Reconvo: The Mysteries of Laura S1 Ep. 9 The Mystery of the Dysfunctional Dynasty

by

L.T. Milroy and Veruca Salt

This week, Laura has her hands full with new nannies, slimy lawyers, bigoted pastors, and her somewhat earnest but still eminently annoying ex. Plus, she gets to lead senior exercise and Sunday school-type classes. Then there’s the exploration of the various racial traditions and rituals surrounding the dating habits of our detectives. It’s a jam-packed episode, kids.

LT: The Case of the Week is set up as a little girl, chasing after her dog, goes into a neighbor’s house. In the bedroom she’s greeted by the very nasty sight of the bloody bodies of a dead couple in their bed. Yikes. This is going to mess that poor kid up for a good long time.

V: Geez, Louise. For a show that’s usually family friendly and does feature children, you’d think they wouldn’t have a small child coming upon two brutally-murdered people.

LT: It’s morning at chez Laura. She’s getting the kids’ lunch ready as Jake walks in and startles her.

001 jake

Apparently he has a habit of just letting himself in even though he no longer lives there. Is this some sort of anvil that they’ll be getting back together? I hope not. I know Jake is trying to change and all, but I still think he’s a tool. Where’s Alejandro? Let’s at least give him a chance before going all-Jake, all-the-time.

V: The anvils have been falling long before this. Jake peed around Laura and sent Detective Hottie packing last week. I’ve seen enough manly posturing.

LT: Jake is there to bring the kids to school, but there is no school. They’re going to grand dad’s for the day, and since he has no food at his place, Laura’s packing lunches. But whatever gramps has would have to be better than what those kids are getting, which is olives. Really? A mother of two little kids has nothing in the house to give them for lunch?

V: I think they’re playing too much stuff for comedic effect. I know it’s to illustrate she’s harried and needs help, but this is ridiculous.

LT: Jake brings up their nanny situation and says his old desk sergeant had a great nanny named Alicia, but his kids are grown now, and she’s looking for a new job. Then he tells Laura that she’s coming over for an interview. The doorbell rings. Seems he scheduled that interview for now. Thanks for the warning, Jake. You couldn’t have told Laura about this? You do work together. Tool.

V: Why do that when he can be a total jerk? He spoke to Alicia the night before! And there’s something called phones. They’re even mobile now.

LT: Turns out Alicia is the woman in the park from the pilot episode, the one who got rightfully upset with Laura and Jake upon seeing their lovely kids peeing in public. She recognizes them and says “Oh, hell no!”

002 hell no

But then she comes in and interviews, anyway.

V: Yeah, if there had been some transition scene where Jake and Laura talked her into staying that would have been helpful. Otherwise, it just looked really weird. But I’m just happy it’s not one of Jake’s ex hootchie-mamas.

LT: She asks all kinds of questions about what kind of chore schedule the kids are on and structured things like that, only to find out these little hellions have virtually no structure in their lives.

003 watchu talking about

V: I love how they try to convince Alicia the ‘ding-a-ling’ thing was a one-time event, but we all know that isn’t true. Laura even tries the “I work full-time” thing, only for Alicia to tell her she worked every day of her life, and her kids were down by seven p.m.

LT: Alicia is dubious, but Jake asks her to give it a week. Then they’re interrupted by a phone call from the precinct.

V: Billy is already at the crime scene.

004 crime scene

Laura says with the amount of blows the couple took, it seemed personal, but then they veer toward possible burglary, because there’s some stuff missing. Laura spots a picture of a smiling dude in between the murdered couple, but Billy already took a pic of the pic and sent it to Max for an ID.

005 picture

LT: Billy tells Laura that April, the little girl who found the bodies, told him the dead woman, Evelyn Mikorski, said one word before she died: “Daniel.”

V: They both weren’t already dead? And you’re telling me the kid either approached the bodies or stuck around long enough to hear the woman say something? Because she didn’t say a dang thing in the opening before that poor, traumatized girl screamed her head off.

LT: Laura sits with April and her dog, Bella. Since April doesn’t want to talk, Laura asks if Bella saw anything. April ‘listens’ to Bella’s answer and tells Laura there was a man dressed in white at the house the day before, with a box and a big ladder.

