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So Help Me Todd - Big Bang Theories - Review

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After a brief hiatus, So Help Me Todd returned with a solid episode that looped viewers back in as if no time had passed. The driving plot of the show so far has been the dynamic between Todd and Margaret, and how the quirks of the Wright family contribute. This episode took a different path, which was unexpected but pleasant. It focused on one of the secondary characters, Lyle, and further developed his character arc. Viewers are invested in the character’s that make up the Wright family, but it has been difficult to care much for the other characters because not much has been revealed about them, except what we see on the surface. This is not too surprising, since we are only on episode 8 of the pilot season, but it was good to see the writer’s take the time to flesh out an important secondary character. 

Although viewers were introduced to Lyle right from the pilot, not much is known about his character, other than he enjoys Science Fiction and has a sister. Episode 8 introduced viewers to Angie (Djouliet Amara), Lyle’s niece. Lyle’s sister entrusted him to take care of Angie while she attends college in the Oregon area. The episode starts with an explosion at the Manticore Science lab on the college campus. A bomb was detonated in the lab and a Scientist, Nicholas Armstrong, was severely injured and died later in the episode. Lyle is in a panic when his niece is charged with Eco-Terrorism, and is held responsible for the crime. Angie is introduced as an activist, part of the Green Circles Environmental activist group on her college campus. Seeing Lyle vulnerable, not only allows Todd the opportunity to try and take over as his mother’s number one investigator, but it also allows Todd to see the human side of Lyle. Todd immediately engages in what he does best, he springs into action to help Lyle prove his niece’s innocence. Todd may not have his whole life together, but it is clear by now that Todd cares a lot about the people in his life and will go to extreme lengths to protect them. Despite Todd softening to Lyle, the writer’s kept the brotherly feud between Lyle and Todd strong, by having them compete over who the real culprit in the bombing was. Lyle believes it was Rafe Castillo (Diego Stredel), the head of Green Circles who had a key to Manticore and was in the building the day of the explosion, but Todd thinks it is Carrington Reed (Russell Dennis Lewis), Nicholas’ lab partner who he was in a dispute with. The head to head between Lyle and Todd is clever and comedic. Todd truly relishes in having to babysit Lyle to ensure his emotions do not get the best of him, since he is so close to the case. Lyle, on the other hand, maintains his professional demeanour and if Todd is getting to him, he doesn’t make it known. 

Rafe seems like the obvious suspect, but is it ever that simple on a TV crime dramedy? Carrington has a motive since he has an ongoing rift with Nicholas, but the problem is that he also had an alibi. He was at a plastics panel the night of the explosion. During their parallel investigations, Todd and Lyle are stunned to find out that Carrington has an identical twin. Margaret and her two investigators set-up both twins by having them come to the law offices without the other being aware, under the fake story that their identity has been stolen and the DMV has hired the firm to pay out reparations. During the staged meeting, Margaret confronts Carrington and he denies bombing the lab, but his brother wants no part in the crime and sells his brother out. Carrington tries to flee, but Lyle punches him square in the face without breaking a sweat, impressing Todd. 

Amidst the explosion storyline, were two minor sub-plots including Todd attempting to talk Susan into giving him an expensive chair for his makeshift office that was purchased for a partner. At first I thought this may be a great opportunity for some romantic tension to develop between the two, but there was none to be found. It seemed obvious since the show debuted, that Todd and Susan may be headed for a romantic reunion, but nothing has developed between them since. Even a slow burn relationship would move quicker than this and offer viewers some kind of tense scene between the characters, that keep them longing for more. Perhaps the writers are choosing to go in a different direction but if this is the case, Susan’s purpose on the show is pretty pointless. If a slow-burn romance is in the cards, hopefully we will see some kind of romantic tension between the two evolve sooner rather than later. 

The other sub-plot was Todd trying to get his official Private Investigator’s licence back, by embellishing the amount of hours he has worked and getting Margaret to sign off on it. This led to Margaret getting on Todd’s case yet again to take accountability for his life through hard work, not by cutting corners. Margaret also had an awkward yet interesting opportunity to get some of her frustrations off her chest, by speaking to a crowd of protestors during a rally she attended while trying to locate Rafe. It was interesting to see Margaret in this element. I guess when a person spends so much time not confronting their feelings, those feelings have to come out eventually. Margaret certainly poured out her emotions during her impassioned speech at the rally. 

It is refreshing to watch a show whose writers understand the elements that make great television, and that seem to anticipate what the viewers want and work hard to make it happen. This show gets better with each passing week, and if it continues this way, I am sure it will have a bright future beyond the pilot. Over to you, So Help Me Todd fans. Did you enjoy the episode? What did you think of the direction the writer’s took by having the episode focus on Lyle? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and follow me on Twitter @miss_c_almeida.

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