Not bad. Not bad at all.
While LA's Finest Season 1 Episode 3 left something to be desired, especially in the wake of an outstanding second episode, it was still a solid 44 minutes of television.
Maybe not something you need to watch right away, but if it's sitting on your DVR, then why not?
The main story arc continues to be engaging, and Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba have chemistry in spades.
Both characters are extremely compelling, and now we've seen a decent enough job in fleshing out some of the secondary characters, namely Joseph and Dante.
McKenna: Not bad.
Syd: Like a B-.
Todd: Excuse me?
McKenna: You didn’t stick the landing.
Syd: Neither did Lowell.
McKenna: Too soon.
Syd: Too soon?
McKenna: Yeah, a little too soon.
Add in a couple of twists and turns thrown for good measure, and we've got a relatively reliable series, so far.
And with the lack of new scripted content right now, reliable is as good as it gets.
While there were a couple of "big" developments, the most interesting one was Carlene's introduction.
Though it can be hard to care about newly introduced characters, Carlene is already more intriguing than half of the series' regulars.
Upon first glance, it'd be easy to characterize Carlene as one of the bad guys -- she works for Knox after all.
However, something tells me there's more to her story.
Sure, she could be another of Knox's lackeys, but it seems like she has her own agenda, her own master plan that goes beyond being his second in command.
What that is, it's unclear. If nothing else, she'll remain an integral part of the season, what with her ties to Knox and the district attorney's office, along with a possible flirtationship with Syd.
Syd: Oh, so we’re just going to pretend like you didn’t walk away from me yesterday, and you haven’t been returning my calls? We’re just gonna pretend it didn’t happen?
McKenna: I don’t know. Are we going to pretend you didn’t go a background check on me, which is like a major violation.
Syd: OK, here we go.
McKenna: Look, after what you’ve done, you don’t get to dig into my life.
Syd: Nobody cares what you did, McKenna. Everyone’s got a past, and for the record, I wasn’t digging into your life. I was looking into Ray Sherman, which led me to his brother Dante, which led me to you. And you shouldn’t be surprised because I saw Dante at your house.
McKenna: Because of you. You are dragging me into your mess. I know what Gabriel Knox did to you.
Syd: I don’t even know what Gabriel Knox did to me. I’ve got the scars, I’ve got the medical records, but when I close my eyes at night, I can’t even see the asshole’s face.
Oh yes, a relationship with Syd would be electric, as the vibes between the pair at Patrick's press event were palpable.
It's not great that it'd be built on a foundation of lies and deceit, but hey, every relationship has their troubles.
The other notable thing to have occurred was the death of Ray.
Though unsurprising, it does raise the stakes.
While neither of our two lovely leading ladies is about to find themselves dosed with gasoline and set on fire, it does mean that the rest of the ensemble shouldn't sleep with one eye open.
The characters with the biggest bull's eye on their backs right now are Dante and Patrick.
After his brother's the death, Dante is likely to stop at nothing to get vengeance, even if that means he dies in the process.
Patrick, on the other hand, is as straight-laced as they come, but his new job as interim district attorney could mean getting his hands dirty.
McKenna: What is wrong with you?
Dante: What’s wrong with me? Ray’s fucking dead. Knox’s killing him. When they find him behind this club, this club we were going to open to get out underneath Knox. They’re coming for me next. So, you know what’s interesting about it? They burned him alive because they think he stole some drugs, burnt down the club, but you and I, we both know what really happened, don’t we?
McKenna: Oh god. Dante, I’m… I’m so sorry.
Dante: I know that’s bullshit because you hid it, right, and the feeling was mutual, OK. But that guy always came first for me. You know that. You owe him.
McKenna: So what do you want from me?
Dante: I want you to do your job, and I want you to find who did this.
He doesn't strike me as a guy involved in illegal activities, but if Carlene has anything to say about it, Patrick will soon be mixed up in a world he wants nothing to do with.
The problem is once you're in, there's not exactly a way out without being buried six feet under.
What didn't work -- and is becoming clear it won't ever work -- is the one and done case structure.
LA's Finest Season 1 Episode 2 was somewhat successful in this regard due to the bait and switch of a young McKenna, who we first thought may be a potential victim.
Still, there was absolutely nothing worthwhile about the pointless subplot we got here.
Not even Syd and McKenna's flawless banter could save it, as I found myself wanting to fast forward through those scenes.
It was also beyond predictable that the separate cases Syd and McKenna and the Bens were working would intersect. Otherwise, what would have been the point?
On paper, this case had some solid elements -- robbery, helicopter getaways -- but it just fell flat on execution, most likely because not enough time was devoted to it.
That's not to say more time should have been spent on the case, but devoting a good portion of an episode to a specific case that we'll never see again is what make regular police procedurals so successful.
McKenna: So all this shit, all this damage you have caused is because of that?
Syd: That is 50 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams is a lethal dose. There’s over 100 pounds here, enough to kill 26 million people. So, no, I didn’t plan any of this. Yes, I burned down the club, but before I did I found that hidden in a backroom. I couldn’t just leave it there.
McKenna: Ray’s dead because of that. Because you stole Fentanyl. And yeah, he made bad choices, but you know what, so did I. And I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Ray and Dante.
Syd: If you think I’m going to weigh Ray’s life against all of the people who could have died because Knox wanted to put that poison on the streets, do the math, McKenna. You, you were right. You are right. There is no way I could get to Knox without affecting the people that I care about.
McKenna: Be real. If I would have told you that I knew Ray…
Syd: Yeah, I would have done things differently. I’m sorry.
We tune in, in part, because of the characters but also the mystery at hand.
On LA's Finest Season 1, the mystery at hand is Gabriel Knox and Syd's search for the drug lord.
Anything that detracts from that -- in this example, the cases that are solved within each episode -- isn't worth the time.
Some stray thoughts:
- As great as it is to have Syd and McKenna on the same page, does anyone else wish they hadn't resolved their issues quite so quickly? While they obviously need to be together in this if they want to take down Knox, another episode or two of strained relations wouldn't have been the worst thing.
Did anyone else Izzie shaving her head was a sign of suicidal ideation, not just her wanting to get a fake ID? After her "drowning" stunt on LA's Finest Season 1 Episode 2, it seemed like this crazy act of teenage rebellion, as McKenna put it, was a definite cry for help.
So, I was a little disappointed when the writers decided to pretend this was nothing more than teenage shenanigans rather than delving into the pain and confusion and emotions of being a teenager.
McKenna may have her faults, but there's no denying she's a good stepmother. She truly cares about Izzie and seems to understand her stepdaughter better than Patrick. She knew exactly the right things to say and when to push or just let things be.
So what did you think LA's Finest Fanatics?
What did you think of Carlene?
Who will die next?
Is the "case of the week" format working for you?
Don't forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch LA's Finest online on TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.