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Trial & Error - A Family Affair & Bad Instincts - Double Review: Call Me Maybe Mama

19 Aug 2018

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Every once in a while, a show comes along that speaks directly to your heart. In the age of Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon and Showtime (plus obviously millions of other networks), it's wonderfully fun and heartwarming that a special little show like Trial & Error exists in the vast scripted emptiness of NBC's summer programming. It's the last place and the last part of the year you'd look for such quality TV, yet here we are. I sound like a broken record at this point but this show truly is one of the best on TV right now. I've been watching episodes multiple times to help me write these reviews and it's shocking how many jokes fly at you like a cannonball through your window. We're almost to the finish line of Lady, Killer and the writers' ability to switch things up this year and make it fresh has me storming to the courthouse and demanding a third season and for my outstanding speeding ticket to be thrown out. These are separate yet equally important things.

But yes okay, let's take a look at our newest batch of episodes!

You'll recall that last week Josh and Carol Anne worked together to reopen Jesse Ray Beaumont's case regarding the death of Lavinia's brother, Chet, a case that had him thrown in jail in 2008. I was a little confused last week about everyone's motives, but it turns out Atticus is irrelevant for now and Carol Anne was just using Josh so that she could seek the death sentence once it was reopened. In hindsight this is obvious, but man was I confused! Good thing I'm not a lawyer yet. But yes, Carol Anne's poll numbers have tripled and the town is back to hating Josh and screaming for Jesse Ray's execution, no big deal.

Our team pays a visit to Jesse Ray's 2008 attorney, Dr. Rock n' Law, who is shockingly incompetent and doesn't remember the trial due to smoking nine joints before every trip to the court. One of the best plots of the night came from this when Anne and Dwayne, for purely professional reasons, attempt it themselves to see if that makes him incompetent. They didn't even make it on the road!

Jesse Ray tells Josh that he heard Chet and Lavinia fighting about a tree before he was murdered. This leads them down a path where they discover Lavinia and Chet had another younger brother named Trig that was born and sent away to Spain when Lavinia was sixteen. Except, joke's on us because video evidence (that we were able to see after Anne finished her "stories" that she was recording on the VCR) proves Lavinia was actually pregnant at sixteen after an affair with her flag boy and her parents sent her away to a school for Wayward Girls! And then Anne and Dwayne discover that that flag boy was none other than Dwayne's father, A Reed! Dwayne is a Peck! What!

Guys, I'm a sucker for a DNA mystery and surprise illegitimate children plot twists. Any show at any time is welcome to throw them at me because I am all about those scandals!

Oh, also, Josh accuses Lavinia of murdering her brother when he found out about Trig/Dwayne but she has a passport with a stamp that proves she left for Spain the day before Chet was murdered. I'm here to confirm for all of you that Josh cannot catch a break.

The second episode has Josh going crazy trying to figure out how Lavinia murdered Chet. His gut tells him he's right despite evidence saying otherwise and the fact that his gut is almost always wrong. Meanwhile, Dwayne is dressing nicely and speaking to the best of his ability as he tries to get close to his new resistant Maybe Mama, Lavinia.

Carol Anne, or Orange Lawyer as Lavinia calls her, uses Jesse Ray's bank pass book to show that Chet was depositing $3,000 every month to Jesse Ray's bank account, and accuses him of murdering Chet when the payments stopped. Because of this, Josh struggles to believe in the case and wrestles with Jesse Ray's innocence, and also Jesse Ray's naked body as he's been released to Josh's custody and tackles him every time Josh whispers. It's a prison thing, don't worry about it. But Nina gives him a bit of a pep talk (she's still here!) and his spirits are up again.

He talks to Jesse Ray's two closest friends and character witnesses, Mr. Boom and Echo, who confirm Jesse Ray was a major softie. More importantly, they tell Josh that his pass book must be a fake. The town's forging expert, Forge Clooney, dismisses this theory and says he mostly makes fake passports and ID's. Hmmm, wonder if that's relevant.

Dwayne's attempts to impress his Maybe Mama end up being a ruse after he invites her to the office and she takes photos of the Murder Board and steals evidence. She tells him he'll never be a Peck and that Trig was sent to Spain (WHAT IS THE TRUTH! I MUST KNOW) but what she stole ends up being the puzzle piece Josh needed. It's the copy of her passport she took, which triggers Anne's memory that the Saturday she claims to have left for Spain in 2008 doesn't exist, Mickey Moose didn't see his breath that year so it was an extra Friday. The passport is forged!

The gang celebrates this new revelation as the cameras zoom and show us that the tie clip Lavinia gave Dwayne is blinking red, meaning she's recording this conversation or something is going to blow up. I assume the former, but hey Lavinia is absolutely insane.

Is there much more to add? I mentioned I love this show, right? How do you think it will all end? Will Nina ever be relevant or get more than one minute of screen time? Are you telling everyone you know to watch the finale next week? Are they responding with "Hm I've never heard of that, is it on Hulu?" Are you responding with "Actually yes, it is on Hulu!" And then they make a pathetic commitment to watch it sometime when they finish another show they're currently watching? And now you know when they finally catch it in a few years they'll complain that it was only on for two seasons and you'll be like "WELL YOU SHOULD'VE WATCHED WHEN IT WAS ON"? Am I just describing my life and not yours? Neat!

That's all friends, see you next week for the finale! The show likely won't see a third year but at least we'll always have John Lithgow and Kristin Chenoweth in our memories.

-"The guy in the suit with the hair was angry, and the woman in the hat was sad." -Anne
-"Pecks don't get mad, we get even...madder." -Lavinia
-"This is my moment Mr. Nutz!" -Carol Anne
-"Running is a fictional sport sold to us by the tight clothes industry!" -Jesse Ray
-"Today we're leaving no turn unstoned." -Dwayne
-"You're unrecognizable. I still can't see faces, but your body seems older." -Anne
-"Could you imagine if those were my stories? I would lose it." -Anne
-"Could someone please move this little building?" -Lavinia
-"Holy Reed, I'm a Peck!" -Dwayne
-"If I wanted to be in charge I'd open up my own law firm instead of half-assing it around here." -Anne
-(I lied, one Extra Thought isn't a quote but is just point out how much I loved Anne's Alice in Wonderland disorder where things appear bigger or smaller than they are)