Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot

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Where can a girl get ahold of a few exploding tampons? I'm asking for a friend. 

If you don't take anything away from Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1, you should take away the fact that the series is unapologetic, cheesy, lovable, fun.

It makes the series what you'd call an acquired taste; however, if you're open to a show that doesn't take itself too seriously, then by the end of the hour, it's hard not to acquire it. It took the internet by storm after the Oscars for this exact reason.

On the Run - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

Everyone can't stop talking about Whiskey Cavalier, and they shouldn't because it's offering us something that we desperately needed on the television landscape. It's the type of escapist television that networks have been lacking, and ABC has hit it out of the park with this gem.

It's funny, cheesy, and absurd in all the best ways, which makes it one of the most refreshing new series of the year.

From the series' name (after Will Chase's code name) to Will and Frankie's bickering, to the dialogue and quips, and general absurdity of, like, everything, Whiskey knows what it is, and it isn't trying to be anything other than what it is.

Hello, Dr.Conrad. Very punctual. I like that in a traitor.


I respect that, and I also happen to find it pure entertainment. It's like Castle meets Covert Affairs with a healthy dose of Leverage. Honestly, it's like those super fun '80s spy, action-thrillers right down to the Eastern European bad guys.

It's that throwback/retro vibe with flashy newness that grabs your attention and keeps you captivated by the series from the top of the hour to the end of it, to which you'll be eagerly awaiting more.

If you're looking for something sleek, polished, dark and gritty, or super dramatic, then the series may not be for you.

If you're open to pure escapism via a buddy-cop odd couple, thrilling action sequences, fantastic scenery, and a ragtag team of colorful personalities working together, then Oscar Mike Gamma, buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.

Call Him Whiskey - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

Scott Foley is as charming as ever and amusing, too. We've had years to enjoy him as a spy on Scandal, but Whiskey Cavalier affords him the ability to draw on that with lighter fare and flex his comedic chops.

Here's the thing, Scott Foley is naturally funny, and this is one of those forums where he has the chance to show that off again. The series' opening sequence with Will ugly crying and surrounded by romcoms and junk food is all the proof you need that we were deprived of Funny Foley for far too long.

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Will Chase is a boy scout, something he's referred to as often. He's the embodiment of Captain America, which makes him instantly likable (and super hot). He's a do-gooder who is damn great at his job and a total badass when he needs to be, but he's also an utter sap.

Alex: This is the FBI, there are no private moments. Look, we all know this is a pretty rough breakup.
Will: Well it wasn't that bad.
Alex: Son, we have the footage.

The juxtaposition of that makes him equal parts frustrating and endearing. He's so easily distracted by life's small joys and nearly blew an entire mission because he was still hung up on his ex-fiancee, Gigi.

When's the last time you saw a grown man who also happens to be the FBI's finest sitting in the dark binging rom-coms and junk food, listening to Total Eclipse of the heart, and crying over a breakup?

He's ridiculous, but he's also ridiculously funny and relatable, and what makes him endearing is that he's so open and free with his emotions while still retaining the strong male action lead. You needn't look further than his ability to snap out of a cry fest long enough to barely convince people that he wasn't still at home wallowing in his feelings.

Breakup Blues

Will Chase is a mood.

The premiere often made him the expense of all the jokes. However, when that balances out better in the future, and I suspect it will, it'll be one of the strongest aspects of the series.

Will is the antithesis of "toxic masculinity." Sure, you roll your eyes at him considering catching the bouquet at a random wedding or getting shot because he was distracted by a proposal, but all of his quirks make him compelling. He's everything you want in a guy; he's badass and sensitive.

Will: They just look so happy; don't they?
Frankie: You wanna stick around maybe catch the bouquet?
Will: No, we don't have time.

It makes his and Frankie's contrast compelling as well. Foley and Cohan already have great chemistry that can only get better from here. Honestly, God bless this show and whoever cast it; they have that "it" factor.

Yes, they have that possible sexual tension that Edgar pointed out, but there is something more there where you don't want to reduce their chemistry to just that. The show is smart and has already figured out how to appease both 'shippers and non-'shippers alike.

At the moment, it leans more towards sibling banter and bickering, and that works just fine for now. Will is still hung up on his cheater ex-fiancee, and Frankie is not in the right space to open herself up to anything real and romantic yet.

Undercover - Tall - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

IF they progress to that point, there is a lot that they have to work towards to get there. In the meantime, the pretending to be married trope will suffice for any 'shippers.

The notion of them, particularly Frankie, learning how to play well with others and open herself up to a team who may, by the season's end, become a pseudo-family is far more intriguing.

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Frankie is less inclined to bear her soul or other emotions outside of annoyance, but there is a lot beneath the surface.

