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The Maze Affair Recap

Napoleon and Illya show up at Del Floria's tailor shop and go inside to enter U.N.C.L.E. HQ. A minute later, a man comes in and asks Del Floria to remove a spot from his coat. When the tailor's back is turned, the man slips a package beneath a pile of coats. Once he leaves, Del Floria notices the box and sprays it with a chemical from a nearby hose.

At Thrush headquarters in New York, Oliver Banes and his assistant Clemson monitor the bomb's activity. They realize that Del Floria is using a chemical that amplifies sound, allowing him to hear if there is a bomb mechanism inside the package.

Illya and Napoleon report to Waverly, who them a file on Thrush's newest plans. The rival organization plans to steal a new molecutronic gun.

Del Floria sounds the alarm and the U.N.C.L.E. agents swing into action. The tailor dumps the package down a chute to the bomb disposal area, and Illya runs in and has the demolition team immerse it in a 40' deep tank of water. It explodes harmlessly and Barnes, monitoring the explosion, realizes that they've failed. He reminds Clemson that he warned his superiors that it wouldn't work, but figures that his plan to destroy U.N.C.L.E. from within will succeed.

Illya returns to Waverly's office and their superior explains that Febray Electronics in Brooklyn created the molecutronic gun. The Army is going there for a test of the gun that afternoon and Waverly sends Napoleon to take charge of security while Illya remains in reserve.

At Febray, Napoleon comes in posing as an air conditioning repairman, and uses a fake toolbox to take out the guard using knockout gas. The agent sets off the eyebeam and gets the drop on two more guards when they come running. After he locks them in a closet, Napoleon goes to the main lab, setting off the gun trap in the lock. When Dr. Febray sends his assistant out to make sure the intruder is dead, Napoleon easily captures both men and introduces himself.

Barnes and Clemson arrive, disguised as U.S. Army generals, and discover the unconscious guard.

Once Febray confirms Napoleon's credentials, the agent tell them about the intercepted messages from Thrush concerning the theft of the molecutronic gun. Barnes and Clemson come in and demand an explanation, and Napoleon checks their credentials. They're authentic, but he calls U.N.C.L.E. in Washington and confirms that the two generals left Washington for New York. Satisfied, Napoleon has Febray proceed with the test. Barnes releases a gas bomb from his briefcase, and the assistant runs away while Napoleon and Febray collapse.

When Napoleon wakes up, he's in a limo with Barnes and Clemson, who also have the gun. Barnes explains that they abducted the general en route to New York and took their place, and they took Napoleon because they're going to use him as a test subject for a field test of the gun. The Thrush agents are apparently unaware that Napoleon has secretly activated the tracking unit in his tie tack.

When they hear about the theft, Illya and Waverly go to Febray Electronics to investigate the theft. Febray refuses to go with them into protective custody and is furious that Napoleon failed to protect the gun. Lisa calls from headquarters and tells Illya that Napoleon has activated his tie tack. Waverly tells Illya to secure Febray and leaves with a team. They follow the signal to a farmhouse in the woods. However, when they break in they find the tie tack on a table but no sign of Napoleon or Thrush.

Act II: No Noose is Good Noose

Illya disguises Febray as an Arab shah and takes him to an apartment safe house. Febray is ready to begin the testing, but Illya has him provide the beta radiation signature that the molecutronic gun gives off. The agent then programs it into a scanning device so that they can track the gun. When Febray suggests that they pay Thrush for the return of the gun, Illya warns him that the enemy will take the money and then kill him.

Back at U.N.C.L.E. HQ, Waverly's team picks up a new Thrush communique indicating that Napoleon has been taken to Vinegar Wells, a desert community. The small town is a stopover to the unidentified test area, and U.N.C.L.E. needs to know where the gun is before they can launch a recovery mission. Waverly sends Illya to Vinegar Wells and the agent stops at a gas station. The elderly station attendant says that he has seen several trucks heading toward a nearby ghost town, and Illya drives off to investigate. Once he leaves, the old man calls Barnes and tells him that Illya is on his way.

Illya sneaks into the ghost town and scans for beta radiation from the top of a water tower. When he tries to call HQ, he discovers that the beta radiation is jamming his signal. Barnes and a squad of Thrush soldiers bring Napoleon out to a nearby gallows and put a noose around his neck. Illya throws a small explosive into a nearby building and the soldiers run in to investigate. However, when Illya goes to rescue his partner, the trapdoor beneath them opens, dumping them into a prison cell. Barnes is waiting for them and Illya realizes that the entire thing was a trap to capture him.

Barnes and his soldiers takes the two agents out to the desert and Barnes tells Napoleon to run. They then open fire on him with the molecutronic gun and he ducks the resulting explosions bursting up from the ground. One finally comes too close, knocking him off a cliff, as Illya looks on in horror.

Act III: Deceptive Death

Clemson assures Barnes that no one could have survived that fall, and Barnes prepares to use Illya as the next test subject. However, Clemson discovers that the trajectory control is damaged. They prepare to take Illya back to the cell to wait until they can fix it, and Clemson warns Barnes that they'll need Febray to make the repair.

