Murder in the First: Episode 02-07 State of the Union – Recap and Analysis


Murder in the First has displayed a sketchy game plan in this the second season on TNT. Make that multiple sketchy game plans.

Here’s one. Paint a pretty picture that has everyone believing that a certain party is guilty of something. Never mind that there’s no actual proof. Run with it any way.

Were you like me, and most of the viewers, thinking that Detective Navarro was the bad guy in the Homicide Detectives Squad Room. I was sure he was guilty of something. Wasn’t he on the run? Wasn’t he ready to spend mass quantities of the currency of the USA, just to pass into Mexico via Lane Six at the border crossing?.

That’s what I believed in the main. Last week I kind of hedged my bet by asking – well, what exactly was he guilty of?

We will circle back to Navarro in a while.

Here’s another way that Murder in the First did the old switcheroo on us. While I think it is evident that no one watching this season thought that Hildy’s bro – Junior McCormick, was any kind of a good guy. He looked, sounded, and acted like he was born with a chip on his shoulder.

But who knew that he would be this bad. Aside from his detective work, he also moon lighted as the Union’s unofficial Collection Agency. You know – Junior was the muscle to squeeze those who needed squeezing. Nothing like a good five or six punches in the face to get those recalcitrant debtors (those with major unpaid debts to the union) to open the company safe to make a payoff. Each time Junior brought in a bundle, the amount on his own marker was reduced.

Which leads us to another way that the producers and writers of this series continue to play a shell game on we viewers. When things are getting stale – introduce some new characters like –

Exhibit A – Koto’s Dad – just an ordinary father who dreamed his son could become a future Mayor of San Francisco

Exhibit B – Detective Molk’s pole dancer girl friend

Exhibit C – Hildy and Junior’s Dad – a former cop himself. And make him a racist too. Junior asks Pops to front him for 70K. Really? When Dad said he didn’t have 70K laying around (who does?), you just knew we’d be seeing more of Dad McCormick.

Exhibit D – Dustin Maker’s Uncle and his daughter. Within 30 seconds after we had met Uncle Whosis – we knew he was bad. When Attorney Jamie Nelson asked if he would hurt her too – he said, Not if you leave immediately. We didn’t see them, and we didn’t need to – but this guy may have just as well been wearing red flags instead of normal clothes.

No surprise when his daughter, who would be Dustin Maker’s cousin, ditched her school gal attire for a tank top and cut-offs as she was headed to a skip school party.

Lucky Jamie Nelson followed her and then squeezed her for info on her Dad.

Exhibit E – Cristobal Navarro – here two days ago, gone to Mexico, the next day.

Exhibit F – Andy Chan. He’s the head of the Chinese gang in SF’s Chinatown, and in his own words – he’s too smart to start a war with Sugar. Not good for business. Every one loses. Sugar is hell-bent on making someone pay for Tenea’s murder. He opened the show by shotgunning some poor Chinese gang guy in retribution.

But after meeting Old man Chan – a light bulb went off in his head. Yeah I get it. In a war we both lose, and some on else steps in to seize control.

Hello Fatty B !!

Exhibit G – The dirty cop heading up the union. He’s got his hooks into Junior and has the balls to stand up to Hildy’s Dad, Martin ‘Senior’ McCormick.

I think I’ve covered most the bases – so let’s circle back to Navarro. He got busted at the border on his RETURN into the USA from Mexico. They haul his ass into an interview room and he tells them – I wasn’t on the run, I was just helping Cristobal flee from the Nazi Brotherhood.

Beyond that, he stated he was a pussy cat – and he didn’t have the stones to kill anyone much less Peat.

And lest we forget, Jalil is still missing, and presumably still dead. However the jury may still be out on that. This episode, the 7th of 12 in this the second season was called State of The Union, and no – I didn’t, and neither did you, have any idea of what they really meant with this title. A work force union was the last thing on my mind going into this week.

Junior’s job as the union’s muscle and collector came straight out of Left field. We never saw it coming.

Just like we didn’t see how much the roles of Terry English and Hildy Mulligan would be reduced this year and lately, we hardly ever see them in the same scene.


For the record, DA Siletti had the week off.

Until next time.


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