Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1 Review: First Time in Saint Disgrace

at .

Catching a killer in Saint Disgrace is not going to be an easy task. 

In a town filled with crooks, Allegra Dill seemed like a real diamond in the rough on Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1, but that's not to say she's off the hook, either. 

Allegra is a quick-thinker who makes impulsive decisions. There's obviously a fraught relationship between her and her deceased sister based on the frequency in which they crossed paths.

Back in Town - Briarpatch

Three years is a long time to stay away from someone you call your sister. 

Even then, that was Felicity visiting Allegra under duress. Allegra has not been in town for nine years, so there were going to be some big changes for her.

What REALLY Happened? - Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1

Still, it's hard to imagine Felicity doing a complete 180 on the nuances Allegra so fondly remembers. 

The Sheriff getting killed in the same manner as Felicity suggests the person carrying out the crimes has it out for the law, but "First Time in Saint Disgrace" failed to follow any logical line of investigation, meaning the only thing we really know is that A.D. knows some things. 

He arrived with mere seconds to spare just before the Sheriff was killed, and saved Allegra's life in the process.

Driver: First time in Saint Disgrace?
Allegra: I grew up here.
Driver: Really? Well, you sure ain't got the look.

That's not something she is going to forget any time soon. There are too many similarities between the two deaths to give her mind a minute. 

A.D. was a friendly face for Allegra throughout the series premiere, but he needs to give her some concrete answers or she's going to tear the city apart until she finds the killer.

A Crafty Meeting - Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1

For all we know, the whole city could be working together and taking turns killing people in the world of law. 

Stranger things have happened. I'm not sold on Allegra as a character. Her icy demeanor suggests that she herself is hiding things, and her actions don't strike me as someone who is grieving the death of a loved one. 

She didn't waste much time in rekindling her connection with the Senator upon his visit to her hotel room, and it was obvious where the narrative was going when they started hitting each other. 

Allegra: What's this?
Driver: There was a breakout at the zoo. They've been making a mess of things ever since.

It would be cliche of me to suggest that the Senator had Felicity killed to lure Allegra back to town to help take down the elusive Jake Spivey, but we really didn't get enough exposition in the premiere to draw any other solid conclusions. 

A.D. Drops Truths - Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1

I appreciated the way Allegra knew that her sister was not spending her full time in the house she was lead to believe was hers.

While it was Felicity's name on the deed, she was living somewhere else, and people were trying to keep that from Rosario Dawson's character. 

More worrying is the way the Sheriff was obliterated when he was showing her the real location her sister was residing at. 

Whatever the case, Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 2 needs to crank up the pace a few notches.

Allegra: Miss Dill, you really have been gone a lone time.
Spivey: 12 years.
Allegra: You sticking around?
Spivey: Until I find out what happened to my sister.

A slow burn is a tricky way of storytelling to pull off, and Briarpatch runs the risk of being remembered for a series that chose style over substance. 

Conversing About the Case - Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1

The aesthetics were similar to Kill Bill, and that may be part of the problem. Both Kill Bill movies were bursting at the seams with action, while Briarpatch pales in comparison, opting for blowing up cars as a source of excitement. 

The tiger escaping and making its way into the hotel to eat Allegra's days old meal was out there, but it seemed more like a stylistic choice to highlight the fact that Allegra is going to be the prey in this small town for however long she resides there. 

Woman: What the hell happened?
Man: It appears someone just blew up the landlady.

Allegra is a success story in a town filled with criminals. Not everyone is a fan of people who forget where they came from, and that could explain why she is a target.

There has to be more history with the likes of the Senator and Spivey because someone wanted Allegra back in town. 

We can't even rule out Felicity's death being faked. There's a chance something happened during that final meeting between them three years before, leading Felicity to go on a mission of revenge. 

Searching for Clues - Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1

In a small town, it would be easier to pull off such a feat, and given the size of Spivey's estate, Felicity could be hanging around there ... waiting for the time to strike. 

As a series premiere, Briarpatch failed in many aspects. Crafting a moody town with character that doesn't feel one-dimensional is difficult, but hopefully, we delve deeper into the nooks and crannies of it all in the coming episodes. 

For now, Briarpatch is very much an average series that offers little to keep viewers tuning in. Many shows improve post-pilot, and this Rosario Dawson vehicle may well do that. 

What did you think of the investigation or lack thereof? What are your thoughts on Allegra's relationship with her sister? 

Chasing a Lead - Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1

Could Felicity have tricked Allegra into returning to town? Were you surprised at the way the Sheriff was taken out of the equation?

Hit the comments below. 

Briarpatch airs Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network. 

First Time in Saint Disgrace Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
  • 2.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Briarpatch Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Allegra: What's this?
Driver: There was a breakout at the zoo. They've been making a mess of things ever since.

Driver: First time in Saint Disgrace?
Allegra: I grew up here.
Driver: Really? Well, you sure ain't got the look.