TV Recap: FX’s “Class of ’09” Episode 4 – “Not Your Girlfriend”

The fourth episode of Class of ‘09 further develops the past, present, and future relationship between Poet and Lennix. FX’s crime drama from Tom Rob Smith bounces between three timelines, but this episode is primarily concerned with the past and present. Here is a recap of “Not Your Girlfriend,” with all of the action consolidated within its own era.

(FX)

(FX)

The Past – 2009

At Quantico, the students receive training guns with barrels blocked and firing pins removed. They will carry them around to get used to the weight and mentally prepare for having to use them in the field. As they are invited up to receive their gun, they are asked to tell the class about their first time using a gun. Tayo (Brian Tyree Henry) goes first, sharing that he frequented a Chicago shooting range for his own personal safety.

Hour (Sepideh Moafi) confesses that she hadn’t held a gun prior to this moment. It triggers a memory of the moment she told her parents that she had been accepted into the FBI training program. As Iranian immigrants, they have lived in a way that avoids police interactions. Hour’s dad (David Diaan) believes the family will now be investigated, while Hour’s mom (Maggie Parto) accuses her daughter of merely being lonely. This memory segues into Hour’s polygraph test as part of her admissions procedures. She asked the tester (James Healy Jr.) about what happens with all the data from each FBI polygraph test and suggests collating it into a database.

The class goes to an outside target practice where wooden cutouts spring up, and they need to make a split-second decision to shoot or not. During Tayo’s round, he takes out anyone with a gun but spares a woman holding a baby. Poet (Kate Mara) is up next, and she performs similarly. However, she hesitates when one of the cutouts is a woman with sunglasses on, holding a gun pointed back at her. She makes the decision not to shoot. Drew (Brooke Smith) asks her why in front of the entire class. Poet says she determined that this is an off-duty cop, basing this assumption on the woman’s attire and the type of gun she’s holding, referencing back to information Drew and Gabriel shared with the class when talking about the history of the FBI and guns. While we didn’t see Poet receive her gun and tell the class about her history with them, on the walk back to campus, she tells Lennix (Brian J. Smith) that her mother taught her to shoot in their backyard.

Later, Poet is getting ready for a date with Lennix and confides in Hour that she feels like Lennix is a distraction. Poet regrets that her mom never dated again after her dad walked out on them and feels that she should’ve given her mother permission to date when she was a teenager and no longer as reliant on her mom. Hour, in turn, tells Poet that she should date now and not let the program hold her back. But as Poet begins to leave, Dawn comes to the door and takes Poet to a surprise polygraph retest. Her answers will be compared to the ones she gave during the admissions process. When asked if she has anything to declare, she says yes now when she said no before. The tester (Matt Burke) asks if she lied before, and she tells him this is new information.

After the test, Poet goes to see Lennix and gets upset that he didn’t tell her about the polygraph retest (he already had his). He didn’t disclose the fact that they are dating because he didn’t know it was breaking any rules. Later, Dawn catches up with Poet and warns her that whenever there are breakups within the FBI, things never go well for the woman. “I was in an incident at the beginning of my career for which I was blamed,” she reveals, referencing a flashback we see in which she was shot in the abdomen. She was determined at fault for being in the “wrong place,” despite it being where all the men on her team were. Dawn decided not to let the men win but returned to the only area of the bureau where she would be allowed to excel – Quantico.

The Present – 2023

Mark Tupirik (Mark Pellegrino) sits in the circular cement room with cameras all over. Devices are attached to his body to monitor his vitals, and Tayo enters, unlocking Mark’s handcuffs as they talk. Mark talks about a friend who was a marine and once told him that after you kill a person, the smell of your own skin changes. Tayo asks Mark if his wife was the first person he ever killed. Instead of answering, Mark declares that he saved his wife from a horrible life. Tayo states that if he had shot Mark right away instead of waiting for just cause, she would still be alive. Mark laughs, saying that Tayo is too high-ranking to be prowling around Montana, suggesting that he’s been dreaming of this day for years. “You may be many things, but you are no dream of mine,” Tayo says. Tayo pulls out a tablet and scrolls through images of marines. Mark avoids looking, but Tayo bullies him into it.

Hour and Poet watch Tayo and Mark from the surveillance. Hour’s team can’t determine the destination of the van that Mark was confiscated from, with the A.I. algorithm stumped by the route it was on. Poet wonders if Mark could’ve had anyone infiltrate the bureau. Hour says it’s possible, pointing out that she lied on her polygraph tests without it registering as a lie. As they watch Tayo show Mark photos of marines, Mark’s body measurements indicate a response to one of them. The screens around the room also show who has been given access to the building. Poet thinks she recognizes a construction worker.

A construction truck enters an underground parking garage beneath FBI headquarters. A K-9 unit sniffs around the truck, and it is permitted access. Once through, the van parks by other construction vehicles, and the lead construction worker (Scott Oakley) says, “We go today” to the crew. They set up tarps to conceal their work. They pour a liquid substance around load-bearing columns in the parking garage. It appears to be disintegrating the cement, and the columns begin to crack.

A Quantico trainee (Andrew Etzel) watches news coverage of Mark Tuprik’s arrest. His cell phone rings, and he answers, confirming that today is the firearms assessment. He picks up his gun and heads to the outdoor target practice, led by Dawn. As students fire at the targets, the trainee opens fire on them. Dawn gets shot in the abdomen (again) but is able to crawl to her fallen gun and take out the shooter.

Alarms sound in FBI headquarters to evacuate the building. Poet calls Lennox and tells him to leave. While other agents head down the stairs, Poet goes to the parking garage below. She sees silhouettes of the construction workers behind the tarps, drawing her gun and entering the foggy scene. A struggle ensues, but Poet takes out all of the workers. The garage begins to cave in, and Poet rushes to the stairwell where Lennox was looking for her. They try to get out, but it’s too late. They duck under the stairs as the entire building caves in.

The Future – 2034

Poet visits Lennix’s house, meeting in secret to discuss the state of the FBI. Lennix tells her that many politicians are concerned, but will only talk privately. His father is trying to set up a meeting with Senator Spencer on his behalf. Poet tells Lennix that he doesn’t have to be a part of this investigation just for her, but he says he wants to. Poet wonders where things went wrong between them, and Lennix tells her it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. She mistrusts everyone and tests them until they prove her right. Lennix says that loving her wasn’t easy, but he’s done it for over twenty years. “That is why you should not be involved in this,” Poet tells him. “This time, you’re going to have to tell me it doesn’t stand a chance,” he says. Lennix tucks Poet’s hair behind her left ear and presses the button that deactivates her electronic eye. Poet helps Lennix’s right arm out of its sleeve, finding a button near his elbow. When she presses it, what looks like skin clears away to reveal a robotic right arm.

Class of ‘09 returns on Wednesday, May 31st, with episode 5, titled “The Problem Is People” on Hulu.

In the past, as the Class of ’09 grapple with the complex history of the Bureau. In the present, we see how his dreams of making amends for the Bureau's history are threatening that love story. In the future, the Class of ’09 finally confront each other.

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