“Painkiller Jane” Recaps: Episode 1.3 “Piece of Mind”

Chez Dawson — Jane and the Dorky IT Guy are having a sit-down with Dawson. Well, actually Riley is sitting down with Dawson, talking about, I dunno, HTML code or something, and Jane is fondling his awards and degrees and brainiac tchotchkes.

Vasco V.O.: There’s a place for people like them. Anywhere I’m not.

Dawson begins to fumble when Riley asks him a question about his work. It’s just the sort of “skill-specific amnesia” that the Geek Squad suspected.

Jane asks him if he recalls meeting anyone new just before the memory loss occurred. But — big surprise — he doesn’t recall.

When they leave, Riley tells Jane that he’d rather be dead than suffer Dawson’s fate.

Back at the ranch — Riley tells Jane and Andre that Dawson has completely forgotten some “third-level algorithms” that he created, algorithms related to his patent on “high-speed electronic relays.”

Andre is almost as irritated as I am, and he asks the IT Dork to cut to the chase and tell him what it’s used for. That’s when Joe, who’s been quietly working in the corner, pipes up with, “train switching routers."

Jane does the math. “So a train engineer and a guy who designs switching systems lose part of their memory within three days of each other.”

Andre tells Riley to check into the personnel files of Unity Rails (Rosie’s latest travel venture?) to see if any employees might have held a grudge.

Something’s cookin’ in hell’s kitchen — Across town, a scruffy-looking guy sits amid piles of garbage on a street corner. He looks dazed and out of it, but when a body falls on him from the collapsing porch above, he gets a little pep in his step. The person who fell on him is moaning and squirming, and the scruffy guy tries to comfort him with promises to “get a paramedic.”

Then, something strange happens. The person who fell grabs the arm of the scruffy guy, and some sort of Freaky Friday-type presto change-o occurs. And it has something to do with the ostensibly magical bracelet being worn by the person who fell. Suddenly, the confused scruffy guy is a medical expert, bossing around the paramedics when they arrive. And he’s pretty convincing because they hand over the defibrillation paddles to him and let him zap the guy back to life. Then Trapper John promptly keels over. They guy he saved? He gets up and walks away.

Hospital — Trapper John (aka patient John Doe) is hooked up to an array of machines in an ICU ward. McDorky stands over him, recording his notes about what happened when the paramedics arrived. Something about his melodic voice rouses Trapper John Doe from his slumber, and he opens his eyes and begins rattling off medical jargon. McDorky is impressed, but spooked.

Trapper John Doe tells McDorky that he’s an M.D. who studied “neuromuscular syndromes” and wrote some hoity-toity articles on the topic. McDorky recognizes the title of one and identifies the author as Dr. Alan Rafferty. Trapper John Doe nods and says, “That’s right.” McDorky doesn’t respond, but the look on his face screams, “I served with Dr. Alan Rafferty: I knew Dr. Alan Rafferty; Dr. Alan Rafferty was a friend of mine. You’re no Dr. Alan Rafferty!”

Psych Ward, Somewhere, USA — A man identified as Dr. Alan Rafferty sits in a wheelchair and stares off into space as other psych patients interact around him. McDorky is there too, and Rafferty’s wife tells him how Rafferty froze up in the middle of performing a surgery, unable to remember what to do. She tearfully tells McDorky that when her husband’s medical career ended, he started drinking and tried to kill himself.

Geek Squad Headquarters — McDorky tells Andre that only a handful of doctors could do what Rafferty does, so it makes no sense that Trapper John Doe knew the procedures. Andre gets it. “So we’re not talking about sudden partial amnesia. We’re talking about picking people’s brains.”

McDorky agrees: “It looks that way. And no, he’s not a neuro. I tested him.”

They figure that in order for the mind-swap to happen, there must have been a middleman, and that the victims’ specialties (trains and medicine) must have something in common. I wait for Joe to pop in and tell them — thanks to his expertise on everything that runs on rails — but he’s not there. Probably out working on the nonfunctioning subway line again.

Don’t just stand there, bust a move — Cut to Jane’s apartment. She’s in the bathroom, shaking it in her bra and undies to a song on her iPod while she brushes her teeth. You know, a few more scenes like this one and maybe the show wouldn’t be so bloody boring!

While she’s convulsing in the next room, a man breaks into her apartment and begins looking through her things. Jane gets rid of an earplug and hears someone rattling around in the other room. She spits out her toothpaste and puts on her game face.

Bam! Jane throws open the door to her living room and aims a gun at the intruder. Who turns out to be Riley. He’s acting nervous and guilty about something (like the fact that he picked her lock, or maybe because he can’t stop starring at her scantily clad body). Jane wants to know what he’s doing there, and she starts to get pissed when he won’t give her a direct answer. Personally, I think he’s there to get some protection from the toughest person he knows.

Riley: There was a break-in at the pharmacy close to where the paramedics were working on that homeless guy.
Jane: Junkies break into pharmacies every 10 minutes.
Riley: Yeah, but there weren’t any drugs stolen. At least not the kind of drugs you get high off of.

Hemoglobin accelerators. The paramedics used hemoglobin accelerators on the guy that was having the seizure.

Jane: So what are you saying, that the guy who had the seizure is the middleman?
Riley: Or he needed someone with some medical expertise to help him out. Doctors can’t operate on themselves, right?
Jane: Unless he had contact with Dr. Rafferty. He could have taken his medical knowledge.

Riley finally admits that he hoped Jane would come with him to case out a few pharmacies. Jane tells him that she knows he wants to be in the field, and she knows that he knows about her reputation as a rebel. But, she tells him, “not tonight.” She tells him that she’ll grab a drink with him another time and then gives him the boot.

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