Reconvo: The Mysteries of Laura S1 Ep. 10 The Mystery of the Fertility Fatality

 by

L.T. Milroy and Veruca Salt

Don’t like kids? Then maybe you should skip this week’s Mysteries of Laura, because it’s about nothing but the little ones: Laura’s kids, other people’s kids, even potential kids are in the spotlight. The hour is a non-stop festival of fetuses and babies and children and parents. I think there’s a murder, too, but then it’s quickly back to the pediatric ward. Personally, I would have liked more time spent at the race track, but I’m a hopeless romantic.

The Case of the Week starts in a stable, where a horse rears up as a man is killed nearby. He’s violently stabbed with a hypodermic needle several times and drops dead. The horse is the only witness, and I bet he ain’t talking.

V: Clearly you’re not familiar with Mr. Ed.

LT: Laura is with a tearful mother at the station, listening to her go on about how her seven-year-old daughter is being terrorized.

01 concerned mom

Laura promises she’ll bring the boys responsible to justice, then mutters to herself, “They are so grounded.” Yes, the boys in question are her little monsters, and they’ve been bothering the poor defenseless little Zoey at Tae Kwan Do, to the point her mother says she wants to quit.

Later in Jake’s office, Laura watches Zoey with her mom through the glass and wonders how their brats could pick on such a cute kid. Meredith says she was a cute kid, but she got bullied. Laura says she can believe it. Ooh, snap! That makes Det. Bitchface make a bitchy face.

02 det BF

V: It’s as if she knows her moniker. Prediction: That sweet little angel is really the one terrorizing her kids.

LT: Jake suggests military school as a punishment for the boys, which might not be a bad idea.

V: It’s an awesome idea. Or how about a Scared Straight kind of program, where all of the convicts scream in their faces? I get warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

LT: But Laura shoots it down and instead suggests a week with no technology. That wasn’t much of a punishment in my childhood, since all it meant was no TV. Kids didn’t have their own phones then. Or computers. I know, “Shaddap, gramma…”

Laura reaches across Jake’s desk and grabs his burrito then takes a bite before he can protest. She runs to the garbage to spit it out, as Jake tells her it’s not bad cheese but tofu. He took tests for health insurance and found out his cholesterol is high. He has to bring his numbers down, or his premiums will go up. Laura takes interest, because they still have the same health insurance, so her premiums would go up, as well.

V: Why did they bother divorcing this couple? Seriously. And to top it all off, she almost lets slip that she thinks his body is amazing. Jake, being the humble bloke he is, eats it up. I guess because it has no cholesterol.

LT: Don’t even get started with that. Divorcing Laura and Jake is a huge flaw in this show’s dynamic, IMO. They still share everything, Jake is at Laura’s house all the time and feels free to just let himself in.

And he clearly wants her back to the point that he’s trying to change his hound dog ways and even chased Alejandro away. They’re obviously getting back together. If not, this is all just a huge waste of time.

Why didn’t they just have them be separated while trying to balance careers and parenthood? I thought the show had them divorce, so they could show single mom/detective Laura trying to navigate the dating world, but Jake won’t allow that. So, what’s the point?

And speaking of Alejandro, I wonder what Laura thinks about that whole situation. She doesn’t know Jake claimed her like a German Shepherd marking his territory. All she knows is that the guy expressed an interest in her then just stopped showing up. She’s probably thinking, “That hot detective seemed nice and there seemed to be something brewing between us. I wonder why he hasn’t called.”

Vent over. Back to where we left off…

Max enters the office with a donut for Jake, but Laura intercepts it and throws it away. Couldn’t she just have told Max to take it back? No reason to waste perfectly good unhealthy food.

03 jake the douche

V: Here’s my thought: This woman is supposed to be the biggest junk food lover, so why didn’t she start eating it immediately and joke that she was doing it for him? Throwing it in the trash didn’t seem in character at all.

LT: Then she requests that Max call Alicia and ask her to pay close attention to the rugrats at Tae Kwan Do.

