Alynda Wheat's Beat Cop: In which Wentworth Miller, Cromartie, and Benjamin Button crash our sets

Wentworth-Miller_lCome on, people, you never leave the perp with Wentworth Miller! That’s Article 96, Section 242, Clause 3 of the Procedural Code! Wait, wait. Before we get too shouty about last night’s Law & Order: SVU, let’s call the meeting to order and go over some Beat Cop business.

At our last meeting, commenter Judy Woodruff (let’s just assume that’s an alias, and the PBS anchor is way busy with actual news) asked if we’re going to loop Southland (tonight at 9 on NBC) into our discussions. This brings up an excellent point, Coppers: What counts as a procedural? The matter is open to a vote, but these are the general guidelines we’ll work under:

The series is typically one hour long.

The series is on a nationally recognized TV network (e.g., ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, The CW).

The series typically concludes with the resolution of a mystery (crime, court case, medical diagnosis, etc.).

The series is primarily focused on said mystery, rather than the personal lives of those involved.

The series is ghost-free.

What does that mean? That Southland totally counts, because it’s all about catching bad guys, just more cinematically. That Medium, Ghost Whisperer, and Supernatural all solve mysteries, but bite it on the ghost clause. That House weasels its way in because the show treats sick people more like Sudoku than soap opera. (So suck it, Grey’s Anatomy!) And that we’re going to talk about Castle, even though it’s arguably weighted as much on the charm and talents of one Nathan Fillion as it is on dead people, because Fillion is one of our many imaginary boyfriends. (Though apparently, we’ve got competition for his affection.)

Now that our Cop business is concluded, let’s get to it!

Law & Order: SVU

We begin with another man in our imaginary boyfriend stable, Wentworth Miller, late of Prison Break. I dug the episode, but here’s the quibble: You saw (nearly) all that coming, right? Once I got past the idea that there actually was someone employed by the NYPD that was ragier, jerkier, and more unstable than Stabler (Chris Meloni—and don’t you roll your eyes at me, you know it’s true!), Miller’s backstory unfolded like origami. He’s a jackass, but a tragic one! He’s terrible to women, but wonderful to kids! He believes in the law, but God forbid if you’re too stupid to realize he shouldn’t be taking a confessed rapist/murderer to the john. I admit, I thought it was going to be a “You know what? He totally slipped and smashed his head into the porcelain sink…twice,” kind of thing. But they got me on the defenestration. I imagine they got all of us on that sick little legal twist that keeps the innocent dude in prison. And will somebody please get Diane Neal’s Casey Novak back here before we do something unspeakably hinky to vicious new ADA Christine Lahti? It is SVU—we can get creative.

Criminal Minds

Is it weird that all I can think after that episode is, “I seriously hope that doctor didn’t just transfer some icky disease by putting his bloody hands into Reid’s (Matthew Gray Gubler) wound?” I mean, sure, the episode was solid, and C. Thomas Howell is terrific as the Reaper—you gotta love a good comeback and he’s doing it right, with low-key, quality work. But still, the doc looked at his hands a beat too long for me to feel like it wasn’t foreshadowing. And poor Reid has suffered so—the crazy momma, the daddy issues, that one time he was a junkie—it would be so unfair if he ended up with Hep. C. because in an episode about the choices doctors make, the guy made a bad one.

The CSI Trifecta: CSI, CSI: NY, and CSI: Miami

The mothership clearly had the strongest opening, with that stellar freeze-frame shot that traveled all through the lab, water droplets floating in the air, bullets rippling by. It was visually arresting, almost like a comic book come to life. So some actress died. The sad thing about being a procedural fan is that there are so many things you’re hip to, that you shouldn’t be—like the fact that they wouldn’t cast Cromatie (Garret Dillahunt) from Sarah Conner unless he was doing some dirty. I’m curious, though: How do people feel about Sara (Jorja Fox) becoming Mrs. Grissom? I dig it, I just wish Jorja would figure out whether she’s coming or going. All of this on-off mess is too much for a relationship. They either need to bring her back on as a regular, or cut the tie. This is getting a little silly.

