It's not saying much, but Bad Judge Season 1 Episode 4 was a definite improvement over the last two episodes, and maybe even the best of the bunch so far. I even found myself laughing out loud a couple of times during the episode.
It was refreshing to see Rebecca so passionate about helping the defendant, Charlie, who really didn't deserve a maximum prison sentence for his petty theft charges. He was clearly suffering from a mental illness and needed psychiatric help, which in the end he receives.
Charlie's case served as a perfect excuse for Gary to return this week. Ryan Hansen makes everything he's in better by default.
Even though this episode was better, that doesn't mean it was without its faults.
The episode really tried to push the idea that Rebecca could be in serious danger yet instead we get two misdirections.
The first one turned out to be Judge Hernandez returning from vacation and creeping up on Rebecca in the parking lot dressed in all black and sounding all menacing. It was the middle of the day, even if he was a criminal, would the black clothing really be necessary?
The second one was the actual ex-convict that they were worried about showing up at the courthouse to confront Rebecca. Except he wasn't there to hurt her (if he was, doing it at the courthouse, again in the middle of the day, was probably not the smartest decision), but instead there to thank her.
You would think since Tayward is a cop, he would be better trained to assess a situation. Did she honestly look like she was in danger while looking at pictures on Byron's phone? Watching him tackle Judge Hernandez and taze Byron was more cartoon-ish than funny.
This leads me back to the perceived threat. Was there an explanation for the note Rebecca found on her car? If there was, I missed it.
I wonder if there's a record for the most pop culture references crammed into twenty-two minutes. If there is, I think Bad Judge may have broken it. Between references to the Bodyguard, the OJ Simpson trial, Law and Order, a Few Good Men, Duck Dynasty, and the Matrix I lost count. The Bodyguard one was pretty cheesy, but it did give us one of the better lines of the night:
Are you saying you want to be the black Kevin Costner to my white Whitney Houston?Rebecca
In the end, Rebecca decides against buying a gun with the reasoning that if she's ever wrong about someone the way Tayward was, she doesn't want to be wrong holding a gun. That makes sense until she pulls out the crossbow. In an episode full of pop-culture references, how did they go for Duck Dynasty over the Walking Dead in that scene? I see a crossbow and I think Daryl, or possibly Buffy if we're going old school.
We're now four episodes into the series and that tends to be when most people decide if they're in for the long haul or cancelling their season pass. Where do you guys stand?
Your regular reviewer, Paul Dailly, will be back next week for those of you who decide to stick with it. Until then, you can watch Bad Judge online and visit the Bad Judge quotes page for your favorite lines.
Stacy Glanzman is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.