With the third episode, Guilty, the writing has pretty much fallen into place. At this point I can say that the police procedural part of the show is pretty much irrelevant to the storyline as the plot this weeks is at least as weak and obvious as last week’s was. And the whole griefing process is trundling on without any real surprises either. And Detective Britten figures out how to use his superpowers to save his resentful son from a convict trying to prove that Britten or his former partner framed him for the murder of the dealer who killed his son. Sounds complicated? It isn’t. What saves this episode from being a complete wash is the acting which is good and the cinmetography which is also good. I do, however wish, that the plotting was up to the task.
The episode starts with a convict, John Cooper (Army Wives’ Clifton Powell) getting dialysis in the green reality while a sympathetic nurse and a resentful cop watch. It seems, however, that the convict has convinced the nurse to help him, as he manages to overpower his police guards with some pharmaceuticals and escapes. he quickly hunts down Britten’s son and kidnaps him, demanding that Mike meet him alone in a warehouse. However, Mike’s old partner (William Russ of Boston Legal and Boy Meets World) is brought in to repeatedly hug Mike and then arranges the convict to be shot by police before he can be fingered. It’s totally obvious that the old partner framed the man, so much so it’s practically a Colombo episode (minus the witty reparte.) The bad cop can’t even come up with anything other than a vague lame excuse at the end. Yeah, this part of the show is noticeably weak and it’s not getting any better.
Frantic Mike takes some sleeping pills, then tries to convince the still living Cooper in the red reality to help him, which he will do if Britten gets him exonerated (he’s willing to use his superpower, even if he isn’t willing to wonder why he has it or how). This however, means that Mike will miss the memorializing of his son at the teen crisis center to be named after him, leaving his distraught wife to speak there herself. So, all in all, the trauma’s of the episode are very theraputic for wife and son, and Mike gets to see how he can work his superpower for good. And at this point, his partners don’t really care how or why he’s doing things. We don’t even get his green world partner wondering how Mike knows his son is being held in a shack out in the desert. And the writers don’t care to put up any histrionics either, as the only person to object to this is green reality psychiatrist BD Wong. Otherwise it’s basically smoothish sailing. Oh, Hannah is upset that he couldn’t make it to the memorial, but she understands he’s a heroic police officer after all. And Rex, at risk of dying alone in the desert shack, decides his wish that it was his dad who died and not his mom overcomes his resentment. Yep, that’s this week’s grief session victory.
I do like the way that many of the characters have good chemistry with each other, Isaacs and Allen, Minnette and Mcmanus especially in this ep. And it’s this which makes the show watchable. The melodrama around it importunately falls short.
So the show has settled into a gimicky if obvious simple police procedural wrapped around the weird two world stages of grieving demo. It remains vaguely interesting but I really can’t help but think it could be far more compelling and interesting than is and has been in execution. I mean, the actors are trying really hard, I can see that, and there are plenty of nice moments they have with each other. And that, it seems, is what it is.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5