Title: 1x04, What They Saw
Writer: Jonathan Shapiro
Director: David Straiton
Main Cast: Damian Lewis (Charlie Crews), Sarah Shahi (Dani Reese), Adam Arkin (Ted Earley), Robin Weigert (Lt. Karen Davis), Brooke Langton (Constance Griffiths), Brent Sexton (Bobby Stark)
Guest Stars : William Sanderson (Holt Easley), Anil Kumar (James "White" according to IMDb, but in the episode, it's a long Indian name everyone mumbles and we don't get a clear info), Jackie Debatin (Stephanie Borns), John Livingston (Drew Borns), Rodney Rowland (Neil Cudahy), Jennifer Siebel (Jennifer Conover) Martin Grey (Mark Conover), Richard Augustine (Bud Smith), Nick Hoffa (Sheriff), Beau Dremann (Cop 3) Sonia Rockwell (Gina), Leena Huff (Tina)
Synopsis: Things get confusing when a man is found dead in his own home. As Crews and Reese interview the neighbors they get all different ideas about the murder. When a homeless man is taken into custody but swears he's innocent, Crews and Reese continue to investigate.
- Charlie continues to make up for his 12-year-long dry spell, this time by hooking up with Tina and Gina, whom we met in 1x02. Uh, Charlie, honey. I hope you checked their IDs because they looked barely legal. Constance is perturbed.
- The presentation of the crime scene in this episode is slick, y'all. The visual of Charlie standing by the pool, with that rather quixotic look on his face, with the camera doing the 180 degree pan-and-stop movement (or whatever the professionals call that move) around him in time with the snappy percussion of the music, was particularly striking. Not to mention the crime scene photograph flashes going off in beat, almost as if this were some macabre version of a fashion shoot. A meta commentary on the foibles of the rich and the idle of LA, perhaps?
- Dani calls Charlie her partner for the first time! And they bicker over it ("did so!" "did not!") like a pair of 5-year-olds. It's adorable.
- Constance takes on a scumbag client named Neil Cudahy (Rod Rowland, who seems to be specializing in dregs of humanity these days) and Charlie goes instantly into an overprotective/territorial gear. Hmmm.
- The scene in the prison with Crews & Reese & Easley: there are some nice insights into Charlie's time in prison ("just tell them you have hep C; it'll buy you some time"), plus his identification with Easley, whom he considers a kindred spirit of sorts. Easley's desperate "I can't think straight inside! I can't breathe in here" obviously struck a chord. And for all her suspicion of Easley, Dani assesses the new info about the gloves and decides to trust her partner's instinct. The smart-ass salute to the guards on the way out is one of my favourite Reese-moments.
- The scene in the car afterward! AHAHAHA. Detective Dani Reese: the Soccer Mom. Poor Dani.
- Ted and Dani meet for the first time over tacos and their mutual exasperation over Easley. It's a surprisingly low-key moment.
- Ted and his excitement over their hypothetical new bar. It's very cute. He made a slide presentation! With snazzy custom animations! Ted clearly missed playing with Powerpoint while he was in prison.
- Can I say how much I love the writers for having Dani do the shovelling when they dig out Easley's bag of treasures? They don't make a big deal about it or anything, which makes it even more awesome.
- The smooooooth partnership work by our intrepid detectives while handling the scheming suspects: Charlie capitalizes on James' arrogance and plays dumb in order to take him off his guard; Reese sees that Stephanie is high-strung and goes in directly with confrontation/intimidation tactic until she crumbles.
- The scene at the end at Constance's office, in which Constance is married, Charlie tries to be honorable, and UST flows like molten lava.
- The reveal of Rachel's drawings at the end packs a punch; on looking back, they've really done a nice job building up to the scene at Hollis' house and the final reveal by Jack Reese.
Crews: (to Easley) LAPD! Show me your hands! (Easley throws various junk at Charlie from up in the tree) Hey, do you not see the gun? What have you got there, Costco? Now get down here or I'm coming up after you. (Easley climbs further up) Oh, geez. I just bought this suit.
Crews: (to Easley) You do NOT throw things at LAPD. You're lucky I'm enlightened.
Reese: Well, I'm not as enlightened as my partner.
Crews: You just called me your partner.
Crews: Just now
Reese: No, I didn't.
Crews: Yes, you did.
Reese: I never said that!
Reese: (to Crews) All rich people are crazy -- it's not just you.
Crews: If we solve this fast, we won't have to book Easley.
Reese: What do you care?
Crews: I like the guy. If I was a cowboy, he'd be my goofy sidekick.
Reese: Kind of like how you are mine.
