Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birds of Prey: Sins of the Mother (1.5)

Once again, an intriguing superhero-related issue is sidestepped in favor of dumb action sequences and whining, in another installment of the little show that could (but didn't). The arrival of Black Canary, here depicted as Dinah's mother, should have opened the door to insight into what it's like trying to juggle life as both a crime-fighter and a mother. Yes, the show had a couple of moments this episode where it explored that, but unsurprisingly it wasn't given the weight it deserved.

That's not to say the entire episode is appalling. Lori Loughlin is surprisingly decent as Black Canary, conveying enough guilt and initial anger to make the character convince. And anybody that's able to act convincingly alongside mistress of suck Rachel Skarsten deserves some kind of major accolade. Speaking of Skarsten, she's pretty awful here. It's not a total surprise that she hasn't worked much since the show got canned.

The villains of the episode were not given enough material to be neither threatening nor particularly fun. The revelation that Hawke is Reese's father was unexpected (too out of left field?), and did thankfully make Reese a hell of a lot more interesting. But I can't remember if that particular plot twist was ever followed up on...

Sins of the Mother has a decent concept and did at least attempt to reflect some kind of crime-fighting 'issue', which is always welcome. Some strong guest work saved it from becoming a complete disaster. C

Credits
Guest stars Lori Loughlin (Caroline Lance); Kristofer McNeeley (Frankie Spitz); Robert Patrick Benedict (Gibson Kafka); Brent Sexton (Detective McNally); Stephen McHattie (Al Hawke)
Teleplay Melissa Rosenberg Story Melissa Rosenberg, Hans Tobeason Director Jeff Woolnough

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