“The Bentley Lament” (Episode 105)
November 12, 2019
On last week’s Treadstone, Samantha had to explain some hard truths to Doug about his and her past and their role in Treadstone (while giving us some fantastic exposition about how the program works). SoYun was given a new mission from Colonel Shin, one that is sending her to China. And Haynes, while under hypnosis from Dr. Wells, broke free from his incarceration and killed a bunch of people (including Dr. Wells) on his way to see his daughter one more time.
Catch up with out deep dive recap and review of last week’s episode here. Now, on to tonight’s all new Treadstone … BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!
Budapest. Bentley sits on a bus and goes through the file of dead and missing CIA agents. The three dead agents are the ones he killed as part of Petra’s final test (from the pilot episode). The missing agent is named Donald Matheson. The file has a map with a last known location for Matheson. This is where Bentley begins his search.
John enters a bar and everyone turns and, upon seeing him, starts to murmur. The bartender, in particular, seems wary of Bentley and pleads that he doesn’t want any trouble. John is a bit confused and asks the barkeep who he thinks Bentley is?
“Someone with very little patience and violent tendencies.”
Bentley asks if he ever came in the bar with an American named Matheson or a pretty woman named, Petra. To Matheson, the bartender says, “no” and to Petra, he tells John that he can’t help. He walks away.
Sometime later, John is still there having a drink and going through his file. He notices that the bar has completely emptied which is when the bartender puts a gun to the back of his head. John says he thought the barkeep, Miklós (Miklós Béres), didn’t want any trouble and the bartender replies that “they’ll” be there any minute for him.
John quickly dispatches Miklós and takes his gun. He busts a gas pipe and shatters a light bulb … basically makes an improvised explosive device. The hit squad enters the bar and, when they turn on the lights, get blown to hell. Bentley sits on the lead hitman and asks him a bunch of questions about who he is and why he’s being attacked. The hitman knows John as a member of the KGB that’s been “terrorizing” these people for months. He also knows where John lives … which is news to John. As he holds a gun to the lead hitman’s face, he demands his own address.
This has to be a weird conversation for the hitman with this killer “pretending” not to know anything about himself.
John arrives at a hotel and the receptionist goes white when he sees this ghost from his past. Bentley continues to be confused how everyone knows him and the man behind the desk confirms that John lived in this place for four months. He hands John a key to the same room as before and assures him it’s just as John left it.
Bentley enters 3A and it really is as he left it, the bed is even unmade. He walks through and finds a while where “John Randolph Bentley” is scrawled over and over again.
This was someone trying to keep his mind straight.
John sits on the bed and has himself a little cry as he stares at his visage in the mirror. An idea strikes him and he throws a chair through the mirror. There is a hidden room carved out of the wall. It has dormant and dusty video equipment aimed into 3A – as if someone would have videotaped what was happening in the hotel room, through the mirror.
John enters the secret room and sees there is a trapdoor in the ceiling. Upstairs, above the secret room, John finds a makeshift interrogation room. There is a chair with two rusty (bloody?) pairs of handcuffs attached to it. There’s also a video camera facing the chair, a reel to reel recorder off to the side, and a set of monitors. Bentley flips the power and the TV begins to play a recorded torture session.
in the recording, Bentley is working over Matheson, his fellow CIA agent. Matheson is trying to make John remember who he is but John isn’t listening. Matheson is very bloody. He gives up some information and Bentley compliments him before beginning to beat him again.
Young Petra enters the frame to stop John from killing Matheson. Bentley tells Young Petra they still need the “location so we can round them up.” She assures them they’ll get the info and they kiss. John turns off the monitors in anger and disgust and the receptionist has appeared behind him.
“You should not be up here.”
John grabs a pair of pliers (last seen in the torture video) and holds it up to the receptionist’s face to learn what he knows. The man says that he believes John worked with the KGB and that he often saw Russians bringing hard to crack men up to this room, against their will. That some of those men left in body bags. Bentley denies remembering any of this and almost vomits as he comments that he seemed to be enjoying himself on the video. He’s basically talking to himself as much as the receptionist.
The receptionist confirms that KGB John WAS enjoying himself, he explains that he became friends with KGB John during his stay. The receptionist tells John that KGB John said he had “finally found [his] true purpose.”
John is drowning his sorrows in a swinging 70’s Budapest bar. He calls his mom but when she picks up, he’s not able to say anything. He hangs up and heads back to the bar. He decides to leave and bumps into an attractive young woman on his way out.
