Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LOW WINTER SUN: "Catacombs" S1E4 (review)

By Kate McKendry

Frank Agnew (Mark Strong) begins searching for his girlfriend, Katia finding himself in Windsor, Canada, trying to set up a meeting with her – which does not go in his favor.

Back in Detroit, while internal affairs officer Simon Boyd (David Costabile) waits for Frank to come into work, a police officer brings in Joe Geddes’ (Lennie James) daughter on a shop lifting charge.

Before returning to work, Frank stops by the bar that Maya (Sprague Grayden) runs. While she denies that she and Damon (James Ransone) had any involvement with Brendan McCann, he gives her a warning to stop whatever it is she and Damon are doing. Paranoid that the police may have a file on them, she later relays this information to Damon.

When Frank finally shows up to work, he walks into Joe fighting with his ex-wife. Joe ultimately ends up with custody of his daughter.

Boyd shares with Frank that he knows that the body in Brendan McCann’s trunk had last been seen with an eastern-European hooker at a specific lounge – where Frank happens to be a regular. They go to the lounge to question the bartender, but get nowhere with their questioning.

Driving around with Joe, Frank continues to hammer home that they need to be good police officers and let the Brendan McCann case run cold. Joe continues to disagree, wanting to pin the case on someone else. Joe stops the car, saying he needs a fifteen-minute break, and runs into an apartment building.

Left on his own, Frank takes Joe’s car and runs into former police officer and Maya’s ex, Sean (Trevor Foster), who is now drunk and homeless. He tells Sean about Brendan’s death, to which Sean says that while he never liked Brendan, that Brendan was one of them and insinuates he didn’t deserve to be murdered.

While all this is happening, Damon continues to work with his crew to get their house running smoothly while butting heads with Papa T’s crew over the fact that he does not want underage girls working there. Trying to keep an eye on Papa T’s crew and operate smoothly at the same time, he is given a surprise visit at the brothel by none other than Skelos (Alon Aboutboul).

Maya meets with an unnamed woman in a park, watching children play. She gives the woman money, asking how the kids are. The woman says perfect, asking Maya if she ever misses then. Maya leaves.

Dani Khalil (Athena Karkanis) continues to investigate the death of Billy, a young man that Damon murdered in cold blood in the first episode.

She meets with Billy’s mother, the same woman that Joe meets with later on in the same day. Surprised, Joe goes back to work to speak with Dani. Together, they make a connection from Billy to Brendan McCann, leaving Joe with a potential person to pin Brendan’s murder on.

The episode ends with Frank fruitlessly searching for Katia, turning up empty handed.

This episode was a nice change from the first three episodes of Low Winter Sun, introducing new characters, starting new storylines, and allowing the viewers to grasp deeper, emotional sides to the main characters of the series. 

Well-written, the episode was able to effectively stray away from the investigation of Brendan McCann’s murder, allowing the audience to learn more about the lives and emotions of the characters, but not without reminding them of Joe and Frank’s situation.

Lately, it seems that when many shows want to introduce more characters and deeper plot twists, the series walks away from the main storyline completely – which can leave viewers feeling a bit unfulfilled and confused. Low Winter Sun delivered the episode perfectly, however, leading the viewer away from the main plot point while not letting them forget the underlying storyline, either.

Having introduced a plethora of tense storylines, Low Winter Sun is headed in the direction of becoming heavy-hitting, dramatic series. While I thought the show had already begun to heat up during the first three episodes, I found myself significantly more enthralled and almost confused – with the addition of Joe’s daughter, Maya’s ex, and the potential that Maya has children, it’s hard to even make a guess as to what is going to come next for the series.

With the new twists that the writers continue to introduce in each episode, the series effectively keeps its viewers guessing – succeeding with cliffhanging situations to draw the viewer back week after week.

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