Was David Arquette the right man to play the off-kilter pedophile on Deputy Season 1 Episode 7?
Maybe it was just me, but he played the part with almost cartoonish villainy which put a strain on the credibility of that story.
Of course, the woman who played his wife did the same, but they were minor quibbles in an hour that reflected Deputy's views on parenting, fatherhood, and mentoring, in general.
It's the first time that a case didn't relate almost directly to any of the characters, but there was still a symbiotic relationship between the story of a young woman who had been kidnapped and Bill's family.
It's those kinds of relationships in storytelling that I enjoy, so I appreciate the effort taken to connect the two.
Bill's sudden wave of good fortune on the job front has created a lot of new issues for his family.
I suppose his cowboy ways and getting a powerful position within the county is the initial draw for the paparazzi to be on his doorstep.
Add to that the number of times Bill and his family and deputies have been engaged in the cases he's worked since he took command, especially Paula's high-profile kidnapping, and they're going to have a hard time getting a reprieve from the paps.
It's nervewracking to be in the public eye, but even more so when you're there through no fault of your own.
Paula and Maggie are having a tough time adjusting to it, and their only solace is that the paps tend to follow Bill allowing the ladies some time to themselves on the property.
But there always has to be one asshole in the bunch, and for whatever reason, a nerdy journalist crossed the threshold of decency by heading into the backyard and peering into a window just in time to see Maggie and her friends consider downing a bottle of what appeared to be Midori.
That's a bit of a stretch, to be honest, because Maggie hasn't struck me as naive enough to skip and then drink if there was even a whiff of exposure. Given the turmoil on the lawn before the fun started, it was a little too convenient that the fellow was around and she was getting into trouble.
It would have been hard for an adult to keep their cool in her situation, so knocking him on his ass and turning the other cheek was pretty admirable.
She had that phone in her hands and should have demanded he delete whatever he had recorded before that point, but instead, video of her escapades wound up on the news. Would a network air that footage of an underage girl without parents' consent?
Another stretch, especially since the person in the video was the Sheriff's daughter. It didn't seem like either Paula or Bill considered taking it up with anyone as they were more concerned over the lack of judgment Maggie showed by putting herself into a situation over which she had no control.
The way both Paula and Bill handled it was very cool. No, it wasn't Maggie's fault that someone was trespassing, but it was that she was there without supervision.
And the entirety of the day from the crowd on the lawn to the near-assault of the nerd to saving Tulsa and Maria from Roger the pedophile made Bill think about what he was doing with his family.
They do have to discuss whether they can all weather him fighting for the job he's come to appreciate. Of course, they will support him in whatever he wants to do (which is to run against Jerry), but making it a family decision fits with the tone of Deputy.
Everyone within the Sheriff's department will go out of their way for children. They see in their cases a reflection of their reactions. It's been clear with Cade's protection of Roberto and Camilla, and in the way Bill cares for Maggie and the son of his fallen partner, Joseph.
That some children are not fortunate enough to lead happy, healthy existences never leaves their minds, and that thought encourages them to be the best men and women they can be.
The care with which Cade and Bill approached the potential kidnapping was impeccable, and Bill's concern when he finally found her was kind and not creepy, as she could have found it given her recent endeavor.
Something that stood out to me in the aftermath was that Tulsa was reunited with her father. A lot of shows focus on motherhood more than fatherhood, but Deputy has layers of fatherhood written into its DNA.
That's a pretty cool element to have on a procedural.
That's not to say that Paula isn't a great mother or that parenting in general isn't also important to Deputy's code.
Another story that rang true was Brianna's fear over her identity and sharing it with Paula.
As soon as we saw Bishop in the hospital bed with that muddled look on her face, I understood her concerns. It took a lot of courage to share her truth with Paula, tool
Bex Taylor-Klaus came out as non-binary, so the storyline is authentic. What I appreciated the most about it was how she admitted she's entirely unsure of what any of it means in her life yet other than she's not entirely female (or did she say woman?).
You know, I hate labels, and here I am trying to give myself one.Brianna
Taylor-Klaus seems like a class act with regard to the masses accepting her for who she is whether that is by using the pronouns I am using now or they/them, as long as they do it respectfully.
She seems wise beyond her years, and I look forward to Brianna's storyline expanding in that area because of the authenticity we can expect in the character's portrayal.
And in other fatherhood news, we finally learned the results of Teresa's pregnancy test!
She's pregnant but uncomfortable sharing the news because of their history. It's awful enough suffering a miscarriage, but it's even harder when you have to take the time to explain what happened to everyone who had privy to the information.
Nonetheless, Roberto overheard their conversation and immediately thought that put his future with his sister in jeopardy.
The baby means you're gonna get rid of us, doesn't it?Roberto
If Cade hasn't already shared with Roberto his experiences from childhood, he might consider doing it now. It would help put the children at ease knowing how much Cade and Teresa respect their decisions about their future and want them to be a part of their lives.
Then again, the wink between the men of the family (another nod to the importance of fatherhood) was pretty terrific. No doubt Roberto slept well that night.
In the open of this review, I mentioned the cartoonish villainy of Roger and Janet as my only quibble. That's not entirely true.
I would have liked to learn more about the fires and how the Sheriff's department gets involved. Fires are so often in the news that an arc about how the different agencies interact when a disaster is threatening public safety would be welcome.
So what about you guys? Did you enjoy this outing of Deputy?
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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.