006 talks to the dog

Then she says she doesn’t know who Daniel is.

Wow, that Bella is one cute dog.

007 cute dog

V: Totally. I think it was a Jack Russell, so kudos to whoever got the dog to sit still for that long. But I ship Laura and Bella before I do Laura and Jake.

LT: Bella is definitely less of a beeyotch than Jake.

V: I know they do like to stress it, but Laura really is good with kids. She knew immediately how to handle the situation and did it as a mom, not a cop. It was a good show/don’t tell moment.

LT: Then we begin our episode-long education in Meredith’s dating habits. Billy catches her texting with a nerdy guy he says has weak-ass game.

008 texting

Det. Sourpuss’s admits he’s text-challenged and talks to Billy about boundaries.

009 pissyface gets pissy

Meredith’s mom set her up with him. That’s all we know for now.

V: Dear Officer Bitchface. If you don’t want people up in your business, maybe don’t text on your computer on a big, huge monitor at the office. You’re out in the open. If people see, it’s your own fault.

LT: They’re interrupted by Max, who says the Mikorskis recently had their kitchen painted by someone named Matthew Sanchez, who has a record. He’s at a job, and Laura will meet Billy there.

Sanchez is on a scaffold painting a building. Laura and Billy call to him, but he’s wearing headphones and doesn’t hear them. One of them will have to go up there and get him. They play rock, paper, scissors, and Laura loses.

V: Um, Laura, if he always picks rock, why would you do scissors???

LT: She awkwardly makes her way up on a lift and pokes Matt.

009 talking from up high

Then she notices he’s wearing a Rolex, and she bets it belongs to Jack, husband of Evelyn, aka, the other dead body. She tells him to come along quietly, because she hates being up there, and if he makes her pull gun, she’ll use it. He surrenders.

010 surrender

V: This shocks me, since in every previous episode, she gives the same speech, and the guy always pulls a runner. But then again, they’re not usually up on scaffolding.

LT: Matt admits to Billy that he stole some stuff from the Mikorskis, but says he did so on the job and didn’t kill them. He says the last time he saw them was last week, when he drove them to the senior’s center.

V: So, on the one hand he’s stealing an old couple blind, but on the other he’s just a nice guy who drives them around. And hey, his alibi was that he took his mom to Hooters for her birthday. Make room on your shelf for the Nobel Peace Prize, Matt!

011 hooters

Billy agrees that he gets the Good Samaritan award, which is a stint at Rikers for stealing from old people.

LT: The bratty kids are getting Aliciaed. She’s made them stew, and they think it’s gross and don’t want to eat it.

012 stew

She says she has all day and gives them a look that says she has at least that long. There’s a new sheriff in town, boys.

013 waiting

V: Perhaps the children don’t recognize real food when they see it.

LT: The activities director at the center is leading some exercises as Laura and Billy arrive.

014 exercise class

V: She’s a hot young thing making old people twerk to Pitbull’s Fireball. Billy now seems interested in becoming a senior.

LT: They pull her aside and ask about the Mikorskis. She tells them about a sleazy lawyer who was always confusing them by bringing them papers to sign. She has his card in her office, and since she’s cute and perky, Billy offers to help her get it. In her absence, she asks Laura to keep her seniors exercise class “moving,” which Laura does by leading the group in things like the pelvic thrust and tush push. They seem to enjoy it.

015 laura teaches dancing

V: They were already twerking, At least they weren’t doing a waltz.

LT: Laura and Billy pay a visit to the sleazy lawyer, Russell.

V: Ooh, it’s Dr. Taub from House.

016 taub

LT: I don’t know the actor’s name, but he’s a total HITG! (Hey, it’s that guy!) for me. I’ve seen him in a million things over the years.

V: And by the looks of things, he and Laura are soul mates. He eats burritos, smokes, liquors up during the day while at the office, and drinks tons of coffee. It’s like a match made in heaven. The only difference is he actually looks like that’s his diet.

LT: He tells them he was handling the Mikorski’s will, as he scratches at mosquito bites he says he got at the Sands Point Golf Club.

