The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Unwelcome House Guest (Review)

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.

 The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

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.

 The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2
Jerry O’Connell showing off those chops…

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.

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2
Josh Lucas and Stockard Channing

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.

The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Downward Spiral (Two-Parter)

The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Downward Spiral is the first half of a two-parter, which makes a certain amount of sense when looking at the credentials of the guest-star list. Stockard Channing and Jerry O’Connell are the big names in this week’s mystery.

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Downward Spiral is the first half of a two-parter, which makes a certain amount of sense when looking at the credentials of the guest-star list. Stockard Channing and Jerry O’Connell are the big names in this week’s mystery.  A perfume magnate is found murdered right outside his business. Laura and Jake head into the place  to look for  clues and talk to the dead man’s next of kin; his son John (O’Connell).

In the middle of speaking to the victim’s son, high powered attorney Brenda Phillips (Channing) turns up to monitor proceedings and inform John that he will not be running the company (Belle Reve) or inheriting any money from his late father.

As Diamond and Broderick investigate the murder they find a number of suspects, “the Nose” (played by Willie Garson), an animal rights activist (ARK), John Dunham’s fiancee Ayla (Ciara Wong), Brenda Phillips, and finally, John himself.

Amidst all this police work, Laura and Jake finally discuss the issue of his lying about the medical conditions. After a long interim of Diamond avoiding the subject she finally reveals that the lie prompted her to give Tony (Neal Bledsoe) a chance and not Jake.

 The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2
Messing and Lucas, Broderick and Diamond

Each suspect is cleared by the team but John learns, while the two detectives are questioning his fiancé, that Ayla slept with his father.  Laura talks to John later and he convinces her of his innocence.  Dunham has a bit of a break down that seems to be prompted by  learning that his former love interest was unfaithful.

Not long after the conversation, Laura and her team find a blood spattered lab coat, and a par of latex gloves covered with Michael Dunham’s blood and John’s DNA inside them.  As Jake and Laura stakeout Belle Reve to catch John if he returns, they talk about Tony, and that Jake still sees the Laura as a part of him.

 The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2
John and Laura talk.

After the end of their one-sided  stakeout conversation, Laura spies John entering Belle Reve and  she approaches the suspect with her gun drawn. The building blows up. Diamond gets knocked to the ground by the fireball and later talks with Captain Santiani (Callie Thorne) who offers to transfer Jake if it is too difficult for Laura to keep working with her ex.

The police believe that John Dunham died in the explosion. Laura learns, the next morning,  that Dunham is not dead when he appears in her room with a gun.

This last minute surprise segways neatly into a two-parter. (Next week’s episode is titled “The Mystery of the Unwanted Houseguest.”) O’Connell’s character is clearly not dead, and this fact alone indicates that he is just as clearly not guilty of his father’s murder.

The Mystery of the Downward Spiral is another example of those clever twists by the writers of “Laura.” The downward spiral is obviously meant to indicate that  the main suspect, John Dunham (with his drug problem) did just that before killing his father and himself.

The same downward spiral also means the relationship between Laura and Jake.  The lie, that Lucas was caught out on last week, has destroyed the “will they, won’t they” vibe that existed between the former partners. Now Laura has angrily opted for Tony and loyalties at the precinct are decidedly mixed.

A cliff-hanger ending leaves Diamond and her boys, along with the housekeeper, in danger. Clips from the next week’s program hint that Jake will at least try to come to the rescue.  The chemistry between Messing and Lucas continues to be spot on and one wonders if this heroic effort will mend that particular burnt bridge.

O’Connell (the former star of Sliders and a plethora of other work)  does his usual excellent job of selling whatever character he plays. Channing easily rules the scenes she appears in, despite being in an overly large “cameo” role, and is a delight to watch. Both will return, apparently, for  the second part of this mystery.

The Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays on NBC. Tune in and see who really saves Laura next week.

 

Shia LaBeouf Victim of Funny or Die Spoof with Jerry O’Connell

Shia LaBeouf Victim of Funny or Die Spoof with Jerry O’Connell

Shia LaBeouf may be doing his version of penance for “multiple” plagiarism very seriously, but, that has not stopped Funny Or Die from teaming up with Jerry O’Connell to spoof the Nymphomaniac star. He stormed out of a Berlin press question and answer session, after being asked, along with every other actor on the panel, if the actors in the film found the sex scenes difficult and LaBeouf responded with a quote from French soccer player Eric Cantona and left the room. Later the 27 year-old performer attended the premiere of the same film wearing a suit and paper bag over his head. The bag read “I am not famous anymore.”