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Take Two - Smoking Gun - Review

5 Jul 2018

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After the pilot episode introduced Sam and Eddie to one another, episode two, 'Smoking Gun', picks up with an arrangement in place: Sam shows up for interviews, makes the clients believe they’re hiring both of them, and for that she gets a cut. She doesn’t have to be part of the investigation. But Sam wants to help people – and maybe redeem herself a little in the eyes of the public – so she’s there, in the car as the episode opens, narrating the stake-out and slowly annoying Eddie.

It’s cute.

“Most detective work is like this. Dull,” Eddie tells her, right before gunshots go off.

And it’s predictable.

At the scene of the crime, it doesn’t seem like Rollins will be warming to Sam anytime soon, however by the episode’s end there’s hope these two might connect. Friendships don’t always happen instantaneously, and sometimes people don’t click at all, but it would be nice to see a closer bond slowly form between Rollins and Sam. There are hints this is the direction the writers are taking with these two characters, perhaps slowly coaxing them towards a mutual respect.

Sam’s intuition tells her the man standing over the body holding a literal smoking gun isn’t the killer. Eddie isn’t so quick to agree. He has his way of doing things, but this free-spirited shake up (aka Sam) is oddly effective. Eddie’s there for the money, but Sam brings heart, and in time she will bring that out of him too.
She already is.

Sam: “Why do you immediately assume the worst in people?”
Eddie: “Saves time.”

Fanboy Mick continues to be the best. It’s like they took Forever’s Lucas Wahl and sprinkled him with sunshine - and an English accent. And he's just wonderful.
“Victim is twenty-three-years-old. Appears to be in good health with the exception of the holes in her chest. And… God, Sam Swift just walked into my morgue, please Lord remember this moment. I gotta go,” he says into his dictation machine while standing over the body.
“If I’d known you were coming I’d have tidied up – or at the very least put the body away.”

Back at Valetik Investigations, we meet Monica – Sam’s new assistant. She’s a Grinder, meaning: she has implants in her hands that can affect electro-magnetic fields. “I’m basically a cyborg,” she tells them.
Finally, Take Two introduces another female character. There’s an eclectic mix of personalities here, and if they’re all going to be working together it would be wise for the writers to start working Rollins, Sam, and Monica towards some combination of friendships.

It's here that the writers test for possibilities of sexual tension between the two lead characters, trapping Swift and Valetik in a closet and forcing a "is that a gun in your pocket..." type of line. There’s some light banter as the two maneuver around one another (yes, it really is his gun in his pocket), and we should just be thankful they've ticked that trope off early.
A quick text to Monica gets them out of the situation, effectively proving to Eddie the usefulness of the assistant.
Now, if only Eddie’s own assistant Berto was better utilized.

If there’s one guest character who better be reoccurring, it’s Zeus, bar owner and ex-cop. Eddie and Sam need Zeus’ expertise to get into an office, and he’s up for the challenge. And so is Sam, who once again gets to dress up and put her acting skills to use – even if she overacts this one a little.

While Sam’s keeping security in the office building occupied, Eddie sneaks in. They’re a good team and Sam’s lucky he’s on her side, because while caught up in the case she ignores calls from Monica – calls to remind her about her probation hearing. Sam arrives late, and as she doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to following through on promises the judge has no time for her excuses. When the judge announces she has photos of Sam coming out of a bar (Zeus’ bar) in the middle of the day and is about to send Sam to jail for the remainder of her sentence, Eddie steps in.
“Is she disruptive? Yes. Annoying? Absolutely. But she’s trying. Just about as hard as I’ve ever see anybody try and turn her life around. Your Honor, you’ve known me since I was a rookie cop. Have I ever stood up for anybody who didn’t deserve another chance?”
And so Eddie’s heart of gold starts to shine through.
The judge decides to let Sam off with a warning on one condition: Eddie’s stuck with her for the duration of her probation.

The case is wrapped up, with help from Rollins, who appears to be warming to Sam. The soft smile that plays on Eddie’s lips as he watches Sam console their client suggests he’s probably not too upset about being stuck with her for the next six months.
The office he gives her by the end of this episode cements that.

Take Two continues to remain fun and light in episode two, and while it’s easy to watch television there’s nothing here suggesting it will be anything more than one season.
Part procedural, part comedy, it is well suited to the summer. But with cases that aren’t at all interesting, and some characters that are stumbling to find their purpose or form deeper connections with others, Take Two has some work to do.