Perhaps I misread Ken Woodruff's talent as a writer. While the quality of Erika Green Stafford's episodes has remained high all three seasons, the quality of Woodruff's episodes has gone steadily lower each season. "Every Rose Has Its Thorns" played like something that was either written quickly to fill a script quota or written quickly as an excuse to stunt-cast "V"'s Morena Baccharin. Yes, there were some nice touches (like the succinct establishment in the first scene of why CBI is involved, van Pelt hushing the dog of the victim's ex-wife and Cho's line about why Grigsby should try a matchmaking service), but the value of touches is to enhance the episode, much like spice enhances food, not act as as a substitute for a story. Here, there was no food to enhance, or (to coin a phrase) there was no there there. Patrick is immediately convinced the victim's widow is the killer, and I kept waiting for the big twist, especially after Jane accuses her to her face of the crime and she looked startled. Surely it couldn't be as straight-forward as Jane has laid it out, I said to myself. Maybe the litigator attracted to Grigsby is the killer and/or the widow's accomplice/lesbian lover. Instead, what do we end up with as a climax? A recreation of the Columbo pilot, "Prescription: Murder." Both Simon Baker and Baccharin gave good performances and one can imagine the director Charles Beeson desperately trying to salvage gold from lead, but their (and the rest of the cast's) efforts were wasted on a script that really went nowhere, and where it did go was kind of ridiculous. Since when does Jane confront suspects alone on their home turf (he's a po-po consultant, not the actual po-po)? CBI doesn't have any regulations against dating material witnesses while the investigation is in progress? I was even predicting some of the lines. This may be the first time I've seen one of the best episodes of a series immediately followed by one of the worst episodes of the same series. Hopefully the last few episodes of the season will clear my palette of this one.
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