Reconvo: The Mysteries of Laura S2 Ep. 3 The Mystery of the Locked Box

by

Veruca Salt and L.T. Milroy

Welcome back! After the first couple of episodes heavy with all of the drama of Laura/Jake and Laura/Food Truck Tony, it’s almost a little off-putting here that we have an ep so case-heavy. Not much personal stuff this week. Though Laura and Jake both work the case, they talk about their relationship very little. Jake has more important things to worry about. More on that later.

VS:  I noticed right away a significant energy shift and knew it would be a case-heavy episode right out of the gate.

There’s also no movement on the Billy/BitchFace front, except for Billy saying, “Now that’s the nerd I love.” But we’re left to wonder whether he meant that in a general way, or…

LT: It sounded to me like ‘love’ in the generic sense.

VS: But they really stressed BF’s nerd-techie girl status this week by her speaking over everyone’s heads and fangirling about the tech-god victim, while also knowing about his obnoxious partner.  She talks of having to correctly answer logic problems, or she wouldn’t get dessert.

LT: Captain Queenie was much improved this week. In her first scene, she’s discussing the case of the week with the detectives and actually listens to them instead of just barking orders. It’s a marked improvement over last week. I wonder why she changed? I hate when this kind of exposition takes place off camera.

VS: This seemed like the only scene where she was rational, nice, and good at her job.

LT: Later, Queenie tries to bond with Laura over being single mothers, but all it does is creep Laura out. I can’t blame her. Bonding can’t be forced, Queenie. Up to now you’ve been about as cuddly as a rabid porcupine, so you can’t expect Laura to just warm up to you at will.

VS: It seemed like she did the opposite of trying to bond with Laura. First, she puts down Zac’s mom and basically calls her a neglectful mother for letting him leave home at such a young age, without knowing the story behind it. Then she pats herself on the back for never letting her kid sleep away from home, even though he’s fourteen and should have had some sleepovers by now. Then when Laura tries to relate her situation to QOD, she points out that Laura isn’t doing it alone, since she has Jake, like her situation is tougher, and Laura has it easy.

LT: The case is a young techie billionaire, Zac, owner of Focalize, found dead in his apartment in a supposedly super-secure building. He’s sliced up pretty bad, and there’s lots of spatter on the walls. I had flashbacks to Dexter with all of the blood spatter talk. That would be an interesting crossover. I wonder how Laura and Dexter Morgan would get along?

s02e03 SPATTER

VS: They’d get along great. Both of them do not suffer fools gladly.

LT: Most of the episode is spent chasing after red herrings. The reddest of those is Zac’s business partner, Shane. From the get-go he’s a jerk, mouthing off about how he’s the one who grounded Zac and gave him structure, because Zac was always hyper-focused and losing stuff. He says he was the one who got Zac’s ideas out of his head and into every computer processor on the planet

s02e03_SHANE SMARMY

VS: He really has that rich-kid, snobby attitude and voice down pat. I loved how BF skewered him right after he hit on her.

LT: He behaves like a total douche at the memorial service, prompting Zac’s mom to yell at him.

VS: Dude wouldn’t let one of Zac’s best friends finish his eulogy, because he had more important things to do. Mom shooting hate laser eyes at him was pretty awesome. But when she loses it and starts yelling at people for using her son, it’s heartbreaking. Though I do love that as everyone is trying to record her, Laura threatens to throw their phones off the roof.

LT: After Shane snaps up domain names for Zac’s latest project, they figure out Shane has Zac’s phone. He lied when he said Zac wasn’t developing anything before he died. Shane is arrested, but he has an alibi for the night of the murder.

VS: Of course he does. Why check that out right away, when you can spend all of that time investigating him? And I guess mom was right, Shane was trying to sell Zac’s latest idea to a competitor, so they could bury it and never let it see the light of day. Too bad you can’t lock someone up for terminal douchiness, but at least since he kept Zac’s phone, he gets locked up for impeding a murder investigation. That was satisfying.

