There aren't many times when a job doesn’t go exactly as Nate planned. This week, things went very sideways as the team had to race to save Hardison’s life in "The Grave Danger Job."
Five minutes into the episode when Parker and Nate were talking about faith, I knew this was going to be an emotional rollercoaster ride for Parker.
I adored Beth Riesgraf's performance in showing Parker’s emotions that she hides so well normally. There were so many subtle body motions and facial expressions that spoke volumes if you were watching for them.
To summarize what we learned about Parker on this ride: She lost someone close to her when she was young, which has resulted in a slight crisis of faith, she doesn’t want to let anyone close because she doesn’t want to lose them, and Hardison means more to her than she is ready to admit (yet).
Did I forget any?The anticipation and tension around Parker’s feelings for Hardison built at a perfect pace throughout the episode and crescendo with Parker shouting Hardison’s first name (Alec) when she was trying to say how much he means to her, (she at least got out that she needs him). Unfortunately, the music hit a sour note and all of us hanging by our fingernails the whole time were left high and dry in the final scene between Hardison and Parker, when nothing was said and Hardison giving her a kiss on the cheek returned them to “quirky awkward silence” with him walking away right afterward.
REALLY?!? He nearly died and they didn’t even hug or give him a kiss back??? I call shenanigans!
This appears to be a case of the writers didn’t want to move them to the next stage in fear of ruining their chemistry. Anyone who watched Moonlighting can appreciate the delicate nature of this problem. But, come on, he nearly DIED and she is terrified of losing someone close to her, they would have had more of a reaction than a peck on the cheek!
It would have been much more of a Parker reaction to have been constantly near him or touching him (hand on his arm, leaning against him, etc), just to reassure herself that she hadn’t lost him. It would have been cute to see her being protective of him in the bar unnecessarily, then it could have been worked back into the goofy-silly-relationship they have now.
Okay, moving on. It was a refreshing episode given that we very rarely see any of the team members really in a life or death situation.
Nate did a fantastic job of keeping the team focused and using all of their skills to help find Hardison. Did anyone else catch Eliot’s reaction when he hugged Hardison? I love the way Eliot has grown to consider the team like a family and how protective he has become.
I hope that the growth can continue and at some point they allow Hardison and Parker to be a real couple and share real feelings. If we are going to be emotionally invested in the characters, they can spend forever stuck in neutral after showing some healthy growth!
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.