Nate and his team were faced with clearing Nate’s name when he was accused of a real murder at a murder mystery party during an assignment on "The 10 Li'l Grifters Job."
This episode should have been a slam dunk, built around the classic formula of a "who-done-it." Sadly, instead, it reminded me that there is no such thing as a sure thing."
There were many things I liked here: the nod to classic and modern literature, with costume requirements (Parker was a cute Nancy Drew); the house having secret passages; giving us a reason the power blinks off regularly; and several suspects in the murder, just to name a few.However, none of those items could get me past the feeling that the episode was written backwards from the idea:
We never got the clients name: While it’s not uncommon for us to meet the client after the meeting with Nate starts, he normally gives the other person from the team meeting the client with him background on the client so that we, the audience, also get that information at the same time.
We had no knowledge of Nate’s history with Beck: Until Hammond confronted Nate in the last 10 minutes, we had no reason to suspect Nate. This caused me to be out of sync with the story. I also couldn't understand why each member of the team appeared to suspect Nate might have killed Beck at some point.
Using recognizable talent: We did get several suspects; however, when I recognized the actor playing Ray Hammond (Steven Flynn) and the actress playing Hayley Beck (Johanna Braddy) and none of the actors playing the other suspects, it wasn’t hard to figure out they would come into play.
Uninformative reveal: For the first time ever, the end of episode reveal didn’t actually reveal anything to me. They showed the same scenes we saw the first time and I was left scratching my head. Someone apparently missed some days in “How to Write a Who-Done-It 101.
I had hoped the episode was going to turn around right at the end when Nate called Detective Bonanno (who we last saw in "The Jailhouse Job"), as that was a great nod to last season. Sadly, my hopes were short lived when Nate sulking and drinking because he doesn’t think anyone on the team trusts him.
Boo Hoo! You want the team to trust you Nate? Open up to them! It’s just that easy!
After last week’s episode started us on the path to the team being more of a family, this one felt more like a step backwards. We had some problems last year and I hope we can recover from this stumble this season.
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.