The more I watch, the more I know that this show really can’t recover from Season 1. I suspect it will just be cancelled. Because during every excellent scene: Tommy and Stan leaving the school, Mitch phoning Stan, Holder stumbling through an “I’m there for you” speech; my mind kept insisting on noticing that this should have happened many episodes ago.
Tommy going ballistic at school is about right for Day 22. It’s about right for a kid to start acting out when the first wave of shock has passed. But the rigid structure of one day per episode means it took us far too long to see it.
Mitch meets with Rosie’s biological father. A man who apparently doesn’t read newspapers, watch TV, or use the Internet, and doesn’t have any friends to whom he mentioned Rosie’s visit (or they also don’t have media access), because he had no idea that a murder happened which was so well-publicized that it is affecting the outcome of the mayoral race in a nearby city. I mean, even if David somehow never heard about Rosie’s murder, how did he miss the assassination attempt on a local political candidate: An attempt the reporting of which would have necessitated reminding the public about Rosie? It defies imagination.
And there was no need. Mitch can’t say that Rosie’s dead, we know that. She can’t speak the words, and that’s powerful. But if David knew, she wouldn’t have to.
The one thing it perpetuates is what liars Stan and Mitch both are. Mitch calls Stan to weep about the secrets in their lives, and for the first time we learn that Rosie hadn’t spoken to them in months. For the first time. These people have been lying from day one. Stan also lies to Mitch when he says the boys are okay. And in those lies, we know that Mitch also lied to David when she said Rosie was Stan’s. Otherwise, why couch that statement within so much dishonesty?
The whole episode did a beautiful job of portraying a family in crisis: Mitch, Stan, the older boy acting out, the younger terrified by it all. Stan’s a little rougher, a little scruffier, a little grayer even. And he says all the worst things a father can say, but you can’t help but feel for his desperate incompetence.
The investigation moves along. I don’t much care about the procedural at this point, but the final scene, Linden and Holder connected by phone as she visualizes Rosie’s discovery, was beautifully done. The characters actually breathed and experienced during the procedural, and that worked.
That key card, the one Linden failed to get, is important. I mean, that’s obvious, but what may be less obvious is that her failure to get it preserved the evidence. Had she succeeded in fishing it out, the Indian who just clocked her would have taken it. Now she and Holder will have matching bandages.