The Mysteries of Laura: The Mystery of the Triple Threat (Recap/Review)

After a midseason break, The Mysteries of Laura returned with The Mystery of the Triple Threat. In keeping with the up-to-date topical feel of the series, the plot included bitcoin treasure hunts, the Dark Web, and a “throuple.”

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

After a midseason break, The Mysteries of Laura returned with The Mystery of the Triple Threat. In keeping with the up-to-date topical feel of the series, the plot included bitcoin treasure hunts, the “Dark Web,” and a “throuple.”  The subplot lines included the on-going “throuple” situation between Laura, Jake and Tony, as well as the dual partnership issues  between Billy and Meredith.

The episode, despite the modern take on “dark web” secret contests for massive amounts of bitcoin, was really all about relationships.  Specifically, outside-the-box relationships and the effects of same.

At the start of The Mystery of the Triple Threat, a dead man is found in a church by two contestants playing the New Gotham Treasure Hunt. After learning about the secretive game,  Laura and Jake find out that pictures are used as clues, in the hunt for the flash drive prize.

After printing out the pictures Laura figures out what the connection is between the photos using the “Sesame Street technique”.  The picture clues lead the police to the “Silvercup” movie studio sign and their first suspect.

As the cops work to discover who the victim is, why he was killed and who did it,  Tony has news for Laura and a question to ask.  Keeping to the relationship theme,  the police learn that the victim was part of a “throuple.”  Two men and a woman who were all married to each other. . Right before the man’s death, the newspaper “The Post” did an article about the unusual relationship.

As the investigation continues, they learn that the news story cost the victim his job and brought him back into contact with a former girlfriend, who is, for a short while, a suspect. While looking into the dead man’s “love nest” Meredith is attacked and knocked unconscious. Her partner Soto, stops to check on her and the “perp” escapes by jumping out of a window 15 feet above the pavement.

This leads Laura back to their initial suspect who was actually behind bars and they try to see if he has a partner.  The New Gotham Treasure Hunt turns out to be a dead end and the clues lead to another suspect, the deceased man’s former girlfriend.

The Mysteries of Laura finishes with the culprit being caught by Laura and Jake, Billy and Meredith cooling things a bit, and Detective Diamond making a decision about Tony and Jake.   When Diamond learns that her ex has been less than truthful about the results of his CAT scan, she turns to Tony, thus ending her own “throuple.”

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

For now.

There is no denying that Laura and Jake still have that spark and Broderick has been “amping” up the charm offensive to woo back his ex. Unfortunately, his nondisclosure about the CAT scan results, that show he has brain issues as well as heart, really shot down his chances with Laura.

The chemistry between Debra Messing and Josh Lucas is spot on. In fact, in terms of casting, both relationships on “the force” are nigh on perfect. Laz Alonso and Janina Gavankar also spark off one another quite well. Neal Bledsoe as Tony, the third member of the Diamond/Broderick triangle is adept at playing “Mr. Understanding” and this actor also has splendid chemistry with Messing. 

The Mysteries of Laura is easily one of the best mystery shows on offer.  In this episode, like the rest, the culprit came as a complete surprise. The clues, masked in bitcoin, dark web contests and unusual relationships were topical, pithy and many were amusingly uncovered.

Comedy is clever in this show and adroitly delivered with tight scripts and the great give and take between the cast, specifically Lucas and Messing. All the elements of this series come together to shine and entertain.  From the catchy music to the well written storylines, this is an addictive show.

“Laura” airs Wednesdays on NBC. Tune in and get carried away by the tight plot lines and the great performances of all concerned.

The Mysteries of Laura: Episode 206 Well Written Well Played (Review)

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

Debra Messing continues to knock it out of the park as Laura Diamond. The latest episode, number 206,  of Mysteries of Laura is a well written procedural mystery that was well played by all the participants and very funny in all the right places.  Show creator Jeff Rake delivers another story that has the viewer second guessing right till the very end.  By the time Diamond and her fellow detectives catch the baddies “mid” crime, one can put all the pieces together and see that there have been no cheats employed and the trail of clues makes sense.

It is not just the procedures and the mysteries that work so well, but the interaction between all the players on the show. Messing and her character’s relationships with her ex, the new boss, her colleagues and the suspects make this show. Along with the humor evident in her co-workers, for example the Archie and Jughead gag…

In The Mystery of the Dead Heat, a gym owner is found murdered in one of his saunas and the police have to work out who did it. The victim’s wife has M.S. and for once, the woman is not automatically a suspect. Although the detectives do discover some incriminating photos, which turn out to be of the widow and a “sex surrogate.”

Now that Laura’s ex-husband, Jake (Josh Lucasis back as a senior detective and not running the squad the two are working as  team and the chemistry is magical. Each actor reacts brilliantly to the other. Lucas (who has a distinctive “kill to have” voice) works well with Messing, as in the bike shop scene where his character reacts to Laura’s fawning at the American Ninja training guy behind the shop.

On a sidenote, Messing herself mentions that the real American Ninja winner, Issac Caldiero appears in the episode and actually plays a villain.

Callie Thorne continues to play Captain Santiani aka Santini the boss everyone loves to hate. The woman is uber annoying and it is fun to watch Laura continue to needle the new captain.  These two performers also have a splendid chemistry and their interactions sparkle as a result. When Laura saves Santini’s bacon (it is funny to watch Diamond struggle to say her Captain’s name properly) one can see that it almost physically hurts Santiani to be in her detective’s debt.

