I’ve decided that I’m rooting for ‘The Good Guys’. The show isn’t quite there yet, but I really want to like it. I want it to be good goofy summer fun. It’s very close, really. The premise is funny, the cast is strong, and the ideas all sound good on paper. If it hasn’t quite gotten its act together yet, it has continued to improve over each of its three episodes so far. Last week’s ep, ‘The Broken Door Theory’, is pretty decent overall, and another step in the right direction.
The plot this time is about a case of vending machine vandalism at a hotel. Jack just wants to write up a report so that the hotel can file its insurance claim, but Dan is gung-ho to launch a full-blown investigation. He has this idea he calls the “broken door theory,” in which even the smallest of crimes will inevitably lead to a bigger crime. That’s pretty much the premise of every episode, isn’t it? Regardless, Jack remains skeptical until this insignificant case indeed leads to a prostitution ring run by the murderous Gemini (Jon Sklaroff – ’24’ fans will remember him as the Russian mobster whose had was cut off by Renee Walker this past season).
In the B storyline, Jack’s ex, Liz (Jenny Wade), wants to set him up on a date with one of her friends. He isn’t sure whether to be flattered or insulted. Mostly, he’s just disappointed, because he of course still holds out hope of getting back with Liz herself. It finally takes a conversation with one of Gemini’s hookers for him to understand that Liz is trying to take him “off the market” so that she can deny her own feelings for him.
In another plot thread running through the entire episode, Dan has a flu bug but refuses to take the day off or rest. (He tells a doozy of a story to explain why he won’t go home.) He spreads it to everyone around him, except Jack, who’s the only person bright enough to have gotten a flu shot. The virus winds its way through the supporting cast and all the players in each storyline in an amusing Rube Goldberg-ian chain.
The highlight of the episode comes when one of Gemini’s johns gets in hot water when his wife discovers that he’s been cheating on her with prostitutes. She chases him around with a gun until Dan eventually talks her down in a hilarious attempt at seduction.
‘The Broken Door Theory’ still doesn’t quite cross that threshold into greatness. But it’s pretty consistently entertaining, and the cast finally seems to be developing some effective chemistry. If the show aired on a cable net like USA, I could see it eventually maturing into a solid hit. Unfortunately, it’s on Fox. I expect the network to yank it before it ever gets that chance.