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Trini

S02.E03: Alma Mater

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When the headmaster of Bright's alma mater is found murdered, he is forced to face a troubling secret from his past. Meanwhile, Jessica struggles with her decision to end things with Gil, Martin grows closer to Friar Pete (guest star Christian Borle) and JT eagerly anticipates the birth of his baby.

Airdate:  Jan. 26, 2021

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Edited by Trini

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Mostly a filler episodes but a pretty decent one.

The Birth of Malcolm Bright.  Its is nice to know when and why Malcolm decided to start using the last name "Bright".     Also liked that that the episode was deal more with the Milton wealth and the life Malcolm should have grown up in.   They mystery was kind of boring though.

I did like watching Martin get ahold of the colored key cards.   He is so not someone who is going to lay he fate in someone elses hands but he is also not stupid enough to publicaly murder someone.  So framing the other guy and taking his bible with the two key cards was a good plan.  Bow all he needs is the red one.  Now I wonder if he really is going to try and kill Mr. David.

 

 

 

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My husband, who had never seen this show before last week, said the same thing with this one he said about last week: All of these people are just exhausting. That entire family is pitched so high that they'd be exhausting to be around.

Still wondering what exactly Martin thinks he's going to be able to do if he does somehow manage to escape. I know we saw the dream sequence in the beginning of being welcomed back to the family home and Jessica's embrace as what he'd like, but he's never really struck me as delusional. He has to know that if did make it out he'd be hunted pretty relentlessly and that there's no way the family is going to happily let him live in the murder tunnels under the house. It was obvious his "plan" to murder Mr. David was a misdirect, not because I think it would bother him to do that but because we've been told all the way along how smart the Surgeon is and openly murdering his primary attendant like that where it was obvious who did it would be the opposite of smart. He was positively gleeful at his own cleverness in framing the Bible guy.

I know this is a show where we just have to roll with a lot of things, but Tom Payne is waaay too old to be playing his teenage self.

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25 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

So a bunch of rich kids can beat up Edrisa and nobody cares. I guess it is good to be rich.

I know! That was so irritating how they just brushed over that like it didnt matter.

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1 hour ago, AnimeMania said:

So a bunch of rich kids can beat up Edrisa and nobody cares. I guess it is good to be rich.

Yup. One would think that punching a female government employee in the stomach would cause the police officers she works with to, I don’t know, maybe arrest the girl for assault or at least look at her more seriously in regards to the murder? Nahhhh, let’s just come back from commercial and be all “Haha! She sure does throw a mean punch, amiright!? Oh what a character!” That was a really bizarre writing choice to include that scene with zero follow-up, when they could simply have chased her away with the same result. 

Can someone explain why Malcolm set the fire? What was he trying have her do that fire would accomplish? I didn’t get his motive there.

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More thoughts later, but - The show has a formula that works, but I think they're in real danger of getting into a rut. I mean, does Malcolm always have to confront The Killer without backup and almost die in every episode? They're making it into a running joke that Malcolm is always in danger, but I can see the show becoming a parody of itself.

Edited by Trini
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4 hours ago, Cotypubby said:

Can someone explain why Malcolm set the fire? What was he trying have her do that fire would accomplish? I didn’t get his motive there.

It triggered the alarms. Even with the fire extinguisher system to put out the actual fire, it set off the alarms so someone would have to come check it out. He's locked in with no cell service and no other way to let anyone know where he is.

This one felt weirdly sloppy in that they ran in accusing every other named character before getting to the actual killer. Good thing she outed herself and did what all TV or movie villains do and want to talk about it or they might have still been guessing.

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Honestly this might have been the weakest episode the show has done yet.  It was a pure filler.   I am not against fillers as sometimes they are necessary to move a character to the place they need to be emotionally or even physically so the show can forward the plot.  This one we learned two valuable things.   1). When Malcolm starting using the “Bright” moniker.  And 2) that the Milton name Jessica is so careful to preserve  really does hold weight.   Even after all these years and Martin’s legacy she has managed to keep at least a few of the Miltons legacy’s in tact.

