DETROIT 187 “Royal Bubbles/Needle Drop” Review

DETROIT 187 "Royal Bubbles/Needle Drop"

DETROIT 187 “Royal Bubbles/Needle Drop” Season 1 Episode 4 – This week’s Detroit 187 finds the Detroit Homicide Division investigating a murder involving a car wash owner that was cleaning more than cars and an up and coming rap artist whose life was cut short by a closely held secret.

Stone and Sanchez are dispatched to the scene of a car wash owner’s torture and murder. The department’s investigation reveals that the victim’s wife and son are also missing. Washington astutely tracks down the son at school where his aunt took him after his mother left him with her a few days prior. The wife, however, remains missing. The couple’s son offers a key piece of evidence regarding a book of information his mother kept that his father thought was going to get them killed. After a discussion with the child’s aunt, the detectives realize that the car wash was laundering money for a drug dealer and the victim’s wife, in an attempt to save her family, tried to blackmail the dealer for freedom. Fitch proposes what at first sounds like a risky endeavor, to use the son as bait, but turns out to be just a phone call about the son to lure the victim’s wife from hiding. Naturally, as soon as Fitch tells her that they will catch the drug dealer and that she is a brave woman, the restaurant undergoes a firestorm of bullets from the dealer and his thugs.

Meanwhile Langford and Mahajan investigate the falling death of a rapper in front of a record store. His very expensive and vandalized car is located nearby. The detectives naturally assume that the murder involves nefarious record producers and former gangsters. Number one on their list of suspects is Russell Pitts as he was the one that gave the victim, Chris Roberts, the $80,000 car and Chris’ mom a flat screen TV and new dining room set and is a major record producer in the area. Their investigation lead the detectives to an art student who made covers for Chris’ mix tapes. He offers the name of “B” also known as “Slab of Beef” as a possible suspect as B threatened Chris at a party the week before. “B” also brings up Russell Pitts as a possible suspect and I am sure the detectives felt they were going in circles. Russell Pitts then shares Chris’ secret with Langford and Mahajan. Chris was involved in a homosexual relationship that Pitts told him he had to end if he wanted to be a star. Things come full circle when the detectives again confront the art student. He eventually breaks and admits that he only intended to vandalize Chris’ car, but when Chris confronted him, he lost it and pushed Chris from the parking garage. After a year and half relationship, he could not understand why Chris would leave him with no explanation.

This episode of Detroit 187 was good. I did not anticipate that Chris Roberts’ sexual life would be the motive for his murder. I guess I too easily fell into the assumption that it would be drug dealing record producers and a deal gone bad behind the situation. Kudos to the writers for taking it in a different direction. The car wash murder seemed more run of the mill although it was definitely sad to hear the desperation in the victim’s wife’s voice when she explained how she tried to save her family.

I also enjoyed the personal tidbits on the characters that we got this episode. It was touching when Mahajan gave Langford the record of the song Langford danced to at his wedding and in Italian. We also got to see a picture of Langord with his wife, happy and smiling. When Langford’s smile after looking at the picture turns into a grimace, you can tell his wife’s death haunts him. I don’t think he will ever be able to make it to Italy as it will hold too much memories and promises that he and his wife made together. Like Washington, I am also curious about the paperweight. Washington voiced my own questions about what it meant and I laughed along with Fitch when Washington said “if it’s just your favorite canyon, that’s fine.” Who has a favorite canyon? Fitch is definitely a mystery within a mystery. We only learn things about him when he is talking to suspects or witnesses, like the story about his little brother. I am waiting to hear more stories about Fitch’s life and about New York.

I have also observed that the writers are getting better about making Detroit references. I know that this is fiction and I know they cannot get everything right, but when something is wrong, it is usually glaringly wrong. So I was pleased when the first victim clearly had a Michigan driver’s license. I was pleased to hear the right street names used, although I don’t know anyone that refers to it as “East Grand.” It is either “East Grand Boulevard” or “the Boulevard.” It did amuse me greatly when Langford and Mahajan were interrogating Slab of Beef and made reference to Beef “doing 5 years in Wayne County.” There is no prison in Wayne County and you cannot be held in county jail for longer than a year. Note to writers: you probably want to reference “Jackson” for something like that.

With that, I leave it to you. This show always brings out the most opinionated and informative commenters and I am eager to hear what you thought of this week’s episode of Detroit 187. Share your thoughts, gripes and observations in the comments below.

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