The Firm Review "Chapter Three/Four" (Episodes 1.03/1.04)

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<i>The Firm</I> Review "Chapter Three/Four" (Episodes 1.03/1.04)

We missed reviewing last week’s The Firm, so here’s a quick recap. It turns out the rest of the series will not take place in present time, which means the scene where Mitch runs to a hotel, meets that mysterious man and then jumps is still—for lack of a better word—a jumping off point at some time in the future.

The double episode premiere took place six weeks prior to The Chase (which is what I will refer to it as from now on) and last week’s “Chapter Three” took place five weeks prior. Since I don’t want to focus on this episode and want to move on to “Chapter Four,” all you need to know is that Mitch worked on another “case of the week” and he began to dive deeper into the Sarah Holt case. In the final moments of the episode, we return to The Chase and Mitch has outrun the bad guys. However, he left his very important suitcase. Cue the dramatic music and close up of Mitch looking extremely worried. Again: sorry for missing the episode. [Episode rating: 7.4]

On to “Chapter Four”—we open again at The Chase. Mitch heads to a boat where his family is and explains to them (and to the audience) that he met with Moxon, the mysterious man involved in the Sarah Holt case who leaps to his death during The Chase. It’s a tidy recap that helps explain what exactly is going on.

Right before we jump four weeks prior to The Chase, we discover police want to treat Mitch as a murder suspect. This leaves us hanging as the episode shifts focus to Mitch meeting with Sarah Holt about the overarching murder case. Of course he also takes a “case of the week.” What else is new?

While shows like Law & Order are a different case per episode, at least each plot takes weeks or months. It’s unrealistic that Mitch is taking on and closing a case each week. I understand that the writers are trying to balance a long running plot with quick ones that satisfy every 60 minutes. The problem lies in focusing on too many storylines.

The time jump is one thing, but as the past begins to pull in multiple plots, it’s excruciatingly hard to keep track of the jumble. As if The Chase, Sarah Holt and the case of the week weren’t confusing enough the return of the mob in “Chapter Four” results in a headache of an episode. Perhaps the clearest moments in the episode were when the characters briefly discussed their personal lives. Granted, it was only for a few parts of a scene, but it was a welcome change of pace.

With all of the thrilling and dramatic moments it’s easy to see why The Firm has pulled in decent ratings (by NBC’s standards), but it’s also easy to see how cheap these moments are. The series is like a B-level film. Entertaining, but not a lot of substance.