Coroner Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Black Dog

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As someone not accustomed to crime procedurals, I wasn't really sure what to expect when I watched Coroner Season 1 Episode 1.

Actually, I thought there was some sort of supernatural/sci-fi element to it. One of the trailers made it look like the show revolved around psychic coroner who had some mysterious connection to the dearly departed. So far, that's not it.

Other than the mysterious black dog, this show seems to be rooted in reality. We're at the beginning though, so I'm not ruling anything out.

Black Dog When David Dies - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

I'm not entirely sure why the episode was called "Black Dog," to be honest. The dog was barely in it. He was there when her husband died, and then he may or may not have been there at the end.

If seeing the dog in her house for a second makes her question her sanity, as the trailers imply, it would make much more sense to name the following episode "Black Dog."

Right now, the deal with the dog is very minimal and is only made larger by the title.

Other than the dog, it was a pretty eventful episode.

Jenny Tries To Revive David - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

As I said, I wasn't superpsyched or prepared going into the premiere. I found it kind of slow in the beginning, but I think it picked up later on as we got to know the characters.

Sure, we still don't know the name of Jenny's son, or her dead husband's name, for that matter, but we do know that her husband was a liar with a gambling problem and that her son makes his own pizza with pineapple.

I hate pineapple, but that pizza looked really good, right?

Jenny; Hey, do you and your friends ever talk about suicide?
Ross: Not in like a proactive way or like a worrying way. I like being alive, okay. Why?
Jenny: It's just my case.
Ross: Oh. You have a case!
Jenny: It's just they're, they're young kids, I'm trying to get inside their mind, figure out why they'd do something so desperate. Oh, autopsy photos, go. Don't look at them.
Ross: Okay. You know, I think the thing is that people forget that, you're passions run so high.
Jenny: When you're a teenager?
Ross: Like nothing's ever neutral.
Jenny: And you think things are neutral for me?
Ross: No. You're sad. Because of dad.
Jenny; And I know you're sad too.

Detective McAvoy seems like a good character. At first, I thought love-interest, maybe, but I'm used to The CW and Freeform dramas where everybody is hooking up.

Flashback of Jenny With Her Son - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

This is probably going to be more buddy-cop situation, especially considering the steamy hook-up Jenny had with that other guy in the back of a truck.

Jenny: I'm a widow.
Liam: What?
Jenny: I'm a ... I'm a widow. Sorry, I don't know why I'm telling you this.
Liam: What, uh, what, how did your husband die?
Jenny: Uh an aneurysm. He was only forty.
Liam: I'm sorry. I just, uh, I didn't know.
Jenny: You, come on, you knew I was married?
Liam: No, I, You know what, maybe this is a weird conversation.
Jenny: No, no, my husband spent all of our money, before he died. Yeah, he had a gambling problem, so he took out a second mortgage, he gambled that away, he didn't pay our life insurance premium, so I'm, I'm gonna have to sell my house, and ... um, so, uh, what about you? You smell like travel?
Liam: Um, I was in the army. Afghanistan.
Jenny: What did you do there?
Liam: I killed a bunch of people.

McAvoy seems like he'll make a good buddy. He seems to care about his job and his co-workers. I loved it when he started singing in the car, partially because it's like something I would do. 

I didn't love him giving her a hard time for getting emotional, but he doesn't know her story. I don't think he was being overtly sexist; she was crying and screaming in her car!

That being said, Jenny is a badass! Her assertive moments were a large part of what won me over. She's clearly very dedicated to what she's doing and won't let anyone talk down to her or screw up her investigation. 

Jenny and McAvoy At The Crime Scene - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

Jenny: Are you gonna sing the whole way?
Det. McAvoy: Are you gonna cry? (singing) Now I'm a gonna try, to put fun in your life. (speaking) Investigating deaths isn't for everyone. You're part of a fundamental truth of the human experience. Aside from that, it can be gloomy and lonely.
Jenny: Kind of condescending when men give women advice.
Det. McAvoy: It's not coming from that place. You sem a little obsessive and a little lonely and that could take you to a dark place. There's no shame in saying "this isn't for me."
Jenny: It is for me.
Det. McAvoy: How do you know?
Jenny: I just know!

