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'The Mysteries Of Laura' recap: Beware of the Birdman

Season 1 |  Episode 3 | “The Mystery of  the Biker Bar” | Aired Oct 1, 2014

This week’s episode didn’t open with an exciting car chase or a strange murder but with a crime that struck the The Mysteries Of Laura characters on a deeply personal level. Laura and Jake’s old friend, the well respected bar owner “Saint Jerry” (aka Jeremy Patch), is shot while fishing at a downtown pier. They visit their friend Ruby, Jeremy’s wife of 30 years and business partner. She tells them about a scuffle Jerry had with “Crazy” Eddie, a homeless man Jerry let stay at the bar.

Laura and Billy track down Eddie who pulls a gun on them. The partners work fast to disarm and bring him in for questioning. In the interrogation room, Laura creates a safety zone using blankets and chairs to get the paranoid Eddie to relax. Eddie confides that he’s scared of “The Birdman,” a mysterious man who was monitoring Jerry. Eddie is disregarded as a suspect when forensics discovers that his gun is inoperable.

Meanwhile, the new babysitter, Sammi, is a hit with Laura’s twins. She gets the twins to calm down and take an interest in learning through fun, out-of-the-box activities. “Tomorrow we’re making collages of dead Civil War heroes,” Sammi informs Laura. For the first time, Jake shows concern for the twins’ unruly behavior when he discusses the neighbor’s complaints with Laura.

Eddie’s crazy theory about the omniscient Birdman turns out to be true. He’s one of Jerry’s neighbors, Simon Spieler who runs Bird In The City, a website for ornithologists. Spieler, an obsessive Rear Window type snoop keeps a diary of all the happenings at Jerry’s bar along with records of his complaints to the sanitation and health boards. Laura pretends to get him a mayoral commendation for his records in order to use them as means of finding suspects. “The nerd’s notebook is a virtual security camera,” Laura says.

Back at the precinct, Ruby acknowledges to Jake that the Birdman reported a 911 call regarding a screaming match outside bar between Jerry and Faith McGowan, an employee they fired for stealing from customers. Laura and Billy track Faith to The Bottom Rung Bar in Brooklyn. From the bruises on Faith’s body, Laura deduces that she’s in abusive relationship with a controlling boyfriend who is the real thief behind ripping off the customers. The creepy boyfriend makes a run for it, breaking Billy’s nose in the process.

“How would you like a free pass to go as fast as you want in daylight?” Diamond bribes a motorcyclist into chasing the boyfriend down. The boyfriend runs a stop sign and collides into a city bus.

Unfortunately, Laura not only has a murder to solve, but a babysitter to win back after she fouls things up by asking her assistant Max to snoop on Sammi. At the hospital, Jake interrogates the crooked boyfriend, resorting to knotting the morphine tube (which is, in fact, the saline tube) in order to get more information out of him.

The entire family attends Jerry’s wake. Now back on his meds, a calm Eddie thanks Laura for her help. After learning that Eddie is wearing one of Jerry’s hand-me-down suits, Laura empties out the pockets and finds an IOU on a cocktail napkin from Miguel’s Bar, signed by the notorious loan shark Navarro. Their suspicions of Navarro’s guilt clears when he admits to Billy that Jerry settled his debt after taking on a silent partner.

According to The Birdman’s blog, the financial real estate tycoon Lloyd Kramer’s limo pulled up to Jerry’s the same week of the murder. Kramer, a regular customer of Jerry’s and his new silent partner, specializes in turning old real estate into million dollar-building complexes. Laura and Billy sneak into Kramer’s limo and drive him to the murder site. Kramer reveals how he tried to convince Jerry to sell half of the building’s air rights for a nice fortune. Kramer later discovered that Jerry left the remaining half of the air rights to his estate, making it a worthless to the realtors. Remembering an earlier conversation with her twins, a shocked Laura realizes that Ruby killed Jerry for leaving her out of the big payoff.

Although the mystery of this week’s episode wasn’t as original as the first two, it brought attention to the serious side of both Laura and Jake’s personalities. Both characters were deeply touched and blindsided due to their own personal involvement with the victim. However, it did show their dedication to their jobs and family. The twins’ antics were kept to a pleasant, non-distracting minimum, providing just the right dose of comic relief throughout the more serious main plotline to make it enjoyable.

 

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

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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