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S2.E01: It's All In The Execution

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Bright finds his personal life in disarray after his sister's shocking actions in the Season One finale. Now, he has to "take care" of her and protect his mother, Jessica, from a secret that could tear the family apart all over again. To distract himself, Malcolm takes on a new case and must find the killer behind a recent beheading in the city... and the only person he can turn to for help with the case is his father. Meanwhile, Martin returns to Claremont to a surprise new roommate (guest star Michael Chernus) and JT faces discrimination while on the job.

Airdate: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

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This ledge is taken.   Great start to a new season.

I love that Martin is saddled with a roommate he hates when he returns to Claremont but then he finds a way to get rid of him but in this case it’s electro therapy.  Which is kinda clever.

Nothing wrong with a sex dungeon during Covid.  

I know people ship Dani and  Malcolm but I never particularly liked her.  She was quick to back away from Malcolm when she thought he murdered someone and after her convo with Gil about his relationship with Jessica I think she was incredibly out of line and I am really not liking her and shipping Malcolm and Edrisa even more.  They may be a weird pairing but they both make each other happy and enjoy their jobs

i liked the short scene between Malcolm and Ainsley.  
 

I must give off murdery vibes.  Is it the hair?

 

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The show is Back! But oh no, Malcolm is no longer denying he's Martin's son. And oh no, Malcolm is being drawn to the murder side. That's faster than I expected but oh noooooo....

Malcolm's hair is getting disheveled a lot more. Is that a metaphor to his downward spiral to insanity? He seems to be embracing the madness more. And when he fought that guy with the sword and the guy chained in the basement, he seemed to revel in inflicting pain. Oh nooo....

And thanks a lot Dani. You put a wrench into Gil and Jess' reunion and now the show is delaying the inevitable. I hope they don't drag that too long.

Is it possible for Martin has become more unhinged? I guess now that Malcolm efficiently dismembered a body, Martin is determined/obsessed to make Malcolm embrace being a killer.

 

 

 

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I hoped this episode would start immediately after the season 1 finale, and show us what happened. Rather disappointed that it skipped to "Malcolm and Ainsley are OK" (well, as OK as they get) and provided a few flashbacks. Presumably there will be more flashbacks in future episodes, but showing the aftermath in semi-real time would have had more impact, IMO.

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I thought that opening with on the ledge was really well done and the twist of Martin helping the roommate. 

I kind of liked the craggy southern gentlemen killer. He was a good first case.

I appreciate the series going the after pandemic route. I want to pretend for an hour we will go back to normal. 

I don’t mind Dani but I don’t ship her and Malcom. I don’t ship Malcom with anyone. Though I do think he needs someone more like Edrisa (who totally needs her own episode) than Dani. He needs a little weird. I do ship Gil/Jessica and was yelling at Dani to shut up. 

So Ainsley is rather well adjusted and Malcom is freaking out? I was hoping they would lean into Ainsley is kind of psycho here. 

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Martin: "I have sensational news!"
Malcolm: "Please say it's cancer."

Oh, man; I thought we had a quotes thread! This one cracked me up; be back later...

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It works either way, but I thought it was funnier if Martin had cured his roommate accidentally, and not on purpose.

Speaking of Martin, the whole reasoning of him getting back into Claremont -- um, I don't think that's how prisons work.... Yes, I know it's all fictional, but still.

I think Ainsley will still be more of a wild card than Malcolm this season. Does she really not remember anything? Will those dark impulses come back again? If she really believes Malcolm killed Endicott, how does that affect her and her relationship with Malcolm if she thinks he's like Martin? Not to mention, that body is definitely coming back to haunt them.

Overall, this was a good season opener. I thought their references to real-world issues wasn't heavyhanded.

Disappointed they seem to be backing off Jessica & Gil when they've barely started.

4 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

I must give off murdery vibes.  Is it the hair?

Yeah, I'm not liking Malcolm's haircut this season. It's too long. But it's probably like that exactly for 'murder-y vibes'.

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"Uh, sure...just walk in there".  Hee! 

A *little* more lighting wouldn't hurt.

