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Rosewood - Naegleria & Neighborhood Watch - Review: “Complications”

Rosewood - Naegleria & Neighborhood Watch - Review: “Complications”

2.19 - “Naegleria & Neighborhood Watch”
Directed by Gregg Simon
Written by Marqui Jackson & Jameal Turner
Reviewed by Kelly Anne Blount

“Naegleria & Neighborhood Watch” opens with a quick recap. It’s clear that Rosewood is facing a terrifying and extremely challenging time in his life, but he has friends and family by his side to help him through it.

We cut to two men stacking cash into a bag. There’s someone in the shadows watching over them. Anyone else get a Batman vibe?

Over at the precinct, Slade tells his officers that there is a vigilante (score one for the Batman vibe) in Little Havana that goes by the name Santo. He has focused his attention on a cartel and he’s highly trained. He doesn’t kill or use guns, instead, per Slade, his weapon of choice is a baton.

Hornstock wants to get Santo off the street immediately. Slade doesn’t feel quite as strongly. He says Santo is doing, “God’s work.” Either way, Slade as the drop on Santo. He selects Hornstock to run point and sends them to the scene.

It’s too late. Santo is gone, but he has left several cartel members unconscious for Hornstock and the other officers to arrest.

Outside of the crime scene, a local reporter shares that this is the fourth citizen arrest since Santo took over his vigilante work in Little Havana.

TMI, Rosie, Mitchie, Donna, and Pippy are all over at Rosie’s house watching the news. TMI jokes about Santo coming to rescue them tonight. Pippy quickly takes the lead. Rosie is having kidney surgery in two days. Pippy wants to make sure his time in the hospital is “on point.” Ah, how I love the Rosewood writers! She puts everyone in charge of something from buying special pillows to moving Rosie’s flat screen to the hospital room. She even has printouts of everyone’s to do lists.

Oh my goodness! Rosewood’s dad shows up! He and Donna share a big hug. Pippy doesn’t look very excited to see him, I wonder why?

Villa and Marcos are playing pool. Ooh! I love this music! It seems that the ladies have their eyes on Marcos. I do too, he’s super handsome!

Villa asks Marcos how his job search is going. It’s not going great and Marcos asks his sister for a favor. He wants to know if there are any job openings at the police station. That one took Villa by surprise! She says she’ll look into it.

Uh oh! Villa gets a text message. There’s a body and she needs to head out. Marcos asks if he can tag along as her “plus one.” Villa tells him never to refer to himself as a “plus one” ever again and that her extra spot is already taken. Aw, Rosilla!

Rosie and Villa head over to the scene. Their John Doe died from blunt force trauma to the head. Rosie thinks he was assaulted with a steel rod or stick. There’s a trident spear imprint on the man’s arm. That same mark has shown up on all of Santo’s other victims. Rosie points out that Santo doesn’t kill people. Villa quips that his MO keeps changing, so it’s completely possible that this is his work.

There are reporters on the scene and they want to know if Santo, “committed his first murder.”

Back at the lab, TMI and Mitchie are preparing for the autopsy while Rosie looks into a microscope. TMI and Mitchie are worried. They either can’t find the things Pippy has tasked them with or they are super expensive. TMI has gone as far as tracking down a sheet broker! Rosie tells them not to worry, but they want to do this for him. He has brought them together as a family and they love him.

Villa shows up at the lab. Slade isn’t happy about their feature on the nightly news. He wants them in front of the Santo story, not behind it! Villa hasn’t found fingerprint matches. Rosie and the team have updates of their own. The trident imprint appears twice on the victim’s body, he has burises on his lower legs, and he had liver disease.

Villa heads back out to Little Havana. She tells Rosie that since she grew up there, people trust her. Unfortunately, when they get there, no one will talk to her. They run into a flower shop owner who is grateful for Santo’s help. She won’t give up anything on him. He’s been the community’s saving grace.

Ooh! Guess who just showed up at the flower shop? Marcos, Villa’s brother! She’s super excited to see him. Marcos is there to pick up flowers for the waitress he met at the pool hall the night before. That’s sweet!

