Title: 1x09, Serious Control Issues
Writer: Laurie Arent
Director: Marcos Siega
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: Victor Rivers (Jack Reese), Michael Harney (John Garrity), Joseph Lyle Taylor (Ray), Phyllis Lyons (Judith Raitt), Michael Gladis (Dean Gill), Soren Fulton (Nate)
Synopsis: When a runaway girl is found dead underneath a freeway overpass, Crews and Reese are struck by the death scene. The girl is discovered sitting upright, clutching a guitar with her throat slit. The detectives are able to figure out the girl used to play her guitar outside a grocery store nearby. After interviewing one of the grocery store employees, along with his son, they become highly suspicious of their behavior. Just when they think they are close to capturing the killer, they realize they've stumbled upon another significant crime -- a kidnapping from 12 years earlier. Meanwhile, Crews decides to take action towards the murder investigation mounting against him.
- Charlie goes on the offensive, delivering Jack Reese the picture of him and Ames arguing before Ames' death. The confrontation between Charlie and Jack Reese in the Lt's office -- talk about electric. The fact Jack Reese felt comfortable not even denying Charlie's allegations but actually *threatened* Charlie ("... or the county morgue" HOLY CRAP), right there in broad daylight in the middle of police department tells you that this guy is not only morally bankrupt but that he wields a huge amount of power in this place. They really built up Jack Reese as a formidable opponent, quite successfully, I think. Not that Charlie was a pushover. Damian Lewis's performance in the scene is just fantastic. They way he says, "You're retired, right, Jack?" all casual-like, contempt and challenge implicit in using his given name -- wow. The dude has balls, y'all. And so damned angry. I don't think we've seen Charlie go so angry and cold since he whaled on Cudahy in ep 4.
- LT Davis' hushed conversation with Dani is pretty charged stuff. In a way, it's a more muted-down version of Jack Reese' threat to Charlie -- "you better toe the line, OR ELSE," -- even if the threat is cloaked as an advice. And it's a threat of a frame-job, paralleling what Charlie went through. Interesting how Dani, who's tough as nails and doesn't rattle easily, is near tears at the end of the conversation. "You'd do that do me?", she says. You could see that she takes this threat of a betrayal as a personal blow.
- The confrontation between Charlie and Ray. "I know you. You are a guard." The tightly-controlled rage Damian Lewis projects in this scene is just chilling. Those cold, cold eyes and that smiling mouth and 12 years of bottled rage.... It's fucking HOT. (What?) Charlie doesn't let his crazy badass side out to play often, and when he does -- oh my.
- "Do you want a new partner?" "No, ma'am." Um. *SQUEEEE* Sorry! But my, this scene makes me flail with HAPPINESS. I think of this ep as the One where Dani Has Chosen Her Side. And the look on Charlie's face!! You could see how incredibly touched he is, and he looks down, trying to swallow it, because he knows exuberant thanks are not Dani's Way. It's all so restrained and subtle and oh, man.
- The conversation at Ray's place. The way it's shot, both of them sitting quietly on the couch in the dark, is very evocative. Probably as close as heart-to-heart these two ever get. "... I don't really like you, but you're not one of the bad guys." That's, like, the Dani Reese version of a friendship bracelet.
- KEVLAR! Kevlar-sunglasses-gun triumvirate!
- The Personal Pineapple/Knife-return scene. I don't know which of these made me squee harder. The returning of knife is a small gesture, but it feels monumental, because Dani is so freakin' guarded usually.
- The last scene of Charlie and Nate up on the roof is beautiful. OK, maybe wee bit anvillacious, but still beautiful.
Crews: How's the Ames investigation going?
LT Davis: It's ongoing.
Crews: Anything I can do to help?
Davis: Detective, if I were you, I wouldn't be making jokes.
Crews: I was being serious! Why... why does no one take me seriously? You owe me for the lock on the door that you broke. I'm submitting a bill.
Crews: I used to carve -- helps pass the time. I don't carve any more. Not since she she took my knife away.
Nate: Why did she do that?
Crews: Yeah, Reese, why did you take away my knife?
Reese: I don't think now is the time to talk about it!
Crews: I investigate things to complete my knowledge. My complete knowledge makes my thoughts sincere. My thoughts being sincere, my heart is pure.
Garrity: Here we go. Reader's Digest?
Crews: That's Confucius. It's good, though, isn't it?
Garrity: (nods) Yeah.
