Episode 10 titled “Shades of Grey” was one of my two favorite episodes this season. The episode had a lot of elements that I have been hoping the show would eventually introduce. The episode was mainly about relationships. I’ve always thought that relationships are what keeps viewers interested. It’s what gets viewers engaged with the characters and into the show. It’s the reason that good soap operas are on the air for 50 plus years. If you look at shows like Grey’s Anatomy that have been on season after season. It’s a show all about relationships with the whole medical thing thrown in on the side.
This episode was all about relationships. Raven’s relationships old and new. When Raven’s old boyfriend and former black hat partner finds her. We see Raven face her old relationship and choose her new relationships. Both with Brody and with the cyber team. Her old boyfriend Jackson says that the FBI will never trust her. When Avery testifies, at Raven’s 5K1 hearing, that she believes Raven needs more time with the cyber division it hurts Raven. How will that affect Raven’s relationship with Avery and essentially the team. Brody and Raven talk during the episode exploring and furthering their own relationship. Raven asks Brody what he wants to do when he finishes his sentence with the cyber team. While Brody wants to stay with the cyber unit and pictures both of them working together. Raven wants to have her own life back and has been thinking about joining the private sector with her skills. After Raven sets up Jackson and he is cuffed and taken away. Brody tells her that he is sorry she had to do it. He knows that Jackson is special to her and Raven replies that “he is her past she wants something different for the future”.
Elijah’s relationship with his wife runs into problems. When they discover wierd charges on their debit card. Elijah remembers that he left the debit card at the bar once. The bartender Nina said she closed out his tab and gave him back the card. He approaches her about the charges but she denies it and asks if he has proof. Later in the episode when he gets home he finds out that Nina is his wife’s friend from spin class. Nina says hello and tells his wife that Elijah stopped by her bar at nights. Nina also talks about how he confided in her when he found out his dad had cancer. This leads to his wife being clearly suspicous of Elijah and what kind of relationship he might have with Nina. Which is clearly the reason behind Nina showing up there. Nina was interested in Elijah and when she asked him out to coffee Elijah made it clear that he was married. Now Nina seems to be playing some kind of vengeful game with him. I have to say she must have cojones to be doing that to an FBI agent.
What I love is how this episode sets up so many possibilities for future episodes. Raven had the seed planted by Jackson that the cyber team still doesn’t trust her. The look and subsequent argument between her and Avery after the 5K1 hearing shows she was hurt by Avery’s testimony at the trial. In upcoming episodes do we see this playing out with her being less focused and not giving her full support to the team. Perhaps she starts defending the hackers they are chasing. Raven and Brody’s relationship could become stressed by it or Raven could influence Brody as well. I really hope it leads to something in the upcoming episodes because there was obviously a change in Avery and Raven’s relationship. Raven setting up Jackson could eventually lead to an unforseen backlash. Jackson could get in touch with other hackers or maybe he gets out on a technicality and sets out for revenge. An episode where hackers or Jackson setup Raven as a scapegoat for a hack. Would play nicely into the stressed relationship between Raven and Avery. It also plays into the idea of whether or not the team trusts Raven. Also Raven could become angry that Jackson wasn’t arrested while she is still serving her sentence. The trouble between Elijah and his wife because of Nina is obviously going to be dealt with in future episodes. I’m excited for the possibilities of where this might also lead.
The things that stood out to me and got me excited in this episode. There was mention of Python when Elijah asked Daniel if Python could have been the one that hacked the ABM machine. I’ve said before that CSI: Cyber needs a hacker adversary that spans multiple episodes. Python seems to be that adversary and after Episode 8 when he was introduced there haven’t been any mentions of him. I loved that the hacker of the bank system was a grey hat. DB says he’s never gone after a grey hat before while Avery says the damage that his hack created made him just as dangerous as any black hat. I would have loved a deeper dive into how the team feels and deals with a grey hat who was trying to do something good. We got more back story on Raven helping us to know the character better. When her old boyfriend Jackson finds her we get a bit of insight into her old life. The flashback of her first day at the FBI cyber offices was awesome. She had a very gothic look and quite an attitude. It was funny seeing her first meeting with Daniel who she called “Beardo”. Then when she talks in her 5K1 hearing we hear about her leaving home at 15 and becoming a hacker. I’ve actually never really paused the video during the social media posts in past episodes but this time I noticed the screen names and they are hilarious. In this episode there were @boss929, @clickyy, @akalex and my two favorites @ellemental and @tonythehomie lol. In the episode Jackson hacks Raven’s phone remotely via the digital assistant. A method that does exist though obviously for the show they made some changes. In real life the hack is not as undetectable since most phones give audio or physical feedback when it is performing the commands. The episode seemed to be primarily about Raven which made sense because with her 5K1 hearing there was a possibility of her ending her time at the cyber team. Because of this we got lots of moments between her and Brody. We see Brody almost telling her that he would miss her if she wasn’t on the team anymore. Brody trying to comfort her after she had to setup Jackson in a sting. There was a funny scene when Brody watches Raven talking to Jackson during the sting. He is obviously uncomfortable when she tells Jackson that she’s always loved him. Elijah reminds Brody that she is just playing her part in the setup. Brody looks confused that Elijah knows and Avery says “you two are the worst kept secret in DC”. A few things that didn’t make sense to me in this episode. Why is Raven still calling Brody by his last name? They have been in a relationship and spending lots of time together. I just find it hard to believe that she woudn’t be calling him by his first name. When the team finally catch the hacker that hacked the banking system. He explains that he did it because the banks were efectively scamming customers and making money from fees. The bank used a practice called cheque re-ordering where they process the largest cheques first so that other cheques get rejected because of insufficient funds causing a $35 fee for each cheque. He said that he approached his manager about it and got dismissed. Avery asks why he didn’t approach law enforcement. Which doesn’t make sense because if the banks aren’t doing anything illegal. There is nothing law enforcement could do about the complaint. The biggest problem I had with the episode was that after the hearing Raven had to complete her full sentence with the FBI cyber team. She has already completed 2 years of the sentence before the hearing. It seemed like the fact that she would have to finish the entire sentence was disappointing. Then Avery says that she will have to be there for the next 2 years. This seemed to be too short of a timeframe to me for her to be upset. She’s already done 2 years so another 2 years just doesn’t seem like a big deal in comparison. I think they should have made it a longer timeframe like 5 or 10 years to really make it a big deal that the hearing was a failure.
Apart from those minor issues I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. It setup things to potentially play out in future episodes. I’m also very excited to see how or if the relationship between Raven and Avery will be strained.