FEED THE BEAST brings some fresh, juicy drama in the form of new executive chef Kevin Mahoney, hired by Aidan at the end of the last episode. If there’s one thing everyone can agree on it’s that Kevin is the WORST.
Meanwhile, Patrick Woichik watches over a barely-breathing Ziggy in the hospital. Instead of pulling out his pliers, Patrick pulls out his cell phone, threatening his doctor’s family if she doesn’t bring Ziggy back from the precipice. Until then, it’s up to Patrick to stop the gang known only as “the Asians” and restore balance to the universe.
At school, TJ continues to bond with another student named Lee, despite constant bullying from his nemesis Andre. TJ’s counselor tells Tommy that his son is improving, as evidenced by his colorful drawings. But Tommy points out, with some regret, that the pictures show TJ cooking with Dion, not with him.
Dion searches for a way out their contract with Aidan, which has forced them to hire Kevin’s hot daughter as a chef and is costing them money left and right. He’s under pressure from Woichik, and sends his Uncle Stavros to pick up some money from New Jersey (where all the reliable money can be picked up), but Stavros gets intentionally sideswiped by a two of Woichik’s men.
Aidan gets some bad news, and we get some rather cringe worthy quotes from his business manager Ruth – he’s running out of money. This is part of the reason he continues to ignore funding requests from Pilar, who has to pull out of work when her sister Bianca is hospitalized with a possible concussion. Question is, do we care enough about Pilar yet to care about the people she cares about? Not really. The real function of this crisis was to drive a wedge between Pilar and Tommy.
Dion attempts to mitigate his problems by doing the one thing he’s not supposed to do, selling the drugs he’s supposed to be watching for Patrick. Speaking of other things Dion was supposed to be watching, TJ gets distracted by some graffiti art and nearly gets arrested in a loading dock. Later, Dion has a heartfelt talk with TJ about how to deal with cops, evidence of a father/son bond that rivals Tommy’s relationship.
At the one hospital in this part of New York, Pilar meets Patrick, and the two share their similar troubles. It’s a stretch, but it’s funny so we can forgive that. Patrick does her a solid and makes sure that Thirio’s health inspection goes through smoothly, in his special Patrick way.
Tommy blasts Dion for giving TJ “the talk” while Aidan goes a step further and gives TJ “the gun.” There image of a black kid holding a gun and a boxing glove must be some kind of metaphor, but aptly the show leaves us to figure that out.
Dion finally takes Tommy’s advice to accept Kevin’s new leadership, but his compliance turns out to be a ruse. In an elaborate trap, Dion sleeps with Kevin’s daughter and shows him the evidence, inciting Kevin to hit everyone’s favorite detective – Guy Giordano. Kevin is led away in cuffs, while Dion and Tommy celebrate their victory. But their joy is tempered with jealousy as Tommy notices TJ’s admiration for Dion, and by some foreshadowing that Dion may soon have a child of his own.
Overall, this episode proved to be more enjoyable, as it brought the restaurant business to the forefront and left much of the criminal underground plot in deep freeze. Feed the Beast deserves some kudos for its attempt to bring a more lighthearted tone to a restaurant-based gangster drama in gritty New York. Music, acting and dialogue remain upbeat, even when situations become dire, even violent. Though it still seems like a lot of disparate elements on one plate, the flavors are starting to come together.
Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)
Feed the Beast airs Tuesdays at 10PM on The CW
Heather makes things for TV by day and writes by night (also sometimes by day). She is a fan of all stories that reflect life, but it doesn’t hurt if they’re set on another planet or in another time.
Heather West | Contributor