Her name is Katya (Maja Simonsen) and she seems interested in his American-ness. John says being American is about the only thing that he’s certain of. This leads to an existential conversation and John mentions that he “craves certainty. I think it might be driving me insane.”
Katya knows the symptoms and accurately predicts that John was in Vietnam.She suggests he let it go but he’s all, easier said than done.
“You’re looking for an answer, a dose of acid can help.”
This is a very 1970s conversation they’re having.
Katya takes John to a swinging 1970s Budapest drug den, “where pasts and futures don’t exist.” Everyone here is high and very psychedelic. Katya gives John some new age philosophy on accepting what you become or else it’ll control you. And, that real answers only come after you’ve “left your heart far behind.” And how do you do this, Bentley asks?
Katya doses John with some acid and he falls back, his pupils already dilating. Homeboy is about to go on a fantastic trip, with Katya as his guide!
Ashland, Kentucky. We pick up where we left off last week, with Doug rolling with some armed thieves towards a chemical plant-looking place. I can’t help but think of the blueprints Doug found in Lowell’s briefcase which had a specified “Doug’s path” traced out on them over a factory looking floorplan. Also, the rest of the crew is dressed all in blacks with masks and heavy guns while Doug is in a T-shirt and has just a handgun. He definitely sticks out like a sore thumb.
The thieving crew crouches behind a rock and head thief reminds them of the plan. Get in, steal the “pills,” get out. Kill only if necessary. Five minutes tops. Head thief reminds them this is a heist, not a bloodbath. He also makes a specific point of mentioning “Patty Vernon” being on site and that she travels with her own security; they should avoid her at all costs.
Doug has other ideas. He sees the blueprints in his mind and knows he has to follow his own path. Which he does. He literally gets up and runs away from the group to make his own entrance into the plant.
The masked thieves end up following Doug, maybe he knows what he’s doing? Head thief catches up with “Rambo” and asks him where he’s going? Doug explains the front entrance would have led to an immediate choke-point so he suggests using the ventilation shaft which he uncovers for them all. It’s nice to have the blueprints committed to your memory.
Doug leads the band of thieves to the factory floor. There are a lot of men making and bagging pills and almost as many men patrolling the floor with guns. Doug spies his quarry in an upstairs office. In his brain, he confirms the match of this woman to his target photo. It’s quite a distance from where he is to where she is so Doug improvises. He throws on all of the factory lights and begin firing his handgun into the air.
Chaos breaks out people running and screaming and gunfire everywhere. Doug’s target is in her office, packing up a bad to flee. In the pandemonium, Doug calmly makes his way towards her, dispatching guards left and right with ease. Doug’s target is out of her office and walking around a top floor parapet. Doug changes direction and makes his way to the second level, dispatching more bad guys with little effort.
The head thief, and his band of thieves, are still fighting it out on the factory floor though the gunfire has slowed greatly. They definitely seem like the victors here despite the bloodbath it turned into. Head thief sees Doug on the second level and wonders where he’s going?
The Target is on the phone, making an exit from the factory. She has two guards with her. Doug is calmly pursuing her, about 50 steps behind. A man comes out from behind him and fires at Doug. Doug spins but holds his fire, the man is his friend Mike. We last saw Mike when he was inviting Doug to come do a shady job with him … this must have been it. Doug pushes his friend up against the wall and screams in his face that he never saw Doug here and tells Mike to leave. ASAP. One of the thieves followed Doug up the stairs and Doug shoots him dead. Whelp.
The Target and her two guards turn a corner, they are just about outside. Two bullets take down the two guards and Doug steps into the frame. He asks the woman why the CIA wants her dead? She doesn’t know, she doesn’t even think the CIA knows she exists. The Target, who is the aforementioned Patty Vernon (Charlotte Palmer), starts to raise her handbag offering Doug money. He puts a bullet between her eyes.
Back on the factory floor, one of the thieves asks Doug where Charlie is?
“He didn’t make it.”
Doug makes it back home and Samantha finds him sitting on the porch. He confirms he killed the woman. Also, he felt like he was someone else. When he stopped resisting, something took over. He asks his wife what they did to him?
“You turned me into a monster.”
Samantha denies he’s a monster, and repeats to Doug that he’s a good man. He’s realizing that everything he knows is a lie, such as Samantha not really being a big city girl from Boston. No she’s not, she confirms but she tells Doug that he is in fact, from Boston. That thought is left hanging out there as Doug gets up.
Doug tells Samantha that he ran into Mike at the pill factory and now, he has to go warn his friend (again) in case anyone comes around asking questions about Doug. Before he goes inside, Samantha asks him if they’re okay?
