Hey, everyone. RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to recap this week’s episode of Decker: Unclassified, “The New Recruits”. Everyone has to start somewhere, and while Decker earned a reputation as America’s top special agent, even he was initially just a military trainee.
The episode begins in a hallway outside the main meeting room in the Capitol Building where President Davidson’s wife is speaking of her secret plan to one of her cohorts (the woman sitting next to her in the prior episode). Cut back to the meeting room where President Davidson begins to declassify Decker’s files, starting off with one called “The New Recruits” which details the early days of Decker’s training as a member of the Green Berets. Across all the training and combat exercises presented to him, he quickly proves himself to be a highly skilled and adept agent for any task. One night he heads off to the nearby bar to grab some food and beer with fellow trainee Lenoy (a fairly prominent character in Decker: Port of Call: Hawaii). The two shoot the shit for a bit, with Lenoy mentioning that he’d like to own a bar in Hawaii one day (foreshadowing!), when Decker suddenly catches sight of an attractive woman in the bar, and the two proceed to dance together for a bit. Lenoy eventually cuts things short by telling Decker to get back to the barracks for the next day of training.
The next day, all the trainees are given a speech by then-senator Davidson who introduces them to their new drill instructor… and it’s none other than Abdul. Decker is immediately suspicious and thinks he’s up to some kind of terrorist plot, but Lenoy tries to calm him down. Later that night, the two are back at the bar as they observe Abdul interacting with the patrons. Decker’s still suspicious and wants to break into his computer to find out if he has any terrorist plans in place, so Lenoy suggests that he tries making contact with a new master codebreaker, Jonathan Kington. Decker makes his way to Kington’s location and after filling him in on the details, Kington gets to work cracking the codes to get into Adbul’s computer files. He manages to uncover a folder that reveals the presence of a nuclear bomb on base that’s set to go off and kill everyone in the area. Worse yet, Decker only has three minutes to reach the armory where the bomb is, and it’s a mile away. Thankfully his top racing speed is 3 minutes 15 seconds, so he makes to the armory in no time, where he disables the bomb and finds a tied-up senator Davidson. Refusing to free him to due to his lack of foresight regarding Abdul, Decker heads off to the bar to find Abdul, but he comes up empty-handed. The next day, he’s awarded a medal for his heroic deeds that day, and the episode ends back in 2076 where Davidson promises to continue declassifying the various exploits of our hero.
Naturally it makes sense that the TV version of Decker would take us to the earliest known point of his special agent exploits, and it’s interesting to see the series play fast and loose with the overall continuity. The episode seems written with the mindset of “this might be the first time anyone’s actually watching Decker”, so naturally all the characters are introduced like it’s the first time seeing any of them. At the same time, the episode does drop an occasional nod to the overall “continuity” of the entire Decker franchise that any long-time fan will surely pick up on. The big ones in this case are the introduction of Abdul and Lenoy’s wish to open a bar in Hawaii. Although in a humorous twist on continuity, the episode portrays what is supposedly the first encounter between Decker and Kington, even though their “first” encounter was portrayed in the very first season of the web series. Aside from that, there are quite a few humorous moments throughout the episode, such as Decker’s gun constantly firing at nothing in particular, the use of deliberately bad green screens for awkward character compositing, and the timer near the end being intentionally skewed (between when it starts, disappears, and returns, there’s a 27-second pause that’s not accounted for). This was a fun episode to establish the series’ origins, and I look forward to the time-travel shenanigans of the next episode.
Note: Decker will be taking next week off due to 4th of July weekend, so the series and my recaps will return the week after next.
Decker: Unclassified airs every Friday at Midnight, only on [adult swim].
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