Oh, show. I've missed you.

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7 hours ago, Trini said:

It works either way, but I thought it was funnier if Martin had cured his roommate accidentally, and not on purpose.

I'm almost certain it was an accident. Martin seemed quite surprised when his roommate started talking after the shock, like he was expecting him to be dead. He just took credit for it after the fact because of how it worked out.

If Martin can reach out and shake your hand when you stand on the line of the cell, the line is in the wrong spot!

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Great to see this show back, the whole bit with Malcolm on the roof was a great way to welcome us back to this frequently crazy show, and the southern executioner was a good early killer of the week. Hope that Malcom isn't buying what his dad is selling about him being a killer too much, he is falling apart (even more so than usual) just at covering up a murder to protect Ainsley, I cant see him making the jump to serial killing. Ainsley on the other hand, we should keep an eye on. She is way too chill about all of this, even if the guy she killed was a very very bad man.

I wish we had gotten to see more of the aftermath of the actual killing, but I get why they wanted to skip ahead, especially since they are doing the show in a post COVID world so the time skip was necessary. It also let them send Gil to the hospital for a reasonable amount of time without him having to be out of commission for very long. Sadly it looks like Dani has talked Gil into not pursuing things with further with Jessica, which is too bad as I really like them together and don't really want things drawn out. Besides, Dani might be all "You ran in there without backup because you were emotionally invested in a member of the Whitly what a bad call" to Gil, when she did literally the exact same thing when Malcolm was in trouble, so its also more than a bit hypocritical Yeah I see you Dani, I see you. 

Not as much Edrisa as I would have liked, but what we got from her was gold. She's great at knots, she got into bondage in college!" 

Of course Martin manages to cure his roommate when he was trying to kill him, or at least I think that's what happened. He might be a deranged serial killer who wants his kids to follow in his footsteps, but he is a good doctor, even by accident. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Yeah, I’m not buying Ainsley’s fugue state. I think she remembers everything and it says a lot that she’d be willing to sit there, fake a blank slate and let her brother dismember a body and be an accessory. Martin is backing the wrong Whitly when it comes to grooming his heir.

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The opening was perfect. It is really a metaphor of Malcolm’s life in general. Always being on the edge, slightly out of control but in enough control to go about the business of life or in his case catching murderers. 
 

Dani at times I have really liked and at times I’ve really disliked. Tonight was a night I disliked her. She had no right at all to get in the middle of Gil & Jessica’s relationship. She could have asked Gil why he rushed in without sufficient back up but in the end, Gil is in charge of the unit and is capable of making those calls. I also hope it’s not the type of situation where they are going to put Dani in one corner, Jessica in the other and them both going after Gil romantically because that’s almost the vibe I got from Dani. It was more of a jealous vibe than a concerned vibe.

Ainsley is either totally faking that she doesn’t remember what happened or she’s got the homicidal gene like dad and it will at some point rear it’s ugly head. You also know that Endicott’s body is going to come back to haunt all of them. As Martin told Malcolm, “these are dangerous people Endicott is involved with”. So that’s going to simmer on the back burner. 
 

The whole JT almost being shot by fellow officers because he is black was totally off. The guy had a police radio first off. Secondly, he also had an unmarked vehicle with a blue light. Thirdly, he had his badge with him. I don’t know what angle they were trying to get at, well I do but they totally missed the mark going about it in that manner. They could have put someone above JT to run the department until Gil returned that would have given that angle I think more substance and could have pitted that person, against not only JT but Gil and the entire unit as a whole. 
 

Malcolm in the sex dungeon with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” blaring in the background was priceless! 
 

Martin and Malcolms final scene I think paints a picture for how Malcolm will view things all season long. Martin telling him “people think we’re crazy. No one in their right mind would be a killer. The thing is, they don’t know the truth. Murder is the ultimate thrill. Or maybe you’re all torn up inside because getting away with murder didn’t feel bad at all. No, it felt good”. 
 
