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Lone Star's Second Episode Is Also Its Last

By Edited Nov 15, 2013 0 0

Well, after just two episodes, FOX's Lone Star has gotten the boot. I was surprised to see the first episode get such abysmal ratings; after that poor showing, I can't say that the cancellation came as a complete shock, but it's a shame. This show had a lot going for it.

The second episode, the last one to air, bears the name There's One in Every Family. It finds Bob, played by the charismatic James Wolk, enlisting the aid of his dad (David Keith) to help him secure his footing in the company of his father-in-law, Clint (Jon Voight). Turns out that this isn't such a good idea - but then a lot of things that Bob does aren't. Perhaps one reason the show failed is that it's impossible to imagine how he can continue on his current course for long without getting caught. He lacks the slick skill of LOST's con artist, Sawyer; he keeps making really basic decisions that jeopardize his future and risk exposing his crimes and infidelities.

In this episode, he and his young bride Lindsay (Eloise Mumford) return to her parents to announce their marriage, much to the displeasure of Mom and Dad. I couldn't help noticing that her mother is played by Beth Broderick, who also portrayed Kate's mom on LOST. Kate never did bring home Sawyer to meet the parents, at least as far as we know, but it's fun to imagine that scenario. Of course, if she were to do so, he would be a wholly reformed conman by that time. Lindsay's parents disapprove because they wanted in on the wedding and can't believe that they would be shut out of such an important event. But do they have any intimation of what kind of a guy their son-in-law is?

I must say that I had to side with Bob's cynical father John (David Keith) when it came to his exasperation with his decision to marry Lindsay. I mean, dude? You're already married. You say you want to stop being a swindler, but now you're pulling the wool over someone's eyes every time you walk in your front door. How can a person sustain two lives like that? And when both lives are in the same state, and they're connected to each other by this business venture known as the windfarm, you're just asking for trouble. Especially when you conclude that your wife has been cheated out of a lavish wedding and decide to remedy the situation. Inviting all those people to witness your nuptials just seems like an instant recipe for someone sniffing out the truth, especially in an age of Facebook, since you just know that several of those people are going to take pictures and post them online.

I suspect that, aside from its not being advertised very well, what really sank Lone Star was the fact that Bob has two wives. That is just not a situation that is going to be acceptable to a general viewing public. And in a time of economic crisis, it's hard to sympathize with somebody who's made his living out of ripping people off. That's something I struggled with as I watched too. Did I want him to simply get away with everything? Did I want him to move beyond his conning game and establish happy lives with his two wives? I wanted the guy to be happy, but I also felt that accountability was in order. So I couldn't quite figure out where I wanted the show to go, and it seemed pretty inevitable that someone - probably several someones - was going to wind up getting hurt badly.

There's One in Every Family delves more into each of the families of which Bob is a part. With Lindsay, he meets her sister Gretchen (Sarah Jones), who is a bit of a wild child with a knack for ruining the most important days of her sister's life. She doesn't mean to; it just sort of happens. She and Bob bond over an awkward first meeting, that classic television set-up of having somebody barge into the bathroom naked, not realizing that there is a visitor in the house. It's an uncomfortable way to become acquainted, but it does the trick. Before long, Bob is having a heart-to-heart with Gretchen, urging her to be on her best behavior for the sake of her sister. Meanwhile, although Gretchen gets along well with Bob and is honored that despite past history, Lindsay wants her in her wedding, she can't help finding some of Bob's behavior suspicious.

Back with Cat (Adrianne Palicki), Bob has her two brothers to deal with. Trammel (Mark Deklin) is obnoxious and likes to lord his authority over everyone. He doesn't like Bob and perceives him as a threat to his inheritance. Meanwhile, Drew and Bob get along just fine, but Drew is a party animal who, like Gretchen, always seems to be getting into trouble, and Cat is sick of bailing him out. Drew is less accomplished than his older brother, but he seems like a much nicer guy, and one hopes that eventually, his partnership with Bob will pay off rather than coming back to bite him. After all, he has no idea that Bob isn't totally on the up and up.

Perhaps the most interesting storyline in this episode involves Bob's relationship with his own father - who, despite being a slick schiester, can't figure out how to work a multi-line telephone. Bob's dad is kind of a jerk, but I can't help feeling for him when he finds out that Bob has been telling all of his colleagues that he was abandoned as a child. Granted, he can't very well tell people the truth, as John knows full well. But it can't be easy to hear your son's father-in-law speak as though he is the dad your son never had, especially when Bob pretty much confirms this line of thinking.

LOST showed just how much ground you can cover with father issues. This relationship probably would have been the cornerstone of the show had Lone Star lasted. While it wasn't my favorite new show of the season, I certainly think it had potential, and I would have been interested to see how it all played out. Alas, I guess I'll just have to imagine my own ending...



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