Vonnie (vonniek) wrote in pers_pineapple,

I'm thirty-years-old, I live with my mother, and I have a Captain Kirk costume in my closet

Hey hey hey! If it's Wednesday, then it must be the episode re-watch time. "A Civil War", IMO, was rather uneven, but we got some very interesting new info in this episode, especially the Dani backstory and the potential involvement of her father in the grand conspiracy arc.

Title: A Civil War: 1x07

Writer: Rafael Álvarez
Director: Daniel Sackheim

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: Sarah Clarke (Mary Ann Farmer), Trent Ford (Jeffrey Farmer), Christina Hendricks (Olivia), Matt Gerald (Officer Krebbs) Sheila Vand (Shahnaz Darvashi), Rosie Malek-Yonan (Roya Darvashi), Scott Michael Morgan (Howard Ruth), Michael Kostroff (McAllister, the tech guy) (Hmm. IMDb doesn't have the name of the other two techies, whom I liked...), Oren Dayan (Amir)

Synopsis: When two Iranian Americans are killed and a third is kidnapped, Detectives Crews & Reese believe they have a hate crime on their hands. They race to meet the kidnappers' demands before its too late. What unfolds is a complicated scheme involving drugs, money and a messed-up young man's desperate attempt to win his mother's affection. Meanwhile, Charlie wants a solar farm, which somehow ends up with the besotted Ted spending a whole day (and night!) with the object of his affection, Olivia.

Notable Moments:

- An episode centered on the cultural and ethnic diversity of Los Angeles! The show has been pretty decent in this aspect, which I appreciate.

- Stark and Reese face off in the elevator scene and sparks (not the good kind) fly in all directions. It's been clear from the pilot that Charlie's old and new partners do not think much of each other: notice Reese's disdain of Stark for giving up his partner in the pilot, and Stark's casual misogyny (the "hen-house" comment from a few episodes ago.) But the undercurrents here hint at something more personal.

- Reese speaks Farsi!! Can I just say I stoked I was when I learned that the show runners were going to incorporate Sarah Shahi's Iranian heritage into her character's backstory? AWESOME.

- We meet and spend some time with the techies of the LAPD and they are ADORABLE. Bring them back, please! Especially the dude with the Captain Kirk costume in his closet. I wish we got the names of Captain Kirk Costume and Perky Girl Tech. The only one we heard mentioned by name was McAllister ("sleep is for babies!"). (If they were mentioned on the show, please let me know.)

- Ted and Olivia go on a "date". Flustered!Ted is adorable and Olivia sure is easy on the eyes, but gotta say, their scenes felt a little awkwardly inserted. This storyline seems to have been dropped afterward.

- Not a typical "notable moment" per se, but the small musical montage set to Lamb's "Trans Fatty Acid" that featured the slo-mo clip of the women praying as the officers strode past the door in the background was one of the most beautiful and evocative things I've seen on this show. And this show knows from beautiful and evocative when it comes to cinematography and the use of music.

- Coffee Cup Salute.


Crews: I wanna tell you about this dream I had last night.
Ted: Were there clowns in it?
Crews: No.
Ted: I don't like dreams with clowns.
Crews: Who does?

Crews: Hey, nice job out there, Bobby.
Stark: What, the knucklehead with the tire-iron? Eh, it was nothin'.
Crews: Hey, it was only nothing because you did something. If you hadn't done anything, it might have become any number of things.
Reese: Did you have to wind him up?
Crews: Any number of things! That guy with the tire-iron hits the other guy, and the whole place goes up. A butterfly flaps its wings, and half way across the world, a hurricane starts.
Reese: See? No matter where it starts, it always ends up with something just like that. Something, nothing, anything. A butterfly, a hurricane...

Reese: If you mention that butterfly, I'm gonna rip its wings off!

Lt. Davis: It's not about keeping immigrants out of that neighborhood; it's about drugs and money. What have we learned?
Everyone in unison: It's always about drugs and money.

The Girl Tech: Nothing in here either. What you'd expect to find in a 20 year-old's computer. Music, some porn...
McAllister: Not very good porn though.
Reese: (sarcastically) Sorry you had to see that.
McAllister: I'll cope somehow.

Crews: You think you can get to level 10?
Computer Tech: Detective, I'm 30 years old, I live with my Mother and, (cracks knuckles) I have a Captain Kirk costume in my closet.

Things We Learned:

- Dani was 12 when the Bank of LA shoot-out went down, and there was unpleasantness with some "family stuff" around that time.

- Dani's mother is Persian, but her father forbade her (and Dani) from speaking the language at the house.

- Jack Reese, Dani's father, was the SWAT leader that responded to the Bank of LA shoot-out.

Wall of Conspiracy

Charlie puts Dani's photo up on his wall (OMG!), linking her to her father, Jack Reese, who was the SWAT team leader during the Bank of LA shootout.

Fresh Fruit

Lowest Fruit Index thus far! Charlie drinks some orange juice when he gets home at the end, but that's pretty much all the Vitamin C consumption we see in this episode. Everybody, however, drinks A LOT of coffee.

Music From the Episode

Daft Punk Is Playing At My House, LCD Soundsystem - Played during the convenience store crime-scene intro
Kele Lao, Hooshere - the "Prince of Persia" video game scene
Sweet Hour of Prayer, Christina Hendricks - Olivia sings, juxtaposed with the finding of a body
Trans Fatty Acid (K & D Remix), Lamb - Car ride to the Farmer's/Spreadsheet rechecking/Women praying
Pictures of Matchstick Men, Camper van Beethoven - Closing Wall of Conspiracy scene

Questions for Discussion

- What did you make of Dani's reaction to Stark when the Bank of LA robbery was mentioned? Did what we learned about her father in this episode (and in subsequent episodes) help you put her reaction into perspective? Did you form an opinion about Jack Reese based on the bits of info we got in this episode, and did it match up with the character when we met in him "Farthingale"?

- What did you think of the writers' decision to involve the Reese family in the conspiracy to frame Charlie?

- Dude, what's with Charlie totally eyefucking having all kinds of vibes with Mary Ann Farmer? (Y'know, she kind of looks like his ex-wife, no?) Or maybe it's just Damian Lewis and his Big Block of Concrete factor.

- I have a bunch of people on my Flist who are not fans of the show (I KNOW! The nerve!), and a couple of them who watched the "Prince of Persia" video game playing montage thought that it was the most ridiculous and lame thing ever. (It did go on a bit too long, I admit.) What did you think of the scene? Did it work for you even though it could have been shortened? Or would have preferred another way to advance the case of the week?

- Were you satisfied with the portrayal of Iranian-Americans in this episode? What about the whole "she was sleeping with Amir!" denouemenet?

OK! That'e enough babbling from me. Have at it, folks!
Tags: episode discussion
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