'American Odyssey' Episode 3 "Drop King" Recap

Airdate: April 19 2015

 

The heavily armed Ansar Dine drive along the dirt road to Bamako, Mali, in North Africa, with a beaten Odelle and Aslam in tow. A bump in the road sends Odelle's flash drive to the bed of the truck and Aslam retrieves it on the sly - but not sly enough, as one of the guards shoots Aslam in the shoulder for acting suspicious. Aslam tumbles off the vehicle amid desperate cries from Odelle. They leave her only ally in the dust and the darkness, certain he's dead.

Still bound and imprisoned, Odelle soon finds herself at a safe house where she avoids a slit throat with the arrival of Omar, an official in the Ansar Dine. He desires to avenge the death of Abdul Abbas (the terrorist Odelle's unit killed) and believes Odelle may present more value alive. Odelle resists any negotiation for intelligence or information - until Omar provides several recent newspapers that confirm that, despite Aslam's photo, her government continues to claim her survival is a hoax. Why would her own country want her dead? She concedes that she has proof that an American corporation funded Al Qaeda. Omar refuses to believe her until she mentions that the proof exists in the hands of Aslam, the boy Omar's men shot en route.

Meanwhile, a wounded Aslam awakens to a line of camels loaded with cocaine-filled saddlebags, but no riders. He manages to climb aboard one of the camels and it rides him to a desert house manned by a drug runner named Luc. Kind but suspicious, Luc removes the bullet from Aslam's arm and confiscates the flash drive, curious about the contents. Aslam assures Luc that giving him safe passage to Bamako will result in a serious payday from his rich uncle. Lucky for Aslam, Luc intends to head to Bamako... but if this rich uncle turns out to be a lie, Aslam will pay the price.

The price for Harrison's freedom after his arrest at the protest, on the other hand, reveals a pair of surprises: a quick release courtesy of his father's lawyer and an uninvited audience member in the courtroom: Ruby. Outside the court, Ruby insists to Harrison that Bob fabricated the existence of Odelle's email to Colonel Glen. Her confidence sends an irate Harrison to Bob's apartment, but Bob responds to Harrison's allegations with a shock of his own: an old article written by Harrison's dad, Randall, that features an interview with none other than Colonel Glen. Stunned that his dad knows one of the primary players in the cover-up, Harrison heads to his parents' house and confronts his dad in person. Randall folds to his son's passion, and the two meet Glen to discuss Odelle Ballard. The conversation soon veers away from cordiality, and a fiery Glen swears that Odelle died like the rest of her unit; any thoughts to the contrary are bogus. Randall tells his son to apologize for insinuating otherwise.

Another parent finds himself in the crosshairs when Maya questions Peter about the suspicious man she saw him argue with the other day. Peter dismisses it, but the run-in stays at the front of his mind when he receives added pressure from his superior at Simons-Wachtel to set up a meeting between Greek politician Sofia Tsaldari and Societel in an effort to get back on "the right track." He chooses to focus on the Gentry murder instead and sneaks his way into a meeting with Gentry's widow, Janine. But rather than welcoming his vow to help her find justice, she reveals that Societel forced her hand into a confidentiality agreement - after they offered her half a million dollars to pay outstanding bills. This lands Peter without any evidence to help his cause with the DOJ... until Janine covertly sends him Gentry's military journal. A quick glance confirms it for Peter and his friend Joe - this proves the cover-up and underscores Societel's involvement.

Later, an elated Peter drives home with Maya, giddy without revealing why to his daughter. But the excitement turns to terror when a car stops abruptly on the highway and an imposing driver emerges. He smashes through the back window and retrieves Gentry's journal by force, leaving Maya and Peter rattled as he drives away. The next day, Tsaldari requests to meet with Peter without the presence of Societel. In private, the two share a conversation that suggests a closeness, and she hands him an envelope that she believes warrants his attention. Inside is a copy of the same file Odelle discovered: a money transfer from Societel to Al Qaeda. This is huge.

Ron Ballard makes his own attempt at a transfer after he locates Suzanne at Bowling Green Park and moves to return her home - except Suzanne's unwavering optimism keeps them in the city a few extra hours. Suzanne spots Harrison during a walk and she questions him about her mother and the #OdelleLives snafu. Is she really alive? Much to Ron's chagrin, Harrison assures Suzanne that her mother survived.

Aslam, another recent survivor, joins Luc in a drive toward Bamako, only to encounter an Ansar Dine roadblock that sends Luc out of the vehicle to complain. This leaves Aslam with just enough daylight to slip out of the vehicle and retrieve the thumb drive before Luc discovers that the Ansar Dine ordered the roadblock in search of Aslam himself. Aslam manages to find his way to Bamako on foot and reaches his uncle, Shakir Khan, a famous cross-dressing talk show host. Khan's unconventional and unexpected appearance shocks Aslam, and he hesitates in the doorway...

A different proverbial doorway opens when Randall, relying on his wealth of journalistic experience (and previous interviews with the colonel), expresses to Harrison that he believes Glen lied to them during their meeting. Randall launches his own investigation and rendezvouses with a trusted source who pleads with Randall to drop the story or risk serious injury. From the look on Randall's face, this seems to achieve the opposite effect. Later, in a hotel room, Randall makes love to a woman (not his wife) and heads to the shower, distracted by the day's events... and soon stares down the barrel of a gun. He takes a fatal shot to the head and slumps to the ground. His lover receives the same thing - a silenced headshot - and the assassin plants the gun in her limp hand, a professional set-up. The gloved assassin edges out the front door and takes one last look at the room, just long enough to reveal... the assassin is Ruby.

Back at the safe house in North Africa, Omar and the Ansar Dine, unsatisfied with Odelle's lack of proof, prepare to behead the American soldier - only to have Omar stop the proceeding with a kill of his own. He then tapes a proof of life video with Odelle and passes it to a messenger headed for the Al Jazeera news network. Except the messenger makes it no further than a block as Frank Majors, the Osela assassin, intercepts him en route. Moments later, from his cheap hotel room across the street from the safe house, Frank watches the video of Odelle... his target once again within reach.

Courtesy of NBC