“Long Shot” is another one I commented on at length when it first aired under this single-topic replacing the lost vaulted forum nonsense, so I’ll mostly confine myself to thoughts I didn’t express then:
Taylor’s unsuccessful “Mr. Mayor” attempts to get the mayor’s attention never fail to amuse me; it’s one of the perfect little touches in season one showing that while he is less slimy now that he’s achieved Asst. Chief (and, in fact, this started as The Closer was ending, when he knew he was going to get the promotion), he’s still Taylor – wanting to be a player, and in love with the cameras. They scatter such scenes throughout the rest of the series, too, and it’s always a nice bridge between the two shows.
The one thing I feel compelled to reiterate, because I think I feel it even more than the writers intended with Sharon’s comparison between good fathers and those not cut out for the job, is how much Angel’s father gets to me. Mr. Reyes was a good cop in Juarez, and his refusal to go along with corruption led to his wife and all but one of his kids being killed; in response, he sacrificed a career of which he was proud to be a maintenance man in a foreign country, always looking over his shoulder for ICE, in order to save his remaining son (and I love the subtle touch that what he’s ironing when the assassin shows up is Angel’s work uniform). His death really gets to me.
Jumping off that to another new thought (and the fact I can have one after all this time is one of the reasons I love this show), I reflected more tonight than I have upon previous viewings about Angel. His dad was all he had of his old life, and now Mr. Reyes is gone, too. So not only is Angel shunted off into a witness protection identity in which he knows literally no one, but he lives with the guilt that maybe if he’d called the police immediately and revealed what he saw, his dad might still be with him -- his decision made sense, especially in the heat of the moment (he didn’t want his dad knowing he’d been taking the extra set of keys to use the vacant penthouse as a love shack, and, more importantly, didn’t want to bring his dad to the government’s attention, given their undocumented status) – but it’s going to haunt him for how it all played out.
(In the midst of this, it’s a nice touch that the son of a cop gives such a good description, better than most witnesses manage, and our cops appreciate that.)
The big emotional thrust of the episode is Rusty now legally being an orphan/ward of the state, but having a family in the squad, and I enjoy that. But the Reyes family really resonates with me, too.
This episode has fundamental flaws, as I said before, about the assassin’s car (why does he leave the mirror behind, why don’t the cops try to ascertain his license plate the way they did Angel’s) but it’s still a good one, especially because of the personal storylines. I think it’s a solid conclusion to a short first season, and I’m never remotely surprised TNT looked at that run and said “more please” in response to that experiment.