Second Chance 1×08 – Reaction Post

Jimmy’s past came back to haunt him, at the risk of ruining all his efforts to make up with Duval. Meanwhile, Gracie was finally back, with some secret of her own. And the good news for Mary’s health might not be so good a news for Jimmy’s… What did you think of this week’s episode. Share your thoughts with us below.

Expect spoilers for the episode – so if you haven’t seen the episode yet and don’t want to be spoiled, you should avoid reading the comments on this post until you’ve watched it.

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13 Comments on “Second Chance 1×08 – Reaction Post”

  1. Two really good episodes back-to-back–I hope there’s a snowball effect.

    How wonderful was it to see Madchen Amick again?! “Veiled Threat” is one of my very favorite White Collar episodes, and she is just as alluring in a bad girl role here. I know her character shared a steamy past with Jimmy, but she and Duval generated more (angry) heat tonight. Just sayin’ .

    Lots going on in this emotionally explosive episode… Jimmy made quite a mess of things in his previous life, and tonight at least one of those mistakes caught up with him. The tentative bond he’d managed to forge with Duval took a public hit–I loved that intense shoving match at the FBI offices–but, more importantly, Duval was forced to confront head-on his own anger and resentment toward his father. Jimmy attempted to shove a share of the blame for his choices to Duval’s mother, indicating a low emotional IQ. Duval may forgive his father eventually, but the sins of the father leave wounds that are stubborn to heal, even after bonding over a game of catch.

    I wondered how long it would take until Tim’s love of baseball was worked into a scene (because there’s no way that was a coincidence). That was nice. Not Yankee Stadium “let’s go to work, Peter Burke” nice, but still pretty sweet.

    Hearing your worst suspicions about your father confirmed via his mistress via the invasive technology created by the same people who brought said cheating dad back to life must really, really suck.

    It was good to see Gracie again, and good to explore some Pritchard family dynamics. I’m not exactly sure why Gracie thought dating a 20-year-old who is good with guns would help her dad, but Duval (or any parent) forbidding their teenage child to see anyone is usually an idea sure to backfire.

    The rift between Mary and Otto is growing. I’m not sure why Otto feels so threatened by Jimmy (and not, apparently, by Connor). But, he brought the truth of this whole ugly scenario back to the surface when he said to Mary, “he’s an experiment” as if Jimmy was no more than a lab rat that exists only to suit their own sinister purposes. And it reminded me why, despite their exhibiting a vulnerability that has at times elicited my sympathy, I don’t really like the Goodwin twins very much.

    Mary is now cured of a rare and fatal form of blood cancer, a cancer that we were told but never shown that she had. I hate when cancer is used as a cheap, lazy plot device. I’m starting to wonder if she ever really had cancer at all, if Otto simply manipulated her to justify his “experiment”.

    I’m looking forward to watch this episode, and last week’s, again.

    1. Regarding Otto and Connor, Otto probably feels less threatened by Connor because there isn’t much between Mary and Connor beyond sex and the aborted merger.
      Otto, with the help of Arthur, caught very early on that there was something more going on between Mary and Jimmy, even though Mary and Jimmy don’t actually seem particularly attracted to each other. Jimmy is showing Mary there is a life out there, a life outside of Lookinglass. Jimmy is a threat to Mary and Otto’s lifestyle, a way Connor isn’t.

      1. Fair point about Mary’s relationship with Connor not really existing beyond Lookinglass and the proposed merger–even if Connor exposes Mary to a social world beyond the company, their main focus remains Lookinglass.

        I think the most Jimmy and Mary feel toward each other at this point is curiosity. Mary is convinced she and Otto re-created the best version of Jimmy, at least physically, but they really know nothing of what happens to a man’s mind and soul when he is brought back from the dead (without his consent, I should add). Sometimes I think Mary regards Jimmy as more a specimen than a man. Jimmy’s still Jimmy. Mary’s a beautiful woman who walks and breathes, and he’s attracted to that (just as he would be for any other beautiful young woman) but she has power over him that other women have not. I can’t decide if that intrigues him or angers him. Maybe Jimmy can’t decide either but regardless, I don’t think he’s falling for her.

        1. All true. Actually I wish they’d explore a bit more Jimmy’s feelings about the situation, beyond the simple chance to fix things with his family.

          Past the first few days or weeks, you gotta start thinking about the future. Does he want to live a whole life again? Does he just want to make things right with his family then leave into the good night? Is he grateful to the Goodwins or not?

          Hopefully they’ll bring all this up when Otto will want to pull the plug.

          And regarding the Mary/Jimmy relationship, I’m skeptical. Yes, he’s good looking and strong, she’s gorgeous. But Jimmy is still very much old Jimmy inside, and *that* is not exacly attractive. They’re just two very different people at very different stages of their lives.

  2. Kinda “funny” to see in 10 minutes, Duval being so smart playing Solly into confessing, and then being so clueless in how to handle his daughter…

    It was nice to finally see Gracie again, though, and see a bit of Duval’s parental side. Though it would probably be a little easier if he didn’t have to deal with his own father. Poor Duval, having to learn all those things… No wonder why he’s so wary about having his dad around and about telling Helen and Gracie.

    I’m glad that Mary is cured (Not that it’s a shocker, really…) but it sure doesn’t bode well for Jimmy now. Cause he can’t just “be leaving”, unless he leaves with that big magical tank…
    Looks like my intuition about Otto were right. They made us feel bad for him last week and then they’re going to show us what a ruthless person he’s gonna be…

    It was nice to see Madchen again, though I’m getting jealous of her. First the tango, no a thorough pat-down? How can she be so lucky?!

