{TB Talks TV} The Brink Review: “Half-Cocked”


the-brinkTweetable Takeaway: You know something has gone wrong when your F-18 rains vomit inside the cockpit.

Airtime: Sunday at 10:30pm on HBO

By: , Contributor

Half-Cocked is just an expression, but it brings another nation to The Brink. “Half Cocked” and “No Shit” are taken literally in another hilarious episode of this extraordinary show. Thank God we live in a country where we can write, produce, and cast this kind of television.

Jammer has a negligent discharge over the skies of Pakistan.

Zeke suffers from the morphine he took by accident, while the President and the rest of his watch the live feed from the situation room, vomit explodes across the screen. Secretary of State, Walter Larson argues this is the perfect time to call off the strike against Pakistan’s nuke missile sites, but the Secretary of Defense convinces President Navarro to stick with the attack.

Larson draws at another diplomatic straw; he has an old Georgetown coke-buddy, Raja, on the ground in Pakistan that may be able to help in a meaningful way, if they can reach him in time. Which is unlikely, the situation gets worse when Jammer fires off a missile while cleaning vomit off his trigger.


The errant missile locks onto and downs a “prehistoric bird,” or possibly a drone. The drone belongs to India and their Prime Minister, Rakesh Pandit accuses the United States of doing it on purpose, taking Pakistan’s side. Larson pleas with Rakesh not to go off half-cocked, which deeply insults him, bringing another powerful nation into this volatile situation.

While President Navarro apologizes to India, Larson gets a call from his wife, a judge up for a nomination to the District Court. This is her stepping-stone to a seat on the Supreme Court. Plus she’s getting bored sitting around the house screwing her personal trainer. The upside, she is in fantastic shape and there is nothing half-cocked about her boy-toy.

There are legitimate targets in Pakistan if Jammer can sober up in time.

Jammer scans for a legitimate target, but he’s still bombed on the morphine Zeke gave him. Confidence is low on completing the mission and high on destroying careers. General Zaman, the crazy nut behind this crisis, into the situation room, an “icebreaker” he calls it. He’s crazier than they thought and hangs up on them when President Navarro asks him to clarify his position on Israel. The room is less at ease than ever.

Finally, Larson makes contact with Raja, his man at ground zero in Pakistan, and convinces the President to give him 24 hours to solve the crises through diplomatic channels. They call off the airstrike. Zeke makes a miraculous landing on the aircraft carrier considering his deep inebriation but catches hell from his commander.

The Rafiq home is invaded by the Pak Army.

A Pak Army cordon and search team kicks down the door to Rafiq’s parents’ home looking for the person who sent the fax of classified intelligence to Larson. Rafiq’s father offers them some pistachios but they are more interested in Rafiq’s hot sister. Talbot gives himself up. He offers his passport and the caveat that he has diplomatic protections. They rip his passport in half and take him into custody.


Talbot is transported to the interrogation facility in the same truck as the democratically elected Prime Minister the Zaman regime is booting from power. This man is quite brave, though soon to be executed, and attempts to show Talbot how to be brave for his upcoming interrogation. They have their own bit of miscommunication over the expression, “no shit.” Maybe it is lowbrow, but it’s still funny. This show is a reminder that it’s okay to laugh and we don’t need to take ourselves so damn serious all the time.

Talbot’s interrogator, Naseer, wants him to admit he works for the CIA and reveal why he faxed the classified material to Larson’s office. It’s a frustrating interrogation. Is Talbot being brave or is his regular moronic behavior enigmatic enough?

Rafiq tracks down the Ambassador and pleads with him to find and rescue Talbot. Ambassador never liked Talbot and was on the verge of firing him anyway. The most he’ll do is pray, which he makes Rafiq do while holding hands.

Confess your crimes against Pakistan or be executed.

Naseer threatens to execute Talbot unless he records a video message admitting to espionage and denouncing the United States. Talbot enthusiastically agrees to the video. Talbot’s confession is hilarious. He jumps from one incoherent lie to another, finally claiming the CIA had him dumping estrogen into their reservoir to feminize the male population. Enraged, Naseer orders Talbot a waterboarding.


Finally Talbot cracks; he claims to be Walter Larson’s “go to” guy in-country. Naseer wants to know exactly what Larson goes to him for. Talbot explains Larson’s habit for needing escorts to play like they’ve assassinated him. This confirms to the man in the shadows that Talbot does really know Larson. That man is General Raja, Larson’s old Georgetown coke-buddy.

Next week, Talbot goes undercover.

Watch it because its fun.


Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.

Twitter: @etom2012

Keep up with all of Eric’s reviews of The Brink here.
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