Rosie gets news. The victim had an injury to his back that isn’t very common. Marcos chimes in. He had that same injury in the military. Maybe the victim was in the armed forces?

Back at the lab, Rosie’s father stops in to talk to Donna. He isn’t happy that Rosie is working a case two days before his surgery. Donna and Rosie’s dad really love their son. They are very proud of him and the fine man he’s become. Donna is putting on a brave face, but it’s clear that she is extremely worried about her son.

Pippy has an update. The victim had visceral leishmaniasis, which is also known as black fever. Rosie’s dad shares that black fever is caused by parasites. Rosie adds that this is common in the Middle East and Syria. If this man was in the military and contracted black fever overseas, there should be a medical record of it.

Pippy is still giving her father the cold shoulder. He invites her to lunch, but she blows him off. He asks Donna, “Is there something I need to be aware of?” Donna says that she could help him, “But where’s the fun in that?” Ha ha! She finishes up with, “Welcome home!”

Over at the precinct, Hornstock stops into Slade’s office. Slade compliments Ira on being the first to work and the last to leave. On top of that, his paperwork has been immaculate. Slade cuts to the chase. He knows Hornstock wants to serve as Captain while he’s out recovering from surgery. Before Slade can confirm or deny anything, Villa enters with an update on the case.

Villa tells Ira and Slade that there’s only one VA hospital that has treated someone with black fever in the past six months. The patient, Dax Honeycutt, used to be in the Army. Is Santo targeting vets?

Rosie and Villa head over to Dax’s apartment. Rosie is pleased that Marcos called the military injury. Villa isn’t convinced that she needs any help from her brother.

Uh oh! There’s someone in Dax’s apartment! Villa draws her gun with Rosie close behind. The man is dressed the same as Santo; however, he isn’t very slick. He’s trapped by a sliding glass door. Villa gives him a little kick to get him to surrender. She whips off his mask and much to her and Rosie’s surprise, it’s Eagle Eye Ian, the news reporter that interviewed them at the scene of the latest Santo crime. Rosie quickly spots the baton with the trident. Could Ian the reporter really be Santo? It seems unlikely, but you never know! The writers are great at tricking us! ;)

Villa has Ian in the interrogation room. He denies that he’s Santo. He said that he was at Dax’s apartment looking for evidence of Santo’s innocence. Ian has an attitude. Villa’s ignoring it and pressing on.

Rosie and Slade watch from behind the mirror. Rosie warns Slade that Pippy will be calling him. Ha ha! She already has and she told Slade that she is making over his hospital room. He doesn’t have a choice in the matter and neither does Rosie, it’s best if they both just roll with the punches at this point!

Uh oh, Rosie has news. The trident imprint on the baton doesn’t match the imprints found on Santo’s victims. Ian admits that Santo saved his life from cartel members in Little Havana. He says that he owes Santo and trying to find evidence that he isn’t guilty of Dax’s death is his way of helping.

Villa wants to know how Dax is involved. Ian says that he doesn’t know, but wherever Santo was, Dax wasn’t far behind. Did Santo kill Dax because he knew his real identity? They need to find out what Dax knew about Santos stat!

Marcos stops by to visit Rosie and Villa at the precinct. Villa finally agrees to let Marcos help with the case. They need to get into Dax’s head. Rosie points out, “Who better to help to help then another vet?” Marcos suggests that they look for patterns. Villa pulls Dax’s credit card receipts. There’s a weekly charge for Soldiers United in Coconut Grove. Marcos knows about the support group. He tells Villa that the money is for the rent, since this group, “doesn’t sit around drinking coffee.”

Villa, Marcos, and Rosie head over to meet with Asa Stratton, the organizer, behind Soldiers United. He’s running a paint ball field for vets. He says that it helps the vets talk about what’s going on in their lives. They want to know more about Dax. What was he going through? What did he talk to Asa about? Asa tells them he can’t spill his guts, otherwise the other guys won’t talk to him anymore. Wonder if he’ll feel this way once he knows Dax is dead? Wait, he does know! Yikes! He still won’t spill. Marcos steps in and finds a common bond with Asa. Luckily, it works. Asa tells them that Dax is depressed and he had a temper. He says, “Whatever demons he had over there, they followed him home.” Rosie has an idea about Dax’s demons, so they head back to the lab.