I’m so happy this show is back and that it’s happening apparently in a post-CV-19 world. I’ve been on the frontline of this mess almost a year now (I’m entering my 29th yr in ER/trauma nursing). There will be no one more relieved than myself and my colleagues to be rid of this. Like I told my husband the other day. I love my job, I’ve always loved doing what I do, but I am also at the point that I’m seriously thinking about leaving. Not because I’m afraid of being exposed. I’m just tired. Really, really tired. I guess what I want most of all is normalcy like we all do. 

 

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8 hours ago, MyArchangel said:

The whole JT almost being shot by fellow officers because he is black was totally off. The guy had a police radio first off. Secondly, he also had an unmarked vehicle with a blue light.

Yeah even for the obligatory police brutality subplot that every black character has to get, that was a whole lot. Not that its impossible that a black cop would be almost shot by cops without them realizing who he was (or not caring) but the actual situation seemed so weird. He was literally right in the middle of busting a killer, and I thought that he had backup as well, where did those guys go? He clearly had his radio visible, he wasnt even an off duty cop, he was literally in the middle of stuff, and no way would those morons not get in trouble, especially considering Dani and Bright were there. Again, not an impossible situation, but this all seems really strangely written for what they were going for. Damn, these cops are next level in being racist rabid cops looking to kill them some black people. Why is this even happening, don't we already have enough going on? I thought that the subplot of JT trying to take over for Gil was a much better plot for him, and even when Gil comes back he can keep working on his leadership skills, that was a nice plot we don't need even more drama. 

I normally like Dani, but I was not a fan at all of her trying to get between Gil and Jessica. Why is who Gil decides to date any of her business? 

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Not to mention, isn’t JT the interim head of homicide right now? On tv occasionally giving interviews? How do those cops not know who he is?

I’m not opposed to shipping but they have a lot of work to do if Dani/Malcolm is their goal because her knee jerk “Malcolm Is Guilty” response doesn’t instill me with any indications that she likes him at all, let alone would date him.

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The cast has a fair amount of POC and technically a cop show so they needed to at least touch on police brutality especially inside the police force and what it might be like for black cops.   Even ones with a fair amount of status like JT.   I mean his doing interviews is a new thing and he is bad at it so I can see low level uniforms not being aware of who he is especially when he is out of uniform and doesn’t have his badge on him. 

Edited by Chaos Theory
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12 hours ago, kariyaki said:

I’m not opposed to shipping but they have a lot of work to do if Dani/Malcolm is their goal

God, I hope not!  Nothing kills a show like a workplace romance.

My favorite moment was JT's wink, during the TV interview, when he mentioned his forensic expert and her knowledge of knots.

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TELEVISION! *cries tears of joy*

Ahem, sorry. It's been a long year.

I...get what they chose to do and why, but I also kind of hate it. I hate Ainsley, but it sort of feels like she had her agency removed by her brother and father in service of messing with the mind of someone who was already plenty messed up to begin with. That's not usually something that gets to me, but she's shown in the first season that while she's obnoxious and annoying, she's not particularly a fragile little toy. I'm going to do my best to reserve judgement, since this show tends to be pretty good at long games, but right now, I'm giving it just a little side-eye.

That police brutality subplot...oy. Felt pointlessly tacked on for relevance. Yes, we get it, it's current, the lampshade on the COVID references was plenty large. But, in the words of Enid Frick of Sex and the City, it was like they took the script and jammed the word "race" in instead of...anything else. If you can't make it thoughtful, leave it out.

On 1/13/2021 at 2:17 AM, Trini said:

Yeah, I'm not liking Malcolm's haircut this season. It's too long. But it's probably like that exactly for 'murder-y vibes'.

That, and it's probably another tacit quarantine lampshade. Everyone I know, myself included, is in a real hair state, even now. My department's weekly Teams meetings are a cavalcade of COVID hair. Malcolm is absolutely the kind of guy who would just let it shag over the long months. His mother probably gave him grief about it the entire time.

Malcolm is too messed up for Dani. But Dani is too much of a fixer busybody for Malcolm. I hope they just develop a friendship and run with that. If he wants to weird out with Edrisa though, I would allow that. Maybe she'll come up with more interesting ways to tie him down for his night terrors. I joke, but if that comes back, I'm going to laugh forever.

