The Irrational delivered its most powerful episode yet, and in the same breath, found its footing. If future storylines are crafted as meticulously as on The Irrational Season 1 Episode 6, the series has made its case for sticking around as a permanent fixture on NBC.
We’ve seen Alec Mercer in many situations from investigating a plane crash to catching a cheater red-handed during a lively poker game, but “Point and Shoot” took him to the courtroom, working a case pro-bono that highlighted the unfair and corrupt justice system while trying to find a way to convince a handful of jurors on a case, who have already made up their minds before hearing the facts, to “do better.”
In the process, he squared off with a highly skilled and respected behavioral psychologist, Dr. Atwood (and yes, I jumped for joy when I saw The Resident’s Malcolm Jamal Warner aka The Raptor grace the screen in a worthy guest role!), whose reputation informed that he never met a police shooting he couldn’t justify. Alec himself said that there was no other worthy opponent to face off against Atwood in court other than himself—and both men made compelling points when arguing their case.
Atwood asked the jury to look at the situation from the perspective of the police, who stepped into a shaky situation as they were under the impression that they were entering the home of a dangerous criminal who may have been armed; their fight or flight reaction kicked in during the high-risk arrest.
Meanwhile, Alec countered that the Viper group is a skilled ops team that should assess and reassess the situation every second before resulting to pulling the trigger. He noted that there were many ways to de-escalate the situation that didn’t involve shooting a firearm.
And considering that the shooting killed an innocent man as the wrong address was written on a warrant—a case we’ve seen play out in real life even if the series notes that the storyline is fictional and not depicting real events—there’s a lot to deliberate.
Alec proved that there’s a reason he’s the best at what he does and observed the jury’s behavior, quickly noting that science wasn’t merely enough to win them over—they needed to be part of the solution. When he asked them to do better in weeding out the bad apples in the flawed system that’s not always about “equal justice for all,” they stood up to the task.
Joshua’s husband was propositioned with a hefty settlement, which didn’t sit right with him considering they were asking him to agree to a price of how much his late husband was worth. He was reminded that there was no “good outcome” in this case since an innocent man was killed, but that he should take the win. However, a quick glance at Joshua’s office led Alec to yet another conclusion that Joshua’s death wasn’t an accident but a premeditated murder.
While he never considered another option when taking on the case, simply following the upfront facts, it turns out that there was plenty of underlying information that took it in a completely different direction. Joshua wasn’t an accidental target of a tactical team, he was targeted because he was a building inspector who was trying to shine light on code violations by a very profitable investment company. All of the Viper officers also had a side hustle working as security for the property development company.
The pieces began to fall into place when the clerk, who was initially fired for writing the wrong address on the warrant, explained that Judge Haines was the one who signed off on it and the one who also overlooked civil cases concerning building codes.
Alec needed someone he could trust to prove it—and he formed an unlikely alliance with Atwood, who agreed not only because he wanted to protect his stats (and knew he lost the case) but because it was the right thing to do. They may not always see eye to eye, but in this case, it was evident that Judge Haines willingly signed off an order to kill an innocent man because he was going to destroy his side hustle of bribing people who wanted to go around building regulations.
When Atwood suggested that Haines help him cheat the system and cut through the red tape, he obliged, even giving him a number to an offshore account when the FBI walked in to ask him a few questions.
Again, there was never going to be a “happy” outcome from the case, but they were aiming for the best one possible, and catching a corrupt man who was responsible was a great start.
As for the bombing of the church, Alec’s ex-wife Marisa continued the investigation following Peter’s “suicide,” which Alec immediately called out as a forced suicide. The assumption was that Peter was spooked by the same person who got to Wes Banning during the court trial.
Marisa then asked Alec to sit out the investigation due to optics—he was there the night of the tragedy so technically, he could have had a motive to kill Peter—before questioning Peter’s mother, who accidentally spilled that she knew more than she was letting on.
In between her defenses of her late son, she revealed that Peter got the bomb from some “fancy man” on the internet. However, the plan was never to kill 13 people, he was simply targeting the church as part of a hate crime, though he accidentally set the bomb timer to 60 seconds rather than 60 minutes.
