This episode was co-written by Human Target's creator, Jonathan E. Steinberg, and involved the return of popular badguy Baptiste (Lennie James), the erstwhile partner of Chance (Mark Valley) when they worked as assassins-for-hire. With so much harkening back to last year, it was no surprise that "The Return Of Baptiste" felt like a missing episode from the show's pre-revamp days; and, considering it was the best hour season 2's delivered so far, maybe showrunner Matt Miller should take heed. Some of his changes have been worthwhile and logical (female regulars, a billionaire's bankroll, more location footage), but this was the first time Human Target really felt like Human Target.
Overall, "The Return Of Baptiste" was a definite throwback to season 1, but a pleasant one, despite too much adherence to last year's overdone formula (Chance's damsel-in-distress being an attractive woman, the climax involving extraction from a foreign hotspot). Everything involving Chance and Baptiste was confidently handled (although the bad blood over Baptiste once killing Chance's soulmate could have been pushed more), the action/fights were great, and James was again very entertaining to watch. It was also curious to see writers Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine struggle with some of season 2's format changes: Ames didn't feature whatsoever (another sign she's one newcomer too far), while Ilsa was suddenly required to expose some cleavage and purr over a man in uniform for the sake of the mission.
What did you make of this episode? A welcome return to last year's vibe?
WRITERS: Jonathan E. Steinberg & Robert Levine
DIRECTOR: Bryan Spicer
TRANSMISSION: 8 December 2010, Fox, 8/7c