercover to find out who ordered the hit. [Transcript]
Cast & Crew: Written by Nelu Ghiran; Directed by Andrew Potter
James Binkley....Security guard
Joris Jarsky....Benjamin McTeague Jr.
Carmelina Lamanna ....Lucy McTeague
Official Synopsis: The Mutant X team is mingling at a science seminar cocktail party when a woman named Serena (Laura Catalano) seductively approaches Adam (John Shea). Soon, the two head up to the roof together. They're enjoying the view of the city and flirting when all of the sudden Serena turns sinister. She takes the bracelet off her wrist revealing a Blue Bolt tattoo, converts it into a jagged knife and lunges at Adam. Back inside, Shalimar (Victoria Pratt) senses that Adam is in trouble and darts to the roof where she finds him backed up against the railing. Shalimar hauls Serena off Adam and a brutal fight ensues between the women which ends with Shalimar knocking Serena over the balcony railing just as Brennan (Victor Webster), Jesse (Forbes March), and Emma (Lauren Lee Smith) arrive on the scene. Adam can only assume that that his near assassination had something to do with the speech he's scheduled to make at the conference. Later, Adam admits to the team that he always thought that the Blue Bolt, an elite assassination ring, was a myth, but his research has now proved otherwise. When Adam insists on still doing his speech, everyone with the exception of Brennan, agrees that Shalimar should go undercover to find out who ordered the hit. Meanwhile, millionaire Benjamin McTeague (Joris Jarsky) yells at Blue Bolt member, Noel (Sebastian Spence), for not completing the job. He insists that Adam be killed before he speaks at the conference. Back at Sanctuary, Brennan expresses concern about sending Shalimar on such a dangerous mission alone, but he is overruled. That night, Shalimar enters Mother's Milk Bar, a hang out of the Blue Bolt. Brennan and Jesse watch her on a monitor, but her comlink suddenly goes down. Just as she approaches the bartender, a thug comes on to her. She effortlessly knocks his head against the bar and sends him flying back into a table and then takes down his two friends. As she catches her breath, Noel, impressed by her fighting skills, comes to her and offers her a job. He then secretly runs a metallic object along her neck and she collapses at his feet. Brennan again expresses to Adam his concern for Shalimar, but Adam insists that she is smart and careful. Meanwhile, Shalimar awakens in the Blue Bolt headquarters and finds Noel next to her. When he leaves, she sneaks out and listens as Blue Bolt member, Bracko (Philip Shepherd), tells Noel that client Benjamin McTeague is extremely disappointed. Noel promises that the job will be completed. At Sanctuary, Emma is able to make out the name McTeague from Shalimar’s static filled message. Suddenly pale, Adam reveals that McTeague was his best friend for 10 years. Meanwhile, Shalimar pushes Noel to give her a job, but Noel insists she must prove herself first by killing an innocent person. Later, when Emma presses Adam about McTeague, Adam reveals that they had a falling out when Adam fell in love with his wife, Lucy. Adam knows he must devise a plan fast when Shalimar calls to tell them that she must kill someone. Brennan hides in a dark alley and signals Jesse when he hears Shalimar and Noel getting close. As Jesse walks towards them, Shalimar takes a knife from Noel, walks up to Jesse and plunges it into his stomach. Jesse phases out, squeezes the blood bag he has under his shirt and drops to the ground. Unaware that it was a set-up, Noel tells Shalimar she’s earned herself a job and kisses her deeply. Emma, can immediately sense Brennan’s feelings for Shalimar and his jealousy. Later, Jesse discovers that McTeague is head of the Phoenix Corp., and the team pays him a visit. Adam enters the office and finds McTeague’s son and confronts him about the hit he’s ordered. McTeague informs him that his father killed himself 5 years earlier when his mother left him and he blames Adam. Saddened by the news, Adam insists that he is still speaking at the conference. Noel shows Shalimar a photo of her target -- Adam. He then shows her the missile she’ll use which has Adam’s DNA programmed into it and informs her that if she fails, the weapon will self-destruct. The team takes their assigned positions at the conference center while Shalimar tells them about the device that’s strapped to her via her comlink. Certain one of them is going to die, Adam signals Shalimar to pull the trigger as he approached the podium. Frightened, she pulls it and the missle heads straight for him. Jesse wraps himself around Adam and phases out and the missle whizzes right through them. When the missile turns and heads for Adam again, Jesse stands masses out and the missile hits his chest and explodes harmlessly. Enraged, Noel pulls out two guns, but just as he’s about to shoot Brennan zaps him with a tesla coil. He pulls a gun on Shalimar, but she flies into the air and knocks him to the ground and the team escapes. Later that night, Brennan tells Shalimar that he doesn’t know what the team would do without her.
Brennan: Man, I hate these things. A bunch or rich people standing around congratulating each other on how much better they are than everybody else.
Jesse: Oh, it’s a good thing the tailor left enough room for the chip on your shoulder.
