Well, that wasn't a great episode of Deputy.
It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good, and since we're only on the fouth episode of a new series, now is not the time to be struggling.
Even with a lot of action and an attempt at emotional gravitas, Deputy Season 1 Episode 4 never rose above mediocre.
It turns out that taking time away from what have become the normal plot points during the first three episodes of Deputy doesn't work yet.
At least not when the detour is for a flimsy former lover and criminal that Bill got busy with in the past.
He's supposed to have high integrity when it comes to the job, and now we find out he had a thing with an informant? Not cool, Bill.
Another thing that didn't work for me was the lack of Bishop time.
If you watch Deputy online, then you know Bill and Brianna together seem like the essence of the show or at least its brightest spot. The episode was duller without Brianna being more involved.
But, back to Bill and Valeria. Of all the things I wanted to learn about Bill before we came to know him, a shady relationship with his CI wasn't one of them.
We know he worked in a place called Firestone once upon a time, and the way Brianna alluded to it, it might have been a big deal.
If it was or it is, there wasn't any reason to get excited about it as all that came out of it was the name.
As much as I'd like to theorize about the baddie at the end of Deputy Season 1 Episode 2 and wonder if what he meant when he said he knew all about Bill and to watch his back was connected to Firestone, well, nothing about Valeria or Bill's past so far make me want to invest the time.
Other than being an informant who has a penchant for showing up in kitchens belonging to other women inappropriately and scantily dressed, being a mule, being in trafficking, and losing her brother to it, Valeria offered nothing, either.
Bill and Paula have a terrific marriage that ensured Paula was a lot more forgiving of Bill bringing home an ex (and a criminal) than most people in her position would be.
Paula: Was she ever more than an informant?
Bill: Yes. Yeah, she was. Before you changed my life.
She was secure even when faced with the discovery that she met Bill when Valeria couldn't enter the hospital the night he got shot because of her status. The very night that Bill and Paula first met.
Mildly intriguing, but not overtly.
You two are a good match. You have something we didn't. Love.Valeria
It's Maggie's quinceanera, so there were some sweet family moments, but it was Cade's fatherhood opening up that was more interesting even if it was barely brushed upon.
Learning that the kids he and Teresa are caring for were getting emancipated from their parents seemed like a bigger deal than anyone let on, and any discussion about the importance of their adopting the kids or whether the kids would want to be adopted was woefully short.
Elsewhere, as expected, Bill paired Charlie and Joseph. She's his new training officer.
That partnership led to Joseph getting a little out of his element while she tried to show him the ropes and afterward when he wanted to hang at the local watering hole she had introduced to him.
Joseph is far too green. His father was a deputy of some repute. Did he never talk about anything with his family?
It's odd that Joseph thinks he'd just go from cadet to one of the gang in short order. Surely he understands the relationship between rookie and TO.
And Jerry tried to lure in Charlie as his snitch again, this time blatantly asking the question of whether she'd be his spy.
Instead of dangling a promotion over her head, this time he dangled the ramifications of failing with Joseph given Bill's history with Joseph's family.
If Joseph fails, it will come down on Charlie. Good grief. Those scenes are so embarrassing.
They're trying too hard to make the man someone to be feared or to have some power over anyone other than himself, and it's not working.
Bill even had a moment when he was forced to trust Jerry to place Valeria in witness protection, and that ended in the two eyeing each other like a duel in the old west. Awkward.
I guess Jerry was angry that Bill found a replacement for the $30 million he lost because of his inaction with ICE by undertaking an operation without board approval.
The Department of Justice wants in on the human trafficking stuff they ran into.
That was a win for Bill, and it proved his instincts are on target.
But even that win didn't feel all that satisfactory in a lackluster episode.
I'm not even sure what kind of spark needs to be lit to fire up Deputy to make it more compelling viewing.
How about you? If you're reading this, I'll assume you're still watching.
What did you think of this episode?
Do you have any ideas what could give the show the investment quotient we need to keep watching?
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.