I have had a really difficult time rating this episode. In terms of the mechanics of TV - its extremely well done. I\'m havimg problems with its central plot.
I’m not buying the Jack of All Trades story arc. It’s not working. There’s too much bait and switch, too many scenes where the show toys with the viewers and not enough payoff for the time and energy being invested. This episode is obviously intended to give the viewers some payoff for the arc. It didn\'t work.
This would be a 3 of 5 episode or lower but it is redeemed by some very good acting and the crew has obviously figured out the mechanics. In terms of plot, pacing, characterization and visuals, this episode mostly works. I have a couple complaints that keep is from totally succeeding.
The Coop/Sam love story feels like a stunt – sure A. Martinez is possessed of hotness and All Walker is lovely. Their scenes together are good – the dialog between them is comfortable, well done- these are obviously professionals doing their jobs very well. Even their fight is well written and acted. There’s nothing wrong per se – the plotline just isn’t compelling. (And while I’m at it, what’s up with Coop’s oral fixation? It’s gone beyond trait to annoying tick and requires immediate therapy.)
Profiler is combating a fundamental problem – having created a killer named Jack of all Trades the show has to do something with him. There’s no way to keep the character out of the show, there’s no way to deal with him satisfactorily. Jack feels to me more like a plot device than actual threat and it’s wearing thin.
Ally Walker is a very good actress. But we’ve fallen into the doughnut hole of Profiler’s primary character problem – Sam responds to Jack of all trades like a normal person, not an FBI profiler. It’s not satisfactory even if it is realistic. And I’m really not happy with the scene of Coop on the street with the rose – it’s too obviously a red herring moment. It’s what Stephen King once described as a “cheat” – it cheats the viewer and feels dishonest.
As far as the episode itself, the scene in which the team works through Jack’s past victims is probably the best of the whole episode. I admit it – I’m a sucker for procedural crime drama and this is procedure at its best. The murder of the toy repairmen has too much false tension.
In the end, I’m not satisfied with the episode. The Jack story arc isn’t working for me and this episode doesn’t breathe new life into it. It was too painfully obvious from the start that Jack would get away and I never questioned whether Coop would survive. This story arc needs to be seriously repaired sooner rather than later – it’s becoming repetitious and there’s not enough payoff to keep the viewer’s interest sustained. In the end, this is a 4 of 5 episode - the good outweighs the bad but the central plot of the episode is failing.