This recap of Amazon’s original series The Terminal List season 1, episode 2, “Encoding,” contains spoilers.
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The list of terminals summary of season 1, episode 2
The episode begins with Reece being interrogated by the police, followed by the burial of his wife and daughter. A man, Marco (Marco Del Toro), takes Reece to meet Ben and Liz (stranger thingsof Tyner Rushing), during an impromptu vigil on the beach with a bomb fire. My first thought when the men tried to kill Reece at the clinic was that one of them was Ben, but he has no bruises or defensive wounds on his arms or body.
Eventually, Reece wants to leave and goes home. He now has a series of flashbacks of his wife and daughter. He thinks back to the scene where the bird hit the window. This turns into the disappearance of Reece’s wife and daughter, and he sees someone in another part of his house through the large glass windows. He pulls out his gun and finds a man in his daughter’s room – that man is Reece. His hands are up, holding a service weapon, but there is no weapon in his hands. NCIS then shows up at his home, discussing a discrepancy with the safe that Reece placed his gun that night. They think it must be the one in the garage, but Reece insists it was the one in his bedroom.
Reece requests a meeting with Admiral Pillar. He tells her that NCIS shouldn’t be involved in this case. It should be counterintelligence. The Admiral scoffs at the idea of Reece insisting that it must be the terrorist he was supposed to capture. The Admiral has had enough. He tells Reece that he is flying away. They went to fight with him over the Donnie Mitchell fiasco (since the final scenes of the pilot, Reece retracted that original statement) and embarrassed them. The Admiral then goes too far. He tells Reece, first he couldn’t protect his unit, and now he couldn’t save his own family. It was a big mistake. He puts the old man in the wall. He does not strike, lets him go and leaves the office.
The next scene follows NCIS Detective Josh Holder (Warren Kole) who is approached by Buranek. She throws Reece under the bus, telling him he pointed his gun at her. She did this to gain access to the crime scene, then told him he was acting strangely, but not enough to warrant concern about his killing spree. He shows her the clinic. The doctor was killed, but no blood or body was left behind by the CT scan machine, as Reece said. There are no cameras in the clinic due to patient privacy. (However, most have them in the waiting room or at least security in parking lots). So why isn’t he arrested, asks the journalist?
Because nothing adds up, says the NCIS detective. Reece has a stab wound, but there’s no woman. They have security footage at his home showing him calmly leaving for the clinic and looking genuinely scared, rushing home later that night. Katie then runs to Reece’s home to tell him the news. He makes her a deal that if he can see the police report she has, he will sign a medical records release to review the CT scan information. He gives her a faraday bag to put a smartphone in and a flip phone to text her only due to government surveillance.
Later that night, he revisits the report and explains how Holder was first on the scene at the clinic. He looks at his face on the computer and finds a picture of him on social media. Reece puts his fingers above and below his eyes, then remembers those same eyes of the man whose mask he removed. He gets up, frightened by the rush of adrenaline. He turns over the picture his daughter drew and writes the names of the NCIS detectives on the back of the paper. (I assume this is the list of terminals). Reece thinks Holder was one of the killers. He then has a nightmare (or was it a real memory?) about holding the gun to his head at the clinic and waking up.
The Secretary of Defense also visits Reece and informs him that Syrian terrorist Kahani was not the man behind the killings but is no longer a threat. Reece then sees the story on the news. Kahani, the man behind the murder of 12 Navy Seals, has been killed. So does that mean Reece was wrong, or are the superiors covering their tracks?
Reece scouts Holder’s house and practices infiltrating it. He asks Ben to follow Holder so he can sneak in and copy his files from his computer. However, Ben found even better news. Holder accessed Reece’s biometrics two days before his family was murdered. Which means he entered his fingerprints to gain access to the safe. His CIA friend gives him Boozer’s favorite gun and tells him about the girls. He sneaks into Holder’s house and wakes him up with a silencer in his mouth. Reece looks at his arms and there are no stab wounds. (Remember, the plot of the show here is that Pratt’s character is an unreliable witness). However, when he puts his wrists in the handcuffs and raises his arms above his head, Holder begins to sob and tells him that a man named “Saul Agnon” is the one paying him to do things.
That’s when Holder acts. He punches Reece over the head, and when he’s about to do it again for good measure, Reese raises the .45 caliber and shoots Holder under the chin, and we see blood spurt like a Jackson Pollock on the whole wall above his bed. . Reese cuts the plastic handcuffs, wipes the gun clean, and makes it look like a suicide.
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