Murder in the First: Number Thirty Nine – Episode 2.12 – Season Finale

Season Two of Murder in the First concluded tonight. This is more of an overview than a review, so If you’ve not watched the closing episode yet – you’d be best served to skip this piece now. However if you have seen it, the read on.

Captain Ernie Knubbins (played by John Cothran) – The Headman – straight out of left field. Maybe it would be better described as straight out of McCovey Cove. Yeah, I was wrong about Koto. But just because I was wrong, doesn’t mean they did a good job.

I mean they dragged it out for so long, right up to having someone stand with his back to us, that would be Officer Leo, before he steps aside to reveal Knubbins.  Even with the SFPD finest detectives on the case, the case was really cracked by the techie, Kami Keefer, played by Camille Balsamo.

Then, in the interview room, with Knubbins giving his ‘hypothetical perspectives’ – are you kidding? Last year’s Warren Daniels would have never permitted it. The sole reason was to ‘explain’ everything to us. If this had been Perry Mason we might have called it a court-room confession. Instead we;ve been asked to settle for an interrogation room non-denial denial.

Dustin Maker got himself a lengthy stretch on San Quentin’s Death Row. As if anybody cared. I’m still kind of pissed about the entire bait and switch aspect of Season Two of Murder in the First. I’m thinking too bad the coppers didn’t take out Maker and Rentman. Right in the first episode.

You start with two high schoolers shooting up a bus filled with their classmates and then that turns into the chum to attract the viewers because the real story has nothing to do with that.

Personally, I sure hope that Maker and his attorney aren’t back with their appeals. Geez – Maker breaks down in tears again? Bochco what were you thinking? He confessed – he said he wanted to die. So why was he crying? And while I like Laila Robins as an actress, her role as an about to be divorced defense attorney was really a non-factor.

Neither Molk, nor Junior, nor Alyssa died. But what happened to Alyssa? I thought I heard that her request for immunity had been granted. Why was that? And even beyond that why does Molk want her. She cached money for the Headman. What did she do, take the money from the safe and make another dead drop? Or if Knubbins had access to her apartment – why would he leave her alive?

Sugar Cascade and Raffi Veracruz. Now that was well concealed despite the clues we got back in Raffi’s apartment weeks ago.. In the finale, there was a brief scene in the coffee shop where Raffi seemed to be struggling with herself. Some song and dance about being true to herself and doing her job. All English could do was to tell her she’s a good cop, and we need you on the job. And from there Sugar and Raffi ended up in Tahiti looking they were were in a Corona beer commercial.

That is after they did a number on we viewers with a different victim, in a white long sleeve tee , similar to what Sugar wore in his last scene in the Cadillac Escalade that ended Episode 11, with this new vic lying facedown in a dumpster. Clearly that was meant to fool us – especially after Fatty B told Andy Chan whether I killed Sugar or not – don’t matter – he ain’t coming back.

So they both survived. Wonder how that was reached conceptually – because it still makes no sense. If Sugar was skipping town, and knew that Fatty was going to try something – why would Sugar let Fatty live. I guess it goes back to their ties over the years in Portrero.

Hildy called her long ignored daughter in the show’s final scene. The bad thing about that whole story line of Hildy and her kid was that it was basically pointless and unrewarding. Hildy is a good and tough cop. That’s all we needed her to be.

Seasonal strengths – I guess it comes down to Koto, Terry English, Sugar Cascade, and Hildy Mulligan. Everyone else was either misdirection or written in to distract us for a few episodes. Molk seemed unrealistic, but then again he wasn’t the first cop, nor will he be the last cop, to be dazzled by a floozie.

The killer who got to Criolla in the jail – the so-called Bruja Blanca – in the wind. We will never get a resolution to that story line.

I also didn’t much care for the misdirection employed with Navarro.

Then there was Mario Siletti – out of nowhere, he had a wife and a son. And just as fast as they were written into the plot, they were written out. But the biggest joke of all (about Sitetti) was that after the Judge gave Maker the death sentence, the party bosses came in to see Siletti. The were so impressed that they offered him an opportunity to run for State Attorney General. Really? On the basis of this case? A slam dunk if there ever was one. The accused pleaded out, there was no jury, and the Judge, who had the sole authority to give Maker the death sentence just did his job.

And for this, the party bosses now want Siletti as SAG. Please. It’s not so much they made the offer – it’s that they made the offer on the basis of this case.That was ludicrously poor writing.

On the whole, I thought the season was mostly a disappointment. The story had too many weak threads, and too many characters who were brought in only to be killed off. The primary change between the first season with the Boy Wonder, Eric Blunt, as the killer (the single perp story) – and the second with its multiple story lines: The bus shooting, the drug wars, the police corruption failed because each story was weakened by the presence of the other two. In short, all needed deeper focus and none of them got it. I liked the first season far better.

Sincerely, I think that this show will not be renewed. Right now, I’d be shocked if TNT renews MITF for a 3rd season.I’ll bet they are banking on the upcoming Public Morals show (which begins Tuesday  on TNT) with Ed Burns and Michael Rappaport to be worthy enough for a second season. I’ll be following that show on a regular basis.