I cannot believe it’s already been one season of rewatches and reviews. A wonderful adventure!
Season 1, having watched all seasons by now, is my least favorite. This should not be taken to mean I don’t like it, though. I love it! More than anything, it means that the show for the most part gets better with every season, which means if you loved the show this far, you will absolutely adore it as it goes on. While some folks like the procedural feel the show has in its beginnings, a larger chunk of the audience, myself, and critics, agree that as it evolves, it becomes more serialized – which honestly we see even in season 1, with little loose ends here and there that feel like they’re not loose ends at all, but intentional slow reveals that we haven’t seen the end of yet – and it becomes a lot more and better than anyone expected of the show. Myself included.
Before I talk about my favorite episodes and all of my usual recap moves, I want to talk a little bit more about this season, bearing in mind that it’s my least favorite one, and that this is in large part due to how dude-heavy it is, especially compared to future seasons.
I want to talk about the men here for a sec, precisely because they are what almost turned me off in the Pilot, and yet here I am, having all of the feelings for them.
It is surprising, amazing and delightful to me how much I have grown to love the men in the show. Reese, who is the Big Action Hero, is actually not the boss for once. He can be if he needs to, but he is perfectly comfortable following orders and he knows his leadership and his opinion are not always necessary. It is a low bar, but a man who knows he isn’t irreplaceable is such a breath of fresh air, in this world. Harold, the shy, awkward geek, is the one who is in control, who likes being in charge. I still have my issues with him which I will discuss in later seasons, but I like the fact that the geek is not the pushover, but it’s also not in a geek boy wish fulfillment kind of way. He is not the boss but in a more human, responsible, but also vulnerable and even clingy sort of way.
The way the two men respect and collaborate with women without showing any concerns about their ability, about their worth, is also something that should not be praised because it should be the norm, but it isn’t, so I do applaud it at least a little. The men show their appreciation for women only in appropriate ways, and are also not afraid to show their appreciation for each other, which is another thing Dudes With ManPain rarely do on TV.
I will go into more details about other supporting and minor characters as we go along, once y’all get to know them a little better. I am looking forward to that, because I have so so much to gush about when it comes to Joss, to Zoe, to many others that have yet to appear.
So anyway, now that I’ve expressed my love a little, I’m gonna go ahead and call out my five least favorite episodes. Note, this doesn’t necessarily mean I hate them or even dislike them, just that there is either not a lot going on arc-wise, I didn’t manage to care about the case-of-the-week, or it stressed me out a lot. It varies.
At #5, I have Judgment (1.05). There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one, and maybe that’s why. Then I would put Risk (1.16) at #4, because the episode is entertaining, but the story of the poor white kid that pulled himself by the bootstraps is kinda ‘meh’, and overdone, at best. For my #3, there is Legacy (1.12). I like the episode’s number a lot, but the episode itself is not remotely one of the season’s best. At #2, there is Mission Creep (1.03). I didn’t manage to care enough about the number, #sorrynotsorry. And at #1, there is Ghosts (1.02), which I think is because the Pilot is interesting because it is a Pilot, but then the 2nd episode is still too early to have much happening, so it can end up being super bland.
And now… my five favorite episodes! This was harder than I thought it would be, since I thought I liked Season 1 much less than I actually do. For #5, I nominate Baby Blue (1.17), because it is adorable and funny and fills me with John x Harold feelings. Then at #4, Foe (1.08), which I would not have guessed before rewatching, but the exploration of John’s character hit me harder this time around. For #3, I’d say Flesh & Blood (1.19), because an episode dedicated to exploring an antagonist is ballsy, and all the action and suspense and turns are exciting and great. Then at #2, Get Carter (1.09), because, well, Carter. Then the indisputable, by-far, #1 favorite is of course Firewall (1.23). Amy Acker’s acting, the excellent writing, the culmination of a lot of things that had been hinted at or been building up, as well as the kick-off of one of the best TV characters I have seen in a while is all so, so good. So well done.
This season makes me feel nostalgic now that the show has ended, and especially so since things were so simple back then (I mean in the show, not in my life.) It all gets murkier and darker and more exciting and better from here on out. Stay good, kids.