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On re-watch, the Executioner didn't actually confess to the murders while the phone was on; he didn't deny it, but he didn't confess. They can probably get him on attempted murder (of Malcolm), at least.

I know it's more "fun" for TV writers to have the police consultant be somewhat "crazy", but I would like to see Malcolm in therapy for his many, many issues occasionally. Plus, someone is prescribing him those pills, right?

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Welcome back, show. I love that this show always fully leans into just how batshit it really is, from premise to er, execution and manages to find the humor in it. My favorite may be that we closed out last season with Martin very buoyantly chatting on a contraband phone with his son while a prison riot raged all around him and now we find out that he apparently had plenty of time to lay out detailed instructions on how to dismember and dispose of a corpse and talk Malcolm through it with no one being the wiser. Although I imagine that in Malcolm's line of work and where his interests seem to lie, he probably already had a fairly good idea how to do it and needed the talking him through it part more than anything else. Of course Malcolm is a champion with a scimitar in the same way he's a silver medalist in axe throwing.

Martin's homemade ECT therapy that may or may not have been intended to kill his annoying roommate was a hoot. My impression on that was that Martin didn't really much care whether it killed him or not as long as it removed the annoyance. Malcolm's doubletake when Martin told him "I took care of him" was great. Yeah, it's that kind of show as the opening scene out on the ledge attests. I was honestly expecting Martin to make an issue out of the psych hospital taking out his desk and books and papers to make room for the guy. I mean, I'm not locked up for killing a bunch of people and I would have been beside myself if I returned to the space I called "home" to find all my stuff gone and some stranger in its place like that. Still barely care about the murder of the week, but if they're going to do it can they please base all the murders on classic lit? Count of Monte Cristo and now Edgar Allen Poe in a sex dungeon are now my favorites.

Not sure how much I buy Ainsley basically blanking out on her kill in a fugue state either, but as she's not the star of the show I guess that's what we're going to go with so we can watch Malcolm perseverate and hand wring over being his father's son some more. I don't ship anyone with anyone on this show because let's face it that none of the Whitlys are emotionally heathy people who are so mired in serial killer disfunction that they seem to attract nothing else, but Dani warning Gil off Jessica felt a little bit like projection. It's obvious in a non Edrissa way that she does like and care about Malcolm, even if she's not admitting it, but has some very understandable misgivings about getting anymore mixed up with him than she already is.

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Welcome back, show! I've actually kind of missed you! 

I, too, am not a huge fan of how they're handling the Ainsley brutally murdering Nicholas plot, but I expected this outcome to happen. Not just to draw out the overall storyline, but because it definitely would change the dynamic of the show if Ainsley knew she was a murderer right off the bat. But still, I'm not a fan of Ainsley's agency being taken away by Malcolm AND Martin here. I can buy a fugue state from Ainsley; I think the actress DID handle the killing scene well enough last season (as much as I also critiqued the actress, she is clearly capable of more than she's being given) so I don't love that they're keeping her in the dark. Plus, the longer Ainsley isn't told, the more dangerous she could become. And Ainsley is going to get upset at Malcolm for keeping this from her when he could have helped her through it. And it makes it seem like Malcolm doesn't trust Ainsley to be able to handle herself if she knew the truth.

I don't know; the entire thing makes me feel a bit icky. And I was going to be thoroughly entertained at a fully aware Ainsley figuring out how to deal with her murdering Nicholas and her and Malcolm having a storyline together with keeping this a secret. Now, Ainsley is back to more of a supporting character for a while and Malcolm has to hold this entire secret with only him and Martin being aware. 

The JT subplot had a great premise, but I don't think the show handled it as well as they could have. I kind of wish they changed a couple of things to make it better. To me, it felt too scripted, too heavy hammered, and it didn't quite work for me in the scene where the cops were pointing guns at him. 

So, Gill and Jessica's romance ends before it really starts again. And Dani's role in that? Also not a fan. 

I don't ship anyone on this show, either. The Whitlys are not capable of being in a relationship, anyway. They ALL have too many issues to deal with first. But this is especially true for Malcolm, who needs years of therapy before he starts dating someone. 

