Memphis Beat Season Premiere Review: "At the River"

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Southern Gentleman/Memphis Detective Dwight Hendricks and the rest of Memphis PD returned for their second season with a strong premiere tonight, titled "At the River."

After a long year without Dwight and the southern charm of this police force, Memphis Beat delivered a strong, well-written, and particularly emotional episode of the primetime drama.

Memphis Beat Season 2 Premiere

The murder of Officer Eckler hit particularly close to home, given Dwight's personal loss of his father in the line of duty. The care Dwight took in looking after Jack Eckler, Don's young son, was no doubt a reflection of his own experience as a young child, suddenly without a father.

It was touching, enhanced by Dwight's mom coming to the station to bring Dwight his father's dress blues hat. It was clear his mother had taken care of it over the past 30 years since the loss of her husband. There wasn't a speck of dust on it.

When you haven't lost a parent, it can be hard to remember that it's something a person lives with every day, which is clearly true of Dwight and his mom. This sensitivity made Dwight a prime candidate for tempering IA's apparent predisposition to assume the worst of Don Eckler from the very beginning, which was key to exacting the truth of the matter.

It was also important because, as we learned last season, the death of Dwight's father in the line of duty may not have been completely accidental, a plot point which I hope will get revisited and clarified as the season continues.

The white supremacist arms dealing conspiracy was a thought-provoking addition to the episode. It surprised me to be reminded that even long after the KKK, the white supremacist culture still remains, especially in the south.

On another front, it seems Det. White is coming to a point in his life where "coasting" isn't going to cut it anymore. When Lt. Rice took a sharp tone with him about his attitude, despite her offer to help him with the vast amount of material covered on the promotion exam he'd previously failed, White began to question his effectiveness as a cop. You can't help but wonder what impact this may have on White's character development throughout the season.

Every episode, and the music contained in it, is a tribute to the musical and cultural history of Memphis, with characters as unique as the city they protect. While this episode took a more reverent tone, there will likely be more light-hearted humor and cases ahead.

Overall, it seems Memphis Beat will have engaging content and, of course, the southern musical stylings of Jason Lee to propel the show through its second summer season. What did you think of the season premiere?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


we had been looking forward to the return of the season. we like everything about it. however, some of the Southern accents are off, when Lt Rice talked her accent is unlike any african=american accent I have heard in Memphis, where I live, she is trying too hard. Not all Memphians have such a thick accent. But I like her character.


Love this show,missed bar singing at the end of show.


Almost did not reconize Dwight with the huge weight loss. He looks a little to thin for my taste and I swear his voice got higher pitch. Along with previous comments missed the club scene at end.


does anyone know the song playing at the very beginning of the show? Started of with "How Long"...


I started to ask if that was Agent Lasalle in the picture as Beau Garrett looks to be playing a very similar character. :) Glad she turned up on the show, I hope she gets better screen-time and story! :)


Part of watching this show is getting the song at the end. A big let down!


Good show but really missed the club scene at the end. Please bring it back.


Good show but really missed the club scene at the end. Please bring it back.


What was the keb mo song played during the funeral scene?

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Memphis Beat Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

See, there's that attitude again. You don't belong in my department. If that means getting you promoted to do that, that's what I'm gonna do.

Lt. Rice [To Det. White]

Splitting Dwight and I up is about as stupid as a three-legged mule in a horse race.

Det. White