Saturday, January 29, 2011

Take Three: Lights Out

Lights Out: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Shot” (B+)

I knew that, given a bit of time to develop, this show would start getting seriously good. That’s tended to be true recently of a number of FX, Showtime, and HBO shows, and I’m glad that this one is the newest entry on the list. What’s especially impressive is how the show is determined to stick with some of its more minor characters and see their stories through while Patrick is clearly still the primary protagonist. Johnny, who could otherwise just have been a one-dimensional screw-up, is becoming particularly as he fights hard not just for his brother but also for up-and-comer Omar. Anna Chlumsky is also simply marvelous as the receptionist who takes a liking to him and clandestinely helps him in his efforts. Getting back to Patrick, I was shocked to see his opponent actually come to his house and try to rile him up in front of his daughter. It’s intriguing to see Patrick worry about Omar burning out, and having him putting the fear in Omar was just as powerful as Omar losing seconds before the camera fades to black and the episode ends. The music montage at the end mixing Omar’s training and Patrick’s birthday was well-done, and I love the flashes to lights beating on his daughter’s door and remembering throwing punches in his fights. Patrick trying to deal with turning forty (or rather, his family trying to figure out what to do for him) is excellently paired with a very timely remark from Chlumsky’s Charlie about how she’s happy just to have a job in the current state of things.

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