Backstrom “I Like to Watch” Review (Season 1 Episode 11)

Backstrom I Like to Watch Season 1 Episode 11 04

In an amusing episode of “Backstrom,” he and the gang investigated the murder of a performance artist at the Here & Now festival, a collective of such artists, which made for lots of suspects, most of them pretentious, in “I Like to Watch.” Perhaps needless to say, this made them sitting ducks for Backstrom’s brand of scathing snark, to amusing effect. Obviously, one can add this to the list of people and things that evoke Backstrom’s ire, though at this point in the series you could be forgiven for wondering if there’s anything or anyone he actually does like. Although, to be fair, he does come around on at least one of the artists by the end of the episode, to hilarious effect!

The artist in question was Timothy Fitch (Nathan Dales, “iZombie”), who was known for defacing other people’s art in his show, which didn’t go over well with some, including one artist, Julien Gaynor (Ian Tracey, “Continuum”), whose work he destroyed and even urinated on! That lead proves to be a dead end, as while Gaynor was admittedly ticked off enough to attack Fitch at said performance- which Fitch had invited him to, purely to provoke him to react that way- he not only paid him for said art, but bought another, to the tune of some $30,000.

Given that he was the starving artist type, Backstrom naturally wonders where he got the money, which proves to be his girlfriend, Virginia Anderson (Haley Webb, “Teen Wolf”), an accountant that helped finance his career, and who also found the body in the first place. She directs the team to a storage unit where Tim kept all of his stuff, but denies any wrongdoing. She does, however, point out that his assistant, Moss Brady (Ray Santiago, “In Time”), was there with him the night of the murder.

Brody is later found passed out on a children’s playground, seemingly dead drunk, though it later is revealed he was also drugged. He also denies doing anything wrong, and much to Backstrom’s dismay, turns out to be yet another suspect that Valentine has ties to, having gone to juvie with him back in the day. Valentine asks Backstrom to cut him some slack, so naturally he grills Brady about his Valentine connection, implying that Valentine ratted him out to gauge his reaction. It turns out that he caught wind that Valentine was going to be shanked and gave him a heads-up, only for Valentine to shank the guy first, which he ultimately got blamed for. Since then, they hadn’t exactly been the closest of buddies.

However, Brody insists that Tim’s death was actually faked, and that it was completely staged, a la a similar gag Andy Kaufman was alleged to have pulled back in the day. Of course, Tim is very much dead, so that proves to not be the case here. Backstrom also looks into Tim’s ex, Lucy Harms (Ever Carradine, “Major Crimes”), a fellow performance artist, with whom Tim reportedly had a messy break-up, which they actually filmed for public consumption! She also uses police shooting targets in her act, which further piques Backstrom’s interest, as Tim was shot. But Lucy claims to be anti-gun and to never have fired one in her life, so Backstrom cuts her some slack for the time being.

Later on, though, he discovers Lucy’s medical records in the storage facility and sees signs that Tim may have abused her, so he goes back and confronts her, this time during her act, which is being shown live online. Lucy has encased herself in a Plexiglas dome, complete with a bed and toilet and is filming it, as onlookers watch outside on televisions, but not actually within the studio itself. She admits that Tim had hit her and bruised her but that she had actually asked him to, for the sake of her art! While she misses her working relationship with Tim, she’s actually happy for him and his new relationship and bears him no ill will.

Backstrom does his “I’m you” routine, and realizes that while Lucy wants her entire life to be a sort of performance art routine, she also does so at a distance- hence there being no audience physically in the studio she’s filming in. Touched that he gets her where no else has, Lucy jumps Backstrom’s bones, then and there, which he is all too willing to engage her with. Unfortunately, his team is also watching and Gravely sends Moto in to get him out of there, being as how she’s still a murder suspect and all. He goes begrudgingly, but swears she’s innocent of any wrongdoing. (Lucy says she’ll be there for the next 36 hours and tells him to come back, and I was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t at the end of the episode, which would have been a nice button to it.)

During the course of his puzzling out Lucy, Backstrom realizes that Tim also lived for his audience, and that it was likely that someone in his was the one who killed him. Though a family member, his sister Arianna (Tara Buck, “True Blood”) fits the bill, as her brother Oliver was in a car accident with Tim that left him paralyzed- and her stuck with caring for him- and she was indeed there drinking with him on the night of his murder, she insists she’s innocent, despite a sizable insurance claim being taken out on Tim.

Then it occurs to Backstrom that maybe it wasn’t Tim’s audience that they should be concerned with, but Lucy’s. Sure enough, it turns out that Tim had attended Lucy’s previous show, much to the chagrin of his current girlfriend Virginia, who realized he’d never quite gotten over her, and that he’d been using her. Following him there, and seeing he was still clearly in love with Lucy, she’d killed Tim in a jealous rage later on. Case closed, and Valentine’s former pal exonerated, the two later make up profusely, much to Backstrom’s disgust. Although he does finally deliver on his promise to build Valentine a kite- in this case, a penis-shaped one! (Amusingly, Moss mistakes it for a rocket.)

That was about it. This was a fun, engaging episode, with lots of clever touches. Granted, performance artists are an easy target, but then, so is near everything in Backstrom’s eyes. The scene with him and Lucy being broadcast live was priceless, and the only thing that would made it better was if he’d went back for more after the case was solved, like I mentioned. I also got a kick out of Backstrom using his position to grill Moss on Valentine’s behalf. Granted, he also took advantage of that to somewhat turn Moss against him, but in the end, it all worked out, so there you go.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Backstrom”? Did you also get a kick out of the scenes with Backstrom and Lucy? Did you think that Gravely was maybe a little jealous of Backstrom and Lucy and that’s the real reason she put a stop to it? What did you make of Moss and Valentine as a couple? Are all performance artists crazy? Sound off on this and more down below and let me know what you think. See you next week!