Coyote Season Premiere Review: Into the Tunnel

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No good deed goes unpunished.

That was certainly the case for Ben Clemens on Coyote Season 1 Episode 1  and Coyote Season 1 Episode 2.

Ben found himself with time on his hands after he got shoved out of the Border Patrol after 32 years. 

Changing Sides -- Tall - Coyote Season 1 Episode 1

Although it wasn't explained why Ben was retiring, it definitely didn't appear completely voluntary.

This was too bad because Ben was really good at his job, as that exciting opening scene showed. I mean, he turned a simple bathroom break into a multi-million-dollar drug bust.

Retirement Party - Coyote Season 1 Episode 1

Granted, those people being smuggled into the U.S. by those violent coyotes traded one group of captors for another, but that was the risk for which they signed up.

But that scene also proved something else about Ben: He didn't hesitate to skirt the rules.

Ben resorted to a little breaking and entering when backup wasn't forthcoming, which he had already planned for by cracking the restroom window. He don't need no stinkin' warrant.

Ben was a dinosaur who didn't think twice about cracking a few heads, as he proved time and time again early in this series.

That scene also foreshadowed that such behavior would come back to bite Ben in the butt. And it certainly did.

In Trouble - Coyote Season 1 Episode 1

When you see Michael Chiklis, you first think of his Vic Mackey of The Shield, one of the great anti-heroes in TV history.

At first blush, Ben appeared to be another version of Vic. Sure, there are similarities. But there are distinct differences as well.

Both are men wed to their jobs who are lousy husbands and fathers as a result. Both fell out of favor at work.

Both are incredibly violent. But Vic was sadistically violent. Ben is more efficient, using just the force called for by circumstances.

While Vic had a squad at his beck and call, retiree Ben has been forced to become even more of a lone wolf in a foreign country, no less.

Reminder Call - Coyote Season 1 Episode 1

Come to think of it, maybe Ben is just Vic 20 years older -- more cautious, more reflective, more flexible.

It was also established that Ben is a big softie, something Vic was never accused of being.

That's what got him into this Mexican mess in the first place. His partner, Javy's widow, asked him to finish their cabin in Mexico, so she could sell it and avoid foreclosure.

It quickly became obvious that whatever Javy's good traits, he was no financial genius. He actually thought that building a vacation cabin in the middle of nowhere in Mexico was a strategic investment?

Ben was no better, thinking that the cabin would be just how he left it months earlier like it was wrapped in a time bubble or something, instead of it being stripped down to the studs by the needy natives.

On the Run -- Tall - Coyote Season 1 Episode 2

Another thing: How did Ben survive in the Border Patrol for three decades without gaining at least some fluency in Spanish?

Sure, American arrogance. Anyone wanting us to understand them has to learn English. Especially if you want to migrate here.

I'm betting Ben wishes he'd made more of an effort now.

Ben quickly learned that Mexico might be only a few miles but a whole world away, that there were few people he could trust, including the police, who had a live-and-let-live relationship with the criminals.

It wasn't hard to like Ben. 

Planning a Shot - Coyote Season 1 Episode 2

Like many retirees, the poor guy is adrift. He's divorced and has a strained relationship with his only child. 

Little wonder, then, that's he got into the trouble which he did.

El Catrin wasn't far off the mark when he called Ben a cowboy.

Like any good cowboy in a Western, he was ready to protect an innocent, in this case, Maria.

The New Boss - Coyote Season 1 Episode 2

It was a situation of two people finding each other at just the right time. Ben got a do-over with a surrogate daughter (and grandson?) while Maria got the replacement father she desperately needed.

When her life was in danger, Maria was just as violent as Ben. That scene when she asphyxiated the thug with spray insulation was gruesome. Likewise, she was bold, giving Ben a chance to keep them free.

Some of the best scenes so far are the quiet ones, such as when Ben and Maria try to communicate despite the language barrier. From early on, they attempted to help each other, especially after Maria realized Ben was putting himself in danger to save her.

What was interesting was watching Ben employ the tactics which he had learned from smugglers to help throw off the trackers who were following them.

Gang Lieutenant - Coyote Season 1 Episode 2

Apparently, Ben had the skills he needed for a second career without even knowing it.

Ben sadly discovered how fluid the border actually was as gang thugs could invade his daughter's bedroom.

Ben successfully delivered Maria into Garrett's hands (apparently what El Catrin had planned all along), but now he's working for the other team. Also, Homeland Security may implicate him in the deaths of the two thugs killed in the States.

Things just aren't looking up for Ben. It will take all his wiles to get out of this predicament.

Hiking Away - Coyote Season 1 Episode 2

To follow Ben's journey, watch Coyote online.

How did you like Ben?

How in over his head is he?

What happens to Maria?

Comment below.

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Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Coyote Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Ben: Hey, chief! Where's your bathroom? Bano?
Clerk: Customers only.
Ben: Maybe you can make an exception. Or you can sell me one of these boxes and I'll take a shit in that instead.

Man: We were told there would be no drugs.
Coyote: Plans change.