Melissa Ringston (Danielle Panabaker) has been abducted off the streets of San Francisco. Who is Melissa Ringston exactly? A frequent runaway teen who has repeatedly left her home, but nobody knows why. Bring on Raina, Nate and Magda to save the day.
To make a long story short, Melissa's mother and stepfather run a community co-op/farm sort of deal where they practice polygamy. Melissa has been forced to be one of her stepfather's underaged wives (EW!)and so she ran away only to be temporarily hauled back by her stepdad.
In addition to polygamy, her mother and stepfather also killed another one of the young girls of the co-op who tried to run away. Likely Melissa herself would have been next.
The case is pretty straightforward. Again it's one where you know the stepfather is in the wrong from the get go, however I wasn't expecting the incest twist. I can only imagine that those who practice polygamy weren't all that thrilled with their representation here, but that's beside the point.
An enjoyable case, if not all that suprising. Most notable for me is the nice performance from the young Ms. Panabaker. Danielle has since gone on to make several movies and is one of the most promising young up and coming actresses in the business and she does solid work here.
The first of subplots brings up back to Magda and Gabe's marriage that last we saw was falling apart due to Magda's infedelity. Seems Magda is excited because now Gabe is ready to try again, but when things start to become intimate, Gabe freezes mid action.
I like that we see Magda and Gabe struggling to save their marriage instead of reaching for the easy divorce. Here we see marriage counselling, talking amongst themselves and seeking advice from friends and peers. Magda is getting frustrated at Gabe's unwillingness to put her mistakes behind them, but as Jinny wisely points out--would Magda be able to forgive Gabe if the situations were reversed?
Ultimately, the feeling we get from Magda/Gabe is hopeful that they can get back on track.
From a viewer's standpoint, though Magda's subplots aren't always my favorite I'm glad that we get to see more of her here. A lot of times her subplots seem to get overshadowed by Jinny's subplots and Magda takes on the role of nurturing, loyal and supportive friend. While I love that about her, I always enjoy seeing the tables turned and getting to see Magda struggle with Jinny right by her side supporting her.
The other main subplot involves Kate and motherhood. With Amanda having abandoned Katie Ann, Kate needs to know whether Amanda has plans on coming back. Is Kate now her grandaughter's legal guardian, or is she just a glorified babysitter? Through a bunch of one sided phone calls, we learn that Kate is going to be the former.
However, raising Katie Ann has brought out a whole new spark and vitality to Kate and one can't help wonder if a part of her is happy that she is going to get a chance to raise this baby. It seems to have given Kate a whole new purpose and drive to life.
While I enjoy this storyline, my only concern is that the writers never seem to acknowledge Kate's stroke of last last season. The writers are generally pretty good about continuing plot points, but one has to wonder if Kate is in good health and whether there are any concerns to her overall condition/stress now that she is essentially raising a child on her own in addition to a full time job. Though it seems like a release for Kate, it would be nice to see an acknowledgement. Plus just where has Louis disappeared to?
The motherhood themes also continue as we also find Jinny packing her belongings after her doctor commits her to bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. The baby is fine but Jinny's blood pressure is not. Kate is more than happy to oblige as much as Jinny isn't looking forward to weeks of boredom in bed.
All in all we don't see a lot of Jinny this episode, but that is to be expected. As she is on desk duty, she can't play an active role in the investigations and one has to think the producers aren't going to overwork their severely pregnant actress. Mostly we see her in a secondary role dispensing advice to Magda.
The last point of interest is that we are starting to see a bond developing between Kate and Stacey. It has always amazed me that while probably not real life realistic, Kate has always managed to find time to have a special bond with each and every one of her inspectors. Stacey is no exception. They bond over what else--stories of mothers and daughters.
So all in all growth and happiness for many of the characters--mostly Magda and Kate. Motherhood on the horizon for Jinny and a solid installment all around.