L.A.’s Finest (“Farewell…”)

Season 1, Episode 5
Date of release: May 20, 2019 (Spectrum)

This episode had signs of the writers not wanting to tell a generic crime procedural. After the previous episode did not have a homicide investigation of the week, this episode had one, and the writers decided to end it in an open fashion, potentially pushing it into the next season, because maybe in the world of hardcore narcotics agents and homicide investigators on both coasts of the United States mainland, murder cases don’t just get concluded after 40 minutes of television. I would certainly hope that the murder of Eve, and now Karim, is part of the narrative now, and while I’m not expecting for those murders to somehow tie into the Gabriel Knox DEA/LAPD investigation (it would be kind of stupid if it were to connect in a future episode), it better be a meaningful murder investigation nonetheless, now that the writers have added an extra episode (at least) to it. Note that L.A.’S FINEST is yet another crime procedural that took a transgender character and had him or her be the victim of a murder, because apparently that’s what transgender people are all about in crime shows on television. They can never be the heroes of their own story, they always have to be the victims.

The only lead to Syd’s dope torturer is dead now.

The episode was good enough, although it didn’t come close to the potential turnaround that was the previous episode. The writers did fix the problems with the Knox story though, so that’s a positive thing about the show at this moment. Knox becomes a more ruthless villain in Syd’s life, and some of Knox’s henchmen and women decide to go directly to Syd and threaten her, instead of, I don’t know, maybe killing her just out of spite and revenge. The fact that they haven’t killed Syd yet and are only threatening her proves two things: One, this is an ongoing story in a crime drama, and the story can’t just end after five episodes. The writers need to drag it out, make it a continuous issue for the characters, turn it into a more threatening and dangerous story after each episode. And two, it could establish that Knox is actually a character we have come to meet already, and whoever Knox is (most likely someone in Syd’s life) does not want to see her dead, but does like to play with her fear. Such tasty, tasty fear. Are we sure that Knox isn’t a red balloon that has a murderous clown attached to the other end of it?

By the way, here is my number one suspect for who Gabriel Knox really is: Syd’s former lover and baby daddy Warren Hendrix, who happened to lead the investigation into Knox. When the DEA and LAPD were raiding Kobi’s store and Warren was killing him, there was a moment of silence between Warren’s “I said drop the weapon” and Syd finding her former lover hovering over the dead body, as if Warren’s police procedural work was only a cover to make sure that people close by can witness that Warren was just doing his job, even though we didn’t get to see any of what he was actually doing. We didn’t get to see how Kobi was murdered (we just heard the shot), and Kobi wasn’t saying anything, when Syd joined the crime scene in the back alley. By the definition of a television police drama, that usually means something fishy has happened, and that makes Warren my number one suspect.

Teenagers have fun looking at dead boners.

In the meantime, consider me disappointed that Syd was dragged back into the case, even though she wanted to stay far away from it. Consider me weirded out that Warren was trying his best to force Syd into the case, to show off in front of her, to make sure that she will always be part of Knox’s life. Dude, the woman said ”No,” but apparently he wasn’t listening to her like he was apparently never listening to her. Of course, if Warren happens to be Knox, it’s what you do to keep Syd close all the time.

The private moments of the characters were solid. I’m liking Izzy as a character more and more, as she gets more depth with each episode, and the death of her mother turns out to have created a bit of PTSD for Izzy. Her no-care attitude at the LAPD barbecue was nice to look at, and for once there was this sense of Izzy still being a teenager, so of course she finds a liking of macabre crime scene pictures, drinking beer, and probably doing some drugs every once in a while — no hard and dangerous shit that can kill you, but weed and maybe a few pills. Still, her trauma of losing her mother connects her well to Nancy, and I would love it if that special friendship between the two can continue and build over time. Nancy and Izzy have something in common when it comes to losing family members, so they should be understanding to each other more than Nancy is understanding when it comes to her husband’s stuff. In hindsight though, it’s a bit of a shame that a character like Izzy is being wasted for this crime drama, although it is Izzy who levels up the show drastically and makes things a little more interesting. Especially now that Izzy has been turned into a target for Knox to attack, just to get Syd to comply.

Picture show in Los Angeles.

Best part of the episode: Knox extends his feelers, and Carlene is now officially connected to the District Attorney, making the case a little more interesting now. Besides that, Carlene is an interesting villain, whom I could imagine is Knox herself (that would make her my number two suspect). Television needs more women villains, and less women victims.
Worst part of the episode: Warren Hendrix should be more than just Syd’s former love interest, who is now her current love interest coincidentally spearheading the Knox investigation. He better be Knox, or his character is going to waste immediately. I hate it when characters are introduced, just so they can only be a love interest to one of the main characters.
Weirdest part of the episode: Post-mortal erection? Does that even exist? An erection happens because of strong blood flow, and there usually isn’t a blood flow when you’re dead, right?
Player of the episode: Izzy wins the award for being the most realest character of the show at this very moment. White Ben could be second, but I barely know anything about him, so for now he is still Matt Saracen to me.

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