“I don’t know, Sam.”
This question and answer works on multiple levels.
Accra, Ghana. We didn’t get to see Tara last week but she’s made her way to Ghana. There is an upbeat funeral procession moving through town. It’s for an “Emmanuel K.G Sackey”and the casket (I guess) is in the shape of a yellow airplane. All of this in case it’s important later. Tara finds her friend, Meghan Addo (Racheal Ofori), dancing among the crowd.
FYI, this is the kind of funeral I want to have. EDM dance party-inspired.
Tara and Meghan walk to lunch and catch up on old times. They reminisce over shared war zone stories, which is how they met, and Meghan mentions it’s been a long time since she’s worked a big story. Tara tells Meghan she needs to see “Sebastian” but that’s going to be difficult. Meghan explains that “Sebastian” is in prison, having been caught moving assault rifles into Burkina Faso.
This is not what Tara wanted to hear, clearly there is some history between her and this “Sebastian.” Tara asks Meghan if she’s ever heard of Treadstone (“no”) and says she thinks it’s connected to Stiletto Six. Meghan rolls her eyes at her old friend.
“I chased stories because I wanted to. You chase them because you had to.”
Tara pushes on and asks if Meghan can get her into the prison to see Sebastian that day. Meghan has a cousin, Kofi, who is a guard there so easy peasey.
Elmina Island Prison, Ghana. Fun fact, the show is using the very real, historical site of Elmina Castle for their island prison. Tara arrives at the prison and makes her way to Meghan’s cousin, Kofi (Benard Affat). Kofi takes her to meet Sebastian (Eric Kofi-Abrefa) in the middle of a courtyard. Very odd security here at Elmina Island Prison.
They make some small talk and Tara wants to know if he’s doing okay. He says he’ll take her on a tour. And he does. Tara is the only woman for miles around as they walk through a typical prison yard, tough men working out, tough men looking sinister. They just stroll through. Crazy. On a ledge with a lovely view of the water – it would be really romantic if not for the barbed wire. And armed guards – Sebastian shows Tara a bullet casing he’s been holding on to for three years. It was the only thing he was able to smuggle into the prison when he arrived. Tara compliments him on his romantic gesture.
“Nice guys would have just brought a photo.”
Sebastian mulls over how this bullet could have killed them all those years ago and then moves on to relationship talk. Tara shuts that talk down hard and moves on to her Stiletto Six issues. Like Meghan, Sebastian rolls his eyes and announces this visit is over. He leaves Tara standing on the parapet.
Tara chases Sebastian back through the courtyard, trying to get him to talk. She gives the quick run down of her life since meeting with Kwon and ends with asking Sebastian to call Yuri about the Stiletto Six black market sale. That was a lot of info for Sebastian to take in but he recovers quickly. He tells Tara that even if he wanted to help, which he’s not really sold on, inmates cannot make phone calls. So, as long as he’s imprisoned, no calling Yuri.
Tara is all, “well what if, hypothetically, you weren’t in prison anymore? Huh? Huh? Sebastian walks away from Tara, he’s not keen to help her get involved with Yuri Leniov. Kofi comes over to Tara after Sebastian leaves and she asks for his help with something. We’ll have to wait to hear what that plan is because the camera pulls away and we cannot hear their chat.
Sometime later, it’s lunchtime at the prison. Kofi hands a prisoner a shiv and it passes hands a couple of times until one prisoner sticks Sebastian in the back a couple of times. Sebastian, who was eating lunch, falls to the floor, he’s in a lot pain.
Cut to an ambulance racing along the road, Tara sitting in the back with Sebastian. Sebastian can’t believe she had someone stab him and she replies it’s just a minor flesh wound. And he’ll be better in a week.She “sorry not sorry’s” that this is a chance to do the right thing.
“Next time you need my help, don’t stab me in the back.”
Sebastian bringing the puns, even after being stabbed. Sadly, laughter makes his pain worse.
The ambulance drops them at a helicopter, its blades already turning. Tara explains to a gob smacked Sebastian that she used some money from the Stiletto Six purchase fund to pay for it. What money, he asks, and she assures him she’ll explain once they’re in the air. Meghan is there too, she arranged for the chopper. The three friends get in and take off.
Yalu River, North Korea. SoYun and her guide are making their way towards a river. The guide explains that China is just on the other side. He shows SoYun a smallish canoe where she is expected to hide under the tarp. She’s incredulous at this “plan” but the guide explains that he’s been doing this a long time and he’s still alive. His cover story is that he’s a seaweed and cigarette smuggler. As she gets in, SoYun confirms they’re coming back, right?