V: Apparently even though Max “volunteers as tribute” to be the boys’ shadow, the last time Laura asked Max to watch them, the guinea pig wound up being a lovely shade of teal.

LT: Jake gets a phone call from the mayor’s office. He’s freaked out because his golf buddy is missing.

V: Oh, no! A politician missing a golf game? Call the National Guard!

LT: The golf buddy is Dr. Karl Foster, a fertility doctor. Laura and Billy go to his house to speak with his wife. She says her husband and Dr. Lens practice together, and everyone loves them.

Laura asks where she was last night, and she says she was home watching The Biggest Loser (nice plug for another network show), to which Laura responds by covering her ears and insisting on no spoilers. I didn’t figure Laura for a Masterpiece Theater fan, but junky “reality” TV? I wonder if she’s a Real Housewives fan.

V: Oh my gosh, I peg her as a total reality TV junkie, but I don’t put Biggest Loser in the same category as Real Housewives. Competition reality is different than manufactured reality posing as reality-reality.

I mean, yes, there are parts of the competition stuff that’s staged, but these people are really exercising and losing weight, whereas everything on, say, Keeping Up with the Kardashians is probably ninety-nine to a hundred percent fake. In other words, at least on the competition reality shows there are people really working toward something where there’s a prize at the end. And there’s a good chance some of the meltdowns are real.

That being said, I can see Laura binge-watching Real Housewives. I think I just sidetracked this reconvo. Sorry. Back to this show.

LT: The wife says she fell asleep watching TV, and in the morning noticed her husband’s side of the bed hadn’t been slept in. She’s a trusting soul and dismisses the idea of Karl having an affair when Billy brings it up.

But after going over Karl’s desk, Billy has found a calendar mentioning a Bahamas cruise, as well as a regular calendar appointment with “BB.” He also finds a photo of Karl standing next to a horse with a woman and Beautiful Becky written on the back. She’s wearing a shirt with a Pierpont Downs logo.

V: Without any pretext, they show the picture and Dr. Karl’s calendar entries to Mrs. Karl, who runs off crying. Laura, usually the empathetic one, shrugs it off. Weird.

LT: Totally weird. I still have no idea what was going on there. This is a weird episode.

At Pierpont Downs, Laura goes to a cashier window and shows him a photo of Dr. Karl. He says the doctor was a big bettor but not necessarily a big winner. She shows him Becky’s picture, and he says she works in the VIP lounge. Before leaving, Laura places a big one dollar bet on Harder Baby Harder to win, when the annoyed guy behind her places the same bet. I don’t see that name setting up any hilarious hijinx. Not at all…

05 impatient bettor

V: Me, neither. Looks like Laura is just as bad at thumb wrestling as she was at rock/paper/scissors, since Billy wins the concessions-or-cashier game. Laura orders him to get candy. Maybe you shouldn’t have thrown away the donut, Laura.

 04 thumb wrestle

LT: Laura and Billy go to the VIP lounge, and Billy notices a lot of men are there with their “nieces.”

V: What did you think of the drunk woman the bartender cut off and wanted to know who she had to sleep with to get another drink, then she says to Billy, “Please tell me it’s you”? Heh. That guy is a woman magnet.

The cute bartender then offers Laura a free drink and says he doesn’t know Dr. Karl, until she assures him she’s a cop and not looking to catch her cheating husband. She’s already been around that block, thanks very much. Though I think even she’s forgotten.

06 cute bartender

LT: The bartender says Dr. Karl was a semi-regular. Laura then asks about Becky, but he says the woman in the photo isn’t Becky. It’s Jenna. She used to be a concierge but was promoted to Santa Anita. The race starts, and Laura, predictably, cheers loudly for Harder Baby Harder.

harder baby harder

He comes in second, nosed out by Bahamas Cruise. It’s at that point Laura and Billy figure out both Beautiful Becky and Bahamas Cruise are race horses.

V: Now I’m really glad they showed that stuff to Mrs. Karl and caused her unnecessary grief before they checked out what it all meant. Excellent police work!

LT: Laura and Billy visit the stables, where Laura reveals she’s afraid of horses.

