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CHAOS - Core Fortitude - recap

Chaos (2011) poster

Written by : published Sunday 19th June 2011

CHAOS - Core Fortitude - recap main image

Robert Foxworth stars as LaRouche, an arms dealer whose tanker in Somalia is full of illegal weapons and lies adrift. Dead Americans innocent of espionage were killed in a Somali camp by stolen weapons. Fay urges Higgins (Kurtwood Smith), to send a team to find out who is selling weapons to Al-Shebab. Higgins is loathe to send the only qualified agents, the ODS.

But first the discovery that Higgins is displeased with Rick’s inability to spy on the ODS is broached. The ODS become suspicious of Rick (Freddy Rodriguez) when he alone is called into a meeting with Higgins with no accompanying explanation or cover.

Rick Martinez here first meets Deputy Director Ferrar, as a cute blonde who sees him bring personal items into the building. She notices his baseball nickname and personal items.

Rick arranges his desk items. The group groans at this, saying personal items expose him to compromise. Then Martinez is called on by Higgins. He says Martinez’ allegiance is to his partners, but his door is always open if the ODS steers towards lawlessness. He then says with Rick on board he’ll give the Somali tanker assignment to the ODS because Rick is watching them.

On the tanker, the place is deserted. The ODS scan the boat. Rick is sent on into the cargo hold. He finds abandoned food and then turns to find a tank staring him in the face, locked and loaded. Rock stares with a pointed gun into the barrel of a tank gun, and Billy (James Murray) says “I don’t like his odds”. This is the crew, and Rick then finds the manifest.

They look over the boat cargo. Michael explains to Martinez the bright colored butterfly mines are engineered to kill children. Michael takes a picture of the mines.

On the bridge, Casey (Tim Blake Nelson) scans the bills of lading. Malaysia is not the real destination of the mines. Billy mocks Rick’s militant field attire. The crew missed their port of call by two full oceans. They determine that a known arms dealer Bernard LaRouche owns the cargo. The ODS knows about LaRouche.

Casey get kicked offline by the Agency computers and Billy suggests they Google LaRouche. The crew of the tanker say they thought the ODS were pirates and hid out. A website shows LaRouche in on the east Coast for a yacht race. Without a conviction LaRouche is free to do business. Billy puts a picture of Rock against the tank on the office bulletin board.

In Langley, the men are satisfied that domestic authorities will capture LaRouche. But they find out that LaRouche is getting around the red tape and is still in business. Casey points out LaRouche must have skeletons in the closet somewhere. Fay says the departments can’t get him on anything.

At Langley, Rick suggests that Silva is the key. Martinez points out that LaRouche’s middle name is his Argentinean surname. This might yield the fodder for arrest they need to block the porting and sale of the weapons.

While the men are researching LaRouche online, Rick has to report for “Core Fortitude" training. Rock sees the cute blonde again who refused to give her name before. She refuses again and a flummoxed Rick sits down to a dull training class. She calls a terse torture survivor (Coombs) on his battle with the bottle as he attempts to talk down to the group. He says his knees were broken at the hands of Kurdish rebels.

The ODS find that Bernard LaRouche Silva is wanted by Interpol and was convicted in absentia. Bernard LaRouche is the weapons dealer of record for the tanker.

Dorset and the ODS tell Fay that they will do a field run to assist nabbing LaRouche since the the DoJ is suited to white collar crime. They tell her not to mention it.

At the yacht club, Dorset finds Blank parked in a caddy. He gets word from Blank that La Rouche is inside. Billy and Casey flank him inside where LaRouche sits playing cards. Dorset walks up to LaRouche’s table and sits down, spouting righteously. LaRouche arrogantly talks Dorset down, saying that arms trade is profitable and he’ll never be charged.

Then Michael (Eric Close) places  a red butterfly mine on the table. Billy and Casey gaze admiringly, knowing that somehow Dorset smuggled this onboard the plane home from the tanker. LaRouche is caught between anger and fear while trying to pretend he doesn’t know what it is.

LaRouche is instantly disturbed as a colleague innocently tries to touch it. This is the land mine with the nitric acid finish that blows children to death used by the Russians. The Asian guards of LaRouche jump Casey and kick him to the floor, as Billy watches in shock. But then the Justice officials arrive, and they are there to arrest not the arms dealer but Dorset. The ODS crew, stunned, are led away.

Dorset is angry. Higgins is furious that LaRouche is not being charged. Even Higgins can’t believe how protected LaRouche is.

