Legends Season 1 Review “Gauntlet”

Legends (TNT) Episode 6 Gauntlet (5)

As ever, we picked up on “Legends” where we left off, with Odum having just gotten into a car wreck with Dobson in tow, in “Gauntlet.” As it turned out, that wreck was anything but an accident, having been caused by Campbell, the guy Odum beat up in the last episode, aka girlfriend Tara’s bodyguard. Odum managed to get Dobson out of there and onto a bus, thus catching a ride to the hospital, while Campbell called in for back-up after recovering from the accident himself. Clearly, from the sound of things, this situation is much bigger than Dobson, and, as the end of the episode proved, Dobson was nothing if not expendable.

Indeed, Maggie discovered that only about five people know what Operation “Raining Fire” really was, with the President of the United States not among them. From the sound of Dobson’s explanation, it was a cover-up that was staged as a “friendly fire” incident, in which the US Air Force seems to have bombed its own people, over 100 in all. Not so coincidentally, the bombing happened on a Verax operation base, as Dobson and his men were in the process of stealing the spoils of war, i.e. oil, weapons, machinery, etc.

Clearly, the people responsible were covering their tracks, but why? Sure, stealing stuff from the enemy is bad, but was that all there was to it? That seems unlikely. My guess is that there’s way more going on here than meets the eye. It also seems that Gates might be one of those in the know as to what really went down. He’s certainly doing his best to contain the situation, and would seem to be the one that was telling Odum’s ex-wife Sonya to lie to him about the supposed car wreck he was in, which Odum already knows is false.

The question is, what will Odum do, now that he realizes that Sonya’s in on it? Gates may have told her to try and make it work with Odum, but Odum already knows she’s lying, which clearly Gates doesn’t. I’m guessing that won’t end well, and that eventually Sonya will out Gates as the reason she lied. However, note that Gates said that it was for Odum’s own good that he didn’t remember, so it may well still be possible that Gates is only trying to protect him from the truth. After all, he did imply that, if Odum knew the real truth, it would not only put him into even more danger than he’s already in, but possibly drive him completely over the edge, sanity-wise, and it’s not like Odum is the portrait of stability as it is.

This was another intense, exciting episode, and I like that the show isn’t dragging things out more that necessary. With each subsequent episode, we get a little more of the truth, along with Odum, but also outside of Odum as well, allowing us to keep one step ahead of what he knows, thus making it that much more exciting. It’s definitely not too far removed from the “Bourne” series, with a little “Memento” thrown in for good measure. As a fan of both, I’m good with that. Indeed, it’s that very hook that made me want to watch in the first place, along with producer Howard Gordon’s credentials, which include two other shows I love, “Homeland” and “24.”

Yes, I’ll allow that it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, for the most part, though I like the central idea that a person who goes undercover one too many times can have issues remembering who he really is because he gets stuck in a particular fake identity. That’s a pretty neat hook, and that’s what keeps me watching. Considering that each fake personality is radically different from the other, preceding identity, it’s certainly kept things interesting along the way.

Plus, the show undeniably benefits from the fine turn by the excellent Sean Bean, who manages to be convincing in whatever alter ego that the show throws at him, from debonair arms dealer to gun-slinging cowboy. I will allow that I enjoy this facet of the show- that is, the various fake identities Odum adopts- more that the whole cover-up thing, but there’s just enough action and intrigue that I don’t mind the other stuff as much as I might otherwise.

Besides, we don’t know exactly what’s being covered-up just yet, so it could prove to be more interesting that we think thus far. A lot will hinge on that revelation being a solid pay-off, but until then, the constantly-shifting ID’s of Odum are enough to keep me watching. In short, it’s solid summer entertainment. Maybe not good enough for the proper fall season, but definitely a cut above most summer fare, to be sure. I am surprised this is on TNT, as it would be right at home on USA, possibly combined with something like “Covert Affairs,” or the late “Burn Notice.”

I thought this was a decent episode, with an impressive turn from “Fringe”-vet Kirk Acevedo, as the doomed Dobson, who basically spends the entire episode in pain being hauled from one place to another by the slightly crazed Odum. It can’t be easy to play that sort of scenario for an entire episode, but I thought Acevedo was pretty convincing, even in the key bit where he opts to do the right thing for once and tell the truth on the record. Of course, the minute he does that, we know that he’s likely doomed, least of all since he mentions that the company had snipers that would sooner kill someone than let them talk. So, the minute he walked out the door, I knew he was screwed.

Still, it was a good episode, and I liked the lunacy of so many people being in on it, particularly in the hospital scene. I halfway expected there to be a guy in on it in the surgery room, making sure Dobson didn’t recover at all! Yes, it was all a bit over the top, but it was also a lot of fun, especially when Odum took out that one guy that claimed he was there to take his statement.

What did you think of “Legends” this week? What do you think was really going on with Operation “Raining Fire”? What was being covered-up? Who was really responsible? How much does Gates actually know? How about Sonya? Who are the others who know about the operation that Maggie mentioned? Will Crystal and Rice end up being a help to Odum, or a hindrance? Let me know what you think down below, and see you next week!