After a first half of the season that kept getting better with each passing hour, the sixth episode of GET SHORTY, entitled “Epinephrine” was still a solid installment but seemed to be a stall or a misstep at times. Ever series is entitled to their mid-season lulls, of course, but I had such high hopes that the EPIX series would continue to build steam and explode in a grand finale. This episode felt a touch meandering, and on occasion as though it took a step backwards.
Last week we left off with the dreaded crime boss Amara showing up in Hollywood to take a peek behind the curtains at the movie she is footing (part of) the bill for. This week all hell breaks loose as Miles and Louis try and deal with their murderous boss while handling their new Hollywood cohorts. On top of that, Miles has his wife Katie and daughter Emma visiting Los Angeles from Nevada and he and Katie just rekindled the flame. And the FBI is looking for who shot and killed Josia and his eleven other men in Indian Springs.
The episode begins with those FBI agents inspecting the bodies of Josia’s men. As we know, last week Amara had them all gunned down with the help of her nephew Yago (who originally intended to betray her). Now they are set to control all of Josia’s old territory and take collections from his men. However, one of Josia’s men who Yago had a particular animosity for survived with a bullet wound to the side. He is taken to Los Angeles with Amara, Yago, and their men, and kept in warehouse. Amara orders Yago to go get the names of people Josia collected money from and did business with before the man dies.
Yago is quite unpleased with this. He feels like he is being sent to do petty errands when he should be enjoying sunny Los Angeles like his aunt. In addition to this, Yago feels like Amara would not even be in a position to collect on this lucrative new territory if it was not for him. Still he has to sit in a warehouse and keep this man from dying before he gives up the names. All the man wants is a hospital, but they know they can not take him there. He keeps passing out from the pain, and they keep injecting him with shots of epinephrine to jolt him awake. Ultimately, Yago steps out to get a sandwich and upon his return discovers that the guy died. Knowing Amara will be pissed, he lashes out before she can even respond. He leaves and calls up his buddy back in Nevada, telling him to come to L.A with the “flake” he has and they can run a little side business of their own that Amara does not need to know about. His friend is wary but agrees to come. Not looking good for next week.
Meanwhile, Amara shows up at the production offices to inspect what is really going on. Miles tries to pawn her off onto Rick for the day; he tells him to take her to see all the touristy sites (the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign, Mann’s Chinese theatre, etc) but Amara senses Miles trying to get rid of her and so intentionally sticks around. They just so happen to be having a meeting with a young actress from New Zealand that their director is really hot on for playing one of the lead roles. Amara insists on sitting in at the meeting and while everyone else is big flashy grins and Hollywood faux charm, Amara blatantly tells this movie star she is not going to have the part. Miles is wildly uncomfortable but tries to appease both sides. He’s squirming.
Katie and Emma just happen to show up the same day Amara does to take a look at the movie studio. Miles does not want Amara to see them, to even know they exist, or else they could become endangered at some point in the future. He takes both of them on a tour far away from his offices and then drops them off at a standard studio tour. You have to feel bad for him. Right when he is getting in good with his estranged wife and daughter (i.e. had sex with his wife again for the first time in forever) a fresh reminder of how dangerous the people who surround him can be shows up. But Katie is slowly succumbing to the temptation that is Los Angeles and the Hollywood lifestyle. At a party she enjoys telling people her husband is a producer making a movie with star Max Kisby. She sees the news of the murders at Indian Springs and is glad to be out of Nevada. Miles even shows her a house that could be theirs. And on top of all that she comes clean with her boyfriend almost immediately and breaks it off with him.
However, it is not to be. Just as she is about to tell Miles that she thinks they should be back together, Amara walks by, and he is forced to close the door. I was a little surprised to hear he told her the truth–how he is still working for Amara, but hopes to transition into a full time legitimate producer role from here, even though she has not exactly given explicit permission. Katie leaves it at, “I’ll call you.” And of course, sensing Miles drifting from her, Amara make him and Louis take care of the dead Josia crony to remind him who he really works for. They chop up the body and are stopped by a cop at one point while driving to dispose of it, but quickly get out of it.
The most interesting development of the episode came when Amara and hack producer Rick Moreweather head out to dinner together. And Amara and he end up having sex. At dinner she tells him she is good at seeing people for what they are. She tells him that he is sad because he wants people to see him a certain way but they do not treat him right. She tells him that he could have any woman he wanted if he believed in himself. And then she offers herself to him. We see the next morning Rick tries to sneak out, but then thinks better of it and says goodbye. But Amara isn’t having it; she is taking him out to breakfast. Pancakes. This alliance between two important people in opposite worlds is sure to cause a headache for Miles somehow in the future.
Overall the episode did not have the “oomph” that past ones have, but was an entertaining hour of television that I can not fault the creators for. I’m still on board!
Paul Gulyas | Contributor