06-a stables

It also turns out she’s allergic to horse dander, just like her father. They go to Beautiful Becky’s stall, where they find the body of Karl. It’s been hours, and no one has come across him yet? Aren’t race horses tended to on a regular schedule? No one looked in on Ms. Becky all morning?

V: And it’s not like Dr. Karl was hidden. A cursory glance over the stall door shows him lying there in plain view. There’s a lot of people in those stables.

LT: Just more weirdness from this episode. The Medical Examiner shows up at the stables and notices the needle marks on Karl’s body. Laura wants to stay for the examination, but the allergies get the best of her. Billy is with Beautiful Becky when Don, the horse’s trainer, arrives. About time. He’s pissed off about the situation.

V: He does seem to brush past the whole “dead person found in the stall” thing and only helps after Billy threatens to take Becky out of the day’s race to test for performance-enhancing drugs Dr. Karl might have been giving her. The trainer says his horses are clean but suggests Billy talk to the jockey, Adam, aka “The Green Machine.”

LT: Laura goes back to Pierpont to talk to the bartender. He says BB’s owners are rich yuppies, or Hobby Horsers.

V: Laura is getting hit on by the cute bartender. Laura, please, listen to me. ANY of these guys are a way better and more viable option than that cheating lowlife you dumped. PLEASE consider his offer of a trip to Mykonos to visit the owners of Beautiful Becky.

Even the drunk lady who’d hit on Billy earlier knows it, as well as how he’s “packing heat.” Okay, maybe he’s a gigolo. But so is Jake, and this guy looks way more fun. She gives him her card, and he says he may call her even if he has no news about Karl. Please do, cute bartender.

Laura’s phone rings, and it’s Alicia. She’s in the middle of telling Laura everything is fine and is even offering Karate Kid “SWEEP THE LEG”-type coaching, when the disapproving mamas tell her to take her cell phone elsewhere.That’s when all hell breaks loose. Zoey claims one of the monsters kicked her, and Alicia hangs up on Laura.

07 trouble at tai kwan do

Isn’t this the same woman who keeps bragging about her incredible abilities to multitask?

LT: Apparently that’s only when it’s convenient. This is totally inconsistent with what we’ve seen from her character in the past, and more weirdness.

Billy drops by the track during weigh-in to speak with Adam. He stops to ask for directions from a jockey, who immediately barfs into a garbage can. Then gets up and barfs again. And again.

V: OMG, Billy and I are both sympathy pukers! I also hear this is what jockeys do in order to be the correct weigh-in weight.

LT: Billy gets impatient and identifies himself as a cop, which is overheard by another jockey who takes off. Billy tracks him down, and it’s Adam, of course.

08 adam takes off

Billy questions Adam, who says Dr. Karl was giving him pregnancy hormones to boost his metabolism. It helps him burn fat. Of course, taking these hormones is illegal, and Adam could be banned from racing if found out.

Billy threatens to expose him if he doesn’t cooperate, and Adam says he used to go to Karl’s clinic to get injections. A couple of months ago, he showed up and there was a patient going nuts, threatening to pepper spray the good doctor. After that, Adam says he elected to get his injections at the track instead.

V: So, let me get this straight. Some woman threatens the doctor with pepper spray, and instead of thinking that maybe the doc did something to the woman to make her want to pepper spray him, Adam thinks he’s not safe and instead chooses to have the injections done in the place where if he’s caught, he’s out of racing? Makes perfect sense to me!

LT: At the station, Det. Sourpuss tells Laura that air was the cause of Karl’s death. It was an embolism. As they’re discussing it, a nasty lunch order arrives for the captain, which Laura intercepts. I thought Jake said he was taking this diet seriously. He doesn’t even appear to be trying.

V: Jalepeno double pepperoni pizza? Clearly the man has a cast-iron stomach and isn’t worried about ulcers. Laura says she’s not letting him screw with their medical insurance like he did their marriage. Oh, Laura. Let him have the pizza. When he goes, you’ll get the life insurance, so it will all even out in the end. Then you can date Alejandro in peace.