The case was alright, but I'm more into this show for the character development, rather than the cases.

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I thought they could have said it was self-defense.  It really was, even though Ainsley went a little overboard with it.  That said, in the heat of the moment, fearing for your life and your family's lives, it could easily be explained away.  Then I thought maybe have Malcolm take the wrap (which I didn't love, but they did initially start with him telling her he did it).  I'm not sure I love disposing of the body and making it disappear angle.  I do like the show, and they do play the long game, so I'm happy to wait and see. That said, I'm not sure Ainsley has totally forgotten, at least not anymore.  Although I'll admit I have absolutely nothing to base that on.

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16 hours ago, Trini said:

I know it's more "fun" for TV writers to have the police consultant be somewhat "crazy", but I would like to see Malcolm in therapy for his many, many issues occasionally. Plus, someone is prescribing him those pills, right?

We saw him in session with his therapist a couple of times over the season.

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On 1/15/2021 at 7:54 PM, CoyoteBlue said:

We saw him in session with his therapist a couple of times over the season.

I know. I want to see more of that on a regular basis. But of course, that's less exciting than Malcolm on ledges or in sex dungeons. Then again it's Malcolm, so I feel they could find a way to make therapy sessions interesting.

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On 1/15/2021 at 3:40 AM, Trini said:

 

I know it's more "fun" for TV writers to have the police consultant be somewhat "crazy", but I would like to see Malcolm in therapy for his many, many issues occasionally. Plus, someone is prescribing him those pills, right?

Season 1 he was seeing his childhood therapist so he is at least getting therapy from someone.   Plus I think she is the one he gets the lollipops from.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I enjoyed the opening on the ledge scene, except I can't believe anyone could hold another persons dead weight with one hand while talking on the phone with the other 😉

I don't ship Malcolm with anyone but I do like the friendship he has with Edrissa even though I know she wants more I just hope they keep them as friends.

I don't think Ainsley remembers what she did but I think eventually she will and then I believe she'll go off the deep end. Did Malcolm cut that guy up in his moms living room? That's body is going to come back to haunt all of them, and bring some very bad/dangerous men with it.

 

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34 minutes ago, foxfreakinmulder said:

Did Malcolm cut that guy up in his moms living room?

I think that is the main reason he consulted his father to get instructions/directions about what rooms in the house's basement were best for dismemberment and how to discretely transfer the body through the tunnels to a new location.

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Not just the body. Probably the carpet and some of the upholstered furniture would have to disappear.  Wouldn't his mom wonder? Maybe not.  There was a cartoon of Dennis the Menace carrying a large shovel and explaining to his parents, "Spilled something in my room."

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11 hours ago, foxfreakinmulder said:

I enjoyed the opening on the ledge scene, except I can't believe anyone could hold another persons dead weight with one hand while talking on the phone with the other 😉

Especially Malcolm, who looks all of about 150 pounds if he’s soaking wet.

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Gotld I really hope they don't go Dani/Malcolm. Nothing says OTP like one person constantly accusing the other of being a crazy serial killer 🙄

Dani is on my shit list for her interference in Gil/Jessica's relationship. 

I liked the ledge scene, it was really good and I got a kick out of the team working together to help Bright in his crazy scheme.

I loved the headless reveal the way Edrisa and, Malcolm both geek out over stuff like that amuses me. I don't really need Malcolm in a relationship, I'd be totally cool if that never came up but, if they're going to put him with someone I think Edrisa is the better choice.

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Awesome episode until the last five minutes.  I understand what they were going for, but it was hamfisted and very forced.

Idrisa is still one of the coolest nerds on TV.

Don't give a shit about Jessica/Gil/Dani.  Trying to make me feel sorry for Jessica is a fool's errand. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 9:59 PM, Chaos Theory said:

I love that Martin is saddled with a roommate he hates when he returns to Claremont but then he finds a way to get rid of him but in this case it’s electro therapy.  Which is kinda clever.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 9:23 AM, vibeology said:

I'm almost certain it was an accident. Martin seemed quite surprised when his roommate started talking after the shock, like he was expecting him to be dead. He just took credit for it after the fact because of how it worked out.