And thus, the investigation takes another unexpected turn, but there’s momentum, which is all that matters.
With not much to go off besides the fact that Matthias dressed nicely, it’s like finding a needle in the haystack, but I don’t know anyone more committed than Marisa to do this investigation justice… that is if they allow her to stay on considering she’s “too close” to the victim.
Marisa’s relationship with Jace was also brought up when a member and former boss from Intelligence visited her to bring up the “whispers” he’s been hearing. Work romances are always complicated, especially when they can derail a case or question your credibility, though they aren’t illegal, so we’ll see what comes of it.
What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?
Is ‘The Irrational’ on Today?
If you’re looking to solve a new case of the week with Alec Mercer on The Irrational, you’ll have to be a bit more patient.
The Irrational Season 1 Episode 7, which aired on Nov 6, 2023, was the last one audiences will see in a while—and there’s a perfectly reasonable, even rational, explanation for it: there are no episodes left to air.
The former episode was the last scheduled episode to air on NBC, as the start of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, both of which have, officially concluded, halted production. That means they were only able to film 7 episodes of the season.
Now that production has been cleared, The Irrational will pick up filming once again and will air its final four episodes starting Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. So sadly, fans will not be getting any news episodes through the remainder of 2023, however, the good news is that 2024 is just around the corner.
The Irrational, starring Jesse L. Martin, scored an NBC series order at the end of 2022.
While you’re waiting for new episodes about the behavioral psychologist who takes on cases—and helps the CIA (along with his ex-wife) solve crimes—all while dealing with past trauma from a bombing decades prior, you can catch up via our recaps and reviews right here on CraveYouTV.
You can also check out another NBC series that’s also been filling the gap amid the strikes, Found, with reviews here.
The Irrational Review Season 1 Episode 7 – The Real Deal
The Irrational Season 1 Episode 7 attempted to pull off double duty as not only was Alec on a first date with Rose, but he was also using the 24-hour date to test a new romance theory just as the whole outing doubled as a murder investigation connected to one of her clients. That’s just how things go when you’re with Alec, and you have to be ready to roll with the punches, which Rose definitely was.
But if that all feels like a lot for viewers, well, it’s because it is. The plot of the “case of the week” was just a bit too complex to follow—and I’m not a fan of getting invested in the story only for it to bear no merit on the outcome (looking at you, Mr. Z!).
There were too many players featured and a handful of twists as Alec and Rose debated whether or not the Cézanne paintings were real or a forgery. Then, at the end of the day, none of it even mattered because Rose and Alec, who witnessed the murder of Henry, an art dealer, found out that the motive behind the death was love.
Their investigation revealed that Henry destroyed the final Cézanne created by Bridget, the artist behind the forgeries, after he spoke with them because he realized that people were onto their scheme and didn’t want to leave any evidence behind, however, Evan, the forgery appraiser, killed Henry in a fit of rage because he was in love with Bridget, who died of cancer, and was upset to see the only thing left of her destroyed so carelessly.
While murder mysteries are rarely ever cut and dry, it was a roundabout way of getting to the suspect.
There was also Rose’s client, Blair, who connected to the scheme through her ex-husband Carson but wasn’t completely crucial to the overall story aside from kickstarting the investigation by reporting her Orchard painting as a fake.
Seeing her move on from her ex, who admitted that he was cheating on her, however, coincided with Alec’s grand first date, the first since his divorce.
There’s something to be said for finally concluding that it’s time to move on, and, in Alec’s case, he was accepting that things with Marisa were officially over.
Rose, however, is such a good fit into his life—she’s basically the female version of Alec. The former M6 agent whose cover was blown now works as a crisis management expert, so she’s go-with-the-flow, good at reading people, and thrives on the action.
She’s also a good addition to his life—not only because they had great chemistry and they complement each other far better than Marisa and Alec—but because she can exist without always being involved. They are both established in their respective careers, so they can date without becoming co-dependent.
Moving on is a huge deal for Alec. At the end of the episode, there was a moment where it was clear Alec didn’t think he’d ever feel like this about anyone ever again after his divorce, but now he’s realizing that he simply needed to do it on his own terms after grieving and mourning his previous relationship.
