Luckily, the Post Office gang is on top of it because homeboy is in desperate need of some locating. Garvey gets him to call Red and tell him that he “did what you hired me to do,” but Red already has his spy outside of Garvey’s hideout. Unfortunately, Red is still 20 minutes away and Tom is basically swimming in a pool of his former accomplices’ blood now. So when Garvey and most of his guards leave to go meet Red at the dummy location Tom gave him, Tom manages to use a wood-chipped scrap of Lena’s necklace to cut his zip-tie binds, take down a handful of guards, and set out into the woods.
And through sheer power of will, he busts out of those woods and onto the road just as Dembe and Red are zooming past. Red throws open the door and yells, “Tom!” And with gunmen running up behind him, Tom hesitates. (Tom don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts Tom — except Lizzie, who’s pretty sure he just left his phone at the Trader Joe’s checkout counter again!) But after getting shot in the shoulder, Tom decides to join his father-in-law in the car. And Daddy just can’t help himself: “I warned you about this damn suitcase — now look at you.”
It’s not just Tom that’s banged up; Dembe’s car takes a few hits too, so the trio is forced to pull over. They make their way through the woods to a farmhouse knowing that Garvey will be closing in on them soon, but needing to find supplies and a vehicle. Plus: flashbacks! To get to the end of Tom’s story, we start at the beginning, with the Major giving young Tom an assignment from an important client, a folder containing all the information he’ll need on his target, Elizabeth Keen. Tom thinks she’s cute. “Your job is to be the friend of a friend,” the Major tells him. “Not to get involved with her, you get that?”
He did not get that. Another flashback shows the Major telling Tom — back in the Warby Ps, baby! — that the contractor is livid. Then we’re back in the present, where that livid contractor is still livid; if my calculations are correct, at this point, the spy Red hired to keep an eye on Liz without getting too close has married her on no fewer than three separate occasions. It’s an understatement when Red explains why he can’t trust Tom: “I hired you to do a job, the rules were explicit, and you violated them.”
Tom understands the sentiment, but it doesn’t change the fact that he fell in love with Liz all those year ago. “You’ve always seen my relationship [with Liz] as a zero sum game,” Red tells Tom. “You think what’s good for me is bad for her and what’s good for her is bad for me.” Red is certain everyone is better off not knowing what’s in the suitcase. Tom is certain Liz should know the truth (y’know, once it’s gone through him of course). And Liz is just trying to figure out where the hell her husband and dad are, following clues like Tom’s car and a destroyed hotel room. From what they find, the Post Office puts together that Tom must be going after whoever is responsible for Dr. Nik’s death. Which is certainly part of the story…
The other part is that Garvey and his cronies have now arrived at the farmhouse, ready to kill Tom and Red and take back the most important bones in the world. Dembe wedges himself down into the car he was working on in the garage, and Tom and Red hide in the attic until the time is right. Which is, of course, to say, until the time that one of Tom’s many bleeding wounds drips through the vents, alerting the men that their prey are upstairs, leading to a shootout. Dembe runs over the dude outside, Red shoots everyone in their path out to the car, and Tom whips up a couple of Molotov cocktails to throw in their vehicles on the way out. Not bad for a team that claims not to trust each other.
In that vein, once in relative safety, driving away from the farmhouse, Tom asks if maybe they should “put a stake” in their clichéd father-in-law versus son-in-law battle. But Red isn’t playing games with this whippersnapper. He takes it a step further and bares his soul, telling Tom that he was deep in the Andes when he learned of Tom and Liz’s (first) engagement. He came back to the States in a rage, showed up at their wedding, and…saw how happy Liz was; how happy Tom made her. “I’m a violent man — a terrible, powerful, violent man,” Red tells Tom. “But the way she looked at you, the way she loves you…I’m powerless against that.”
Presumably, Red actively keeps himself from killing Tom because he knows Liz would never forgive him, and that’s something his love for her would not allow for. I wonder what she’ll thing of Red’s involvement in the suitcase that’s about to get Tom killed…
The suitcase that Red just opened up when Tom went inside a gas station to get cleaned up, only to discover it was full o’ guns, rather than bones. That’s right, Tom has transitioned to a much sportier bag-o-bones, escaping to Union Station with the former contents of Red’s suitcase now in a duffle bag. By this point, Liz has made her way to Garvey’s hideout with the human-stew-covered tarp, and is absolutely losing her mind thinking Tom is an ingredient in that stew, so rather than calling her immediately upon his escape, Tom tucks away in a well-lit nook for some light reading. He opens the hilariously labeled “DNA RESULTS” folder he swiped and cycles through every emoji on the “smileys” tab. (Recap continues on page 3)