This episode contains most of the story elements fans think of when they consider the show’s low point. You’ve got the predictable film noir narrative James is involved in. You’ve got Dick’s annoying and pointless temporary charge Little Nicky. You’ve got the saga of the mayor and his brother. You’ve got Super Nadine. And the start of the “crazy Ben” storyline. It occurred to me that his state of mind kind of reflects the mire the show currently finds itself in.

 

All these strands (except maybe the Nadine stuff) feel like dull time-fillers. Meanwhile, the director recognizes the power of Angelo Badalamenti’s score, but he misuses and overuses it, mostly to prop up mediocre scenes.

 

The one subplot I found compelling was Cooper’s (one gratuitously mystical coin toss aside). Denise continues to be a delightful addition, and Audrey’s reaction to her is amusing. It’s also nice to see Cooper in investigative mode despite losing his badge.

 
Stray observations:
 

  • It was neat to have Ben and Bobby share a laugh at Leo’s expense.
  • I enjoyed Hawk’s ego-deflating moment with Lana.
  • The way all the men lose their wits around Lana is kind of lame.
  • The Major’s return was an effective scene, including the emotional preamble.
  • And I guess I just didn’t have much to say about this so-so episode.

 
 

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