THE GLADES “Iron Pipeline” Review

THE GLADES “Iron Pipeline” Season 2, Episode 9 – As a native Floridian, I will always judge shows set in Florida with a bit of a heavy hand, even as I appreciate them putting a spotlight on my homeland. It’s just because so many of them get it wrong, mostly because they’re filmed in Los Angeles. Sorry, CSI Miami, there are no mountains in the Everglades.

That being said, I really want to like The Glades. They actually film in Florida! They don’t buffer every scene with sweeping shots of the swamp or stock footage of half-naked women tanning on the beach. It seems like they’re trying to do Florida justice.

I just wish they could pay as much attention to their plots.

This is only the second episode I’ve ever seen, yet it contains the second “totally-out-of-left-field-and-possibly-out-of-character” culprit reveal. Is this a hallmark of the show? I can’t be sure yet, but I find it worrisome. We all love a good twist at the end, but that twist needs to be set up properly or else it just feels like a cheap ending.

This week’s ep deals with underground gun dealers, the so-called Iron Pipeline. As the daughter of a card-carrying member of the NRA, I grew up with guns and I know all the issues surrounding gun rights and responsibilities. I tried to imagine watching this episode with my father, how he would feel about such an obvious “guns are bad, m’kay?” message. Yes, guns are dangerous. But it’s people who are the real threat and I’m still on the fence as to whether the show got that message across.

I think that if it succeeded at all, it was in the story about the bullied boy who accidentally killed his teacher with a gun he brought to school to protect himself. And while this was merely what kicked off the true mystery, it’s also the only part of the episode that touched me in any way. When good people make bad choices in real life, there is no easy resolution, and it’s nice to see that reflected in TV Land.

What bothered me the most was the revelation that a pasty, nervous evidence clerk who got nauseated after botching his part in a sting operation turns out to be the money-hungry linchpin in the entire underground arms trade. I’m sorry, I didn’t buy it. At all. I would have rather seen the mother of the accidental killer turn out to be the true bad guy. That would have made more sense to me, not to mention being a better use of the fantastic character actress Kathleen Wilhoite.

Truth be told, I’m a little surprised I managed to keep up with the plot, such as it was, at all. The dialogue is fast and choppy and too many conclusions are drawn without enough evidence to warrant them. TV cops are notorious for their gut instincts, but I’m not sure anyone would have guessed that poor boy was going to hang himself on the field where he shot his teacher just because he wasn’t in his room when he was supposed to be. It’s just too neat. To me, there’s not much difference between improbable and implausible.

I hope this was just a bad example of The Glades because I find it very difficult to criticize a show that doesn’t make Florida out to be a No-Man’s Land of gators and drug dealers. But I also can’t pretend that I was impressed with this particular episode. Crossing my fingers for the next one.

What did you think of “Iron Pipeline”? Are you willing to overlook flaws in order to get another look at Matt Passmore’s very nice arms? Do you also need an AK-47 to solve your pest problems? Let me know below!