Murder in the First

All posts tagged Murder in the First

Collage Created By Jason Jones

Collage Created By Jason Jones

It’s that time of year, when everybody’s coming out with their “Best-Of Lists” and we are adding yet another list to the pile. Welcome to The First Annual NOTTIE AWARDS, our version of the numerous Awards shows that get televised across the planet. Our list varies from other awards, in the fact that we cover the entire year of 2014. The NOTTIE AWARDS, breaks down the year starting with the 2013/2014 season’s conclusion, going through the summer shows as the first half of the year. The second half of the year covers the 2014-2015 Television season, making sure that all performances throughout the year, receive the recognition, they deserve.

As you peruse the list, you’ll notice that all categories have four names, except for two categories; Most disappointing series of the second half’s vacant. The other category that breaks the rule’s the Best Supporting Actor, in the second half, there were far too many outstanding performances to limit that category to just four actors. In all categories, the name listed first and in blue, won the category, the runner-up’s listed second and in red, the third and fourth names are just randomly listed.

All choices were made by Jason Jones and I, all decisions by the Judges are final (Although, We’d Love Your Feed-Back.)

And on to the Awards:

First Half

Best Actor: James Spader-The Blacklist, Tom Mison-Sleepy Hollow, Lee Pace- Halt and Catch Fire, Sean Bean-Legends

Best Supporting Actor: Peter Capaldi-The Musketeers, Walton Goggins-Justified, Jon Voight-Ray Donovan, Tom Felton-Murder in the First

Best Actress: Mackenzie Davis- Halt and Catch Fire, Joelle Carter-Justified, Kerry Bishe- Halt and Catch Fire, Kathleen Robertson-Murder in the First

Best Supporting Actress:  Amy Acker-Person of Interest, Tamla Kari-The Musketeers, Sarah Shahi-Person of Interest,  Marissa Neitling-The Last Ship

Most Disappointing Show: The Leftovers, The Black Box, Resurrection, Power

Best New Show: The Blacklist, Legends, Halt and Catch Fire, Murder in the First

Most Underrated Show: Justified, Supernatural, The Musketeers, Halt and Catch Fire

Best Show: The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Legends, Justified

Second Half

Best Actor: Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom, Ioan Gruffold-Forever, Elyes Gabel-Scorpion, Matt Ryan-Constantine

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Waterston- The NewsroomJohn Noble- Sleepy Hollow, Judd Hirsch-Forever, Misha Collins-Supernatural, Jesse L Martin-The Flash, Mark Sheppard-Supernatural, Michael James Shaw-Constantine, Robert Patrick-Scorpion, Mandy Patinkin-Homeland, Robin Lord Taylor-Gotham, Sean-Pertwee-Gotham, Donal Logue-Gotham, Rupert Friend-Homeland

Best Actress: Claire Danes-Homeland, Anna Gunn-Gracepoint, Emily Mortimer-The Newsroom, Alana De La Garza-Forever

Best Supporting Actress Olivia Munn-The NewsroomJacki Weaver-Gracepoint, Elizabeth Henstridge-Agents of SHIELD, Chloe Bennett-Agents of SHIELD

Most Disappointing Show: None Applicable

Best New Show: Forever, Scorpion, Constantine, Gotham

Most Underrated Show: Constantine, Forever, Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow

Best Show: The Newsroom, Homeland, Person of Interest, Forever

NJATVS-5.27a

WARNING: MULTIPLE SPOILER ALERTS

Truly surprised that TNT has yet to renew their recently completed Original Series “Murder In The First,” as they announced earlier the renewal of three other series. The show wrapped up on August 11, with a satisfying finale, wrapping up all the loose ends and with justice served, as sociopathic computer-wizard Erich Blunt offed himself rather than spend a lifetime in prison. Kathleen Robertson and Taye Diggs have incredible chemistry on-screen, the supporting cast shows potential and the writing tight and up to the standards set by Executive Producer and Creator Steven Bochco over 30-years ago. Series show runner Eric Lodal, recently tweeted that he’s had no contact with TNT, on the status of the show. The network has a history of supporting its Original Series and the only big budget items would be actors salaries, as we are talking essentially about a cop show. Here’s hoping that we spend next summer with Detectives Mulligan and English.

