BACKSTROM Recap: ‘Bogeyman’ | Give Me My Remote

BACKSTROM Recap: ‘Bogeyman’

February 19, 2015 by  

Hey, BACKSTROM fans! How did you like this darker episode, “Bogeyman”? I have to say it is my favorite of the series so far. I thought the case was interesting, and each character was used appropriately, even if some of those ways were unexpected. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s get it on!

THE CASE:

While the episode begins at Almond’s church (where the lights go out due to lack of paying the electric bill) and with a camaraderie scene between Backstrom and Valentine over a bronze otter, it soon turns serious as Backstrom receives an amber alert about a girl named Talia Lennox. He notices right away that Talia has different colored eyes, and he becomes frantic about getting the team together.

Backstrom and Gravely question Talia’s mother, who states the girl left a note stating she was going to her dad’s in California; but she also states the note can’t be trusted because Talia lied all of the time, and had control of her own cell phone — and she blocked her mother from contacting her. Backstrom is annoyed at this weakness, and we see Almond explain to the rest of the team about a previous kidnapping case of another girl named Lacey Siddon who had different colored eyes. Backstrom was unable to solve that case, and it is what made him quit the force and what pushed him into his hatred spiral.

Backstrom and Gravely investigate Talia’s room and find it to be fairly typical “girl” stuff, but in her closet is a row of black clothing and some cigarettes. They visit her school, one designed to give wayward girls the freedom to make good choices, and see other girls in black hooded sweatshirts. The girls have pills on them, and Backstrom and Gravely get the pills and the name of Talia’s ex-boyfriend, but little else. Backstrom remains convinced that whoever took Lacy Siddon also took Talia.

The team brings the boyfriend, Claudio, in for questioning. He is uninformed about sex but states he broke up with her because she was a lot younger than him. He is able to provide them with Talia’s phone number and says Talia told him she was going to find someone else online, someone bad, because good is good, but bad is better.

Nadia begins tracing Talia’s phone activity, and after Talia’s mom shows up with a ransom note, the FBI arrives to work the case as a kidnapping. Backstrom is annoyed, because he wants to work the case his way. Almond admits to him that he could possibly lose his church and also pledges his support on the case, encouraging Backstrom to let the FBI try to find Talia while the SCU team secretly works to find the online predator.

Nadia sets up shop on Backstrom’s barge, Niedermeyer goes to visit the location where Talia’s phone last had activity, and Almond visits Talia’s room again. He notices the bottoms of her desk drawers have an acronym GIGBBIB. Niedermeyer and Moto can’t find Talia’s phone, but notice that someone has written GIGBBIB on a sign.

Gravely, who has been assigned to liaison with the FBI, sends them the proof of life video the FBI received from the alleged kidnapper. The team watches the film and sees that Talia had a dark tattoo on her arm. Nadia points out that the video trail ends at a local internet café. Almond arrives, and they all start putting the clues together GIGBBIB shows up a lot of places, and the tattoo on Talia’s arm matches the design on the pills Backstrom and Gravely confiscated from Talia’s school friends.

Back at the precinct, a drug dealer confirms that the pills are called “Hooded Man.” When Backstrom asks if that is good or bad, the dealer tells him that “Good is good, but bad is better,” leading him to realize this is what the GIGBBIB acronym stands for. Meanwhile, Nadia and Niedermeyer discuss the legend of The Hooded Man — he’s someone who “understands” and who looks for special kids who are willing to fall in order to rise. The fallen must prove allegiance and the reward is to be initiated in a true universe.

Almond and Nadia question Amber, one of Talia’s school friends. They know that she created the ransom video; she admits she just figured Talia ran away and that they could get a little money out of it. Her father is there and is horrified at her behavior. Backstrom comes in and demands Amber take off her black hooded sweatshirt. Her dad makes her do that, and Amber is furious. Backstrom notices a matching tattoo on Amber’s arm and wants to know who pays her cell phone bill. When her dad says he does, Backstrom demands the phone. Amber goes ballistic and screams “No you don’t understand. If you find him through me, he’ll never take me. He’ll leave me here in the normal world of normal people. And I can’t live here. I deserve something better. I’m going to die if I stay here.”

