Fall Pilot Season 2011: Prime Suspect

by Ethan Alter September 23, 2011
Fall Pilot Season 2011: Prime Suspect

Enter the precinct's lieutenant, Kevin Sweeney, played by the perpetually undervalued Aiden Quinn. (So far this show is killing it in the character actor department.) Jane asks to speak with him in private right away. Her male colleagues roll their eyes as she heads into Sweeney's office. She starts in about them stealing her case, while he tries to put her off, justifying his refusal to get involved by saying they've got momentum and that he'll make it right down the line. "You've just got to be patient, you gotta show them that you can hang," he says, tellingly, while Jane just shakes her head. "Next one down the pipe is yours, Jane," he promises and heads out to find someone less intimidating to talk to.

At loose ends, Jane asks another officer if he needs help with an interrogation and after a bit of alpha male bristling, he opens the holding room door and introduces her to Russell Moss, who allegedly threw his girlfriend off the roof of a building. Jane asks what she can do to help and, smiling like a grade-A a-hole, the dude tells her she should go out to Brooklyn and pick up the perp's stuff. Sorting through his meager belongings at the pick-up place, she strikes up a conversation with the on-duty clerk, establishing that Russell allows a guy named Robert to keep his own stuff in his space. The clerk doesn't know much more about this Robert cat, but Jane hands him her card anyway and asks him to call with any other information. He could clearly care less, so she grabs his attention by offering to deputize him. That makes his head snap around and he happily stand up to take the oath that Jane is making up on the spot. "Welcome to the fight," she says and I fall in love with her just a little bit. Helen who now?

Another aerial shot as an unseen newscaster recaps the episode's main crime. Cut to a police briefing where we're given the rundown on a rapist that's plaguing the Upper East Side. After the meeting, Jane approaches the SVU guy heading up that investigation and points out that his suspect is operating not too far away from the scene of the murder we saw earlier. He shoots down her theory, pointing out that all his murders are single women living in rental apartments, not a wife and mother in a house. Seeing her horning in on their case, Duffy and Keating approach, followed by their other cronies, and start talking about something they call the "Beef Trust." That would be the precinct's core crew who do the hard legwork that comes with policing and don't, as Duffy indelicately puts it, "bang bureau chiefs to transfer out of Midtown." And with that, we establish exactly why Jane is persona non grata around her precinct. It's not just because she's a woman (although that doesn't help matters in their eyes) -- it's that she's supposedly using her sexuality to get ahead. And that's something the Beef Trust just can't get on board with, which is ironic since their name is about a big a sexual entendre as you can get. Although considering how much over-compensated preening these guys are doing, it's probably not all that big...

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