APB Review: “Signal Loss”


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Another lackluster episode of this week involves tech billionaire Gideon Reeves creating a $2 million dollar jacket his police in the 13th District of Chicago can wear into an undercover situation in lieu of the traditional wire that can go undetected by bad guys. The catch? The police monitoring the situation live must be on a seven minute delay, putting the cop on the ground in danger. While it’s an interesting in, it still feels like the same old from this blah show.

We open in a warehouse–an old dress factory to be exact. Murphy and Brandt are meeting with the CI Tico, who shows them some guns and bullets from an illegal arms dealer named Hunter that are able to pierce the new body armor Gideon has the cops in the 13th District wearing. Brandt points out the danger “if local gangbangers get that kind of firepower.” This means they have to put a stop to Hunter’s business ASAP. And that involves Tico getting Brandt a face to face with Hunter to incriminate him and put him away for good. Though Tico protests, Brandt and Murphy insist he set it up or they won’t help him with those drug charges after all.

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Gideon is in a fantastic mood bad at the department headquarters. “I am the Saint Nick of law enforcement,” he proclaims. He’s improved everything from the weapons, to the cars, even the coffee is better. However, his bubble is about to be burst. Murphy reminds him that the mayor has set the State Attorney’s office to investigate him and what he’s done with the 13th District. Her ex-husband Scott will talk to cops until he finds one who tells him exactly what he wants to hear. And apparently he’s starting with Officer Reyes, the guy who took a bullet on Gideon’s watch in the pilot episode.

Gideon observes Captain Conrad and Brandt arguing. Conrad won’t sign off on sending Brandt in to the face to face with Hunter without a wire.  “What if we had surveillance he couldn’t detect?” Gideon challenges him. Brandt reminds his captain that every cop in the city is a target as long as Hunter’s out there selling armor piercing bullets. And so Conrad gives Gideon his blessing on trying to put together the recording device that will go undetected in a meeting where the bad guys are looking for it.

Of course Hunter has goons that look for radio waves being transmitted. Gideon figures that if the recording device could transmit in bursts, every seven minutes or so, the odds are the goons wouldn’t pick it up. Gideon offers up one of those minuscule cameras used for surgery. Then asks his man Pete if there’s a way to make the wire even less detectable: built into the fabric. The wire IS the clothes the cop is wearing. A $2 million dollar jacket. Gideon approves it.

Meanwhile, Captain Conrad talks to Reyes, and gives him a little prep before speaking to the city lawyer (Murphy’s ex, Scott). “Those lawyer from the city have another agenda. Remember whose side you’re on, and you’ll be fine,” Conrad tells Reyes, but we get the distinct impression Reyes does not necessarily know which side he’s on yet.


When the jacket is complete, it’s show time. Brandt will wear it to his meeting with Hunter. He and Murphy prep outside the parking garage where the face to face with Hunter, Brandt, and Tico will go down. Before Brandt heads in, Murphy asks him: “You religious at all?” She gives him her necklace with St. Michael, the patron saint of cops on it, to protect him.

In the parking garage, Brandt introduces himself as Nick. “Nick is dope as hell, man, he gets deals done,” Tico says and I’m not sure what type of crime boss would NOT be able to tell Nick was a cop RIGHT THERE. But anyway, they check him for a wire and it goes undetected. Hunter is still suspicious, though, questioning Tico and “Nick” about the nature of their relationship. Meanwhile, back at the station, Gideon, Ada, and Conrad are waiting for the first video file of the face to face to come through, on that seven minute delay.

In the parking garage, Hunter explains that a couple of days ago, somebody broke into his warehouse and stole a lot of his guns. When he asked around he heard that Tico was shooting his mouth off about a big score he’d just made  on the same day that he got robbed. Yuh-oh. That’s not good. He punches Tico. Seven minutes later, our guys at the station are watching through the video feed and see how things go sideways. “Brandt’s in trouble, go NOW!” Gideon yells. When Murphy rushes in she finds nobody and nothing there but her St. Michael chain on floor.


The rest of the episode is spent tracking down Brandt and Tico before anything terrible happens to them. Unfortunately, Tico ends up getting shot to death once he admits to taking Hunter’s guns and that Brandt is a cop he’s been feeding intel to. “For a cop to walk in here without wearing a wire, you’re incredible brave or incredibly stupid,” Hunter tells Brandt. Eventually Gideon and the team locate exactly where Brandt is being held (SURPRISE: it’s an old warehouse). They move in and gun down Hunter, saving Brandt.

While all this is going down, Scott interviews Reyes, the officer who was shot on the job, about how Gideon has impacted safety at the 13th District. He’s “making sure his toys aren’t putting cops at risk.” He wants to accompany Reyes on a walkthrough in the actual building where he was shot. Reyes doesn’t seem too fond of this. In the building he seems to have some sort of traumatic flashback and rushes out saying he needs to “get some air.” When Scott follows him out Reyes explains the memories came back stronger than he thought. Scott looks like this has been what he’s waiting for. “Have you been experiencing a lot of anxiety since the incident? I can help you file a grievance,” he tells Reyes, but the officer refuses his help, instead blaiming Scott for making him walk down memory lane.

Gideon makes a speech at the station telling the officers the real victory belongs to all of them. The whole team helped. Everyone applauds. This apparently moves Reyes to have a change of heart.  Reyes catches up with Scott, who he tells he needs to make changes in his report. “The truth is, it wasn’t Gideon’s fault or his technology. I had never been in a situation like that before and I got rattled,” Reyes says. Scott is PISSED. He returns the report to Reyes and tells him to give it back to him when he’s ready. He storms out of the station.

Murphy follow Scott outside. “Is this about us?” she asks him. He denies it saying he’s doing his job and that the mayor asked him to come out there. “Just because you’re doing your job doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing,” Murphy says. Scott warns her that currently lawsuits are being filed by people upset that Gideon’s drones are infringing on their privacy, and saying the app doesn’t serve all people equally. “Aside from our son and my mother, there’s nothing I care more about than the 13th District, so if you go after Gideon Reeves, you’re going after me, too,” Murphy tells her ex. He walks away.

Overall, the seven minute delay in video was a good plot device to tell a story in an original way. Unfortunately, it’s hard to give a damn about these characters and it’s not as fun as this type of premise could be. In the end it’s just another forgettable episode.


Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)TB-TV-Grade-C-
 airs Monday at 9PM on Fox

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Paul is a notorious tech billionaire who is using technology he created to write and review TV shows more efficiently, in order to avenge a friend who wasted weeks of his life watching shows that were inaccurately reviewed.

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