Rev/Views continues to follow The Beast with the second episode review today, I'm still unsure about the entire thing but I think I'm going to lock myself in for the entire first season before I judge it. I think the reasons I'm willing to give this show a chance are because the opening sequence is styled like Damages, Swayze and Gillard are excellent in it, it reminds me of The Shield and most of all, there seems to be the potential for a really special show lurking underneath the surface.
Read about blade drives, a blown cover and a father's love beyond the link...
Tonight's episode was a stand alone procedural with a somewhat weak plot, I get the feeling that the writers are gradually teasing things out while also keeping things 'one off' in order to try and keep the casual viewer in. But the problem is we still don't know just how far off the tracks Barker actually is. It's difficult to tell what stunts he pulls are going too far and what are acceptable. I don't really know much about the FBI operating procedures and I'm not sure if Dove really knows either.
The best move the episode pulled is it's switched Gillard into a permanent role as the agent who's trying to turn Dove around. Gillard is an excellent actor, he has a proven pedigree over on The Wire and he continues to be great here. Likewise Swayze is also excellent, but annoyingly Dove continues to be rather weak. I think he's intentionally a bit weak, it makes sense Barker would pick someone who's naive and easily manipulated. But it doesn't help that he's a very charismatic screen presence when he's on his own.
The story itself involved Barker and Dove going after some drug suppliers, in order to do so they had to locate the man who would be brokering the deal. Once again, just like last week I had some difficulty following the plot, everything is a little too compressed in the time frame, it honestly feels like The Beast is crying out for season long story arcs instead of these one-offs. But it did have some great moments, and they included the strip club scene where Dove blows his cover (once again showing his lack of experience) by mentioning the target by her name when she hadn't introduced herself as Lucy. Likewise the scene where Dove was waiting for 'the girl' (still no idea of her name) and Raymond (Gillard's character) rolled in and revealed just how closely he was keeping an eye on Dove. Also the final scenes between Lucy's distraught father and the target were good. It was pretty clearly signalled that he was going to shoot, but that moment wasn't hackneyed because it was the set up for the following scene. A scene where Barker shoots himself and then bluffs both of the dealers into making the exchange.
As I said last week, the show has a few failings but it also has some superb moments and excellent performances. I'm going to continue following it because I really hope this show will turn a corner and get good when the writers become willing to let us know exactly what the game is and how it's going to play out. Right now they're still pussyfooting around the FBI file on Barker and Dove remains only slightly suspicious of Barker.
I'll keep you informed and let you know if the show opens up into something really exciting.