|The Berrisford Agenda|
|Season 2, Episode 11|
|Air date||January 18, 2002|
|Written by||Moira Kirland Dekker|
|Directed by||Thomas J. Wright|
While being haunted by music from the past, Alec must revisit one of his Manticore missions that went bad and resulted in the loss of his one true love. Max attempts to put the pieces of Alec's past together and upon discovery of the truth sets out to help him as best she can.
At Jam Pony, two girls are physically fighting over Alec who went out with both of them at the same time. Original Cindy says the girls want to “talk” to Alec, so he hightails it out of there on a run with Max. As they approach the house for the delivery, Alec has a flashback of being there before on a mission. He becomes very agitated as he rings the buzzer. When no one answers after about two seconds, he throws the package over the fence and yells at Max to leave. They leave without getting a signature which annoys Max but doesn’t surprise her.
Later, Max and Logan are in his car headed to a dinner party at Joshua’s. They’re running late because Max was late since the two girls quit because of their fight over Alec. Max blames Alec for their lateness. She begins to prepare Logan for a dinner party with Joshua, telling him things like, act natural and don’t stare. She warns him of Joshua’s eating habits and poor hygiene. Logan laughs her off saying he knows how to behave himself at a dinner party.
At Joshua’s, Original Cindy is there already helping Joshua get ready. Max and Logan arrive, and Logan is clearly uncomfortable (despite the fact that he has previously interacted with Joshua.) He offers Joshua the wine he brought and says he hopes it will go well with dinner. Joshua says we’re having macaroni and cheese with little hot dogs! Alec joins them, and they all sit down to eat.
The rest of the guests can’t help but notice Joshua’s “animalistic” table manners, but once Joshua catches a look from Max, he calms them down. Joshua tries to start some dinner conversation by bringing up how nice the weather is. Logan says it’s nice—there hasn’t been a lot of rain, which is unusual. Joshua then leans into Logan and asks, “Virus b**** going down? Max and Logan getting busy? Logan starts laughing very hard and glances at Max, saying, “We’re looking for… working on it…” Joshua howls and Original Cindy says no sex or politics at the dinner table. Logan looks at Max, and Max says, “We’ll see what happens…”
Suddenly, Alec, who’s been rather quiet and pensive, leaves the table to stretch his legs. Max and Original Cindy bring up the girls from Jam Pony again and how they have to work double shifts for the rest of the week now. Logan defends Alec’s dating situation, and Joshua grunts in agreement. Original Cindy looks at Logan and Joshua and says, “Men, dogs. Same diff.”
In the basement, Alec uncovers a piano and has a flashback of his mission to the house from earlier. He sits down and begins to play a Chopin’s Etude in E from memory (quite well.) He remembers learning to play the piano at Manticore, becoming a concert pianist after one day of lessons. Serving as a piano teacher would be his undercover role. He remembers killing a man (presumably the real piano teacher) and arriving at the house where he introduces himself as Simon Lehane. At Manticore, he was told his target would be Robert Berrisford, and he was to get close to his daughter, Rachel Berrisford, as her piano teacher. Back in the present, Alec holds a heart-shaped locket in his hands. He flashes back again to seeing a car blow up and screaming, “No!!”
Joshua approaches Alec and puts his hand on his shoulder, breaking Alec’s reverie. Startled, Alec grabs Joshua into a choke hold until Max pulls him off. Max asks if he’s all right, and he says, “Yeah, I’m always all right.” Joshua picks up the locket where Alec dropped it and hands it to him. Max notices the locket.
Alec leaves Joshua’s and returns to his house where he starts drinking. His cell phone rings, and he hears Etude in E being played on a piano when he answers. He returns to the Berrisford house and sneaks up to the house where he sees a shadow of a woman in the window. Another flashback—the people at Manticore are telling him fine work, and he tells them he has an invitation from Rachel to a dinner party. They tell him to play along. Later at the party, Rachel and Alec sneak away from the party to the pool room. They’re flirting shamelessly, and Rachel invites him to go for a swim. Alec agrees, so they undress and get into the pool. Rachel admits to him that she’s been throwing herself at him, if he hasn’t noticed. Alec says he likes her, then kisses her. As the kiss ends, he says he likes her a lot.
