Todd was given a new lifeline when Margaret asked him to work for the firm in the last episode. And now, at the start of So Help Me Todd episode 2, it’s his first day at the job.
Margaret also has a big day ahead. The mayor of Portland is embroiled in a sex scandal with a girl named Lexie Fawcett. He has come to Margaret for help and she must prepare accordingly. Lyle, of course, is still repulsed by Todd and assigns him a ridiculous office, where they keep the case files. It is a storage room basically but Todd has to be content with it at the moment. Surprisingly, Todd does not know about the mayor’s case. It is only when Susan tells him about it does he confront his mother.
Margaret has made the smarter choice to go with Lyle as her lead investigator on the case. She instead assigns him a garbage case – that of Jaqueline DuBois, who is claiming damage against flooding in the basement against the municipality.
The mayor’s case could potentially launch Margaret into a senior partnership. It is important she does a good job. One of the senior partners takes away Margaret’s chance to sign and assigns himself as the lead. All this after Margaret worked for a year on the mayor’s wife Elaine as part of the Art Museum board to make him a client. She was previously this partner’s secretary and he begins treating her like one on the case.
The cavalry soon arrives. A campaign manager too comes with the distressed husband and wife. The partner says that they will bury Lexi in an expensive countersuit. At the DuBois hearing, Todd runs into Lexi. She is angry with someone on the phone, saying “you dragged me into this”. The person gave her $20,000 to do “this” and now she is in trouble.
Todd complains to Allison about his situation. She isn’t too interested in listening to the problem, but her vague responses are interpreted as support by Todd. He says he can do whatever with his free time and is on the Lexi case now. He goes to the building and cleverly gets in. When he goes up to Lexi’s apartment, he finds the door open and her dead on the floor. He rushes out and takes her garbage with him but doesn’t call the police.
The next day at the office, Todd shows the bag to Margaret and in the pull-push, it splatters open on the ground. They’re not even sure it is her garbage. Todd chooses to keep looking. He finds a small piece of paper torn from what looks like a receipt. He goes to Lyle, who again is of no help. Instead, he chooses to use the greatest database for information in the world: Reddit. Margaret suspects the campaign manager had something to do with the murder when Susanne tells her about the New Year’s Eve accident. She confers with Allison for medical advice and asks whether she could have really killed someone in her erratic anger episodes. Allison is sceptical but doesn’t rule out the possibility.
She gives Margaret the same advice as Todd. And guess what: she has the exact same reaction! Like mother like son. On the tv, they watch the mayor address a press conference and announce his resignation. He tells Margaret that Elaine has been missing from home since yesterday. Margaret knows exactly where she has gone. At a local spa, she runs into Todd, who got the relevant information from Reddit.
While Todd decides to call the number and look if Elaine has a second phone in the parking, Margaret herself goes to comfort Elaine. The wife is heartbroken and depressed. She walks out before Margaret can get any information from her. Rodd indeed finds a burner phone in Elaine’s car, signalling that she probably had something to do with the murder. She also has a bag full of cash in the backseat and the navigation system had Lexi’s location on the day of the murder.
Margaret and Todd crawl with Elaine as she receives a call from someone. They pick it up in the car as the Bluetooth connection makes it possible. The man demands money and asks to meet in a parking lot. Elaine almost walks into traffic to commit suicide and defeatedly accepts that she killed Lexi. But keeps repeating that she would be safer in jail. Todd intercepts the mysterious man, who spots him and rushes to leave. But before he can, Todd is able to get pictures of his scooter. An inadvertent message from Lyle to slight Todd turns out to be the clue that was needed all along. The Hawking symbol on the scooter meant the high school whose official mascot is hawking. Todd scans the yearbooks and finds the man. His name is Dragon Romano and it turns out Elaine Patel had an affair with him.
At the hearing for Elaine’s charges, Todd is able to make his way inside the courtroom and pulls the fire alarm to alert her mother to his findings. Romano is in court and is caught by the police. Actually, Romano is the father of Elaine and Eric’s son. She was pregnant when she met the mayor as Romano went mental. It was Romano who killed Lexi and was at the center of the whole ballyhoo. Margaret gets her client and Todd the respect of his colleagues. He is finally given an official employee ID and a gift from his mother showing her appreciation.
The Episode Review
Things are indeed looking up for Todd at the firm. The CBS drama seems like a straight-up detective ploy with minor undertones of complex emotions. Every episode will have a new case for Todd and Margaret to solve, while the overarching family dynamics will find their way into the episodes.
In Episode 2, they were perhaps not weaved as strongly as in the first one, but the lack of progress was good for the plot. The details are simple and maybe there isn’t too much time to build something substantial with this setup, but watching Todd and Margaret solve the cases is fun. They’re cute together.
But for some reason, Skylar Astin keeps reminding me of Andy Samberg from Brooklyn 99. If he can be half as good, So Help Me Todd will be a raging success. For now, the premise seems to be working, even if the exact content of the show seems derivative. Maybe some work in that department with better jokes can do the trick.