Things just got a whole lot more interesting for Joe!
With Angela in enemy territory, the race was on to free her from Nicolai's grasp on Average Joe Season 1 Episode 7, but what should have been a pretty straightforward exchange went completely off the rails when Jennifer threw a curveball no one saw coming.
And no one will ever be the same.
Joe had about seven seconds to get excited about finding the money before his world crashed.
And it was worse than just discovering he only found 1/10th of the money!
Angela's kidnapping naturally threw him into scramble mode, and I felt for him in those moments he realized that Angela was missing. But he was heavily misplacing his anger, probably due to the sinking feeling of guilt pooling in his stomach.
Not every bad thing that happened can be placed at Joe's feet. Outside of Jennifer, all these people are grown, and no one forced them to do anything against their will. That's the reality.
But out of everyone, Angela was the one that wanted to go. She was the one that wanted to keep her family safe and together. And it's not that Joe didn't want that, but his interests extended far beyond just protecting his family.
Leon gets the crap end of the stick a lot because he's an easy target. He's the one who folds under pressure and is a little jittery in every situation. But Leon shows up for his people first and foremost, and I wanted to jump off the couch and applaud him for standing up to Joe.
Joe does tend to misplace blame, which is a natural reaction, honestly. Getting defensive and shutting down isn't abnormal, but for Joe's first reaction to be yelling at Leon, the man trying to help his wife, while he was on a wild goose chase with Russian mobsters trying to hunt them down? Yeah, that doesn't sit right with my spirit.
Nothing was Leon's fault at all, and luckily Joe came around to show his appreciation for him, but it sucked that, yet again, Leon was the one getting the brunt of everyone's anger when he was the best one among them!
The decision to scatter everyone and get out of town was the right one because, at that point, the jig was up with the body count rising and their people getting directly tortured.
I understood why they wanted to go after the money, but that was before Angela drowned in Nicolai's backyard.
There was something fishy about the way Jennifer parted from Joe. You could tell she was holding back from him, but I naively just chalked it up to the fact there was a genuine chance that would be the last time she saw her father.
But the trick Jennifer had up her sleeve was not something I saw coming.
Now that we know Jennifer is pregnant with Dimitri's baby, it makes a lot more sense why it was so hard for her to grasp Dimitri's deception. It took a long time for her to seemingly understand that Dimitri wasn't a good dude, and that totally tracks when you imagine she's seeing him from the lens of being her unborn child's father.
As we saw in Average Joe Season 1 Episode 6, Jennifer is devoted to her mother, so when she waltzed into that diner, I wasn't at all surprised because she'd pretty much just promised her mother she was going to stand beside her no matter what.
But switching places with her and willingly going with Nicolai was a move that was certainly shocking.
Nicolai isn't a man you can trust, but I imagine her thought process was one where she thought she could buy herself some time at the very least. Because Nicolai wouldn't kill his grandchild, right?
He killed his own wife because she was crying too much, but if he has nothing else of Dimitri left.
His little speech about family was laughable, though, because Nicolai's only loyalty is to himself. He's got soldiers out in the streets pledging their whole lives to him, but he'd easily discard anyone if it meant protecting himself or getting what he wanted.
Before, I thought Angela should appeal to Arina's motherly ties, but she never got to talk to Arina outside of a well-placed middle finger.
But you have to assume that being with child, Dimitri's child at that, Jennifer won't be getting the same treatment as her mother. Plus, Arina may be feeling some type of way because Nicolai left her entirely in the dark.
Arina isn't there of her own free will, and if she found out where her daughter was, I don't think she would hesitate to flee from Nicolai the first chance she got.
Outside of help from Arina, I'm finding it hard to see how they get to Jennifer. Even if they returned every single thing Teddy stole, they can't give him back to Dimitri. And like hell is he going to give up his grandchild.
While Joe and company were dealing with the fallout from Angela's kidnapping, Touch was at home actively withdrawing and remembering the worst moment of his life.
Talford came across like a by-the-book cop at first, but with each new thing she discovered in this investigation, she realized that to nab the big fish, she would not have the luxury of playing by the rules.
And it's now officially clear that getting Nicolai is number one on her list, which works out in Joe and everyone else's favor, even if they can't quite see that yet.
Talford can kiss her whole career goodbye if she turns on Joe or any of them right now because she's broken so many rules. She and Touch are seemingly in a battle to see who can be the absolute worst cop, and right now, Talford may be edging Touch out. Maybe.
Using Touch's addiction to get information was tough to watch, as was watching Touch going through both the physical and mental aspects of detoxification without the help of comfort medications or support.
His mind took him back to Tess's death, which we saw a piece of during the flashback in Average Joe Season 1 Episode 2.
Touch still carries the guilt from both what happened and his cowardice in covering it up like an albatross on his neck. Drugs may numb the pain, but that pain has never subsided and probably never will.
It's a little unrealistic to expect this to be the thing that gets Touch clean, but his simply refusing to take the pill felt authentic to that moment. And when he wakes up and finds out what he's missed while chained to a radiator, using may be the last thing on his mind.
There's probably no way they can keep lying to Talford now, so bringing her in and working alongside her and not against her may be the way forward.
They may not trust her, but they should be able to trust her hatred for Nicolai. And that may have to be enough.
Extra, Average Facts
- Have I told you guys how much I love the flashbacks at the beginning of each hour? Because I love them. Here we saw perhaps the genesis for the Leon and Cathy we met in Average Joe Season 1 Episode 1. Leon is such a good man.
- Speaking of Leon, staying behind with Joe instead of leaving with Cathy had me scratching my head initially, but it really was in character for him. Joe is family, and for all Joe's faults, he would have done the same thing for him.
- I don't ever want to know what was in those letters Joe wrote for Leon and Touch because I will surely cry. They are all a mess, each with flaws, but they genuinely love one another.
- Where is the first place you think Cathy will search for the money? She was born and bred for this moment to use all her television-watching skills to pull off the ultimate scavenger hunt.
- It crossed my mind briefly that Jennifer was lying about being pregnant to save her mom, but she was definitely on the cusp of telling Joe when they left each other the night before.
We're creeping up to the Average Joe Season 1 finale, and the stakes have never been higher!
Jump into the comment section and let me know where you think things are headed this season. And what your favorite parts from this installment were!
Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.