The final moments of “Buffalo ’07,” the pilot episode of USA’s Eyewitness, are where the series turned for me. Like I said in my preview, the romance at the center was a complete unknown going in, but then as it unfolded in the course of the first hour, I held my breath a bit, because there were a couple of times where it could have gone really terrifyingly wrong, and then, it didn’t. And I was hooked.
Lukas (James Paxton) is a violently closeted high school student who’s parsing through a ton of emotions when his new friend Philip (Tyler Young) makes a move on him and he finds himself reciprocating, with conditions. The old chestnuts that “nobody can know,” “I’m not gay,” etc., and then all of that is just suddenly capital NOT IMPORTANT in the scheme of things when their first tryst is interrupted by a triple homicide that they witness. Lukas acts in a moment of bravery for Philip and they get away before they become victims four and five.
And the bond of that is superimposed on top of all the other emotions they’re feeling, about what they witnessed, about surviving, about maybe killing someone, and about each other. When it counted, Lukas did the right thing, saved Philip’s life, and bought them enough time to escape.
Later on, when he finds out it’s possible the shooter has survived, Philip tries to talk to Lukas at school in front of his friends, and Lukas blows a fuse in a panic and takes a swing at Philip, knocking him to the floor. Philip keeps quiet about the true reason for the fight, and undeterred, shows up at the end of the episode in Lukas’s bedroom with the good news that they’re in the clear because he saw the crime scene photos and he thinks the shooter was killed. We know, but he doesn’t, that he’s wrong.
Lukas is relieved, and receptive to Philip kissing him again. He pulls him down onto the bed with him, and then just as quickly, turns it off, saying he can’t be this guy, that his Dad wouldn’t want it, and his girlfriend, Rose, wouldn’t want it. He tells Philip he doesn’t know him. Philip is annoyed and says he knows he’s a spoiled-ass rich kid, and Lukas throws it up at him that his Mom’s a junkie.
And now they’re both hurt, and ashamed of what they’ve said to each other. Philip tells Lukas he didn’t have to say that, and Lukas says the same about Philip’s barb at him.
Lukas apologizes and tells Philip his dad is out of town. Philip rolls his eyes a bit and Lukas comes back to the bed and kisses him again. It escalates and Lukas pulls Philip down and starts toward his pants. Philip snaps to, and bolts off the bed, saying No over and over and fixing his clothes. He tells Lukas he’s not allowed to not want to be seen with him and treat him like a freak, hit him in the face, and then use him as his bitch to fool around–that’s what Rose is for. “You’ve got to decide,” he tells him.
Lukas genuinely doesn’t know what to do with that, asking, “What’s there to decide?” Philip is over it and brushes past him and down the stairs and then waits a beat on the landing below to see if Lukas follows, apologizes, anything. He doesn’t, instead throwing himself onto the bed, lost, as Philip rushes out the door and goes home.
Where this turned for me is that I’ve watched enough shitty TV that I half expected the scene on the bed to turn into a beat down or a rape since Lukas was so aggro about wanting Philip in spite of himself. Instead, very, very thankfully we had an awakening as Philip calls him out on his bullshit and doesn’t allow himself to be taken advantage of. He’s telling Lukas no, and demanding more for himself, which is huge for a kid who’s on such uneven footing in a new environment.
He’s challenging Lukas to see him and to look at himself, and he’s pronouncing himself worthy of something more than a dalliance or an experimental experience. I loved that dynamic. It immediately made me want more of these two characters, and it made me marvel at such an emotionally raw portrayal of a first love that’s got so many things stacked against it.
Tyler Young and James Paxton are so, so good, y’all. Please watch this show.
Eyewitness airs Sundays at 10/9c on USA.
[Updated: The series ran one season and every episode is on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and You Tube in the US.]
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Thank Me Later: Will Trent
[Warning: spoilers ahead.] I’m on record as loving and losing shows over at ABC so I’m usually very reticent to pick something up on the network until it’s been renewed, and I seriously hope I’m not jinxing it, but I took a chance on the deeply odd and very sweet…
Dennis Heaton Talks The Imperfects
Longtime readers at TV Goodness will know that Motive is one of my ride-or-die series, and as such, I am fiercely loyal to its creator, Dennis Heaton. He followed up that fantastic reverse procedural with Netflix’s The Order and is back on our streaming screens with The Imperfects, which dropped…
Kelly McCormack Talks Favorite Moments in A League of Their Own
[Warning: Mild spoilers for season 1.] Now that you’ve had a chance to watch A League of Their Own, here’s the rest of my chat with Kelly McCormack about her favorite moments of the season. Seeing the iconic Peaches uniforms for the first time wasn’t just a goosebump moment for…
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People [streaming on Global TV in Canada and Roku…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…
Leave a Reply