Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review - Dark Blue Season 2 Episode 1 Urban Garden / 2 Liar's Poker

I've always liked the tone and atmosphere of Dark Blue, but the one huge plot hole always threatens to make the show unwatchable. Somehow, the team is able to make arrests in broad daylight and conduct their investigation in establishments filled with people without ever being outed as a cop on sight. You'd think that after the 5th or so bust, criminal enterprises would be clued in that a group of undercover LAPD officers are nabbing bad guys left and right. But apparently not. They're clueless and can be fooled each time by the same exact people. It's a problem that's always nagging me, especially when I start thinking, "Hey, this show is actually pretty good."

The first episode, Urban Garden, introduced Alex Rice (everyone's favorite BSG hottie Tricia Helfer) as an undercover FBI, going after Victor, the same guy Carter is after. They go about business with covers, until Carter's CI friend is killed. Alex's real motives are uncovered: she's going after a bigger target she lost in San Francisco, so Carter can't get Victor for murder. However, Carter has plans of his own and nabs Victor on murder anyway to Alex's dismay. To make Carter seem less terrible, the writers throw in an additional caveat--the guy in San Francisco is already dead. Yeah, Alex's main target was dead and her had no clue! OK...

Before Alex departs, she sleeps with Carter and then gets call informing her of a joint FBI-LAPD taskforce headed by none other than herself. And Trica Helfer stays on!

"Liar's Poker" had a more disjointed plot with several threads that never quite came together, but it did, however, set up for the rest of the season in a much larger form than in the first. Most interesting was the decision of the writers to put Alex in a very vulnerable position after the shooting. After telling Carter that it was her first shooting, Carter is there for her, showing a sympathetic side that rarely comes out. Instead of making her slightly adversarial to Carter or the team, the writers decided the break the bonds of any FBI, LAPD problem and basically make her one of them, a new character with a new backstory to explore. As expected, Tricia Helfer fills the role exceptionally, improving the already above-average cast.

On the relationship side of things, Jamie is still sleeping with Dean, having broken things off with Scott (so much for that "cliffhanger" at the end of the first season). Right now, it's just sex, but it's pretty obvious where they're going, especially with Dean's new (undercover) girlfriend, Maria (Jordanna Brewster). Ty is having trouble connecting with his wife who recently got a promotion and is too busy to stick around and talk.

Dark Blue will never be a hit or critical darling, but it's a show people should be taking a look at. Sure the dialogue can be cheesy and plot contrivances can be annoying, but it has a certain grit to it few shows have and for a summer show, that's fine for me.

Score: 8.6/10
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