NY was only interesting for two reasons. First, Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) did the Humpty Dance with Adam (A.J. Buckley). Not only is that random, but I can’t look at the dude without singing “Ghostfacers!” Second, Danny’s in a wheelchair, and he’s only got a 10% chance of ever walking again. Of course, in TVLandia that’s 17% more than necessary, so I say give it till winter sweeps before he’s ambulatory again. Heck, November if they get greedy.

But oh, let us talk about Miami. Apparently, in the olden days—say, 1997, which looks more like 1977 based on that Friday Night Lights’ dude’s haircut—forensic science was dismissed as hoodoo, and Horatio Caine (David Caruso) was the only hope for a future with DNA testing, computerized fingerprint analysis, and labs with nifty neon lights. Did you strain your eyes rolling them so hard? That’s right, we spent a good chunk of the hour back in the days of Horatio building his team, and thanks to the magic of the Stupendous Fantastical Benjamin Button Age-Erasing Machine, he even looked 12 years younger. Or maybe just blurrier. But really, everyone around him was stuck in old policework or just had their head up their own ass? Everyone but Horatio and that spunky newbie Calleigh Duquesne (Emily Procter)? Ugh, is it too much to ask that they stop trying to shove him down our throats as a superhero among us? Apparently so.  Oh, and Delko (Adam Rodriguez) lived. Eh.

So what do you think, Beatniks? Am I too hard on CSI: Miami? Did you totally see that SVU window exit coming? And for the 20 million of you who caught NCIS, can you believe that Tony (Michael Wetherly) told Ziva (Cote de Pablo) he was under truth serum, and she didn’t ask whether he loved her? I’d have been all over that—yes, even with a gun to my head. Check out tonight’s Law & Order and Southland (8-10 pm on NBC), and the season premiere of Numb3rs (10 pm, CBS—look, no scheduling conflicts!), and we’ll chat on Monday.

That’s all for now, Coppers. And hey—be careful out there.

Photo Credit: Will Hart/NBC

Comments (99 total) Add your comment
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  • Lisa

    Maybe Ziva didn’t ask because she’s as eager as I am to leave the Tiva nonsense in the dust.

    • ceceo2

      thank you! if those two get together the show will loose so much. ALWAYS keep your stars apart.

  • Meg

    I thought the same thing about the bloody hands on CM. Reid has had waaaay too much crap happen to him…hopefully they’ll give him a break for a little while.
    Also, I have lingering questions about what all the Reaper did to Hotch after stabbing him…

    • leo

      It kinda seemed like he might have gotten stabbed somewhere MIGHTY uncomfortable, no? The Reaper was talking to him about stabbing being a metaphor and then he seemed to stab him in the…well, up the….you know.

      Totally irrelevant but I loved Hotch’s wife’s haircut (and Allison Dubois on Medium too BTW)!!! Just had to think of something alot sunnier than the first part of what I wrote.

  • Deonna

    Out of that episode of CM, you came up with the idea of Hep C?? Uhh okay. You are the ONLY one to think that, cause the CM fandoms did not bring that up. You DO know that they had that scene to work in Matthew Gray Gubler’s injury right? And the show-runner said that there’s going to be lots of Hotch focus. The idea of giving Reid Hep C is ridiculous. They are not THAT stupid.

    • TrystaReid

      Actually, I thought that there might be a contaminated blood issue too (though I didn’t specifically pick out Hep C). Obviously Reid getting shot in the leg was to work in the fact that MGG is on crutches for a while, but transferring a sickness to him because of that scene could be something they want to use down the road. It’s not a stupid idea, it’s a good way to set up an out for him to leave the show if he chooses to depart in the future actually (which I desperately hope he won’t). Throw in a few “not feeling so great” scenes over a few episodes, a doctor visit then cue departure from BAU because he’s got HIV or something. It’s plausible…
      What makes it a stupid idea? The fact that you couldn’t think of it? I believe that says more about you than it does about the idea.

