The tension in Mary Kills People Season 1 Episode 3 is ramping up from all corners as the detectives feel their case falling apart while Mary and Des work hard to evade them as best they can.
Des: I always thought Death knocked three times.
Mary: Guess you're safe. For now
Meanwhile, Des opens up to his girlfriend, Jess jumps to the wrong conclusion about her mother, and Grady demonstrates the deadly nature we've suspected all along.
And yet, despite the storm that is brewing and the risks that are taken, the show always takes the time to drive home the good that Mary and Des are doing for the clients they serve.
In Irene's case, we not only see her confidence in her decision and the peace it brings her but we see the frustration her condition puts her through on a daily basis, the loss of physical motor control despite a keen and active brain.
Irene: I know what I want my last words to be. Are you ready?
Irene: There is beauty in the inevitable.
A show so completely and obviously focused on life and death can't help but bring up some deep philosophical questions.
The levity Mary Kills People manages to infuse is a real finesse in that it is always respectful of the subject matter but presents realistic perspectives (usually championed by Dr. Tact himself, Des).
Mary: Y'know, I've been thinking about Irene. If my family had the gene, I'd want to know.
Des: No, I say wait for the symptoms. In the meantime, eat, shag, and be merry.
It can't be emphasized enough that Greg Bryk's Grady makes every plot line better on this show.
As the friendly neighborhood drug dealer, he was only connected to Des to begin with. When Mary had to make contact with him, things really started to roll.
When he suddenly appeared at her hospital, managed to involve himself with Jess and Naomi in this episode, AND shot his (until recently) right-hand man dead, was it any wonder that Mary takes up smoking again?
It's hard to build momentum on a show when every character thinks they're doing the right thing.
Grady is unabashedly criminal in his nature and in his choice of career.
Whether he realizes or not that Dr. Mary is being closely watched by law enforcement only layers another coat of danger to his presence.
A pleasant surprise in this episode was Larissa (although her grandmother was even more of a delight).
The fact that Des had become involved with the pretty little pothead was amusing yet troubling initially.
When he and Mary use her as a red herring to lure the detectives away from their true destination this episode, it's flat-out funny. Especially Grandma.
Larissa: I barely even know [Mary]. I mean, I try to be friends with her but she's aloof. Like a cat. That's why it's weird that she lent me her car... but y'know people can surprise you.
Grandma: So can cats.
But when she starts asking questions about Des' wound and the detectives and Des decides to just tell her everything about what he and Mary do together... well, first you have to wonder what the heck he was thinking.
Considering he and Mary have committed to "being smarter" it's not an intuitive step in that direction.
To have her consider their mission an attractive element in her relationship with Des, well that was a curveball that I didn't expect. Furthermore, it leaves her open as a potential vulnerability. See what I mean about problems in EVERY CORNER?
And speaking of corners, Naomi seriously needs a time-out in one. And Jess needs better friends and/or love interests. The introduction of Grady into their world worries me because there's no doubt that without Mary's influence drawing him in now, Naomi and he would be running in the same circles in about five years' time anyway.
Mary's younger daughter, Cambie, overly naive and sheltered, seems to have a genuine connection to the show's subject matter, has a poem about her cat's alleged death rehashing the idea of ghosts that she introduced in the premiere and tying that all back to her mother's conflicted emotions about life.
Cambie: I wrote a poem. Can I read it?
Mary: Yeah, let's hear it.
Cambie: 'The spark turned cold/A darkness bright/You had no voice/We had no choice/A ghost in my heart'
This episode really impressed me with its ambitious interweaving of multiple patients and bystanders in meaningful shading of the main story.
Troy Dixon's widow, Carly, inadvertently becoming a person of interest to the detectives. The coroner basically telling Ben to shove off of her turf.
Coroner: Troy Dixon was in the late stages of a terminal disease. His wife confirmed that his breathing had been labored that day. And I concluded it was natural causes.
Ben: And you're absolutely sure?
Coroner: We have a saying in my line of work - 'If you hear hoofbeats, think horse... not zebra'
Sid showing up in the emergency room in police custody was that flashbulb moment for Dr. Harris where the walls started to close in.
Because of him, Grady makes her life impossible. Because of Grady, she goes into panic mode, hiding her daughters at Kevin's, fighting with Des, calling on Ben.
And the quiet irony of her conversation with Sonia Danvers, the devoutly Christian but guilt-ridden wife of a stabbing victim undergoing multiple surgeries, shines in this episode, putting our good doctor's entire situation into a terrifying focus.
Sonia: It's like Ecclesiastes 3, 11
Mary: Oh, I don't know that one.
Sonia: 'He has made everything beautiful in its time.' God has a plan and it's not our place to question it. We just have to trust in His wisdom.
Mary: Then there's your answer.
Where does she go from here? And how does Ben deal with the relationship that is developing?
Can Grady up his game any further? Who takes Sid's place?
Did anyone else notice that we never saw either Casper nor Sid actually die? Feels like a weird parallel.
Be sure to watch Mary Kills People online and chime in on how you think this tangled web gets sorted out.
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.