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'The Player' fan react: Mr. Johnson kicks butt

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “House Rules” | Aired Oct 22, 2015

Last week’s episode of The Player, “House Rules,” had two big reveals which, overall, have propelled the storyline forward into interesting directions. But does it feel like we’re getting stuff doled out too slowly? I don’t know—perhaps I’m too hangry at the time of this writing, but looking back on the episode, it seemed like the story both moved quickly and stayed still.

I do appreciate that we aren’t getting a lot of information at one time, because getting all the information at once isn’t how you build suspense or mystery. But I can barely remember the game Alex had to play, which was helping a young college student, Solomon Desai (Nik Dodani), escape the Chinese Triads and the U.S. government after he hacks into the Pentagon. Is that a bad thing? Is it just because it’s been a few days since viewing the episode? Who knows?

Perhaps the reason why it took me a while to remember Solomon’s plight is because his case was just a device to get us to Alex finally calling his wife. Alex had noticed strange dates on pictures of himself and Ginny, pictures he’d taken many years ago. Alex was able to get Solomon’s help in figuring out the code, which was a phone number. Alex finally gets a chance to speak with Ginnny, but it’s all too brief. She tells him she’s fine for now, but he can’t call her back. When he does try to call back, the number has already been disconnected.

Cassandra has also figured out the Ginny deception after finally getting a chance to review the tapes of the night Ginny supposedly died, without Mr. Johnson unexpectedly barging in through the House’s office. Cassandra is just as surprised as the rest of us might have been, and she probably has just as many questions—chief among them being, who or what is the dead body?

The body is what almost makes me wish this show was set in the future. Almost Human had a neat episode about 3-D printing of a lifelike body to cover up a bigger crime. I wish The Player‘s world had this technology, because that’s the only way I can make sense of dead Ginny. Or does Ginny have a twin? If that’s the case, then things just got grisly, and I’d expect that they’ll get even more grisly by the time we get to the season finale.

The second reveal is that Mr. Johnson is much more entrenched in the world of crime than we knew. In one of the last episodes, we saw how connected Mr. Johnson was with the criminal underworld, the main theme being that he was a young upstart who quickly rose to the top, and that some other criminals feel like he needs to be taken down a peg. That theme continued when Mr. Johnson reconnected with his former Triad brother-in-arms, the gang’s leader (Will Yun Lee). The Triad leader broke the House’s rules since he was betting on his own crime, leading Mr. Johnson to have some words with him. But it would seem that the Triad leader did it on purpose, just to try to beat Mr. Johnson in a sparring match. And by “beat,” I mean “kill.” When the match does happen, we find out that Mr. Johnson became the favorite pupil of the Triad’s elder, while the man who is currently leader always came in second. The jealousy only got worse when Mr. Johnson became Lord of all Gangsters, aka the Pit Boss.

Unfortunately for the Triad leader, his plan to show Mr. Johnson that he’s still the punk kid he always was backfires when Mr. Johnson proves definitively that he’s the alpha. The skill and calculated coldness Mr. Johnson uses to kill his former frenemy is poetic, in a very tragic, Godfather type of way. It’s possibly the best moment of The Player thus far. If we could have more scenes of Mr. Johnson kicking butt and taking names, that would be great—because not only did we get to see Wesley Snipes flex his genre acting even more, but we got to see him flex his real-life martial-arts skills. Any scene with Snipes fighting is a scene to DVR.

Still, it seems like this show can’t find or sustain an audience. Is it because it’s going up against Shonda Rhimes’ TGIT block on ABC? Is the 10/9C time slot too steep for this show to go up against How to Get Away with Murder? Who’s to say?

But I’m hoping that the show will pick up more viewers, because I want it to stay on for at least another season. I need to see just where this wild ride will take us. If NBC allows it, I’m sure it can take us very far … and then some.

What did you think? Write about it below!

The Player airs Thursdays at 10/9C 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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