Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mind Games - Pet Rock

Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark (Steve Zahn) are hired by the concerned parents of a confused young girl (Emma Dumont) who has fallen under the sway of a charismatic cult leader (Randall Batinkoff) and who they promise they can deprogram to not only leave the cult but to want to leave the cult. When the first attempt fails as Clark underestimates their opponent who sees Megan (Megalyn Echikunwoke) coming from a mile away, the pair have to get more inventive. Ross also has to manage Clark who decides midway through the process he doesn't want to simply hypnotize their mark into following what her parents want (making them no better than the cult leader) but make her strong enough to trust her own decisions.

Following the botched first attempt, and the cult leader tracking them down and getting in Clark's head, the team raises their game with a fake kidnapping and rescue to allow Clark to deprogram the young woman and, he hopes, give her the strength to sever ties to the cult and begin making her own decisions (whether or not that includes returning to her parents). The episode also ends Claire's (Wynn Everett) storyline as she takes a page from the recent case and leaves the company unable to deal with the lies of her ex-husband or Clark's relationship with Beth (Katherine Cunningham).

The case of the week works better this time around, although the show seems to be falling into a pattern of fail, fail, and then succeed which they may want to try and spice up a bit going forward. Cunningham's exit is well-handled as Clark will have to find a way to find his own inner-strength to make it through his stressful new job. With Claire gone the drama between her and Ross thankfully leaves as well, hopefully creating some drama-free time for the show to explore several more cases before the inevitable reveal of Ross' role in Beth's relationship with her brother.

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