At the beginning of The Code’s second season, we’re transported to West Papua. Jan Roth(Anthony LaPaglia) and his friends speed through the wilderness, before being stopped by a log in the road. Roth steps aside to relieve himself, while his friends remove the tree. His friends are approached by armed men and shot down. Roth makes a run for it. He escapes and encounters his friend Marcus. Roth uses his friend’s phone. At this time, Lara Dixon (Sigrid Thornton) gets a hit on her computer regarding Roth and listens in on his conversation. Ned Banks (Dan Spielman) calls his brother, Jesse (Ashley Zukerman), who is still asleep in bed. Jesse’s girlfriend, Hani Parande (Adele Prevoic), enters moments later with a suit. She forces Jesse to get up and get prepared for his mother’s funeral.
Jesse meets with his brother and asks him whether or not he wrote a speech. Ned admits he tried. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of their father, David Bank (Geoff Morrell), and his new girlfriend. The funeral ceremony begins and Ned begins giving his speech. Jesse interrupts and tells the crowd about his mother’s love for painting and her soft hands. Jesse sits back down and explains to Hani that the man behind them is his father. After the ceremony ends, Jesse and Ned speak with their father. David is introduced to Hani, before David’s new girlfriend, Mandy (Janine Watson), chimes in and apologizes for their loss. Jesse quickly insists there is nothing to be sorry for, since she wasn’t responsible for his mother’s demise.
Moments later, their conversation is interrupted by a detective. Nolan Daniels (Ben Oxenbould) tells Ned and Jesse that they’re needed at the station. Ned attempts to convince Nolan to leave them alone for the time being, but he refuses. Eventually, he gives in and they’re transported to the station. Ned and Jesse are interviewed in separate rooms. It is explained that the United States intends to extradite Jesse and Ned for their previous crimes. However, the request has yet to be signed by the attorney general. Nolan explains that Jesse can right the wrong, by helping with a current case. Roth’s picture is displayed on the screen nearby. Apparently, Roth has been living off of the grid, while police have been searching for him for quite some time.
Jesse is told that Roth has been running a website, Undacounta, on the dark web. He learns that the online marketplace is being used to sell illegal drugs, guns, and possibly even children. Jesse is shown a video of Callum McCray (Otis Pavlovic), who was abducted, and is possibly been shopped on the Undacounta website. Jesse is also shown an interview with Callum’s parents, Courtney (Liz Harper) and Michael (Sandy Winton). Callum was apparently lured to the abduction site by someone pretending to be a girl named Rachel. Nolan explains that Callum’s picture was posted on the Undacounta website with a 15,000 dollar offer to spend time with the boy. Lara Dixon watches through a camera feed, as Jesse begins to break down. Now, we jump over to Gary Hunter (Guy Edmonds). Gary arrives home and speaks with Callum, who he has abducted.
Callum is still under the impression that Rachel is going to meet him. Gary insists the girl will be there first thing in the morning. Gary tries to convince Callum to relax, eat some pizza and play video games. Gary receives a call and steps away. Meanwhile, Jesse returns to his brother. Jesse reveals that he has agreed to help the detectives. He tries to convince Ned that he can do it and get the extradition requests thrown out. Lara Dixon enters seconds later. Nolan explains Lara is responsible for the team’s tech requirements. Ned becomes concerned when Lara makes it clear she intends to transport Jesse to an off-site, undisclosed location. Ned is given a phone, so he can remain in contact with Lara throughout the ordeal. Ned leaves and meets up with Hani.
Hani tells Ned about the Undacounta website. Ned contemplates why the Americans would be interested in bringing down a child peddling website in Australia. He wonders whether or not Callum was being shopped to someone with a reputation to protection. Hani admits Jesse is happy with his new gig and that he doesn’t understand the potential repercussions. Meanwhile, Lara escorts Jesse to her team’s office. Jesse requests to see his file and Lara obliges. Jesse admits it isn’t a complete list of his deeds. Next, they turn their attention to Roth. Lara explains that Undacounta generates a revenue of around a million dollars a month, with 6% going directly to the owner. And, it will be Jesse’s job to deliver proof that Roth is indeed the owner. Next, we see Roth trudging through the woods.
Roth crosses a red laser detector and is shot with a fake arrow. He snatches up the young girl and transports her back home. Roth sends the young girl, Tahila, away before speaking with her mother. He tells Kiki (Emele Ugavule) about the murders of his friends. She tries to convince him that there must be better ways to fight. He agrees to speak with Rems to see what he knows. Hani investigates Roth and discovers he felt America on August the 12th four years ago. He has not been registered as a sex offender, but he is named in an apprehended violence order. Unfortunately, the applicant’s name has been redacted. Ned receives a text from his father, but refuses to contact him back. Ned explains that their father ran out on them, when things got tough.
