SGRoA: Forever Knight: S03 E03: Outside The Lines

SGRoA post 53 of 72

It’s all about coloring today, Snowflakes! Nick will mope about the coloring books available, and Tracy will happily sharpen everyone’s crayons, and Nat will be off doing some experiment with pigments.

Ahh, wouldn’t that be nice? I doubt it, though. Let’s recap!

We open in a club, which has much better music than we usually get in these scenes. Some dude in a Chandler Bing sweater is trying to sell drugs, but his girlfriend doesn’t want to do “business” and starts macking on another dude. Chandler tells her to knock it off, and a third dude pulls a knife on him, because you don’t do business before pleasure.

This is all boring, though, when compared to the chick fight happening on the dance floor – which is quickly interrupted when Chandler Bing’s girlfriend is found murdered.

Could this place BE any more dangerous?

Could this place BE any more dangerous?

Tracy’s “heard” about this place, though from what I could see, nothing especially interesting was happening here. The vic’s name is Cass, and she was stabbed. Tracy asks a bunch of stupid forensic questions, which makes me wonder what they teach in the academy in 1995. Nat answers them patiently and then takes off.

But uh-oh, what’s this? Tracy knows some dude at the club! He calls her “Button”, and he’s Bruce Spencer, from “Special Affairs”, though he’s doing a drug case. He’s also this guy:

NBCUniversal Press Tour All-Star Party

Callum Keith Rennie, who’s been in roughly everything ever. Anyway, he says he knows who killed Cass – JT Gary, who seemed to be stalking Cass, or at least being very persistent in pursuing her. Nick asks for evidence, and Bruce says that they should just take him down to the station and slap the guy around a little, and “he’ll fold like a towel”.

Oh. I see. It’s “Narcotics cop who’s been undercover too long can’t follow the rules”. Sigh. I don’t like this episode on Law&Order, either.

Back at the station, Tracy tries to start the paperwork, but she can’t figure out which form to use. Again, what are they teaching at the academy?

Professionalism. This guy's the prof.

Professionalism. This guy’s the prof.

Tracy gives some weak defense of Bruce – he’s undercover, his life is hard, don’t give him the business, Nick. Nick’s all like, “Fine, I won’t” and goes to see Reese. Nick gives him the rundown – Cass was raped and murdered, and Bruce Spencer was with her crowd. Reese does not seem pleased about Bruce being involved, and gives Nick Spencer’s list of charges. Well, the “official” charges. Commissioner Vetter has been helping Spencer out roughly forever, which explains why Tracy’s so enamored of him.

Bruce’s assertion that he “just knows” the killer spurs Flashback Time. There’s…Nazis, maybe? Nick’s working with the French resistance, apparently. Haven’t we seen Nazis before? I wonder if this works into the other story – like, is it possible for Nick to do both, or do they contradict each other?

Anyway, he brings German blasting caps to some dude, and then another dude stumbles in all bloody, and says the Gestapo were waiting for them, and they didn’t stand a chance. The resistance has a mole.

shutterstock_mole.jpg.CROP.original-original

Cass was 10 weeks pregnant. Nat called the OB, and the OB tells her that the father was JT Gary.

Bruce sets a meeting with JT on top of a roof somewhere. He holds him over the edge to handcuff him and beat the truth out of him. JT guesses that Bruce is a cop, but Bruce denies it. Nick and Tracy show up to JT’s building and Nick hears the argument. He tells Tracy to get up there, and then he flies up in time to see Bruce throw JT over the side.

Bruce, of course, gives Tracy a song-and-dance about how JT ran from him and threw himself over the edge. Nick is still watching from the shadows, and he is not pleased.

Bruce’s official statement is the same song-and-dance, with plenty of regret and angst thrown in for good measure. Nick is pissed. Tracy’s defending Bruce, of course, and Nick can’t simply say “I flew up to the roof and saw what went down”, so she has no reason not to do so – especially since she thinks all Bruce’s angst is sincere.

Nat calls them down to the morgue. JT was most likely the father, and maybe the killer, but he was definitely not the rapist. Weapon was definitely straight-edged and very sharp, like a scalpel or a straight-razor, and the killer was left-handed, as Nat demonstrates the hold he had on Cass by using Tracy.