V: I’m betting that won’t be important later.

LT: Nah, that’s not too obvious. Laura, who seems to have one of just about everything she could ever need in her purse, produces some salve, applies it to Russell’s bites, and tells him not to scratch, just like any mom would.

V: She’s quite the dichotomy. She has everything she could need in her purse to take care of her boys but doesn’t keep actual food in the house.

LT: At least her kids won’t be itchy and malnourished.

Russell says it was the second will he drew up. The couple was disagreeing over the first will, with Jack wanting to change it and Evelyn wanting to leave it the way it was. The beneficiary of the first will was a son from whom they had become estranged. Laura guesses his name is Daniel, and Evelyn was trying to say he killed them.

V: While they’re talking, a big hulking guy in a leather jacket and a look that says, “I’ve done some time,” comes walking in. He’s scary enough to make Billy hover his hand over his gun. Dr. Taub calls him Darius. I’m sure that won’t be important later, either, but he looks like he could wield a weapon, if you know what I mean.

017 darius

LT: Laura and Billy go to Daniel’s apartment and find it empty.

018 daniel's empty apt

Left behind is a flyer from a local church with a picture of Pastor Bob. They recognize him from the photo they saw at the Mikorski house.

V: And it looks like Daniel might have had a small problem with Pastor Bob, as there is some doodling over his face.

LT: They drop in on Bob as he’s teaching a class about the Ten Commandments and boring the poor kids, and Laura, to death.

019 boring\

As he’s about to list each commandment one by one,Laura interrupts, which Bob doesn’t like. She asks him to move it along. He’s disinclined to follow this instruction and asks her if she could do it any faster. Laura, of course, is up for any challenge and rises to the occasion by giving a quick and entertaining synopsis of the important aspects of the Commandments, and the kids love it.

020 nonono

V: Yeah, they love it, because basically she just sums up each commandment with one word, says “No, no, no” and tells them to leave, which is what they wanted to do.

LT: Class dismissed, they ask Bobby about Daniel Mikorski. He says Daniel is troubled and capable of violence. Then he outs him by saying Dan’s parents tried to help him, since he “liked the company of men.”

021 jerky priest

Billy surmises they were trying to “pray away the gay”, which Laura says is impossible. That’s why the second will was drawn up, to cut Daniel out and instead leave the money to the church.

Then Billy and Laura jerk the man of the cloth around a bit and tell him they notice he pauses every time he’s about to say something bigoted, which is quite frequently. He mentions that the last time he saw Daniel he was with a “companion.” a “swarthy gentleman”. Just say hot boyfriend, you ass.

The BF is Tariq, and Jake and Meredith are outside his apartment building when two young men walk up with Chinese food.

022 daniel and his bf

The cops figure it’s their boys arriving home with the takeout, but when they identify themselves, they get the bag thrown in their face as the guys make a run for it. Billy grabs Tariq, and Meredith catches up with Daniel and tackles him.

023 under arrest

That bag is probably still warm. So, is there some slightly-dented Chinese food available? I hate wasting food.

V: I was glad they didn’t forget what an athlete Detective Bitchface is. At first I thought she wasn’t going to climb the wall, but when she not only climbs it but leaps over it and tackles Daniel, my faith was restored. Jake kept his last-place ass where it belonged.

And I’ll take the dented Chinese food, thanks.

LT: At the precinct, Dan is questioned by Jake, while Meredith talks to Tariq. Dan says he hasn’t had any contact with his parents in two years.

025 daniel iterrogation

Tariq says his family isn’t happy about his gayness, as he was supposed to have an arranged marriage. He’s trying to call it off, but his brother Kasib isn’t taking no for an answer. Tariq says his family isn’t happy about his gayness, as he was supposed to have an arranged marriage. He’s trying to call it off, but his brother Kasib isn’t taking no for an answer.

026 bf interrogation

Dan thinks Kasib may be capable of murder. He also says Kasib has threatened to have Tariq kidnapped and brought back to his country. He would do “anything” to have Tariq go home and marry. Kasib is a businessman who comes to New York every three months and is currently in town.

