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Human Target “The Return of Baptiste” 

Photo Credit: Liane Hentscher/FOX

Four for four. Score! Baptiste (Lennie James) makes a welcome return to Human Target this week, when, against his better judgment, and over the objections of Guerrero and Winston, who are horrified to agree with each other, Chance fetches him from a Siberian prison to help get Ilsa’s childhood friend, Susan Connor, out of Paraguay, where she’s being held by a warlord named Cervantes (the nerdy fan girl in me laughed at the casting because he was played by Jorge Montesi, who has directed everything). We start with an ill-advised Ilsa being driven out into the desert, where she tries to threaten Esteban, Cervantes’ henchman, and is told in no uncertain terms to take her ass home. Chance isn’t happy that she went alone, and his suggested alternative is Baptiste, so he takes her plane and heads to the frozen tundra.

Baptiste initially declines the trip but then acquiesces because the last time he saw Cervantes, he was duped out of a very expensive watch. The one caveat from the Siberians is that they have to take along a guard. Once in the air, Baptiste and Chance argue and bicker as old frenemies do, and when they hit land and head into town, Baptiste, despite being handcuffed, throws down with Chance in a bar, which puts them on Cervantes’ radar pretty quickly. Chance is tied up alongside Susan while Baptiste pitches himself to Cervantes as a job candidate. Baptiste seems to be genuinely on board for double-crossing Chance until he realizes Esteban has his watch. He’s told to kill Chance, but instead he shoots Esteban, grabs the Piaget, and he and Chance shoot their way out of the compound.

Back in SF, Guerrero is taking apart the fancy new office computers to hack government satellites and Ilsa is trying to charm Harmen, an Army captain (Cameron Daddo), who had her plane (Chance’s getaway) seized by the Paraguayan army. The boys call a “Norma Rae,” sending Ilsa in to make small talk with Harmen while Winston hacks his computer with a device concealed in Ilsa’s purse. Once they succeed, Guerrero, strapped to a telephone pole outside Harmen’s office, calls the Paraguayan army captain in the guise of Harmen and has the plane freed just in time for Chance, Baptiste, and Susan to climb aboard and take off.

They drop Susan off in San Francisco and Chance takes Bapiste back to Siberia. While they fly back, they commiserate some more on their former friendship, which Chance insists there is no shred of left, and Baptiste isn’t fazed, adopting a more devil-you-know attitude about their relationship. He tries to talk his way to freedom and Chance isn’t having it. On a lark, after he realizes Baptiste is on his own now (because the old man left him in Siberia), he offers Baptiste a job, and Baptiste declines before pulling a gun and saying he can’t go back into custody. Chance had planned for that, so he just waits it out while Baptiste swigs from the drugged cognac he knew Baptiste couldn’t resist drinking.

Chance makes it home, with Baptiste’s Piaget, in time for Ilsa to depart for her date with the Harmen—he called her on her deception and is taking payment back with a date. I’m still not keen on the Chance/Ilsa vibe we’re getting, but as long as it holds at flirty, I’m OK. Baptiste can some back anytime—he and Chance have such an awesome snarky chemistry. I liked that we got him with his same crusty disposition but always working the angle. He didn’t seem quite so damaged as the last time, like prison gave him some peace. No Ames this week, although Guerrero did work in a mention and we were told she’d gone back East for R&R after last week’s episode. Another new episode this week!

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