Murder in the First aired the second episode of its Second Season tonight. The episode title was called Schizofrenzy. Being honest and truthful, I’ll say that much like the word schizophrenic or frenzy – this episode was all over the place.
*****SPOILERS AHEAD*****THIS IS A RECAP*****
From the streets of San Francisco to the subterranean tunnels beneath those very streets to hot storeroom sex is what we saw. There was a nearly complete absence of stress or tension for the majority of the show. It’s not like they didn’t try; rather it simply didn’t work. Read on.
. The show opened with the death of one of the uniformed cops who was a part of the ground team searching for the remaining shooter from last week. Yes it was tragic, and we see as much from most of the faces of the police on the scene.
Then we followed Raffi (played by Emmanuelle Chriqui) into one of the tunnels. She was sent into a narrow crawl space because she was small and had some experience in similar tunnels in Gaza or Israel. Yeah, it was spooky and she nearly went over the edge of an abyss. But she didn’t – after all this is just the second episode. You don’t hire a performer like Chriqui for a smidgen more than one episode and then kill her off.
From there we found out that Lieutenant Koto, who had been shot in the Season’s opening episode was okay and out of surgery but he would be hors de combat for the time being. Since Koto would be unable to perform his duties for a while, The Chief of Police promoted Detective Terry English to Lieutenant and named him acting head of the detectives.
Pointedly the Chief asks English, When was the last time you slept or had something to eat? English had no answer for the Chief – who then said – do something about that.
Meanwhile the shooting suspect, Alfie Rentman is showing up on various surveillance equipment as he flit around the city. It wasn’t like he was hiding, you know, holed up somewhere – it seemed almost seemed like a game – as he seemed to be hiding in plain sight – as if to taunt the police. The ‘gaming’ aspect was confirmed by the boy’s parents,
as well as the police techie, Kami Keefer, who had hacked into Alfie’s game records and notes on his laptop.
English goes off to his favorite greasy spoon for some nachos and Raffi shows up. She takes one from his plate and says, Mmmm, then another, then she reaches for a fork, Meaningful looks are exchanged, and seconds later, they’re having hot sex in a storage room at HQ. The beginning seemed a bit off. Shouldn’t she have asked, May I have a taste?
Alfie meanwhile is needing some attention to his ear. He’s in a nice neighborhood leaning against a car, and he says to no one that we can see – Follow my lead. He then tries to open a car door. A lady from the corner house comes out and sees his state and says, Come in – have a shower, and I’ll give you some soup.
Of course, and as expected, when he’s done in the shower and is now dressed in this lady’s sons left over but clean clothes, he comes out into the living room, and she’s watching him on the tv. You’re him, (or that’s you) right? she asks. He is. So what comes next is a game of checkers and some soup. We next see this lady in the police station detailing what had happened.
At some point earlier – Alfie had left an envelope for Detective Hildy. There was a note addressed to her, and the main point of the letter was beautiful point, and what’s the point [of living]. Yes this was a serious and important clue – impossible to ignore.
Turns out that beautiful point is a reference to the Bonita Point Lighthouse at the very tip of the Marin Headlands. Alfie is there with a hostage, and a battalion of cops surround the place. Snipers are in place. As are English, who has tactical command, and Mulligan. Alfie calls English on his phone and says he wants to talk to Hildy.
He’s ready to give up and surrender but only to Hildy.
They meet on the middle of the footbridge between the headland and the lighthouse.
Hildy asks him to let the hostage go.
And the instant he does – the sniper blows Alfie away with a head shot.
Okay so much for the recap – now comes some analysis:
1) There was a plain clothes detective floating around in the early scenes. Especially around the body of the cop that was killed. The script and the director took great pains to make sure we saw him – twice – both with the black wool knit cap and without. The expression on his face was somewhat enigmatic, or should I say pointed.
My point – he almost seemed pleased that the black cop had been killed. Why?
2) The whole season is about to switch gears – unless it reverts back to the case and trial of the other student killer, now laid up and under guard in the hospital. This character did not appear in this episode – so maybe I have guessed wrong. But the new acting DA, Mario Siletti, who was so bad in the trial of Eric Blunt last season, appeared in this episode. So we know a trial is coming.
3) English pointedly told his shooters, On my command! But in the climatic exchange, as soon as Alfie let go of the girl – a sniper blew him away. I’m not sure I heard the command.
4) Hildy’s daughter was reduced to a single question and answer – a friend is watching her. Okay fine. Hopefully we won’t revisit this. We all know Hildy has a daughter, just as we know Hildy sometimes puts work before family. I think none of this advances the story, and we really don’t need more of this.
5) Where are they going with Chriqui’s Raffi and Diggs’s English. Yeah, the chemistry worked fine and the combustible hot sauce nachos led to hot sex. Now English has the command – he can’t be ‘dicking’ around at the office. Or can he?
May we expect that Hildy finds out – and may we expect some cold shoulder leading to an issue. And I’m waiting to see Chriqui in plain clothes rather than her work gear.
What did you think of the episode. I thought it was rather weak when they attempted some tension that didn’t work in the first half, but the finale, at Bonita Point Lighthouse was great. Especially those terrific overhead shots taken from a helicopter.
We’ll be back with Episode three next Monday night.