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Unforgettable “Til Death” 

Photo Credit: CBS
Photo Credit: CBS

If you look back to the first season of Unforgettable, the focus was on the cases with very little development of the characters. After the show’s return from the graveyard for season two, the writers have done a 180, and the focus have been on the characters more than ever, especially Carrie (Poppy Montgomery) and Al (Dylan Walsh). And, what way to kick off the second half of season two than with a wonderful episode showcasing Carrie and Al and the thousand reasons why these two should become an item.

The episode opens with a cute sequence showing Carrie and Al playing newlyweds as part of an undercover operation. They are all sweet and lovey-dovey, with Al insisting that they “christian” their new brownstone with his carrying his new bride over the threshold. The scene ends with Carrie all smiles and insisting “This marriage thing isn’t so bad after all”.

Now, rewind to three days ago. A very affluent couple is murdered in their home, stabbed to death with both of their wedding rings missing. Everything else, including much more expensive jewelry was left behind, indicating that robbery probably was not the motive.  Al is immediately called to the scene by his former partner due to the similarities to several other open homicides that they worked together years ago. All cases involved middle-aged couples, and in every one, the wedding rings were missing.

Computer techie, Jay Lee (James Lao), does his magic and is able to provide a critical piece of evidence that links all of the victims: all of the men frequented a high-end call girl service. What’s more, all of the couples put on this huge facade to all of their big-wig friends that their marriage was perfect and that they were still crazy in love after 20+ years. Only catch is if their marriages were so wonderful, why did the men dish out big bucks for the company of a call girl?

To figure out who the killer is, the next step is to determine how the men met these girls. The team is in luck because the pervert doorman of the apartment building where all of the trysts took place installed a nanny cam. So, now, Carrie and Al had the faces of a very long list of clients. This list included some of the wealthiest and most influential men of New York City, including Comptroller, Stanton Ward. Now enters my favorite character on the show, Eliot Delson (Dallas Roberts). Eliot rubs elbows with the most elite in the city, knows people in Ward’s inner circle, and of course, would love the opportunity to put someone like Ward in a position of owing him a favor. It works too, because after Eliot’s little meeting with Ward and showing him the video of his escapades with underage call girls, Ward is all too happy to help, including providing information on how to meet these girls. All that’s left now is to set a trap.

Photo Credit: CBS
Photo Credit: CBS

So, what better way to catch a killer who loathes rich, fake couples? You get our lovely couple Carrie and Al to go undercover. Now, we are back to the beginning of the episode with the newlyweds checking out their new brownstone, going shopping at the fanciest stores in NYC (including a jewelry store where Al buys his new bride a necklace with 147 “internally flawless” diamonds, to match his flawless bride. Ahhhh!), and announcing to the world, and hopefully to our killer, just how happy, lovely and perfect they were. The only piece left was for Al to meet a call girl. Even with Al’s screw-up with the Irish Whiskey which screamed “cop”, the killer showed himself within hours of Al’s fake tryst. Our murderer turned out to be the Dean of Hudson University, Adrian Proctor, where most of the girls attended college. As a boy, Proctor had his childhood destroyed by a cheating father who ended up in prison, landing him in foster care. Since then, he has been targeting couples who are just as big hypocrites as his parents were.

This entire storyline was pretty far-fetched, and I can’t say it was one of my favorites of the series. What made the plot even weaker was the inclusion of the Hudson University bookstore manager, Harvey Reynolds, as Proctor’s partner. The only thing that really accomplished was to create plot holes, like Reynolds taking a leave of absence to go to Columbus, Ohio, which is where several of the murders took place. Why would Reynolds do something like that?  Would a manager of a college bookstore ever “take a leave of absence”?

But, that aside, it was a good episode because it did a fantastic job of focusing on the characters. I’ll be the first to say that I didn’t like the idea of Carrie and Al as a couple in season one. They portrayed Carrie as a dedicated cop, but one with a wild side who liked to take hot bad boys as lovers. Putting Carrie together with the vanilla Al seemed like a stretch. But, in season two, these characters have been re-invented. They took out Carrie’s shady personal life, and they re-shaped Al into a guy who is more fun-loving and who is more open to taking chances. The result: a couple with much better chemistry and one that shippers can rally behind. So, when a fun episode like “Til Death” comes along, it is much more believable.

I also love how Jay Lee is slowly becoming a major character on the show. This computer nerd isn’t the typical geeky genius we’ve grown accustomed to from other television series. Lee is actually pretty funny, seems to lead a relatively normal life, and has this very weird bromance going with Al. This leads me to Lee’s supposed partner, Cherie Rollins-Murray (Tawny Cypress). Was Murray even in Friday’s episode? Yep, she was but it was so small and unnoticable that it was almost as if she wasn’t there at all. And, unfortunately, it’s been that way since both she and Lee were introduced at the beginning of the season. The development of Lee’s character has really taken off, but Murray’s, not so much. I don’t know if this is intentional. Tawny Cypress is definitely the eye candy for the show, but if they decided to ax a character at the end of this season, I can see this being her easily.

The only other thing I really didn’t like about this episode was virtually no Dr. Webster (Jane Curtin) — again! Dr. Webster is one of the fan favorites, she’s funny as hell, but yet, she’s gotten only a handful of lines in each episode since she was added to the cast in the middle of season one. I know this show has become very Carrie and Al-centric, but I would love to see a character development episode devoted solely to Dr. Webster — or perhaps Dr. Webster and Eliot Delson and this whole weird/awkward past that they seem to share.

All in all, I thought this was a very good episode, and certainly a good start to the second half of the season. The plot was a tad bit weak, but it did a fabulous job of showcasing Carrie and Al and just how much their relationship has grown. It also ended on a high note with a quote that I’m sure left the Carrie and Al shippers rejoicing:

       So, you plan on taking her advice? — Carrie to Al

      You’ll be the first to know — Al

Unforgettable airs on Fridays at 8/7c on CBS.

Most memorable quotes

  • You’d be surprised what a little centrifuging can do to lemon meringue — Dr. Webster
  • If these aspirations of yours come to fruition, I’m sure I’ll think of something — Eliot to Stanton Ward
  • No, see I hate it when you do this.  Burns softens me up with a jab, then you come in at the perfect moment with a left hook — Eliot to Carrie and Al
  • Do we have any (diamonds) that are externally flawless, just like her? — Al
  • She’s brilliant at her job. No, actually, she’s just brilliant — Al on Carrie

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