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H:LOTS – S05E18 – “Double Blind”

December 28, 2010

“Double Blind” revisits the Chris Thormann story arc:

Another red ball as Crosetti’s pal, CHRIS THORMANN is shot in the line of duty. Edie looks so different than viewers of Sopranos and Nurse Jackie are used to seeing her. Gee shows restraint and good sense assigning Munch on the case. Meanwhile Pembleton and Bayliss – using the information pieced together by reexamining the crime scene/timeline – kick in some doors and make some goddamn arrests. H:LOTS has never shied away from turning the gun on its own and this is a fantastic episode in terms of pacing and toggling between the intensity of the cop shooting and the intimacy of budding friendships.

This time the Thormann’s shooter is up for parole, which of course, does not thrill Lewis, Thormann or his wife – played by Edie Falco! Thormann was shot during a pursuit of a suspect and his injuries resulted in him losing vision. This is not a particularly nuanced portrayal of disability. It’s not the world’s most terrible, but merely uninspired, derivative and somewhat tedious. Though the cold open has Thormann breaking down the science of Jazz rather impressively. That was cool. Four years after the shooting, the perp is inexplicably is being paroled. Lewis has some questions as to how the shooter was able to get a hearing. It turns out that the shooter was instrumental in saving the lives of a prison guard and fellow inmates during a bloody prison riot.

Bayliss catches a case and like a bar patron as closing time nears, his partner pickings are pretty slim. In a surprising twist Bayliss opts to work with Frank, which both confuses and secretly pleases Frank. There is no big conversation, explanation or heart to heart. Just like that, Pembleton and Bayliss were back as a pair as though all the emotional troubles and past resentments never happened. Bayliss is still working through his previous conversation with Pembleton, regarding the abuse Bayliss experienced as a child. Pembleton is reeling from the abrupt departure of his wife Mary and daughter Olivia. After Pembleton’s inability to commit to both the martial counseling or being at scheduled appointments on time.

The case at hand – the murder of a wife beater by his own daughter – has Bayliss butting heads with Pembleton. Bayliss believes that case is cold blooded murder, even with caveats firmly in place. Pembleton, on the other hand, believes the suspect should get no more than five years (suspended) and be able to get on with her life. The plot thickens as the battered spouse offers to testify against her own daughter. I know it’s meant to be this totally shocking twist of events, but the reality it fails to appreciate the complexities of battering situations, particularly the conflicting loyalties between the survivor and the peripheral victims who are not subjected to the abuse themselves, but who must negotiate the situation just the same.

In an, “oh snap!” moment Bayliss decides to confront his abuser. It’s a chilling scene as the normally genial Bayliss says in a voice devoid of affect, “Tell me, George, where do I put my hate?”

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