This Briarpatch overview comprises spoilers.
Briarpatch Episode 2
Perhaps it’s watching the characters of Briarpatch work together within the searing temperatures of San Bonafacio, however I’ve already warmed to USA Community’s new neo noir fairly a bit. Nevertheless, after two episodes, a transparent downside appears to be like to be arising for the present; there are two seemingly competing storylines, and one is extra attention-grabbing. In the intervening time, it isn’t a problem as a result of the hunt for Felicity’s killer is bringing Allegra into contact with all types of quirky characters with shady motivations. However as extra time is spent on Allegra’s day job, the one bringing her again in contact with outdated flame Jake Spivey, I’m already discovering myself questioning after we will get again to the Spivey, the Senator, and the Clyde Brattle case.
Showrunner Andy Greenwald is famously towards utilizing flashbacks, however it definitely wouldn’t damage if the viewer was in a position to spend extra time with Felicity. The anecdotes delivered by the opposite characters aren’t sufficient to have me as invested to find justice for the slain officer, partly as a result of there’s an air of insincerity to all of Briarpatch’s supporting gamers (although that’s a function and never a bug), however principally as a result of Allegra hasn’t spent a lot time verbalizing her feelings. It’s apparent that Allegra isn’t the “speak about my emotions”-type, and Rosario Dawson is taking part in the stone-faced detective properly, however our lack of actual connection to Felicity is already making that facet of the story begin to lag behind when positioned subsequent to one thing that’s actually crackling.
Even when Briarpatch is telling us extra about Felicity’s connection to the opposite characters, we’re nonetheless studying extra concerning the residing than the deceased. As an example, the episode opens with an important little bit of comedic enterprise involving Detective Colder and a lifeless cat. Colder’s response to the cat’s dying, plus the shrill voice heard off-screen and the paintings devoted to the fallen feline inform us every little thing we have to learn about Colder’s residence life, why he’d discover such solace in a reasonably younger girl, and why he’d be so woeful now that she’s gone. But that also doesn’t inform us a lot concerning the lifeless lady, and that lack of connection to the individual on the middle of the thriller has damage higher tales than this.
That doesn’t imply that Allegra’s investigation into Felicity’s dying is boring or dangerous. In actual fact, it looks like a enjoyable Texas-twist on a traditional noir whodunit the place anybody and everyone seems to be a suspect. Whereas making an attempt to get extra details about Felicity’s funds and her residence constructing, she jumps round San Bonifacio native to native. Whereas every supporting character rattles off some requisite exposition, they nonetheless every handle to current themselves as fully-realized characters. Whereas John Aylward’s tackle the boozy, ache within the ass reporter is a delight, and Allegra Edwards’ flirty Cindy definitely makes an impression, Decide’s most vital conferences are with Kim Dickens’ Chief Raytek and John Beavers’ Floyd Ferness.
Allegra runs into Raytek within the lavatory after visiting the coroner’s workplace. Raytek behaves warmly, with some Southern good to Allegra immediately. She even vows to avenge Felicity’s dying. Nonetheless, based mostly on Singe’s feedback, we all know to not belief the cops in San Bonafacio. We additionally know one thing is up with Raytek when she very publicly throws Freddie out of the bar and humiliates him, however on the finish of episode montage, she’s seen shopping for a drink for the person and displaying her respect. Primarily based on all the data now we have, we will confidently name this suspicious habits.
Although suspicions are enhanced when Allegra lastly catches up with Floyd, who had been creepily following her all day. A former star athlete and lover of Felicity’s, Floyd sounds extra like a burn out conspiracy theorist nowadays, discussing precisely how he’ll finally be framed for Felicity’s homicide. Besides every little thing Floyd predicts comes true earlier than Felicity’s eyes. Beavers provides Floyd an immediately likeable high quality, and possibly if he actually is framed for the crime, avenging Floyd may very well be one other wrinkle that provides this facet of the investigation extra pop and emotional ressonance.
It definitely wants it, as a result of the opposite facet of Briarpatch’s story includes a coked-up Jay Ferguson in a soar go well with dancing round to “Excessive Stress Days” by The Models. That’s onerous to compete with. Spivey simply provides a lot power to the collection each time he’s on display screen, partly as a result of Jake and Decide’s hearth and ice dynamic works so properly. The snowcone scene this week is the most effective 5 minutes of tv I’ve watched shortly, enhanced by director Steven Piet’s staging, like when he pulls the digicam out extensive and shoots Jake and Allegra standing on reverse sides of a vacant lot, with Spivey’s private safety lurking within the background.
Clyde Brattle, Jake’s gun-running buddy, has slipped U.S. custody and now it’s crucial that Allegra get Jake’s deposition instantly, earlier than he learns that the Senator has misplaced his leverage. Sadly, Spivey is simply too savvy, notices Decide’s desperation, and makes that assumption himself. By the episode finish, Allegra is choked out in her resort room and Spivey’s deposition is stolen, bringing Allegra again to sq. one as Cyrus and the Senator are respiration down her neck.
Briarpatch continues to please with its particular, engrossing setting and the ripe chemistry between its two leads. I’m definitely nonetheless invested to see the place this experience is heading, but when the collection isn’t cautious, the snap, crackle, pop between Decide and Spivey might overwhelm the primary storyline. Realizing that infamous ham Alan Cumming is becoming a member of the solid subsequent week as Brattle looks as if it’s going to tip the dimensions even additional to that facet of the plot’s path. Hopefully Allegra’s private investigation continues to function memorable townies, as a result of the skilled investigation looks like the place all of the character is actually shining. These two roads are prone to converge, however how lengthy will now we have to attend?
Nick Harley is a tortured Cleveland sports activities fan, thinks Douglas Sirk would have made a killer Batman film, Spider-Man needs to be a big-budget HBO collection, and Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson ought to direct a script written by each other. For extra ideas like these, learn Nick’s work right here at Den of Geek or observe him on Twitter.