New Series on A&E – Those Who Kill

With HBO’s True Detective ending this Sunday, you’re going to have a gap in your detectives and murders programming. Therefore, you can all give the new series on A&E a try. It’s called Those Who Kill. Yes, it is another show with a female detective, and another show with a quirky profiler as her partner. There will be 10 episodes and that should take us into Mid May. Just what we need at the moment.That’s the good news.

Unfortunately there is bad news too. The show will air on Monday nights at 10:00 PM. Yes, that is the same time as The Blacklist. But this Monday, The Blacklist will not air. So you might want to consider checking this out.

Unlike True Detective, or The Killing, or The Following – this series will be in the old style format of a new case each week. Those Who Kill will be like the aforementioned Blacklist, which also has a new case each episode, along with recurring story lines involving the characters.

Chloë Sevigny stars as Catherine Jensen, a new homicide detective in Pittsburgh, PA. Her co-star is James D’Arcy as Thomas Schaeffer, the profiler or forensic psychologist. Together they will work to solve the cases. But, I guess you already knew that.

Among the supporting players will be James Morrison, Michael Rispoli, Kathy Baker, and Bruce Davison.

Background/backstory – Detective Catherine Jensen comes with a history, and don’t we all, which is going to intrude into the present. No need to alert the media about that as that is the norm these days.

All we know about her at the moment, that is after the first episode, is that she broods a lot, likes a glass of wine while standing on her balcony overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline, and she has a violent streak to her. She is also the daughter of a Judge (Bruce Davison) and she has a brother who has went missing years ago. One last salient fact, she tells us that she knows what it is like to be locked in a dark and terrifying place. Not only is that a very strong omen, but, again sorry about the repeating the ‘news gambit’ – that is most of the good news.

As for her partner, James D’Arcy plays the profiler/forensic guy. He has a history with the PD, and most of it was problematic. He’s also problematic about remembering his clothing as he has a habit of leaving it about. He’s married as well

So, I am sure you are saying – what is he good at? For starters, he’s great at making deep incursions into the killers minds, men or women that he hasn’t met yet, and then delivering long-winded theories that sound great but are actually have the substance or wispiness of cotton candy. That’s an old method used by every other profiler since the year one. You look and sound like you know what you’re doing, as you are the ‘supposed’ expert.

But it is really just a psycho-jargon-babble that could be, or might be right. Only the conclusions he makes, could not possibly be true in real life based on the evidence on hand, and that’s tied to the fact that he’s been on the case, oh about 15 minutes. So the writers rely on the that old TV sleight of hand which means he’s going to end up being right. Where are on the planet is this possible? Right – on 1 hour a week Television crime series.

Let’s go back to Chloe Sevigny as Jensen. She officially replaces The Blacklist’s Agent Elizabeth Keen as the worst cop or agent of law enforcement that we’ve seen in years. To wit, in this premiere episode she breaks the rules often, and if that weren’t bad enough, she allows herself to get captured by the perp and hidden in a dark and mysterious place that is terrifying to her, or anyone else – TWICE.

The writing wins no prizes either. Especially when the perp shows up at Detective Jensen’s apartment. What did he do, just ask the desk sergeant for Detective Jensen’s home address?

Okay it is not all bad. James Morrison who we’ve all seen on numerous TV series ranging from LA Law, to JAG, to 24, to West Wing, and NCIS, CSI:Miami, and Cold Case to name but a few – has a nice presence as Jensen’s commanding officer. Of course, like all cop bosses, he will be something of a doubting Thomas, or specifically for this show a doubting Frank.

Speaking of familiar faces we will also be treated to the work of Michael Rispoli, who was Jackie Aprile on The Sopranos for three seasons.

Omid Abtahi is on board for all 10 episodes as another detective. I did mention familiar faces didn’t I? Omid looks like a younger brother of Alexander Siddig who not only appeared in a number of 24 episodes, but was also a regular on the classic Deep Space Nine series from 1993 to 1999.

I’ll close this review off with an uptick. If you’ve never been to Pittsburgh and environs, if you have a craving for mummified corpses, and if you think a young woman detective might be the next Columbo, or even the next Dana Scully, then give it a try and tune in.

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