One of the shows that TNT has announced will return next year, The Last Ship,” aired an episode on Sunday August 10, that could have served as an exciting season finale, ending the year on an up note. The crew of the Nathan James executed a rescue of Commander Tom Chandler, Tex as well as Dr. Scott, eliminating the Russian ship commanded by Admiral Ruscov  as a future threat, whether or not he survived the explosions that seemed to engulf his vessel. Although the series has put together an exciting and entertaining rookie campaign, the decision to bring it back for a second season, surprised this viewer. With two episodes remaining in this season, we’ll soon know whether Dr. Scott, indeed has manufactured a cure for the virus. If she has, then would the Nathan James then head back to the States, hoping to save whoever remains? That would be a much different story than what we witnessed this year.

Congratulations to Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrotta and the cast and crew of the HBO Original Series The Leftovers,” as the network has renewed it for a second season. Regular readers of these pages, are aware that we stopped recapping it, but something that eluded us, apparently garnered the ratings to bring it back.

Once again FX has brought a quality dramatic program to viewers in their summer Original SeriesTyrant,” which is nearing the end of its first season, as viewers have watched Barry/Bassam Al Fayeed morph, from a California pediatrician, who had broken ties with his family and his homeland Abbudin 20-years earlier, to a man engineering a coup to depose his brother and replace him as the nation’s President. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as this series has aptly demonstrated, the man who tried desperately to wipe away any traces of his upbringing and become the typical American’s now a stranger to his wife and children.

If you have access to BBCA and are currently not watching the Network’s adaptation of “The Musketeers,” you are doing yourself a grave disservice, as it’s one of the most entertaining shows currently on television. The network has produced a gritty depiction of the time period, with a modern attitude, we see all the pomp and puffery of Paris in the year 1682, but we receive just as much exposure to how the poor and needy subsisted. The show has slightly tweaked the characters, making them enjoyable companions to spend the summer with. Peter Capaldi, the actor portraying Cardinal Richelieu in the series, will shortly become far more recognizable as he debuts later this month as the newest incarnation of Doctor Who.

Watched the preview episode for the upcoming CW series “The Flash,” which Jason Jones will recap when the series premieres in October, however I will say that I was pleasantly surprised, as the pilot impressed me far more than the network’s other series based on a DC Comics character, “Arrow,” the show that introduced Barry Allen before he acquired his powers. Although Allen’s back-story differs from the “Silver-Age Flash,”  that I grew up reading in the sixties, the pilot made this viewer think there could be a second show on CW that would attract my interest, along with mainstay “Supernatural.”

Photo Credit: Feltbeats.com

Photo Credit: Feltbeats.com

 Warning: Spoiler Alert

To say the ‘plot thickens’ doesn’t quite cover it. The beauty of this show is that if you’ve been watching, you knew it would. You’ve probably come to expect it after only two episodes in the books. Tonight Bochco, took a few more steps to draw intrigue and to complicate the story just enough. I won’t say tonight’s episode “lowered the boom” but it made the story wider. It also did something that most shows like this are not willing to do until it starts to get stale, seasons later.

The opening scene drops Blunt (lead suspect for those just joining us) into what one would have to assume is one of his residences. With the use of editing effects, they are able to illustrate that Blunt is indeed the sexual predator we’ve been lead to believe along with an affection for adding drugs into his mix of forced coitus. A foreshadowing detail: Blunt wraps some sort of drug that he will eventually force down the throat of a consenting adult. Then she says she doesn’t like it. He calls her a liar and proceeds to strangle her, slightly. Tuck this away because you know it will come up later.

Det. Mulligan, antsy about the DNA results she was able to swindle off of Blunt last week, repeatedly calls the lab in order to get those results back. Clearly, the lab tech doesn’t respond well to being rushed by someone who doesn’t appreciate her talent. Det. English decides they should go down to the lab (a place no one actually goes to) and see if he can’t help this along. It’s a whole “more bees with honey” situation. Once at the lab it is clear that the tech has no intention of being remotely polite much less accommodating to Det. Mulligan. Det. English is a whole different story. After a little banter between tech and English, they get what they came for. With a 99.7% probability, they are confident they can call the father of the unborn child…Erich Blunt.

