This week’s Law & Order: Los Angeles episode was full of criminal activity.
The real problems in "Reseda" arose in the prosecution when the D.A.’s office can’t stick the charges they want against repeat offender Stanley Vaughn and can’t stop the D.A. of San Bernardino from bringing up their star witness on larceny charges.
T.J. and Morales are still working out the kinks within their partnership. There is a great effort to show the bonding between the two men. The detectives seem to have balanced out their dialogue and provide a decent back and forth working their leads.
Morales and TJ even go on two home raids, where TJ’s previous hesitation towards danger appears to have disappeared.
Although this gets him in trouble in the second raid, I would like to focus a little on the first. The colorfully dressed landlady is a forced tool and exists only to inform viewers, and detectives, of Vaughn’s chemistry hobby.
This is an understandable ploy, but is not carried out well as her character simply strolls into the home behind the door breaching officers which breaks any semblance of reality and reminds the audience that they are watching a scripted show.
Fortunately the writers decided to blow off a street cop’s leg to reel watchers back in and the visual effects people did a fantastic job with the bloody severed limb.I remember being surprised that they actually showed such a level of gore, but it did get me interested in the episode.
Then there is the let down of the second raid. Sure, in a cheesy bomb booby trap scene reminiscent of Lethal Weapon 2, Morales and TJ work on solidifying their partnership when Morales refuses to leave TJ in the bomb rigged home.
Personally, I like the more subtle attempts like TJ sharing that he opened for The Offspring with his garage band. Again the fourth wall is broken with the cute little frog decals that lead TJ to safety.
The characters of the D.A.’s office also start to come into their own after the great actor shift. Deputy D.A. Rubirosa finally acts forcefully on her own, which actually helps gel her partnership with D.D.A. Dekker.
The challenge of the burden of proof in the courtroom case causes an interesting chain of events. The question of justice by any means necessary splits the D.A.’s office on morality.
The vilifying of District Attorney Jerry Hardin only works to make Dekker and Rubirosa more appealing and heroic. This dynamic is different than other Law & Orders in that disagreements may occur between the lawyers, but using one another as a heroic springboard is distinctly LA.
The disagreement between Hardin and Dekker echoes back to the actor shift that put Morales back in the police department; Dekker even references the fact.
It is possible that the writers are playing with the largest game changer in the series, or are they making moves now for another change in cast?
Can the show survive another recasting? Who would you kick off the show? Is there anyone you would bring on? Discuss Law & Order: LA below!