V: Don’t forget he comes to play golf, screw hookers, oh, and attend the quarterly meeting. That Kasib is such a nice traditionalist with good values, at least.

But my confusion is this: how does anyone think Kasib killing Daniel’s parents would get them to split up or make Tariq return home? Daniel hasn’t talked to his parents in years. They’re estranged. Kasib didn’t even threaten to kill them. Unless Kasib says, “Do you see what I did to Daniel’s family? I’ll do worse if you don’t come back!” then it really doesn’t have any influence on anything, as far as I can tell.

LT: Again you’re trying to make sense of this show! It’s nine episodes in, don’t you know better?? The CotW sometimes doesn’t add up, and Laura is a doting mom who can’t feed her kids properly! And pounds back junk food and never exercises, while having an ass-kicking bod! Don’t question them, just accept these things!

V: I know. I need to practice brain shutdown more often.

LT: Laura stops by Jake’s office to discuss the new nanny. She got a phone call from the boys earlier, and they said they were unhappy. Since Jake hired Alicia, she says he’ll have to handle her.

V: If the message was that Alicia was making them sit in silence, how did the kids get on the phone to call and complain?

LT: Jake calls, and Alicia says everything is fine.

027 alicia talk

As she talks, the kids are seen in the background, washing the windows. Yes, with window cleaner, not by peeing on them.

027.1 boys washing windows

V: But this is one woman who will not be Jaked. She explains that his kids are behind on their reading skills, and when her kids were young, she read them all of the Harry Potter books. She’d read a page, they’d read a page. Damn, and those are some huge books. Also, she hates Harry Potter. Oh, Alicia, don’t get on my bad side. I was with you while you were putting Jake in his place.

She tells him his kids are behind on their reading skills, and he needs to take care of that. Then she goes so far as to call them borderline illiterate when Jake tells her to lighten up. He tells her she sounds sarcastic. She says, “Oh, you got me. You must be a detective”  and basically hangs up on him.

Then Jake has to endear me to him a little bit when he says, “Who hates Harry Potter?”

LT: Of course, Tariq’s arranged-marriage thing ties in with Meredith’s mother setting her up on dates. As she and Billy wait to speak with Kasib, Det. Sourface talks about how dates arranged by parents is a tradition in her family and that her parents had an arranged marriage.

028 bitchface and billy

Billy is kind of shocked that a grownup, independent, responsible, bitchy-faced cop like Meredith is so tied to old traditions.

V: When she says she’s not interested in anyone, I want to scream at her about the adorable man with similar interests standing right next to her. Not to mention abs of steel. These two are perfect for each other. Sourpuss, you’d better snap that man up, because he is a catch.

LT: A chauffeured car drives up, and Kasib gets out.

V: Ooh! It’s more of the “People I know from other shows” episode. This time it’s Arastoo from Bones. He’s a real cutie. Too bad he’s playing such a jackass here.

 029 kasib

LT: They ask him about Tariq, but he blows them off. One of Kasib’s toadies is carrying golf clubs, and Meredith remembers that blunt force trauma killed the Mikorskis.

V: He had a conference call with the London office? It’s the middle of the afternoon in New York. I guess they stay up late.

LT: Laura and Max are out on the street, and Max is positively giddy about being out in the field for the second time, the first time with Laura.

V: His giddiness probably stems from the poor guy finally getting to see some sunshine. Also, at least this time he’s with someone who is entertained by his enthusiasm.

 030 laura and max

LT: Tariq’s mother is in town with him, and Max checked out her Instagram and knows she’s going shopping today. He found out all the brands she likes, and from that, he picks the right store where she’d be.

V: I love how he tells Laura he made her an Instagram and has been positing hilarious pictures there for months. Now I’m convinced there is a real Laura Diamond Instagram.

LT: Laura takes a saleswoman’s jacket so she can pose as an employee to help mom. Max is a stylist, and he successfully steers ma to the privacy of the lingerie section.

031 mom

V: By telling her it’s from the Judi Dench collection, since he also gleaned from her Instagram that mom likes her.

