Season 1, Episode 7
Date of release: May 27, 2019 (Spectrum)
And this show continues to fluctuate between emotionally interesting and dramatical bullshit. The Knox case has been a mess so far, and all I want for this show is to fix it and then end it like nothing ever happened, but television is known with examples of how writers carried certain stories or characters too far, which then destroyed the show. I can only hope that the Knox story is concluded by the end of the season, because at this point seeing him (or her?) carried to the next season, is there will be one, is going to be the death sentence of the show, if it hasn’t been already. This episode handled the Knox story a lot better, thanks to the fact that Arlo was in the center of it, and while I didn’t like Arlo at all, being the shitty and untalented criminal he is, at least the writers didn’t put Knox in the center of the story and made it all about Syd again. Focusing on Arlo’s stupidity as a Knox henchman was a good idea, and finishing him off by the end of the episode was an even better one. How many eyes have been rolled to the back of people’s skulls when Arlo decided to play games with Syd? How many facepalms have been executed by the viewers, when Arlo had to play games with the lifeguard and her boytoy for the night? If you want to be a crazy serial killer, be a crazy serial killer, but maybe you should have thought about your actions when getting involved with a drug kingpin. And because Arlo did not think his actions through, he became an annoying villain, a laughable villain, a ridiculous villain, and I was celebrating when Dante was doing to Arlo what Jack Bauer once did to Nina Myers. Now the only thing I hope that comes out of this story is how Nancy is going to be in trouble, now that Dante is in police custody and most likely singing like a Broadway musical star about his past with Nancy, and how it connects to the Knox empire now.
The episode was focused with its narrative, making it better than the previous few. It had a worthy emotional arc in Syd’s story, even if it meant that she had to be cut out of the Knox story for this episode, and it had a worthy cop drama arc with Nancy, who was still in the middle of wanting to fix her screwed-up life, which might turn out to be a difficult thing to do, now that Dante is in custody and her husband is about to start asking some hard-hitting questions. Previous episodes of L.A.’S FINEST haven’t been this focused, making me wonder what made the show so mediocre before, until I saw the credits at the end — this episode was written by its creators, and suddenly I ask myself questions if the executive producers didn’t have a good handle on the writers room, or if there wasn’t a more extensive back and forth between the writers room, the showrunner and the other producers. Because only that could explain why the previous episodes were so uneven.
Syd’s story was good enough to make me wish that it would have been an arc on a family drama. Granted, I haven’t seen a lot, nor can I remember all of them, but a child’s reaction that their father has lived another life with another family on the other side of the country is always a great premise for any television show — especially for L.A.’S FINEST, which decided to include Marcus Burnett for once, even if only for one flashback scene, and make the viewers remember that the show is a BAD BOYS spin-off. For the first time since the pilot, an element from the Michael bay films has been included, and while it didn’t make me happy or giggly, it was also proof that the writers at least tried. Syd not only gets a story with her cheating father, but Marcus is being dropped in that back story as well, finally making use of the movies. Besides that, there is hope that Syd won’t have to be defined by her arc with Knox any longer, now that she has daddy issues to deal with and a half sister to meet. If this were a daily soap opera, let it be guaranteed that the writers would find a way to have Katherine be Knox.
By the way, Syd’s ex-boyfriend and current love interest, whose name I forgot already, doesn’t necessarily have to be Knox any longer, now that Ms. Hart has been given some notable screentime this episode, having to deal with a kingpin and then going home to play with her daughter. It made me wonder whether she could be Knox – women kingpins haven’t been depicted at all, and since this show has two female leads, it wouldn’t hurt that the main antagonist was a woman as well. That would also help to get rid of the future eyerolls when Syd’s ex-boyfriend and current love interest turns out to be Gabriel Knox – a twist so evil and generic and like a soap opera that it would hurt.
The ending of the episode was kind of confusing for me though. I have no idea why Nancy would want the Bens to stall Dante’s processing, and I was angry as hell that she wouldn’t come with some answers to the questions of the Bens, let alone their decision to go along with Nancy’s request to stall and interfere with Dante’s booking. At this point I am just disappointed that Nancy still thinks she can fix Dante, or that he is still this big a part of her life, even though she should have written him off already. I can understand that a complex and rich past with the two makes it difficult to forget him and write him off, but Nancy has a life now, and seeing her about to throw it away for a guy who can’t be saved any longer is anger-inducing. Of course it’s what the writers were working towards, now that Nancy and her husband have a bit of a problem with each other, but damn, it does not make any sense.
Best part of the episode: Thankfully Arlo was so stupid throughout this episode that he invited Death to his doorstep all by himself. Thank you for being so bravely stupid, Arlo. I couldn’t have killed myself ay better than that.
Worst part of the episode: Dante just learned that his son was being threatened with a gun. He comes home to see his wife packing up and leaving, and he is angry that his son is being taken away from him. Uhm, sorry to tell you Dante, but that situation is all on you, and you not realizing that your son would be better off far away from you while you’re dealing with the Knox disaster makes you a dumb man. Besides that, it was a story dropped right after the scene, since Dante never even mentioned any of it. All he wanted was to get Arlo. Dante’s story would not have been any more different without the inclusion of his wife leaving him.
Weirdest part of the episode: Why would Arlo even let Rebecca’s date of the night live? He is a freaking witness, and you kill witnesses, especially in the field you’re working in. Arlo… the curious case of a stupid villain.
Player of the episode: Dante wins the award for Veronica Mars-ing his way to Arlo. He was a better detective than Nancy and the Bens were in this episode.