In the episode “A Coldie But a Goodie,” Angie Tribeca is left confined to a desk after the events of the massive police headquarters hack. Despite being literally chained to her desk, Tribeca can’t help but get antsy and begin investigating murder cases once more, even if it’s against the chief’s orders. However, when Tribeca begins noticing a pattern in elderly folks falling down stairs and supporting the same political candidate, she thinks their accidents may have actually been murders, even when nobody else in the force believes her.
First and foremost in this episode is the absurdist humor that continues to make this show so much fun to watch. The writers are definitely not afraid to throw the silliest ideas out and see what sticks. And a lot of the more laugh out loud moments of “A Coldie But a Goodie” definitely hit extremely well. Even if Tribeca’s character is a little more limited in this particular episode, thanks to being mostly confined to that desk job, the background characters, such as Giles (Hayes MacArthur) and Hoffman the police dog, help boost the humor past her limited on-screen presence.
As far as narrative, however, this one is definitely just left on autopilot. The hacking storyline that was established in episode four is almost entirely skimmed over, and becomes more of a side note than an actual overreaching plot. In fact, when this episode brings in some side gags to spice up Giles and Tanner’s (Deon Cole) subplot, it makes you wonder why they focused on this elderly murder narrative instead, since the brief “taking down a cult” subplot could have been potentially much more hilarious and interesting.
And yet, the problems of “A Coldie but a Goodie” can’t compare to the rather mediocre experience that is this week’s episode “The Organ Trail.” Despite containing a potentially gut-busting premise of organs being stolen from hair transplant patients, the humor here just garners a few chuckles at best. Instead, Giles’ romantic side plot, and new information about Tribeca’s former love interest Sargent Pepper (James Franco), is the focus. What’s most troubling is that the writers don’t use any of the aforementioned potential to create much of the absurd humor the show is known for from the relationships, so it’ll make you wonder why they’re being brought up at all.
The best aspect about “The Organ Trail” is the guest cameo of Maya Rudolph. She is entirely game and ready to be in the story of Angie Tribeca, and her romantic novelist character definitely brings some of the funnier moments this week had to offer. Therefore, when she’s not on-screen, the humor feels mostly void, and you’ll wish the writers had given her more time to shine.
Compared to the last few episodes we’ve gotten, “A Coldie but a Goodie” and “The Organ Trail” come off as a bit of lull. Although “A Coldie but a Goodie” is definitively the better of the two, it certainly isn’t one of the series’ best, and hearkens back to the earlier episodes of season two that felt slightly messy. Alternatively, “The Organ Trail” has to be one of the very few episode of Angie Tribeca where I didn’t find myself laughing at every gag. That particular chapter attempts to focus more on character development than the style of humor that makes this show work so well, and it really helps show how empty these characters can be without a plethora of jokes to keep them engaging. Episode five is still worth checking out, but if you happened to miss this week’s episode six, believe me when I say you didn’t miss much.
Episode 5 Rating: 7.5/10
Episode 6 Rating: 5/10