A quick review of last night's "Human Target" coming up just as soon as I change clothes right before I leave for an event...
Last week's "Rewind" was the fourth episode produced, but Fox pushed it up, no doubt because they felt it was a stronger episode than "Embassy Row." This happens a lot with new shows, and with a fairly episodic series like "Human Target" it's less of a big deal than when it happens to something like "Firefly" (which, coincidentally, co-starred tonight's guest star, Sean Maher). And having watched "Embassy Row," I understand Fox's reluctance to put it out front and center.
Three episodes into the series (let alone two, had we not had the shuffle) feels way too early to be doing an episode that casually tosses the premise aside. I'm not saying that "Human Target" shouldn't be allowed to do episodes not built around Chance playing bodyguard(*) - frankly, it would get dull if they couldn't do a change-of-pace show now and then - but when you do it this soon, it sends a message that you don't have a lot of confidence in the core concept. And given that they already abandoned so much else from the comic book character, I'm starting to worry that the creative team doesn't know what it wants to do beyond "Let's do an action show with Mark Valley!"
(*) Yes, in the end, Chance and company wound up saving Maher's life (and Chance's own), but the primary focus here was on revenge, not protection.
And while there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour than watching Valley beat people up while Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley get on each other's nerves, I tend to like my shows to have a more clear sense of identity than that - even if they're telling stories about a man with dozens upon hundreds of identities himself.
There were some decent action beats, and Valley had good chemistry with guest star Emmanuelle Vaugier, but overall "Embassy Row" felt pretty disposable. We'll see if it was just a blip or a sign of further trouble ahead, but we're in the managing expectations period for a new show. And after mostly liking the first two episodes, I don't want to start thinking of "Human Target" than more than it's capable of (or interested in) being.
What did everybody else think?