The Firm “Chapter Three” Review

Did The Firm need a two hour pilot on Sunday to introduce use to McDeare (who is supposed to be ten years older than Tom Cruise when he played the part in the 90s but honestly looks like he could pass for a teenager on a CW show with a good shave) and the brand new firm who wants to corrupt him or kill him? No, and the pilot was too long by half. But now that the show has resumed airing on its regular schedule and is now a manageable forty minutes, it’s much easier to enjoy.

Enjoy wouldn’t exactly be the right word to use. Yet. A lot of shows take a while to get going. Very few shows have the creative team to hit the ground running: Criminal Minds never really kicked off until they go rid of Patinkin and Glaudini and introduced Mantegna (at least for my money). Parks and Recreation had a notoriously bad first season, and now its one of the best shows (if not the best show) on television. My point is, it sometimes takes time for a show to come together. Now, I’m not saying that The Firm will become the best show on television. I wouldn’t put any money down on that horse. But it could become an enjoyable, escapist forty minutes if it manages to work out some of its kinks.

Its major flaws have to do with storytelling: the show is dull. There’s no getting around that. Even with tonight’s episode featuring a twisty case of a partner’s son at McDeare’s new law firm who killed his girlfriend except no one thinks he did because there’s an insane guy who wants to take the fall…it’s so convoluted and it’s sensationalist, going for the big dramatic punches. But, as Law and Order realized fairly quick, you have to empathize with the victim (or in this case, the manslaughter perp) to care about the case-that, or else you have to care enough about lawyers involved in the case that you care about what they care about. And so far Josh Lucas, whilst he seems pleasant and has a nice face, has given me no reason at all to care about McDeare. The character is a righteous do-gooder, which is all fine and good but he doesn’t seem to possess a single flaw.

There’s an overarching subplot about the firm which is connecting these episodes and will probably be paid off only when it comes to season finale time, but it’s there as a hook to make sure the viewers don’t abandon the show.

Yet the writers are doing some truly uninteresting things. It doesn’t bode well for the show that they’ve got Molly Parker handling a student cheating in only the third episode-surely the storytelling well hasn’t dried up so fast!

Hopefully the show can work out its kinks, shed the stuff that makes it boring and embrace ambiguity. What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.