Marcos and Villa wait for the lab to find out what Rosie’s hunch has turned up. Rosie says that depression, mood swings, and memory loss were all signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a chronic and degenerative brain disease. Dax’s brain didn’t show signs of CTE though, but he did have unusual algae in his nasal passages. Villa reports that the same algae, Naegleria fowleri, which is also referred to as the "brain-eating amoeba," was found at her high school in Little Havana when she was growing up. She says that her school was closed because of it. Did chasing Santo lead him to the area with the algae? Is that what made him sick and made his symptoms worse?

Rosie, Marcos, and Villa head to the high school. Can we talk about the camera work here for a moment? This scene is dripping with suspense! Every shot has been carefully chosen and the end results are magnificent! Back to the episode, Marcos is on Santo’s side. Villa thinks Santo is a killer. The siblings want to know which side Rosie is on. He responds that he’s on Villa’s side! Marcos asks, “Which Villa?” Ha ha! Rosie quickly escapes the conversation by saying, “Oh look, a door!” The writers on this show are brilliant!

Rosie calls his lab team down to the high school. TMI runs the fingerprints found at the scene and they match Dax Honeycutt. They can officially place Dax at the scene, but, there’s more! She runs ten additional sets of fingerprints and guess what? They all belong to Dax! Does this mean Dax is Santo?!? If so, who killed Santo? Was it a cartel member? Did they find out his secret vigilante identity? Oh my gosh! So many questions! AGH! AGH! Hurry up, commercial break! I MUST KNOW MORE!

Back at the precinct, everyone is trying to figure out who killed Dax a.k.a. Santo. It’s agreed upon that he was the vigilante keeping the criminals at bay in Little Havana. But who killed him? Sure, the cartel wanted him dead, but it turns out the cartel members were under surveillance the night Dax was murdered. The police are the cartel member’s alibi, which is ironic. If the cartel didn’t kill Santo, the team thinks it’s possible that someone from Dax’s past might have done it.

Slade has ten years of Dax’s military records for the team to go through. Rosie is going to head back to the lab, to see if the body can provide any clues. Hornstock is going to look further into the baton, if it was issued by the military, it might help narrow their search.

Villa heads over to the pool hall, where Marcos is shooting a game. The music in this scene is absolutely EVERYTHING! As soon as I’m done reviewing, I’m finding this song and downloading it. Okay, too late, I Shazammed it and bought it on iTunes. It’s called, “Walking on Fire,” and it’s by Rilan and the Bombardiers.

Villa tells Marcos that she’s worried about him. She doesn’t want what happened to Dax to happen to her brother. He isn’t happy with her constant one-on-one interrogations. Marcos bails, leaving Villa in the pool hall alone with her thoughts and concerns.

Mr. Rosewood, Rosie’s dad, is worried that the case hasn’t been wrapped up yet. He knows how much his son, “hates leaving things unfinished.” He asks Rosewood if he’s ready for his surgery. Rosie admits that he’s missing something, but he can’t let Pippy know about it.

Rosie finds Pippy. He wants to know what’s up with the way she’s treating their father. She admits that their dad seems like he’s acting like a guest in their own family now, things have changed since he and their mother divorced. Eek! Mr. Rosewood comes back in the lab because he forgot his coat. He hears everything. Mr. Rosewood admits, “I’m just trying to find my way in this new normal.” Pippy hugs him and tells him that they need him now more than ever.

Rosie thinks he’s found something and he brings Villa down to the lab to show her. He shows Villa scars on the bottom of Dax’s feet, only visible by black light. The scars are signs of a Syrian torture method where victims would be shocked through the bottoms of their feet.

There’s more! With Mitchie’s help, Rosie found a similar trident on a baton used by the 85th airborne battalion. Could someone from Dax’s military unit have been his killer? If so, why?

