The Treasure Map
Episode 2 of National Treasure: Edge of History begins with Billie capturing Oren and hacking into Tasha’s laptop, preventing her from tracking their location. Jess decides they should meet at the USS Kidd Museum for the trade, reluctantly agreeing to the switch.
Jess suggests they go straight to the FBI but Tasha doesn’t think that’s a good idea as they can track her every move and she clearly doesn’t like or trust the authorities. She warns this could get Jess into trouble. Instead of, say, broadcasting Jess stealing relics to Tasha’s 100,000 view strong YouTube channel?
Anyway, they show up at the FBI where Jess and Tasha speak to newbie Agent Ross, bringing up the hostage situation but lying about their names too. Ross believes the whole thing is a haze given she’s new and warns the pair that if they illegally file a report it’s actually a crime. After lying to the FBI, the pair decide to scamper away.
Jess and Tasha ride the bus where they decide to look over the relic and hold it out so everyone can see. Tasha uses a compass app and together, they believe it could well be a puzzle box. Jess manages to open it up, snapping pictures of the various tiles inside and believing it’s part of a larger treasure map.
However, they’re out of time and need to get to the meet with Billie. Jess decides to buy them some time in the gift shop by making it seem like Billie is a shoplifter and getting the police involved to bust her for a minor felony.
Part of this plan involves our little social justice warrior Tasha bursting into the men’s room and talking about the gender issues with bathrooms, prompting the security guard inside to leave. When he does, the whole plan goes awry as Oren decides against getting Billie arrested because he knows they’re going to kill them otherwise.
Off the back of this, Oren, Tasha and Jess decide to team up and head back to Sadusky’s house and look around for clues. Jess heads into Peter’s office and immediately begins rifling through the books, finding the symbol from her necklace in one of the books. Liam shows up and immediately calls her out for breaking and entering. He scoffs at her ideas of the treasure hunt and warns that searching for this is dangerous.
There’s some more teen drama here when Ethan, the missing component of this foursome, finds out his friends have been lying all this time. However, he too has been lying given he’s secretly got a girlfriend. Jess promises no more lies between them, and the pair hug and make up. Off the back of this, Jess does some digging and believes that the symbols on her necklace are connected to the Aztec, Mayans and Incans. Which we know, of course.
Back home, Tasha shows Jess what she’s been up to. She’s managed to reverse-engineer Billie’s Trojan attack and has managed to obtain details about just who this Billie character is. She’s known as the Queen of Cryptocurrency. But then if she did this through hacking, wouldn’t she have just figured this out by, oh I don’t know, googling it?
Jess is not in the mood to party though, given she’s just been fired from her job at the Storage Center for switching shifts at the last minute and her replacement failing to show up. Thankfully, Jess shows up at Squeaky Pete’s, the bar where Liam is singing at, to apply for a barmaid role. After being told she’ll need training that he can’t afford, Jess gives some obvious observations to different things – like a wobbly stool leg and a woman needing napkins – and it’s enough to convince him to hire her. She starts immediately. And that happens just as Liam is let go from his position of singer.
Liam approaches Jess and eventually concedes, asking for her help in uncovering what Peter may be hiding at his house. They show up at the office together, where Liam finds a hidden door. There, they find a whole series of documents inside, some of which written by Jess’s mother!
The Episode Review
National Treasure: Edge of History returns with a follow-up that isn’t much better than the first. We get the obligatory social messaging and a whole rabble of issues inherent with Jess’s plan. There’s still no mention of her online video stealing the relic, and in fact given we know there are shadowy people after this, the pair just randomly sit on a bus and start to uncover the puzzle without a thought that they might be being tracked too.
The show feels rather cheap and the language is clearly geared toward Gen Z, which is absolutely fine but also gives this a specific CW-vibe that’s going to alienate a good chunk of people going into this. And that’s before mentioning the story that’s incredibly poorly written. That scene featuring Jess just randomly getting a job is probably the worst example of a job interview and whoever wrote that clearly needs to “touch grass”.
Hopefully things can improve going forwards but given we have shows like Outer Banks and The Hardy Boys doing a far better job within the adventure genre, National Treasure feels like a natural disaster.