Meanwhile, back in Warren Daniels’ office, Blunt reconsiders retaining what he calls a “Doberman”. After giving out rules for their lawyer-client relationship, and Blunt breaking one of them before the statement is complete, they agree. Consider Erich Blunt, “Lawyer-ed Up”. Despite the acting chops of James Cromwell/Warren Daniels and the lack there of with Tom Felton/Erich Blunt (it’s not his fault, that’s the character), once again Richard Schiff carries the scene with very few words uttered. Yes, Cromwell has the lines, and the alpha male presence, but Schiff delivers sparing moments that allow the scene to breath. Felton does deliver an interesting moment. As the viewer, I am skeptical of his sincerity.

“Downloaded. This is your game Mr. Daniels, I’m happy to play by your rules”

The only thing missing is the quivering lip…

We do see a new development unfold that I personally have been waiting for. A woman not to be confused with our dead flight attendant, had prominent screen time in the promos leading up to the series premiere. She confides in one of the other detectives in the precinct. We discover they both have kids on the same tee ball team. She reveals to him that five years ago she was drugged, choked, and raped by none other than Erich Blunt. Problem is that she is telling her cop friend in a way of suggesting that they keep pulling on the thread. Not to violate her confidentiality agreement she signed as part of their court settlement. The detective doesn’t quite see it that way.

Coming out of the break, we find that Det. English has been looking for a new place. One leans towards the idea of too many memories of his wife from their previous house. Fun little wrinkle, the real estate agent is probing interest in him outside of this real estate venture. Meanwhile Mulligan is approached by one of the kids from episode 1. He wants her help in removing his father figure who is physically abusive.

Five detectives in a huddle. And there is not even a majority much less a consensus on who suspect #1 is. The good news is that we get our first signature scene from Lt. Koto (Ian Anthony Dale).

“This kid is going to get the best lawyer money can buy. He’ll spend a fortune on expert witnesses. He’s smart and he’s arrogant. We’re not going to beat a confession out of him. So let’s do better. There are three words I don’t want to hear when this is all over. O-J-Simpson.”

Our detectives follow-up on their due diligence interviewing potential leads, including other private jet employees. The ‘Mormon’ was all to happy to roll over on Bill Wilkerson (Steven Weber), insinuating that Wilkerson as well as Blunt had a sexual relationship with the deceased. A detail that at the time seemed huge. However, the more I let it fester, the more it feels like a red herring.

Now for my favorite scene that holds very little importance to the overall big picture story line. There is a techie at the precinct that on a few occasions has been caught staring or outright talking about how attracted she is to Det. Mulligan. I sure can’t blame her. In this scene there is a very sultry and quite frankly fun hypothetical banter between these two in an effort to explain how Blunt could have sent a delayed text message to throw off their scent. I want you to watch this show, so I’m not going to give you the transcript. I will say how it ends. Tech Girl: So, there’s no misunderstanding, you are kind of my type. Mulligan: I know.

A petty drug runner gets pinched and brought in. Normally not a big deal. The arresting officer comes in to shoot the breeze (sort of) with English. Says the kid’s got something. Blunt. A petty drug dealer is looking to soften the blow of his arrest by turning on Blunt. The kid doesn’t hand them this smoking gun on a silver platter, but he does add “means” I don’t mean monetary. He gives them not only the fact that Blunt is some sort of Krav Maga Bruce Lee, but when and where he trains. This provides the answer to how. If Blunt was there. Had sexual relations with the deceased. Then somehow attacked her in a manner that made it look accidental with lethal force, this very well could prove how he was able to do that.

Mulligan, clearly has some issues about her ex. Not breaking news. However, it’s the specifics that could hold the key to behavior later. In this episode and beyond. Mulligan visits the abused kid’s mother at work at what looks like a convenient store. She acts like a regular customer inquiring about her bruises. Claiming that she too knows what its like. Leaves her card and walks out, more or less.

On what I believe is house hunt #13 for English, they visit a house boat. Don’t think pontoon boat with a hibachi grill. Think a smaller version of what Tom Hanks lived in as Sam Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle. English has some clear skepticism. They enter. She keeps talking that real estate noise. He looks up and cuts her off to say, “how soon can I move in”. It’s small but functional for his purposes going forward. Most importantly though, the view is spectacular while still quaint and subtle. And in no way, shape or form shows any similarities to the house he would be moving out of.