LT: Ma’s bodyguards try to follow, but Laura says intimate apparel is “ladies only!”

As soon as they’re alone, mom wants to know who Laura is. She knows she’s not a saleswoman by her shoes. Yeah, this store is Gucci, and those shoes are probably Sketchers, so good call, ma.

V: Sketchers? She wishes! They’re generic Payless Velcro shoes, and they are fugly.

 032 fugly shoes

LT: Laura ID’s herself and says that Tariq’s boyfriend’s parents were murdered, and Kasib is a suspect. Mom says he would never dishonor the family like that, but Laura eventually persuades her to cooperate. She’s staying in the same hotel room as her son and gives the cops permission to enter.

While Laura speaks to ma, Max keeps the bodyguards busy by trying to talk them into buying a pair of $200 cashmere socks.

V: By rubbing them against his face and saying “Socks are fun.”

 32.2 socks are fun

LT: The hotel is staked out. Laura and Jake are outside watching in a van.

032.1 meredith in the van

Billy and Meredith go inside. Det. Frownypants has to brighten up enough to distract the guards outside the hotel room while Billy goes inside to find the golf clubs.

She accomplishes this by putting on a slinky dress, pouring some liquor on herself, and acting like a cute drunk. Laura and Jake watch as she stumbles up to the guys, slurs a few cute words, then falls all over them and asks if they’ve ever played strip charades. The guards are highly amused and don’t even notice as Billy slips in the room.

032.2 meredith drunk

V: It’s awesome when Billy says, “If I was an arrogant, narcissistic womanizer, where would I hide my clubs?” To which Laura answers, “Jake kept his in the garage.” Jake takes offense. Oh, Jake, don’t be so insulted. You know the label is accurate.

LT: As Meredith compliments the bodyguards and says how strong they are, and the bodyguards eat it up, Jake says that men are suckers.

033 drunk meredith

To which Laura answers, “Look who’s evolving!” Don’t get too hopeful, Laura, he hasn’t even reached the Bronze Age yet.

Billy finds a club with dried blood on it. He takes a sample and makes his exit. Meredith sees him leave and tells the captivated guards that she has to go pee, giggles, and stumbles away.

034 more drunk meredith

Back at the station, Meredith tells Billy she thinks he was jealous of the meatheads she fake hit on.

V: Ooh, I knew it! These two are headed down Relationship Highway. And I guess Billy is done training. He got a hot dog with ham on it earlier, and now he’s eating a ham and sauerkraut sandwich. Ew.

035 ham and saurkraut

LT: Laura’s phone rings. It’s the lab confirming the blood on the clubs matched the Mikorskis.

Laura and Meredith question Kasib, who’s a classic misogynist jerk. He asks to see “the man in charge,” and Laura says it’s her. Meredith says he sent a message to Tariq by killing Daniel’s parents, but he says he never met them. He says he’s known Tariq was gay since they were teenagers, but this arranged marriage isn’t about that, it’s about something even more traditional: money. A billion-dollar merger is at stake.

036 kasib 2

Laura says that’s called a motive, and Kasib offers to take a polygraph. She tells him about the blood on the golf club. He says he left the clubs at Sands Point overnight, and anyone could have gotten to them. Laura recognizes that name, then says she smells something; Kasib says it’s bug lotion. The golf course is infested with mosquitoes. If you figured that itchy lawyer guy was a big fat ol’ clue, you win the prize.

V: I am so Smuggy McSmuggerson right now. Laura’s direction for Meredith to take Kasib to holding at the end was pretty awesome. As was the look on his face.

And even Meredith said the killing of the parents made no sense.

Laura brings Russell to the station under the pretense that Daniel needs a lawyer. He’s ranting about suing the police, but Laura assures him she stopped questioning Daniel the moment he asked for a lawyer.

037 taub and laura

LT: She takes him into a room with Billy and Daniel. Billy says Danny confessed, but he’s not being charged with murder. He confessed to conspiracy to defraud his parents by sabotaging their will with Russell’s help, and Russell is being charged with murder.

V: Daniel looks a little perplexed that his lawyer is being charged with murder, but really, he never suspected the little weasel?