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This was a strange episode, it almost feels like it was aired out of order. No mention of Ainsley or the racism plot with JT, the only ongoing plot that moved forward at all was Martin planning his escape. I thought the backstory for Malcolm's time at school was pretty good, even if their attempts at making Tom Payne look like a teenager are hilariously awkward. He is still very clearly a grown man, no matter how many polo shirts and school uniforms you put him in. We did get a good look at the darker side that Malcolm fears about himself so much, getting revenge on the bully who left him in a closet for a weekend, which actually makes all of Martin's "your my son your like me" stuff actually sound a lot more like something that would strike a nerve with Malcolm than anything he did covering up Ainsley's killing, its quite a bit darker and you can better see how Malcolm worries that he has this meticulously cruel and violent streak that can come out when he gets pushed, no matter how much he hates it. 

Not surprising that the "honey, I'm home!" bit where Martin shows up at Jessica's house that was in every commercial for this season was just a dream Martin was having. So what is his plan long term here? Is he delusional enough to think that his family is really going to welcome him back with open arms? That he can not only escape for stay on the run for any amount of time? 

"I'll use the best interrogator I know..." *Cuts to Jessica serving tea* I thought that the stuff with Jessica wanting to protect her family name was actually pretty understandable and even sympathetic, unlike a lot of those rich people "we must protect ourselves from scandal we built this school 200 years ago...." kinds of plots. The Whitley name has been dragged through the mud (its why Malcolm was locked up in a closet and expelled) so now the Milton name and its legacy is all she has. 

What the hell was that scene of the students beating on Edrisa? Why would they do that, and why was it never brought up again? I know these kids are super rich and privileged, but the main girl can just punch out an NYPD medical examiner and its just...cool? They don't even think that makes her more of a suspect? What was the point of that? 

I am glad that TJ is getting a break from the poorly thought out racism plot and is hopefully now getting a better subplot, having a new son! Who is adorable, so even if he was offscreen the whole episode, I am glad that he was having a better time this week at least. 

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10 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

What the hell was that scene of the students beating on Edrisa? Why would they do that, and why was it never brought up again? I know these kids are super rich and privileged, but the main girl can just punch out an NYPD medical examiner and its just...cool? They don't even think that makes her more of a suspect? What was the point of that? 

Agreed with this point being brought up. What a random moment to include and then never follow up with again. You don't punch a government official and get away with it. C'mon, show. They should have just left the scene as the three kids creepily surrounding Edrisa and that's it. 

The whole school backstory was a bit weird. First off, they really should have cast a teenager to play teen Malcolm because 38 year old Tom Payne playing a 17 year old Malcolm did NOT work in any way. It was completely distracting. The backstory was ok, for the most part, but I actually HATED that we, once again, had Malcolm, even as a teenager, encounter a situation where he could be seen like his father and then...whoops! Never mind, he's not his father because he's GOOD and he SAVED the kid he was trying to kill. Can we just have Malcolm NOT be so creepy and seem like a killer just to take it away last minute? Either he's like his father or he's not. Pick a LANE. 

No JT or Ainsley, which was distracting, especially for Ainsley not being in Martin's dream sequence. Speaking of Martin, I don't care about his attempted escape because it's not going to work. If he's trying to escape through just running away, he's not gonna last long in New York and living in the Whitly family home. They'd look in those secret tunnels first. And if he's trying to plan a strategic escape where the hospital actually lets him go, then that's even WORSE. I get they may want Michael Sheen to be able to be out of the hospital scenes and get to interact with the Whitly family more frequently, but I'd be annoyed if they get Martin out by the season's end. 

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24 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

"I'll use the best interrogator I know..." *Cuts to Jessica serving tea* I thought that the stuff with Jessica wanting to protect her family name was actually pretty understandable and even sympathetic, unlike a lot of those rich people "we must protect ourselves from scandal we built this school 200 years ago...." kinds of plots. The Whitley name has been dragged through the mud (its why Malcolm was locked up in a closet and expelled) so now the Milton name and its legacy is all she has. 

I concur, which is why it makes even less sense than it did before that Jessica didn't change her name or the names of her minor children to Milton after Martin went to prison. It's hard to imagine any judge giving her a hard time on that point and it probably would have saved the kids at least some grief, if not all as this episode made clear.