LT: Another false lead is the delusional Abby, who’s obsessed with the victim. She’s a pathetically harmless type who convinced herself she was Zac’s wife.

s02e03 crazy abby

VS: She didn’t seem so pathetically harmless when she came screaming out of the building with a humongous butcher knife aimed at Billy. Though Billy’s assumption that the big-ass knife killed Zac is ridiculous. There were dozens of small wounds around the same size. I know that knife didn’t make his wounds, and I’m not a cop. Dexter would know that, too.

And when someone has a delusion, and you’re trying to get information from them, you don’t try to talk reason and logic. You accept their delusion as fact, which Laura does when she busts in and chews out Billy for talking like that to a woman who just lost her husband. Heh.

All of the talk of coded messages and how Zac sent her sent pop-up ads as a way to show what they could do together, was totally creepy and real.

VS: Then QOD, resorting to form, calls Laura doctor in the snottiest tone possible when Laura says she doesn’t think Crazy Abby killed Zac. Laura manages not to bitchslap her, so I guess she’s getting used to it.

LT: Abby claims she went out to dinner with Zac the night he was killed and he got into an argument with a guy wearing a baseball cap. She’s right, but she knew that because she was following Zac, not dining with him.

Baseball cap guy is red herring number three, Zac’s father. They’ve been estranged for many years. Jake says that maybe the only reason pop wants to see his son again is because sonny boy is loaded, and pa doesn’t deny it.

VS: Instead of trying to reconnect with his son and be a dad to him, he was trying to get a piece of Zac’s new project, but Zac was going to give it away for free. Daddy thought it was a stupid idea and told him so, which explains why his son is a billionaire, and he’s caught stealing ear buds at the Apple store.

LT: After questioning pa, who brags about how rich he is now, after the death of his son, Jake takes pleasure in informing him that since he never made child support payments or showed any interest at all in his kid for the first twenty-one years of Zac’s life, he’s not eligible to be a beneficiary.

s02e03 dad not happy

The culprit winds up being Jordan, Zac’s friend since the fourth grade. He was the one Shane bumped at the memorial service. He left Zac a series of messages that contained nothing but a bunch of wheezing, and Laura remembers him taking a hit off an inhaler during his eulogy.

VS: Poor Jordan didn’t do quite as well as his good friend. One semester of community college, still lives with his parents, and his current source of income is unemployment.

As his situation got more and more desperate, he left a ton of messages for Zac, begging for his help, and even threatens to kill himself, but Zac never checks his voicemail or his four thousand email messages dating back to 2014. The wheezing calls were the last ones he left.

LT: They discover that Jordan recently bought a drone, which was determined to be the murder weapon. That’s how Zac got sliced up in his ultra-secure building. The drone entered through a window. Do those things move that fast that he wouldn’t have been able to get out of the way? I know virtually nothing about drones, but it seems a bit far-fetched.

VS: No, you’re right. As we soon see.

LT: When the detectives go to Jordan’s place, he sets the drone on them, but Jake takes it out with the throw of a baseball.

s02e03 broken dr0ne

Either that thing was somehow able to sneak up on Zac stealthily, or the guy was just a huge weenie, because Jake grounded the drone pretty easily. Jake says the third baseman in him has still got it, prompting Laura to comment that she thought he was a shortstop. I’m hoping she was yanking his chain here, because I assume she watched him play when they were dating and not knowing your boyfriend’s (or girlfriend’s) position is unforgivable.

VS: Actually, Laura said, “Short Stop’s still got it” and he says, “That was third base.” So, I don’t think she was saying that he played third base.

Agreed that the thing did not fly fast enough or seem dangerous enough to make that many slashes on Zac without him having something in that huge, fancy apartment to disable it. He might have been asleep when it first started, but at some point he could have outrun the thing. The guy has a climbing wall in his apartment.

