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August 31, 2015

The Riches: Field of Dreams

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 1st 2008 11:06PM
The Riches: Field of Dreams(S02E03) Well, the Malloys are back in Eden Falls, living life as the Riches. And all hell's about to break loose.

That's the situation we have in this episode. Wayne's trying to keep the big deal Hugh brokered alive while Hugh searches for his mojo. Dale is stalking around Panco looking for a job so he can be in on the deal. Only we know that the lummox has some information and a hell of a lot of muscle behind him. And Dahlia is having yet another crisis involving her sense of place in the world. Oh, and then we have the kids: Cael wants out, DiDi wants to fit in, and Sam wonders why there's blood stains on the stairs.

Looks like we're entering the darkest part of the tunnel in this show, aren't we?

Gallery: The Riches

Minne Driver as Dahlia MalloyEddie Izzard as Wayne MalloyMinnie Driver and Eddie IzzardTodd Stashwick as Dale MalloyNoel Fisher as Cael MalloyShannon Woodward as DiDi MalloyGregg Henry as Hugh PanettaAidan Mitchell as Sam MalloyMargo Martindale as NinaEddie Izzard as Wayne MalloyEddie Izzard as Wayne MalloyEpisode Gregg Henry in the episode Aidan Mitchell in the episode

Dale's muscle is Eamon Quinn (Jared Harris), a Malloy family member who's just been released from prison after twenty years. My guess is that he went away for killing Ginny Dannegan's father and uncle, though her revenge -- shooting him in the shoulder -- seems to be a bit mild. But who knows what the Traveler code is like? Anyway, Eamon is an Irish Traveler who's actually from Ireland, and he seems to be simultaneously tougher and smarter than the entire inbred Malloy clan put together. For reasons as yet unexplained, Dale is partnering with Eamon on this deal, and now that Eamon is out, he's turning the screws (or, more accurately, wielding a mean fork) on Dale.

I'm not sure why Dale is partnering with Eamon. Does he think he's in over his head and needs the help? Or does he owe Eamon for something that happened twenty years ago? Either way, Eamon is a scary-enough presence that it motivates Dale to threaten his cousin Dahlia while she was in the bath. Give him a job at Panco or she goes back to jail. That was a pretty intense scene, and a good indication of why Todd Stashwick is so good in what is kind of a one-dimensional role: he makes Dale scary as hell.

I don't think Dale was the only reason why Dahlia decided to turn herself in to the local parole office, but it was a big one. Dahlia is just sick of running away from her problems. We still don't know the entire story about how she landed in prison; we vaguely know that it was a credit card scam and she may or may not have taken the fall for Wayne, but that's about it. But it looks like she knows she can't hide behind lies and schemes and smack and pot anymore. Of course, facing up to her parole violation is going to complicate things later, at a time when things for the Malloys least need complications.

Other stuff:

  • The Cael grade fixing plot was one long exercise in how Wayne can work within the sometimes-scummy world of the wealthy, but be simultaneously shocked at how truly scummy some of these people could be. Cael sold himself out because he doesn't want to be a buffer going to a boarding school, with a power-hungry father he doesn't recognize. "I'd rather be piss poor with my dad than $13 million richer with whoever you are," he tells Wayne.
  • I kind of wish the characters of Cael, DiDi, and Sam were a little more developed than they are right now. Especially Cael: he's just been a snotty rebellious teenager -- albeit in an twisted way -- for this entire run, and his character is the one that wears on me the most.
  • Nina looking up info on the Irish Travelers on the internet tells me that she wants to be one. I do find it interesting that her pot dealer can be found at an AA meeting held in a church. I guess nothing is really sacred.
  • At least Wayne was able to convince Hugh that landing the big deal is what he needs to get his mojo back, instead of an expensive sports car. This show needs a mojo-filled Hugh back, if only for comic relief.

When I was looking up some of the characters' and guest stars' names for this episode on IMDb, I noticed that the site classifies The Riches as both a comedy and a drama. Well, we're not seeing too much comedy right now and, judging by the fourth episode, we won't be seeing much in the way of funny for quite some time. I guess, due to the subject matter, it was inevitable that the show was going to take a dark turn, but I wish it didn't go in this direction. Yes, the performances are great and the writing conveys a good intensity. But you don't cast Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver in a show to be super-serious all the time, and the relentless grimness is starting to wear on them, and the audience. Let's hope there's a light at the end of that dark tunnel as we get towards the end of the season.

Why is Dale partnering with Eamon Quinn?
Quinn did him a favor and Dale owes him.11 (11.5%)
Dale knows he's too stupid to pull the deal off on his own.25 (26.0%)
Quinn has an axe to grind with Wayne and this is his best chance to get revenge.60 (62.5%)

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Travis Black

This show sounds neat but I haven't viewed it yet. I actually have next door neighbors that are these people (rom gypsies) and if they don't like you, which in my case they don't, your world turns to shit in a hurry. The producers of this show should contact me about a show on neighbor relations...guaranteed to be a shocker.

April 07 2008 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I sure hope Hugh gets his mojo back in a hurry. He was funny as shit last season. Gregg Henry does a great job with this character and he was awesome in Payback.

April 02 2008 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ha...pretty good ep! Hugh looked more pathetic than Austin Powers there, for a bit! I wouldn't have minded taking a spin in that Lamborghini, tho!!?!

Dahlia sure seems to have gotten herself into a bind now...hopefully she can weasel-her-way-out.

April 02 2008 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"But you don't cast Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver in a show to be super-serious all the time"

pigeon holing much? who cares where they came from... where they are going is, at this point, far more interesting... this show has been, so far this season, a tenfold improvement from where it started out...

April 02 2008 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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