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Tommy - This Is Not a Drill - Review

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Tommy’s penultimate episode, “This is Not a Drill” was written by the team of Carl Capororto and Lucy Teitler and was directed by Eric Laneuville, whose many other credits include Chicago Fire, Blue Bloods, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Lost. This episode is the beginning of the end of the season and as announced today, the series, but it’s clear that it may also be the beginning of the end for a number of characters as the webs of deceit are finally starting to unravel – who CAN Tommy (Edie Falco) trust?

The episode begins with an LA staple – fire in the hills – in this case the Hollywood Hills. On site, Tommy runs into the Mayor (Thomas Sadoski) and reproaches him for not even giving her the courtesy of a phone call about the Ethics Committee. He tells her that he didn’t cause the situation – that’s on her. He also tells her that it’s just politics and she’ll have to just go through the process. Tommy isn’t convinced – and she is clearly aware that the Mayor is distancing her. She tells him that ever since she got there, nothing is as it appears – and he simply replies “Welcome to Hollywood.” This becomes a theme of the episode – what is real and what is make believe – and who can she trust.

We see that Blake (Adelaide Clemens) has been sleeping in the office – and Ken (Michael Chernus) notices. She tells him that she’s too afraid to go home, and he sweetly offers her a place to stay at his place, which she turns down after asking him when he last cleaned his bathroom! LOL! Men!

Tommy calls a meeting with Diaz (Vladimir Caamano), Blake, Ken, and Cooper (Russell G Jones) and fills them in on Vincent’s apparent disappearance and the link to Arturo’s murder. Blake tells them that she was threatened and about Edward Wilson. She also tells them that she’s connected it to Lovell (Michael Cumpsty). Cooper insists that there are a lot of holes in the story. Tommy tells him to stay on the fires. Tommy tells Blake to fill in Diaz and then walk away because she can’t be anywhere near the investigation because of her connection to the Mayor. Tommy asks Ken for help with the Ethics Committee.

Cooper advises Tommy to do the investigation in the open, by opening a missing person case on Vincent for starters. Tommy, however, insists that she doesn’t trust anyone.

Diaz goes to Vincent’s editor, Evan Taylor (Gibson Frazier), who basically blows him off, telling him that Vincent is overly fond of drama and chasing a story. Meanwhile, Blake gives a briefing on the fire and refuses to let the reporters drag her into commenting on the Ethics hearing. Cooper asks her how the briefing was – brutal – and then suggests getting a sketch artist to work up a picture of the guy at her apartment. Cooper ends up recognizing the guy – but doesn’t let on.

Ken and Simmons (Donnie Keshawarz) meet with Tommy about the hearing. Simmons tells her that she’ll have no legal rights – it’s not a court of law – and there are no rules. Tommy insists that she wants to testify in person – and Simmons tries to convince her just to submit a written statement. He then asks her the kind of questions she’s likely to get. He asks for details about her relationship with Kiley (Katrina Lenk), and Tommy starts to see how uncomfortable it could be. Tommy tries to insist that it’s not about her private life – and Ken suggests taking a break. Simmons takes it in stride and tells them to let him know when she’s ready.

Diaz goes to Ashley (Sasha Diamond) and asks her to do a deep dive on Vincent. He tells her it’s for the Boss – and that he doesn’t have a warrant. Ashley tells him that he needs a warrant… but that she’ll look into “alternatives.” She does go to Tommy just to make sure that the request is coming from her. She thanks Tommy for trusting her to run the IT department and tells her that she doesn’t like what the brass is doing to Tommy. Tommy tells her not to do anything that makes her uncomfortable – she doesn’t want Ashley breaking the law.

Meanwhile, Tommy has to break up a fight between Diaz and some random cops. It turns out that they were laughing over a caricature of Tommy with Kiley. Tommy doesn’t take his anger as an excuse for fighting. They’re interrupted by Cooper who tells them that a body, doused in gas, was found in the fire.

Ken tries to give Tommy a makeover for the hearing. I loved this little scene as once again we see a little humor. Ken shows her pictures of power-dressing by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Theresa May, and Angela Merkel. Tommy pointedly asks where May is today! Hilarious! I also like that the show expects us to be smart and aware of world politics. In the end, Tommy tells Ken, she’ll be wearing her uniform – and he’s satisfied.