She's got some issues. She's grieving. She's angry and hurt. Her husband really screwed her over, and she's still trying to figure out what that means going forward.

She is totally entitled to the occasional break down or socially awkward moment. She's doing her best to deal, and I applaud her.

As for the case itself, the Romeo and Juliet angle was a nice touch. I appreciate what they were going for there.

And when that guard said doing Romeo and Juliet would give the kids ideas and they shouldn't have a drama program, I became pretty suspicious of him.

Jenny with Romeo and Juliet - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

And it was the guards, in the end.

At least, it was one of them, Hawk. I'm not sure if that's the one who was looking down on the kids and the program, but I wouldn't be surprised. That's all I'm saying. 

It's complicated dealing with kids in juvenile detention centers. I loved how that woman was really trying to provide them with programs that would prepare them for their futures.

But it isn't easy being a kid with a record.

Detective Donovan McAvoy - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

Once you're in the system, you're in the system. People look down on you and take advantage of you.

That's what McAvoy seemed to be trying to avoid with Sneax.

It looked like he deleted him from the system so he wouldn't have a record. On the one hand, good for him, but on the other hand, legal officials who break rules aren't exactly being smiled on right now. 

Det. McAvoy: Unearthing the past can cause a lot of problems for a lot of people.
Jenny: I like being a problem.
Det. McAvoy: Me too.

Jenny broke some rules too, getting that sample after Danielle's body had been released. She needed to do it to get answers, but it is a slippery slope.

Jenny Breaks Down - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

I'm glad she fired the pathologist, though. He was such a jerk. He made assumptions about her and about the victims. The whole thing was gross.

Dr. Peterson: She was an addict who hanged herself and the boy followed suit.
Jenny; No. Don't. We are supposed to speak for the dead, and how am I supposed to do that with ... with this? I wanna re-examine Kevin and Danielle's bodies myself.
Dr. Peterson: You can't. I released them.
Jenny: What?
Dr. Peterson: I released them.
Jenny: You're fired.
Dr. Peterson: Excuse me?!
Jenny; Congratulations Dr. Allen. You're promoted to senior pathologist.
Dr. Peterson: You can't fire me!
Jenny: You are arrogant! You cut corners! And you are not gonna change! It is you, or it is me, and it is not me!

I do wonder how this show will be received given the current climate.

It originally aired in Canada in 2019, so the storylines aren't going to alter themselves to fit what's going on right now.

Airing a crime procedural right now is a bit of a risk. Hopefully, it hits the right notes.

A lot of shows are a little flat in the beginning. This one needs time to grow.

Jenny's First Day - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

Luckily, we already know that there are two full seasons

The CW can roll them out when it suits them.

Coroner Season 3 has also been ordered by CBS, so there's a lot of time for us to get comfortable in this world.

What do you think the point of the black dog was?

Jenny's Husband David - Coroner Season 1 Episode 1

Did you like Jenny?

Are you going to keep watching?

Let us know in the comments.

Coroner airs on The CW Wednesdays 8/9c.

Black Dog Review

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Leora W is a staff writer for TV Fanatic..

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Coroner Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Jenny: Go change the baby.
Taylor: You know I'm a detective, right?
Jenny: That's how I know you can find the diapers.

Dr. Peterson: She convulsed when she hanged
Jenny: She was actually suspended and her shoes were on when I found her so, I don't think so.
Dr. Peterson: You don't think so?
Jenny: I had an instinct.
Dr. Peterson: How can you have instincts when you don't know anything?
Jenny: I'm s- I'm sorry, what?
Dr. Peterson: They're called guesses. What you're doing is guessing. I've been a pathologist for 20 years and before this, you were what, a GP?
Jenny: I was an ER doctor.
Dr. Peterson: I stay competent year after year and the coroners just get younger and more, but how bout this, I will write up my findings and then you can sign off on them, okay?