Blood & Treasure (“The Brotherhood of Serapis”)

Season 1, Episode 5
Date of airing: June 11, 2019 (CBS)
Nielsen ratings information: 3.748 million viewers, 2.5/5 in Households, 0.4/2 with Adults 18-49, 0.3/2 with Adults 18-34, 0.6/3 with Adults 25-54

Is it just me or is the show extremely inconsistent? The pilot movie was great, the following episode not so much. The previous episode was great, but this episode bored and confused me, and made the show look like the writers needed certain events to happen for the characters to have them learn a secret tat would define their back story, even if said back story doesn’t seem like it’s important for the narrative at all. The previous episode made it look like Lexi was kidnapped by Farouk’s people, but it turns out the Brotherhood was behind it. It didn’t take more than an act for Lexi and Danny to be reunited again, because the writers apparently did not realize that there is some suspense behind the idea of Lexi and Danny working separately while trying to find each other (that alone could have been the premise of this episode, but it wasn’t even the premise of an entire act — broadcast network television at your speedy service). It looks like there was no time for Lexi and Danny to goon a hunt for each other while Farouk and the Brotherhood are also involved, but the writers had different plans.

Obligatory shirtless screenshot.

At first, they brought back Jacob Reece, because working with John Larroquette is not cheap, so why not including him in more than just the opening of the how in which he plays the financial backer of Danny and Lexi’s adventures. Secondly, they introduced a new character with Sharif Gazal, who is now name-dropped as the mole inside the Egyptian government, as well as being played up to be the next big villain to beat before Danny and Lexi get to Farouk. Thirdly, the writers dropped a letter into the plot establishing a connection between said mole and Lexi’s father, because there can never be enough dramatic back story. I know that the hunt for Cleopatra can’t be a story expanded to thirteen episodes, and it has to be interrupted by B, C, D, E and F plots (and more) just to fill out the episode order, but the introduction of Gazal and the establishing of his connection to Lexi’s father seems like it’s a story dropped into the narrative to waste time. A story separated from the hunt for Cleopatra, so the writers don’t have to deal with the adventure part all 13 episodes and instead can focus on a wholly different conspiracy every once in a while. A story only here to give depth to Lexi’s arc. A story maybe here to prepare the twist that Lexi’s father may not have died in that New York explosion at all, and he turned out to be the boss villain. Why do dead parents in adventure action shows always have to be alive and evil?

The bad guy has some great shades.

The only good thing coming out of this episode was the notion of Lexi working with Danny to work against him. While I never believe that she would have kept her connection with the Brotherhood a secret to Danny (making the whole lying game an out-of-character experience for her), the idea behind it is still solid, and if it holds for longer than just this episode, maybe some tension can be delivered on Lexi having to work for the Brotherhood while having to keep that a secret to Danny for no reason at all. Seriously, why doesn’t she just tell him? There is nothing to lose, since the two already intend to work on the case without the input of Interpol, believing there is a mole, so Fabi wouldn’t even know anything anyway. Still, this spy game has a but of tension left for the narrative, although I wholly believe that tension is only gonna be used to tone down the sexual tension between Danny and Lexi and have them wait until they get together like peanut butter and jelly — after all, there can’t be a couple on any television show without having to go through an obstacle course, before they confess their love to each other.

This episode was essentially just good for two things: Put tension between Danny and Lexi by having her work for one of the parties on the hunt for Cleopatra, which needs her to lie to him, and put a plot device into Lexi’s back story (the letter she fond in Gazal’s safe) that awakens the potential of a yet-to-be-revealed boss villain. It’s essentially a transition episode, preparing the characters for future storylines, placing them on the chess board to make the next moves. Basically nothing happened story-wise in this episode, as no one got closer to finding out where Cleopatra is. Five episodes in and the show is already hurting because of the 13 episodes it had to fill. On a streaming network, the show would have looked more streamlined and this episode wouldn’t exist.

There’s a clue hiding in this screenshot.

Best part of the episode: It’s the fact that it was so short. If you cut out the opening introductory narration, this show would be about 37 minutes long per episode. At least I’m not wasting too many minutes with this weirdly inconsistent show.
Worst part of the episode: It has too many characters and doesn’t know what to do with them. Fabi has been brought a bit into the narrative, now that he is actively involved in the hunt by working with Lexi, but Interpol is pretty much a waste, James Callus’s character isn’t even in the show at the moment, Shaw disappeared. It’s the Danny and Lexi adventure action hour, and the show doesn’t even deliver in that regard.
Weirdest part of the episode: I do not understand what happened to Farouk’s explosive heist on the street, not stealing the relics and apparently not having the jewels from Cleopatra’s clown, since Shaw has already replaced them. So, Farouk didn’t take anything? Why would Danny say that the guards have been placed near the armored truck to paint a picture of what didn’t happen, just so Farouk has time to sell relics on the black market? If Farouk didn’t take anything, there is nothing for him to sell. Or did he take something and the writers just forgot to tell us? Was something transported with the relics that was not on the manifest, which is what Farouk really stole? What the hell happened here?!?
Player of the episode: Lexi had a good look at a penis. Then had a good look at the six-pack Danny was carrying above that penis. She definitely will have some sexy dreams tonight and I envy her.

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