It turns out that Dax’s former team had ten members and one of them sticks out. Carly Balasco had two special batons with the trident created and she asked for special permission to use them in combat. Carly was also tortured alongside Dax while in combat and as a result, she passed away. Could someone be avenging Carly’s death with the use of her baton? Did Dax do something to Carly?

Slade calls Hornstock into his office. He tells him that the other guy got the temporary Captain’s job while he’s out. Just kidding! Slade pulled one over on Hornstock, but he’s taking it remarkably well. Wait, WHAT? Slade tells Ira that he has the position, but Hornstock declines. What is going on here? Aw, Hornstock tells Slade that he wants to be there with an open schedule in case he needs anything after his surgery. Hornstock continues and tells Slade what he’s doing for Rosie is remarkable. He says, “That makes you family and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for family.” This. Scene. Is. Everything. Oh my goodness! I’m in tears!

Meanwhile, Rosie, Pippy, TMI, Mitchie, and Donna are at the hospital. Rosie, who happens to be in his hospital bed, is anxious for news on the case, but Pippy won’t let him have his phone.

Pippy goes over everything and says that they are only missing one thing, “Steely Blue,” his favorite album Rosie admits that Tawnya stole it. Donna tells him not to worry and that he can press forward without it. Never worry! Mr. Rosewood to the rescue! He found the super rare album from a site that “pieces parts of albums together.” Rosie looks at Mitchie, was tells Mr. Rosewood he’s going to have to scrub his computer later. Ha ha! It’s the thought that counts, right? Rosie says that his mother is right, that it’s time to, “press forward without Steely Blue.” He adds that he thinks he knows someone who, “needs it more than I do.” If he gives that music to Slade, I’m going to cry. In good way.

Aw, Slade’s in the hospital too. Villa has a present for Slade. Oh my gosh! I want one! The mug reads, “I gave Rosie a kidney and all I got was this lousy coffee mug.” We all know Slade has a thing for coffee mugs. Love it!

Villa updates Slade on the case. She says that all of the other members of the 85th airborne battalion have alibis, but Dax she did find out that Dax was Carly’s Commanding Officer during the missing where they were tortured and Carly died. Is it possible that someone killed Dax to avenge Carly’s death? Slade seems to think it’s possible!

Rosie pops in. He’s jealous he didn’t get the case update, but that isn’t why he stopped in. He wants to talk to Slade in private. Villa leaves the room. Rosewood tells Slade a story about the first time he had surgery. A man named Kenny was also having heart surgery. He had lost his family, his possessions, and his health, but he still managed to, “see the world through a prism, that allowed him to see the best in everything.” Before Rosie went into surgery, he was terrified, so Kenny gave him a copy of his music to listen to during that surgery. While Rosewood survived his surgery, unfortunately, Kenny did not. But, from their brief time spent in the hospital together, Kenny inspired Rosewood so deeply that he wanted to emulate Kenny’s view on the world, he wanted to see the best in everyone and everything. Rosewood tells Slade that he’s listened to “Steely Blue,” Kenny’s music, during every single surgery he’s ever had, but now he knows it’s time to pass that powerful message and music on. Rosie hands Slade his copy of the song and says, “I want you to have it. I hope it helps you the way it helps me.” Aw!

As Slade and Rosie are prepped in the operating room for surgery, Slade listens to Rosie’s music. The feels, people, the feels! Rosie has a surprise visitor! His dad has gotten permission to be in the room during the surgery. Aw! There aren’t going to be any tissues left after this episode!

Rosie looks around the operating room and listens. The sounds which “Steely Blue” normally block out are all present and they are giving him major anxiety.

Suddenly, Rosie has a lightbulb moment! He asks his father to deliver a message. Did Rosie just solve the case? Because I think that’s what just happened, let’s see!

Mr. Rosewood rushes out to the waiting room Mitchie and the lab team to check the substance in Dax’s nasal passages for calcium carbonate. If Rosie is right, which duh, he always is, it could lead them right to Dax’s killer!

