I wasn’t bowled over by the first episode of ‘The Good Guys’. Although it sounds on paper like a spoof of bad ’80s cop shows should be a great deal of fun, something about the episode’s tone was off and the cast’s chemistry didn’t gel. Still, the series seems to have potential if it can just find its footing. While I wouldn’t say that the second episode, ‘Bait & Switch’, quite lives up to that potential, it’s at least a little better.
The “routine investigation” this week is a simple case of vandalism. Someone has thrown a rock through a home window. In a convoluted chain of events, this ties to a stolen car ring. British thieves have been boosting classic American cars to ship overseas for a European collectors’ market. To find the perps, Jack (Colin Hanks) convinces Dan (Bradley Whitford) to use his beloved Trans Am as bait. He’s not happy about this plan, but it allows them to track the thieves to a storage warehouse. Dan of course wants to charge in and bust the punks, but Jack thinks better of it. He brings this info to the Organized Crime Task Force, whose Lt. Kiersten something-or-other (Lauren Stamile, the fetching Prof. Slater from ‘Community’) seems to be into Jack in a big way.
Unfortunately, it turns out that she’s really not that into him at all. Kiersten is really a mole in the department, and the girlfriend of head car thief Nigel. She tips off Nigel and lures Jack to be kidnapped. That leaves only Dan to burst in and save the day. Or, at least, to save his Trans Am.
I kind of like the show’s use of jumpy chronology. The episode repeatedly starts the action in-media-res, and then rewinds to show us what happened earlier. Although repetitive, it somehow works. Whitford also has a number of great lines, especially when he takes his frustration out on the “computer machine” and modern technology that he still can’t get a grasp on. The goofy action scenes are less overdone and better integrated as well.
‘Bait & Switch’ is certainly a better episode than ‘Pilot’. Yet there’s still something missing. The tone feels too forced, and many of the jokes are too broad. I really want to like the show, but it just hasn’t pulled together yet. Maybe in another episode or two, things may settle in to a comfortable groove.