After back to back action packed episodes, Shiv Part Two surprisingly slows things down. With Courtney (Brec Bassinger) injured after her fight with Cindy/Shiv, she’s mostly out of commission this episode. That leaves Pat to work with the remaining JSA members to try to figure out who Cindy’s parents are. This gives Beth (Anjelika Washington) and Pat (Luke Wilson) the opportunity to shine with a funny team up that is the highlight of the episode. One minor point that keeps nagging me is, Blue Valley is a small midwestern town, yet it seems entirely too difficult to figure out who people are, especially given how little everyone does to hide their identities.
Shiv Part 2 does fall into the ‘dumb decision to move the plot forward’ trap. Courtney continues to make boneheaded decisions, presumably to make the story go where the writers want. Compounding that are some strange decisions by Shiv, which are kind of explained, but again seem mostly made for convenience. This episode, while entertaining, required the most suspension of disbelief. At least Courtney’s boneheaded moves have consequences.
Speaking of entertaining, the episode moves from the comic book fighting of prior episodes to some genuine tension, without relying on glitzy action sequences (though there is a small one at the end that is pretty cool). Part of the tension comes from the fact that the series has established the characters enough that you root for them. Having creepy hooded mystery bad guy make an appearance also helps. He reminds me of Cobra Commander from the old G.I. Joe cartoon, only freakier.
Amy Smart’s Barbara inches ever so slowly towards relevance, as Pat and Courtney debate whether to clue her in to what is going on. Amy Smart fact of the week: She starred in Rat Race, so she is ready to take on some more stressful situations when the writers bring her into the story.
While I didn’t like this episode as much as the prior two, I realize it is hard to up the ante each week. This episode struck an interesting balance between humor and tension. While there are some headache inducing dumb decisions, the episode is still a fun ride. I’m excited to see where the writers take us next.
This episode will debut on Monday, July 5th
Check back next week for my thoughts on the 9th episode of the series.
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