Following The Clues
As more of the main mystery begins to take shape, Briarpatch moves to its new time-slot on USA Network and with it, bringing a fair few warnings for Allegra to deal with. As extra players enter the fold and more of Felicity’s past comes into view, Briarpatch continues to weave its mystery with mixed results.
We begin episode 3 of Briarpatch with a montage segment involving one of the officers, who arrives at an abandoned car in the middle of nowhere. We then see him head home and talking to his Father about work. As the camera pans up, we see him stashing a cross necklace in his drawer, something he found in the car earlier in the episode.
Officer Eve is berated by the Mayor regarding the bomber who’s still on the loose. She immediately holds a press conference and announces they’re conducting a manhunt for Floyd Ferness.
Allegra sees this news while eating in a diner with A.D. and they talk about her run-in with him the previous episode. This inevitably leads them onto the topic of the Mayor, as they head up to Jake’s party at his estate, complete with ice giraffes and Elvis impersonators. Jake makes his grand entrance of course and Allegra immediately takes him aside and mentions the men who ambushed her that previous evening.
He apologises, telling her he had no part of it but does give some words of wisdom surrounding who may be involved. The Mayor interjects though, leading Jake to excuse himself, where he gets on the microphone and tells the Mayor to give a speech. Allegra meanwhile, watches from afar.
Outside, A.D. continues to hustle, bumping into Lucretia Colder, Detective Colder’s wife. There’s certainly more to her than meets the eye and she manages to manipulate those around her, showing a cunning side to her persona, until Allegra and A.D. head off together where they follow clues leading to Felicity’s phone. This sees them arrive at Lupe’s cafe.
After a fruitless search, they wind up catching a break by noticing an upstairs apartment that actually belongs to her sister. Once there, she finds Harold hiding in the closet. Allegra interrogates him, finding out he was bugging the apartment on Floyd’s orders as he wanted to keep an eye on her.
After her unconventional way of extracting information, Allegra and A.D. part ways for the evening. Alone, Allegra runs into problems when Clyde Brattle, a murderous arms dealer, reveals himself and admits it was he who ambushed her the night before. Sitting in his camper van with a mischievous glint in his eye, he looks straight at her and issues a warning – don’t trust anything Jake says. The men drop her off at an abandoned warehouse and inside she finds a whole swarm of drones, that rise up and buzz out into the night.
The biggest problem with Briarpatch comes from the sheer number of characters involved in this drama. At times, it can be difficult to remember who everyone is and the trouble with making so many people unlikable and full of such obvious flaws is the comic tone this one appears to adopt. There’s a surreal edge to Briarpatch that does help it stand out but the story itself moves so slowly, lacking that compelling hook that other thrillers of its kind have managed to achieve.
There are numerous different power plays and intricate details here though that will almost certainly stand up to repeat viewings when the full picture is revealed. The camera movements and cinematography is beautiful, and the obvious symbology of the zebra – potentially interpreted as looking more than one way at things – is a nod toward the twists and turns this murder mystery clearly has in store for us.
Hopefully things pick up in the coming episodes but for now, Briarpatch sleepwalks its way through this episode, despite introducing a few new players to the fold.