SECOND CHANCE: L-R: Rob Kazinsky and Vanessa Lengies in the "That Time In The Car" episode of SECOND CHANCE airing Friday, Feb. 26 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
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Recap: SECOND CHANCE Presents Enjoyable Character Revelations in the Car

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Episode 7 “That Time In The Car”

A lot happened this episode. Betrayal, mystery, grief, mistakes, dating… This episode realizes its characters deserve the forefront to the cop drama and rightfully gives it to them.

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The episode opens with a big reveal: Alexa (Vanessa Lengies) finds out about Jimmy Pritchard’s (Robert Kazinsky) true origins by discovering the tank. She attempts to tell Mary (Dilshad Vadsaria), but Mary brushes her off, determined to keep her brother and Pritchard’s secret safe. Then the episode cuts to Pritchard, Duval (Tim DeKay), and Helen (Amanda Detmer) eating lunch while she introduces them to her new boyfriend, Wally (Breckin Meyer). Pritchard immediately doesn’t trust Wally, and follows him to his job as a parole officer.

It turns out that he’s a dirty parole officer, providing alibis to an ex-con while taking bribe money. Pritchard and Duval go to Helen’s apartment to break the news to her, while Helen remembers when she first dated Wally as a teen, and her father called her ‘an idiot’ for doing so. This revelation stuns Pritchard, as he doesn’t remember that. Throughout the episode, he feels guilty for being so hard on both Duval and Helen, but especially Helen, due to the name calling.

Wally (Breckin Meyer) and (Amanda Detmer) at lunch. Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Wally (Breckin Meyer) and (Amanda Detmer) at lunch. Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

The investigation into Wally’s bribery reveals he’s been strong armed into it. The ex-cons are planning a big heist and need an alibi, and they paid him but also threatened his life if Wally did not go along with the plan. Also, Wally admits to Duval that he’s not very strong and has a hard time standing up to intimidating people. As a result, Pritchard comes up with a plan. Get the backer to make another payment, and then they can flush out whoever is behind trying to pay the ex-cons and Wally off.

Pritchard, of course, goes to Mary and Otto (Adhir Kalyan) to help track them, only to find Otto sitting silently, unresponsive. Mary explains that today is the day their parents died, and Otto honors that by not speaking.

SECOND CHANCE: Dilshad Vadsaria as Mary Goodwin Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
SECOND CHANCE: Dilshad Vadsaria as Mary Goodwin Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

A flashback reveals Otto explaining different scientific processes to Mary in the back seat when they were kids. Their parents turn around to yell at Otto to ‘be quiet for one day’, causing them to take their eyes off the road and collide with a semi truck. After the crash a young Mary promises to never leave Otto while he is silent.

Realizing they’re running out of time to track the criminal’s payment, Pritchard and Mary try to get Otto’s attention, to no avail. They then begin to work with Arthur (voiced by Scott Menville) to try to figure it out themselves, which then prompts Otto to break his silence and work with them. They find the criminal and catch him before he and the other ex-cons fully escape from prison, with Wally being congratulated by Pritchard and Duval for his bravery in helping them. They even take him to apologize to Helen and suggest that they get back together after explaining the situation. Pritchard then takes the time to tell her that her father always loved her even though he was a harsh father.

Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

The episode ends with the reveal that something happened between Otto and Alexa that de-aged her, as she sits down with her much older husband to reminisce over old wedding photos (The photos being clearly at least 30 years old, if not more).

So the conflict between Alexa, Otto, and Connor (Adan Canto, though he doesn’t appear in this episode) remains, with more mysteries on the way.

This episode does well with Pritchard regretting aspects of his previous life, a quality that the previous episodes tended to stumble on. He genuinely feels bad about his treatment of his children, and is determined to fix it. It’s a good contrast to his attitude in previous episodes, with a stark belief that he always did what was best. He’s presented as a troubled person and a parent who, while trying, didn’t do all of the right things. Duval openly forgives him (since he knows who he is), saying that while he was a harsh father he knew that he loved him and his sister. Which is good. It’s nice to see that middle ground of parents who aren’t outright vindictive to their children but aren’t perfect either. Pritchard was a cynical man in life, so it makes sense he’d treat his kids the same way.

Sergei Bachlakov/FOX
Sergei Bachlakov/FOX

Another thing I liked about this episode was that Otto was broken out of his grief by doing the ‘puzzles’ of crime solving that he’s been shown to enjoy, rather than Mary’s kind words. It’s a different approach to how people deal with guilt and grief. He couldn’t save his parents, but he will save others.

My only solid criticism of the episode is the crime they are solving is very “by the numbers”. Every plot point of it plays out like any other procedural, but luckily it is in the background and the characters take the forefront. The overall cop procedural is given the back seat (and a few plot holes, like how the prisoner was able to keep the cell phone and make the money transfer with no security alarms) in favor of giving its characters second chances.

The lingering mystery of Alexa’s true relations to Otto and Connor are the lingering question here, as her entire situation is still ambiguous and one that will hopefully be creatively unpacked and resolved other the next three episodes.

 

Second Chance airs Fridays at 9/8c on Fox.

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