Feb 15, 2018
Human Target “Pilot” (part 5 of 5)
Meanwhile, in a confusing scene, the real Palmer sneaks off the Batwing, but you can’t tell at first if this is Palmer or Chance. Back on the plane, Wifey runs to Chance and says her husband is gone, and he went to sign his company over to Belzer.
A ramp comes out of the plane, and out drives Chance in a sports car. We get shots of Chance driving his Chancemobile, and Scott Paulin does an absolutely terrible job of pretending to steer.
He puts the project-o-phone in a dashboard holder, and now Libby is projected in front of him. He tells her he wants the “fastest route to Greene’s office” and Libby calls up a map. Did you realize this show invented GPS navigation?
Over at Belzer’s office, the Belz is at his desk when the real Palmer shows up. Palmer says he’s signed papers transferring ownership of his company to Belzer, and all he wants is for the Belz to leave his family alone.
Belzer just laughs, asking if Palmer really thought he would “fall for this”. It appears he thinks Palmer is really Chance in disguise. That same hitman appears, and asks if he should “do him up right now.” Wait, I thought this guy was in police custody. And he’s already back out on the street? Is it really that easy to make bail after breaking into a guy’s house with a gun?
But the Belz thinks they should “consider the options here”. He says that a lot of people would pay a lot of money to “get their hands on the Human Target!” So, evidently, the Human Target is already well known among the underworld, even though this is the first time in the episode anyone’s referred to him as the Human Target.
Belzer looks at Palmer and says his disguise is “very lifelike”, and wonders how to take it off. The hitman has just the thing.
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Cut to Palmer tied up in a chair in the back of the store. The hitman lights up a welding torch, and holds it to Palmer’s face. Palmer screams that they’ve got the wrong guy. Aw, don’t worry, Jay, I’m sure they’ll figure it out soon enough, once they’re melting actual skin off your face.
Just then, the front door opens, and it’s real Chance / fake Palmer. He puts a briefcase on Belzer’s desk and says all the money is there, everything he owes. The Belz takes the briefcase, and then tells his goon that “it’s a two for one special” on Palmers today.
Chance tells him to just take the money and leave his family alone. So for no particular reason, Belz decides to open the briefcase, and a big flash bomb goes off, blinding him. We know it blinds him because Richard Belzer helpfully yells, “My eyes! My eyes!” The goon lights up his welding torch again, but Chance sprays him in the face with a fire extinguisher, which in action movies and TV shows is the equivalent of blasting somebody with pepper spray.
Chance then clocks the Belz, knocking him out, and goes to free Palmer. And the two men are shown in the same shot via some very early (and very fake) green screen effects. And when you add to this how Rick is badly overdubbing the voice of one of the Palmers, the effect is somewhat less than convincing. I mean, it’s not Mr. Murder bad, but it’s down there.
And now some other goons are shooting at them, and Palmer runs out to draw their fire. Then Chance comes out shooting, and the bad guys are completely bewildered at dealing with two guys who look exactly alike. Because if you’re a loan shark, what you really want are goons that can be easily defeated by identical twins.
Chance takes out the bad guys, and then the Two Palmers meet up again in Bad Green Screen Land. Chance gets one last quip when he tells Palmer, “It’s not easy bein’ you!” Oh, but I should note that Chance shoots and apparently kills at least one of the goons. I wonder how he and Palmer will explain that to the police later.
And now, the Batwing is again sitting in an open field. Chance, back in his Rick face, is saying farewell to Palmer and family. He wants a hug from Palmer’s daughter, and then Palmer’s son even says he wishes Chance could be his dad, and he says this right in front of his actual dad. Yikes. Palmer looks uncomfortable, so Chance tells the kid that his dad is a good guy, and he’s just “gotta let him know how you feel!”
Chance gives Palmer a manly hug, and whispers to him, “Mess up again and I might come back and take over!” And then, he gets a special farewell alone with Palmer’s wife. If you ask me, he’s already taken over. In her nightly fantasies, anyway.
The wife now has special insight into Chance’s psyche. She says he’s impersonated “presidents, kings, the most important people in the world,” but she knows he especially “enjoyed your time with us”, and just being a “family man” for a change.
Chance says maybe he’ll “try it for real someday” and gets a kiss on the cheek.
He then heads on back to his Batwing. Upstairs, his crew was watching the whole conversation on the security camera. As Chance comes up the spiral staircase, Pilot Guy asks him if he would really give up the life of a superhero for a house, a wife, and “1.5 children”. Chance just tells him to set a course for Tahiti. There’s no job there; it’s just time for a vacation. Yay, a vacation!
And that’s the end of the episode, which was about as boring as any pilot in recent memory. No wonder this show lasted six weeks. Thankfully, the producers of the new Human Target figured out that for their show to survive, they had to bring their A game right away, starting with the first episode.
There are previews of the following episode, which features special guest star David Carradine. And from the looks of things, he even has a kung fu fight with Chance.
I repeat, David Carradine once had a kung fu fight with Rick Springfield. I have got to get my hands on that episode.