I commented last week that Common Law was fighting an uphill battle when it came to renewal. I thought maybe "Hot For Teacher"would place the show more strongly on that path Season 2, but I'm fairly sure that a majority of this episode did not accomplish that goal.
Now the series only has one more episode to prove it’s strong enough to hang with the rest of USA Network’s more well-established heavyweights.
The complicated plot that tied in Robert to the crime could have been executed with a bit more finesse. There was a lot of mob-like activity and complication that almost completely drowned out his participation, save the bribe.
That alone should not have been enough grounds to completely dissolve the pending nuptials between Dr. Ryan and Robert. Unless I don't understand how key the issue of trust is to the good doctor, I would think they would have perhaps found some way to work through the issues, especially if they loved one another enough to be considering marriage.
These gripes aside, there was then the utter awkwardness that this episode evoked with regard to Wes' and then Travis' rather salacious dreams about Dr. Ryan. The concept was entertaining for the first 15 minutes at best. Then it immediately got old and out of place in conjunction with the rest of the episode.
I do believe that Wes and Travis' intrusion into the case involving Dr. Ryan's fiance did venture into the realm of unprofessional, especially given the explicit orders not to pursue it. It would have been completely unbelievable had there been no consequences at all.
Having seen the trailer for next week's episode, however, it now appears that the diluted plot-line of this week's hour was almost exclusively concocted to set up the season finale. The writers needed some incident so appalling to Dr. Ryan and whose consequences were so distressing to Wes and Travis that drastic action had to be taken to rectify the situation. That action appears to be the revelation about just how they ended up in therapy to place them back in the good doctor's good graces.
I believe this is where the show got it right. The moments that included Dr. Ryan's announcement that Wes and Travis were no longer going to be her patients and the developing fallout from that decision was the strongest way the episode could have ended. That was compelling to me.
What I think the writers need to gain a better grasp of is the balance between the serial weekly stories and the underlying plot that make up the most compelling element of this show. It's what this show was developed and marketed on: Two partners in therapy who need to work out their issues in a group setting. That's where the money is at, so to speak.
Next week is the litmus test of all litmus tests for this show. I'm just hoping they have what it takes to push through and make renewal not just a dream, but a reality.
Do you think this show has what it takes, Commoners?
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.