During another one of Det. Mulligan’s internet dates, she receives a call from the abused kid. He is frantic and Mulligan runs out of the date. She arrives on scene the abuse is audible from the street. She decides not to wait for backup and proceeds in. As soon as the husband sees her, he grabs a knife and approaches Mulligan with the intent to cause harm. Mulligan orders him to freeze, he does not. And for his defiance, she puts 4 bullets in his chest. The wife is not pleased. Anyone who’s ever seen anything like this unfold on any other cop drama knows what’s next. Mulligan is put on immediate administrative suspension as a routine procedure.

After a visit to Mulligan the following morning and a quick meeting with the lab tech (all indicators point to Blunt) English and Koto meet with the DA to show what they have. Naturally, she was hoping for something more iron clad. But in the end, they have a solid theory worth pursuing. Koto sticks back to affirm to the DA that they have more than enough for a warrant. The DA then pulls Koto close. This is obviously a situation they are familiar with. As the DA is not one of my favorite characters as of now, rest assured the fan boy in me was not thrilled with this development.

The last scene grouping is one that I think most of us have been waiting for since episode 1. English and the other detectives (not including Mulligan) place themselves in strategic positions outside the Krav Maga building. They swoop in quietly and arrest Erich Blunt unceremoniously and take him away. Blunt says nothing beyond, “what is this?” There is a back and forth cinematography-wise between English’ team arresting and processing Blunt, Det. Mulligan, and the big lawyer speak we all were expecting from Warren Daniels not if but when Blunt was taken in.

So, as of today, we have what feels like a sound theory. Some strong but not concrete evidence against Blunt. And a slew of loose ends yet to be tied up. Two things to consider in the next 6 days. 1) The season is at minimum 10 episodes long and we are on 3. 2) After watching the promo for next week, I get the feeling the walls just start crumbling down around our detective team. This is definitely not going to be a one-sided affair. Plenty of peaks and valleys yet to come.

Image Courtesy of TNTDrama.com

Image Courtesy of TNTDrama.com

Spoiler Alert

I am a sucker for anything that defies conventional expectations. If you are anything like me, you may have seen the promos and buildup for Murder in the First and chalked it up to just another Law and Order clone. Law and Order: San Francisco perhaps. Everything I saw lent itself to that idea. Every preview I saw during the NBA playoffs or searched on YouTube gave me the impression that this is a typical, procedural, investigation/law enforcement show. Two detective partners who look like they couldn’t be more opposite. Both in physical appearance and back story. A large “office” contingent who inevitably will come into play (i.e. fellow detectives, coroners, specialists, etc). Not to mention a series of characters and actors that clearly don’t look like recurring stars of the show, so they must by mid-high level cameos. As one would find on Law and Order. If this was a well done, well acted procedural detective show, it would have been worth a first look. If it was all of that with a few curve balls, even better. If they were able to completely dupe me into believing it is one thing just to reveal it is completely not, then it probably becomes a recurring feature here at NJATVS. I should have known. You don’t put Taye Diggs, Kathleen Robertson (Boss), Ian Anthony Dale (Hawaii Five-O), Chris Baker (Breaking Bad), Steven Weber (Wings), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Richard Schiff (The West Wing) and whose creator is Steven Bochco without their being something significant to it.

Let me put this out there in an attempt to be as transparent as possible. The cast is more than solid for a show that only has 10 episodes in the can. However, if I’m truly honest with you, my attraction to this show was short-sighted. I enjoy Taye Diggs’ work. Ian Anthony Dale I would cast in any drama that needed his kind of skill set. The real heavy hitter though, is Kathleen Robertson. Don’t worry if you can’t place the name. She is a decent (not great) actress who has been in a few things. Namely, Boss despite the fact she is probably most well know as the third wheel in the original Beverly Hills 90210. Hopefully that is the last time you will ever see “Beverly Hills” and “90210” together on this site again. For some reason, I’m intrigued by anything that remotely fits my interests that she is a part of. Let’s be honest, unless you’re a film school grad, chances are it takes more than one aspect (i.e. casting) to draw your interest. If you were not interested before, let me put this in clearer terms. Murder in the First absolutely is not the procedural Law and Order clone they made it out to be.

As predictably as possible, Murder in the First starts out by showing you the very different home lives and stresses of the two partnering detectives, Det. Hildy Mulligan (Kathleen Robertson) and Det. Terry English (Taye Diggs). English, forced by limiting options has to endure the pain of watching his wife die slowly. Mulligan’s issues are much less dire. She clearly has a less than gentlemanly ex husband and a young daughter to raise. Regardless, these two carry their own baggage, how much that will play into the story is still up in the air.