The next day at Jam Pony, Normal is barking out orders to his slacking staff, but no one seems to care. Max arrives, and Normal sends her back to the Berrisford house to get a signature. When Max arrives at the house, she sees a portrait on the wall with a girl wearing the locket that Alec had.
At his house, Alec is sitting on the floor holding the locket. He has another flashback, remembering when he copied files from Robert Berrisford’s computer. As he was finishing, he is caught by Rachel, but he distracts her by flirting and kissing her. She confesses that she loves him. Alec is clearly affected by her admission, and she asks if he’s okay because he’s shaking. He says he’s just happy. Back in the present, Alec goes to wash his face, but when he looks up he sees a vision of Rachel behind him in the mirror. She disappears, and he punches the mirror.
Later at Crash, Original Cindy wonders what’s up with Alec. Max goes to see if he’s okay and asks about the locket, but Alec wants her to stay out of it. Max offers to help him even though they don’t get along; she asks him to explain because she wants to understand. Alec fires back that since she ran, she can’t understand; it got worse after she left. Manticore made him forget or at least quit caring. He just wants Max to leave him alone.
Alec leaves Crash, and two men follow him. One calls out the name Simon Lehane, and Alec turns around. They attack him, but Alec is able to fight back until they shock him. Max sees him being attacked and runs to help out. Once the men leave, Alec pushes Max away and tells her to stay away. As Alec is walking down the street, his phone rings, and he hears Etude in E playing again when he answers. He has another flashback of turning in the computer files to Manticore and being told to send a message to all their enemies by taking out Berrisford and his daughter.
At Logan’s, Max and Logan look up information about Robert Berrisford. They discover that Berrisford worked for a pharmaceutical company until someone planted a bomb in his car. He’s still alive, but he went under federal protection and quit the company. Max and Logan realize the connection to Manticore, and Max realizes the men who attacked Alec are after him for the assassination attempt. Since Alec’s training will prompt him to take out the men as soon as possible, Max goes after Alec to stop him from doing anything stupid.
Flashback—Alec is meeting with Berrisford who says he’ll be discontinuing the piano lessons; Rachel’s going away. Rachel enters to collect Alec/Simon for her piano lesson and gives her dad a hug. At Manticore, Alec tries to reason with his superiors that it’s unnecessary to kill Rachel. They order him to move forward. He builds the bomb and places it under Berrisford’s car, but he’s struggling with completing this mission. He keeps remembering Rachel saying she loves him. He runs into the house to find Rachel and tells her to get out of town. When she doesn’t understand, he’s forced to confess who he is and that he’s been on a job this whole time. Rachel slaps him and runs out of the house to her father’s car. The car explodes, and Alec yells, “Rachel!” Apparently, Manticore superiors detonated the bomb. They pull up to pick up Alec and take him back to Manticore where he’s conditioned to forget the mission.
Back in the present, Alec approaches the Berrisford house, jumps the fence, and breaks into the house. He knocks out two guards and runs upstairs to the room where he saw the shadow of the woman. The woman turns, and it’s not Rachel. Alec yells, “Where is she?” A gun cocks behind his head; Berrisford is behind him. He forces Alec into a chair, and Alec realizes he was lured there so Berrisford could kill him. It turns out, Rachel saved her father by getting him out of the car, but the blast knocked her unconscious. She went into a coma where she’s been for the last two years, slowly dying. Alec asks Berrisford to kill him. Berrisford aims the gun at Alec, but struggles to pull the trigger. Suddenly, he’s knocked out by Max. Alec is not necessarily pleased; he’d told Max to leave him alone.
Alec finds Rachel’s room where she’s lying in a coma. As tears fall down his cheeks, he says, “I should have tried harder, should have fought harder. I didn’t understand.” Sobbing, he returns the locket to her hand and lays his head on her chest. Max observes from the door.
The next day at Logan’s, Max stops by. Logan shows her the article about Rachel’s death, and Max is glad Alec had the chance to say goodbye and that he loved her. Logan states that Max should look out for Alec since he’ll be having rough time, but Max knows Alec doesn’t want her looking out for him. Logan ponders that Alec sounds like a girl he knew once who wanted no responsibilities, no entanglements. Max responds that the girl thought if she ran far enough and fast enough, she’d forget; only, it catches up with you, and she learned it the hard way. Now it will be Alec’s turn.
