Airdate: Sundays at 10/9c on A&E
In the sophomore year of this police drama, “murder is back in season.” But it’s not just the episodic crime mysteries coming across the desk of Homicide Detective Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) keeping viewers tuned in; it’s the chemistry and shifting dynamics of the police department in Palm Glades, Florida. A captivating cast led by Passmore’s cocky yet charming Longworth entertainingly bounces through personal drama and case-triggered tensions.
The first season set the stage and established Jim Longworth as a cop seeking to leave his troubles in Chicago and start a new life in sunny Florida. He’s brash, irreverent, direct, and when working a case has a singular focus on getting to the truth with zero regard for a “politically correct” approach. His personal quirks – touching knick-knacks in a suspect’s home during an interview, or eating something at virtually every crime scene – manage to produce results and his instincts for human nature are dead-on.
His relationship with Callie Cargill (Kiele Sanchez) and her son, Jeff (Uriah Shelton), gives us a glimpse into his soft side. A nurse and medical student, Callie’s attractive, but it’s her sharp mind and determination that draws Jim in. She inadvertently finds the cracks in his crossed-armed deflection of life, making her the first person he allows close to him in quite some time.
Season two’s initial conflict is built on the fact that Jim and Callie care about each other, but an ex-con husband (now in Witness Protection), a 13-year-old boy, and a cop’s career stand in the way of their being together. Adding to that, Jim’s boss, Captain Colleen Manus (Michelle Hurd) tries to put the kibosh on Jim building his relationship with Callie, while at the same time offering Callie a position as Forensic Nurse with Jim….Yeah, exactly. It’s an interesting ratchet of story-telling tension that only multiplies with the inclusion of Samantha Harper (Natalia Cigliuti), Jim’s beautiful ex-partner from Chicago, when she comes to Florida for a case and then inexplicably hangs around.
“Dirty Little Secrets” is no exception to the show’s bait-and-switch formula of dropping breadcrumbs which seem to lead one way but then go in the opposite direction to reveal a solution that makes complete sense…in retrospect. The real mystery as it turns out isn’t the dead body found in a public restroom at a truck stop (on Jim’s day off, of all the nerve), it’s the young, beautiful Medical Examiner from Delray Beach, Dr. Sophie Perez (Valerie Cruz) whose office is under administrative oversight, and who just so happened to study under Palm Glades’ savvy coroner, Carlos Sanchez (Carlos Gomez). Insert Jim’s sly grin here upon hearing this tidbit. Throughout the investigation, Jim quickly finds connections from the truck stop dead guy to the man’s AA sponsor who “assures” Jim he had nothing to do with the murder.
Jim: “Oh, you assure me? That makes my job a lot easier.”
While one homicide turns into a double and Jim’s investigation of both is playing out in the foreground, we are left to wonder if the “relationship that ended badly” Sophie refers to is one between Sophie and Carlos. Knowing Carlos and his wife are planning their eldest daughter’s Quinceanera doesn’t make it easier to watch Sophie’s longing looks and Carlos’ uncharacteristic distraction. While an emotional affair from years past might not truly be an affair, it’s still slightly disappointing to find this layer in such a stalwart family man. However, Carlos behaves throughout the episode as a mentor looking to save the career of a good friend, and covers up mistakes of Sophie’s blatant enough Jim can pick up on them.
Meanwhile, Jim’s heart isn’t given a moment’s respite. Jeff, acting the role of sullen teenager, returns from visiting his father and hides out at Jim’s house. Which puzzles me – the guy’s in Witness Protection and he still gets to see his son? How does that work? Maybe I’ve just seen too many episodes of In Plain Sight….
Jim takes Jeff in, buys him pizza, and tries to smooth things over between Jeff and Callie. It’s not an easy position for Jim to be in, especially considering his feelings for Jeff’s mom. But after a few brisk words from Callie, he finds a way to set Jeff straight, increasing my admiration for his patience with this adolescent behavior.
In what is becoming a pattern for the show, Jim and crew think they have the case in the bag, only it’s not a complete slam-dunk. Jim and Jeff are preparing to attend the Quinceanera when Sam randomly shows up (why she would be invited to the party is beyond me) and triggers the part of Jim’s brain that never truly lets a case rest. He puts the last pieces together and as Sam takes Jeff to the party, Jim heads off to arrest the real murderer. Sophie’s dirty little secret is the thread that laces each clue together.
It’s a satisfying conclusion to the mystery, but adds a layer of poignancy to the joy of the Quinceanera. Carlos’ emotional affair blinded him to the true motives behind Sophie’s mistakes, and while Jim does the right thing, he doesn’t have the heart to break Carlos’ during such a happy event. Life, it seems, isn’t that kind in return. Callie and Jeff have mended fences thanks to Jim’s words, but it’s Jim who’s left standing alone, holding Jeff’s backpack, watching life play out before him.
Tune in to The Glades, Sundays at 10/9c on A&E. For more information on the show, visit http://www.aetv.com/the-glades/.
All photos © 2011 A&E. All rights reserved.
© 2011 – 2013, amanda. All rights reserved.
Latest posts by amanda (Posts)
- A crushing bear hug. Review: White Collar Summer Season Finale – “Vested Interest” - September 19, 2012
- Welcome to Gleason’s Uptown. Review: White Collar – “Gloves Off” - September 15, 2012
- Having a 3 out of 10 day. Review: White Collar – “Ancient History” - September 6, 2012
- Assassinating Apples in Aruba. Review: White Collar – “Compromising Positions” - August 29, 2012