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'The Mysteries of Laura' episode 2 recap: 'The Mystery of the Dead Date'

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “The Mystery of the Dead Date” | Aired Sept 24, 2014 

This week’s episode of The Mysteries Of Laura showed that the show can be a well-balanced crime drama with both tender moments and the perfect dose of comic relief.

Diamond (Debra Messing) and Sands (Laz Alonso) arrive at the crime scene to discover the body of  a young woman labeled Samantha Jones (a reference to the Sex and the City character) dangling from a red scarf in a Brooklyn yoga studio. The medical examiner announces that the victim was strangled by her own scarf. They also notice skin samples under her nails, horrible cologne permeating the air, and a stack of new lingerie.

“Fifty shades of very dark gray, ” remarks Sands.

The clever Laura tracks down the victim’s real identity, Christa Chase, by looking up her clothing receipts. Back at the precinct, Laura’s ex, Jake, makes himself at home and treats the others to Cronuts, pizza, and a posh coffee machine.

“You’re being Jaked,” Laura warns her excited counterparts.

Laura and Billy go to Staten Island to notify Christa’s apathetic ex-husband and his new wife, who claim to be at home the night of the murder. Max checks and clears their alibis using their E-ZPass accounts.

“22 Hump Street. That’s why you lie about watching baseball.” Jack laughs.

At Christa’s apartment, they discover that the newly single mother recently joined the Passion Pairing online dating service. Back at the scarf yoga studio, Diamond and Sands interrogate the crude Mrs. Pulaski, a fellow classmate whom the victim pressed assault charges against two weeks prior to the murder. This leads them to a used-car salesman, sleazy Charlie Carazzo. Laura shows off her impressive driving skills when she takes a car for a high-speed test drive when Carazzo makes a run for it. To their surprise, Carazzo admits to pulling a deadly prank involving a squirrel and a firecracker.

“That sick idiot had two women fighting over him. I can’t wait to start dating,” scoffs Laura.

With the assistance of a funny protester named Sammi, Laura sets up a profile similar to Christa’s on the dating site while Jake and Sands get to know one another over drinks.

When Laura announces her plan to catch the killer by setting up dates at a singles bar, Jake offers to come along as backup.

“I don’t need my ex watching me slay dragons in a singles bar,” Laura says, putting Jake in his place.

Undercover at the bar, Laura narrows down her dates/suspects in record time. After a guy at the bar spills his drink down her back, she is defended by her last date of the evening, Kevin (Bhavesh Patel). Noticing that Kevin matches the criteria for the killer, she gives Billy the signal. Kevin gives them the slip. One of the most enjoyable features of the show is the playful banter between Laura and Jake.

“Ah, doing the walk of shame into the precinct. You got back on the horse fast,” Jake teases.

“Twelve saddles. I filmed the whole thing. You can watch it on Jakeisanidiot.porn,” Laura snaps back.

With Sammi’s help, Laura arranges to meet Kevin again later that evening. He admits not only that Christa had stood him up the night of the murder, but that the guy who spilled his drink on Laura is Michael Devlin (Lorenzo Pisoni), a wingman for hire who specializes in seducing divorced women.

Using Devlin’s website, Laura finds and arranges to meet up with another woman going by the username “scarredforever,” who was raped by Devlin. As Laura flirts with Devlin at the bar, her team locates gratuitous texts to the late Christa on his phone. They tail Laura back to Devlin’s bachelor pad, where Laura’s well-planned strategy to test Devlin turns into a violent row. During the fight, Laura discovers matching scratches on his chest from when he assaulted Christa. Devlin gets the upper hand, about to strangle Laura, when the others arrive just in time to take him down.

This particular episode was more enjoyable than the first for many reasons. As a viewer, it was great to see the supporting characters working together as a team during the murder investigation. The plot focused on police procedures, eliminating the twins’ boorish antics and Laura’s binge eating. Most important, it showed Laura as a serious and sympathetic detective who cares about all of the victims. The characters are still fun and the mysteries are fresh. Here’s looking forward to what next week brings.

The Mysteries of Laura airs Wednesdays at 8/7C on NBC.