Sweating the Assets
Ben's been having nightmares about dead bodies coming back to life, but who cares? It's time for Laura to take center stage as we go back to 2066 to find out just what in the heck happened to her out there in the Red Zone.
Laura psyching herself up for a trip to the Red Zone prompts the eight-years-earlier flashback, where an 18-year-old Laura is enjoying a night out with a couple of girlfriends at the wild and crazy Pocket Rocket Club. The two bodyguards that Elizabeth sent to keep tabs on Laura are messing with her vibe, so she goes outside to make out with the handsome Bradley.
Big mistake. Bradley knocks out Laura and takes her to the crappy apartment he shares with his sister Kim, mother Sally and unnamed nephew. It would seem that kidnapping Green Zone gals is a family business, and soon Bradley contacts Elizabeth with a 50,000 'black coin' ransom. The daughter of SPIGA bigwig Elizabeth Strauss is certainly worth more than that, though luckily Laura has protected her identity with a false name.
Julian Morse thinks this is a low-level grab and bag, not a corporate kidnapping, but SPIGA security chief Connor wants to pay the ransom per 'Containment Recovery Protocol,' which rarely goes well for the kidnapping victim. Elizabeth refuses to pay the ransom, which prompts Bradley to cut off Laura's ear. Later, Laura and Kim manage to share a brief bonding moment, though it soon turns sour when Sally notices that the woman in Laura's locket photo is the same woman on the front page of the newspaper: Elizabeth Strauss. They hit the jackpot!
Bradley sends the video of Laura being tortured to Elizabeth, now demanding a ransom of five million and threatening to hand Laura over to Inazagi if payment is not received. Elizabeth makes the payment, which prompts Connor to initiate Containment Recovery Protocol … though luckily Elizabeth has already sent Julian to deal with the situation off the record (and hopefully without getting Laura killed).
Julian gets the address of Bradley's apartment building from two corrupt cops, where he dispatches a surveillance drone to find Laura's exact location. Julian tunes in on a conversation between the kidnappers and a man named Jimmy, who warns them that SPIGA will have them killed for their actions; in kidnapping situations like this, SPIGA pays the ransom and then takes out everyone to protect their intellectual property. In fact, the only thing that will stop SPIGA from wasting everyone in the apartment is if they're sure that Laura is dead.
Meanwhile, Laura has managed to get to the scalpel used to cut off her ear and has freed herself from her bonds. When Kim re-enters the room, Laura attacks, brutally stabbing her in the throat. Bradley prepares to gun down Laura but luckily Julian arrives just in time and shoots him in the head. Julian escorts Laura to the living room, where we see the unnamed nephew crying over the bodies of Sally and Jimmy just as Connor and his SPIGA team arrive.
Back at SPIGA, a shocked and enraged Laura confronts her mother about the death of her father, which she now suspects involved a 'successful' implementation of Containment Recovery Protocol. As Laura is sent to see the doctor about her wounds, Julian tells Elizabeth that she could've told Laura 'the truth' about her father, though Elizabeth says it's better if she hates her and not her beloved dad.
Meanwhile, Julian was expecting Elizabeth to approve his transfer from Milwaukee to Sioux Falls in exchange for Laura's safe return, but Elizabeth tells him she's unable due to Connor now rising in the SPIGA ranks. However, Julian will now be promoted to Connor's position as Chief of Security … which is exactly what Julian didn't want.
In the doctor's office, Laura marvels at the spray that immediately heals the cuts on her arm. "It's like it never happened," says the kindly Dr. Hines. "You can't convince me I don't have the best job in the world!" And so Laura was inspired to stop with the silly clubbing and become a doctor herself …
Back in the present day, Laura successfully ventures into the Red Zone to pay a visit to her former housekeeper, Rachel. She wants to look in on the little girl whose illness prompted Rachel to steal from the Larsons.
Okay, back to Ben, the miserable wretch. He's given Roger's watch to Theo, who takes it to the bar at the Cut Room. Theo attempts to exchange the watch for a couple of drinks, but it's all just a ruse to get the attention of the two Inazagi suits sitting nearby. They buy the watch from him and thus Ben's latest scheme to rescue Elena has commenced.