LT: Max has done some research and says Dr. Karl’s clinic has the highest pregnancy rate in the country. And since we can’t go ten seconds without talking kids, Alicia calls to tell Laura about the “helicopter moms” in Laura’s dining room. They’re staging a sit-in until they get to speak with Laura. She rushes home, and the moms tell her that her kids’ “antisocial behavior” is out of control. One of the moms gives Laura an instructional book called Don’t Fail at Parenting. It’s an intervention!

09 intervention

V: I’m sure this will work just as well as the baseball-through-the-window guy making threats, etc. No matter how horrible her children are, Laura just makes empty threats and jokes with them. Then lies to cover up their misdeeds. It’s hard to figure out what they’re doing with her character. On the one hand, they’re trying to paint Laura as Supermom, but on the other, her children are raging brats who don’t respect authority. They can’t have it both ways.

LT: But they’re trying their best, aren’t they? Billy questions Karl’s business partner, Dr. Lens.

10 other fertility doctor

She says everyone loved Karl. Billy says maybe not everyone, and asks her about pepper spray woman. Dr. Lens says she was nutty from the hormone treatments, but she’s a little loopy, anyway. Her name is Daisy Winters, and they called her Crazy Daisy.

Back at the intervention, the moms criticize Laura’s parenting skills but say it’s not totally her fault, since the kids are the product of a broken home. Zoey’s mom mentions how her little angel has been bullied before, which makes her particularly sensitive.

Laura asks for details, but Zoey’s mom says Laura’s kids are clever enough to never actually get seen doing anything. This sets off an alarm bell for Laura, who no doubt knows her little hellions aren’t really that clever. She tells the moms that her boys will apologize in class tomorrow and seems way too sweet and cooperative as she herds them out the door. Alicia knows something is up and smiles conspiratorially. Laura calls Max and tells him he has a case.

V: Here’s the thing. Those boys are hellions. There is some bad parenting going on. But they made these other women condescending and fake, so that once again, Laura looks like the good mom. Zoey is either doing the bullying or is lying about it. There was a small glimmer of hope that the boys were bullying, and maybe Laura would understand her parenting skills might not be up to snuff. Those hopes were dashed when they made the moms caricatures.

LT: Det. Bitchface questions Crazy Daisy at her job, as a barista in what seems to be a health-shake-type place.

11 crazy daisy

Unlike everyone who gushed over Karl, Daisy says the doctor rearranged her injection schedule to accommodate his vacation. She’s not a fan of his, but she’s forgotten about him, because she goes to Dr. Platt now. Although Dr. Karl has a higher pregnancy rate, Daisy says Platt has a higher live-birth rate. She tells Meredith to speak to nurse Elena, who tried to sell embryos out of the clinic, including one to Daisy herself. As they’re talking, Det. Sourpuss samples a couple of the health drinks. They’re all green. Give me a nice milkshake any day.

V: She even helped Daisy with the formula. Also, also, I guess Laura had accidentally sprayed Det. BF with pepper spray, even though Laura insists she was testing out the canister when BF snuck up on her. BF is still bitter about it, as it had all kinds of physical side effects that made her late for her date.

LT: Outside, Meredith meets up with Billy, who admits to being confused by the whole fertility clinic thing.

12 biological clock

He says everyone he knows is trying not to get pregnant. I hear ya, buddy! This makes Ms. Whiny whine about her biological clock. Ho hum. This was an edgy topic maybe in the eighties, but it’s just boring now. Billy thinks there would be dudes lined up around the block willing to knock up Det. BF. She sort of takes that as a compliment.

V: OMG. SERIOUSLY? Can there be one young, independent, kick-ass female who isn’t jonesing for a baby? Freaking-A. Expiration date? Gag.

LT: Yeah, barf. Totally. Weirdness. Then Max beeps her to let her know that Elena is still working at the clinic, even though Daisy had let Dr. Karl know about Elena’s side embryo business.

Max is busy juggling assignments this week. He’s at the donut shop with a stroller and just happens to bump into Zoey’s mom there.

