(S01E06) Well, this was an interesting episode of Life. Rather than having the focus on Charlie and many of his day-to-day activities, we were treated to the life of Detective Dani Reese. I was a bit concerned about this when I saw the previews because this show is really still in its infancy and a shift in focus for just one episode can throw viewers off. However, as the episode progressed I felt more and more comfortable about the whole setup.
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One of the reasons for this was that we finally got to find out how messed up Dani really was. We knew she had some issues hanging around from her time as an undercover narcotics officer. However, we just didn't realize how many until this week. She isn't fighting one or two demons...she's fighting an entire company of them. Not only is she recovering from drug addiction, but she also seems to have a problem with alcohol as well.
But, at least she isn't stuck in a never-ending cycle of self-punishment like some true addicts are. She admits she has problems -- she just isn't ready to admit them to anyone else. I think by getting to know Rick and finding out first-hand how addiction can turn someone into a totally evil bastard kind of took away some of her stubbornness. That, and her forced binge drinking of a bottle of vodka. Well, she seems to be on the right track to recovery now.
The way that Rick was discovered as being a rapist, and the way that the whole criminal investigation panned out, felt a bit weird to me because of the way it was presented. Over the past five episodes we were usually brought into a criminal investigation after the actions have occurred (just like we will in next week's episode). This week it was much more personal and I think I enjoyed it more than the usual 'find the killer' format. Granted, I wouldn't want to see that happening every single week on Life, but it would be good to see this type of format once in awhile to break up the standard murder investigation.
Just because the focus wasn't all on Charlie this week doesn't mean he wasn't integral to the story. If anything, he was the light to Dani's deep darkness. He was there at the AA meeting to support her concerns about Rick, and he came to her rescue after Rick held Reese at gunpoint in her own apartment. Thank God that he finally knows how to utilize his cell phone or else he wouldn't have known what was going on with Dani or the 'give me a moment' signal she gave to get into the apartment. By the way, I need to buy that cell phone: any device that can provide such a undistorted conversation from someone's pants' pocket is thumbs-up in my book.
While Charlie knows how to navigate his cell phone he's still a bit of a novice when it comes to the Superinfonethighway. One of the episode's lighter moments this week was his entry into one of the chat rooms where Rick's victim used to hang out. Someone responds to his request with a list of abbreviations that would make Funk and Wagnalls spin in their graves. Then he ended up referencing that 'Internet for Idiots' book like some type of English-to-foreign language dictionary.
Other fine moments that Charlie had were with his old partner Stark and his new boss Lieutenant Davis. From the statements Roman made in last week's episode I think some of us thought that Stark had this big secret about the Bank of Los Angeles robbery -- maybe he was the one who took all of the money. Turns out his biggest secret was that he wasn't in the middle of all the action, which is what he had been telling everyone for years. While this is on Charlie's Conspiracy Wall (should it be capitalized?) I don't know if this does anything to help or hurt Crews in his investigation.
While Charlie's interactions with his former partner were good the ones with him and Lt. Davis were my favorites. I don't know if it was the producers' decision to scrap Davis' initial animosity to Crews or the logical progression of the character, but it seems that the Lieutenant has come to grips with Charlie being part of her precinct. The stakeout conversations were interesting because it gave insight into where Stark actually was during the bank robbery and it also made her a bit more human in our eyes. Plus, it also enhanced my curiosity of the character: is she a part of the conspiracy or not?
Before I go I wanted to mention the sub-sub-sub-story of Ted Early. I know many of you like this character, but I don't see him adding anything to this show. Even this week's subplot, where he finds an unauthorized biography of himself at a bookstore, felt very detracted from the other stuff that was going on. It's like the producers are struggling to find things for Adam Arkin to do because, while a good idea at first, it's just not working out for them. We'll see what future episodes bring.
Next week -- Dani gets connected to something else on the Conspiracy Wall.
|Different, but good. Nice to see an episode focusing one someone else than Charlie.||201 (84.8%)|
|The story involving Dani was okay but I really wish Charlie had more screen time.||33 (13.9%)|
|Didn't like it. The focus should always be on Charlie and not on any of the secondary characters.||3 (1.3%)|