AGAINST THE WALL “A Good Cop” Review

AGAINST THE WALL “A Good Cop” Episode 2 – If you’ve ever watched a cop drama on a regular basis, you know that for police officers, IA (or Internal Affairs) is pretty much the boogeyman. They’re the hard-assed dicks who dare to find fault with Elliot Stabler of Law and Order: SVU punching anyone he feels needs his fist in their face. They are the villains to the TV cops’ heroes, the ones we can’t wait to see fail in their mission to thwart true justice.

Being a champion of villains my whole life (am I the only one who cheers on Jaws?), I pretty much love that Lifetime has decided to put out Against the Wall, a show about a female detective who goes against her family of police officers and takes a job in IA. Of course, Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani) isn’t really a villian; she actually believes that IA clears good cops as often as it catches bad cops. Admirable? Sure. Naive? Maybe.

Of course, this being TV land, nary a week into Abby’s new job, her brother Richie (Brandon Quinn), a beat cop, guns down a teenage boy in presumed self-defense. The truth of this event is set up to be the backbone of the fledgling series.

But as a cop drama, there’s going to be unrelated IA investigations in the meantime, cases that Abby takes on with her pregnant partner Lina Flores (Marisa Ramirez). I was surprised to find that in the second episode, the supposed “A” storyline of the search for a mole in the Organized Crime Unit didn’t interest me nearly as much as the conflict between Abby and her family. That was what I really wanted to see, because I think it’s where the show truly shines.

Yes, I like the fresh approach to the cop show, portraying things from the IA point of view, but when I think back over the episode, the scene that sticks most in my mind is when Abby is with her entire family, yet standing apart from them, as if they are now on different sides of an invisible line.

We can feel her isolation, but there’s still a family bond there, the kind that lets us know we’re loved, even when our brothers and fathers and mothers are mad at us. I want to see more of that, which would mean seeing more of the brothers, the ones who aren’t Richie. But it’s hard to do that when 80% of the episode is taken up with an investigation that likely won’t be mentioned ever again. I felt like the first episode balanced things out much better; there was a subplot, but it was woven into the personal moments with far more grace.

On the whole, though, I’m enjoying the show. I like Abby. Okay, she has what I like to call “Bella Syndrome,” which is basically clumsiness given to pretty girl characters by writers who feel they need some kind of flaw. And yes, she’s sleeping with her brother’s jocked-out partner Brody (Andrew Walker), while denying her feelings for the much more suitable lawyer Danny (Chris Johnson), but if I condemned every TV character for their questionable choice in sexual partners, I never would have gotten past season six of Buffy. Abby is smart and a bit of a rebel, so I will continue to give her, and Against the Wall itself, the benefit of the doubt, if for no other reason than for creating a sympathetic twist to the classic cop villain.

What did you think of the episode? Are you placing bets on how soon Lina will go into labor in the middle of an interrogation? Do you having a craving for chocolate cake, too? Let me know below!

  • Quip

    I’m loving this show and totally hooked on it.  I completely agree with you too that the family relationship and interaction is the best part of this show.  If I want to watch a crime drama that gets solved in an hour, I’d watch one of the 32000 other cop shows on tv.  It’s the family and how Abby navigates it that I can appreciate and relate to.

    • Kristen Elizabeth

      Word:)  And thanks!