The Mysteries of Laura: Episode 207 (Review)

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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.

Gotham: Mommy’s Little Monster – Two Become One (Review)

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So, in Gotham’s latest episode, Mommy’s Little Monster, it turns out that Butch has indeed been cured and Nygma proves that two can become one, all it took was taking Ms. Kringle out of the equation. Before looking at the episode overall,  a short pause (and a tear or two) may be in order for poor old deluded Gertrude Kapelput (played by the legendary performer Carol Kane).  

Can there be a dry eye in the house after Penguin’s mother was reunited with her boy only to die at the hand of Tabitha Galavan? Speaking of Tabitha (Jessica Lucas), who’s a clever girl then? Not just a homicidal maniac with S&M tendencies and a gorgeous visage but someone well versed in breaking down brainwashed muscle, in the form of Butch (Drew Powell).

 Who knew?

Theo did and while he has a sister and a niece who “have his back,”  the trio have a bad habit of making enemies of all the wrong people. Silver St. Cloud (Natalie Alyn Lind) may brag to her uncle that Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is wrapped around her little finger, but pissing off Selina Kyle, like Theo’s poorly thought out murder of Penguin’s mom, is going to bite someone in the butt sooner or later.

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This episode was the  highlight of Gotham’s second season. Butch almost getting whacked by Victor Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) with Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock standing  the hitman, and his crew, off with giant machine-guns, hundreds of Penguin lookalikes attempting to create enough of a diversion that the real deal could kill Theo, Tabitha taking out another Strike Force team member with her high heel  and, last but not least, the transformation of Mr. Nygma into The Riddler.

Cory Michael Smith as Nygma gives a great performance that is not out of place  with the over the top theme and action of this episode.   Bruno Heller threw everything into this one. Selina and Silver “duking it out” (verbally) with Kyle losing round one by being too blunt with Bruce and that smug grin from St. Cloud, who clearly knows that Selina is watching…

A real “heart stopping” moment occurs when Dr. Thompkins enters her office to discover Nygma standing over the woman he murdered.  It does really look like Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins was about to be checked out of the show. On a sidenote, the eyes of the deceased Kringle, were very impressive and disturbing;  opaque and blindly staring, younger viewers may just have nightmares…

Previous to finding the body, by following his  own “?” clues, Nygma’s  struggling to find Kris Kringle’s body,  that his “other half” hid,  was brilliantly done. All accompanied by some great music (Closer to the Bone by Louis Prima & Sam Butera & The Witnesses) The lady fingers gag in the vending machine was priceless. All of the events in the GCPD led to the split personality becoming one when The Riddler tells his other self some home truths.  By the time the end credits roll a new villain is born.

Jim Gordon proves, yet again, that he cannot be bought. While he and Harvey have to save the new mayor from Penguin, the first “crusader” declares war on Galavan. Gordon figures out what Butch did not say, that Theo killed poor old addled Gertrude and that the bit of information that  Oswald imparted before his escape means that Galavan is not a good guy after all.

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Selina upsets Bruce with her warning about Silver.

The two men are now adversaries and both men have made it clear that the gloves are now off. Gotham’s ending belongs to Nygma, however, and his transformation into The Riddler. The man has now become the truly insane murderer who will plague a grown Bruce Wayne later.

Gotham airs Mondays on FOX. Tune in and join the OTT fun and chaos.