Brennan: How much do you want to bet he takes her home tonight?
Jesse: No way.
Emma: Come on, Adam’s a man. And she is definitely a woman.
Brennan: Double or nothing they share breakfast in the morning.
Emma: Look, I know you don’t want to hear this, Adam, but I think you should reconsider speaking at the conference.
Adam: No, I’ve been hiding out in Sanctuary long enough. These people are not going to scare me away.
Brennan: I want to talk to you about this whole undercover thing, okay? I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.
Adam: You mean the idea, or the idea of sending Shalimar in?
Brennan: Okay, no offense, Shal, but I’ve had way more experience in the undergound.
Shalimar: You think I can’t do this?
Brennan: No, that’s not what I said.
Shalimar: No, you said you think you can do this better than I can.
Brennan: Shal, listen. Just for the record, I don’t doubt your skills.
Shalimar: Yeah, well you could’ve fooled me.
Brennan: I’m just worried about you, that’s all.
Shalimar: That’s your problem, Brennan, not mine.
Guy: I’ve been waiting for someone like you.
Shalimar: I bet you haven’t.
Brennan: Adam, forget about the mission for a second! You’re the one who’s too proud to give up going to this conference and that’s why she’s risking her life in the first place. And why don’t you think about her?
Adam: I am thinking about her. Mostly thinking that you’re overprotective.
Brennan: No, no, I am concerned. There is a difference.
Adam: Shalimar is one of the most powerful mutants ever recorded.
Brennan: What difference does that make? These guys have got weapons, they’ve got things that we’ve never even heard of before.
Adam: Well, she’s also smart and she’s careful. Of course I worry about her. I worry about her the way I worry about sending any of you into one of these situations, but I gave her a mission. I mean, how do you think she’s gonna feel if we send in the troops and tell her that, no, we didn’t trust her to handle it?
Brennan: Adam, you know I’m worried about her feelings. But more importantly, I’m worried about getting her back here in one piece.
Adam: What she needs right now is not your worry. What she needs is your support, the way a partner supports a partner.
Adam: He was my closest colleague. He was brilliant, talented, passionate. Well, we had a falling out over 20 years ago, you know, he dropped out of sight.i haven’t talked to him since?
Emma: Well, if you were one of his friends, why would he want you dead?
Adam: Well, he was one of these guys who believed in unrestricted research, no matter what the risk.
Emma: Well, that attitude could justify anything.
Adam: That’s right. And that’s exactly what he was doing. So we agreed to disagree and we left it at that.
Emma: Well, that’s a really good story. Now why don’t you tell me the real issue? ‘Cause I know there’s a lot more between you than just philosophical differences.
Adam: I’m sorry, did I forget to mention that I fell in love with his wife Lucy?
Emma: Yeah, I guess you did forget to mention that.
Noel: You can feel it, can’t you? The night. It’s almost like you don’t have to use your eyes to see.
Shalimar: How’d you know?
Noel: Because you’re like me. You do your best work at night. It’s when you’re most alive.
Shalimar: You think we’re alike?
Noel: I know we are. I’ve seen you fight, remember? For people like us, it’s not just violence. It’s a communication. It’s like poetry.
Shalimar: That’s a lot to pull from me pounding a few guys in a bar.
Noel: It tells me a lot about the kind of lover you want.
Shalimar: And what kind of lover am I?
Noel: You take no prisoners and you deserve the best.
Shalimar: And you know what the best is?
Noel: I do. It’s someone who appreciates everything about you, everything you bring to the table. And who will let you go as far as you can.
Shalimar: You know somebody who might fit that bill?
Noel: You know, I just might.
Noel: It will be someone who doesn’t expect it. Someone who doesn’t deserve it. Someone who doesn’t even suspect that there are people like us out there.
Shalimar: And what are people like us?
Noel: People who enjoy it.
Jesse: Well, it’s a good thing my timing is impeccable.
Brennan: Yeah. Lucky this time.
Jesse: Lucky? Why is it that when you take chances they’re called calculated risks?
Brennan: Well, ‘cause I do the calculations.
Benjamin McTeague Jr.: I’m almost surprised you haven’t asked about my mother.
Adam: How is she?
Adam: She was a very wonderful woman. I’m very sorry to hear that.
Ben: Yeah, but not so sorry that you ever inquired after her. She died when I was 15 years old. She left my father a few years after you two were together. I mean, you and my father, of course.
Adam: When your father and I stopped working together, things were very complicated.
Ben: Oh, I’m sure they were.
Adam: Look, we were talking about who was trying to kill me.
Ben: Oh, were we? See I wasn’t sure whether we were talking about genetic research, my sad family situation or what. By the way, did I mention how my father died? Killed himself. Shortly after my mother left him. He was a sad man. A wounded man. First a wedge was driven into his marriage, and now after all this time, someone threatens to destroy his company.