I’m actually pretty impressed by all this forensic work, guys. Like, Nat’s definitely stepped up her game in these past few episodes, and definitely in this one. Perhaps because we in North America had just come through a huge celebrity trial and were all into crime shows, but whyever it’s happening,  I can dig it. Four for you, Nat Coco.

glenn-coco

Nat thinks the killer probably enjoyed the murder as much as the rape, and she wouldn’t be surprised if he’d done it before – which means he’ll probably do it again, too. She tells them she hopes they can catch him, fast.

Which throws Nick back to the Resistance. The head of Nick’s cell is listing off who could have been the mole, and he looks like if Stephen Rea and Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey had a baby. It’s weird. Also, he says “Nazi” so it rhymes with “snazzy”.

SpringtimeforHitler

They narrow down their suspects to one, and set a trap for him. He denies it, but Rea-Bates punches him anyway – and that somehow reveals that it was someone else? I don’t know, I wasn’t paying much attention, because I was looking for that image.

Tracy and Nick are going through files, trying to find someone who could be a likely killer. You know, despite the obvious gaps in her education, Tracy actually does a lot of police work. I mean, we’re only three episodes in, and I think we’ve seen more actual detecting in this season that in the other two combined. My little, terribly unprofessional baby is growing up! *tear*

Nick goes to Reese with his doubts about Spencer’s story – and he backs it up with actual, like, facts. Reese allows that Nick might be right, but since Nick didn’t see anything, all they have to go on is the fact that JT knew he wasn’t the rapist, and throwing himself off a roof doesn’t seem plausible.

Bruce leaves the precinct and makes a call on a pay phone, telling someone it’s “business as usual”. Nick’s followed him, though, and heard the call. Bruce pulls a gun on him, then laughs and says, “Oh, you startled me. I was just reassuring my undercover drug buddies, you know, like you do. Hey, you want to come be backup for me?”

Nick just walks away. Guys. Nick is awesome in this episode. What is going on?

crazypills

Tracy’s gone to talk to hookers? Because they would know who’s killing women with knives, I guess? Anyway, she’s unhappy when Nick comes to get her, because some of the girls thought she was interested in them. “And?” Nick says. “They were saying things!” says Tracy. Oh, Tracy. You’re so young and weirdly prudish.

Nick tries to talk to Tracy about Bruce, but she won’t hear it. Nick tells her she’s a good cop, with good instincts, and he just wants her to take a step back and really think about Bruce. She says she’s trying, and asks what Nick meant when he said that her dad covers for Bruce. He says something about excessive force, and how hard it is to hear these things about someone you’ve trusted all your life.

Which makes Nick flashback. So, it turns out they think it was the dude they thought it was, and they’re trying to beat the truth out of him. Oh, but then the second person they thought it was beans Nick over the head with a bottle and sets dude free, but then dude pulls a knife on her? This is so, so confusing. Nick vamps out and it looks like he’s going to eat the dude, but then Rea-Bates and the other guy come in, and we’re back to the present.

Bruce sneaks into Tracy’s car and asks for her help in calling Nick off. He offers to write her into the report on the drug ring if she helps, and she declines the offer, but does say she’ll talk to Nick. Though she looks doubtful as he walks away – and it’s not like she hasn’t already talked to Nick like a bagrillion times, anyway.

Bruce breaks into someone’s house – some woman. He pulls her around by her hair and throws her onto a leather Denver Couch, which he calls “fancy”. Which…no. Not even in ’95.

For reference, the couch that was in every single living room of every house we looked at when we moved here:

DenverCouch

Leather, not leather, patterened, plain…Every. Single. Sofa. We still don’t get it.

Anyway. Bruce starts asking her about some shipment of laptops or something, that’s really just a cover for a drug shipment. She says she doesn’t know anything about anything, and he sticks his gun in her face, but before he can shoot her, Tracy shows up and puts the kibosh on the whole thing. She was following him to prove that he wasn’t what people said, but obviously, she was wrong, Nick was right, Bruce is awful.

