Murder in the First: 02-10 – Nothing But The Truth

Murder in the First rolled out its 10th episode of the Second Season tonight. They called it Nothing But the Truth. Telling the truth, and nothing but the truth, I must tell you, that in my opinion, this was quite possibly the worst episode of the season.

For one full hour we watched defense attorney Jamie Nelson trot out the obvious – the abused child defense tied to the Alfie Rentman made him do it through manipulation to then asking for mercy, and a life sentence instead of the death penalty. That is after the media was out in force, to get answers from Nelson, for the dinner argument she had with Colleen that landed heavily and with an exceedingly loud thud in social media.

She deftly dealt with the media then found sanctuary in the court room where Mario Siletti was ready to give his Off with His Head Speech after a few witnesses showed up for direct by Nelson, each of whom faced some brief crosses by the DA. Nelson also told the Judge that Dustin Maker would have the entire rest of his natural life to think about what he had done, and what it had cost him. He’s only 18 – so figure at least 50-60 more years in San Quentin.

DA Mario Siletti was at least this week free from serious gaffes. He was a bit tough on grilling a couple of Nelson’s witnesses which resulted in Nelson objections which were sustained by the Judge.

It may not have been totally obvious and it took them a while to spell it out – but lawyer Nelson was arguing for a life sentence while parading the boy’s father, and a court shrink to tell us the litany of this sociopath’s flaws. Jeez – it was like watching paint dry. And then Maker himself took the stand. which was equally if not more tortuous for the audience. We didn’t get to see his young cousin as I thought we might.

Somehow, to me, showing mercy is more about ending the young man’s life rather than: and now, for our defendant, here you go – a life sentence with no chance of parole.

In case you dozed off – Jalil Thompson is still dead but at least found – in another man’s grave. The old wrong toe-tag game. I expect there will be more on this in the upcoming weeks.

Raffi had the week off – as did Molk, Navarro, Koto, and the Chief of Police. As did Sugar Cascade and Fatty B. You recall in my past recaps, I stated that MITF has this shell game they play with us – they introduce a new character, throw suspicion on him, and then, just when you think the coppers have their man, you find out that they don’t and they introduce some one else. Or bring back some character that we met long ago.

This week it is the IA or Management Control investigator Torres. We met him briefly before when he interviewed Navarro, and I think earlier in the season, he had an exchange with Hildy about something. This week this guy tried to talk Hildy into standing clear of the Union and Junior’s troubles. What a sweetheart. Hildy wasn’t buying or impressed.

So Hildy and English cooked up a plan to follow the money. Junior would make the payoff drop at the strip club. They’d wait for the strip club hostess/bag-lady to exit the club with Junior’s bag and then double track her. English and Hildy in one car, and Junior in a second. Lucky she came out the front door for the valet parking rather than from the back door to the employee parking lot

They tracked her to a curbside garbage can in a residential neighborhood where she made the drop. She drove off with Junior following. Terry and Hildy waited. Of course a real bag-lady pushing a shopping cart full of junk approached – but she was a non-event. A red-herring. A tease. She never even looked into the garbage can. And she left.

Slowly the garage door of the home opened. A man came out and made for the garbage can. Guess who?

The IA dick – Torres.

This was a little too convenient and far too easy for me. At worst he is one of the Captains. Definitely not the Headman. The headman would never take a direct drop from the bag-lady. It would have to go through a Captain. So I think that proves that Torres is not the headman. We will have to wait for that shoe to drop but I still list Koto as a maybe and the Chief of Police as a strong possibility.

By the way, Terry and Hildy? A new item, or rather an old item from last season which has now been brought forth for this season – most likely a tease. As Hildy says – she’s only good at being a cop, and having a relationship with her cop partner would mess it up.

Nelson and Colleen? Another tease. What looked like a possible reconciliation was about two minutes of apologies by both women before Nelson showed Colleen the door. And frankly, no one cared.

Just two more episodes remain – and I expect the resolution of the major stories are still to come. Like Sugar and Fatty B. I pinned it on Fatty B as the someone with designs on taking over Sugar’s world weeks ago, and still think I’m right. Other stories still to be resolved begin with Raffi. And Dustin Maker’s sentence. Like Jalil. Like Andy Chan. And of course the identity of the The Headman of the Union.

Remember last year, when the rich young computer whiz, Eric Blunt, was sent off to jail and he committed suicide in his cell, or at least that was the intention of what we were expected to buy into. I’m thinking Dustin Maker won’t die a natural death as an old man in prison.

I’m also thinking that Junior won’t survive for a third season if there is one. Nor will Koto become Mayor. But, and this is just me thinking out loud – I don’t see a third season on the horizon. Last year there was one main story line – all centered around Eric Blunt. And it was gripping. This season we have so many story lines – the bus massacre, the drug dealer quadrant, the Union, the lawyer’s divorce, Dustin’s abused childhood, the blue on blue murders, and Jalil’s corpse gone missing. Not to mention the casting of suspicion on some one new on an all too regular basis – Navarro, Peat, Criolla, Sugar, Junior, Raffi, and the latest one  – Torres. Plus we still have, in the last two episodes, the expected, at least by me grand reveals of Fatty B as the one making the moves on Sugar, and the Chief of Police as the Union Headman.

Simply, the show changed over to the scatter shot approach. Asking the audience to keep track of so many different story lines, has simply lowered the impact of any of them. The show has resorted to blood a few times – Alfie Rentman’s brains blown out at Bonita Point, and Sugar taking the face off that Chinese man in the alley – but these were moments that spiked rather strong plot developments. Frankly, as in nothing but the truth, this season has spiraled out of control, and seemingly is beyond repair.


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