Casey is upset that LaRouche’s Ghurka guards get the best of him at the yacht club. Billy suggests he was fighting way out of the weight class. LaRouche is untouchable because someone on the Hill is protecting him. Dorset insists that the Attorney General be notified but Higgins says to drop it. The ODS are astonished that LaRouche is allowed to gather his tanker and port it in the USA for repairs (and eventual distribution of the munitions).

The ODS hide out in a Boston hotel near LaRouche’s yacht and call Martinez to gather a red envelope from the (unlocked) office safe and bring it to them. This is critical. But Rick has mandatory Core Fortitude training. Casey, frustrated, suggests he shoot his way out and get on a plane from Reagan by 5 o’clock.

Deputy Director Adele Ferrar lets Rick Martinez off from training. She notices his lie about his father’s accident because his father is dead. (She noticed his memoriam in the box of personal belongings Rick brought to the office). She makes a point of not buying Rick’s story, but says the lie was well-crafted, and says that LaRouche should suffer for his crimes. An amazed Rick exits her office and meets the ODS crew in Boston.

Higgins tries hard to arm twist a bigwig on the Hill, a general, about LaRouche, but gets nowhere. This and other politicians acknowledge the problem but says their hands are tied by more powerful ties than they can unravel. Higgins unhappily eyes the satellite feed of the arms tanker moving from Somalia to the United States East Coast.

Rick arrives to the ODS crew hotel hideout in Boston, where the ODS have been anxiously awaiting his arrival. The red envelope is a mission statement from the founder of the ODS. “We must be prepared to enter the shadows and accomplish what is need but is not permitted. “They ask Rick to interpret, and he says this means they have to do what needs to be done.

A knock on the door makes the ODS think Rick betrayed them. But it’s just the pizza Blank ordered. This mission statement allows Rick to morally sanction the capture of LaRoache. Then they tell Rick he has to get him because they are recognizable from the yacht club. Billy picks up a shotgun at Wal-mart because Casey’s defenses are unusually weak.

The teacher of the Core Fortitude class reports to Higgins that Martinez left off the training. The travel department tracks a flight to Boston Rick took. Coombs says that he is the eyes and ears of Higgins. (This points up the intel weakness Ferrar pointed out that got him arrested by the Kurds). Higgins says Martinez has drunk the Kool Aid. But he pauses in sending backup people to clean up the ODS from acting. (Higgins doesn’t like the strings that are keeping LaRoache protected).

Martinez poses in a the men’s room of the yacht club, in a tuxedo as an attendant. Michael gives Rick a syringe with painkiller and hallucinogenic which will immobilize him. Martinez is disgusted at the cheap tipping habits of these wealthy yachtsmen (Blank has provided candy for the candy dish). When LaRoache comes in, Rick is nervous and pulls the syringe obviously.

Billy has given Rick  a pep talk on the uses of fear in hand to hand combat. La Roache sees the needle and jumps into  stall, locking the door. Rick slips into the stall next to where LaRoache flees, brutally hopping over the wall and attacking the arms dealer. They struggle all over the bathroom, and Rick then slams LaRoache into a mirror and then he drops on the floor, stunned. Rick jabs him with the needle.

As the security Ghurkas come running at LaRoaches’ delay in the bathroom, they hear Blank loudly stuffing a protesting man into the trunk of a car outside. They attack the car and then find Casey, smiling, in the trunk. Billy pulls the shotgun on them and then Casey chops the head guy down to size, with Billy’s smiling approval.

Elsewhere, Michael powers a yacht out to open sea. LaRoache snarls at Martinez that his lawyers will kill them. He says his lawyers frightened big tobacco and they will get him out of this. But Michael says they are headed for Argentinean waters where Interpol waits for him and this is his last boat ride for a while. Rick moves the hurl bucket over to “Silva”, who turns green at the news.

Back in Langley, Rick thanks Adele Ferrar but she warns him about Higgins and says he might regret helping him. Later in the ODS office, Rick Martinez realizes the ODS suspected him of spying. There is a quiet moment. But Billy proclaims his poem encomium to Martinez’ loyalty and Casey’s bravery. Casey doesn't hate it. Billy gleefully posts it on the bulletin board.

Higgins calls Ferrar into his office, supposedly to grill her on helping Martinez. He smiles and takes a call from the general about a round of drinks. Higgins is so loved on the Hill now due to the ODS he can’t bust them on the mission, because the screws LaRoache was turning are finally over. Adele says Rick is already sweet on her, and Higgins grins, as his plan to subvert Rick goes to the next level.


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About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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