Diaz and Blake check in with Ashley, and she’s caught the “stalker” on a nature camera in the woods – right before the fire started and close to where the body was found. Blake is convinced that the body is Vincent – but it later turns out that it isn’t.

Meanwhile, Cooper meets with Len Egan (Paul Schulze) in a parking garage. Egan asks him if he trusts him – Cooper does – and Egan tells him that he’s got admirers who want to meet him. He takes him to a meeting with Lovell and Milt Leakey (Corbin Bernsen). Milt is a chauvinist through and through, remarking that Tommy is a nice “girl” but is in over her head. They offer to make Cooper Chief after they get rid of Tommy! And Cooper just wants to know if the Mayor will object. Lovell tells him that the Mayor won’t object – or in other words will do what they say.

At home, Tommy has a nice moment with Kate (Olivia Lucy Phillip). Kate finds Tommy reading the comments online. Tommy is berating herself for missing the storm when it was brewing. Kate tries to tell her not to read the comments – and asks if Tommy isn’t allowed to have a private life like everyone else. Tommy tells her that people make sacrifices for their jobs every day. She believes in her job – and never wanted to do anything else. The sacrifices to help others are worth it to Tommy. Kate finally says some nice things to her mother, calling her a pioneer. She also reminds her of what Tommy told her as a kid – “lies are complicated but the truth is simple.”

Taylor calls Diaz and is finally worried because Vincent missed an important meeting.

Simmons asks Tommy about the DayGlo Spa, and Tommy tells him that she did nothing. Simmons points out that the Ethics Committee is talking about it. Simmons asks if Cooper could have said anything, and Tommy is sure he didn’t. She goes to check with Santos (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) who tells her that he didn’t even know anything about Henry. He also assures her that he didn’t tell anyone. He points the finger at Cooper – who is looking more and more guilty! Or is he flushing the others out??

Tommy meets with Diaz, Ashley, and Blake. Ashley has footage of Vincent meeting with someone just before his phone went dead. His phone only came back on to send the text to Blake and then it went dead for good. Tommy confirms that the coroner has the body and should be able to confirm if it’s Vincent – and in the end, it isn’t.

Blake gets a text from the Mayor, and finally goes to see him. She tells him that she considered just ghosting him. She asks him what Arturo did for him He brushes it off, but admits he was a “fixer” – something he’d rather people didn’t know. Blake then asks about Lovell – telling him about the photos. The Mayor is clearly shocked – but it’s also pretty clear that he’s not going to fight for Blake. The Mayor does admit that Lovell donated money to his campaign, but they aren’t on good terms. The Mayor tells her that he doesn’t know anything and can’t help her. Blake tells him that she gets it. She never expected him to put her first, but she also warns him that he has no idea what he’s involved in. Blake breaks it off, telling him that she’s very disappointed in him. Will the Mayor relent? Will he sell out Doug in order to save his own skin?

As Diaz drives Tommy to the hearing, Kiley calls. There’s clearly still some feelings between these two! They both laugh over the cartoon. Kiley ends the call by telling Tommy to use the boxing gloves she got her for a present…

The hearing goes about as badly as it could. Tommy starts with an opening statement, reiterating what she’s been saying all along: She’s done nothing wrong and her private life is private. She tells them from the heart that she would never jeopardize being Chief because it’s her lifelong dream – but even more because she would never betray the trust of the police – she respects them and the office too much.

They clearly have inside information. They ask about Henry and call Santos who quickly lies about everything.

Simmons comes to Tommy and tells her that the Ethics Commission has recommended that she be dismissed. The Police Commission agreed and made it effective immediately. Tommy leaves her office and heads down in the elevator. Meanwhile, we see Cooper looking at the empty office.

I really, really hope that Cooper is simply trying to get more inside information to save Tommy – but they’ve certainly made him look guilty here. Jones has done a great job being inscrutable in the episode! I’m sure the finale will find a way to get Tommy reinstated – but who else will be taken down in the fallout?? I'm really disappointed that CBS didn't give this show more of a chance. What did you think of the episode? Are you excited for the finale? Disappointed by the cancellation? Let me know your thoughts – and theories in the comments below!

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