Though Human Target has definitely slipped a notch this season, it still brought one very big new asset to the table: Indira Varma, the strangely sexy, irresistibly watchable actress who has rocked the house as the team’s benefactor Mrs. Pucci. Tonight’s double episode takes glorious advantage of her presence, elevating an otherwise standard hostage rescue scenario solely because she’s there.
The first episode, “A Problem Like Maria,” sends Chance (Mark Valley) south of the border to rescue an old girlfriend’s husband from the local dictator. It would be pretty boilerplate if it weren’t for Pucci, simmering like a coffee pot at Chance’s gung ho bullshit and ready to cut him off at the knees the first chance she gets. That comes to a head in the second episode, “Communication Breakdown,” which plops both Chance and Pucci in the jungle while a vengeful bad guy takes pot shots at them. The pacing in the second hour is way off, padded by too many stock shots of San Francisco and an amusing-yet-pointless subplot concerning the rest of the gang and some Armenian gangsters. But with Varma in the house, it’s all good: keeping the energy high and the slightly stale material feeling as fresh as a rose.
Grade: B for both episodes.