13 max donuts

He strikes up a conversation, one parent to another. He’s already thinking about school for his daughter, and she recommends Ralston, where her kid goes.

V: This woman isn’t all that observant. Max fumbles and bumbles his way through his lies, and she’s never the wiser. Then he throws the box of donuts on the baby, but fortunately the mom is gone by then. However, the other mothers just give him dirty looks rather than calling child services.

LT: Laura and Meredith question Elena.

14 elena

She defends herself by saying she was using “leftover” embryos that weren’t wanted any more. She mentions how Dr. Karl had stopped letting nurses in the room when he did ultrasounds, and after that, his pregnancy numbers went way up. When she asked him about it, he gave her a raise and told her to mind her own business. Laura decides the best way to find out what’s going on is to pose as a patient. She asks for Elena’s help.

Laura goes undercover with Jake to the clinic.

15 examination

He reminisces about when Laura was pregnant with the twins, but she seems less inclined to get nostalgic. Probably because it was her ankles swelling up and her throwing up every morning and her belly getting huge, but maybe I’m just projecting.

V: Laura pretty much confirms this when she says Jake smoked cigars and drank and put together a crib, while she gained sixty pounds, peed every hour, and didn’t see her toes for almost a year. Boy, sounds like Jake was a winner all the way around. Does he have any redeeming qualities? Horrible husband, bad father, and cheater. What a prize! I can see why Laura would want to get back with him! Ugh. And he made her give up Alejandro.

LT: Dr. Lens comes in with Elena, asks a few questions, then dismisses Elena before starting the ultrasound. Laura sees the wand and asks if it shouldn’t buy her a drink first. I wonder if Jake did. The doctor forges ahead and happily tells Laura she’s pregnant, as a fetus appears on the monitor. That’s when Laura presents her badge.

During interrogation with Jake, Dr. Lens won’t give up the good doctor routine and insists that she and Dr. Karl helped people. Jake says all they did was give patients HCG, which gave them a false positive pregnancy test, then show them a phony ultrasound. The next visit, they think they had a miscarriage but are encouraged enough to start another $10,000 round of fertility treatments.

Jake accuses her of killing Dr. Karl, but she denies it. She says none of this would have happened if he were alive. His death has ruined her career. Jake says maybe a patient found out.

V: Max calls Ralston and impersonates a police officer, makes up a phony name, then says they’re investigating the assault on Zoey.

16 max makes a ccall

This person gives up the name of kid who did the bullying, Peter White, without checking to see if he is really a police officer. This school is supposed to be rich upper crust. If it got out they just hand out information like this over the phone, there would be lawsuits galore. Not to mention that Peter is a minor.

LT: Just more weirdness. Ignore it.

The detectives question patients of Karl, all of whom love him. After hearing the umpteenth happy parenting story, Meredith says she’s officially OD’d on mommy joy. For once, her sour face is totally appropriate. I’m sure I looked the same after being forced to endure all those gushing moms. Obviously, none of these folks are killers. The cops decide to track down the patients who didn’t answer their call.

Laura and Billy go to the apartment of Tara and Jason, who were told three times by Dr. Karl they were pregnant. Tara answers the door, and says she loves Dr. Karl. In fact, he just gave them “the good news” earlier this week.

V: How gullible is this woman after three times?

LT: She’s not exactly Ms. Mensa. As they’re leaving, Laura sneezes. They knock on the door again, and Laura asks Tara if she’s been near horses. She says no, but Laura sees a jacket hanging up and goes over to have a sniff. It makes her sneeze. It’s Jason’s jacket. He’s barbecuing on the roof. Laura tells Billy to call for backup.

Laura and Billy go up to the roof to question Jason. There’s some beautiful NYC scenery in this scene.

17 poor josh

Is that the Brooklyn Bridge? I can’t even imagine what Tara and Jason must pay in rent, with a view like that.

V: Three fertility treatments at ten grand a pop. They must be doing well.

LT: They ask if he’s going to tell his wife she’s not pregnant. They know about the false positives. Jason says he’s a video editor and eventually figured out it was the same ultrasound footage being shown every time. He says Karl should be arrested and acts surprised when told the doctor is dead. Laura says he followed Karl to the stables that day, and Jason looks around uneasily.

