Line of Fire
Pilot

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Jessica: C- | Grade It Now!
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Pilot

Sampson finally bustles into FBI HQ, wondering to her assistant where everyone else is. Her assistant tells her that she had better get into the conference room, because old Bert got plugged that morning. Sampson sneaks into the conference room, where Shell is giving a really lackluster speech about how much it sucks when a co-worker is killed, and then he tells them that they've got to get over it, like, right now, because they've got work to do. Lisa just stands behind him and looks sour.

Split screen to a bar where all these middle-aged and bland-looking mobsters are standing around and talking about dead Poor Dead Mobster Charlie. "It's A Man's World" plays in the background, like, I GET IT. Men run the mob. The FBI -- in this incarnation -- is full of women. Why don't they just record a song for the soundtrack with lyrics like, "The Mob is run by men/ But the FBI is full of women trying to take them down/ We saw how popular that Jennifer Garner girl got on that other show/ And now we're trying to make a show about female FBI agents without actually making it about female FBI agents or hiring any women to write for it, direct it, or produce it/ Girls rule, but only if they sleep in their bras." Anyway, what was I talking about? Right. Malloy is making this really anemic and ineffectual speech about something. People, this man isn't cut out for anything above middle management. Anyway, he tells the assembled that it's not appropriate for them to go to Charlie's funeral, but they ought to pass the hat for Poor Dead Charlie's widowed bride. "Because when you're with us, you're with us," he says, before he dramatically stammers that the Feds murdered Charlie. "He was just minding his business. Or our business." Which is, by the way, illegal, Malloy. When you're in the Mafia, you've got to understand that a few guys are gonna get wacked by the Feds along the way, and if you can't handle that, I suggest you enter the civilian workforce. Malloy then says that he cares about all his "men" and that he'll stand up for them, because they're "good men." Wow, this eulogy sure is an awful lot about you, Malloy. "Anyway. That's that with that," he concludes. In the back of the bar, Roy looks unimpressed. I was under the impression that mob leaders, like political leaders and movie producers, generally had to have some kind of charisma in order to be effective leaders, but apparently that is not the case. Listen, I think David Paymer is a good actor, but he's terribly miscast here. I find him neither charismatic nor particularly threatening in this role, and I don't understand why anyone would follow him into jaywalking, much less a life of criminal activity.

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Line of Fire

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