Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year

Well this has been a pretty good Lunar New Year, what with the first same-sex marriage in Texas. A lot of times it feels hopeless being blue in Texas, so this was good news.

I'm also very encouraged by the new diversity on TV. Fresh Off the Boat has now survived two Tuesdays in its competitive timeslot, and they had a fabulous sex talk episode this week. I certainly enjoyed Jessica teaching her son Eddie that "no means no" and "respect girls!" I hope the ratings stay steady for next week. Also Black-ish's ratings have recovered lately, so it looks like we can have multiple successes at the same time.

Even The Pinkertons has added to its cast diversity lately. This week's episode not only brought back their former Japanese client Kenji, but added a female "mystic" named Miyo who was part of Doc Sprague's travelling spiritualism show.

Will buys tickets for him and Kate, even though she acts scornful and skeptical about spiritualism. Will seems to enjoy taunting her, while she disapproves of his easygoing beliefs that can change on a whim. They also spot Kenji in the audience, and wonder why he didn't return to Japan.

On stage, Miyo speaks Japanese, and says a lot of funny, critical things (translated in subtitles), while the Spragues mislead the audience with psychic predictions and other patter. They predict there will be a murder.

After the show, Kate leaves in disgust, while Will chats with Kenji. He came back to Kansas City because he wanted to become a detective, competing with the Pinkertons and taking cases for a cheaper fee. Will is a bit miffed by this news, but soon there's a murder, and Kenji's client is a suspect, because he was scammed by the Spragues. Will and Kate take over the investigation, since Kenji feels out of his depth.

But Miyo goes missing, and they ask Kenji to interpret for them, only to learn that she speaks English as well. She believes that Doc Sprague's son arranged a marriage to a rich man for her, but in fact she was "sold" to the man as a sex slave. Everyone tries to protect her, but there's still a murderer loose after all.

I thought for a while they were going to have Kenji fall in love with Miyo, or at least vow to take her home, so they would leave together. But actually, after the murder's all solved, and Miyo's released from the Sprague's act, she decides to stay in town and take a job serving drinks at the saloon; she makes clear that she won't be doing any upstairs entertainment for Annalee.

Kenji is staying too, because Will and Kate offer to take him on as a Pinkerton apprentice, so he won't be their rival anymore. That should be fun, and I think expanding the cast would be interesting, especially as Allan Pinkerton hasn't dropped by in a while. Perhaps we can learn more about both Kenji and Miyo. We aren't told much about Miyo's past, just that she was found begging on the streets, and the Spragues took her in and made her part of their act. I hope we can find out more, like if she was an immigrant from Japan, or was born here, or was abandoned by somebody, etc.

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