If a series is based in the Philippines, why not throw a typhoon into the mix?
Alex discovered it’s not always sunny on Cebu on Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 5.
He even belatedly learned a new word in Tagalog, “bagyo,” which means typhoon, one that he never wanted to hear again afterward.
Too bad. Things had been going well for Alex for a change.
It was hilarious to watch Cory almost hyperventilate when Alex finally paid his gift-shop rent on time.
Was that from his stunt-double work on Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 4, or did his DEA disability payments finally get freed up?
Whatever the source, Alex had earlier once again helped out the Mactan police by posing as an arms buyer to entrap the arms dealer El Diablo.
Understandably, no viewer is tuning in to watch Alex sell tchotchkes.
Still, he’s on Cebu for a more peaceful lifestyle, to help lower his hypertension.
So how are all these dangerous cases with the police possibly lowering his blood pressure?
At least the writers didn’t even go through the motions of having Alex’s monitor go off in this episode.
That buzzing, while he was sneaking through the police station, would have been bad news for him and the hostages.
Does that mean the hypertension storyline has been tossed, or was it an aberration?
I hope it hasn’t been. As one commenter pointed out, Alex needs his Kryptonite.
Otherwise, he’s too much of a Bondian super agent.
By opening with the bust of El Diablo, it was evident that the arms dealer threatening Alex would be a central figure in the episode.
The whole central conceits of the episode were eye-rolling stretches.
First, that the State Department got wind of the bust and was able to get an official there that quickly ready to extradite El Diablo.
Likewise, El Diablo’s lieutenant was able to gather enough local muscle and get arrested as drunks at just the right moment so that they were inside the station when the typhoon hit.
Then, El Diablo’s organization planned an extraction timed to the eye of the storm.
But hey! This is Almost Paradise!
Let’s just suspend disbelief and watch Alex make up tactics as he goes along.
Another recurring theme of the series is Alex’s hatred of bureaucrats, so naturally, he clashed with Clint, who was there to make a deal with El Diablo.
It was encouraging to see that Alex did remember he was a business owner, and he did try to get back to the gift shop through the storm. The phones must have been down by then.
Then he returned to the police station only to find himself locked out.
Have you noticed how Alex acts like a scaled-down Hulk? The madder Alex gets, the stronger he gets. Then Alex smash!
He smashed a peephole through the plywood in precisely the right spot and time so that he could observe El Diablo’s thugs taking over the station.
So into the sewers he went, sewers that were remarkably free of water in a typhoon.
He dropped in to discover that Kai and Clint the bureaucrat found themselves in watery peril .
It was amazing what Alex was able to do with a roll of duct tape in a battle sequence, leaving that thug all trussed up while recruiting an ally in young cop Berto.
That led to another Leverage-type moment when Berto sneaked the gun to Ernesto in the first-aid kit.
Why didn’t El Diablo notice that half of his men had mysteriously disappeared? Too arrogant, I guess.
Besides, his reinforcements showed up at precisely the wrong time.
Alex’s grand plan after that depended on two badasses, a hyped-up bureaucrat, and a bomb-sniffing robot. No wonder things went off the rails.
But no one was expecting the injured Ernesto to come to the rescue with his hidden gun. Or nurse Sampaguita was able to wield a semi-automatic rifle.
I’m sure Ernesto fell even more for her at that moment.
Having Ernesto’s stoic facade crack was the right move.
He started by letting Alex know that El Diablo was about to be spirited away and get a deal, even though Kai warned him not to do so.
Then he met Sampaguita from his home village, and a bond quickly developed.
Especially with Grandma pushing for all she was worth.
Ernesto’s primary emotion so far has been righteous anger. We got to see his smitten look.
Ernesto was lucky that Sampaguita was a nurse after he got shot in El Diablo’s takeover of the station so that she could keep him alive until help (in the form of Alex) arrived.
Then in turn he rescued her from the thug holding her hostage, bullet wound be damned.
Here’s hoping Sampaguita hangs around as a recurring character. Ernesto could use a little distraction from work.
For that matter, isn’t it time we learn a little more about Kai as well, beyond that she looks fabulous in swimwear?
To revisit Alex’s transition to Cebu, watch Almost Paradise online.
What did you think of Alex’s assault on the police station?
Is Alex miraculously cured?
Are you happy for Ernesto?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.