RUSH HOUR Review: “Captain Cole’s Playlist”

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Airtime: Thursdays at 10PM on CBS
Episode: Season 1, Episode 3 (S01E03)

TB-TV-Grade-B+

Tweetable Takeaway: In #RushHour’s strongest episode yet, our detectives investigate the disappearance of an ADA


In episodes one and two, felt like a new show still finding its footing. The pilot gave us a big story of international intrigue, while the following episode had us hot on the trail of a watch. Detective Lee hasn’t brought the same warmness  he had in the movies, and has often been overshadowed by Carter’s equally talkative cousin Gerald. The latest episode, though, “Captain Cole’s Playlist,” corrects some of these issues and is easily the strongest episode of this young show so far.

This week’s case? An Assistant District Attorney who disappears. It might not be foul play. But this ADA was on it. A real crusader, who wouldn’t just up and leave without saying anything. Especially not when he’s hot in the trails of a mobster named The Turk, who’s been tormenting L.A.’s streets for years. The audience knows The Turk is behind the murder before our detectives and the rest of the LAPD. Our eyes are a young graffiti artist, who witnesses the crime from a nearby downtown highrise. The Turk sends his goons (and man does The Turk have goons) after the youth, but the kid eludes them.

The District Attorney and Captain Cole call Detectives Carter and Lee into the precinct. The District Attorney doesn’t seem to think it’s foul play, and his hunch appears to be confirmed when the ADA’s body and car turn up in the L.A. River. Looks like a car accident. But as we come to find out, there’s corruption involved here, and it traces back to the very ranks of law enforcement.

Carter’s cousin Gerald once again plays a role in this episode, as the de facto ear to the streets, who helps our duo find out more about the street artist, the only lead our team has. But unlike in last week’s episode, Rush Hour gives us Gerald in doses. He’s not in every scene with Carter and Lee, bringing the same kind of outgoing energy that Carter brings and taking away from Lee’s screentime.

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Carter, Lee, and Gerald track down the graffiti artist to a zoo. Not the L.A. Zoo but an old “abandoned zoo” called the Griffith Park Zoo, which looks like a space out of Planet of the Apes.  What an awesome and eerie location, which as a history nerd I enjoyed finding out about. Rush Hour has the potential to show us these other sides of . Remember when 500 Days of Summer kind of made L.A. seem like a “real city” with parks and walking? That’s what I’m getting at.

Anyway, some of The Turk’s goons show up the abandoned zoo as well and in the scuffle, the artist loses his hoodie. Lee stares into the youth’s eyes. He’s just a scared kid named Isaiah. One of my biggest issues in the first two episodes is that Lee was too stoic and cold. But not in this one. Lee’s the first to see who Isaiah really is and that makes us like him more.

The Isaiah storyline brings out more layers in Carter’s character too. Carter (and Gerald) grew up with “Grandma” (Vernee Watson, likely best known as Will’s mom from Fresh Prince of Bel Air), the head of a foster home. As it turns out, Isaiah has been taken under Grandma’s wings, too. Isaiah is distrustful of cops, but Carter gets Isaiah to help by relating to him in a genuine way. Isaiah agrees to help and it seems like The Turk is going down. But the D.A. doesn’t seem particularly keen on pursuing a case, and even tries to discredit Isaiah. While waiting for Carter and Lee to come back, Isaiah catches a glimpse of the D.A. and recognizes his face. He was with The Turk the night the ADA was murdered!

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Isaiah, unsurprisingly, goes back to what he knows. He flees the precinct and hides. Carter and Lee trace him back to Grandma’s house. The Turk and his goons get there first, though, and hold Grandma hostage. A firefight ensues and in the end the detectives take down The Turk. They later go back to the precinct, and Captain Cole does the honors of cuffing the D.A.

Still wondering what’s going on what Lee’s sister Kim but this week’s Rush Hour hit a lot of right notes.

TB-TV-Grade-B+

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writes about the philanthropy of billionaires and millionaires by day, and writes screenplays by night.

Twitter: @derekadeniji 

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