5 Point Discussions – Double Decker 6: “Up Close And Personal! 24 Hours With The Lisvalletta Police!”

by Sage Ashford

A chance encounter with a drunk results in a break in a case Doug and Kirill are dealing with. But Kirill seems more pre-occupied when something else. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. I devoted a paragraph last week to talking about how judicious this series is with its time usage, so of course this week throws all of that in the garbage with the quickness. While last episode was laser-focused on developing the ongoing battle between SEVEN-O and Esperanza, this episode takes things down several gears. The episode starts with our main characters on a stakeout to arrest a drug mule, and spends half the episode getting distracted with another department’s case where they meet a drunken old man rambling about nonsense.

Now to be fair, this could be a test for just how intricate the writers want to make this show. The case happened to be part of a spotlight for Lisvalletta Police 24, a more comedic version of COPS. For half the episode, it’s shot exactly like a television show–with captions at the bottom for dialogue and the suspect (and our heroes) faces blurred out. We never get to see this drunk man, but he rambles about being from another world–higher up–and how the rich are using the people as guinea pigs for experiments. It could just be the drunken ramblings of a salaryman who’d been working too many hours, but this could very well be key dialogue that comes into play several episodes from now.  We’ll see.

2. Okay, exactly what world is this set in? The drunk guy mentions there being twin suns in the sky so it feels like this isn’t Earth, and then Kirill has his landlady record the footage of him and Doug on LP24….and she hands him an old-fashioned tape that looks like VHS off shoot. Even the footage looks like it was recorded in 360p.

3. While Kirill’s geeking out over having achieved his goal of being on LP24, he happens to spot something strange: his sister Milla, in the background of the footage. He tries to consult Doug about it, who’s also spotted something strange–and of course we’re back to Kirill having an extended misunderstanding scene. At this point, these scenes are becoming less amusing and more awkward and cringe-worthy, so I was grateful when they finally cut it short.  Unlike Kirill, what Doug noticed was the drug mule they were looking for, and they found and arrested him with relative ease.

4. This show’s starting to get predictable. Just as Kirill and the others relax for the night in Derick’s bar, he starts to lament that he wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to find his sister. He’d talked to Doug about it earlier, who pointed him to SEVEN-O’s super scientist, Doctor Apple. Apple tries tracking down Milla through recording tech, but loses her, leaving Kirill somewhat demoralized. And it’s right around this point you can safely predict the show’s patterns, and that Kirill will meet his sister in the bar, because that’d subvert expectations and be “funny”.

The problem is, when everything is trying so hard to be unexpected, then it all becomes obvious. Plus, for a series that’s only thirteen episodes it’s just throwing away it’s chances at establishing emotional connections for the sake of quick, cheap gags. Kirill finding his sister was meant to be a deep, core wound; it’s the reason he became a cop in the first place. And while that technically lead to him meeting his sister, it could have happened just as easily if he were a mechanic who just happened to like going to dive bars on the side.

5. So it’s right around now that I want to come back and point out how tacky it’s been to have someone mock Kirill for looking girly at least once an episode on average. This week the drunk guy has a whole bit in his rambling about how he was terrified because “he thought [Kirill] was a woman”. So after Kirill meets his sister again, you can kind of pick up in Milla’s voice that it’s a male VO inflecting differently.

No one brings it up at first, until Kirill wakes up out of a drunken stupor and heads to the restroom. While he’s in there, he runs into his sister Milla, who reveals their real name is Valery Vrubel. Now this comes in the last…ninety seconds or so of the episode, so not much time is devoted to it. Valery could be trans, or a crossdresser, or possibly even just in hiding from a plot point to be revealed later. But, fuck me, did it have to be so lazy? The viewers realize Valery might not be Kirill’s sister, so we find out while they’re in the bathroom.  ‘Cause Valery has a dick? Get it?  So funny.  I’m not against cheap jokes, but this is such an old trope the episode may as well have started with “Developed by Norman Lear” in the credits. Hopefully the full explanation is handled with more class.

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