The entire episode passed by in a blur of "who are these people again? have I seen them before?", aside from a great challenge -- I loved the "swim out to a cage in the water, release underwater door, drag a heavy box onto the sand, onto a sliding track, and then land 5 knotted balls on the trellis above you, NO PUZZLES IN SIGHT" -- but then. Oh, then. Mr. "18-year-old" (lol, whatever, undercover detective / actor on a TV show set in high school) gives the most resoundingly inspiring set of speeches I have ever seen in m'damn life, backed up by
Literally, though, did you see Bradley's face? It was like, straight out of a crime show where the culprit's guilt is evident, but they think they're smart enough to get away with it so they taunt the detectives in the interrogation room. "My, my, my. That sounds like quite a fascinating story. If only there was...some way to prove it was true?"
Which means we were howling every time Bradley's smug, self-assured, arrogant smirking started to slip in mild panic as he started to lose the upper hand, as most of his subservients showed clear signs of imminent mutiny, while Michael, with his big Truth and Goodness and Light eyes calmly and steadily smacked him down like the hand of god.
And it was just so, so devastating to see Michael read the room wrong, fall for the villain's misdirect, squander his idol, and lose Brendan in the gamble. My only consolation prize is that as of this episode, Brendan is the one I would rather have lost, both because he took it extremely well, and because I want to see Michael rise resplendent from the ashes and BLAST BRADLEY TO SMITHEREENS. Please.
In other news, "Instinct" was thrice as excruciating as I expected it to be, which was already pretty bad. Khandi Alexander is no longer attached. Unfortunately, Naveen Andrews still is, so I suffered through the ENTIRE THING for like 2 minutes of his face and beautiful voice. It was in no way worth it. And yet, because it's on Sundays, I might continue suffering for the rest of the year. I just like him so much. [eta: I have suffered two additional half-episodes since then. No sign of him. ONE THOUSAND PERCENT NOT WORTH IT & DONE TRYING.]