‘Tommy’ Episode 2 Review: Cliched plotlines undermine the promise and effect of a powerful pilot
The expectations that the show raised in its opening episode were squashed in the following episode with common plot points and mainstream story angles
When CBS’s latest crime drama opened a week ago, we were all very excited to have award-winning Edie Falco make her comeback to the screen. But it was not just about having Falco in a lead role. It was also about the character she portrayed and how the story was presented. The very fact that Abigail Thomas (Falco's role) becomes the first female chief of LAPD is historical in itself. Then we saw her dealing with immigration aggression in not quite the conventional way. She is supportive of the laws and yet ensures there’s a humane way of dealing with the controversial situation.
This fine balance of the good, bad, and ugly does not only apply to Tommy but to other characters as well. Take Mayor Buddy Gray (Thomas Sadoski) for instance. We all know how politicians typically are and the ‘good/idealistic cops’ are always anti-politicians. But Mayor Gray is not all ugly so to say. He likes Tommy and her way of work and yet he has his darker side, dirty secrets and more, which are yet to come to light. In the pilot, the characters were laid out beautifully, making the show look promising.
Based on its first look and the pilot, we were hopeful that this primetime crime drama will turn out to be something outstanding. However, come Episode 2, it kind of took the same route as a hundred other social dramas and crime procedurals. ‘There Are No Strangers Here’ was yet another show that treaded along the lines of gun violence, stereotyping people of color, unwarranted police aggression and everything that makes up for the sellable ingredients on television today.
We are not saying that these issues don’t exist or that they are not relevant. They very much are. But if we are to have another show having the same conversation, that too with such a powerful cast, then the idea of having great actors is refuted. Issues will not cease to exist. But as the audience, we can only expect a different presentation.
Perhaps having more focus on the other characters on Tommy’s team and their journey would make it a refreshing watch. We have never felt monotony with any of Falco’s shows earlier, and we don’t want to this time around either. Despite this week’s episode being a tad uninteresting, we still have hopes for the journey of Tommy. If the show has to stand out among the primetime clutter of today, it needs to step up its game and become one of its kind, where the characters and their drama unfold in a much more impactful way and deliver fireworks on screen, just like it promised in the pilot.
Watch ‘Tommy’ every Thursday, at 10pm/9c, only on CBS.