I liked the backstory of showing how Martin's mere existence continued to traumatize Malcolm even after he was locked away because it seems plausible enough that some shit kid would have made an issue of it, especially given the story Malcolm told last season when we met his one school friend about how they were picked on for having dads in prison, but count me in on just being over the show continuing the fakeouts of maybe Malcolm is a killer like Daddy, oops, no he isn't. It worked the first couple of times we saw it when we were still getting to know the character, but this isn't the first season anymore. We've seen Malcolm fail to follow through when pushed and heard him aptly described as "all smoke, no fire." To reverse that now would be a major retcon. Please, show, try to remember that you've established that there is a Whitly child capable of murder and circle back around to that at some point.

Of course Edrissa can scuba with cadavers because of course she can.

Hoping the show figures out a plausible exit to this Martin is trying to escape plot because having him loose and everyone just going with that would be the thing that finally pushes this into the bridge too far territory for me.

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Speaking of Jessica, "alma mater" literally means nourishing mother.

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I also didn’t understand why the students weren’t charged with beating up Edrissa and they seemed to think she was a student which was really odd-clearly there were a team of cops there and they should have known she was with them. Other than that I actually liked this one, most of the episodes are so off the wall it’s good to occasionally have one that is more normal.

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6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

This was a strange episode, it almost feels like it was aired out of order. No mention of Ainsley or the racism plot with JT, the only ongoing plot that moved forward at all was Martin planning his escape. I thought the backstory for Malcolm's time at school was pretty good, even if their attempts at making Tom Payne look like a teenager are hilariously awkward. He is still very clearly a grown man, no matter how many polo shirts and school uniforms you put him in. We did get a good look at the darker side that Malcolm fears about himself so much, getting revenge on the bully who left him in a closet for a weekend, which actually makes all of Martin's "your my son your like me" stuff actually sound a lot more like something that would strike a nerve with Malcolm than anything he did covering up Ainsley's killing, its quite a bit darker and you can better see how Malcolm worries that he has this meticulously cruel and violent streak that can come out when he gets pushed, no matter how much he hates it. 

Not surprising that the "honey, I'm home!" bit where Martin shows up at Jessica's house that was in every commercial for this season was just a dream Martin was having. So what is his plan long term here? Is he delusional enough to think that his family is really going to welcome him back with open arms? That he can not only escape for stay on the run for any amount of time? 

"I'll use the best interrogator I know..." *Cuts to Jessica serving tea* I thought that the stuff with Jessica wanting to protect her family name was actually pretty understandable and even sympathetic, unlike a lot of those rich people "we must protect ourselves from scandal we built this school 200 years ago...." kinds of plots. The Whitley name has been dragged through the mud (its why Malcolm was locked up in a closet and expelled) so now the Milton name and its legacy is all she has. 

What the hell was that scene of the students beating on Edrisa? Why would they do that, and why was it never brought up again? I know these kids are super rich and privileged, but the main girl can just punch out an NYPD medical examiner and its just...cool? They don't even think that makes her more of a suspect? What was the point of that? 

I am glad that TJ is getting a break from the poorly thought out racism plot and is hopefully now getting a better subplot, having a new son! Who is adorable, so even if he was offscreen the whole episode, I am glad that he was having a better time this week at least. 

I actually liked this episode for the fact that it really gave us some backstory on Malcolm and his issues and precisely why he changed his name to Bright. 
 

I actually thought that when Martin & Jessica were in the “family” living room and she gave him the drink, she had poisoned him and that would make him wake up from the dream. As for the whole plot of Martin escaping the asylum, I do believe he will escape and we will have a sort of “Silence of the Lambs” type of drama where Malcolm & Martin will be in contact on cases but as Lecter told Clarisse “don’t look for me. I prefer the world with you in it” or something to that effect. I would think however that the guards would notice those key cards gone, therefore disabling their usage but I guess we are supposed to have “suspension of disbelief” on that issue. 
 

As for the whole Jessica protecting her family name thing, I was thinking it was more of a way for Jessica to be around Gil but not make it look like she wanted to be around Gil type of thing. I think while she values her name, in the end, it much like the Whitley name doesn’t mean much. 
 

The whole Edrisa thing of the 3 students confining Edrisa in the lab and then the female student gut punching her made absolutely no sense at all other than Edrisa uncovering the cheating plot. The fact basically nothing came of it was puzzling at best. 
 

