Human Target “Pilot” (part 3 of 5)
And just like that, it’s time for dinner with the family. Chance tells the son to stop doing his book report at the table. Chance wants another cup of coffee, and Palmer’s wife says, “You never have a second cup!” Way to go, Chance. That second cup of coffee might have just blown your whole cover.
And I’m sure this bit reminds you of a line from an old commercial for Yuban coffee, or at least the spoof of that ad. But apparently, that’s the joke, because the son sarcastically notes, “You guys sound like the TV.”
Then the wife sends the kids off to bed, and as the son leaves, he says to his sister, “Katie, clear my plate!” Isn’t he just a little angel?
And now Chance is putting Palmer’s daughter to bed, and get ready, because here comes Chance’s first big, heart-stopping crisis. He starts to leave, but the daughter says, “Wait, Daddy, tell me my story!”
Chance asks which one she wants to hear, and she helpfully says, “My favorite one!” Chance is clueless, so he immediately tries to steer her into trying something new, I mean, variety is the spice of life, right, and wouldn’t she rather hear the story of, say… the Gingerbread Man? And I looked up the Gingerbread Man story just now, and it’s just plain disturbing. A cake shaped like a man that comes alive and escapes from the oven? That’s pure nightmare fuel.
But no, the daughter won’t be content until she hears her favorite story. Chance is screwed, so he immediately says that Daddy has to “do something” and will be right back. Tense music plays as Chance runs to the bathroom, locks the door, and turns on the faucet. I see. The “something” that Daddy needed to do was take a dump.
No, actually, he takes out a small device which “projects” an image of Token Chick on the wall. He tells her in Rick Springfield’s voice that “Doing Bishop Tutu was a snap compared to this Father Knows Best routine!” I know, I know. You’re wondering who was trying to assassinate Desmond Tutu, but Chance didn’t actually impersonate the archbishop. He just did him. When Pilot Guy said Chance was a “Green Beret or something”, the “or something” meant “gay escort”.
Token Chick puts Palmer on, and Chance asks what his daughter’s favorite bedtime story is. Palmer just chuckles, so Chance spits out the hilarious, “Listen, this is no joke, Palmer! Kid’s waiting! It could blow the whole deal right now!” And this is one six year old girl you do not want to fuck with!
Finally, Palmer reveals her favorite story is “The Princess and the Pea”, and he asks if Chance wants him to tell it. Chance abruptly puts Token Chick back on, who says she’s “Sending data now”. And that “data” is “The Princess and the Pea”, and Chance is now actually reading the story off the bathroom wall.
And after all that, when Chance finally gets back to the daughter’s room… she’s already fast asleep. Well, crisis averted, at least for now. You know, I don’t miss explosions and fights one bit with this much bedtime story-related thrills and suspense.
Later that night, Palmer’s wife finds Chance at an old school PC, working on a spreadsheet. Wifey sneaks up on him, and surprises him by rubbing his shoulders, and there’s our Human Target, ladies and gentleman. He’s supposed to be watching out for assassins, and yet a soccer mom can still get the jump on him.
He says he’s just trying to “balance the books”, so I guess Chance’s specialties include martial arts, physical mimicry, and accounting. And then the wife steps out onto the patio, and a moment later she’s naked in their hot tub. Well, it’s primetime TV, of course, so the nudity is implied. But now Chance is in an awkward situation. It seems he’s a bit too moral to do a little naked hot-tubbing with another guy’s wife, and tell me again why he took this case? This is like watching a Bond movie where Bond is completely monogamous.
Chance pretends like Palmer’s bum knee is acting up, and he needs to go put some ice on it, and he leaves Wifey unfulfilled in the hot tub. Second crisis averted! Though, you have to wonder what’ll happen if they’re in bed later and Wifey wants some action in the middle of the night, but the subject is never addressed.
The next day, Chance is working Palmer’s construction site, where he discovers they have an extra electrician on duty. He confronts the “new guy”, saying he doesn’t remember hiring him, but the new guy begs and pleads and says he needs the job.
Chance goes to his trailer, and speaks to Palmer on the projector phone. Palmer assures him he never hired an extra electrician, and Chance thinks they may have just found their guy.
Just then, someone enters the trailer, and Chance goes for his gun. He immediately puts it away when he finds out it’s Wifey, who brought him lunch, in a big picnic basket to boot. She says she wanted to spend some time with him because he’s been so strange and “distant” lately. Geez, lady, just because a guy didn’t want to hot tub naked with you that one night is no reason to start guilt tripping him.
Suddenly, the whole trailer shakes. A shot from outside shows the trailer is being toppled over by a runaway bulldozer. The trailer falls on its side, and now the bulldozer is slowing tearing its way through the trailer.
Chance grabs Palmer’s wife, opens up the side door, and they both leap from the trailer just in time.
Chance commanders the bulldozer and brings it to a stop, and only now do all the other guys run out to help. One of them wonders where that “new guy” went, and Chance says, “You won’t find him!”
Back from break, it’s time for Chance to take the son to baseball practice. Yep, that whole near-death experience at lunchtime with the bulldozer has been completely forgotten. You’d think Chance would need to be home to comfort Wifey, but apparently stuff like that happens all the time in Palmer’s line of work. So on with the truly exciting mission of coaching little kids playing baseball!
The son swings at the ball. It’s a strike, but Chance says, “It doesn’t matter if you strike out!” The son is completely confused by the warm encouragement. The son then promptly strikes out, and Chance is all the more supportive and encouraging. See, they’re trying to highlight how Palmer’s too hard on his kids, while Chance, being an outsider who can appreciate the simple joys of being a family man, is totally supportive. However, I don’t think any dad in the history of the sport of baseball has ever congratulated his son on striking out. So way to blend in, Chance.
Chance then calls up the next batter, who’s named “Rachel”. Yeah, you guessed it: Here comes little Rachel Bilson in her first ever TV role. She asks Palmer’s son, “What’s wrong with your dad?” She’s amazed because “He didn’t yell at ya!” Not like the way my TV producer dad yells at me!
Rachel steps up to the plate, and Chance calls her the “most beautiful slugger on the team”, and I’m sure this line was not improvised to suck up to the producer in any way. And that’s the entirety of Rachel Bilson’s appearance in this episode. See you in about ten years, Summer!
Later, one of the other dads talks to Chance, and the guy works down at the bank, I guess, because he tells Chance that Palmer’s “loan didn’t come through”. It seems the amount he was asking for was way too steep. Chance has no idea what the guy is talking about, but he plays along anyway.
You know, I’m pretty sure a loan application would have shown up in a background check, and… oh, yeah, that’s right. Chance told his crew not to bother.
Then Chance is walking off the field with Palmer’s son, who wants to know why he’s acting so different. Chance says, “I’m an impostor!” but he says it like he’s making a corny joke. So I guess in every joke there really is a kernel of truth. Chance jokes that he’s not his real dad, so the son says, “Good, I like the fake one better.” Ouch.