Review: Poker Face, "Escape from Shit Mountain" | Season 1, Episode 9
In which Charlie realizes she's always been the caretaker.
Procedural shows are not built to shock. The formula of a crime procedural is such that you may be able to map out the arc of events before you start watching. If you watch Law & Order or Criminal Minds or even a medical procedural like House, you can get a good feel for the traditional beats from the established character dynamics and from the knowledge that each act of an episode could cover similar tracks but in a way that feels welcome and familiar, instead of tired and boring. Though the events of these shows are rarely comforting, the procedural serves as a perverse kind of comfort food. You know what you’re going to get.
Detective series specifically may only surprise in revealing who killed whom, or why a murder occurred. Even Columbo had its own recognizable formula that meant the propensity to shock was fairly limited. Sometimes the shock came in how Columbo pinpointed the killer in the end, but rare was the episode where a murder wasn’t committed w…