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Episode Re-watch & Discussion: 1x08, Farthingale

Ahhh, "Farthingale". One of my favourites. Smooth partnership work, MAJOR advancement of the season arc, witty dialog, interesting case of the week -- this episode has it all.




Title: 1x08, Farthingale

Writer: Rand Ravich
Director: Peter Markle

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: Roger Aaron Brown (Carl Ames), Victor Rivers (Jack Reese), Lori Rom (Marissa Gale), Diana Parks (Elena Farthing), Michael Harney (John Garrity), Phyllis Lyons (Judith Raitt), Judith Moreland (Ms. Watkins, the IRS lady), Lorin McCraley (Leonard Slatz)


Synopsis: (from IMDb) When a gas explosion vaporizes half a man's torso, Crews and Reese work to figure out if the explosion was an accident or arson. Their investigation reveals the man with half a torso was an IRS agent living a complex life complete with two careers and two wives. Could this IRS agent's quest to become a hero have gotten him killed? Meanwhile, Detective Carl Ames, who oversaw Crews' murder investigation, is found dead in the parking lot of the police station. Once again, Crews finds himself at the center of a murder investigation.



Notable Moments:

- The bookends of the episode with the Zen tape ("we're none of us, alone") playing over the opening and closing scenes -- a nice symmetry there, plus it ties into the theme in the Case of the Week. This was a particularly elegant and witty episode, with a nice balance between the weekly procedural and the ongoing arc.

- The crime scene tableau of the bissected Farthingale makes for one of the more striking imageries the show has put forth thus far, and this show knows from striking imageries.

- The explicit parallel between Farthingale and Crews drawn at the beginning leads to Charlie considering getting some furniture for his house. ( \o/ )

- The editing job intercutting the partners questioning with Mrs. Farthing and Gale = SLICK, y'all.

- The DA's office, along with IAD, raids Charlie's house, looking for the clues implicating him in Ames' murder. We see one of the few moments when Charlie is genuinely rattled and out of control.

- The introduction of Jack Reese at the end. Packed quite a punch.



Quotes!

Crews (answering Reese's phone call): How come you only call me when someone's dead?

Crews: Okay, so we have one dead guy married to two women.
Reese: Half a dead guy...
Crews: Half a dead guy.

Crews: If both of them found out, maybe they killed him together.
Reese: That's your theory?
Crews: It makes sense.
Reese: Yeah, that's why I'm surprised it's your theory.

Crews: Do you wanna know what the Chinese symbol for war is?
Reese: Oh, God. Just when I thought I was at the part where I might get an answer...
Crews: Well, I don't have to tell you.
Reese: No, tell me. What, Crews? What?
Crews: Not if you don't want me to tell you.
Reese (exasperated) : No, please, Crews. Tell me what the Chinese symbol for war is.
Crews: The Chinese symbol for war is two women under one roof.
Reese: ....

Crews: Imagine being married to two different women.
Ted: ... Okay. I'll play. Are they hot?
Crews: Yeah. I guess so.
Crews: You're imagining it, aren't you?
Ted: Yes, as it turns out, I am.
Crews: How's that turning it out for you?
Ted: Not so bad.

Crews: Do you wanna know if I was involved in Ames' death or not?
Reese: No.
Crews: My union rep said he wouldn't blame me if I did do it.
Reese: Oh, he said that, did he?
Crews: Off the record.
Reese: Hm. Then I guess it doesn't count.
Crews: I'd rather not go back to prison.
Reese: I can understand that.

Reese:(to Crews) He was not looking for the person not obeying the law. He was looking for the person not not obeying the law. That kinda talk remind you of anyone?

IAD Agent: Detective Crews, what where your feelings toward Carl Ames?
Crews: My feelings toward Ames were the same as my feelings toward anyone.
Agent: And those would be?
Crews: That none of us are alone. That even as we exhale it is inhaled by others.
Agent: Is that some kind of joke?
Crews: Laughter is the best medicine. Reader's Digest. I had a subscription at Pelican Bay.

(Crews, Reese and Davis staring at the wine bottles and the baseball caps)
Crews: Anything?
Reese: You've got two national past-times: baseball and drinking.

Crews (while with the IRS lady): What did the wives say? "He was not looking for someone not obeying the law. He was looking for the guy not not obeying the law. He was not looking for someone not obeying the law. He was looking for the guy not not obeying the law..." (Crews' voice fades into the background)
IRS Lady: Will he... just keep saying that?
Reese: *nods her head, making this priceless face*

Crews enters his house and sees the cops searching it.
Crews: Hey! It's kind of like a party except, this is my house and I don't remember sending out invites.
IAD Agent: Detective Crews, in that you are a person of interest in the killing of Carl Ames, the District Attorney's office has issued a search warrant for these premises, as well as the occupants therein.
Crews (to Ted): Don't you wish you could talk that way?

(Regarding his dismantled wall)
Crews: You took it all?
Ted: I was looking for porn.

Reese: You know, I get that Farthingale was half physical, half intellectual, Farthing and Gale, the field agent, the analyst... but why two wives?
Crews: I guess neither of them wanted to be alone.



Things We Learned:

- Charlie tails Ames and finds him arguing with a white-haired man on the beach front. Later, Ames is found shot to death in the parking garage of the police department, and the suspicion falls on Charlie. The man Ames was arguing with before his death later turns out to be Jack Reese, Dani's father (and the SWAT leader to the Bank of LA shootout.)

- Constance is offered a job with the DA's office and decides to take it, which means she's no longer Charlie's lawyer. Not that it stopped her from warning Charlie (and Ted) about the forthcoming raid in his house.

- Ted is made of awesome. OK, we knew that before.

- Ted was also married before he went to jail, and he totally screwed around his wife with floozies on private jets. Oh, Ted. But it seems Charlie was faithful to Jennifer before he was framed.



Wall of Conspiracy

- Charlie puts up the picture of Ames arguing with Jack Reese.

- Crime scene photo of Ames shot to death in the garage.

- Ted is forced to take down the Wall, to protect Charlie.



Fresh Fruit

- Charlie eats a Granny Smith apple in the opening scene while doing surveillance on Ames and Jack Reese

- Cup 'o Fruits consumed by Charlie after out intrepid detectives meet with Farthingale's wives (during the "Chinese symbol for war" conversation)



Music From the Episode

- One, Aimee Man, during the crime scene intro at Farthingale's apartment

- All I Need, Radiohead, in the closing scene of the two funerals



Questions for Discussion

- While Charlie is under investigations from IAD for Ames' murder (and clearly freakin' the hell out), Reese barely talks about this. As a matter of fact, she refuses to get involved or question Charlie further when prompted, and makes a visible effort to steer Charlie's focus back to Farthingale's investigation when he looks worried. Why, do you think?

- Were you surprised by Ames' death and how Jack Reese was introduced? Did you find it effective?

- Constance, despite now working for DA's office, puts her career on the line to warn Charlie of the impending raid. What did you think of her action in this episode?
Tags: episode discussion
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