Nadia is able to hack Amber’s phone, and they find a program for The Hooded Man and learn that applicants must receive an invitation from him. Talia got one. The team sets up a meeting for Amber to meet The Hooded Man. Amber accepts, and Backstrom takes Valentine with him for the meeting. When Amber arrives, she asks the hooded man where his cane is. When Valentine and Backstrom show their faces, she is mad that it’s fake. Backstrom tries to convince her to help them find Talia, insisting the girl is in danger. Amber refuses and cries, not understanding why The Hooded Man doesn’t want her. Backstrom knows why; Amber eyes are the same color.

The case appears to be cold until Backstrom has another idea — figure out where the girls got their tattoos. They find the spot and stake it out and see a man with a cane entering. They apprehend the man, Wesley Lewis, and take him into custody, and the SCU and additional resources search his property. They find a cane with a hooded man on top, but little else, and they know they won’t be able to keep him for long. Almond suggests pausing to pray for guidance, and Backstrom at first scoffs at the idea, but then goes along with it. As Almond prays for Talia, a young girl, to be found, Backstrom realizes they can keep Wesley locked up for 72 hours — it’s illegal to tattoo minors.

Backstrom tries his “I’m you” routine on Lewis at the precinct, but it doesn’t work at first. He eventually appeals to Lewis’s sense, telling him that if Talia ends up alive, he’ll only be charged with kidnapping, but if she is found dead, he will face the death penalty. He provides him with a photo of his property, and eventually Lewis circles the location where Talia can be found.

The team rushes to the site and is able to recover Talia and Lacy Siddon (with a baby). Backstrom is emotionally moved and stumbles away from the group before bursting into tears. The episode ends with scenes from Almond’s church, where he announces the good news of Talia and Lacy’s recovery and that news coverage of the case resulted in money pouring in to keep the church open for another year. Most of the team is present at the service, but we see cuts to Backstrom alone on the barge, drinking heavily, as Almond states that good can come from all kinds of packages.

THE GOOD:

  • Well, Thomas Dekker just continues to be THE.BEST. as Valentine. The scene where he discussed his experiences as a victim was breathtaking.
  • The interrogation room featured a revolving cast of characters, and I thought it worked incredibly well. For one thing, it gave the SCU team members legitimate case work to do, and it showed off the acting chops of people who have egregiously been playing second fiddle to Backstrom.
  • The show has continued to do a great job of respecting Almond’s Christianity while also respecting people who don’t believe. I liked the idea of Almond pursuing his police work as God’s will for his life.

THE BAD:

  • The show has relied a little too heavily on the “TV newscaster pushes the plot forward” routine, and this episode was the worst offender.

THE BACKSTROM:

  • The character is more palatable when he is annoyed with wrongdoers (such as uninvolved parents or feelgoodery school administrators) vs. just spewing hate speak or derogatory comments to random people or his co-workers.
  • Backstrom usually fixates on one piece of the case and can’t shake it, no matter what the evidence suggests. Usually that is a flaw, but in this case, his persistence paid off.
  • Almond states that the Lacy Siddon case was what pushed Backstrom over the edge to self-destruction, and we saw him drunk and slovenly at the end of the episode. If this case has been weighing on him so much, it will be interesting to see if he feels a release from some of the self-loathing or if he’ll just find another reason to stay in his cantankerous comfort zone.

Enough from me; what did you like or not like about this episode! Do you want to see different members of the team in the interrogation room, or should that just be Backstrom’s domain? And what do you think of the darker nature of the case? Should the show keep this up or skew more toward lighter cases? The comments are open; speak your mind!

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