“I got paid for one-way only.”
Gulp. Ruh Roh.
As the guide starts to untie the rope, a military jeep pulls up and a North Korea solider gets out, gun raised. He asks for the guide’s papers and immediately sees they’re forged. The guide is trying to quick talk his way out of this jam and starts to offer the soldier money. Not doing it. The soldier pulls back the tarp on the boat and sees SoYun there.
She gets out and the guide makes a move to fight the solider and the soldier shoots him dead. SoYun takes the opportunity to attack the solider and easily disarms him and throws him to the floor. He moves to get up and she shoots him dead. Thinking quickly, she drops the rifle, throws her satchel back in the boat and pushes off. He eyes go wide when she realizes that she dropped Jin Woo’s monkey on the shore. She begins to cry to herself as the rows herself away from the North Korean shoreline. It’s really sad as we see Monkey laying there.
Dandong, China. Day has broken over the river and SoYun finally reaches the China shore. She sees a covered truck in the distance and makes her way to it. The man yells that she’s late and demands her “passage fee.” SoYun hands over the wad of cash she was given and she climbs into the back of the truck. There are lots of people crowded inside. SoYun takes in the faces and stares a young mother with a baby in her arms. She asks the woman where they’re going and the mom replies, “China, Yanji.” A man chimes in, unhelpfully.
“Provided we don’t get killed along the way”
What a downer Unhelpful Guy. The mother asks SoYun is she has a family and SoYun replies she has a son, who she sadly left at home.
Eastern, China. SoYun is the last passenger in truck. The cranky old man drops her off in the middle of no where and doesn’t answer her when she asks where she’s supposed to go next. The truck drives off and SoYun starts running down a path next to the drop site.
SoYun makes it to the top of the path, a beautiful bluff overlooking mountains and a river. Cicada Nira is there waiting for her. Continued in Nira’s section below.
Beijing, China. Nira arrives in Beijing, getting off her bus at a depot. She picks up a key from a dead-drop and heads to the lockers. Inside, she finds a black bag waiting for her, loaded with guns and a new target card. It’s SoYun’s face and there are GPS coordinates at the bottom of the card. I think we’re about to have our first Cicada to Cicada meeting. Nira grabs her bag and walks off into the night. She’s definitely the most experienced Cicada, she barely blinks when she gets these assignments.
Eastern, China. Nira is waiting for SoYun when she arrives. Nira’s black bag of death at her feet. She asks for the envelope from SoYun and once she has it, she opens it up to examine the contents. We see it’s the Stiletto Six file – last seen in Dae’s possession in SoYun’s apartment. SoYun has a flashback to the blueprints and leather bound folio she saw Dae looking at from several episodes ago.
SoYun lunges for the file saying it belongs to her husband. Nira pulls a gun, telling SoYun to stand down.
SoYun knocks the gun out of Nira’s hand and the two women go at it in full hand to hand combat. They’re very evenly matched and share the same skills. They’re both going full throttle, jumping and kicking and punching. They both reach for the fallen gun at the same time and struggle over control of it. They’re nose to nose. The gun goes off and as the camera pulls away, we see SoYun took a bullet to her stomach.
Nira grabs the Stiletto Six file and her black bag and walks away. SoYun falls to her knees, her hand filled with blood as she touches her stomach. She falls over as the screen goes to black and the credits.
I’ve seen complaints about Treadstone that the series is trying to cover too many characters and storylines and doing a bad job of it, but I disagree. We got significant movement in John’s 1973 storyline as well as with Doug and SoYun. I think the show is doing a good job of bouncing us from place to place and now that we’ve had two Cicadas interact, I have to imagine this will happen more and more.
And, the more overlap, the more screentime everyone will get. After last week’s CIA-heavy episode, I was fine to let them be this week and catch up with John’s pursuit of Petra in Budapest.
Everything tonight was pretty self-explanatory so I’ll just reiterate that I was totally down for the mountain top fight between Nira and SoYun. A Plus, Badass fighting!
Nira, used sparingly so far, continues to impress as a cocksure Cicada – of the ones we’ve seen so far, she’s by far the most unquestioning and confident player. Does that mean that she’s been activated all this time or, was she just reactivated (like Doug and SoYun) but handling it much much better? I don’t know but I hope we get more on her backstory down the line.
Until next week, Cicadas!
Treadstone airs on Tuesday nights at 10pm (ET/PT) on the USA Network.
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