As for the whole entire JT racism plot, I’m not digging it. First off, he is a plain clothes detective with a violent crime unit. He had a police radio on him when the uniformed units arrived. He had, if memory serves me right, told the dispatcher he was around on the backside of the building by the fire escape. Once he identified himself, seeing the radio, what transpired would have never happened. That is what I don’t like about them putting this story arc into the season. I think they could have had other ways of incorporating it into the season and that in turn could have been a more powerful and thus a better story arc for all the characters involved, but that’s just my take. That baby!!! Those cheeks!!! I hope that whatever course they decide to take with this arc, that they flesh it out a little better.   I also hope we get to see JT with his son and his wife and get a little more insight into his character. 
 

I also keep waiting for Ainsley to actually remember killing Endicott or telling Malcolm that she never blocked it out of her mind. I think having her seem like the most normal family member but her being even as diabolical if not more so than “dear ole dad” would be fascinating turn for her character but we will see. She is not a fragile doll. Remember,  she had an episode in season 1 where she had to do surgery or assist with surgery on her camera man who got injured during an interview with her father. Martin guided her during the surgery.  I don’t want them to go down the “damsel in distress” route with her or that Malcolm has to “save her” from remembering. Let her own it. 

Edited by MyArchangel

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Yeah, they should have just let a younger actor play Teen Malcolm and get a chance for a big break. But it was nice to get some more details of Malcom's past.

I know "Is Malcolm a killer?" is a theme, but it's getting a little annoying every time he almost kills someone. Because I'm pretty sure the writers have decided he's not a killer, but they want to play both sides.

Sooo... did the kid who trapped him in the closet get expelled also?

Edited by Trini · Reason: clarity

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Dexter had a young actor to play the young version of himself in flashbacks.   Plus I think there was a young Malcolm.  The show needs to find a teenage Malcolm. 

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I enjoyed this episode and the flashbacks to teen Malcolm.  However, I was a bit confused why the school would expel Malcolm when we were told by Jessica that her family basically built the school and that Jessica was a trustee.  Also, a private school is really careful about disciplining students because they continually want tuition and money/donations.

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I think this show is trying to have it both ways in too many areas right now. Malcolm isn’t a killer, just almost. Jessica has been so disgraced even her money is untouchable but her name is still powerful. The Miltons built this school but one can still be expelled. Ainsley is a killer but doesn’t know it so it doesn’t count. Martin ruined Malcolm’s life but underneath he’s really just a loving dad. The show needs to pick a lane somewhere.

So Gil is going to go with pouting. Figures. If he wants Jessica, he needs to go for it. It’s not like he hasn’t heard that bullshit about her being unworthy before. 

The reaction to Edrisa was so weird that I questioned whether I actually saw her get punched. Not only were there no legal consequences, none of her coworkers seemed to care either. Even Edrisa didn’t seem to care.

This episode was so boring I had trouble following it. Why did the library guy get poisoned? I knew a kid did it as soon as Jessica walked in saying it couldn’t have been a kid. They really need to give Malcolm a partner. At least have somebody on Malcolm watch so that when he ends up alone with the killer, someone is looking for him. 

I liked the cut to Jessica when Malcolm said he knew the best interrogator. I would think she’d be a much better option to deal with the kids anyway than the NYPD. All they would do is prompt them to bring in lawyers and rich parents to cut it off before the interview ever even happened. 

I liked the opening scene a lot. The whole escape plot still doesn’t make any sense but that scene was entertaining. It’s interesting that the fantasy was all about Jessica instead of Malcolm or Ainsley since he’s supposed to be doing it for Malcolm. I laughed when Jessica in the cleavage baring little black dress told him to drink fast because she wanted to have sex with him. It was just such an obvious male fantasy moment. The whole thing made me want to see more Martin and Jessica scenes. 

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Any one can be a killer if you punch the right buttons, Malcolm tries so hard not to be one, in this episode i thought he might have killed the boy it was tempting.

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On 1/26/2021 at 11:40 PM, AnimeMania said:

So a bunch of rich kids can beat up Edrisa and nobody cares. I guess it is good to be rich.

One person hit her and the police were going to arrest that person, who turned out to be the killer.

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5 minutes ago, Happytobehere said:

One person hit her and the police were going to arrest that person, who turned out to be the killer.

I am surprised they had to come back to do that. I guess arresting her right then was inconvenient since she still had two more murders to commit. Trifecta!

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