Grade = B- This episode was a step up from the previous two, but not by much. First, the case. I give the writers some credit for trying a different approach with this arc – trying to take us into the psyche of the killer and perhaps give him and the case more complexity. They did a good job setting a darker, melancholy tone for the killer’s scenes, but I thought some of the flashes, scene cuts, etc. were a bit overdone. And having the killer somehow become fixated on Mac (visiting the morgue, leaving clues, etc.) also sort of undermined the picture of a tortured, unstable killer who lives somewhat in his own world. At this point, I can’t say this case has really grabbed me, at least not in that edge-of-my-seat-can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next way, but I am curious to see how it all plays out and if this case ends up having more complexity (and still making sense). I also give kudos to TPIC for the Flack arc. They’re doing a good job with the continuity from episode to episode and chronicling his continuing deterioration and increasing isolation in a number of ways. Great job by Eddie Cahill as well. I hope this storyline continues to get focus and has a powerful payoff coming. As for Haylen, I’m still ok with her at this point. I wouldn’t say I like her – it’s still a bit early to tell, maybe because she still doesn't seem like a fully-formed character -- but I like how they’ve handled her introduction so far. I think the grant idea was actually a clever way to bring her in without turning her into a blackmailer/schemer and still addressing the issue of budget cuts. And while she was definitely aggressive in pursuing the job, I didn’t see her as being overly pushy…she actually seemed fairly respectful of Mac. Many job recruiters or interviewers probably would give her high marks for showing initiative and resourcefulness. I agree it’s sort of odd that she would start working that same day, but leaving aside the show’s obvious timeline issues (and assuming she would pass the standard background checks), I can understand why Mac might jump at the chance to add a seemingly bright employee to his staff, especially if he doesn’t have to pay the wages. And as mentioned before, it could be good for the show to have a character who is somewhat ambitious and doesn’t necessarily get along with everyone. I like the idea of the competition of sorts between her and Adam, and as long as not overdone, it could be interesting. We’ll see how it develops. Re: Danny’s arc, I wonder what they are hoping to get out of this storyline. One would expect the writers to use the injury as an opportunity to stretch and develop Danny, to explore the impact on Lindsay and their marriage, or to show the realities of living with a physical disability. But none of that is really happening, and the storyline so far seems too low key and predictable. I do like that we are not getting martyr Lindsay so far, but hopefully there’s something more (development-wise) to come from this arc. As for Mac, I agree that having the criminals target Mac specifically is getting a bit old. And I have cringed during the last couple of episodes about some of the dialogue they are giving to GS/Mac. Surely they can do much better. I like the idea that perhaps some of the Super Mac stuff is Mac’s way of dealing with the trauma --- maybe he is the one who reacts by trying to be the best detective he can be and right as many wrongs as possible. However, I also fear they haven’t figured out a compelling storyline for Mac this season, and the nemesis approach is what they’re left with to try and connect him more personally to the cases. And poor MK/Stella…. Is she the leading lady or not? So far, they haven’t given her anything much of substance or weight to do. I really hope they have something more compelling planned than we’ve seen in these first three episodes. As critical as I am, however, I haven’t given up on the show. IIRC, season five started out a bit slowly as well and still managed to come up with a few gems by the end. I hope for at least that much (and more) during season six.