Cinemax’s Femme Fatales: 205 – Killer Instinct

We’ve seen a lot of different Femme Fatales over the course of the series, and this one is no different. She is a beautiful, seductive, highly trained assassin, who is probably bad luck to anyone she meets. This episodes starts with just such a meeting.  We get to witness Davis (Mark Simich) and Lauren (Mirtha Michelle) as Davis and Lauren meet, admiring the art and each other. I was kind of hoping for a tango to break out and True Lies inspired action to unfold, but then they had sex. Which is still good.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end as well as it began for Davis. Then Lilith appears on-screen with the recently deceased Davis… and I have absolutely no idea what she has to say. Sorry… She is very distracting. It’s like a visual overload that impairs the eardrums.

We meet up with Lauren as she is attacked in an elevator by a group of thugs. Putting up an impressive defense, she is soon overwhelmed. She wakes up shackled to a chair, which is never good. But seriously, who hasn’t been in that situation? Of course, it makes it slightly worse when your captor is a fan of Kubrickian masks. Especially someone who likes to torture and has hooked you up to an electric chair. Cue Pants Soiling.

MaskFace (What? I’m lazy with names…) has some questions for her, and demonstrates how he can push her buttons by… well… pushing a button. Throughout the line of questions we learn that Lauren is suspected of being an assassin, and the button pusher knows about the death of Davis at her hands. Lauren denies, denies, denies, which makes her tormentor joyfully shock her again. The electricity cues a flashback, as it is wont to do. Past Lauren is in prison (the showers, to be specific) and roughing up a fellow inmate, before being dragged away to solitary.

Lauren remains defiant as MaskFace (voiced by Jeffrey Combs) inquires about who hired her to kill Davis. This of course elicits another shock, which brings on another flashback. Lauren is visited by a Suit, who offers her a way out by joining with the people he works for. Lauren’s IQ is off the charts and they believe she exhibits the “Killer Instinct” that they are looking for. Suit drops the bomb and delivers the “Your Country Needs You” line before leaving her to ponder, and conveniently dropping his name; Pressman (Sean Douglas).

Jolt back to reality as Lauren is still being interrogated by MaskFace. The questions keep rolling out; who she works for, who trained her, and why she killed Davis. He also outlines what will happen to her if she keeps refusing to answer him, but she’s too tough for that. And the shocking continues. We’re taken to Lauren’s training ground where we witness an impossibly hot teacher training her in the art of seduction. Oh, she also learns how to fight and demonstrates her already impressive hacking skills.. But the seduction class is the one to be in. Why is “Hot for Teacher” suddenly playing in my head?

As MaskFace continues to interrogate her, and she continues to answer as if she was a model, the flashbacks keep rolling. We learn more of how she came to be an assassin, and how she can kick a punching bag’s ass. As Lauren gets weaker and weaker from the constant shocks, MaskFace continues to press on her, trying to turn her against her employers. He resumes his original line of questioning, and Lauren looks like she’s ready to answer.

I was trained by F*** YOU and I work for F*** YOU.

Lauren passes out as MaskFace loses it and walks away, and we are taken back into the past as Lauren is given the ultimate makeover and turned into a Femme Fatale. I have to say the best aprt here is as they are ‘rebuilding her’ the sound effect from The 6 Million Dollar Man is used to perfection. Now that Lauren is all sexified she meets with Pressman to express her gratitude. As Lauren speaks with Pressman about her makeover and how grateful she is, its pretty evident that her seduction training paid off. You’d think that with Pressman being an agent as well he would be able to resist, but she did just have a makeover.

I was a little underwhelmed by the sex scene as the earlier one trumps it, but I dug the background song at least. As they engage in some spoil talk, Lauren spoils the mood by declaring her Seduction Test a success, and even going so far as to describe the different phrases she used to woo him. Pressman questions whether or not a test was all it was, and he isn’t shot down. In the morning, usually you are greeted with breakfast, or at least an early morning nookie. But Pressman, being the nice guy that he is, greets Lauren with a fight to the death against a fellow convict, who is beefy and possibly Texan. The teachers watch on as we hear the battle, which is full of grunts and odd wet splashes. As the door opens we see that Lauren has passed her final test.

…And ruined Pressman’s shirt.

Pressman then gives Lauren her first assignment. Davis Bennet, who sells weapons to terrorists and appreciates art. Lauren is suddenly and moistly woken up by MaskFace, who now demands her recruiter/trainers name in exchange for her freedom. No longer content with the electric chair (even though now that she’s wet it seems like it would work a whole lot better, right?) he aims a gun at her, and starts counting down from 5. Lauren again answers predictably with a f*** you, and MaskFace pulls the trigger.

The End.

Oh wait, no. Sorry, I jumped the gun.

Turns out the gun wasn’t loaded, and as MaskFace takes off his facemask we learn that Pressman has been Lauren’s torturer. He reveals that Lauren has now passed her final test. She reacts predictably again by slapping the shit out of him, and he takes her outside to receive her reward. A fancy new car that isn’t even out yet. Now I don’t really know cars, but I think I could forget the torture and abuse pretty quickly once I was behind the wheel. Apparently so can Lauren, as she sweetly asks Pressman who he wants her to kill next.

I’ll think of somebody.

This episode was a nice blend of action, intrigue, mystery, and nudity (Always a key point to any review). The back story of Lauren was pretty flushed out, and I have no doubt we’ll see more of her in a future episode. The reveal at the end was pretty predictable, but as an homage to the classic spy thriller/ interrogation scene I think that is to be expected and I enjoyed it regardless. I give the episode 4 Grizzly’s out of 5.

I’m almost tempted to take away a point due to the absence of a Lilith epilogue, but it gives me a reason to post this pic of Tanit Phoenix, so I’ll get over it.

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