Someone once told me that it was a lack of imagination that killed K-ville. While I think that may be true in the earlier episodes, "Melissa" (and, later, "Ride Along") tell tales that can only be told in post-Katrina New Orleans. The early episodes went for a stereotypical view of the city: hot sauce, alcohol, voodoo, and poor/crazy/criminal black people. In "Melissa," we are treated to a story that arises not simply from any crime or cop drama, but one that happens because of the desperation in the post-storm years.
As always, Anderson shines as Boulet. This episode captures his essential conflict: desperation to do right by the city and family while simultaneously seething against those that don't try as hard as he. Hauser does what he can with Cobb here, but the emphasis is on Marlin. Special attention goes to Jiya Fowler as Tawni, Boulet's daughter. Having her along helps demonstrate the passion with which Boulet for both his family and city. The plot, akin to something we might see on Without a Trace, is more than your simple cop drama. A man, separated from his family during Katrina believes his daughter to be dead, only to learn she's been alive and adopted. He becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation of his daughter's adopted father, but Boulet soon believes he's been framed. The plot is a twisty one, sometimes confusing, but in all cases built upon the foundation of "the days after Katrina were crazy." You feel for Luke, and his reunion with Melissa is sincere and heartwrenching. And while using popular music during the denoumont is nothing new for a cop show, I applaud K-Ville's choice of Sons of William in this episode. Originally from Houma, LA, not far from New Orleans, their song "Easy to Love" adds poingancy to the Luke-Melissa scenes as well as the Marlin-Tawni scenes.
My only complaint is the underuse of Glue Boy or Love Tap, but that can be said for the series as a whole. The series never realized its true potential for dramatic and emotional storytelling, but "Melissa" and "Ride Along" reveal what this series might have been, had it been allowed to continue. If you haven't seen these 2 episodes, I recommend watching the full episodes here at tv.com or at hulu.com. And keep your fingers crossed for a DVD release.