Crews: Don't you want a pure heart? I know I do.
Judith Raith: Detective Crews, is it your intention not to cooperate with this investigation?
Crews: I investigate things.
Bobby Stark: What should I tell them, Charlie?
Crews: Tell'em the truth.
Stark: That's what I did 12 years ago and that didn't turn out so well, huh?
Reese: Cats?! I hate cats!
Crews: Actually, I think they are kittens.
Reese: Well, I hate them, too!
Dean Gill: Dapper Dan, Mr. Fleaders, Kitty bin Laden -- he' a bit psycho.
Reese: Names of his kittens.
Dean Gill: Past and present!
Reese: You have a nice talk?
Crews: No, not really.
Dean Gill: Am I supposed to understand this?
Crews (ignoring him) Do you want to know what he wanted?
Reese: He always wants the same thing.
Crews: What's that?
Reese: Everyone else's unhappiness.
Dean Gill: Is this some sort of good cop/bad cop? Because it ain't working on me.
(In Ray & Nate's scary prison-like apartment)
Reese: Can you imagine living like this?
Crews: Don't have to.
Reese: ... Right.
Crews: Because of the whole prison thing
Reese: Yeah. Copy that.
Crews: About your dad...
Reese: Yeah, let me make this easy on you. I spent my childhood trying to figure out if he's only mean, or just plain bad. And you -- I don't really understand you. I don't really like you. But... you're not one of the bad guys.
Reese: If I had your money, I would be on a beach somewhere... How come you're not on a beach somewhere?
Crews: Do I look like I tan?
Reese: Alright, I have to know. What's the deal with the fruit?
Crews: Do you know what you eat in prison?
Crews: Crap. No fresh fruit...ever. I missed it.
Reese: I don't think it'll be fruit that I'll be missing.
Crews: Yeah, You would.
Reese: (hands Crews back his knife)
Crews: I'll try to use it for good, instead of evil.
Things We Learned:
- We learn more about Dani's difficult relationship with her father. The terse words Dani says about her father are very telling. "What he always wants -- everyone else's unhappiness." "... if he was only mean, or plain bad." There is no equivocation there, only calm acceptance of what he is and resignation after years of emotional abuse. It's so much sadder than it would have been if Dani had expressed anger toward her father.
- Dani hates cats! Even kittens! As a non-cat person myself (heeeey, stop throwing things at me!), I find this utterly hilarious.
- Charlie's fruit fetish comes from the fact that the thing he missed the most while in prison was fresh fruit.
- Pineapples come in "personal" sizes!
No new information per se, but we see prominent shots of young!Rachel and her drawing of the Seybolt killer. Charlie also starts actively involving Ted in his investigation of the Seybolt murders as his sounding board -- about time, I'd say.
- A bag of (non-pervy!) oranges offered to the homeless girls. Charlie grew them himself!
- Possibly fruit-flavoured (?) ice bars consumed at the park with Connie
- PERSONAL PINEAPPLE! Seriously, the cutest piece of fruit ever featured on TV, Y/Y?
Music From the Episode
- "This Voiceless Cry" by Harri Lake, in the crime scene intro when Crews & Reese come across Josie's body
- "Broken Boy Soldier" by The Raconteurs, played when our heroes (in all their KEVLAR-iffic glory!) drive over to apprehend Ray
- "Ooh Child" by Beth Orton, over the final few scenes with Charlie and Nate
Questions for Discussion
- Charlie just laid down all his cards on the table here with Jack Reese in this episode. Was that smart or foolish, you think?
- Just what *is* the deal with the LT? What is your take on her motivation here, re. Jack Reese, Dani and Charlie? Is she just as corrupt as Jack? Or loyal to her old partner to a fault? A canny politician? All of the above?
- We only have one brief scene with Bobby Stark in this ep, but it's a telling one. He's so desperate to make amends with Charlie, you can't help but feel sorry for him, but then he turns around and makes that sexist crack about Dani. What do you think of Bobby? Do you like him? Find him despicable? Somewhere in between?
- What do you think of Dani's body language as Charlie and her father are arguing in Lt's office? What's your take on what Dani's childhood was like with Jack Reese as her father?
- Did the case(s) of the week work for you? Why or why not?
- Errr, this post is even more tl;dr than is my usual, but feel free to rhapsodize further at length about many awesome partnership moments in this ep and the fantastic acting and the way the conspiracy was shaping up, etc. *g*