To say the first season of Hightown was a turbulent ride is an understatement. Episode 1 of Hightown Season 2 wastes no time picking up where it left off but there’s big changes this time around. The first comes from Jackie. She’s no longer a drunk and is 50 days sober. The result is a much more empathetic protagonist and she’s also working two jobs to keep herself busy.
Following Ray’s dismissal last season though, Alan gets himself settled in at his swanky new office, complete with a placard on the door labeled Sergeant. Only, the good news immediately takes a turn for the worst when he finds out Jorge, Frankie’s cousin, has been released from prison.
Jackie rocks up with the pill bottle and asks Alan to move on a dealer in town. However, Alan is following protocol now and tells her she needs to do the same. Given the patriarchal system in place, she’s encouraged by her female peer, Leslie, to make an undeniable case that the guys can’t ignore.
However, they’re snapped out of this completely by Alan receiving a call. They’ve got a body body on Nauset Beach. This man happens to be a rapper and as they watch his YouTube videos, chuckle while looking over his dead body. Classy. This man is Colin Connor, branded as a “cousin f*cker” following an incident in the past. However, thanks to the Frankie debacle that Ray messed up last season, the cops aren’t exactly taking kindly to the drug enforcement guys getting involved.
Speaking of Ray, our disgraced cop is in a rough way. He’s been having nightmares and is attending therapy, admitting that he’s a sex addict and struggling. It’s a twisted bit of irony, given where Jackie started off last season, and it appears Ray as if the roles are reversed here, which is a lovely bit of poetry.
Frankie is certainly faring a lot better now too. He’s welcomed back into the club with open arms and with Jorge by his side, decides to pick up where they left off from before. Renee is no longer working either but there’s clear hostilities between her and Jorge. This is definitely going to play a part later on, especially given the suspicious glances and glaring sneers shot her way.
Anyway, Jorge gets friendly with a stripper called Daisy, whom he decides to bring home. Renee’s home to be precise. To make things worse, Ray decides to enlist Jorge as the manager of the club, with Renee working as the assistant. She doesn’t exactly take kindly to it but Frankie tells her he needs people he can trust.
Meanwhile, Ray attends his hearing with Jackie serving as his character witness. He wants to return to duty, pointing out he has a disease (his sex addiction) that he’s getting treatment for. Jackie puts on a good show for him too, and there’s a letter from Dr Larkin about his good progress too. However, there’s a curveball. Captain Jones shows up with an alternate statement, which throws Ray’s plans completely out the water. The gist of this includes Ray sending pictures of his genitals over to Ray’s wife…from his work phone. Wow.
Jackie is called away with a big case though and apologizes to her friend for not sticking around. When she shows up at this suburban house, screams pierce the air. It’s another drug-related incident, with three wealthy kids dead from ODing. The police rally together with the intent of finding who’s supplying the drugs – and quickly.
This task falls on the weary shoulders of Alan, given he’s the sergeant. With everything looking grim at the office, and Jackie knowing her way around the drug trade, she’s given a 3 month probationary period to help out, given they’re short of manpower. Begrudgingly, the captain agrees.
Alan immediately turns to Osito in prison. He wants a transfer to the Drug Diversion Unit but knowing he has at least 10 years behind bars, holds all the keys that Alan needs to unlock this Frankie case. They’re at a standstill but Alan is desperate, agreeing to do what he can to make his life a little easier – but only if Osito gives good intel.
While Jackie and Leslie head out on the beat together, Jorge starts to make waves, and that comes from striking a deal with a brand new narcotic hitting the market called Great White. As the two different characters drive, their cars pass as they head down the sunny seaside coast.
The Episode Review
Hightown is back and while I wasn’t a fan of the first season, with its unlikable characters, season 2 actually goes some way to try and redeem them. Ray is still not a likable guy, and as we see from this episode, he’s still slipping up and sleeping with women. But at least he’s trying to get help, which is something. Hopefully he goes the same route as Jackie.
Speaking of which, Jackie’s character is a massive improvement over the first season and she’s actually taking this gig seriously, no longer drinking or doing drugs.
The way Jackie slyly makes her way into the force is a nice touch too and the whole episode hinges on her getting involved in this new case regarding the drug Great White. It’s clear that this is going to be explored in more detail over the coming weeks, and Hightown does a decent job easing into this new, darker plot point.
Hightown is still not perfect, but the second season does look like a definite improvement over the first so far.