Synopsis: Issue 3 opens with an SNN News account of the odd events leading to the death of Dan’s father, correspondent Gardner Grove. Grove perished, the report says, while reporting from a combat zone in the “war-torn country of Quintana Roo”, losing his life to save some children. Dan and Crackerjack are watching this at the Trinity Building when suddenly, Salvo stumbles in, assisted by Satin. His hands are injured, and as Satin tends to his wounds, Scabbard appears on TV, interrupting the broadcast to announce that he has Marietta Salvotini on a train full of passengers, and he will trade his hostages for U.S. President William Martin. Scabbard has placed an explosive device on Mrs. Salvotini, which is connected to a triggering device implanted in the terrorist’s palm, in order to secure the Seven Seconds’ cooperation. He states that he will wait one hour for media representative Dan Grove, which makes the reason for his recruitment by Angie obvious to Tony, and he tells him so in no uncertain terms. Dan, however, is reluctant and afraid, and after a hostile exchange with Salvo, is startled to see the bandages unwind themselves from Tony’s suddenly healed hands, and form the outlines of Angie’s face. She says simply and forcefully: “You WILL help us to save our mother.”
When he comes to, he is in Data’s Rolls. Data gives him a one-way train ticket to L.A. and drops him off at the Church of St. Jude, where Beaker Parish meets him at the door and invites him to confess. Angie’s face forms in a stained glass window as she watches them go inside.
Meanwhile, the other Seconds put their plan in motion, Proxy arrives, made up as the engineer of the train. Satin and Salvo pair off, as well as Data and Crackerjack, who leave in the Rolls. When Proxy arrives at the train station and is taken inside, he is surprised to see Malocchia, who doesn’t recognize him.
Back at St. Jude’s, Beaker hears Dan’s confession, and instructs him to step out of the booth; when he does, he is amazed to discover that he has been transported somehow to Quintana Roo, just in time to witness his father’s last news report, acting as his cameraman, Beaker urges Dan to retrace his father’s actions as if he was reporting on them, and makes a sobering discovery about the circumstances of his death.
The issue ends with a solemn Dan boarding the train, with the memory of Scabbard’s laughter after killing his brother ringing in his ears. Satin and Salvo fly over the train in the Seconds’ helicopter, and the latter steps out of the copter in a reprise of his stunt at the beginning of issue #2, setting the stage for the climactic issue #4.
Comments: The whole “Dan witnesses his Dad’s death” scene is a little difficult to explain, other than attributing it to Angie’s still-not-really-defined powers. I suspect that she just caused Dan to “see” all this in his mind and that they never left the building.
The “off-screen” battle between Salvo and Scabbard mentioned at the beginning came a little out of left field- at the end of #2, it was implied that Tony had been knocked cold by the flying manhole cover…but now we find out that he had apparently revived, tried to stop Scabbard from abducting his mother, and got the crap kicked out of him, because when he rolls into the Trinity he is a mess (especially his hands, which seem to be burned- don’t know how this happened). Unfortunately, this sort of thing is a textbook example of how this series threw people in the early stages, contributing to its eventual failure.
We’re also given a scene between Crackerjack and Data, in which the latter hides a Tootsie Pop in his pocket and lets CJ (a pickpocket, if you recall) fish it out. Some remarked that this scene had possible homosexual/pedophilic overtones…I prefer not to speculate, but that is, I suppose, one way of looking at it, intentional or not. Draw your own conclusion. At any rate, this uncomfortable scenario was never really taken any further. There was a definite bond between the two, though…as the scene in #5 in which Data thinks CJ has been shot.
TVE has some really nice moments in this issue, including the scene in which Dan realizes his father died (spoilers here, I’d imagine) because he obeyed a traffic sign; the Escher swipe of Angie appearing to Dan through Salvo’s bandages was also clever and memorable.