Easley: I'm kinda hungry.
Crews: I could eat somethin'.
Reese: What did I just say?
Easley: Can we get burgers?
Crews: I could go for burgers.
Crews: We got to eat.
Crews: I could go for tacos.
Reese: (after stopping the car) That's it! If either of you says another thing about food or about anything, I'll turn right back around and I'm taking him to jail!
Ted: Hey, excuse me? This is my plate. That's your plate, there.
Easley: You weren't eating.
Ted: Well, because I was talking.
Easley: (to Crews) Can I work in your bar, boss?
Ted: Okay, you know what? Here. You eat while the adults talk, okay?
Reese: Who are you?
Ted: I'm Charlie's roommate.
Easley: No! I'm Charlie's roommate.
Reese: Easley's staying at your house?
Ted: Yeah, and he's been touching my stuff, Charlie. I think he used my toothbrush.
Easley: Did not! Smell my breath. Hah! I ain't even close to minty. If I used your toothbrush, I'd be minty. I ain't the kind of guy who uses another guy's toothbrush.
Ted: Our target demographic will be 18-29 year olds, at least initially, to create buzz.
Easley: You gotta be 21 to drink.
Ted: We're gonna serve tapas and sushi. You gotta get the young in and the old will then follow.
Easley: I wouldn't drink there, it's too fancy.
Ted: Yeah. You are not part of our demographic, okay? Our specialty will be coladas and daiquiris.
Easley: Sounds fruity.
Ted: You know what? Charlie happens to like fruit.
Easley: You ought to grow more trees outside, boss. Give you privacy. Nobody will see when you kill Ted.
Crews: Poor Easley. I thought telling the truth would set him free.
Ted: When has that ever worked?
Things We Learned
- When Constance had Rachel's Children's Services record unsealed, she found that the content was gone and the jacket was empty.
- Constance had worked on Charlie's case for four years to prove him innocent.
- Charlie used to own a bar with his partner and the liquor license for the bar has been returned to him now that he's acquitted. Initially I thought "partner" here meant Bobby Stark, but later on it's clarified that she meant his business partner with whom he co-owned the bar, i.e. Tom Seybolt, for whose murder (and his family's) Charlie was later framed.
- Constance does not trust Ted with Charlie's money.
- Reese seems to have more than passing experience with dealing with (being?) a functional alcoholic.
- Constance is married, OMG! On retrospect, there have been scenes with Constance wearing a ring on her left hand, but this revelation still took many people by surprise.
Wall of Conspiracy
- Charlie manages to get his hands on Rachel's purged Children's Services records (taken from Ames' house?) and finds Rachel's drawings in art therapy, which crudely but graphically depicts the murder of her family, including the face of the killer. Rachel was in the house at the time of the murder, not at a sleep-over as Ames's report claimed. She saw the killer.
- Charlie eats grapes while pretending to be an idiot with James. Other than that, the closest thing to fresh fruit we got was the fruity drinks in the cocktail waitress's hand in Ted's slide presentation.
Music from the Episode
- Gram Rabbit, "Bloody Bunnies," when Charlie stands by the pool, all dramatically lit, searching around the area with his flashlight
- Beck, "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes," when Charlie comes to visit Constance at the end
Questions for Discussion
- Charlie makes an emotional connection with a victim or a family member or a witness or a potential perp, and OK, an occasional coyote, in each episode, but in this one, his identification with Easley seems particularly strong. Why is that, do you think?
- From the way Dani dealt with Easley (and her initial contempt for him), Dani clearly has had experience coping with functional alcoholics. Given what we learn in "Powerless" later, do you think she was drawing from her own experience? Or is she referring to a family member? Could Jack Reese have been an alcoholic?
- What do you make of Charlie's immediate antipathy to Neil Cudahy? Did Charlie react that way because something about Cudahy tickled Charlie's spidey sense re. bad apples? He was in a maximum security prison for 12 years after all. Or is Charlie being irrationally territorial where he has no right to be? Is he out of line?
- Charlie co-owned his bar with Tom Seybolt when he was but a young rookie cop. Opening a business is a costly proposition on a cop's salary. Where did the money come from? Is Charlie's family rich? Was Tom Seybolt the only crooked one in the partnership?
- How did Constance's action in the last scene in her office strike you? Clearly Constance and Charlie have feelings for each other, however unvoiced it might have been until that moment. Should it have stayed buried while Constance was married? What about her ultimatum to Charlie?
OK! Have at it, folks. Discuss the meta, wax rhapsodic about the way afternoon light set Charlie's hair aglow, add anything that's missing from the above, etc., etc. Participation makes this baby go around.