Apart from being entertaining, The Mysteries of Laura, episode 207, aka The Mystery of the Maternal Instinct, was also another tightly written and well performed mystery tale. Season two continues to amaze and puzzle. Fans of Agatha Christie/Ruth Rendell type stories will become addicted to this Debra Messing vehicle. While her Laura Diamond is no Miss Marple (for that matter her former husband Jake Broderick (Josh Lucas) is no bumbling local bobby on the beat either) the cop is one smart cookie, surrounded by equally intelligent coworkers.
Even the new Captain, “Santini” (Callie Thorne) manages to make valid points in this week’s mystery murder.
A young woman is found dead in the street. As the police investigate it is learned that the victim is pregnant and that the baby in her womb still alive. As the police investigate, beginning with the idea that the deceased was a hooker (based on the location of her death), the clues do not add up.
Step two is learning that this Nigerian mother-to-be was a mule for a crime syndicate that specializes in moving uncut gemstones illegally. Armchair detectives will have their work cut out for them if they attempt to solve DJ’s murder. There are plenty of clues on offer and many lead to dead ends. Many more lead to false conclusions.
At one point in the show it seems that the Nigerian syndicate is smuggling babies, which it is not, and then it transpires that the phrase killing two birds with one stone may apply in the mother’s death and the reason for it. Maternity tourists, which are, amazingly, a real thing, are the baseline of the plot device here, but is combined with Nigerian bad guys using females as mules for their uncut stones.
This topical storyline, mentioning the “offensive” Jeb Bush term “Anchor babies,” proves that this series tries to be culturally aware of what is significant at the time of broadcast. Another “relevant” portion of the story line is the mention of “Ghost Apartments.” These are not flats or apartments occupied by denizens of the “other side” but empty homes purchased by the uber rich as investments.
The Mysteries of Laura is an entertaining “cop show” with an interesting, and amusing, cast who all have great chemistry with their costars. The series really is a mix of “crim-com” and procedural cop shows where evidence is used alongside “hunches” by the main protagonist.
Max Carnegie (Max Jenkins) is a member of the team who uses his technical expertise to help his colleagues and he even steps in to antagonize Captain Santiani when Detective Diamond is out of pocket. While the entire team work to find out who killed the pregnant mother, Jake and Laura continue their hesitant waltz of forgiveness and possibly getting back together.
After the case is solved, Jake has dinner with his ex and their twins. As part of a bet (Challenge?) made earlier in the season, Broderick does contact another doctor about his heart condition and now Laura is obligated to go on a date with him.
The Mysteries of Laura is topnotch entertainment and airs Wednesdays on NBC. Tune in enjoy the performances of the entire cast and see how hard it is to actually crack the cases.