    Lots of angry/badass Duval in this episode. The scene at the FBI was intense! I’m still very much enjoy the father/son dynamic, and Tim and Rob playing it.

    I’m getting a little anxious as we’re approaching the end of the season. I can’t believe there’s only 3 episodes left. Things are sure gonna escalade… So many secrets on every side….

    1. Parenting a teenager trips up even the most intuitive and understanding of us, and it’s not easy even in the best circumstances. Helen and Gracie need to know about Jimmy, but it’s easy to see why Duval is hesitant to tell them.

      I’m concerned the season will end on a cliffhanger, and that we’ll never see resolution.

      1. I’m really hoping we’ll get a closure of some sort. Or that they’ll renew it… But if at least we could get a complete story with good closure in 11 episodes, I’ll settle for that.

  3. Oh and something just occured to me.
    We know that Alexa is a “creature” more or less like Jimmy. But does she need a tank to regenerate? Or does Connor have the technology to “free” people from that leash?

    If Otto were to dump Jimmy, could Connor save him?

    1. Alexa said in the previous episode, “Otto threw me out before I was fully formed.” What did she mean by that? I don’t necessarily think Alexa is bad, I just think there is someone more important to her than Mary, and that perhaps she herself thinks Otto used her as a guinea pig. I don’t blame her for that.

      Apparently, Mary knows nothing about Alexa’s connection to Otto’s experiments, which makes me think Otto is less dependent on Mary than he wants her to believe.

  4. I can’t see the young Jimmy and the old Sheriff as one person. They look different, they act different, they seem to feel different. That’s apart of the show that doesn’t really adds up. I understand, that Jimmy wants to make up for former mistakes, but they are just like complete different people.

    The storyline was an interesting one. Interesting how the past creeps into the present, interfering with the Pritchards’ life.

    Mädchen Amick is fantastic. She looks angelic and plays an ice cold killer.
    Otto is a freak and very possessive regarding his sister. But so far it’s not clear what role he’s going to play.

    They reused a line from WhiteCollar. Just saying…
    Made me go and rewatch Free Fall.

    As for Duval, I hope there is something in the story for that character. So far, he has to deal with the antics and drama of his father, daughter & sister, took care of his depressed mom in his youth, fights crime, and so on. But everyone deserves a little bit of happiness and luck. My bitchy inner self yelled ‘Yes!’ when he punched his obnoxious father. Finally, some real emotion.

    Regarding Jimmy’s future, why not letting Otto throw him out, he dies without the tank or runs off with Mary, and there is more on-screen time for Duval? Wishful thinking, I know. I don’t like him. But I guess I mentioned that before.

    1. True. I do see the old grumpy man in Rob Kazinsky, but it doesn’t fit with Philip Baker Hall at all. Philip actually doesn’t seem old grumpy enough. He seems too much like a sweet grandpa to me.

    2. Phillip Baker Hall is the lovable curmudgeon and doting grandpa, but when we first saw his character, he was sitting alone in his apartment wearing only his bathrobe, listening to 40-year-old rock music, and “entertaining” a woman young enough to be his granddaughter. Clearly, he was depressed and longing for a more vibrant, relevant time in his life. He seemed tired, both emotionally and physically, and I think he’d had enough of life.

      There is an emotional disconnect between old Jimmy and young Jimmy when PBH and RZ share scenes, but I wonder if that’s deliberate. Old Jimmy didn’t ask to be resurrected, and it makes sense he’d be skeptical of his re-generated younger self. Young Jimmy seems drawn to behaviors that we’re told Old Jimmy once engaged in–womanizing, drinking, poker-playing–and RZ possesses a roguish charm that makes me believe his former self was no saint. I don’t think the two versions are that different, but they are in different stages of life, and people do change over time (I’ve been told numerous stories about both my grandfather and father which indicate the men I knew bore little resemblance to the young men they once were).

      I would never call Otto a “freak”. He is on the autism spectrum, he thinks in very literal, concrete terms, he cannot grasp more abstract moral concepts, such as the idea that choices and behaviors have long-term consequences. As wrong as it seems to us, it’s very logical to Otto that Jimmy (and, apparently, Alexa) are nothing more than scientific experiments because that’s exactly what they are to him. He is possessive of Mary, a trait she’s enabled by remaining so overprotective for so many years. But, the situation with Alexa leads me to believe Otto isn’t quite as dependent on Mary as he’d have her believe, at least not within the confines of Lookinglass and his scientific methodology (and assuming he acted alone in re-creating Alexa).

      I have been reminded of White Collar several times throughout the season. In the previous episode, as Alexa was helping a drunk Jimmy, he slurred “you’re strong…”, I couldn’t help but recall Matt/Neal’s drunken ad lib “you’re strong” as Peter helped him escape evil clutches in “Vital Signs”. In this episode, we had a sultry Madchen Amik provocatively patting down a resistant Agent Pritchard/Tim DeKay, recalling a hot tango they memorably shared in White Collar’s “Veiled Threat”. Then the line from “Free Fall’…

      Yeah, Duval needs more story from his point-of-view. Drama surrounds him on all fronts, and he needs to be allowed to express what he’s feeling, especially since he has held everything in for everyone else’s sake. Punching Jimmy was a long time coming.

      Well, if Jimmy and Mary run off, we don’t have a show, so…but I’m with you.

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