      • tigerlily

        My mind went right to contaminated blood at that seen.

      • Kris

        When I saw Criminal Minds I was thinking the same exact thing about the bloody scene. If I were him, I would have been like “don’t touch me Doc”, him and his bloody hands from that other guy, lol. I really hope that it does’nt go anywhere though, I think Reed has gone through enough over the seasons and seeing him get HIV or something would really suck.

  • JennBell

    Where is Mentalist? It meets your procedural guidelines.

    • leo

      I love that show!

  • Meredith44

    Considering I gave up on CSI: Miami a handful of years ago when it became ‘all Horatio, all the time,” there is no way I could have made it through that last episode based on your description. Ugh. I can’t believe they’re still pushing it so much.
    Regarding SVU, I so called it; however, it was nice to see Wentworth Miller again.
    Regarding NCIS, I don’t think if I were Ziva I would have asked Tony if he loved me. A) Because she looked so completely shell-shocked and resigned to death. (Great acting job by Cote de Pablo, I think.) B) Because who wants a declaration of love under duress while being tortured in a terrorist camp?
    I don’t particularly want Tony/Ziva to become canon, because I don’t trust TPTB not to screw it up (and because I’m afraid it might fracture fandom), but I do like the two of them together. I think they have chemistry.

  • Big Mama

    LOVE Jorja back on CSI, for 5 episodes or 10 or full time! Doesn’t matter. She sort of has the best of both worlds as a guest star! I hope they are paying her lots of money. She is so much better than Fishburne who hogs every minute of screen time!

    • Valley Girl

      I really enjoyed the CSI premiere. It was nice to see Jorja/Sara again, I don’t mind if she’s a guest star or on permanently. I like Fishburne in general but agree he does seem to have a lot of screen time…

  • mikki

    I agree, I love Jorja being back on. I hope she is back long term. I just wish they didn’t have her and Grissom married. He comes off as a pervy creepy old guy. She could be with Nick, Greg, or even Catherine for that matter… just not the pervy old guy. And I think Fishburne is a camera hog too.

  • cara

    CSI is what is wrong with tv today – pseudoscience practiced by supermodels in desginer clothing and perfect hair who all went to the ivy league…basically the entire CBS lineup….please bring back pi shows like those of 80s like rockford files, simon and simon, and magnum pi – guys who relied on contacts, sleazy friends, old army buddys, etc, they didnt go to the lab nerds, if so they got handed a piece of paper stating any plot relevant points. Those shows had charm and were just plain fun

    • Luis PJ

      isn’t that what the Mentalist is for

      • Ellie

        Or better yet: Psych

      • Elyse

        Aww, don’t hate on Psych. Besides…Psych is hardly procedural, it’s one of the more unique shows out there.

        It’s not everyones cup of tea but it has a solid cast and some creative story lines (remember that murdered sea lion? ;)

      • Ellie

        I love Psych, and I was just saying that it fell in line with what cara was describing.

        It’s less about the crime, more about the characters – which is awesome, for the record.

    • Meredith44

      I would also add Burn Notice to the list of shows that relies on buddies and contacts and old fashioned detective work (including going undercover). Plus it has great characters who interact well with each other.
      I also second the Psych (although if you’re not a fan of that kind of screwball humor, you won’t like the show) and The Mentalist recommendations.

    • ALS

      Please tell me how Catherine and Sara could be described as Supermodels pretending to be scientist in designer cloth. All the CSI wear, what I would say is, sensible clothing plain pants and shirts with sensible shoes. No self respecting Supermodel would be caught dead in what they wear. As to where the characters went to school big flip Woo; they ain’t real people, they are characters. They are attractive individuals who act and to be honest would any of us watch if they were Ugly.

