Backstrom “Ancient, Chinese, Secret” Review Season 1 Episode 6

Backstrom Ancient Chinese Secret Season 1 Episode 6 07

On the latest episode of “Backstrom,” it was time for a visit to Chinatown, and that could only mean one thing: lots of politically incorrect humor at the expense of the Chinese on Backstrom’s end, in “Ancient, Chinese, Secret.” Although, to be fair, my favorite burn had nothing to do with Backstrom insulting the Chinese, but instead Gravely, when she confessed that she believed in ghosts, and mentioned she saw one on her room as a little girl. Said Backstrom, without missing a beat: “It was a mirror.” (I also loved his referring to her as a “ginger dwarf” at one point- and mind you, I do love me some redheads, so that has nothing to do with it.)

Anyway, the main murder here was of a Chinese psychic by the name of Davis Gu, who was found stabbed to death by his twin sister, Celia (Camille Chen, “Spy Kids 3-D”). Naturally, Backstrom is no fan of psychics and thinks it’s all hooey, which isn’t exactly helped when Celia self-flagellates herself with a mace-like whip to channel her grandfather’s spirit to get some clues as to who did it, even though her “predictions” more or less come true, albeit tenuously.

Backstrom isn’t the only one with reservations about psychic ability, as one outspoken critic of Davis’ dubious talents, Albert Reid (Mike Foy, “Dexter”), felt that his predictions had directly led him and his girlfriend to break-up, although that later turns out to be a lie- or at least, a half-truth. Instead, it has more to do with his losing a ton of money at an underground gambling joint that has a red door as its logo, just like Celia predicted. The set-up is run by local hood Dominic Chan (Terry Chen, “Continuum”), who turns out to be Davis’ partner-in-money-laundering crime.

As a way of settling his debt, Dominic has Albert kill Davis, so that he can take over the gambling gig and cut Davis- who has a bigger stake in it than Dominic does- out of the picture. That was about it, really, but there were some colorful characters along the way that made it somewhat worthwhile, including two more psychics: Lady Mah (Judi Shekoni, “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2”) and so-called “super” psychic Jimmy Fei (Mark Daugherty, “The Amazing Spider-Man”).

The latter was particularly intriguing, as he accurately predicted all sorts of things about the entire team, including that Nadia had a past that would be coming back to haunt her, which proved all too true. We also discovered that she and Niedermayer were an item, as did everyone else, and that she was in witness protection for undisclosed reasons, but that it also had something to do with money-laundering in some capacity. I’m guessing she cooked the books for some gangster type, but was turned by the FBI against him, only for the charges not to stick and thus, he is still out there and very much still interested in tracking Nadia down- or whatever her name is. (It sounded like “Audrelee,” but I can’t be sure.)

Jimmy also predicted that Backstrom wouldn’t make it till Christmas, which is a pretty alarming prediction to get, to be sure. If the show’s ratings aren’t good enough for FOX, he might well be right, in a sense, but hopefully it won’t come to that on the show. Although, it did occur to me that, if Jimmy is really a psychic, then he knew that Backstrom himself wouldn’t read the message, but that Valentine would, which means it might actually be him that’s in danger. He certainly leads an edgier life than Backstrom, so that would make perfect sense that it might catch up with him. If the show lasts that long, it might well be Valentine’s days that are numbered, not Backstrom’s and that won’t be good for Backstrom, either, as Valentine is one of the few people in his life that help to keep him from going off the rails entirely, you know?

This was an okay episode, if a step down from the last one, but we needed a lighter episode after last week’s more serious turn, so that’s fine. That said, there wasn’t much to it, really, in terms of the case being that interesting, and if it weren’t for the Jimmy character and the revelations about Nadia, it would have been a bit of a letdown altogether, even with Backstrom’s expected inappropriate lines, which were only moderately funny on the whole. (I did like Moto’s line about not liking food that stares back at you- with you on that one, my friend!)

What did you think of the latest episode of “Backstrom”? Did you also feel it was a letdown after last week’s stellar outing? Or did you enjoy it more than I did? What do you think of the show as a whole? Are the characters growing on you? Do you find Backstrom’s offbeat sense of humor funny, or grating? Sound off down below, and see you next week!