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So Help me Todd - Corduroy Briefs - Review


So Help me Todd was given a full season order from CBS this week, and it is easy to see why. The show just keep getting better and better, and Corduroy Briefs was no exception. The episode had a perfect blend of suspense and comedic moments that showcased the immense talents of Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin. Both leads brought their best performances yet, as they worked together to investigate a case for Margaret. We were also given more insight into the awkward family dynamic between Margaret and her children. 

The last thing you’d expect a high powered socialite like Margaret to be doing is taking the bus, but that’s exactly where we find her at the start of the episode. If you guessed that Todd is the reason for this, then you’d be absolutely right. Through a scolding from his mother, we learn that his car died, and the check engine light had been on for more than 6 months. Margaret is so fed up with Todd’s immaturity, that she tells Todd that she’s failed him as a parent. She demands that he go to the hospital and borrow his sister Allison’s car. Allison is hesitant to lend him the vehicle, explaining that his track record with her possessions includes blowing up her microwave, but she hands him the keys anyway and you immediately know this isn’t going to end well. The car actually proved to be a source of comedic interludes in between the suspense of the main plot. 

At the office, Margaret meets with her new client, Olympian Sean Phillips. He was a passenger in a plane crash that resulted in him losing his leg and he is hoping for a settlement from the airline, Northbrook, to cover his medical costs. However, the opposing legal team is working to get the case dismissed, claiming an act of God caused the crash, therefore they are not liable. At the dismissal hearing, Margaret meets her opposition, Gus Easton, a high powered Seattle attorney who is dishevelled and lacks basic manners. During the hearing, Gus refers to a report that wasn’t previously shared with Margaret and she asks for a week extension so that she can look it over. The judge grants her 48 hours. Margaret asks Gus to forward the discovery briefs, and the two exchange flirty banter. As she rushes out of the court room with Todd, Margaret complains about Gus and his corduroy pants. It is evident that the dishevelled lawyer left an impression on the normally polished, unphased Margaret. When the discovery arrives at the office, Todd discovers that something suspicious is going on with the plane mechanic’s signature on an inspection form. Todd cracks a joke, causing Susan to laugh and Margaret quips that she shouldn’t encourage him because he’s not funny. Susan retorts that he’s a little funny. Viewers would definitely agree with Susan. It’s hard not to laugh at Todd’s clever, well-timed jokes. 


Todd goes to Northbrook Aerospace to try and find the original mechanic that signed the form, and learns that her name is Tyesha Johnson, and she no longer works there. Todd is told that he shouldn’t be discussing this, and immediately you know something bigger is going on. Todd and Margaret track down Tyesha at her new job, and she shares that the plane was built with a faulty part that could cause a crash if the weather gets too cold. We learn that Tyesha tried to warn Northbrook, but they ignored her claims. Tyesha gestures towards a man in a car that is obviously watching her and tells Margaret and Todd to leave. Margaret gives Tyesha her card and tells her that whistleblowers are protected by the law and if she doesn’t come forward, there will be more victims. In a clever move, Todd and Margaret take a selfie with the camera aimed at the window, and manage to snap a picture of the man in the car that was spying on them. They take it to Lyle, who runs the licence plate and discovers that the man is a private investigator. Todd gets a text from Tyesha telling him to come to her house immediately and when Todd and Margaret arrive, they witness the PI running out of Tyesha’s home. They find the place ransacked and Tyesha is gone. They leave with a strategically placed completed crossword puzzle, and a picture of a man with Tyesha, who they assume is her boyfriend. Todd decides to place a tracker on the PI’s car. He asks Margaret to distract him so he can do it, but she panics and isn’t able to go through with it. Todd ends up distracting the PI while Margaret attaches the tracker. It was great to see her in the thick of Todd’s scheme, and she got a rush out of it as she hugged Todd with pride after successfully attaching the tracker. Todd needs Margaret to keep him in line and on track in life, but Margaret also needs Todd. He helps her let loose and enjoy life, which is something Margaret desperately needs. 


Todd and his mother meet with the man in the picture that they took from Tyesha’s house, who turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. He shares that after Tyesha confronted Northbrook’s CEO with her discovery of the faulty part, the company harassed her until she finally quit. Her ex shared a journal that Tyesha sent to him, the only problem is that it is all written in code. Todd takes the journal to Lyle, and they share a witty exchange over what language the code could be written in. Lyle schools Todd in the use of real language in the Lord of the rings and Star Trek, leading Todd to state that Lyle really is a nerd. Todd gets a beep on his phone from the planted tracker and discovers that the PI is at Northbrook with the CEO. He heads over there and spies on them, but he mistakenly takes a call from his mother, scolding him for not picking up his sister. Todd accidentally puts the call on speaker phone, blowing his cover. The men hear him and the PI comes after him with a bat, smashing the passenger window of Allison’s car. 

Todd gets back to the office, where he, Lyle and Margaret discover that the crossword puzzle that they found in Tyesha’s apartment, actually holds the clues to solving the code in the journal. They discover that the code is a link to a Google drive, which contains documents that prove Northbrook knew that their plane had a faulty part prior to flying it. Margaret calls Gus and tells him that she knows the truth. Northbrook wants to settle, and offers Sean a million dollars. He is about to sign the deal, when Todd gestures from the glass doors for them to stop. He has discovered that the only reason Northbrook wants to settle is because they are launching a new fleet of planes, all containing the faulty part, and don’t want to miss their launch date. Margaret goes to trial with Sean and Tyesha shows up to testify. Sean is awarded 50 million dollars in damages. 


Todd and Margaret truly worked as a team in this episode. Margaret is starting to see that her son is actually a good investigator, and is starting to put more faith in his ability to help her win for her clients. In the midst of the main action, we got to see more of the underpinnings of the Wright family dynamic. Allison’s car underwent a series of mishaps throughout the episode including being covered in grass from a lawn mower, getting draped in bird poop and of course, the smashed window. The episode featured another family dinner at Allison’s, where she tells Todd that he will fix her car but Margaret will pay for it because she borrowed it. During dinner, Todd complains that the meal is cold and Allison loses her patience, retorting that it is cold because Todd and her mother were late. Allison also admits that she is sick of hosting family dinners week in and week out, leaving Margaret to offer to have everyone over at her new place every once in a while. Allison clearly works hard to put on the facade that she has it all together to impress her mother. This does not mean that she’s immune to Margaret’s judgment, which is a source of frustration for Allison. Once again, Todd’s brother’s Lawrence was a no show at dinner, but his fiancĂ©, Chet, was present as usual. I’m still wondering what the writer’s have planned for Lawrence. Perhaps now that the show has been ordered a full season, we will finally meet this mystery brother and find out his purpose on the show. 

I really enjoyed the comedic moments between Todd and Margaret this episode, specifically the ones that showcase the generation gap between them. In one scene, she refers to a movie called “Open Waters” that Mark Buffalo starred in. Todd corrects her, stating that the movie was actually called “Dark Waters” and the star's name is Mark Ruffalo. At least she’s attempting to connect with pop culture, also referring to Instagram as Insta, amusing Todd. It’s refreshing for a new show to have a strong writing team, that makes me look forward to watching every week. It will be fun and interesting to see where they take things now that they have a full season to work with. 

What did you think of the episode? Are you hooked on the show? What do you hope to see in future episodes? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter @ms_c_almeida.

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