The Glades, "Iron Pipeline": it's always the awkward ones

Quick Take: The Glades, “Iron Pipeline”
The Glades knows how to throw an (orange) curve. 

the glades

Review: The Glades, “Iron Pipeline”
(S0209) Let me preface this review with a spoiler warning: if you have not seen this episode of The Glades go watch it and then come back. If you don't — or you just want to be a spoiled reader — then by all means keep on reading.

Callie and her son Jeff arrive at the murder scene of Jeff's coach and mentor. Not only does this traumatize Jeff, it also leads to a puzzle of how a high school freshman received a firearm.

The plot throws a gut-punch at the audience when the shooter turns out to be a high school freshman. The 15-year old didn't want to kill his coach; it happened by accident. Jim Longworth discovers that the kid bought the gun in a flea market. Soon after an interview, the cousin of the shooter winds up shot. What follows is a murder investigation that delivers a deconstruction of how school shootings affect teens, and also presents a crusade against gun businesses. Longworth encounters a struggling gun salesman and a butt-hole of a flea market guy only to find out that the seller of the gun was the awkward guy working the police office's evidence holding area. You've been spoiled. Are you done ranting? Now keep reading.

The plot twist was structured perfectly in the story by having Ed, the evidence guy, help Longworth catch the flea market salesman in the act of buying illegal guns. Ed's acting is credible and almost reaches Monk-like proportions when he smokes after the whole ordeal. The plot twist isn't the only thing that differentiates this episode — heart-punching the audience in the beginning also helped. The Glades doesn't hold anything back when Longworth interrogates the disturbed freshman who shot the coach. If anything, this scene comes off like an after school special, except without the ironic camp value. Still, it is an interesting decision to resolve the coach's death so soon in the episode. The show then breaks down how a school shooting affects a kid this age. In the final montage the audience witnesses how the boy's decision to bring a gun alienates himself from his peers.

The emphasis on the young boy shooter in the beginning sets up the plot twist later on in the hour. By figuring out who the coach's shooter is the gun's origins can then be emphasized in addition to who shot the boy's cousin. They can also begin their crusade against gun owners in the south.

The anti-gun message is palpable. In fact it is just as palpable as the underwear you are wearing right now. Okay, maybe that is a tad bit too palpable, but the message is obvious. It's ironic that a crime drama that takes place in the south is dealing with this subject — even more ironic is the nature of the message -- Guns are bad and only police personnel should own them; that is what the episode teaches. I'm not going to give my personal thoughts on gun control, but something about the episode doesn't make sense. Maybe its the fact that a member of the police force is selling arms because he has no faith in the world. Wait, a school shooting story and an apathetic gun salesman story? In the same episode? Something does not mesh well. It's like peanut butter and vegetable oil — it's a messy juxtaposition. The plot twist dilutes the message and it really fails to impact an audience.

Well, at least it was a well structured twist. That is something fans can bathe in.

By Dean "The Machine" Childers.

About the author

Dean Childers is freelance writer in Kentucky. He is a major in Mass Communications. He lurks in the Bluegrass waiting for someone to throw a pokeball at him.

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1 Comment
On: Monday, August 8, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

A most palpable review! ;-) 

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