Monday, August 8, 2011

Against the Wall Season 1 Episode 2 Recap/Review

            Oh Kathy Baker. These first two episodes have had some very nice acting from Against the Wall’s main cast. Rachael Carpani is doing well as a new lead actress. It is nice to see Brandon Quinn finally get a steady lead role after about a decade or so of being “that guy.” You know, the person you always see and go, “What else was that guy in?” It is also great to have Treat Williams back on my television screen, as I always enjoyed him in Everwood. Even the rest of the cast has proven quite capable. Mrs. Kathy Baker, though, is blowing everyone out of the water. Given only ten or twelve scenes at the most, Baker has made me laugh, cheer, and get a little misty eyed already. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what a great actor or actress does. They connect with the subtle nuisances of a character and bring them to life in ways you do not expect.

            Tonight’s final scene of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head was pitch perfect. Obviously Shelia was struggling with coming to terms with Richie almost being shot throughout the episode. The moment after Abby asked her mother about the cakes, and Shelia looked up and everything just welled up inside of her, absolutely broke my heart. Here is a woman whose life is all about her children and husband. A woman whose top priority is being there for them and protecting them. A woman who clearly felt so helpless and out of control. In that one split second, Baker conveyed all of that and more across the television screen. Against the Wall has a good ensemble cast, but they were very lucky to get Baker. Even though Abby is the main character, I will not be surprised if Shelia becomes the heart and soul of this program. In my opinion, that is absolute what needs to happen if it is not already the writers’ plan.
            As for the rest of the episode, just like last week, I was pleasantly surprised. Unlike last time, I actually had some expectations for this hour. The first episode was all about setting up the pieces, meaning that we had to see some development this time around. Thankfully the show did just that, and I like the directions that they are going in. See, I never judge how well a series might do based upon the pilot. Watching too many television shows flameout after a great pilot has taught me that. Instead, I really focus on the next few episodes to see if the show is worth watching. As long as Against the Wall continues to deliver like it did tonight, I can gladly say I will be following it throughout its run.

Quick hits kiddoes:

            -As I said last week, placing Abby in I.A. is one of the best things the show could have done. Not only for the family drama aspect, but also because it adds another layer and dimension to all of her investigations. In a lot of ways, the show is a standard police drama with a case of the week format. With Abby and Lina being detectives in I.A., however, the viewer is constantly guessing who is trust worthy and who is not. At least for me, that helps me stay engaged when the show focuses on these temporary plot lines.

            -It was also a smart move on the shows’ part to have someone in Abby’s family be investigated from the start. The minute I saw the first previews for the show, I knew that plotline would come along eventually. It was just too obvious not happen. By delving into that scenario now, the show not only gets off to a quick start, it also frees itself up to explore other areas down the rode. Furthermore, I am glad it is Richie who is being investigated. Blond Brother and Dick Brother have not really made an impression on me yet, as evidenced by me not knowing their names, whereas I like Richie. It just adds another layer by having it be Richie, because now Abby’s only ally might not stay that way for long.

            -Speaking of Richie’s investigation, what do you think about whether or not Brody planted the gun? My head says he did, but my gut does not think so. I am betting the show goes a long way in trying to prove that he did not plant the gun, and as a shocker, actually reveal he did. Which honestly, would suck, because that would most likely limit the amount of shirtless Brody time. And we cannot have that can we?

            -It seems we have the recurring antagonist now with Carl Scott. He did not have a lot of screen time, but I already dislike him. Good for Abby, though, for sticking up for him. It would have been easy for her to just hate on him with her brother. She did that right thing, if not the likeable one, by defending Scott’s actions, if not the man himself.

            When Don punched the random asshole cop, I cheered. Thank god he did, otherwise I would have been calling for his head. He may still be extremely upset with Abby, but he is not going to let anybody talk about his daughter like that. Though, he may want to do something about his temper in general, or he will be the next Kowalski to be investigated by I.A.

            -I am not sure how I feel about Shane and Abby. I mean he just got out of a relationship where the woman he supposedly loved betrayed him, badly. For one, talk about damaged goods. Two, how much could you have really liked her Shane if you are already making eyes at Abby. Yes, I get she basically saved his life and career, but still. Furthermore, this would make attractive love interest  number three for Abby. I love you girl, but damn, learn to share.

            -I watched tonight’s episode with a friend, and every time one of the guys got shirtless I simply looked at her and said, “Lifetime knows its audience.” That they do.

            -Lastly, a shout out for Lieutenant Papadol. I like him show, and would like to see more of him. The same goes for Lina. The best friend, however, I could take or leave. What does she add again?

Tonight was a solid hour of television, and definitely convinced me to stick around for more. Did it do the same for you? Are you still wondering if Brody planted the gun? Also, will Abby act on Danny’s feelings for her? Or instead, will she be breaking all the family rules and go after a Cheesehead? Let me know!

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