This week's Deception reminds us that when you find yourself in a web of lies, eventually you are going to get all tangled up, or whatever the saying is. Here are some things we learned this week: 1. Robert Bowers is evil. 2. Julian is the reason his dead sister started doing drugs and now he feels bad. 3. No one in the family feels good about Joanna being engrossed in the family, and rightfully not, as she is a cop. 4. Mia Bowers is next in line to become a crackhead just like her sister/mom was. 5. When rich people are on drugs, it makes for good TV.
Joanna is getting closer to the Bowerses; she was offered an administrator job with Robert, and this is her in to getting more dirt on the Bowerses. What she's looking for specifically is info on this new cancer drug the family is to release that may or may not kill people. Joanna doesn't have much time, though; the FBI has given her three days to figure out this mess. I don't see that happening.
At Edward's office, Joanna overhears an argument between him and his secretary, Hannah, who Edward has been boinking (no surprise there). His secretary is pissed because he was going to give her some job or something (never promise crazy a job!) and he didn't. She threatens to tell whatever it is that she might know, since as we all know, in the throes of passion you always tell your lover secrets about your company's cancer research, right?
The family goes on a lovely outing to see creepy Edward's daughter play field hockey and it turns to fisticuffs when some obnoxious dad accuses Edward of killing his sister.
Edward is taken downtown and drilled by Will, Joanna's sometime boyfriend, all-time FBI agent in charge of the case. Will asks Ed straight up if he killed sister Vivian. Obviously he says no because he didn't do it and the show is just trying to get us to think that he did.
Joanna walks in on little Mia toking a joint, and in an attempt to bond and to seem cool, she tells her to blow it through a toilet paper roll; in my day we called that a "splooge." Mia is impressed enough with Joanna's weed knowledge to share the fact that she knew Vivian was pregnant and possibly being followed before her death. "She made us stay in Barneys for like two hours," says Mia, explaining how she knew Vivian was in trouble. Puuuullease. Barneys for two hours? Sounds like a nightmare! Mia also thinks her sister was killed. Uh-oh.
Robert's secretary, Hannah, goes out on a limb and tells his frigid wife, Sophia, about her and her husband's affair. Despite Sophia saying she doesn't care, she does. How could you not? Sophia tells Robert about the interaction, to which he replies that it's been "taken care of." I knew she was going to get killed, and I am okay with that.
Throughout the show, there are these flashbacks to Vivian, pre-death. By the 30-minute mark, this method of exposition is tired. Show, don't tell. What we learn in these flashbacks: 1. Vivian wanted to tell Mia that she was her real mom, but stepmom Sophia forbade it. Bitch. 2. Joanna got caught by her mother making out with Julian and that's why she had to leave the Bowers family. It wasn't because her mom didn't like the jungle fever thing, it was because her mother didn't want her daughter turning into a rich white person. 3. Vivian smoked a lot of cigarettes, but Joanna smoked none. 4. Maybe Robert doesn't know that Vivian was Mia's real mother. 5. Vivian did heroin, but Joanna did none.
Hannah's brother, who she had been hiding out with, gets beat up in a parking lot. Just like that. What did he ever do to anyone but hide his sister who scorned the Bowers family? As luck would have it, the FBI, who thought they could count on Hannah to spill it, are SOL. Hannah isn't saying a word.
No matter; Joanna figures out the secret password into the Bowerses' computer. It's the uncreative nickname Robert gave Edward when he was a little kid -- Eddie Spaghetti. C'mon, seriously. That's dumb. But what Joanna finds in the secret computer is the name of Vivian's baby's daddy. His name is Ben and that's all I know about him.
As the episode closes, the Bowerses decide that the best thing to do after the tragic death of one of their own is to have a clambake. I want to go to a rich family's clambake. But of course all good clambakes must end with a creepy Tate Donavan face and just as the FBI say, "whoever is looking for this Ben guy must be the killer..." Eddie Spaghetti opens a hotel door. No. I still do not think he killed Vivian. I refuse to believe it.
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I really want this show to get better. It has all the trappings of a soapy wonder, but it is not upholding its promise. It's not exciting enough, over-the-top enough, crazy enough, and that's what is bringing this show down. Deception is about a crazy, rich TMZ-style family that murders people, potentially their own; these people should be psychos, not just down in the dumps. Brother Julian goes on a bender over the death of his sister, but even his bender is tame. I want hotel trashing, Beemer crashing, chandelier swinging and heroin. I want heroin, not Moët.
The advertisements for the show keep reminding us that Joanna is "getting in too deep" and it will soon be hard for her to "know what's real and what's not." As far as I can tell, she knows exactly what she's doing; she is being an undercover cop. You know what's an excellent example of an undercover cop getting too lost in their job? Rush, the movie. Do you know how that cop got so lost? Heroin.
I have laid out for you, NBC, how to improve this show. I will expect some compliance soon.
Dumbest line of the evening, said by Edward in an attempt to sound cryptic (Edward wasn't trying to sound cryptic, the writers of the show were): "Go home, Joanna. This isn't the safe place you think it is."