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H:LOTS – S05E1&2 – Hostage

September 8, 2010

Season Five starts with an oink and a bang. Angie the pig is at the center of murder and intrigue! Ed Danvers is getting married!

As Pembleton attempts to navigate life post-stroke, there are some folks – cough Barnfather and Gaffney – who might need to review the Americans w Disabilities Act and come correct. Pembleton raised a great point when Gee attempted to sweat him regarding all the things he needed to do in order to get his badge back. One of those requirements involves qualifying at the shooting range. Pembleton said, “What are you talking about? I’ve always been a lousy shot!” It’s true. Bayliss is not good with numbers. Lewis cannot drive for shit and Frank can’t hit the side of the barn. Despite these limitations, they were all capable of wearing the badge. Well except for Frank. It seems the rules have shifted for him and more is required of him post-stroke than was prior to it. Bayliss and Gee are the less problematic, which doesn’t mean they aren’t quite ableist in their interaction with Pembleton. Bayliss infantilizes Pembleton with repeated instruction to take his medication. Thus causing Pembleton to snap, “I know when to take my medicine!” Mary and Frank are having a very difficult time figuring out their new reality. Frank’s frustration and Mary’s concern clash repeatedly and it’s handled realistically with acknowledgement of the way romantic partners navigate sexuality and disability.

Bayliss and Munch arrive on the scene of a murdered woman where the only witness is our good porcine friend Angie, who immediately bonds with Brodie. The feeling proves mutual as Brodie seems to know as much about pigs as he does about cinema, which is to say a lot. Meanwhile, across town, Gee, Howard and the rest of the crew descend on a middle school to sort out a hostage situation. Pembleton feels left out and frustrated because he’s assigned to desk duties pending review of his fitness for duty.

Part two is all about the hostage situation and guest stars the great Anne Meara as a middle school teacher whose class is held by a gunman who wants beer and – wait for it – a pig! The douchehound paramedics had the cheek to rush to the wounded gunman’s side and Gee had to scold them because there was a wounded student they ignored. Gripping episode and deftly executed by Ted Demme who once again provides fantastic direction to this highly emotional and chaotic episode. Once again, fans of The Wire get a treat! Gary D’Addario – the real life inspiration for Gee – reprises his role as Lt. Jasper of QRT (SWAT). He gets many more lines and gets to go toe to toe with Howard and Gee. Nice to see D’Addario again!

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