A. N. - Purgatory was breath-taking. While I don't agree with most of Eames' rant in the interrogation room, it was beautifully done by Kathryn Erbe, who, along with Vincent, is one of the most under-rated actors of this generation. While I don't want to see their eventual reconciliation tossed off like it was after "The War at Home" with Ross asking, Is everything all right now? I hope to see them back to their tightly forged partnership by the end of the season - And I wish I owned them, but I don't. I deal.
Thursday evening found him seated in his usual spot at the neighborhood bar.
He bore little resemblance to the person who had been sitting there nearly three weeks before, when he had been unceremoniously yanked from his stool and tossed against the wall by Patrick Copa. His hair was neatly trimmed; while he wasn't exactly clean shaven, his beard was much less than it had been; his casual clothes - jeans, a gray, long-sleeved Henley pullover thermal shirt, and leather jacket - were clean and pressed. In outward appearance, he gave the impression that his life was back on track; the unkempt, disheveled and disgraced suspended cop had been replaced by an off-duty MCS detective, gold shield tucked into his jacket pocket where he could occasionally touch it like a talisman, his tether to the reality of the job that was the definition of most of his life.
There were changes internally, as well. Now, instead of replaying snippets of the memories of the torture he had endured at Tates, and the subsequent hearing before the disciplinary board that had stripped him all but naked, taking the badge behind which he succeeded (most of the time, anyway) in hiding his insecurities, preferring to deal with them as much as possible by dedicating his life to the service and protection of those who couldn't protect themselves – now, those scenes were replaced by another, with much more devastating and far-reaching consequences than anything that had happened to him since the onset of his mother's illness -
"You're sorry? That's all you have to say to me?" -
"I get it. You're the genius, and I get to carry your water" -
"All of your wounds are self-inflicted - "
"I hope it was worth it - Detective" -
Taking a sip of his beer, he replaced the glass on the bar, scrubbing at his face with both hands before folding his arms and leaning on the bar, staring into the amber depths of the liquid. When Stoat had approached him with his offer of "security work", walking away and leaving him with a gun to replace the one taken along with his badge, he hadn't known at first what to do. Five, nearly six months of inactivity, and the traumatic events preceding it, had made him somewhat sluggish, and was compounded by the uncertainty of and worry about his future with the NYPD. The only thing he was sure of was that he couldn't call Eames; he had dragged her into enough of the melodrama of his life; and he couldn't be certain he wasn't being set up or tested in some way by the Chief of Ds. If he was right, her involvement would finish her career right along with his, and he cared about her too much to do her any further harm. After (yet another) sleepless night, alternating between pacing his living room and staring at the newspaper-wrapped weapon passed to him by Stoat, he decided his best course of action was to contact Ross. And the rest, as they say, was history.
He hadn't expected an undercover operation taking Testarossa down, and in the process Mike Stoat and his former partner, to be the price for just the possibility of regaining his badge. He hadn't expected Eames to be in any way involved in the operation – when they met on the street and she told him she had caught the tourist case, his heart leapt into his throat, and he couldn't get away from her fast enough, knowing he couldn't lie to her and not really wanting to. He'd called Ross as soon as he could put some distance between himself and Eames, almost begging him to be allowed to at least tell her, but the answer had been no. The Chief had refused to allow him or Ross to tell Eames, probably because the fewer who knew Goren was undercover, the easier it would be to throw Goren (or his reputation, if he didn't survive) to the wolves if things went wrong. And God help him, he'd been so desperate – desperate to have his badge back, his dignity, his work — and Eames. So he'd gritted his teeth and kept on, hoping against hope that it would all come right in the end.
He hadn't been prepared for the astonishment, quickly turning to anguish, he saw in her eyes when she burst into Testarossa's office with the team of arresting officers. He'd known she'd be angry when she found out he was undercover – but the depth of that anger stunned him. "I hope it was worth it - Detective" -
Finishing his beer, he dropped some cash on the bar to cover his tab and left. Walking back to his apartment in the chill drizzle that had started to fall, he slipped his hand into his pocket, fingering the gold-plated metal that defined so much of who and what he was. Was it worth it? Shaking his head to himself, the thought played through his head, over and over – "Not if Eames is the price".