Immediately following our quick glimpse into our main character’s back story, we fly directly into the crime of the day. This is the part where the unsuspecting viewer (me, in this case) begins to get lulled to sleep by way of the overtly predictable case details. Then an email is found.   I’m sorry but I have to mention the elephant in the room here. Our detectives are in a tenement where the murder of a junkie has taken place. The neighborhood is derelict. The people are unsavory. Our victim is eventually found to be a life-long junkie. For some reason though, he’s got the freedom in his life to not only own but correspond in email form by way of an Apple I-Pad. I’m just saying, that’s a little off at the very least. Getting back, the email is directed to Erich Blunt (Tom Felton), who naturally denies knowing anything about it. Immediately you get the impression of a young and volatile Steve Jobs type. We follow that story line long enough to feel we “get it”. Young, wealthy, arrogant, driven and in trouble with a blackmailer who claims he stole code. Could be Dorothy, could be the Witch. We’ll nail that down later. Suffice it to say your TV Spidey sense should be tingling by now. But, for some unexplainable reason, mine was not.

After following a series of leads, including Erich Blunt, we predictably head back into the home life. Of at least Det. English. His wife has been moved back home for hospice care, live in nurse and all. English is visibly shaken by the realization that hospice is the first step in giving up hope. There’s a short back and forth where English tries to hint at just how hard this is for him. He wants to take off work, but she won’t have it. Back at the office, English decides that a squeaky desk drawer needs to die. Really just an inanimate object that felt the culmination of his stress at that moment. Could have been worse. It could have been a person. Immediately after, Mulligan follows English to the room he entered post drawer assault. This is normal. Predictable to be sure. Partner goes in to say, “it’s alright, everyone understands what you’re going through” just to have the other person say, “Understand? What do they understand?” As no galloping shock to this viewer, they telegraphed that one. The interesting part about this scene is Mulligan’s tone and inflection. Now maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I give her too much credit. Maybe she just has a sultry way. But, I did get the impression that there is more there in her eyes when handling her partner. Or maybe my inner fan boy just wants there to be something there. Or maybe she’s just concerned for her partner’s mental state.

On a shot in the dark trek to Oakland, the home of the parent’s of the dead partner of the victim (22 years removed), an interesting detail surfaces. A haggard place. Bars on the windows. And very unsavory neighbors. English presents the photo to the father of deceased girl. “Do you know this man?” The man gets up to walk away and says, “Erich Blunt, I should. He’s my grandson.” It took me a second to get with the logic. The idea being that the victim they are investigating and the woman who died 22 years ago while serving as the current victim’s accomplice bore a child. That child somehow grew up to become our young Steve Jobs type, the Erich Blunt character. Who consequently, claimed he didn’t recognize the man who is his father and sent the email. Believe it or not, this is the segment of the show where I should be taking note of how this is not the show I thought it was. I was still pretty naive, even here. At this point, minute 33 of the recording, I still think it’s an episodic, procedural, detective show.

Naturally, while I’m thinking it’s business as usual, our detectives head back to visit with Erich Blunt. He and his lawyer (played by Richard Schiff) pull the “set up a time, we’d love to help but we’re late for a flight” number. Which naturally doesn’t work. We find that Blunt did in fact recognize the man and remembers the email. This is typical procedural drama stuff. This is the point when you are lead to believe the perpetrator of the crime cannot possibly be Blunt. He has motive. He is uncooperative. He’s arrogant. But we are just barely past the halfway point. This is where anyone whose every seen more than a couple of episodes of any Law and Order, Bones, House, CSI knows this is the part of the show where you eliminate this suspect from the list.

Blunt leaves his company’s building by saying, “If you want to arrest me for murder wait here, I’ll be back before dinner.” Following this quick meeting, Blunt and lawyer get on a plane to meet with the previously mentioned blackmailer and his lawyer. Let’s just sum it up by saying the meeting did not go well for the blackmailer. At one point, Blunt stands up leans in and says very intentionally, “I will take you to court. And I’m going to kill you. And when you’re dead and gone your tombstone will read, Jeremy Leonard (blackmailer) IRRELEVANT”. On the flight back, while pouring wine, the flight attendant (Blunt conveniently is intimate with) spills the wine due to turbulence. Blunt snaps, says some things, that include you’re fired. She breaks down where her fellow flight attendant and pilot (Steven Weber) can see. The lawyer informs Blunt that he can’t fire her if they are sleeping together. Blunt agrees and says, “I’ll take care of it”. This might be the first time I start to “get it”.

