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Quarry - Coffee Blues - Review

To be honest, I'm struggling to come up with things to say about "Coffee Blues", the Quarry episode that aired Friday night. I mean, don't get me wrong, this was a good episode of television, and I enjoyed watching it, but it's hard to discuss any of what happened in any great depth. Not that this episode was trying to say something thoughtful and failed to do so, because it wasn't trying to say anything, as far as I could tell anyway. Maybe some of you will have some ideas in the comments.

But with the current state of serialised television, as result of the binge-format and TV becoming increasingly cinematic, the TV episode is becoming less and less relevant. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as many great shows have thrived despite not being episodic, but it doesn't exactly lend itself to weekly reviews. And as someone who writes about TV, the medium returning to the episodic style that defined the likes of The Sopranos, Mad Men and Justified would be welcome.

Anyway, the point of the above ramble is to explain why this review isn't going to be particularly long, as not every episode is designed to be dissected at great length. But "Coffee Blues" really was a solid hour nonetheless, continuing last week's trend of slowing the narrative down in order to spend some more time sitting with the characters and the world the show is creating. And because the show is so well-crafted, and the characters are becoming increasingly well-defined, Quarry is becoming a very easy show to watch.

To me, this episode flew by, despite not much really happening. The Broker, a month after the events of the previous episode, decides to take Mac out to have some fun, and they go to some sort of rural casino in the middle of nowhere. And despite Mac catching a glimpse of a meeting The Broker was having with some other crime bosses, nothing of much significance to the plot happens, and that's fine. What we got instead was an episode of Mac cautiously bonding with The Broker, and because of the episode's tone and the strength of the actors, that ended up being interesting.

The rest of the episode mostly concerns itself with Joni and the Soloman family, when Joni is asked to babysit Ruth's kids in the wake of a vicious racist attack on the school bus, as a result of the forced integration laws. That bus scene was probably the episode's highlight, the horror of the situation slowly escalating until the brutal climax, as a young boy is beaten severely with a crowbar. An already horrific moment, Yaitanes' decision to shoot the beating from inside the bus, from a distance, made it all the more affecting.

Given that we hadn't seen Ruth in a couple of weeks, this episode also served to remind viewers of her situation, as well as the fact that she is still being followed by Moses, under The Broker's instructions. It also seems like the series may be setting up a romance between her and Moses too, which is bound to go well. And this episode reminds us of the missing $30,000, as Joni searches for the money on the Soloman house while playing hide and seek with Ruth's daughter.

I also enjoyed this episode for portraying Mac and Joni as relatively happy, and I do hope that said happiness lasts at least an episode or two longer, just to help viewers get a bit more invested in their relationship, which is essentially the bedrock of the series.

Grade: B

About the Author - Sean Candon
Sean is a student living in Ireland. He has a keen interest in dramatic television (as well as some comedies). Some of his favourite shows right now include The Leftovers, The Americans, Game of Thrones, Black Sails and Mr Robot. Some of his favourite shows of all time include The Wire, The Sopranos, Deadwood, Person of Interest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Lost. He is also an "A Song of Ice and Fire" obsessive. You can visit his blog at www.discussingtelevision.wordpress.com.
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