Ned discovers a video regarding the murders in West Papua. He watches the video from the parliament house. Marina Baxter (Robyn Malcolm) speaks with the press. She insists there is no link with other attacks and that the press should not engage in speculation. She is asked about her own personal experience and promises not to make the families wait long for answers. Marina asks Will Sharp (Nathan Lovejoy) whether there is any credible evidence linking the boys’ deaths to the mines. It is revealed the attacks have increased, since negotiations started to expand the lease. Marina is told the deal’s finale draft should be on her desk by the end of the night. We jump back to Roth, who examines the website’s database. Gary’s picture is shown and he is listed as an Admin of the site. Roth contacts Gary and tells him they need to get ready to move the site. He also begins deleting a bunch of accounts.
Roth tries to decrypt some information, but the decryption fails. Meanwhile, Jesse scours through the website. He finds a bunch of pictures of what appears to be young boys. He also finds a user, YoungBlood, who is seemingly engaging in the sell of young boys. YoungBlood sends HeBeLove a picture of the young boy, who turns out to be Callum. Jesse tries to trace the IP, but the function fails. Lara sets up a plan to force Jesse to sell something on the website in an attempt to attract Roth. Lara pressures Jesse into luring in Roth with the parliamentary network keys he poached earlier. Jesse makes an account on the site and begins chatting with Roth immediately. Roth shows interest in the keys, after looking up Jesse. He attempts to make the purchase for 20k in Bitcoin. Again Nolan’s advice, Jesse demands 25k. Nonetheless, Nolan agrees and sets up an appointment to make the transaction in person.
Ned is finally allowed to return the conversation. He quickly insists Jesse cannot be allowed to make the handoff. Jesse remains convinced he can pull it off, as long as Hani remains by his side. Callum’s parents are led in and used to urge Jesse and Ned to follow through with the plan. The next day, Hani returns home and speaks with her parents, Nasim (Michael Denkha) and Alilah (Victoria Haralabidou). Nasim tries to convince his daughter that going with Jesse would be a terrible idea. Nonetheless, she admits she loves him. Jesse and Hani leave together. Ned’s father pays him a visit. Ned refuses to tell his father about the police. David reveals he got his ex-wife’s stuff from the nursing home and thought Ned might want to go through it together. Ned remains standoffish and sends his father away, after obtaining her mom’s belongings. Meanwhile, Gary Hunter laces a hamburger with drugs and gives it to Callum.
Callum takes one bite and sits it down. Gary heads to his room and hops on the computer. He speaks with HeBeLove, who wishes to renegotiate the deal. Callum enters and notices his picture on the computer. He admits it is the same picture he sent Rachel. Gary is forced to confirm that there is no Rachel. He also admits there is a lot of money on the table. Callum wants nothing to do with it. He flees and locks himself into a nearby room. Jesse and Hani visit the pier with the police. Jesse receives a phone call from Roth. He tells the man that he will arrive with his girlfriend. During this time, Gary discovers that Callum has escaped the room. He is attacked by Callum, who flees the house. Ned watches from the operations room, while Jesse and Hani head for the meeting point. They sit down and order their drinks, before Jesse asks Hani about her conversation with her father. He becomes upset and causes a scene, before rushing to the bathroom.
Hani follows. They’re trapped by Roth in the bathroom. He takes the USB stick with the parliamentary keys and throws it in the toilet. Roth attempts to convince Jesse to return to his boat with him and help him crack something. Ned and the detectives watch as Jesse, Hani and Roth jump on a boat. They rush to the pier, but find nothing. Jesse and the others disappear on a speed boat. Meanwhile, Gary finds Callum’s bike outside of a gas station. He heads inside and discovers Callum on the couch. He speaks with the workers, who are on the verge of notifying the police. Gary manages to convince them that Callum is his nephew and has been drinking. Gary takes the boy back to his car. Roth gets a call from Rems and Meg. Rems reveals that the bodies of Eric and Christo have disappeared. However, there is another body still on the scene. Meg manages to get a picture of the man’s face. The man turns out to be Marcus. Roth is convinced Marcus was killed and his body was dumped at the crime scene.
We jump over to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Marina. She gets a visit from Will, who brings in photos of Marcus’ corpse. He insists the man was responsible for the attack.
The Code Review
The Code’s second season starts out on a high note. The show is very fast paced and small tidbits of information are crammed into each segment. This can make it somewhat difficult to catch everything during the first viewing. A blink could cause you to miss some vital detail and that could throw you for a loop. Nonetheless, the show remains riveting even if it isn’t entirely comprehensible at first. The entire cast for the first season was excellent and this one is no different. Sigrid Thornton, Guy Edmonds, Anthony LaPaglia, and Ben Oxenbould will prove to be valuable assets.
Still, it is Ashley Zukerman who shines the brightest. The show has begun to delve into a subject that others ignore. The child trafficking scenario is very intriguing, but it is uncertain what is really going on behind the scenes. What has Jan gotten himself into and does he know what Gary has been up to? The abduction of Callum feels so realistic it is almost gut wrenching at times. What is Gary’s plans for the boy and who is HeBeLove? For now, the questions remain.
All in all, a great episode. An 8.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of The Code right now!