666 Park Avenue 1.04 “Hero Complex” REVIEW

666 Park Avenue 1.04 “Hero Complex” TV REVIEW


Episode 1.04
Writer: David Wilcox
Director: John Behring

THE ONE WHERE Henry mans up, and the smoke monster arrives.

VERDICT Though this episode is technically the second of a two-parter, it never quite feels like a satisfying conclusion to last week’s storyline. This is partly because the Kandinsky storyline already felt closed and, although an interesting diversion, it was never strong enough to support a double episode; also, with the introduction of Henry’s boss – Commissioner Pike – a whole new plot line is introduced.

Gavin’s use of Annie’s new journalistic super-power underlines the question of why would he allow that sort of power to go to someone else? Of course it might well be that Gavin’s only real gift (other than a deep understanding of human nature) is to endow others with power. His abuse of the gifts he gives is the driving force of the show.

But is it enough? We’re only four episodes in, and the weekly deal is already starting to lose its allure. If the show acknowledged its absurdity we would probably forgive its transgressions more, but as it is played completely straight we have to take it at face value, and that’s starting to look like pretty low currency. Let’s hope we see a change in focus, soon.

Henry’s conversion from Gavin’s new BFF to Gavin’s nemesis happens all too quickly. Dave Annable does a great job with the script that he’s given, but Henry has never been particularly suspicious of our favourite villain, and despite fearing for his job he turns on Gavin far too easily. Where is the strength of character we’re supposed to believe in? Yes, he shows it later when he refuses to help his boss, but that just makes him look fickle.

Nona is at last becoming interesting, although the slow reveal of her grandmother sitting in a vegetative state doesn’t pack the emotional wallop that the director was evidently striving for. It does, however, raise a few questions: how did she get that way, and when? (It must have been after she moved into the Drake with Nona.) Was Gavin involved? Does Nona know, and does she intend to do something about it? And just how did Nona get her power? Was it from Gavin? Or from someone else…?

THE WORST ASSASSIN Kandinsky has been written into reality as a major member of the criminal underworld, never caught, never seen, always deadly. His abject failure in killing his target and his subsequent arrest by an in-house rent-a-cop merely to move the plot forward is lazy writing.

THE BEST LAID PLANS Henry and his boss were supposed to die, but they were saved only by Nona’s warning. This is the second time in as many episodes that Gavin’s plans have failed to come to fruition.

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT? Seriously? A smoke monster? Usually that wouldn’t be a problem in a show like this, but with Terry O’Quinn starring, you have to wonder if the producers watched too much Lost before filming began.

BEST LINE
Gavin (to Annie, shortly before she’s shot): “You’ll never see Kandinsky, again – I promise.”

Lee Harris

666 Park Avenue will air in the UK on ITV2, but no confirmed air date as yet

• Read our other 666 Park Avenue reviews