Susan's rundown of Frankie's past, and brief psychoanalysis of her, especially the effects of losing her parents in a terrorist attack on her, put her into perspective and kept her from coming across as one-dimensional for the majority of the hour.

Frankie Doesn't Do Feelings

She also came across multilayered during her conversation with her only real friend, Jai. You can tell he's on her case a great deal about trusting more people and letting them in. He's the only one who maybe surpassed her walls.

I mean, the woman, from the sounds and looks of it, isn't even open to romantic intimacy. Her lover was a mercenary who sold her out for bitcoin, and she dismissed it as "wolves being wolves." Although, you could tell it still bothered her.

The way Cohan captured that is what makes Frankie so interesting. She's strong and one who compartmentalizes, but she's not cold and unfeeling. She's emotionally distant, but she's also considerate. She's tough, but also vulnerable.

Susan: What did we decide about your feelings?
Will: I have my feelings. My feelings don't have me.

Her friendship with Jai will make their interactions some of the more interesting of the bunch because he's the only one at the moment who has a crash course in Frankie. It'll also be interesting to see how their relationship is affected as Frankie grows closer to Will.

She may have spent most of the hour at odds with him, and their efforts to one-up each other are hilarious and childish, but they made a real turnaround when he treated her after her gunshot wound.

He asked her to trust him, with sincerest green eyes on the face of the planet and serving "Leading Man Look." Wouldn't you have believed his sincerity?

They have already developed a begrudging trust and respect for one another, and their inevitable partnership will serve them and their respective agencies well.

Frankie Trowbridge - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

The mission and many of the developments were standard, but still in a fun way. First, Will needs better work friends (thank God for Susan) because Ray is the absolute worst.

He's that guy at every work function; you know him. He's the one you wave at and small talk, and when he walks away, you say "God, I hate that guy." He's an adult frat-boy, so his first impression would be screwing up the mission by not foreseeing sports-related traffic in Paris.

To make matters worse, he left Will hanging in the wind, compelled to take his spot in the drop-off, and shot, for a hookup with who we'd later discover was freaking Gigi. With friends like that, who needs enemies, am I right?

It was all worth it since it led to some of the best action scenes of the hour. Scott Foley is the best. Did I mention that already?

Run Will, Run! - Tall - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

I loved that the first mission served more purpose than introducing Will Chase as a capable agent. The "Caute" ring was a big clue later on in the hour.

It wasn't a surprise that the FBI and CIA were working their angles to capture Edgar, nor that they butted heads on what to do with him.

On the one hand, Edgar was a US citizen who was supposedly aligned with the Russians and had a tarball load of classified information that he obtained while breaking into the mainframes while working in the NSA.

On the other hand, the information he obtained could jeopardize the lives of CIA operatives all over the world, so they would ant to black bag the guy and take him in for some enhanced interrogation.

Protecting Edgar - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

Will spent much of the hour at a disadvantage and steps behind Frankie, and that was in part due to his poor state of mind. The breakup with Gigi did a number on him, and if that wasn't bad enough, all of the other agencies were privy to his breakup, watched the footage of when it happened, and weren't above using it to their advantage.

Oh, the humiliation! There are no secrets among the FBI, CIA, and NSA, even with their agents. The commentary was too funny for words, and if Will wasn't lovable enough already, he took all the teasing in stride.

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Edgar's involvement in "helping" foreign operatives by giving them information seemed sketchy, so he never came across like a legitimate bad guy.

Initially, it seemed as though Ray would be the shady one out of the bunch. It was suspect when he couldn't make it to the deal, and Ray's "frat boy" persona felt so deliberate that it had to be a ruse.

Will: Do you ever stop talking?
Edgar: Oh, I'm sorry, am I irritating you? Is that what's happening? I will not go quietly because silence is complicity.
Frankie: Great then tell us why you hacked the state's department.
Edgar: I'mma pass.

But as mentioned before, Ray's shady behavior came in the form of sleeping with his best friend's fiancee for seven months. He was an ass, but not a traitor. Inquiring minds want to know how they are supposed to work with this guy?!

Nevertheless, it's going to be interesting to see Will forced to work alongside the guy who stole his fiancee and was so terrible at his job that his traitorous boss only kept him around due to his stupidity.

Will's boss, Alex, as the real traitor and his family motto of "Caute" given him away wasn't nearly as shocking as it should have been once it became evident what Edgar had exposed, but it was no less enjoyable to watch the revelation unfold.

Edgar's Perfect Reaction

I mean, Frankie woke to chaos after passing out from Will's off the cuff surgery, and she used a tampon bomb to help Will take him out. You don't see that every day!

Edgar being a whistleblower wasn't a shock either. Nothing about mini-Snowden gave off the impression that he was betraying his country for kicks and giggles.

