Avi sits shomer for a dead old man with his childhood friend at the start of The Calling episode 5. It is a tradition among the Jews where they watch guard over the deceased, if they have no one else, to comfort the soul. And as Avi reveals later, to ensure that the animals don’t eat them before the burial. This man’s name is Isaac Zebrasky.
The police are on the spot as the bomb has been reported and the daycare evacuated. Janine encounters a tall bald man holding a child saying the bomb is not real and clicks his pictures for later. Avi arrives on the scene too. Janine spots another suspicious-looking man in the crowd of parents. When she approaches, he runs but Janine catches up.
Earl gives her a telling to for running off on her own like that. Kathleen is furious and wants the perp who did this caught as soon as possible. The man who ran is someone Anna knows. His name is Brad Holt and he had his daughter in the daycare earlier but then pulled her out. Anna says he is not the type to do such a thing. Brad accepts he should not have run to Janine but pleads innocence. She backs him up in a corner and instead of giving her information, he demands a lawyer.
Janine expresses her frustrations to Avi who is sympathetic. But they do not think he is guilty. Anna reveals it was a woman who threatened her the second time as well. Avi questions Brad about him running away and tries to emotionally blackmail him into giving him something for the sake of other children the same age as Gabrielle (Brad’s daughter) but is unsuccessful.
They visit the bald man – Paul Serra. He is an electrician and saw that the bomb was not real. He informs them that his wife, Elisabeth, has gone to Mexico. They have two sons, Eric and Danny. The latter, who is also the older one, walks up to them and says he knows who left the bomb. His “first dad” told him. But Paul says he does not have another father and he is just an illusion Danny created. Earl meets with Marcie, who defends her husband but tries to insinuate that Anna is evil.
She might have even made the threats herself for insurance money. Avi tries to interrogate Danny but in a protective way to ensure the safety of the kids. He tells Janine about the hallucinations he saw of his father when he was standing shomer. She instinctively tries to comfort him by holding his hand but when the two come out of it, they have an awkward moment. Avi interviews Danny in a very tender way. He speaks gloriously about his mother and reveals that Paul and Elisabeth had marriage troubles. But he then points at his father when asked who put the bomb.
Paul later explains that Danny is angry at him and taking it out by falsely implicating him. The reason is that Danny feels Paul is the one who is driving Elisabeth away due to the fighting. That is why she has gone to Mexico to be with her parents, She has left before but Paul feels she will not be coming back this time. Anna gets another call and Kathleen is anxious more than ever. Avi feels Danny is protecting his mother rather than implicating his father.
He feels she might have planted the bomb. Janine clears up the incident last night and Avi seems a little disappointed. Sarah, an employee of Ann’s comes to the station. She says that Anna knows who is the caller but she denies the same. Paul reveals that Elisabeth used to work at Valley Forge, an elite club downtown and that she lost a lot of money in crypto investing. Avi suggests she is missing and not safe, something that Paul has not come to terms with.
The Episode Review
This is by far the most philosophical episode of the season. It was always a question of how well could Kelley and the team of writers create Avi as a hero with a certain je ne sai quois. Crime is quite a vast field to play and until episode 5, they have done it perfectly.
Shomer was an important insight into Avi’s life and personality. His deeply devoted core is brought out like his strength, as opposed to a weakness for other similarly positioned characters in modern television. That choice should be appreciated. Avi is more than just a solver of crimes: he also has an embellished understanding of the human condition.
There was a lack of anticipation when it comes to the switch in storylines. After the Conte case was surprisingly wrapped up in episode 4 when we were all expecting it to burn till the end, the writers waste no time in setting up for their next move. This new case has a similar emotional energy and estrangement to get your popcorn back on. But Avi and co have to again be hands-on with their investigation to solve two cases; the bomb and Elisabeth Serra’s disappearance. And that does not seem likely to end well either.