      As to your last comment about Lab Nerds; that’s the reality of the Criminal Justice System today. Jury’s want scientific evidence of guilt or innocence not he said/she said evidence.

  • TrystaReid

    Loved the opener of CM, though I could have done with more of the Hotch story line than the primary of the unsub targeting the doc. That whole line felt slow compared to the normal pace of the show. Maybe it was just because I was so eager to find out about Hotch, but it felt like the episode could have been constructed a little different. I’m not saying it wasn’t a great episode by any stretch of the imagination, I really enjoyed it, but after the season finale, it just seemed a like the entire team in that episode was a little winded… That could be what they were going for though, in which case they nailed it.

  • picklejuice44

    I am in love with Chris Meloni, but Wentworth Miller was making me swoon. The two of them – gorgeous, stubborn sexy crime fighters. Ugh, so hot. Great start to an amazing show.

  • Megan

    I actually didn’t like Wentworth Miller on SVU- I thought he over acted in the extreme. I like Chris Meloni because he’s a bit more subtle. Miller to me was just ridiculous. But I did love Christine Lahti as the new ADA. She is a great actress- I have liked her since Chicago Hope, so it was nice to see a new but familiar face. The character is pretty interesting to me- conflicted but proud.
    In terms of CM, I like that they are going to have some kind of overarching storyline with the whole Hotch thing- they’ve never done that for a whole season before (a few episodes here and there, but not a whole season) so that will be good.
    CSI rocked as per usual- I love that they continue to come up with interesting things to do with the show (the opener was very cool).
    I haven’t watched Miami in years, and David Caruso IS the reason. He is the most overacted, ridiculous person ever! I can’t even stand that show. I’m always surprised when the ratings are so high, I don’t get it!! lol
    Anyways, I think that The Mentalist should be on your list too, because it’s definitely one of the best procedurals out there.

    • fiveagainstone

      Who doesn’t overact on SVU? But then again, it’s hard to notice the overacting with The Pretty on the show.

    • Buzz

      Lahti is there for a short while

      • jenn

        Yeah, didn’t the writer hear? Stephanie March is back as ADA Alex Cabot. Diane Neal is long gone.

    • NimbleBean

      Christine Lahti may be one of the worst of the ‘established’ actors around. She of the quivering lip. Reminds me of silent movie acting techniques. And, she really needs to lay off the botox and/or plastic surgery.

      The rest of the SVU cast (except Belzer and Florek) all overact. And Meloni and Hartigay each only have two facial expressions – both related to the sneer.

      • NimbleBean

        sorry, Hargitay

  • FRED

    Law and Order SVU totally rocked in its season premiere….just what the doctor ordered…..more edgier writing and acting…..both Meloni and Hartguary (is that how you spell it?) were getting too comfortable with their roles…..they needed to be shaken up….and thanks to great acting from Wentworth and Lahti….that was a great episode…hope it keeps the momentum from the season opener to its season finale next May…..

  • Alynda Wheat

    Rest assured, everyone, The Mentalist is on the list! We’ll get there, promise.

    • mjryan

      Will The Good Wife count? There’s lots of focus on the characters’ personal life, but that seems to be one big mystery, too. I vote to add it (if anyone cares!) because it was my favorite new show of the week.

  • Ellie

    NCIS was truly amazing this week. I’m just worried about the future of the show: half the audience want Tony and Ziva to get together, and half would stop watching if they did. I have no idea how the writers will keep everyone happy for the duration of show, but hey – it is their job and they haven’t disappointed us yet.

    • Anonymous

      i completely agree. i think one solution to this would be to give the Tiva fans what they want and get tony and ziva together, but keep their relationship pretty low-profile after that to make the non-tiva fans happy.

  • jared4ever

    Why did the reviewer say that Southland was on tonight at 9 on NBC? I checked and it doesn’t start until Oct. 23. Grrr.

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