Murder in the First: Episode Seven – Suck My Alibi

Murder in the First aired its 7th episode tonight. The title was Suck My Alibi, which was a bit too obvious for me, like a writer’s gimmick rather than something someone might actually say to the police. Aside from an intriguing turn by Bess Rous as Ivana West, and Kathleen Robertson as Inspector Hildy Mulligan, this wasn’t much of an episode as it offered little in the way of great writing, or suspense, yet it was a distinct improvement over the previous week’s debacle, and that was due to the actors.

Bess Rous as Ivana West

Bess Rous as Ivana West

While this episode again featured some egregiously stupid courtroom scenes, this episode was more about evidence. As in no evidence, or made up evidence, or disappearing evidence. It’s not often you have a show where the cops break the rules,

This is Captain Kono - who said - There was no laptop

This is Captain Kono – who said – There was no laptop

and the DA spins her way out of an awkward situation, and the ADA is a bungler. Beyond that, tell me when you have seen a show about a murder trial and in one of the episodes, the defendant does not speak even a single word.

ADA Mario Siletti twice broke a cardinal rule in courtroom behavior. I mean even Tom Cruise as the lawyer in A Few Good Men knew enough to NOT show disappointment when something didn’t go his way. But Siletti looked forlorn after Warren Daniels hung Wilkerson out to dry in cross. That was the first time.

As long as I mentioned Wilkinson, I have to ask – why did Siletti put Wilkinson on the stand? To introduce into evidence an SMS message that Wilkinson received at 9:02 purportedly sent by the deceased Cindy Strauss? This after Siletti’s forensic specialist had stated the time of death was 8:30 PM.

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The Leftovers: Episode 01 x 04 – B.J. and the A.C.

Let’s put it this way – Do you really care if Laurie is able to grasp the lighter, a gift from her daughter, that she had earlier intentionally dropped into the water drainage system?

And if so why? Is it symbolic of something?

And the two big reveals – that Tom is likely the good reverend’s son, and that Christine s pregnant with Wayne’s child – gee, what a surprise. Since Tom didn’t rough up Christine, why would he bolt from the hospital? And what was the point of the shoelessness? And the targets on the foreheads? I wonder if Joseph who went around with Mary who carried the real baby Jesus was shoeless?

Then Police Chief Garvey’s brakes fail, and…?

Or the long assembly line of making those Aforda A Babies. I was kind of creeped out watching that. And then the Baby Jesus is stolen, by Police Chief Garvey’s own daughter only to be returned a few days later, which is followed by Police Chief Garvey tossing it out the window of his borrowed truck. After all, a replacement BJ had been provided by the Reverend. What does that symbolism mean?

But the worst part was watching the Guilty Remnant break into all those homes and steal the photos of The Departed. They’re saying: No pictures of family so – no family – so move on …

Now I know many of you will disagree. I’m in the process of washing my hands of this series, while you’re like’y to point out – the empty pamphlet – in other words – we, as individuals,  don’t matter. Isn’t that interesting? Don’t you want to see where that leads? Or the spilled corpses on the highway must mean something. I mean didn’t Christine reference that because the half-naked man said something about it in a dream? Frankly, I don’t want to know what those events mean.

Since I don't have to spend time with these two on a Sunday night, why would I want to?

Since I don’t have to spend time with these two on a Sunday night, why would I want to?

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The Divide: New Series on We-tv Network

Convictions are more enemies of truth than lies…
Here the ways of men divide.
If you wish to strive for happiness then believe.
If you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire.

These are quotes from the philosopher Freidrich Nietzsche, and they are the first things we see as the new series on the We-tv Network called The Divide, begins. The next thing we see is a woman, who we will learn is called Christine Rosa (she’s played by Marin Ireland) is reading from the Nietzsche book, Human, All Too Human.

