“Painkiller Jane” Recaps: Episode 1.2 “Toy Soldiers”

Bureaucracy rocks! — Back at Headquarters, Andre is trying to convince some mindless drone that the threat to the president’s life is real, and maybe they should rethink this whole building-dedication ceremony. The drone won’t hear of it and essentially tells him to “make it work.”

Meanwhile, Riley has located another zombie, and it’s on the move.

Dead man walking — The Geek Squad meets up with the poor old groundskeeper who’s been tracking the zombie, and the guy’s a wreck. Andre mercifully relieves him of his duties and puts Jane and Heartbreaker Maureen on the zombie’s trail.

Jane and Maureen approach the zombie as he attempts to scale a ladder into a tall building. Jane kicks the ladder out from under him and he falls to the ground. But he’s OK! He leaps to his feet and comes after Maureen, easily kicking her mortal ass, then engages Jane in an endless fistfight. These two punch each other in the face about a hundred times, but nobody goes down for the count. He briefly stuns Jane with a right hook, and uses the lull to finish Maureen off with a fence post to the head. But before he can sock it to her, he inexplicably drops dead.

Andre finds Jane helping Maureen to her feet, and together they enter the building that the zombie was so desperately trying to break into.

And by “special” I mean they can do anything — Inside the building, the Squad finds a big cache of … sporting goods? It’s not exactly a sign of the Special Ops Zombie Team that Andre feared was being developed. Jane thinks that something isn’t adding up, and that they should take a second look at their “profile.”

The Squad room — As Jane suspected, the zombie profile they’ve been using isn’t really working anymore. Riley pulls up the file of the latest corpse to tunnel out of his casket, a man named Albert Malley. He’s older and less fit than the buff zombies who have preceded him, and little is known about his origins. Jane thinks that the zombie outbreak may not be connected to the dedication ceremony after all, but because they don’t know what else to do, Andre insists that they stay the course/don’t change horses midstream/don’t cut and run.

Riley displays the president’s scheduled motorcade route to the ceremony, pointing out the most likely spot along the way for an assassination attempt.

Jane tries yet again to pull Andre aside and help her figure out what’s really going on with these dang zombies, but he refuses to budge, lamely protesting, “We have our orders.”

Love near an elevator — Back at her loft, Jane runs into neighbor Amanda, who proudly shows off her new motorcycle. (Nope, no subtext there!)

She also tells Jane that her father came by to see her and inquired about her safety, then tries to shame her into reconnecting with him. (“If I had a dad, I’d talk to him.”)

A view to a kill — The next day, Andre, The Ugly One and Heartbreaker Maureen are perched high atop a building facing the president’s motorcade route. Andre is complaining about everything, which I think makes him feel important. The Ugly One scans the crowd for anyone looking zombified.

Rebel, rebel — Back at Headquarters, Jane is launching her own investigation. She tells a skeptical Riley that the whole zombie debacle isn’t about the president, “and Andre knows it!” While the rest of the Squad tracks the motorcade, Jane listens in on the police radio frequency. She learns that Malley (the off-profile zombie) was spotted 40 miles from the motorcade, which means that his controlling neuro must not be far away.

Toy soldiers — Jane shows up at the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Davies, where Malley worked as a gardener before he died. She does some quick detective work and learns that (1) Dad is a jerk; (2) Mom is clueless; and (3) their son is a psychotic little neuro using an army of zombies to steal guns and sporting equipment for his own personal amusement.

Jane tracks the little nutter down to an isolated patch of land where she watches in amazement as he plays with toy soldiers — toy zombie soldiers who are driving Army-issue jeeps and tanks and blowing each other to bits with live ammo. His dead friend Malley stands alongside him and watches the war games. Somehow, Jane manages to get herself captured (enemy combatant much?), and Neuro Jr. is eager to find out who she is.

Neuro Jr.: What are you doing here?
Jane: Finding out how a lonely boy spends his time.
Neuro Jr.: You shouldn’t be here.
Jane: Should any of them be here?

Luckily, the Geek Squad is on the scene, and Andre is already trying to get a clear shot at the little monster before he can whack Jane. (Although, when you really think about it, what’s the big deal? If they kill her, she’ll just come back to life, right? And with nary a scar. Maybe the squad should just take a lunch break and come back later to pick Jane up once she’s brought herself back to life again.)

One of the Geek Squad dudes is thinking like me, urging Andre to take his shot at the kid even if it means the bullet has to pass through Jane first. Andre hesitates, then pops off a round. When Neuro Jr. is hit, the corpses quit shooting and hit the ground. (Calm down, the kid didn’t die!)

As they step over the rotting, now unanimated soldier corpses, Jane and Andre exchange some witty remarks about how he shot her but it all worked out just fine.

Won’t you be my neighbor? — Back at Jane’s building, she walks by Amanda’s door and hears the omnipresent house music pounding through the walls. This reminds her that she is horribly, horribly old and that Amanda is not an age-appropriate booty call for her to consider. Oh wait, I think that’s what I was thinking about myself and my cute next-door neighbor. Anywho, Jane comes home and checks out her neck in the bathroom mirror. She thinks to herself, “Damn, I look good.” Whoops. Me again, this time about Jane. I think I’m a neuro or something.

Jane enters her kitchen and reaches for that half-empty bottle of wine. She takes a big swig directly from the bottle before breaking down and pouring some into a glass.

I think when Jane drinks, she gets all sentimental and voice-overy. Why can’t she just drunk-dial an ex or steal a car or something? I think we’d all find it a lot more entertaining.

Vasco V.O.: Like I said, when you’re young, you’re given something good to distract from something bad. Then we grow up. Hard to say exactly when it happens, but it happens. And distractions seem harder to come by.

She picks up her phone — ooh, maybe she’ll drunk-dial Heartbreaker Maureen! I sure hope she’s home and not out on a date with a “football player.” (Heh.) But alas, she calls her father, and when he answers the phone, she hangs up. Jane sighs and takes another big sip of wine.

Next time on Painkiller Jane: A neuro steals the mind of a genius, and Jane hurls herself at a super-sized bug zapper for humans.

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