H:LOTS – S04E18 – Requiem for Adena
When Pembleton and Bayliss catch a murder of a 12 year old girl, the memories of the still unsolved Adena Watson case creates friction within the partnership.
Lee Bonner (also helmed episodes: “End Game” and “Happy to Be Here”) provides careful, subtle direction for this tense episode written by H:LOTS vet Julie Martin (also created the short lived The Bedford Diaries). Kyle Secor gives one of his best performances as Bayliss in the entire season. Season three might have yielded consistently solid story arcs and plotting, Season four had some of the best acting of the series. Kyle Secor was overlooked for his nuanced portrayal of Bayliss, but don’t make the same mistake award overlords did! He shines in all of his scenes. Andre Braugher, who plays Frank Pembleton is pitch perfect, which is pretty much the default setting for him. Still, knowing the climax of season four, I am enjoying the layers of characterization being added in service of that story arc.
Kellerman (Reed Diamond) has also come into his own! The writers developed his character over the course of the season and it is this episode, which finds Lewis (Clark Johnson) still vacationing in Toronto, where Kellerman is paired with Munch (Richard Belzer) and they have wonderful chemistry.
Of course, there are few distracting moments in the episode, which overall rates an B+ – the romantic subplot of Brodie crushing on Howard (Melissa Leo) feels a bit out of place, though I understand why it must have seemed necessary. That said, Howard is a strong, complex character who doesn’t need to be object of a cheesy crush to demonstrate her sexual desirability. Throughout the series it has been made clear in subtle ways that she is seen as sexual attractive to various individuals she encounters through the course of her work.