Truly stretching the limits of credulity.
While visiting Doug at the hospital, Kirill runs into a child who tries to solicit him for sex. After letting that child off with a warning, he finds out that the boy’s father is undergoing end of life care at the hospital. Kirill tries to get Doug to finish his paperwork from last week’s smash-and-grab rescue so that Kirill can get back on the streets, but Doug wants some vacation time, so he’s dragging his feet.
Rookie and Pink are also at the hospital investigating some mysterious deaths, and they run into a doctor who waxes poetic about the potential medicinal uses of Anthem. Kirill, intrigued by the doctor’s idealism, prepares a report on behalf of the doctor to try to get the military to green light Anthem medical trials. While preparing this report, it is revealed that Kirill is actually an accomplished geneticist and the author of a reasonably famous paper on the subject.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, a terminal patient seemingly makes a full recovery. Doug and Kirill suspect Anthem is involved, but the man doesn’t appear to be in overdrive. After investigating, they find that the doctor is working for Esperanza, and their goal is to once again try to reverse-engineer the anti-anthem bullets of Seven-O. Doug and Kirill team up to stop them, and do so with relative ease.
After the dust has settled, the boy with the terminal father marries Kirill in a fake ceremony, and Kirill makes sure the boy is ready to get the foster care he needs after his father passes. As he’s leaving Dereck’s bar at the end of the episode, the general from last week asks Kirill if he wants to join up.
We have really gone from zero to sixty in the past couple of episodes. Whereas much of the first half of the season was case of the week stuff to get these characters established, Double Decker is stacking revelation on revelation as we speed towards the finale at a breakneck pace. It’s too bad, then, that each reveal has seemingly little awareness of its relation to any that came before it, resulting in quite a few unforced errors.
Kirill is a genetics genius. It’s such an asinine sentence to write, given the last nine episodes that I just watched. Kirill is an actual moron up until this point, and we are given no reason to think he’s in any way intelligent. It’s not good a twist if the audience can’t go back and find evidence of it being planted throughout the series. It just looks like the show added a character trait in order to facilitate getting from story point A to B. They at least have Pink just as in the dark as we are, but it serves only to hang a lampshade on this truly out of left field plot development. This is not even mentioning the fact that, at its most plausible, an undergraduate who decided to read about genetics on a lark published a foundational paper in the field, and then left the field (possibly without attaining any sort of degree) to become a police officer. It’s ludicrous just trying to put the situation together in my head.
I’m also not sure in what world a child soliciting prostitutes is charming. Even if it’s for his dying father, it doesn’t suddenly make it a moral act. If anything, it gives me a ton less sympathy for this family, who obviously have a massive toxic masculinity problem. I’m not sure if the show is paying this for laughs, or if we’re supposed to actually feel sorry for this kid who is sad that his dad never gets laid. I think Double Decker goes for both and gets neither.
Luckily for me, “Failed Detective, But Pure!” doesn’t just have all of these flashy new problems. It also functions as a checklist for everything I already don’t like about the show. So, does it present a group that might actually work as some sort of social commentary about the war on drugs, and then turn them into lackeys for Esperanza? Why yes it does. Does the show use inappropriate references to eighties movies that don’t add up to anything, and really only distract from whatever the episode is going for? What do you know, right again? And does the show once again make an incredibly uncomfortable peeping tom joke for no reason? That’s a hat-trick. And is the meaning of the episode’s title completely baffling given the events of said episode? Yep, four for four. Thanks for playing.
My other favorite problem of Double Decker’s (jurisdictional issues) has once again reared its confusingly bureaucratic head. For some reason, the doctor needs to ask the military for permission to use Anthem in medical testing. Why does a private hospital’s research concern have anything to do with the military? Is Lisvaletta a military dictatorship, and no one said anything? They do seem to be able to get away with whatever they want. Why then do they have elected officials and a career politician class, then? I know this seems like nitpicking, but the show spends so much time caring about who has jurisdiction where, and still more time with an inane voice-over announcer explaining insanely basic things about the world. And yet, I am more confused about the world of Double Decker than I was after the first episode.
Possibly the most astounding thing, though, about Double Decker is how little I think about it between episodes. Each time that I log back into my Funimation account, I do feel a small pang of dread knowing that I have to watch another twenty-four minutes of this nonsense, but after typing these reviews, I don’t give the show another thought until the following Sunday. If a show is trying this hard to, if nothing else, get my attention, and it can’t even do that right, I think we can officially say that it’s failed as a project. I think we have two more this season, but even after a strong showing last week, I doubt it will be enough to clinch anything approaching a satisfying ending.