In “The Endgame,” a woman dressed to the nines in revealing evening wear is orchestrating a series of simultaneous bank robberies in New York that she promises will have consequences for officials in the highest levels of the U.S. government.
And here’s the punchline: She manages all of this -- the evening wear, this complex caper and the threats to high government officials -- while she is in the custody of these very same officials.
This woman, named Elena Federova, is played by Morena Baccarin (pictured above in the aforementioned outfit).
We learn early in the show that Elena was born and raised in Ukraine shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which is ironic given what is going on now in the region.
How she grew up to be Natasha Fatale is not fully explained in the first episode of “The Endgame,” although we get to see and hear one story in which the girl Elena fights for her very survival with another warrior teen.
Whatever her backstory, this new one-hour drama coming to NBC Monday night is nearly impossible to take seriously. Last week, while previewing it, I struggled to find just the right adjective, out of two options, to describe this show -- ludicrous or hilarious.
I threw out hilarious because the show is not really laughable in the sense that its scenario is supposed to be deadly serious and world-threatening.
So, I settled on ludicrous because so much of this farfetched show simply doesn’t add up, starting with Elena’s get-up -- a long gown accessorized with chic earrings and shiny black high heels (I think they’re pumps, but I’m no expert on women’s dress shoes).
At the outset of the first episode, she strides confidently into a gargantuan underground federal bunker supposedly located beneath the ruins of Fort Totten in Queens, New York.
How she managed to arrive fresh and clean in her gown and full make-up is a mystery because she was supposedly transported to Queens from somewhere far away in the hold of a cargo jet within a heavy metal box resembling a shipping container.
Arriving in the bunker looking none the worse for wear and tear, she is greeted by no less than the U.S. secretary of homeland security, attorney general and FBI director -- signaling that Elena is an important catch indeed.
One of the first things she does upon entering this cavernous space is bend over toward her high government adversaries so they can get an ample view of her cleavage, which was already spilling out of her low-cut dress.
When I saw this, I thought: Well, this is one way for a TV show to attract a male audience.
As she undergoes this interrogation, which consists of little more than these high government officials shouting at her, she remains calm and cool.
When she isn’t flashing her cleavage in everybody’s face, she is baring her shapely legs through a thigh-high cut in her evening gown.
While watching this, I half-expected some paparazzi or a reporter from “Entertainment Tonight” to suddenly emerge and ask who she is wearing, like an exotic movie star on a red carpet.
As she flashes various parts of her body and gazes smugly upon her interrogators, a series of explosive daytime bank robberies are happening all over New York City.
We soon learn that Elena is some kind of evil genius -- an international terrorist who runs her own high-tech army. We also learn that all of the day’s events have been planned in great detail by her with superhuman precision, right down to her capture.
There to sort the whole thing out and serve as the show’s requisite adversary is a feisty, rule-breaking FBI agent (played by Ryan Michelle Bathe) who knows more about Elena than anyone.
The real problem with this show is that none of Elena’s bank capers, nor her control over them, are in any way believable. They are just too far out to accept, even for a TV show like this one.
“The Endgame” premieres Monday (February 21) at 10 p.m. Eastern on NBC.