Television pilots are tough to make. It’s hard to introduce the concept and entire cast of characters of a show in one episode and still have that episode hold up on it’s own. But just because something’s hard doesn’t make it any more excusable when you fail spectacularly at doing it. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Black Box, where we check out pilots that crashed and burned to see exactly what went wrong.
This week, for my one hundredth piece of content for this site, there was only one thing I could ever talk about.
If you haven’t read my reviews of the first 6 episodes of this criminally underrated television series, you should catch up before you read this one so you know what’s happened so far. Click here to do that.
What they did wrong: You’d think after a three month break you’d know to stop asking by now.
What they did right: So we start off with a song and… uh…
Yeah, we’re right back in the rhythm, ain’t we. So this episode’s winner is the opening song, “Let’s Be Careful Out There” a morning meeting song about listing off the tasks for the day and the shit on the docket.
And with that, I’m back in love with this show.
I’m sorry I was away so long, baby.
IT USES POLICE CODES AS LYRICS!!!!! If you don’t love the ever loving shit out of that, you can go the hell home. Also, halfway through the song, the officer in charge whips his desk around to reveal it’s actually a piano.
Cop Rock, you haven’t pulled the surprise piano trick since episode one! Nice little moment of nostalgia there.
After the song, we suddenly spot a new cop, who the camera tightly zooms in on. And he looks suspicious, mostly because he is holding a full pipe for no goddamn reason.
But that seems like it’ll be important later, so we’ll get back to him. For now, Ladycop has returned to active duty after being shot in the knee last episode and is right back at work busting perps and fucking her partner Affaircop. Her husband, the Medical Examiner is still suspicious about his wife’s possible infidelity.
In our biggest pollen, I have to name a character. This is Officer Loosecannon’s old partner:
He’s been present since the beginning of the series but I’ve never had a real reason to name him until now. Last episode, he testified in court against Loosecannon, ensuring an indictment. Because of this just act, he has been christened Officer Whistleblower.
So Officer Whistleblower has been receiving racial slurs and death threats in the mail since he testified, so he goes to Captain Gravelvoice looking for police protection for his family. Gravelvoice grants it, but Whistleblower worries that the other officers won’t do their best since some view him as a traitor.
This fear is confirmed in the next song, where the officers of the LAPD sing passive aggressivly about how “no one can be loyal or trustworthy anymore”. Yep, it’s a song about police protectionism and the blue wall.
Why do people laugh when I say Cop Rock was way ahead of its time?
Next up, we get a scene with our good friend the mayor and her aide.
He is in her office to inform her of his intentions to resign. As he explains, a major magazine is preparing to out him as gay, so he wishes to quit so that his homosexuality doesn’t damage the mayor’s reputation.
The mayor tells him she has no intention to let him quit, and that she’ll help him out with this.
Back in our series-long plotline, Loosecannon is being prepped by his lawyer, a man who couldn’t look more like he was secretly the Devil if he was wearing horns and a tail.
“The name is mister Cypher. Mister L.U. Cypher”
Loosecannon tells him the truth, that he shot an unarmed, restrained man. The Lawyer immediately gets to work planning for the trial.
Back with the mayor, she meets with the reporter threatening to out her aide. She reveals that the reporter is gay himself and that his boyfriend is an illegal immigrant. So she threatens to DEPORT him and out the reporter if said reporter doesn’t kill the story.
Jesus, mayor, I approve of the result, but your methods seem a wee bit harsh.
But speakin’ of racial tensions, Officer Whistleblower leaves his house at night to find a burning cross on his lawn. His wife sings to their children about the horrors of institutionalized racism.
In his office, Captain Gravelvoice questions the officers assigned to guard Whistleblower’s house, but conveniently, nobody saw anything. Gravelvoice informs them that, if something like this ever happens again, they will be held directly responsible and dismisses them.
While Whistleblower’s in the locker room, Loosecannon shows up, telling him that, if he needs help going after the people threatening him, to just give him a call. Whistleblower tells him to eff off, but seems to be at least considering the offer.
While, the Medical Examiner tails his wife and her partner on their route, we get back to my favorite character ever:
Oh Officer Singsong, how I have missed you.
So Singsong has been called in to meet with Loosecannon’s lawyer, since Singsong wants to help Loosecannon get off.
… Not the BEST way I could’ve put that.
Almost immediately, The Lawyer starts implying that Singsong failed to competently handcuff the suspect Loosecannon killed, which would make Singsong responsible for the shooting. Singsong angrily denies this claim and leaves the office in a huff. On his way out, he loses track of where he parked and sings a song about being kinda dumb as he looks for it.
Ugh, I wish I could hand out two awards this week. He gets to his car finally, only to realize he’s left his keys back in the lawyer’s office.
Back with the Medical Examiner, he tracks Ladycop and Affaircop to a motel, watches them slowly ascend the stairs and enter a room together. he builds up the courage to enter and then bursts in, gun drawn to find…
Yeah, turns out they were responding to a call. So Ladycop yells at her husband, telling him that she is furious and can’t trust him anymore, which is mindbendingly shitty. Affaircop also takes a turn shouting at the ME, who leaves, still with his suspicions intact.
Back with Loosecannon, his lawyers explain that they want to fake a crime for Loosecannon to stop, engineering some positive publicity for him. Loosecannon, horrified, shoots that idea down. But he finally accepts to speak at a proto-tea party type group gathering later that night.
At the gathering, we first get a song from a band called, um actually, I’m not sure. It sounded like they called them “Brenda and the Bus Monsters” but that makes literally no sense, so that’s probably wrong. Let’s see what it actually was.
Well I’ll be damned.
So Brenda and the Bus Monsters sing a song about glorifying Loosecannon’s actions. Loosecannon takes the stage and admits that the man he killed posed now direct danger to him and that he was taking the law into his own hands. The crowd bursts into applause. Amid the applause, Loosecannon seems to realize that maybe his case isn’t as unwinable as he thought before.
And that’s the episode! Another solid one. And I feel like we got everything covered this time, no loose ends.
Wait a second…
WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP WITH THIS GUY?!
HE NEVER CAME UP AGAIN? WHAT WAS HE DOING IN THE OPENING? WHO IS HE? WHO AM I?
i’m so confused.
Well, here’s hoping that next month (and it will be next month, I promise) we find out.
And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading. I never thought I’d hit a hundred posted pieces of content here. It’s honestly a little insane.
That’s all for this week, next week, we’ll have some fun of a different nature.