Max Jenkins is a delight in each and every episode, full stop.

The Mysteries of Laura has a lot of humor as well as human interactions between the detectives and the suspects, victims and other people they encounter.  It is precisely these human and comedic touches that combine so well with the tightly written storyline that makes the show work so well.

As the team track down their first suspect, a homeless man named Archie Vale (Robert Hallak), they learn that he was good friends with the murdered man and that the shop owner who complained about Archie being a “perv” was exaggerating her claim. The police also learn about  the sex surrogate.

There is a secondary story of the two younger single detectives who are “Diamond and Broderick 11 years ago” and Jake still has medical issues. Laura pushes him to go back to get a second opinion.  As the investigation moves on, it turns out that the victim was “collateral damage” to a theft planned on his wife’s blueprints of businesses.

By the time end credits roll, the baddies have been caught mid-crime by Laura and Jake.  The real villains are the bike shop owner and her American Ninja training hubby and even Santini is happy at the result…sort of.

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2
Issac Caldiero

The episode has a good double twist to the crime being worked on and a satisfactory ending for the two “younger lovers” played by Laz Alonso and Janina Gavankar.  This show is a brilliant vehicle for Messing who is still top of the league in terms of comedy. The bit where she delightedly offers to “hug it out” with Captain Santiani is perfect. 

Despite coming late to The Mysteries of Laura, this NBC procedural “crimcom ” is an addictive addition to the MikesFilmTalk beat. Great plots both  well written and performed very well indeed, make this a must see on Wednesdays. Miss this and miss some excellent television. After all, where else can one hear a line like: “Two guts don’t make a right…”

Brilliant.

Mysteries of Laura – To Binge or Not to Binge

The Mysteries of Laura - Season 2

Mysteries of Laura showed up via the auspices of a press release stating that the new season was starting. Having missed the premiere episode, the Debra Messing show was moved to a back burner till now.  After the initial question of whether to binge the entire first season to catch up on what was happening in the second season was broached and then ignored, the first three episodes of the series’ return to TV screens were viewed.

The verdict?

Excellent television with tight writing,  interesting characters, a good dose of humor (in all the right places) and mysteries that were…mysterious. Each episode needed solving, despite an “almost” armchair viewer discovery in episode one  The Mystery of the Taken BoyThis non-NYPD viewer guessed the kid’s sister had a part in the kidnapping, but, the girl was not a viable suspect, she just inadvertently provided the “in.”

Watching the entire first season of this series is not a requirement unless, after seeing the first three episodes, the new fan wants to go back to the beginning. The show is a revamping of a Spanish television series Los misterios de Laura which had a rocky history on a State owned channel before being re-imagined for a “gringo” audience.

Debra Messing stars as Laura Diamond, the ex-wife of  Jake Broderick (Josh Lucas), mother of twins and NYPD detective.  The cast of “Laura” is rounded out with Laz AlonsoJanina GavankarMax Jenkins as Billy Soto, Meredith Bose, and Max Carnegie respectively as well as Callie Thorne as the boss everyone despises Captain Santiani (or Santini as Laura continually calls her).

With a thumping “Miami Vice” type musical theme and some great Big Apple second unit shots for the opening credits (as well as throughout the episodes) Mysteries of Laura is a catchy program.  Not just because of the presence of Messing either. The Will and Grace star has proven that she can still do comedy plus she also has  some impressive “dramatic chops” that so many would kill for. However, this mystery of the week series has a more than capable cast who work brilliantly with the show’s star.

As the title suggests, each episode deals with a  mystery. Episode one was the mystery of a kidnapped boy (who was illegally adopted), two was a lonely woman who scammed friends with fake cancer (who was murdered) and three was the “locked room” death of a billionaire techno wunderkind.

In the latest episode, The Mystery of the Locked Box, the murder weapon was pretty well thought out by the show’s creator, (look away now if you have not watched this episode yet) a “murder drone” outfitted with razor sharp blades. Pretty ingenious.

The storylines are good; quite inventive and interesting. The interactions between the characters are humorous, and just as interesting as the storylines. Each person in the police bull pen feel like they have worked together, if not for years, at least long enough to have good cohesion.

Ms. Messing rocks it in the role (Sidenote, in watching episode 203, did anyone else notice what looked like a very poorly disguised bulge? Apparently it was rumored that Debra  Messing had a baby bump but now there appears to be some doubt as to her actually being pregnant. Watch episode three of season two…Baby bump.)  as the “mom” oriented detective who follows some impressive hunches.

Fans of mystery shows, which this is, will love this series. The setting may be the NYPD but the construction of the show is mystery, a’ la Agatha Christie.  Mysteries of Laura is procedural, to be sure, but this is not the focus of the show. That would be the dynamics of the players and the lead character’s ability to ferret out the clues that lead her and the police department  to the truth.

Secondary to the show’s main storyline is her juggling of home life and the show deals with this  aspect with humor. Speaking of humor, check out the “convenience” store scene with Messing and Lucas. This award winning actress easily combines subtle comedy with drama to give us a “mommy detective” with attitude. A real winning combination.

Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays on NBC. Catch this one for smooth television that delivers a huge dose of entertainment. Binging is not required, unless  you want to as this show is written well enough the viewer can pick things up fairly easily.