Human Target – Pilot

by Alan Rapp on January 25, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Human Target – Pilot
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“I’m your vest.”

Human Target - Pilot

Based on the Vertigo comic of the same name, Human Target had an all-too brief two-season run before it’s cancellation in 2011 (due mostly to some ill-conceived shake-ups and changes between Season One and Season Two). Mark Valley starred as a former soldier, mercenary, and assassin with a wide range of skills and abilities now working for the good guys by offering his services as a private contractor and bodyguard to those in danger by blending into the background and using the client as bait to draw out the target. The “Pilot” episode not only informs us about Christopher Chance, his recklessness, and unique business model but also the two key recurring characters who will play major roles over the show’s 25 episode run.

In the show’s first episode (one of the best pilot episodes I’ve seen in how it chooses to sell its characters and premise) Chance, after spending four weeks resting due to injuries caused by blowing up half a building to rescue his last client from a hostage situation, is hired by the designer (Tricia Helfer) of the city’s new bullet train. Given the incentive of riding the train, Chance overrules his buttoned-down business partner Winston (Chi McBride) spending the rest of the episode saving the woman’s life from an assassin (Mike Desabrais) and a runaway train that threatens to crash and kill everyone on board.

Along with providing plenty of action that leaves the hero bruised and bleeding (a common theme of the show), the “Pilot” also explores Chance’s relationships with Winston, a retired cop and front-facing man of their unusual business, and Guerrero, a shadow figure from Chance’s past with his own unique skills, informed knowledge, and scary demeanor (in the first episode Guerrero scares off two thugs paid to rough him up by threatening the lives of each man’s family by name). While Chance gets along with each separately, Winston and Guerrero can’t stand each other which (because the two are so often thrown together to delve into a case while Chance protects the client) allows for their bickering to continue to grow throughout the show’s run.

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