31 May 2009

Own Worst Enemy - Full Series

Well, I just watched the final episode of this short-lived series. I still absolutely love the character interplay between Edward and Henry, and the way that Henry's character develops through the season. It's worth watching for that alone. However, I still think that this would be a ludicrous way to run a real spy operation, except possibly for deep cover operations over many years, and the series itself illustrates that quite nicely.

The non-operative versions of each person are completely helpless in the event that someone recognizes them from encounters with their spy-selves. They don't even know that they might be in especial danger, that they need to be on their guard. Now, if the handlers know there is a danger, they can remotely activate the spy-self. The problems I'm thinking about, however, are ones that the handlers wouldn't find out about until it's too late. Tom/Raymond, for instance, has some people from Raymond's past come while Tom is active, and threaten Tom and his wife. Tom couldn't have done anything had the situation escalated. This is not a way to keep your operatives safe. It's a way to turn them into bait.

Still, this idea would be plausible if the premise was testing the limits of a new technology... activating and deactivating agents constantly to see what kind of physiological and psychological effects it had. It would also be plausible for someone put in place "just in case" who would work somewhere for many many years, and only be activated in case of emergency, though this wouldn't make for as entertaining a show. It just is not remotely plausible that any spy agency would choose to operate this way on a regular basis.

One more complaint: as soon as it became clear that they had no control whatsoever over the switch between Edward and Henry, why in the bloody blue blazes didn't they immediately start training Henry? At the very least, he needed to learn how to use a gun and how to defend himself without one. Any idiot could see that was necessary. Edward finally cottoned to it in the last episode (and decided to lock himself in with an assassin to see if Henry could make it out alive... er, yeah... good ol' Edward), but it should have been started a long time before that.

Now, despite my ranting, I thoroughly enjoyed all the episodes. There are probably only a handful of actors who could really pull off the Henry/Edward role. Jeremy Irons comes to mind. Maybe James Marsters. Christian Slater, though, was absolutely perfect. The best part was that, as the series went on, "they" got better at pretending to be their counterpart, at least in "everyday" circumstances. As soon as fighting started, it was obvious which one was up. To be fair, though, Edward was just as much out of his element in a family discussion as Henry was in a gunfight.

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