I agree that he was actually trying to electrocute him. I'm not sure how he would have avoided being held responsible for his death, though.

Speaking of electrocution, I don't think that executions take place in what must have been a relatively short time, even in Texas, unless the innocent brother just completely declined to fight his conviction and death sentence.

JT's encounter with the racist police seems off, too. The powers-that-be are going to think he attacked a group of white cops for what reason?  And if they are so dumb that they do, then how are they going to be swayed by the input of his Latino boss? In the aftermath of the attack on him, JT seemed really worried about his career, instead of furious as hell. Doesn't he have a union rep or police affinity group that would help him?

This show is crazy stylish and also crazy silly.  Malcolm's mother knows that he rarely sleeps, so she decides to wake him out of a sound slumber?  I find Edrisa's dialogue to be mortifying. And Martin Sheen probably purrs "My boy!" in his sleep.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse

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On 1/13/2021 at 10:55 AM, MyArchangel said:

Malcolm in the sex dungeon with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” blaring in the background was priceless! 

This show really does know how to use its musical cues.  "Malcom dancing in a sex dungeon with a whip to "I Feel Love'"  is a scene right on brand for this show. 

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Speaking of the sound track, does anyone know who does the version of 'Don't Fear the Reaper' that was playing toward the end?

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On 1/12/2021 at 10:35 PM, Chaser said:

So Ainsley is rather well adjusted and Malcom is freaking out? I was hoping they would lean into Ainsley is kind of psycho here. 

I'm hoping they'll still show that she is the psycho (and not Malcolm) because she's the one who isn't freaking out. I was a little disappointed that they jumped right to "Malcolm liked that he got away with it." Really? *sigh

On 1/13/2021 at 12:55 PM, MyArchangel said:

The whole JT almost being shot by fellow officers because he is black was totally off.

Honestly? I was so confused by that moment in the episode. Up to that point, I had seen his side story in the episode as "JT is awkward and doesn't know how to talk to the press because he's never been in charge and in front of the camera before - it was always Gil's job." So all of a sudden right at the end of the episode he's getting attacked, and I'm like, "What the hell is happening here? Why are they [the writers] choosing to do this in this episode, right in this moment? It makes NO sense. Did I miss something?" It felt like a random attack that had nothing to do with anything he'd been doing all episode. And then the end with Gil showing up made it sound like they'd attacked him because they didn't like that he was in charge while Gil was on leave? Or maybe I misunderstood and need to rewatch the episode because I felt like I missed something. It seemed like they didn't show properly that there was any threat coming or that anyone had an issue with him. It made no sense. It just felt really random in the midst of an episode that wasn't about police brutality or racism. And that's fine, it doesn't have to be all "afterschool special" hit-you-over-the-head with its messaging, especially because these kinds of attacks where the huge jump in escalation seems to come out of nowhere are true to reality, but... in this particular episode, with little time left, I was like, "WTF is going on?"

On 1/15/2021 at 11:14 AM, Lady Calypso said:

I don't know; the entire thing makes me feel a bit icky. And I was going to be thoroughly entertained at a fully aware Ainsley figuring out how to deal with her murdering Nicholas and her and Malcolm having a storyline together with keeping this a secret

That's what I thought they were going to do, and I thought it could be really interesting. Especially if she was in denial about how viciously she'd attacked the guy, how out of control and rage-filled she'd been, and maybe Malcolm would try to get her to at the very least seek therapy or something while they held this secret and it became harder for both of them to handle it.

I hope they don't drop her as a potential "heir" to her dad's psychosis. Having Malcolm take up that mantle seems too easy. Yes, the actor can definitely play it (he was certainly a little manic-scary with the chains and the saw in the dungeon), but I think it's too predictable to have him be the one who becomes his father. After all, he seems genuinely freaked out about it, with his shaking hands and constant worry, while his sister seems like it's all no big deal (which seems much more in line with someone who has a tendency toward serial murder).

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