It must be said that the Player isn’t long for this world. If a pilot doesn’t score more than 9 million viewers, with a 2+ in the households, it’s looking to go down sooner rather than later. So, there is an onus on delivering higher quality episodes right off the bat. Of perhaps changing things up, within the [FirstFour]. And while there are some nice action set pieces in this episode, it strains against its’ own concept to deliver any worthwhile drama.
Thinking his wife is still alive, and that Johnson had something to do with it, Kane has decided to work for Johnson as “The Player”. In this episode, Kane is conveniently placed against a former comrade-in-arms who has gone bad. And I gotta say; when the episode isn’t borrowing action scenes from 90s movies like Point Break or Heat, it feels a lot like the TV show Arrow.
The villain is a masked robber, like any number of which you would see in Arrow (or Flash), and he has an intrinsic connection to the hero. While this is a personal/history one, what is more pressing is that the villain and the hero were in the same place, mentally as well as physically. While the villain stayed in that place and was twisted by his actions, Kane was pulled out by the love of his life.
For the plot, that’s pretty much it. Kane faces off against his doppelganger and wins... after losing. I wonder how many times they can play that card. It’s pretty soon to use it, truth be told. But, perhaps this was one of the tweaks which the writers put in to make the show a little more palatable to a potential audience.
Speaking of tweaks, I get the impression that the final scene between Kane and Johnson was added. It looks like it was shot out of sequence. The reason for my suspicion is that they reverse Johnson’s character, both from the last episode and from the majority of his actions in the episode. Johnson works to kill off a lead and then decides to help Kane find his wife. Now, this could be bullshit, but without some connection between Kane and Johnson, there is no relationship, there is no back and forth. At some point, the loose cannon Kane will just pull a gun on Johnson and any pretense will be done away with. The show will be over.
There were a few little niggles which took me out of the show. Why did the villain chose that location to ambush Kane? Did he know there was no cameras there or did he know that Kane was using the cameras? How did Kane’s earpiece stay in his ear during the dunking and what was Cassandra/Felicity/April doing to make it work again? How many bullets were in the pistol which Kane took off the guy he shot? From getting out of his restrains, he used the same gun with the same magazine until he picked up the HKG36 on the strip.
The action scenes were nice, if derivative and sometimes a little poorly done. The outside shots of the two fighting on the airplane’s ramp showed them clearly missing one another and the fight in the sky was clearly two stunt men who looked nothing like the two combatants. That said, the shoot-out on the strip was nicely done as was the final shot of the villain falling to his death. Perhaps unfortunately, I was thinking more on how they did the shot... than any emotional aspect of the scene.
With a few new characters added (or more likely suggested), the show is at least planning to be around for a while. We’ll see if it lasts, but I have to doubt it. While my predictions look a little off this year, I did predict this show ending sooner rather than later, which may be on target.