Laura gives Billy the sign, and he texts into his phone, Jumper. No sirens. Jason says he never meant to kill Dr. Karl. He got mad when the doctor didn’t apologize and instead offered a refund, because the whole thing was just about money to him. Jason swears Dr. Karl was alive when he left and had no idea about the embolism. Jason just wanted him to know what his wife felt like every time he jabbed her with a needle.

Realizing he’s committed murder, Jason gets more upset as he talks, and when Laura approaches him, he steps back and douses himself with lighter fluid.

18 josh on fire

He threatens to spark himself up, but Laura tells him his wife still needs him. Then she tells him the story of how she lost the girl she was carrying, a year before she got pregnant with the twins. He says he can’t be a father after he killed someone and flicks the lighter. The fire department is now in place, so Laura gives him a shove off the roof and into the airbag below.

20 safe landing

V: Billy kind of gives the field goal sign and says, “The kick is good!” to maybe lighten up the situation.

19 field goal

LT: Billy sympathizes with Laura about her miscarriage, but she says she made it up. All in the interests of making things run more smoothly, she says, and ribs Billy a bit for believing it.

V: I was kind of upset Billy made light of Jason’s situation, but afterward he says he does feel bad for the guy. Billy also says it must be nice to know someone has your back like that and it’s made him think twice about marriage. I guess Det. BF’s biological clock is coinciding with Billy’s sudden acceptance of marriage. I’m sure that’s a coinkidink. Laura is appalled that all of her pitches for marriage haven’t worked, but a suicidal killer turned him around.

Okay, what? How did Laura become all Yay! Pro-marriage? Did I miss something? Her man cheated on her. Multiple times. Since then, she’s had viable options but chooses to stay single. Granted, Jake has done some c-blocking but still. I’m confused as hell.

LT: Jake has done some MAJOR, obnoxious c-blocking.

V: Also, can’t we just have some single people who love being single? Why is marriage and babies always held up as the penultimate in achieving happiness? Again, look at Laura’s life. If anything, she’s a walking, talking, anti-marriage PSA.

LT: Of course, the miscarriage story was all true, as later in Jake’s office, she asks him if he “still thinks about her”. He says he does. They’re interrupted by Max, who walks in singing his own praises. He found out Zoey and her mom conspired to get Peter White expelled. She also has lawsuits against two other “bullies.”

Laura takes this info and leaves the office but not before checking Jake’s drawer to find cookies and throw them away.

20-a throwing away perfectly good cookie

Again throwing away perfectly good junky food. This time, though, Jake can’t take it, removes the cookies from the garbage can, and eats them. So not only does he break his diet, risking a high cholesterol count and higher insurance rates, he eats out of the trash to do it. That Jake is a classy guy.

V: And again, why set Laura up as a junk food junkie then have her throw away junk food? Character consistency, people!

LT: Back at Tae Kwan Do, Alicia tells the twins to get ready to leave. As they head for the locker room, that little witch Zoey follows. But Laura is ready. She’s hiding in a locker and catches Zoey threatening the boys, then films her biting her own arm.

21 zoey bites herself

She shows the video to the moms and forces the future star of Broads Behind Bars, little Zoey, to apologize. Laura says her brats may be a handful, but they’re not bullies. Then she gives Zoey’s mom a pamphlet on parenting, which Alicia calls “pretty badass.”

22 pamphlette

V: So, yeah. I don’t know. We’ll see. I get the point about the bullying, but Laura’s parenting skills still need to be looked at.

LT: Not to mention Jake, who would probably be proud to have those two kids become chips off the old block. Ugh. Just what the world needs.

Weird episode.

And so ends another mystery. What did you think? Are Laura’s boys merely handfuls, or do they have a future on Scared Straight, only they’re the criminals? Did you get baby overload, like your recappers did? Will Jason’s wife ever be told the truth? How about Dr. Karl’s wife, who was left thinking her husband was a cheater? Here’s to loose ends!

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