It is so good to have Tyler James Williams back in front of the screen again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I have nothing but love for Williams as Edgar. It was a fantastic premiere for various reasons, but Edgar may have stolen the hour.

Will I bet you have a lot of friends.
Frankie: Yeah, I was prom queen.
Will: Lotta sexual tension in the car.

Out of all the side characters, Edgar was the most prominent. I'm calling it early, but Tyler James Williams is the ultimate scene-stealer. The chemistry he has with both Foley and former TWD costar Cohan was one of the best parts of the hour.

They all play off of each other nicely, and Edgar almost feels like the audience surrogate with his occasional narration and funny quips, observations, and comments. He's already a meme goldmine.

Edgar is a likable guy. He's driven to be a hero in the same way Will and Frankie are. It goes to show that the line between hero and villain can be so thin.

He started the hour as a presumed terrorist and ended it representing the NSA in the special task force led by Fiery Whiskey to expose the corruption of many in all of their respective agencies.

Funny Trio - Tall - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

Again, if there was any doubt as to whether this series knows how absurd it is and owns it, the exchange between Jai and Edgar solidified it. Maybe he should have been in prison or seeking sanctuary somewhere else, but now he's an elite crimefighter.

The craziest thing about it is that it's not that crazy or farfetched at all. I'm also already looking forward to the potential bromance that may develop between Edgar and Jai. They already played off of one another nicely in their one scene together.

So much has to make its way into a pilot, and the drawback is always that so much is often left out or reduced. It was unfortunate that Jai and Susan didn't have nearly as much presence as the other characters, though they rocked their scenes regardless.

Jai: Forgive me though, I just don't understand why you aren't currently in prison?
Edgar: Yeah, no, I'm a hero now. Pretty cool right?

It's exciting to have Ana Ortiz back on the screen, and she's playing a character whose code name is freaking Mind Hunter. I cannot wait for her role to increase moving forward. It's going to be epic!

The most we learned about her was that she's the FBI's top behavioral analyst, and she's Will's best friend. He's the type of guy who probably needs a best friend who is a shrink, and he certainly has taken to the words of affirmation and more.

She's the best at her job, and she and Frankie will probably become close since they were fangirling over one another. I am here for all the friendships that the series offers. The platonic male/female friendships are refreshing; classic "bromances" are addictive, and gal pals too? Yes, please!

Susan - Tall - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

Jai, the weapons expert, is the last addition to the team. He already won me over being the person who gave Frankie the exploding tampons and compact too.

Jai has impeccable taste and style. If Will is "woke" James Bond, then Jai is the Indian James Bond right down to his smooth and charming demeanor and expensive, fashionable taste.

Vir Das is a comedian, so he should have the humor down, Jai is likable, and much like Susan, he has a strong friendship with his operative that leaves you wondering about their background and history.

Jai  - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

He came off as more of a supportive role during this hour. He stood out the most during his meetup with Frankie. Their relationship feels real and genuine, and I'm dying to learn more about it, and him. We got a better feel for his personality and humor during the final moment with Edgar, and that is assuring.

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Otherwise, much like Susan, there wasn't enough time to get a feel for his character or the extent of what he does yet.

Nevertheless, the series has laid the groundwork down for a merry band of crimefighting misfits, and that's my kind of brand. How about you guys

Meeting the Team - Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1

Additional Notes:

  • It's unacceptable that Gigi was unapologetic about cheating on Captain America with Ray Prince Pauper. To hell with both of them.
  • We got shootouts, car chases, Will and Frankie pretending to be a married couple, and fight scenes. This show is action-packed, and I love it.
  • Two people locked in a trunk together, and one of them being forced to molest the other to get themselves out will never get old. Also, Will and Edgar are a lively duo.
  • Frankie not doing emotional attachments is cute. She must think she can resist the pull of her teammates. I can't wait to watch you fail, girl.
  • Will's sprinkler enthusiast alias and Frankie's reaction? Quality programming.
  • I will fight anyone who ever hurts Edgar. Well, maybe not "fight," but I'll yell loudly -- I'll whisper scream and organize the "Protect Edgar At All Costs" Club. Boom!

Are you down for a little Whiskey Cavalier? Do you embrace the light-hearted fun of it all? What did you think about Frankie and Will together and apart?

Did Edgar steal your heart as well?! Hit the comments below with all your thoughts and reactions!

If you want to relive it again, you can watch Whiskey Cavalier online here via TV Fanatic!

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (55 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Whiskey Cavalier Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Alex: This is the FBI, there are no private moments. Look, we all know this is a pretty rough breakup.
Will: Well it wasn't that bad.
Alex: Son, we have the footage.

Hello, Dr.Conrad. Very punctual. I like that in a traitor.