The series begins with a two-hour (the pilot and the 2nd episode) screening. The Opening hour is called The Way Men Divide, and the second hour is called No Such Thing as Justice. Christine Rosa is not yet a lawyer but she works for an outfit called The Innoncence Initiative. They take on cases when they believe that justice has not been served, and when an innocent man has been wrongly convicted. In Christine’s words – It is easier to get into Harvard than it is to get us to take a case. Have a look at Christine:

On the opposite side is Philadelphia District Attorney Adam Paige. He’ s played by Damon Gupton. You may recall Gupton from The Newsroom, in the episode in the Season One episode called Bullies. Gupton as Sutton Hall went toe-to-toe with TV News Anchor Will McAvoy played Jeff Daniels. Sutton Hall stood his ground and gave as good as he got. It was a memorable moment in the series, and now Gupton is one of the leads in this series.

The case is about a 12-year-old murder of almost all of a Philadelphia family. There was one witness – an 8-year-old child. Adam Paige has built his career around this one case.

You're not using me to get your name in the papers!

You’re not using me to get your name in the papers!

What the Innocence Initiative is after is an re-examination of the DNA.  The killer is on Death Row in a Pennsylvania prison.  Adam Paige is still the well-known DA. Christina Rosa and her boss Clark Rylance who is played by Paul Schneider, who also had a key role on The Newsroom as writer Brian Brenner, in two Episodes called Blackout 1 - Tragedy Porn and Blackout 2 – Mock Debate, want to take a look at the case (Rylance has to be convinced) to see if a new light can be shined on the case. They believe questions need to be asked.

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Rush – New Series on the USA Network

The USA Network premiered Rush last night. In a few words Rush is about a boutique MD, a doctor to the stars or the rich and famous. With him, it is out-calls only, cash up front only, as his office seems to be a Mercedes Benz convertible. Matthew McConnaughey did a film called The Lincoln Lawyer with a similar premise – you know have briefcase, will travel..

The lead, Rush, is played by Tom Ellis,  a tall and lanky 30-something from Wales in the UK. Really. I wouldn’t have known it. The series is set in LA, at least while Rush is on the road in his car. When he’s indoors it may very well be somewhere in British Columbia, in Canada.

He’s a party guy, a drug user, and seems eminently amoral. He may be good at doctoring, but he’s almost flatlining as a human being. In the opening episode, His clientele range from drug pushers, to a professional baseball player with a penchant for beating up women, to a film mogul with a broken cock.

Think of Liev Schreiber as the LA fixer called Ray Donovan on the Showtime series of the same name, then think of George Clooney as the New York fixer Michael Clayton in the film of the same name. Those guys are up in the penthouse. Take the elevator down to a few levels below the street, and we will arrive at Rush.

He has a girl Friday called Eve, and a doctor buddy who works for real in a real hospital. From what I’ve seen, Rush has sex, takes drugs, doesn’t sleep, doesn’t shower, and changes his shirt fairly often. He lies to women and generally fits solidly into the mold of an all-around heel.

Of course he has that look, and you know the look. Think of Adrian Grenier from Entourage needing a shave. Think of House MD only this guy Rush snorts coke and smokes weed as often as possible whereas House liked as well as needed to pop pain-killers as often as possible.

I watched the opening show – and to be honest, aside from some flashy shots, and some cool editing, I wasn’t thrilled. I simply don’t see Dr. Will Rush as a guy I want to spend even one hour a week with. He’ll probably attract some viewers who believe his life style is cool – as in babes, and nose candy, and 10K, 15K, or 20K per house call.

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The Bridge: Episode 02×02 – Ghost of a Flea

Episode Two of The Bridge, seemed to be centered on demons. Not the Halloween version of demons. Rather we are talking about inner demons in the guise of depressive and troubling thoughts exhibited by many of the key characters.

At the forefront are Sonya Cross and Marco Ruiz. Both are homicide detectives with Sonya working the El Paso area, and Marco working in Juarez. Both have suffered traumatic losses. Sonya’s sister was murdered, as was Marco’s son. Both have lingering feelings of depression which for Marco resulted in him losing his focus and surrendering himself to booze and broads as a way of forgetting.

Sonya’s issue is the that she is capable of narrowing her focus down to the point of near obsession. But back to the episode.