038 daniel side eye

LT: Laura says he put a bogus clause in the will so that when they died, their will would become invalid. Daniel agreed to give Russell a cut when they eventually died. But once he was able to get that clause past them, he didn’t want to wait for them to die, because he needed the cash now, so he killed them.

V: Yeah, turns out that Darius guy who came to see Russell is a loan shark. He wasn’t there as a client. Russell was his client. But I guess I was wrong about him swinging the weapon. It was the little guy. Really? Okay. Though why Daniel would tell Russell that Kasib was at the golf course will remain one of life’s great mysteries.Also how one of the parents sat and waited while Russell beat the other one, since they seemed rather spry. They both just lied in bed and took it? I know. Stop thinking

They’ve got surveillance pictures and witnesses who saw Russell at the club. He wants to talk deal, but Laura recommends him getting himself a real lawyer.

039 no deal

LT: Dan only cooperated in changing the will because he wanted to keep his parents’ money from going to the church of Pastor Bob, after what he put him through. Can’t argue with that sentiment, dude, but you really went about it the wrong way. I mean, look at that ambulance chaser you trusted. I wouldn’t ask for directions from a guy like that.

Jake tells Laura he wants to fire Alicia, because she insulted the reading ability of their little monsters. Actually, she didn’t really. All she said was that they were a little behind in basic skills.

V: Well, she did call them borderline illiterate, which is pretty harsh. Ordering Jake around was great, but saying that about the boys when they’re three feet away from her, means she needs to take a lesson in how to nurture kids along.

LT: Shouldn’t Jake and Laura, as parents, take this reading thing to heart and look into it? Instead, Laura looks all offended and mutters, “She’s toast.”

V: I agree that the concern should be there, and if Alicia had just kind of alerted them to the problem without all of the insults, that would have been fine. While I’m all for someone putting Jake in his place, this was her first day, and being disrespectful to the children, as well as the parents, is not the way you keep your job.

LT: As Kasib is leaving the station, Meredith reminds the jerk that two women just saved his pseudo-macho ass. Then she sees Billy and asks him out for a beer. He jokes that his mom wouldn’t approve of him dating a non-Cuban girl, but then accepts. He doesn’t mention what his mom might say about him dating a humorless bitchface.

V: I knew it! These two are so going to hook up. Better them than Laura and Douchebag. Get Laura with Alejandro, then I’ll be happy.

LT: As they get to Laura’s house that night, she and Jake have full intentions of firing Alicia, for the crime of caring if their kids can read, something they as parents apparently don’t give a crap about. But they walk into a clean house, with the brats sitting quietly at the kitchen table, coloring, while Alicia knits. This in just one day? I don’t think even Mary Poppins worked that fast.

She says the kids’ homework is done, and they’re washed and their teeth brushed. Laura is agape. Jake still starts to fire her, but Laura takes him aside and lets him know that that’s basically going to happen over her dead body.

V: I’m all for Alicia keeping them in line, because those boys need it, but the last nanny did that, as well. She was also able to teach them stuff they were eager to learn about. She made it fun for them. That’s the way to do it. And it does look like Alicia is going in that direction, since she taught the kids how to draw 3-D pictures, and the kids seemed happy and content.

So while, yes, those kids needed to learn some discipline, Alicia needs to stop being openly hostile to the children in front of them. Take Jake and Laura aside and rip them a new one. That’s okay. But any parent would have fired her ass, clean house and children or no.

LT: I’m inclined to cut her some slack. Anyone who can keep those obnoxious rugrats quiet and non-destructive for any significant amount of time has earned another shot.

Alicia says she has a date and has to leave. Laura says in a hopeful voice, “See you tomorrow,” and Alicia says she’ll think about it.

040 think about it

V: At least Laura admitted they couldn’t read.

That’s all, folks. Will Alicia come back? If so, will she suffer through Harry Potter for the second time? What’s the countdown for Detective Bitchface and Billy to wind up in a relaysh? And though I hate to think about it,  do you think the season finale will have Laura and the Douche wind up having sexytimes? I’ll need some serious eye bleach if that happens. Come back, Alejandro!

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