Alec is standing in front of Rachel’s grave at the cemetery when Berrisford joins him. Berrisford wanted to kill him, but he also still wants Rachel to be proud of him. He doesn’t want to be like Alec. He orders Alec never to come there again, and Alec walks away.
At Jam Pony, Alec has finally returned to work, and Max offers to be there to listen. Smirking, Alec wonders why he would need to talk. Max asks, “You all right?” Alec replies, I'm always all right.”
- Throughout the first scene at Jam Pony, Alec is wearing a low-necked t-shirt. Anytime the back of his neck is turned to the camera (however briefly), his barcode is not there.
- "Etude in E" "by Chopin is the song that Alec plays from memory at Joshua's', and the song that also haunts him later in the episode.
- When Alec failed his mission, he's brought back to Manticore to be conditioned to forget it. Since he had Rachel's locket in his hand at the time, it is highly unlikely that he had the chance to hide it, or to have kept it during the conditioning. Still, the locket is in his pocket a few hours after he and Max went to the Berrisford's to deliver a package.
- When Rachel's headstone is shown, her birthdate is 1/15/2002 & her date of death is 10/21/2020. This means she was 18. The events leading to her being in a coma purportedly took place 2 years before, which means she was 16. During the show, they explicitly state she was 17. The wording could be vague, but it's more likely a goof.
- The headstone date of death is erroneous, as the earlier episode "Boo" depicted Halloween 2020. This episode took place in early 2021.
- When Max and Alec stop their bikes at the gate of the house they're delivering a package to, you can see the back of Alec's neck very clearly and his barcode is missing.
- This episode was previously titled "Pain Boy" when it was in production.
- Original Cindy: Marina and Little Suki are having an old-fashioned throw-down.
- Sketchy: Yeah, Normal’s back there trying to break it up.
- Max: Good luck. Either one of those girls can kick his skinny little ass on their own, not to mention a tag team.
- Max: You think they encouraged dating within your unit at Manticore? They didn’t.
- Logan: Aside from the whole breeding partner thing.
- Max: Oh, totally different situation. And also, may I add, disgusting.
- Logan Cale (about Alec): He’s going to be going through a rough time. Might want to look out for him the next few days.
- Max: He doesn’t want me looking out for him. He wants to be left alone, pretend like it never happened. He’s so cut off.
- Logan: Sounds like this girl I used to know.
- Alec: You can't understand; you weren't there. You ran. You and your little rugrat brothers and sisters. You think life was rough when we were ten? A little schooling, a little brainwashing, some maneuvers outside? You think that was tough? Take it from me. Later on, it got a whole lot worse. But you did what you had to do. Then you tried to forget. And when you couldn't forget, they had ways of making you not care.
- Max: I'm sorry.
- Alec: I don't want your pity. I want your absence.
- Original Cindy: Never seen him like this - anguished and all Heathcliff-like. No wonder the straight women fall for the tortured types.
- This is a reference Emily Bronte's novel "Wuthering Heights", about Heathcliff and Catherine's tragic and all-encompassing love. Heathcliff's passion for Catherine is so dark and sinister that he becomes hellbent on destroying the happiness of all people around him.
- The jazzy piece that Rachel (Alex's music student) starts playing is called "Linus and Lucy". It was used for the titles and as background for many of the early Peanuts primetime specials starting in the 60s, like A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was originally performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, as was all the music for those early specials.
|previous: Brainiac||The Berrisford Agenda||next: Borrowed Time|
Designate This • Bag 'Em • Proof of Purchase • Radar Love • Boo • Two • Some Assembly Required • Gill Girl • Medium is the Message • Brainiac • The Berrisford Agenda • Borrowed Time • Harbor Lights • Love in Vein • Fuhgeddaboudit • Exposure • Hello, Goodbye • Dawg Day Afternoon • She Ain't Heavy • Love Among the Runes • Freak Nation
|See Also: Season 1 • Season 2 • All Episodes|