Debra Messing continues to knock it out of the park as Laura Diamond. The latest episode, number 206, of Mysteries of Laura is a well written procedural mystery that was well played by all the participants and very funny in all the right places. Show creator Jeff Rake delivers another story that has the viewer second guessing right till the very end. By the time Diamond and her fellow detectives catch the baddies “mid” crime, one can put all the pieces together and see that there have been no cheats employed and the trail of clues makes sense.
It is not just the procedures and the mysteries that work so well, but the interaction between all the players on the show. Messing and her character’s relationships with her ex, the new boss, her colleagues and the suspects make this show. Along with the humor evident in her co-workers, for example the Archie and Jughead gag…
In The Mystery of the Dead Heat, a gym owner is found murdered in one of his saunas and the police have to work out who did it. The victim’s wife has M.S. and for once, the woman is not automatically a suspect. Although the detectives do discover some incriminating photos, which turn out to be of the widow and a “sex surrogate.”
Now that Laura’s ex-husband, Jake (Josh Lucas) is back as a senior detective and not running the squad the two are working as team and the chemistry is magical. Each actor reacts brilliantly to the other. Lucas (who has a distinctive “kill to have” voice) works well with Messing, as in the bike shop scene where his character reacts to Laura’s fawning at the American Ninja training guy behind the shop.
On a sidenote, Messing herself mentions that the real American Ninja winner, Issac Caldiero appears in the episode and actually plays a villain.
Callie Thorne continues to play Captain Santiani aka Santini the boss everyone loves to hate. The woman is uber annoying and it is fun to watch Laura continue to needle the new captain. These two performers also have a splendid chemistry and their interactions sparkle as a result. When Laura saves Santini’s bacon (it is funny to watch Diamond struggle to say her Captain’s name properly) one can see that it almost physically hurts Santiani to be in her detective’s debt.
Max Jenkins is a delight in each and every episode, full stop.
The Mysteries of Laura has a lot of humor as well as human interactions between the detectives and the suspects, victims and other people they encounter. It is precisely these human and comedic touches that combine so well with the tightly written storyline that makes the show work so well.
As the team track down their first suspect, a homeless man named Archie Vale (Robert Hallak), they learn that he was good friends with the murdered man and that the shop owner who complained about Archie being a “perv” was exaggerating her claim. The police also learn about the sex surrogate.
There is a secondary story of the two younger single detectives who are “Diamond and Broderick 11 years ago” and Jake still has medical issues. Laura pushes him to go back to get a second opinion. As the investigation moves on, it turns out that the victim was “collateral damage” to a theft planned on his wife’s blueprints of businesses.
By the time end credits roll, the baddies have been caught mid-crime by Laura and Jake. The real villains are the bike shop owner and her American Ninja training hubby and even Santini is happy at the result…sort of.
The episode has a good double twist to the crime being worked on and a satisfactory ending for the two “younger lovers” played by Laz Alonso and Janina Gavankar. This show is a brilliant vehicle for Messing who is still top of the league in terms of comedy. The bit where she delightedly offers to “hug it out” with Captain Santiani is perfect.
Despite coming late to The Mysteries of Laura, this NBC procedural “crimcom ” is an addictive addition to the MikesFilmTalk beat. Great plots both well written and performed very well indeed, make this a must see on Wednesdays. Miss this and miss some excellent television. After all, where else can one hear a line like: “Two guts don’t make a right…”