Memphis Beat – Baby, Let’s Play House (S01E02) – Episode review

Back for another episode of Memphis Beat? If last week’s episode tempted you to come back for more, tonight’s Baby, Let’s Play House did a little bit more to establish our main characters and gave Dwight and Whitehead an interesting murder to solve.

I’m detecting that Dwight has an ability to observe people’s body language, which leads to many of his hunches. That scene at the start where he ‘stared down’ some graffiti artists came about mostly because Dwight notices one of the gang’s fingers twitching. Later on, his keen eye notices clues that will lead to them solving the murder.

Tonight’s crime of the week comes when a kid in school is fighting because nobody believes his father is an FBI agent. Because he’s not. Dwight sniffs something suspicious about this and asks his Lieutenant if he can investigate. After last week’s win, she let’s him probe a little further. However, when Dwight and Whitehead visit the family home, it was clear something was amiss.

An abusive father has gone missing, and eventually his corpse turns up in his weed shed where he’s been growing drugs. The problem for Dwight is that the mother and the son aren’t telling the truth. And though the story emerges that the son was the shooter, things still don’t add up. To cut a long story short, Dwight’s intuition shows that the mother is left handed and has burn marks on her cheek. He suggests that they come from her shooting and the hot shells ejecting against her face. And he’s right.

This raises an interesting moral dilemma that’s not quite tackled within the episode. The mother is indeed the killer, but the son is taking the rap because he’s a minor. He’ll receive 9 months in juvie, where the mother would get a life sentence. However, he’d be sacrificing his freedom for hers. The thing is, he’s happy to do the time because it means his young brother won’t be without a mother.

An interesting proposition, and both Dwight and his Lieutenant can see the reason why it makes sense for the boy to sacrifice himself. It could have been wrung for a little bit more of the emotional value that the situation warranted. I mean, the mother was essentially allowing her son to go to prison for a crime she committed. She should have been feeling immensely guilty.

Elsewhere Dwight’s mommy issues increase as she starts to date the philandering boyfriend Dwight caught out last week. And a few choice words from his Lieutenant convince him to try harder to accept the relationship. But even when he takes the couple out for dinner, he continues to talk about his father. Not cool, but his mother seems to be so loved up she barely notices him anyway. I don’t think I like his mother much – she seems like a selfish old bat.

And to complicate matters even more, Dwight’s been indulging in booty calls…with his ex-wife. Oh dear. A brilliant moment was when she sent him a saucy text message – which he didn’t understand – and had Whitehead show him the attached nude picture. Fantastic.

So far, Memphis Beat seems to be a reasonable cop show. We’re building up more of a picture of how Dwight works and I think through time, we’ll stop seeing Jason Lee as Earl and accept him as an entirely new character!

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