The last episode of The Good Guys was entirely forgettable and I was starting to see the frays in the series’ formula. “Small Rooms,” while featuring a number of problems on its own, reminded me of how enjoyable an hour of television with these guys can be.
The one question I have about “Small Rooms” is Dan planting the evidence. There’s an obvious desire to make Dan seem as goofy and out of touch as possible, but having him plant evidence without much consequence is a little suspicious and faulty. It’s not that I couldn’t see Dan Stark planting evidence as a way to spruce up a totally boring case with the hopes of finding something to do and some punk to bust. However, the police brass should have given him more punishment for said action, because without it, we can now expect next to anything from Dan and know that nothing bad will happen. Even in a stupid police procedural parody, there have to be rules of the universe. We’re supposed to look at Dan as competent, but barely so, someone who breaks the rules for the right reasons. Here, he didn’t really break the rules for the right reasons and without any consequences, it all rings false.
However, aside from that, I actually loved this episode. The criminal brothers were funny, had solid chemistry and did well with semi-automatic weapons in their hands. Note to casting folks: give Lee Thompson Young a solid regular gig, dude has skills. The plot expanded to ridiculousness as usual, but with the ties to Liz and her mother, it worked. This episode gave Liz a few character traits and beats, something she’s been sorely lacking since the pilot (Liz reacting to her mother and the ceramic clowns was hilarious), so I’m now willing to go along with this will they or won’t they garbage between her and Jack for a little while longer. Taking the case also showed us a more active Jack who isn’t simply dragged into cases by Dan, though he kind of was once the gun was planted. I like that Jack.
“Small Rooms” also didn’t rely on the X minutes/days later as much as the last few episodes, had a number of good shoot outs and featured Dan driving a car through a wall again. Those are all major pluses when considering the quality of a Good Guys episode. And really, more than anything, when the episode began I realized how much I missed Bradley Whitford playing this role and sporting this mustache, so despite its issues, I’m not going to stop watching this series anytime soon.