Wicked City keeps up the intensity of the pilot and the white knuckle ride continues as Detective Jack Roth (Jeremy Sisto) and his new, and unwanted, partner Paco Conteras (Gabriel Luna) try to stop serial killer Kent Galloway (Ed Westwick) from killing his next victim. Karen McClaren (Taissa Farmiga) is spotted talking with Roth and Galloway choses another victim. The police race to find the woman before she becomes the next victim.
Despite a slow open, the newest addition to the ABC lineup promises to deliver once the series finds its feet. Wicked City gives us flawed heroes and a killer who apparently finds his perfect mate. Westwick as the child loving killer spares his previous victim Betty BeaumontaIne (Erika Christensen) because she has kids.
He learns, as she does, that this single mom, and nurse, is up for just about anything and the killer sets about seeing just how far she is willing to go. In the pilot, he intimidates her into leaving work to meet him at the club. Once there, when he gives up going after McClaren, she agrees to go along on a “threesome.”
Running with the Devil could be describing Betty’s journey with killer Kent. She willingly goes along with his sexual plans for Mallory. Things go awry however after a bit of bondage when Kent and Betty fall asleep after their threesome and the woman disappears. In the episode, Galloway must track down the missing Mallory before the police find her.
Apart from Wicked City looking at 1980s Los Angeles with its abundance of drugs, sex, Hollywood hopefuls and decadent debauchery, the series looks at the “perfect storm” connection of two people who look to become the 1980 Southern Californian version of Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, aka (The Lonely Hearts Killers).
This episode shows the new partners, Roth and Paco starting to work together instead of against one another. It also gives the viewer another glimpse at the world of the 1980s, as the two cops head to an MTV music video shoot. Roth states that a channel with only music videos will never last, an attitude that was shared by many in when MTV started.
As another nod to the real world of Los Angeles in the 1980s Joe Walsh, who changed the Eagles‘ style and attitude in 1975, has a brilliant cameo as the MTV music video director who Roth and Conteras question during their investigation.
As the two detectives follow leads and struggle to get ahead of their suspected serial killer, Roth upsets an old flame and McClaren finds new purpose. Wicked City offers the audience some complex characters with a lot of depth and real touches of truth. Sisto is convincing as the family man who is wants to stop another Hillside Strangler from becoming a headline and racking up a number of victims.
Farmiga is compelling as the girl with a dream caught up in some pretty horrifying circumstances. Erika Christensen manages to make her “Nurse Betty” a real woman with enough insecurities and complexities that her attraction to Galloway feels right. Someone who might have gone their whole life without ever exhibiting “bad behavior” until meeting Kent.
Brit actor Ed Westwick makes his killer charismatic, personable and attractive enough that he feels as real as the rest of the cast. A terrifying charmer who loves kids and is compelled to murder beautiful women.
Wicked City airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and discover Los Angeles back in the 1980s where serial killers seemed to lurk around every street corner or seedy club. Running with the Devil airs November 3.