Adam: You may know something or think you know something about what happened between your parents and me when we were working together, but you don’t. Your father and I had our differences, he was a brilliant man. But he lost himself.
Ben: He was what he was. And you have no right to talk about him like that. Leave my office. Now.
Adam: I’m gonna speak at this conference today. And you can’t stop me.
Ben: You know, my mother? She used to talk about you like you were some kind of hero. But now? Now, I see it’s more like a hero complex.
Brennan: Hey! You just didn’t deserve her.
Brennan: Yeah, I was overprotective. But I never underestimated you.
Shalimar: You know you can’t just go through the roof with worry every time I go out on a mission.
Brennan: Yeah, I know, okay? I mean, I know you could probably take me to pieces if you wanted to.
Brennan: You know, I was thinking...you were in there with him. What if you never came back? To us, you know, the team.
Shalimar: And what would that be like? For the team.
Brennan: Well, I don’t know what we’d do without you.
Shalimar: That’s nice.
Trivia & Nitpicks: Brennan has his own motorcycle now, a black one.
Shalimar’s wearing the wig that lengthens her hair to “Dream Lover” proportions.
This episode's title, "Under the Cloak of War," is part of an anti-war quote from Albert Einstein: "It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
As Adam flirts with Serena, a little of John Shea’s Lex Luthor emerges.
After Serena kicks him in the face, Adam’s holding his neck as though he’d been strangled. He wasn't.
How is Mutant X able to just walk away from Serena’s death without anyone trying to stop them? Surely with the number of affluent people who are in attendance, there would be some kind of security presence at the party.
Since blue is bad in Mutant X, the name of the assassination ring is Blue Bolt.
If Serena’s part of such an elite organization, why wouldn’t she know that Adam was not at the party alone?
Jesse makes Shalimar a rap sheet this time, registered with all the local police databases: multiple assaults, suspected homicide, attempted homicide (charges which, by the way, do actually apply to Shalimar). With all the rap sheets created for them throughout this year, it’s a wonder any of them can walk around in the light of day without immediately being arrested.
Shalimar walks into Mother's Milk, and her comlink is instantly disabled–-Jesse says it’s because they have an anti-surveillance system in place in the bar. Nevertheless, after Noel has delivered the knockout injection, he doesn’t bother to scan her for bugs (as did Sonya in “Russian Roulette”) or remove her comlink ring (as Ivanov does in “Reality Check”).
If Jesse’s phased the knife, how does it puncture the 'blood' bag he has under his shirt?
Adam was best friends with Benjamin McTeague for ten years until he had an affair with his wife Lucy over twenty years ago. Ben Jr says that his parents split “a few years later,” that his mother died when he was 15, and that his father committed suicide “five years ago,” shortly after the divorce. This would seem to imply that Adam and Lucy’s affair went on for over ten years, and that Ben is just over 20 years old, though he appears to be in in his thirties.
The banners for the genetic conference are the same ones used at Dr. Dennis Malone’s convention in “Body and Soul.”
While Noel is casing the conference before the assassination hit, wouldn’t he recognize Jesse as the ‘victim’ from the night before?
As Shalimar’s fighting Noel, the wind blows dramatically though her hair, even though they’re indoors.
Adam makes several questionable judgements during this episode. He doggedly asserts that his Congressional speech is so vital that it’s worth risking the lives and future safety of Mutant X. He’s the only one who thinks so. He is advocating for tighter regulation of advanced genetic research, yet his actual position is that no one else be allowed to perform genetic research but himself. It’s clear in “The Taking of Crows” that he’s funding at least one other genetics lab in addition his own, Dr. Marcus’s, and with tighter controls in place, he might have trouble finding a cure for any of his team members. Adam automatically assumes that his speech is the reason Serena was sent to murder him, despite Jesse’s common-sense counter that the person behind it could really any number of people they’ve taken down in the past. Because of this narrow minded focus, his arrogance sends him off to confront McTeague in person, a meeting which only serves to strengthen Ben’s resolve to murder him and indirectly blow Shalimar’s cover. It is this breach of security that makes Noel nervous enough to place that missile bracelet on Shalimar in the first place.
When Adam decides that Shalimar’s the one to infiltrate Blue Bolt, no one points out the obvious potential flaw in this plan: Shalimar was the one who killed Serena. If any other members of Blue Bolt were present at the assassination attempt or were monitoring her progress remotely, they would already know exactly who Shalimar is.
Lastly, Adam is uncharacteristically unconcerned that Shalimar’s in trouble. He cites the fact that she’s careful (her reckless style got her shot in “Understudy") and that she’s the most powerful feral on record (Emma’s pretty powerful too, but two episodes ago he was running Brennan and Jesse after Emma like big brothers, despite her cautiousness post-the-Kyle-incident in “Sign from Above.”) And even after Shalimar informs the team of the kind of weapon she’ll have to use, Adam decides that he would rather give his speech than back down, thereby necessitating Jesse and Brennan's using their abilities in an environment that couldn’t be more public.
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