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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Have Mercy on Mercy

     I have found NBC's Mercy to be one of the most interesting new shows this year.  Some may dismiss is at yet another medical show, but the characters seem more genuine than most, and the plots have been fun to follow.  Plus, it's a much more serial show than the standard case-of-the-week, so I like it.  And the Jersey charm is oozing from every pore.  Unfortunately, though the season finale, "That Crazy Bitch Was Right", has already aired, the fate of a second season is still up in the air.  Just look at that episode title.  Doesn't that make you want to tune in?

     Last night, Veronica (Taylor Schilling) was trapped in a collapsing building with two boys, one of whom she had to quickly amputate his arm.  But that was just a distraction, evidenced by the fact that that crisis was over halfway through the episode.  What was really important was the two men who have been fighting over her, and which one she would run to when she got out.  And the consequences of that decision.

     Poor Veronica has been through a lot this season.  After getting home from Iraq, she divorced Mike (Diego Klattenhoff), moved in with her parents, briefly dated war buddy Chris (James Tupper), turned to alcohol as much as her parents do, and was traumatized during an armed robbery in a doughnut shop when the clerk died.  Can you blame her if she's a little nuts?  But Veronica is getting things back together, and has even moved into her own apartment.  So when she ran to Mike, I was very happy for her.  Mike gets her, knows her, loves her, takes care of not just her, but her family as well.  Veronica and Chris always felt a little awkward.  Perhaps what they had in Iraq was real, but it clearly didn't translate so well back in the states.  In fact, should there be a second season, as I hope there is, ditch Chris and make room in the full-time cast for either of Veronica's parents, Dr. Talbot (K.K. Moggie), or Dr. Briggs (James Van Der Beek).  Each was much more interesting.

     Chloe (Michelle Trachtenberg) also got some great plot development, as she decided to go back to school and become a doctor.  Hopefully she will still be featured in the series, staying at the hospital, working between classes, and eventually joining the staff of doctors.  It suits her.  Sonia (Jamie Lee Kirchner) reconciled with her guy.  There are numerous other colorful, rich characters in this show, and I wish I had time to talk about each of them in this article, but I don't.  Just tune in if it airs again.

     My only complaint about the finale was the forced suspense in the final moments.  A bomb went off as Chris landed at the airport, back in the Middle East, and a car appeared to be running down Mike.  Neither one of those scenarios was necessary, and will only serve to anger the audience if the show doesn't return.  Please, NBC, bring it back, and perhaps have Chris die in the explosion, and Mike be perfectly fine.

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