In New York, Thrush agents soon track down Febray and take him away, knocking out the U.N.C.L.E. agent on guard.

Napoleon wakes up, bruised and battered but alive, and heads back to the ghost town.

When Thrush brings Febray to the ghost town, Barnes escorts the scientist to his saloon base of operations and demands that he fix the trajectory control. Febray tries to pay him off, offering $10 million for the gun and his safety, but Barnes says that they can make ten times that selling the weapon to regimes. The scientist tries to shove past Barnes and make a run for it, but the Thrush soldiers easily subdue him.

As he treks across the desert, Napoleon finds a car with a woman dozing inside of it. He wakes her up and she screams and slap him until the agent can calm her down. Napoleon asks for a ride and the woman, Abbe Nelton, explains that her car broke down when she was leaving a party the previous night after a fight with her boyfriend. She came form Gossamer Flats, 40 miles away, and her girlfriend's ranch is 10 miles away. Realizing that the ghost town is closer, Napoleon tells Abbe to stay in her car. However, the woman insists on going with him rather than sitting out in the hot sun.

The Thrush soldiers toss Febray in the cell with Illya, and Febray admits that he fixed the gun for Barnes. He warns the agent that they have fifteen minutes until Barnes finishes reassembling the gun, and shows Illya two vials of acid that he managed to grab during his escape attempt. The two acids combined form a powerful explosive, and Illya uses them to break open the door. The two men run for it and take refuge in an abandoned train. When three Thrush soldiers come after them, Illya manages to subdue them and then tells Febray that they're going back for the molecutronic gun in a stolen jeep.

Abbe finally asks for a rest break, and Napoleon suggests that she go back to the car. Once he walks off past the earlier test site, Abbe sees a lizard and panics, running to catch up with him. She trips over a cord and Napoleon follows it to a bundle of dynamite. When Abbe wonders why there's dynamite in the middle of the desert, Napoleon realizes why it's there.

Illya and Febray Barnes go back to the saloon and Illya takes out the soldier guarding the gun. He grabs the molecutronic gun and runs back to the jeep, but Barnes arrives and shoots Febray in the book. The dying Febray tells Illya to abandon him and go on. The agent drives back to Vinegar Wells and calls U.N.C.L.E. HQ. He informs Waverly that Napoleon is dead but he has the gun, and Waverly tells him to return to HQ immediately. As Illya drives to the airport, the attendant takes out a tape recorder hidden in the phone booth and listens to Illya's conversation with Waverly.

When Napoleon and Abbe arrive at the ghost town, Barnes soon manages to capture them. He then introduces them to his superior: Febray.

Act IV: Demolition Dilemma

In the saloon, Febray monitors Illya's progress while Barnes ties up Napoleon and Abbe. The Thrush agents confirm that Abbe is who she says, while Napoleon informs them that he has worked out their plan: the molecutronic gun is a fake weapon... but a real bomb.

Illya enters Del Floria's and the tailor checks for any sounds of timing devices. Once they're sure that it's harmless, Illya drops it down the chute to HQ below, where Waverly and a team of scientists are waiting to analyze it.

Febray has his men bring Napoleon and Abbe to his hidden control center and monitors the bomb inside of the fake gun. The scientist explains that the bomb is currently inactive, which is why U.N.C.L.E. detected no trace of an explosive. When the last bolt is removed from the inner casing, the bomb will send a signal and Febray will arm and then detonate it.

In New York, Waverly invites Illya to open up the gun since he was the one who recovered it.

Napoleon tells Abbe to fake a fainting spell, and she reluctantly does so. The agent takes advantage of the distraction to jump Febray but is quickly subdued. Barnes drags Napoleon and Abbe into a nearby vault and locks them in. Napoleon reveals that his attack was a ruse to grab Febray's radio. He tries to alter the frequency to Channel D but discovers that he needs a thin metal object to insert into the casing. Abbe produces a safely pin and Napoleon calls HQ.

As Illya removes the last bolt, Lisa comes in and tells Waverly that someone using Napoleon's name is transmitting. Waverly tunes in and they can make out Napoleon's voice, but are unable to tell what he's saying. Illya goes to the control room to boost the transmission while Waverly's team of scientists continue dismantling the gun.

When Barnes comes in to bring out the prisoners so they can witness Thrush triumphant, he discovers that Napoleon has the radio. When they're escorted to the control room, Febray congratulates Napoleon on the attempt.

Once Illya enhances Napoleon's message, he tells the demolition team. They seal the gun-bomb in a metal mesh bag and drop it into the water tank.

Febray sends the trigger signal and tells Napoleon that Thrush has wiped out U.N.C.L.E. HQ. Napoleon grabs a flask from a nearby table and throws it at a console, creating a distraction. He manages to knock out the guards and takes one of their guns. When Febray uses Abbe as a shield, she fakes another faint. Napoleon shoots Febray and discovers that Abbe fainted for real this time. After calling the local substation, Waverly informs Napoleon that they contained the explosion in time.

Later, Napoleon brings Abbe to New York and gives her a medal for bravery as Illya looks on. The "medal" is her safety pin, and Napoleon kisses her and says she should never go anywhere without it.

Written by Gadfly on Mar 1, 2016

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