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

Riding the rails — The next day, Connolly’s train is running right on schedule, and the Geek Squad members are all in their positions, Mission Impossible-style. In case you were wondering, Jane’s job, so far, is to take out the two security guys on the train. And she looks very dykey in her black knit cap and flannel shirt while she does it.

Everyone does their thing, and the team executes the theft of the rail car without a hitch.

Behind door number one — Jane and The Ugly One enter the stolen car and spy a giant “electrostatic pulse” carrying a 15,000-volt charge (aka a bug zapper for humans). The pulse is protecting the safe that the Squad is supposed to crack open, and I think we all know that Jane is going to be taking yet another one for the team in this situation.

The Ugly One gives her a gadget to affix to the junction box charging the pulse. If she can do that, the thing will fry itself out. Unfortunately, getting to it might just turn Jane into a very pretty piece of toast. After a brief protest that her part of the mission is “unacceptable,” Andre reminds her that they’re doing it all for Riley — a nice little passive-aggressive jab suggesting that if she had gone to the pharmacy that night with Riley, maybe he wouldn’t have gotten his mind warped in the first place!

The Ugly One wishes Jane luck, and she barks a “bite me” in his general direction before hurling herself at the junction box. Sparks fly, then Jane flies through the air and lands on her back with smoke rising from her barbequed flannel shirt. But she’ll be OK (and maybe now we won’t have to see that fugly shirt again). Andre and The Ugly One crack open the vault and find a painting inside, sealed in bubble wrap and bearing a “Fine Art, Handle with Care” sticker.

Simon’s pad — Cut to Simon standing before the stolen painting, now mounted on the wall over the fireplace. He’s waxing poetic while Andre and Jane stand waiting to chip him.

Simon: I was 10 years old when I sat for this painting. He was completely unknown at the time. My dad lost his business, and he was forced to sell it. Who knew it would eventually be worth millions. The funny thing is that I never really liked it. I was always embarrassed when my friends came over and saw it. But when it was taken away, I always felt that a piece of me was taken away. When I heard it was being shipped to another city for a showing, I knew it was my chance.
Jane: To experience life as it was?
Simon: One more time, before I died.

Andre asks why he stole Dr. Rafferty’s knowledge rather than just going to a hospital. Simon says (heh) that he watched his father die in a hospital and he wasn’t about to go that way himself. Jane wants to know if it was worth it — this moment. Simon isn’t sure, but he can tell them — duh — that it’s not like it was before, and he’s not like he was before.

Simon wearily takes a seat and announces his readiness to be chipped, but Jane can’t bring herself to do it. Andre is all to happy to finish the job, and before he leaves he warns Simon that now he’s basically on permanent probation.

Home again, home again — Andre casually asks Jane if her burns have healed, and she grudgingly admits that they mostly have.

Jane: Which is more than I can say for every stitch of clothing I had on. You know, I go through a lot of clothes on this job. Maybe the agency might think of compensating —
Andre: No.
Jane: Just thought I’d throw it out there …

McDorky interrupts their friendly discussion about Jane’s expense report when he enters with Riley. Only he’s not smiling, and neither is Riley.

McDorky: Simon seems to have given Riley back his thoughts, but there seems to be a bit of a problem. He seems to know his name and that he works here, but when I checked the logic side of his brain with some simple questions … seven minus one?
Riley: Seven minus one is … zero. Seven minus one is zero!
Heartbreaker Maureen: Seven minus one is not zero.
Riley: Hmm. Well, it depends on how you quantify the equation. Seven people on this team, minus one of me, equals six zeros. And since six times zero equals zero, without me …
Joe: We’re nothing.
Riley: Now there’s a smart man. Stephen Hawking ain’t got nothing on Riley Jensen, baby.

Hardee har. The team is all smiles now. That McDorky really had us going! Sheesh.

This property is condemned — Back at Simon’s shambles of a home, he’s just where Andre and Jane left him: staring at the painting with a blank expression on his face.

Vasco V.O.: Like I said, appearances are deceiving. What makes people special isn’t always what you see on the outside. Unless you’re a nudist maybe, but that’s not the point.

Jane enters the room and tells Simon: “It really is beautiful, you know. You were beautiful.”

Vasco V.O.: The point is, whatever makes us different — love or hate it — that’s what makes us who we are. You take that away—

Simon tells her that he’d thought he would feel a sense of loss when his power was gone, but he feels very much the same.

Simon: Or am I the same? That chip gun, you put a blank in it.
Jane: Don’t read too much into it.
Simon: When the hunters realize that they’ve become the hunted …
Jane: You got what you wanted! You can spend the rest of your own days in your own home.
Simon: And intact.
Jane: Don’t believe you know everything about me. We’re monitoring you. You take one step off these premises, and we’ll kill you.

Jane stomps out of the house so she can continue her interminable voice-over in private.

Vasco V.O.: Was I surprised that Andre McBride did something that Andre McBride never does: Give a neuro a break? Yes. It even crossed my mind then maybe he’d been neuroed. But then after about nine glasses of wine, it came to me. Andre is just as conflicted about what we do as I am. Only difference is, he can’t say it. He can’t show it. With his one simple, beautiful gesture, Agent McBride just became an open book. Goodbye Simon, I’ll miss you. And don’t even think about screwing me over.

Next time on Painkiller Jane: A neuro who sees the future sends messages to Jane. Maybe he knows something about the fate of her crappy TV show.


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