On Backstrom Season 1 Episode 2 both the team and criminals very much underestimated the motivations of the other.
Rather than helping him, Backstrom's understanding of human nature led him to pursue the wrong criminal and make incorrect assumptions.
Backstrom initially assumed that the arson investigator only handed over the case because she wanted to spread the blame for not being able to solve it. He was right that she had an ulterior motive, but didn't realize until he had the wisdom of hindsight that his guess was very wrong.
Instead, he was obsessed with the idea that two fireman, who also happened to be bullies from his childhood, were using the fires as a way to steal from houses. He may be smart, but his investigation was clearly biased by anger and resentment.
The truth is always dark, that is how you know it is true.Backstrom
His obsession that the D'Agostino brothers were thieves and arsonists divided the team for over half of the hour.
Kudos to Gravely for still having Almond and Backstrom's back with the union lawyer, despite thinking they were dead wrong and focusing on the wrong crime. It was awesome and encouraging for Gravely as a character to use her smarts and backbone to play a little dirty with the lawyer.
I had a big problem with the scene where the EMTs refused to help a patient in danger because of their association with the firemen. The only thing that saved this exaggerated scene was the heart-to-heart between Almond and Backstrom it led to.
It needs to be mentioned that Almond showed up in the middle of the night to help Backstrom out, who was in a rare (I say rare because it seemed out of character) contemplative mood.
Over the course of the conversation, Almond led Backstrom to see that his theory was wrong and that he was not seeing Gravely's intelligence and youth as an asset. He pointed out that she could really learn a lot from the experiential way Backstrom does his job. Experience obviously isn't something young people have and he should stop holding it against her.
On the other side of the coin, I felt that Gravely as the center of the conversation felt rushed and out of place so soon in the show's run. The best part of the scene and, I think, the whole episode, was how the connection between these two characters was legitimate and felt generational.
It was good for the team that Backstrom was able to admit he was wrong and it felt like his approval put the case back on track. Although the team was doing a great job of investigating in their own right, something seemed amiss without their leader.
To back track a little bit, what the hell happened that made Backstrom need to go to the hospital anyway? Who called them?
My initial thought – and currently held theory – is emotional overload from the fireman revealing that he had no choice but to trust Backstrom solely because his life was in his hands. We know that Backstrom has an unhealthy heart and pretty much unhealthy everything. Maybe this social interaction involved a part of the human character that he didn't understand or rarely sees.
Overall, a much more put together and much deeper episode than the last. I am not sold on this show yet, but it is proving to be a more character centered show than other cops shows currently airing. What did everyone think of the final scene of Backstrom's face when he was finally reunited with Bella? What did everyone think of Valentine's asking if Backstrom could make him one? What did everyone think of "Bella"? I am not quite sure what to make of the whole ending scene, but am intrigued to know what it will say about Backstrom's character and if it will be addressed in the future.
A few bits that bothered me:
- Why was Backstrom going to smell Nadia's hair? Does it happen that often?
- This one is nitpicky, but no one seems to use email or phones in this office.
- Nadia turned on the TV and it was already on the right channel. This kind of seamlessness on television always takes me back to reality.
- I don't believe that the underground seller would have believed that Valentine didn't know Niedermayer was a private eye.
What did you think of the second episode? Hit the comments below with your thoughts!
Remember! You can watch Backstrom online via TV Fanatic!