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'The Player' fan react: A modern 'Romeo and Juliet'

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Downtown Odds” | Aired Nov 12, 2015

What a sad episode of The Player. Even though all the episodes of The Player deal with death in some fashion, this was the first time death actually had severe consequences. But even though this was a much more realistic episode in the sense that there was a sad ending, part of me wishes that out of all the episodes, the often-used TV application of “everything gets resolved happily in the end” was applied to this particular one.

The episode had Alex attempting to stop a gang war between the Pharaohs and the Bravos, which he did, after catching the slimy criminal Mislav, who was working on getting both gangs to take each other out so he could flood the market with drugs without competition. But the real tragedy of the episode was the love story between Imani and Listo, two young adults from the gangs who happened to meet while in college. They wanted to make it out of the gangs and live productive lives far away from crime, and Alex was intent on helping them. But that doggone Mislav was the cause of the two star-crossed kids not getting their wish; one of Mislav’s henchmen shot Imani during a shootout.

Viewers were probably expecting one of them to die. As a viewer and an Entertainment Weekly Community writer, I should have been expecting one of them to die. It’s Romeo and Juliet—from the rival gangs to a dead brother (Listo’s brother, who was framed for a crime against the Pharoahs—actually committed by Mislav—and was later killed by the Pharaohs because of it) to the courageous (and, to the cynical out there, possibly naive) hope Listo and Imani had for living a different life. But still, even though I was scared of the possibility of one of them dying, I hoped that if The Player was going to use their “Alex Kane impossibly saves the day” card, a card they’ve probably overused in all of their episodes, they’d use it now. I wanted these two to get the shot Romeo and Juliet didn’t get. It’s a show, for Pete’s sake! It’s not real! Let the kids live!

But no, the kids didn’t live out their “happily ever after” scenario. Imani ends up dying in the ER, with a shaking Listo still covered in her blood. As vengeance, Listo shoots and kills Mislav just as he’s about to get both gangs to work for him (in order to keep himself from getting killed by all of them). But up until then, Listo had never taken a life; he’d been the Bravos’ go-to man for bail, so he was the guy who was supposed to keep a clean slate (despite his father’s strange insistence on Listo being too soft and wanting him to man up). Now that he’s shot Mislav, Listo has indoctrinated himself into the gang, and now his chance at a happy life is gone.

Or is it? It didn’t have to end that way. Listo could have still gotten out, if Alex pressured him enough. Alex has pressured people before into doing the right thing; why just let Listo become another casualty to the Game of Occam and the Game of a Hard-Knock Life? Even though Listo is so heartbroken that he’d see no way out, Alex could have quickly counseled Listo at some point to tell him to live out a crime-free life to honor Imani. Imani certainly didn’t want him to go down this road. Sigh. Color me dissatisfied and sad.

In any case, the latest in Ginny news is that there’s that doggone key that could lead to anything. Alex wants Ginny to help him find out what’s in the box, but how is Ginny going to do that without Mr. Johnson finding out about this? It’s a key! She’ll be risking Mr. Johnson spying on her, whether or not she’s off work. Sigh. But as to what could be in whatever it is that the key goes to? Suspicions suggest that it’ll show that Ginny is much more of a mastermind than Alex knows. I can’t see Ginny as a damsel in distress when there are too many unanswered questions.

We’re also getting close to the end of the first season. Things are getting dodgy as to whether The Player will come back. But hopefully, there will be a resolution that can wrap things up in a “kindly” manner, for lack of a better word. Can it end without a cliffhanger? With all the mystery that has been set up over the course of this season, I don’t see how it can’t end without a cliffhanger. I just hope the show can end on a satisfying note.

What do you think about the episode? Give your opinions 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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