Our detectives follow a hunch after Det. Mulligan stares at a rubber ducky too long. Makes the connection that the tattoo on a suspects neck was a duck not a bird. After some interrogation, the suspect (played by Charles Baker, Skinny Pete from Breaking Bad) says something rude to Det. Mulligan. Det. English decides to take out the anger he feels in relation to his wife dying out on the suspect. Despite the behest of Det. Mulligan, English does not just walk away when the situation goes too far, as he did with the desk drawer. Mulligan demands, he go home and not to return until he’s in control of his emotions. One very cool detail from the perspective of the viewer. After the assault on the suspect, we see the boss (played by Hawaii Five-O’s Ian Anthony Davis) remove the recorded disc of the assault, tuck it and leave.

At home, English and his wife share some stories of earlier in their relationship. English breaks down. There is a hand-held embrace. A very nice moment. Taye Diggs did a great job selling the anguish.

Curious little trick they pulled at the 55 minute mark. Maybe TV’s done this before and I just fast forwarded through the commercials too quickly. Amidst the commercial break, they essentially did the “check our website for all the details you missed as we try to piece together what happened tonight”. Before the show was over. Now the wheels are turning.

Following the break we find the pilot and flight attendant #2 on the tarmac. Flight attendant #1 is missing. For the sake of clarity I’ll run through the basic thought process leading into the stretch run.  Blunt has been suspected (temporarily) of killing his biological father over attempted blackmail. Says, I will kill you to another guy blackmailing him. Regarding said flight attendant, “I’ll take care of it” and now she’s missing. How are they possibly going to tie up all the loose ends? The victim, the murderer and the why? All in the next four and a half minutes. The pilot gets the landlady to open the flight attendant’s condo. Predictably, she’s dead, naked, lying face down at the base of her stairs. The coroner on site states the obvious and indicates that we won’t have any answers from his office regarding the woman’s death anytime soon. While English goes to take a phone call, Mulligan finds multiple pictures of Blunt and the flight attendant in social settings. She looks up to find English, excited as she believes she’s uncovered something of major significance. Only to see English’s body language during his call go from normal to limp as he falls into a nearby chair. The look on Mulligan’s face says all you need to know. Just then, English’s tear filled eyes turn toward the camera (facing Mulligan), fade to black.

They end the episode without concluding anything! Please don’t mistake my typing tone. That is great news. In almost every single dramatic television series there is the battle between episodic story lines or episodes and big picture story lines or episodes. Murder in the First is not a procedural detective show at all. This show is telling one major story and using 10 episodes to do it. In the “Coming up this season on ____” teaser they revealed just enough to give you the impression of where this goes. More importantly, to steal a line from The Matrix, “to see just how far the rabbit hole goes”. This is not predictable, typical TNT type drama. This thing has legs. In hindsight, Murder in the First feels an awful lot like Graceland with a different subject matter. A show that at first glance feels far superior to the shows that generally inhabit said network. Every episode is a big picture episode. A show that was written in a manner to tell one big story instead of 10-13 little ones.

After one episode I cannot make any wild accusations that Murder in the First is the next Breaking Bad. I won’t even sniff that level of confidence. Though, considering the drivel that gets rolled out in the summer schedule, this show is comparatively remarkable. With shows like The Bridge and Under the Dome which were ratings winners and can stand behind garbage lines like, “The summer’s #1 hit” Murder in the First is a legitimate must watch. At least for now. I know it’s summer time. You’ve got cook outs, time with the kids, baseball and World Cup coming up. But this is definitely worth space on your DVR. That sentiment could change.  Intelligence had a great start too.  So only time will tell.  There is the possibility I’m just riding high on the fact that the pilot episode was much better than I expected it to be. But I doubt it. I love pilot episodes.  I believe you can discover a great deal about a series based on their pilot.  If last summer’s lineup is any indication, Graceland is the #1 drama of the summer. And unless something else comes along and does better, Murder in the First is the best new drama of the summer.  Add it to your DVR.  If by chance, you missed tonight’s pilot, it’s TNT.  I’m sure they will re-air it.