We cut over to the paintball field where Marcos is talking to Asa, the man who runs it. Marcos tells Asa that Dax was Santo. He adds that he was really a hero to the people of Little Havana, “but sometimes they cross the line.” Marcos admits that he was dishonorably discharged, but, “You, you took it a step further,” he says to Asa.

Hornstock and Villa join Marcos and Asa. They tell him that they know he killed Dax a.k.a. Santo at the paintball field and then moved his body to Little Havana. The calcium carbonate that was found in Dax’s nasal passages matches the calcium carbonate found at both the paint at Asa’s paintball field and on Carly’s baton. Dax got the paint in his nasal passages while they were playing a therapeutic game of paintball.

It turns out, Asa loved Carly. He had a ring and was going to propose. Asa says that he, Dax, and Carly met in boot camp. He says that they made a pact that they were going to retire after the third tour. Dax asked Carly to join him for one more tour. He promised Asa that he would bring her back alive. He failed and Carly died.

While she was still alive, Carly told Asa and Dax that she wanted to go back to Little Havana to help clean it up. She was devastated it wasn’t the same safe neighborhood that she grew up in. Knowing how important this mission was to Carly, Dax took it upon himself to take on the persona of Santo and help the people of Little Havana the best way he knew how.

Villa and Hornstock arrest Asa for Dax’s murder and bring him in. Marcos watches silently from the sidelines. Do you think he’s comparing himself to Asa or Dax right now?

We cut back over to the operating room where Rosie and Slade are about to go under. Tensions are high as they roll Slade over and make the first cut.

Everyone is anxiously awaiting word from the doctor’s in the waiting room. Villa is pacing and the others look nervous. Ooh! We have another surprise visitor! Gerald has come to offer his support! Pippy makes everything possible! I adore her! Gerald and Mr. Rosewood shake hands and agree that Donna is everyone’s rock, now it’s time to be there for her.

Oh my gosh! I’m so nervous! Slade’s kidney is out and they are getting ready to transfer it to Rosie.

We cut back to the waiting room, where Marcos walks in and apologizes to Villa. She hugs him and tells him, “It’s okay to put the badge away from time to time.” Villa admits that Little Havana makes her think of their father and that’s difficult. He thanks her for “letting her be part of the take down today.” He also says, “What I said to Asa was true.”

OH NO! A doctor comes out and says, “There’s been a complication.” There’s blood on the floor and the paddles are out! OH MY GOSH! Who are they trying to revive? Slade or Rosie? Oh my gosh! THIS IS SO INTENSE!

IT’S SLADE! Slade is the one with the complication! Oh my gosh! The doctors are working furiously in order to save his life as Rosie recovers in a nearby room.

The episode ends with Rosie waking up. He immediately notices that Villa has been crying and asks, “What’s wrong?”


My Thoughts:

Brilliant! Absolutely everything about this episode was brilliant!

First and foremost, massive congratulations to Gregg Simon, the director of “Naegleria & Neighborhood Watch!” He is unbelievably talented and he did an amazing job directing this episode! I’m beyond grateful to have met him while on the set of Rosewood!

Next, let’s talk about the writing! Todd Harthan, Marqui Jackson, and Jameal Turner really knocked this one out of the park! The Rosewood writers always know how to mix the seriousness of a murder case with the classic #Rosilla humor and joy that we’ve all come to love. They also really brought the suspense up to a whole new level with that ending!

Lastly, let’s talk about the acting! Everyone from Rosie to Marcos did a brilliant job during this episode! Hornstock had me in tears over the kindness he showed Slade. He totally deserves an Emmy for his delivery of this line, “That makes you family and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for family.” Seriously, that scene was everything!

This is seriously one of my all time favorite “Rosewood” episodes! I’m super excited for the rest of the season and I can’t wait to bring you an exclusive behind the scenes post from my time on the set!

Let me know what you thought of “Naegleria & Neighborhood Watch,” in a comment below!

Remember, you can access all of my Rosewood reviews and interviews right here on SpoilerTV!