Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
OpinionReviewsTelevision & Film

Recap: SECOND CHANCE Gives a Palimpest to Its Formula

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Episode 6 “Palimpest”

‘Palimpest’ is an appropriate title for this episode for many reasons. One of the main reasons is, of course, the theme of the episode, which is about a surgeon that maims and disfigures people before he kills them. Another is the fact that this episode really mirrors its detective procedural counterparts, even more so than the two previous episodes, with its heavy police presence and the classic ‘hunt for the serial killer’ that many cop procedurals have. Of course, with the advanced tech and Jimmy (Robert Kazinsky) being practically superhuman, Second Chance adds its own flair, truly fitting the definition of ‘Palimpest’.

Spoilers_SecondChance

The episode begins with Duval (Tim DeKay) and his team questioning a young woman who had escaped two kidnappers while jogging. It turns out she’s a professional escort with wild descriptions of the men, calling them ‘monsters’ and saying they have ‘horns’ and the like. The FBI (and Duval) dismisses her case as ramblings from a woman who had a bad drug trip. Especially after they search the cabin she described and found it completely empty.

Jimmy disagrees, and offers to take the woman, Jilly (Taylor Cole), back home to allow her to calm down and keep her safe. He tells Arthur the A.I. (voiced by Scott Menville) to make a sketch based on Jilly’s description and run a face match. It turns out that her descriptions of ‘horns’ and ‘pointed ears’ are correct as the matching suspect of the sketch is a bartender with a pseudonym, and he underwent severe illegal body modification, giving him pointed ears and horns. Jimmy goes out to question him, while Jilly reveals shares with Mary (Dilshad Vadsaria) her suspicion that that Jimmy wants to impress Mary because he is attracted to her. Jilly then leaves, feeling uncomfortable staying.

Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

Jimmy’s interrogation results in tearing off part of the kidnapper/bar tender’s ear, which he brings back to Arthur for DNA testing. They use the DNA to find out the bartender’s real identity and soon track down the surgeon, who has kidnapped Jilly again in another attempt to ‘disfigure’ her. Jimmy and the FBI storm the house and rescue Jilly.

A side plot to the episode concerns Mary and her CEO friend with benefits Connor Graff (Adan Canto). After having sex with him, she tells him she’s calling off the merger of their two companies due to her improving health. He then conspires to steal Otto’s (Adhir Kalyan) tech for himself since he can no longer have the company. The episode ends on Connor telling Mary’s assistant Alexa (Vanessa Lengies) which files he needs stolen.

Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

A lot happened in this episode. There’s the main plot about the kidnappers, Connor wanting to steal the Lookinglass tech, Mary being told about Jimmy’s attraction to her, and Otto growing more bitter about Jimmy’s presence in the house, all with varying success. Connor Graff is a relatively new character (his only introduction previous to this episode was Jimmy being told they were having sex to take off stress and in the case of Mary’s death the company was to go to him) and the reveal of his using Mary for her company and the tech is surprising, as in his few appearances he appeared to genuinely care about Mary. The fact that Alexa is in on it is surprising, though, because we’re not told what motivation she has for betraying her employer. She appears to be well paid and very kind to Mary, so when we’re told that she believes stealing the tech is for the greater good, it rings hollow.

The other subplot of Jilly ‘seeing’ Jimmy’s crush on Mary also rings hollow, as Mary and Jimmy have had very little onscreen time together and he seems to have little regard for her because of the events of last episode; plus this episode he’s once again willing to risk his life to fight crime rather than stay around the house like Mary and Otto want.

Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

Otto’s crisis of not wanting to help Jimmy for this crime highlights a few of the problems I had with this episode (and one with the show in general). Otto (and most of the cast) almost never refer to Jilly by her name, calling her hooker, prostitute, call girl, etc. They degrade and look down on her constantly, which is disrespectful and irritating. It’s 2016. Let’s stop the degradation of women’s career choices. Another problem with this subplot is its highlight of Otto not helping Jimmy is that Otto feels ‘he longer wants to be used’ when Jimmy is simply asking for his help in stopping a serial killer. It makes Otto seem petty and unwilling to help others, when he created tech for that very reason in the first place. It’s a confusing and sudden change of character.

Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

But don’t take my negativity too heavily. The episode was pretty great. The suspense kept one intrigued, new plots are brought up that will bring you back for more, and Duval and Jimmy finally feel like forces to be reckoned with. Truly a new take on an old genre. A Palimpest.

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