Nat, meanwhile, has done a full workup on the semen sample from Cass’s rapist, and there’s strychnine in it – which means that the rapist is on drugs, and he probably does the drugs cut with strychnine during sex, and that means he sees a “special” kind of girl.

So it’s back to the hookers, one of whom has amazing fake breasts and yet is on the street. Weird.

Bruce pulls Tracy into an alley to talk to her, to defend himself, and Tracy tells him about their lead. He suddenly has to leave, so it’s good that Nick got a lead from Fake Tits McGee.

Back in the past, Nick DID eat that guy! WTF?! He’s apologizing to Rea-Bates about it, but then he sees the girl who beaned him with a bottle kissing a Snazzy Nazi. He kills the Nazi, then goes after the girl – only to run into Lacroix, who gives him a lecture about killing innocent people right before Nick eats the girl.

crazypills

WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON HERE. It turns out the girl was innocent, too, maybe – and Lacroix points that out. Like, he’s not overtly condemning Nick, but he’s not applauding Nick’s sudden desire to sink his fangs into everyone he meets, either. It’s like some weird alternate universe.

Bruce goes to see a Domme, asking where “he” is. She says she doesn’t know, and asks about a warrant. Bruce shows her his gun in answer, and then one of the dudes from the opening scene walks out from the bedroom or something. He admits to killing Cass, knocks Bruce out, and takes out a straight-razor to finish Bruce off. The Domme is all, “Dude, WTF?!” so he turns the razor on her.

Nick and Tracy bust in before anything can happen to the Domme, and dude threatens Tracy with the razor, but Tracy uses some martial-arts moves on him to get out of his grip. Bruce wakes up and points his gun at dude. Tracy talks him down, though, and for some reason Bruce makes the collar? Why isn’t Bruce in cuffs, too? Holding a gun to some guy’s head when he’s not a threat? That feels a little excessive to me, but whatever.

Oh, but in the next scene, Bruce is in a cell, charged with JT’s murder. Well, good. He tells Tracy that she was wrong, and that he should have killed dude at the Domme’s place. That playing by the rules doesn’t get anyone anywhere, and his way? Is justice.

“No,” Tracy says, “it’s murder.”

oh-snap

Next Week: Native Americans being treated as wise “others”! Nick finding a cure! Maybe! But it involves transferring his “curse” to someone innocent! Bet he won’t just find someone guilty and be human again! That would be too easy!

Show SGRoA Post List
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  • SGRoA: Forever Knight S02 E01.5: Killer Instinct, Commentary Edition
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  • SGRoA: Forever Knight S02 E03: Stranger Than Fiction
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  • SGRoA: Forever Knight: S03 E03: Outside The Lines
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    One thought on “SGRoA: Forever Knight: S03 E03: Outside The Lines

    1. I’m not exactly sure what LaCroix was trying to achieve back in WW2 France with this one. The only thing I can think of is that his new tune regarding Nick is to try to show him the truth of what a vampire is, at least the truth according to LaCroix. Nick is awfully self-righteous in this one. In WW2, he was incorrectly so. In the present, it seems he HAS learned his lesson and knows the facts of the matter, even if he can’t prove it to others for most of the episode.

      There’s a phrase I picked up from a science ficiton author about tropes and cliches: Life is a passing parade. I’m sure that, for some, seeing “Narcotics cop who’s been undercover too long can’t follow the rules” in this episode was something new. What makes the story work at all here is Callum Keith Rennie. Yes, he’s been in everything … because he’s that good at his job.

      Minor annoyance: don’t give someone a nickname and then NEVER use it again in any episode, ever. They did it with “Donut” Don Schanke and now they did it with Tracy “Button” Vetter.

      It’s interesting to me, reading someone else’s take on the episodes, especially with regard to the insanity of Tracy knowing about vampires but not about Nick. I think you hit the nail on the head here: she’s been promoted too fast and isn’t really the highest quality detective. Schanke figured out that Nick is a vampire without ever actually believing vampires are real. Tracy knows vampires are real, has never seen Nick eat or go out in daylight, and doesn’t put it together.

      I look forward to more insights.

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