While part two of The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Unwelcome House Guest, does not take up where last week’s episode ended, it does show what transpired prior to Jon Durham (Jerry O’Connell) getting into Laura’s house. (It also shows what prompted Alicia to tell the boys off for leaving the front door open.)
The episode then picks back up, after getting Durham in the house once it is established that he built a bomb before sneaking in the Diamond house. The suspect continues his downward spiral, attempting to force Laura into confessing that she framed him for his father’s murder while suffering from withdrawal.
As Laura tries to get the upper hand, or at least calm Jon down, her colleagues continue to try and find Durham. Unaware that Diamond is being held at gunpoint by the man they are looking for (and bomb-point) as he tries to force Laura to confess.
Despite giving Alicia (Alysia Joy Powell) a clue to pass on to the precinct (saying that she must have eaten a “bad clam”) most of the episode passes by before Jake manages to find out that his ex is being held hostage. Rather than follow protocol, Broderick (Josh Lucas) enlists the help of Soto (Laz Alonso) to rescue Laura from Durham.
Once again, the writers of this show pulled out all the stops in order to put an extra helping of drama into a two part episode. Carefully building up O’Connell’s character as a drug addicted screw up who could have killed his father out of rage when he had been disinherited.
This episode concludes the storyline from The Mystery of the Downward Spiral and gives the viewer a lot of backstory on O’Connell while going through each suspect to narrow down the real killer. As Durham reveals a decades old car accident where he murdered a small family, the list of suspects is slowly whittled down.
Brenda Phillips (Stockard Channing) and Ayla (Ciara Wong) are both cleared and taken off the suspect list.
Jon reveals to Laura that he has a lot of guilt from the car accident and that his father cleared the whole mess up by paying off the police. Later a connection is made to Martha’s Vineyard, where the incident took place, and Ellen Sutter (Bo Stansell), Jon’s alibi from last week.
By the time that Jake and Billy rescue Laura, but not before Durham sets off the rapid timer on his bomb, everyone realizes that the man did not kill his father.
Sidenote: While it is unclear as to whether a washing machine would really be good place to put a large pipe bomb, it looked great and seemed plausible enough and…was kind of amusing.
After Jon is arrested, for the kidnap of Laura, Jake is told off by Santiani (Callie Thorne) for disregarding policy. Meredith (Janina Gavankar) is celebrating with the precinct about her technical know-how helping to crack the case and Laura realizes that she never thought of Tony once, throughout her entire ordeal.
As the camera sweeps across her colleagues drinking and playing darts, Diamond tells Bose that she now realizes what and who is important in her life:
Meredith: “After two bombs and a hostage crisis, I’m surprised you’re still standing. You’ve had one hell of a day.”
Laura: “Yeah. Definitely makes you realize what’s important. (focussing on Jake) Who’s important.”
Looks like Broderick has gotten a reprieve and Tony has lost out.
This conclusion to the two part “cliffhanger” where Laura is in danger and Jake “rides” to the rescue was a nice end, as well, to the issue of Diamond’s problems with Broderick lying about his health. In many ways Laura’s rage at Jake and her decision to stick with Tony was the greater cliffhanger and clearly her ex still has a large part of her heart.
All romantic subplots aside, it was annoying that it took the rest of the cops down at the precinct so long to figure out what was going on at Casa Diamond. Granted, Alicia let the side down by not mentioning the clams, but it really does seem that Laura is the best amongst her fellow detectives.
The Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays on NBC. Tune in and catch the last episode of season two.