‘Chance’ Episode 4: The Mad Doctor – Making a Grill Cheese Sandwich (Review)

Hugh Laurie as Eldon Chance

Hulu’s Chance, with Hugh Laurie playing yet another medico, is slow and methodical in its approach to problem at hand.  “The Mad Doctor,” which is episode four in the first season, finally proves that Detective Blackstone is indeed dirty.  “D”also explains the information gathering process to Eldon thus, “It’s making a grill cheese sandwich.”

What D neglects to point out is that they are making the snack very slowly.

The crawling pace is necessary though. Right now D overshadows Chance. Ethan Suplee owns the show with his riddle loving and deceptively aggressive character.  Laurie, as Eldon Chance, is still hesitant, but his personality is slowly evolving.

Eldon is a halting work in progress, D is teaching the doctor to become him. As the series progresses and we learn more about Jaclyn’s “abusive” spouse, Chance is changing. Becoming more direct and “in your face.”

Right now, D is the more interesting of the two. His appearance and demeanor suggests the big man is a blunt instrument.  However, underneath that exterior is a man who is aware of everything.  D sees what does not wish to be seen and uses it to his advantage.

D is, quire frankly, fascinating.

Eldon is merely becoming slightly unstable.  There is no doubt that he will level out and become a leaner, older version of D; without the riddles. As it is, Chance has changed enough that it causes his secretary/receptionist  Lucy  to take her maternity leave early.

As the two men continue making their grill cheese sandwich, Raymond is seemingly acting like a cop. However, Blackstone is crossing boundaries.  The homicide detective is involved with a vice bust.  Arresting hookers with the vice squad and helping to set the brothel they work in up for the take down.

Jaclyn appears to be playing both men against each other. This may be a pattern. She told Eldon that the last man who tried to help her was murdered. D comes close to saying that Jaclyn/Jackie is not what she seems.

He tells  Eldon that not only Jaclyn his problem but she is also Raymond’s. Later Chance confronts Jaclyn and she tells him that Raymond has threatened her daughter. Somewhat prophetically she also tells Eldon that “this will not end the way you think.”

This last statement certainly makes it seem that she has an agenda with a completely different end game in mind.  Whatever it is exactly, only she knows and but it seems clear that it will not include Chance or Blackstone.

After Eldon talks with Jaclyn, he finds out that her husband was involved with the hooker bust to get his own stable of girls. He is, says D, into human trafficking.  Through the window, an associate of Blackstone’s is getting hypodermic needles loaded up to prepare the girls for work.

D may be the most interesting character on the show so far, but all signs point to Eldon surpassing his teacher spectacularly.  Jaclyn may believe that Chance is good and a bit weak, but she is wrong. Eldon has “gone off” once before.

With his new attitude, learned from D, Eldon may well become a razor sharp weapon ready to take on the world around him.

There was an interesting side plot to episode four. Chance is testifying to another doctor’s mental state.  A man who was indifferent to his wife drowning because of a  degenerative brain disease.

Chance feels like a noir thriller. There is an invasive feeling of doom amidst the gumshoe techniques employed by D. Jaclyn is the “damsel in distress” now but she could turn out to be the femme fatal.

Eldon is not going to come out of this in a good place. D may survive but Raymond is pretty much the cop version of the antiques repair man cum mercenary.

Hugh Laurie and Ethan Suplee make a brilliant double act and between their interactive chemistry  and the work of Gretchen Mol this slow paced thriller will continue to be an addictive experience.

Chance airs Wednesdays on Hulu.  Tune in and get caught up in this moody and fascinating noir-like thriller.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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