The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the fifth episode of the NBC series, “Bionic Woman.”
After a dark opening featuring a wounded soldier in the Middle East shooting-up the field-infirmary that patched him up, the episode takes a lighter tone and moves closer to home and further into the world of international espionage like never before.
Its covert operations all around as Jaime (Michelle Ryan) heads to University with the alias of a transfer student, hoping to identify the seller of a technology that may have caused the initial massacre in the East. Meanwhile, Pope (Isaiah Washington) follows leads of his own to track down the connection to the terrorist cell responsible.
However, when she falls for another student, Jaime runs the risk of being compromised and is soon forced to consider the fact that her new boyfriend might be the villain they are looking for. Even with double crosses, mixed suspicions and terrorists, “The Education of Jaime Sommers” is a surprisingly romantic story with some very intimate glimpses of who Jaime Sommers really is.
Or as the case maybe, who she could be if it wasnt for her involvement with the Berkut group. Before her bionic augmentation, Jaime was going to study Irish literature and enjoy every bit of her university experience. But as a secret agent for a covert agency, thats not likely to happen and Jaime is now just a dead drop and brush-pass short of becoming the next Sydney Bristow
It was a pleasant change of pace to see Jaime happy after the traumatic events over the last few episodes, and as the first episode without Sarah Corvus (Katee Sackhoff), the series held its own. Although Tom (Jordan Bridges) was a little too good from the get-go, there was some much-needed chemistry between Ryan and Bridges. Together they brought a very silly (and at some points ludicrous) terrorist technology down to earth and created a level of intimacy that has been missing since the pilot when Will met his violent end. Nathan (Kevin Rankin) also heavily contributed to the tone of the episode from the start with his over-the-phone walkthrough of breaking and entering, and the whole mission carried just a small touch of Alias.
But it wasnt all intellectual debates and romance — Jaime and Popes working relationship remained as volatile as ever, and is quickly becoming one of the most interesting dynamic of the series. Although there were no acrobatic fights between the two, there was some definite tension that will certainly mount to something more. There are storm clouds on the horizon and its only a matter of time until we hear the thunder.
And in what is becoming Bionic Womans style, there are lots of jump, twirls and exciting thrills in the final fight scene as the truth about Tom finally comes out and the whole terrorist plot fits together like one giant jigsaw puzzle.
What Didnt Work
If it werent for the spot-on performances of Ryan and Bridges, the remote control people element would have seemed so far out there that the series would have been in danger of losing the credibility it has. Remote controlling people took the story one step beyond what was needed, and the story was reigned in only by the real life moments mixed throughout the unfolding conspiracy. It didnt quite loose its grip on reality, but it came damn close.
In the end though, The Education of Jaime Sommers worked. Even if it did have a very noticeable lack of Sarah Corvus who normally carries so much weight on the series. As the twisted and sinister character she is, her absence did allow some lighter storytelling as a little bit more development of Jaime. But with a talent like Sackhoff, its only a matter of time before her presence will be missed.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Education of Jaime Sommers was written by Elisabeth Heldens and the episode was directed by Jonas Pate. Bionic Woman stars Michelle Ryan, Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Mark A. Sheppard and Will Yun Lee.
Bionic Woman airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
Alan Stanley Blair is the assistant news editor for Airlock Alpha, contributing from his home country of Scotland. He can be reached at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.