Sunday, March 27, 2005

SLEEPER SEASON TWO #10

Geez, I love this series. Forget the double-crosses, if you're not at least triple-crossing someone, you're just not trying hard enough.

What makes Sleeper so entertaining is that while we never get to see the whole picture -- our knowledge is as incomplete as any of the pawns in the game -- none of the revelations come ex nihilo. Ed Brubaker is sneaky, so his characters can be deceitful to us and to each other without looking like they have an unfair advantage.

On the surface, this issue reinforced what we've known all along -- the only master players in this game are Tao and Lynch and everyone else is a pawn, whether they want to admit it or not. Holden Carver a great undercover agent, but he has never quite had the ruthlessness and imagination to be able to play Tao. Not that that hasn't stopped him from trying.

Holden is a Pandora's box that has been opened -- everything has been taken from him and everything is gone... except hope. And that hope is both the only thing that keeps him going as well as the element that keeps bringing him down. He hopes that this time, his plan will work, that this time Lynch will win the contest with Tao, that Gretchen has genuine feelings for him and will help him (or that he can at least anticipate when and where she will betray him)... and so far, that hope has never been rewarded. But he hasn't given up yet, because if he does, then he must also give up hope that his 'condition' can be reversed.

We have two issues left in this story -- it was never going to have a Season Three, even before Brubaker left for Marvel -- and lots to resolve. Who is going to win -- Tao or Lynch -- and what will be the body count? Who is Miss Misery really betraying? Will Grifter survive his revenge? Will Peter Grimm die a miserable death? Will Holden get his freedom? And if he does, will he know what to do with it?

Your reading list (in order):

Point Blank
Sleeper Season One: Out in the Cold
Sleeper Season One: All False Moves
Sleeper Season Two: A Crooked Line

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