“King’s Ransom” turned our light first season around and gave us a serious look at kidnapping. Well, as serious as King & Maxwell can be. This episode still had its airy moments that broke up the kidnapped 13-year-old topic and Sean’s hinted past with Joan, a woman negotiating with the kidnappers.
King & Maxwell’s first bunch of episodes gave us a bouncy atmosphere. People might have been dead or missing, but the sarcasm between Michelle and Sean lifted the weight of those topics. However, tonight audiences were given a child kidnapping case where the FBI needs Michelle and Sean to use their ability to bend the rules to find Noah, the missing kid. Because this topic is always heavy regardless of the series that it is on, it is usually introduced earlier in the seasons to prove that the series can handle it. Audiences have seen the lighter side of this show, so having the fourth episode change things up will keep everyone alive while watching yet another cop show.
But, even though this changed the course of the atmosphere, this notion of child kidnappings has been done on almost every cop show. If we were to ask audiences what they expect to see in a kidnapping episode they would say: parents always surprised when they see their kid being kidnapped, the FBI taking over a house while having deep conversations about previous kidnappings that didn’t go so well, and the kid coming back at the last minute after some obscene amount of money (usually in the millions) has been negotiated.
The episode did go as predictably planned with the child returning to his mother by the end of the episode. Even though his mother, Liz, had a past of art thievery, she was able to return to her family after helping commit one last crime to save her child. Sean called his previous partner, Joan, to help tie all of the loose ends.
Regardless of the weight of the episode, it always ends with Michelle and Sean figuring out how to fix their predicament at the last second while proceeding to congratulate each other for basically making it through the day.
An update on Sean and Michelle’s status that was introduced in last weeks review: things are slowly climbing to the top of a sexualized hill; “slow” being the key word. They are getting physically closer with tonight’s episode having the two being inside a small car’s trunk. Sean joked about how Michelle seems to be jealous or annoyed over Joan’s interference with his past. He also lets her guess the length and timing of his relationship with Joan. This is where we find out that Sean was previously married to a woman named Dana and started dating Joan three months after the separation from his wife. Michelle ends the episode by standing next to Sean while watching Joan leave their lives. She tells Sean, jokingly, that, “ . . . sex with a coworker is like skydiving without a parachute.” Sean has humor in his eyes when he reacts, but as he thinks about it the two of them realize they might be talking about them more than about him and Joan.
A side event that will occur over the next few episodes and most likely take us to the series finale is Edgar, the duo’s autistic technological guru, taking Sean to the place where his charge was assassinated. Something went wrong because the shooter planned for Sean to be blinded by the sun right as his charge was shot.
King & Maxwell is summer television. This series fits with how relaxed it is. Sean and Maxwell will always be putting their life and freedom on the line, but they will never fully lose it. Audiences want to see them fight their way through their job but end up together and happy be the end of the episode. Because this show has the possibility of not returning until next summer, King & Maxwell needs to be easy enough to remember over the fall/winter wave of series but entertaining enough to stabilize an audience.