LT: Though it was impossible for Laura to bond over motherhood with Queenie, she does with Zac’s mom. Zac was a young guy, in his early twenties and barely moved out of mom’s house, so they were still close. His refrigerator is full of home-cooked meals made lovingly by mom. Laura tells her about her own little hellions, and they talk about raising sons.

After the case is solved, she stops by the station to thank Laura. She can’t get used to not having anyone to cook for, so she’s brought Laura some lasagna for the boys. Laura takes it and they hug. It’s rather sad and a more touching moment than this show normally delivers.

s02e03 lasagne

VS: Wow. All of these people who want to give Laura home-cooked meals. I need to hang with her. One of the only right things QOD did this episode was have Laura inform the mom.

Her heartbreak was apparent when she talked about how she wanted her son to have a normal childhood, but by the time he was in fourth grade, he was running rings around his teachers, and at least at Columbia, he had people he could communicate with.

I’ll bet Laura was thinking the whole time how she can make her kids smart, so they will beg to move out by the time they’re sixteen. I have a feeling those kids will be forty and still living at home.

LT: It turns out the apparent Jake-hooked-on-painkillers plotline is something else. We do see him secretly pop some pills again, a scene complete with furtive looks around and cheesy music, and it seems to be a set-up for a trite, predictable addiction storyline. He even takes his pulse afterward.

s02e03 jake taking pulse

But in the show’s last scene, Laura brings up a memory lapse Jake suffered in an earlier conversation and how she’s afraid he might have neurological damage.

Jake says he’s on blood thinners. He has a minor heart condition, due to the shooting. He says it’s a small thing, but if the department knew, it would be enough to get him confined to desk duty, and of course, he doesn’t want that. He insists he’s okay and asks Laura to keep his secret. She reluctantly agrees, they call each other partner, and they’re getting along nicely, even if Laura looks uneasy.

s02e03 laura looking pensive

VS: Color me pleasantly surprised they didn’t go with the cliché I’ve seen played out on pretty much every show like this where a main character had to take pain killers.

Though Jake forgetting entire conversations seems like it would hamper him more, and I kept waiting to find out the connection between his heart condition and the memory loss. Does the condition cause it? Do the drugs cause it? Because that’s what Laura was concerned about, and she totally forgot about it the second he said “heart condition.” There are huge implications if a cop forgets important details of a case. That can be used in court. I hope they again manage to bring up the neurological condition he obviously has, because that conversation was just weird.

And Jake’s doctor friend handled it off the books, which means he may have put his friend’s entire career in jeopardy.

LT: This isn’t a major thing, but it bothered me: At one point, Laura is at the medical examiner’s office discussing the case with the dancing hand-job ME (I’m not the only one who remembers his exploits from last season, am I?) and she’s eating literally right over the victim’s body lying on a gurney. Even the ME comments on it, and she mumbles something about not having lunch. Not a good enough explanation, Laura. Actually, I don’t know if any excuse is good enough for this, it’s pretty disgusting.

s02e03 eating over the body

VS: Not only disgusting, but I can’t imagine it’s allowed at all, since dropped food could contaminate the evidence. There has to be a hard and fast rule about that.

LT: We all know Laura’s a badass, she doesn’t have to dine with corpses to prove it. Hey, I just came up with Laura’s Native American name, Dines With Corpses.

My quote of the week comes from Det. BF, as she was slapping the cuffs on Shane after he was found in possession of Zac’s phone: “I get to introduce you to a different kind of bars on your cell.”

VS: My favorite quote:

Jake: “You’re one hell of a liar.”
Laura: “Thanks. I learned from the best.”

So, that’s it. Will Jake ever answer questions about his neurological damage and how that cam affect his job? Will Laura realize he deflected the memory loss conversation by talking about his heart condition? Can Humpty Dumpty be put back together again?

Stay tuned!

 

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