Episode 2, called Ghost of a Flea, hit the screen with creepy and kept going deeper and deeper down that road. As you recall, the woman I called the Forensic Accountant got ID’ed by a taxidermist or more accurately he described her as a “Churchy Lady”, which was a reference to her clothing, I think. I later found out that the character’s name is Eleanor Nacht. She’s the one played by Franka Potente.

Anyway, as the first episode concluded Eleanor was washing blood off her body and was in desperate need of some fresh clothing. A couple of kids rolled by on bikes and one agreed to help her. Bad mistake sonny.

But this Eleanor, who has become some one that Sonya is looking for, as well as Marco, and the DEA, and the Mexican Cartel boss Fausto Galvan – has also claimed that the prolific tattoos on her body are there to remind her about the demons that’s she’s dealing with.

My guess about her is that she may have lost a child, or murdered her own child, or murdered her own mother. But she clearly stated her concern about demons.

El Paso Times reporters Daniel Frye and Adriana Mendez also have personal demons. Daniel’s is what used to be called demon rum (meaning he is an alcoholic) and Adriana, who certainly seems the most grounded and sensible character in the whole show, is dealing with coming to terms with her own homosexuality. She also has a missing sister – but I believe Adriana has gotten past that fact.

Meanwhile, leaving the theories on the side, let’s head back to the cases and the happenings of the episode.

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The Leftovers: Episode 01 x 03 – Two Boats and a Helicopter

Three episodes in and I’m not sure if I want to go any further. For sure, The Leftovers,  a new HBO series,  seems to have support on either end of the love/hate continuum.

Some say the show is dark and depressing and they have enough of that in real life. Others say that rather than putting on another show that is upbeat and has sunsets and happy people, this show accurately reflects life as most of us know it.

Which puts me in the position of having to react to what I just wrote. Shall I continue with a show that depresses me, or should I watch the show because it is not about cops and crimes, or spies and global politics. There are explosions on HBO’s The Leftovers, but these are of the emotional nature. But there’s a caveat to that as well.

In Episode Three called Two Boats and a Helicopter (and no, I haven’t figured that title out yet) a local Episcopal minister is facing the end of his financial rope. In short he’s facing the loss of his church. He’s defaulted on the mortgage payments as attendance at the church is down to a trickle of folks, which means that contributions have dried up,. The bank has a buyer for the church and its property. He is also facing the loss of his housekeeper/caregiver for his comatose wife as he hasn’t paid her salary in three weeks. He needs a quick infusion of a lot of cash like $135,000 which the bank wants no later than the end of business on the next day.

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Matador – New TV Series

Ever hear of the El Rey Network? As far as I know it is available on Xfinity, Time Warner, Cox Cable, and is a new network created by Robert Rodriguez, king of the grindhouse flicks. The subtitle of the network is:

Where Fans, aficionados, and Rebels Come For a Fix of Bullets, Blood, and Babes.

The El Rey premiered its brand new original series tonight called Matador. Following just two days after the World Cup concluded, the series is positioned to be of immediate interest to soccer/futbol fans with a healthy serving of espionage and babes as the network proclaims. From the network’s own overview of the show:

“Matador” stars Tony Bravo, a DEA Agent from Boyle Heights who’s recruited by a little known branch of the CIA for a top-secret mission: investigate the LA Riot by going undercover as one of their players. Tony will need the espionage skills to impress his handlers and some fast footwork to make the team, or the beautiful game would end in sudden death. Is Tony in for the win?

Said in my own words, Gabriel Luna stars as Tony Bravo, a DEA agent out of East Los Angeles, specifically Boyle Heights. As the show opens he and two other dudes are registering at one of the swank hotels in Baja. Two of them look confident, and one looks nervous. The two confident ones are DEA and they’re positioned to do a BUY and BUST with some Euro psycho-drug merchant. It goes south, there’s a shoot out, a chase, and we later come to learn that the chase was recorded by a big time eye-in-the-sky satellite, owned an operated by The Company – which is CIA to you and me.

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