He wasn’t ready for his next chapter until he was ready, so I hope Marisa doesn’t screw it up or make him have second thoughts.
Rose’s next client took her on a trip to Paris, but they both agreed to another date when she got back.
For Marisa, the news that Alec was once again dating was a hard pill to swallow, despite having moved on with Jace. I don’t think she’s ever faced her feelings, simply repressing them instead because she initiated the divorce and knew that they needed to move on. However, she never confronted how it would feel to have Alec move on while still playing a critical role in her life as a friend.
Marisa and Kylie hung out for the first time since the divorce, and while the “A” word was not allowed, it was established that they had a tight relationship before Alec and Marisa split. It was nice to see them get back to it, proving that once family means always family, no matter the external circumstances. They still cared a lot about each other and could have a relationship even if Alec wasn’t the middle ground as much anymore.
The bombing was not mentioned, so there wasn’t anything on that front, though I read it’s supposed to be a storyline that’s wrapped up by the end of the first season.
Phoebe and Rizwan conducted a control experiment that helped Alec and Rose solve the case, but other than that, they are two characters that I’ve found myself completely indifferent about. The story exists with or without them.
What did you think about the episode? Do you like Rose for Alec? Are you enjoying the cases of the week?
The Irrational Recap Season 1 Episode 5 – Lucky Charms
It’s time for Vegas, baby. The Irrational Season 1 Episode 5 takes Alec, Kylie, Phoebe, and Rizwan to Sin City to help solve a case involving Alec’s best and former student, Camille.
Camille, a professional poker player, has found herself in some hot water after getting involved with loan sharks. Yes, she knew the risks and dangers and did it anyway.
When she called Alec for help trying to lure out a cheater who’s been causing her to lose games leading up to a tournament, she also had to know that Alec would sniff out that she was hiding something from him. He might not know much about poker as it’s not his area of expertise, but he is a behavioral science expert after all. And it wasn’t long before Alec met the “complicated” part of Camille’s life that she was referring to, though he also had an advantage against the loan sharks, knowing how to leverage his position and re-direct the conversation to buy them some time.
Essentially, they couldn’t win if Camille couldn’t win. And she couldn’t win if he couldn’t do his job. They benefited from Alec finding out why Ethan, Camille’s competitor, suddenly had an edge.
Alec approached Ethan at the bar to get a feel for the situation, finding out that Ethan credited his winning streak to a good luck charm. But once Kylie stole said good luck charm, they found that he was still on a roll. Additional evidence and data then confirmed that he was winning when the stakes were high and losing when they weren’t, a telling sign that someone is cheating and their bluff needs to be called.
They brought it up to the organizer of the tournament, who couldn’t do much about the cheating, but she promised to look into it. If this scene—and her saying statistics aren’t enough to accuse someone of cheating—felt shady to you, that’s for a reason. Also, why wouldn’t this woman pull up the cameras and see if anything strange was happening?
Alec always has a backup plan, so he promised Camille that they would get to the bottom of it before she lost everything.
A curveball came when Ethan dropped out of the upcoming tournament, but Hank, another mediocre player, won using a super marginal hand, just like Ethan.
From there, it was clear that someone in the vicinity had to be giving the players signals and seeing the cards of the other players, though the “how” still remained a mystery.
That’s when Alec was essentially kidnapped by the loan sharks as “collateral” as Camille was still losing, yet he still found a way to talk them into helping him help them. They were able to locate Ethan, who informed Alec that whoever offered him the 80/20 deal for rigging the game communicated with him through a mechanism in his shoe that sent zaps.
Alec enlisted everyone’s help getting to the bottom of it, with a two-pronged plan that heavily leaned on watching human behavior during times of heavy stress and anxiety. They flooded Hank with mixed signals so he wasn’t sure how to react, which they hoped would stress out the person rigging the game. And since Alec associated nerve with drinking faster, all they needed to do was a quick scan of the room to find the culprit’s tell, realizing that it was the organizer the entire time.
Camille redeemed herself, took home the grand prize, and got the sharks off her back, while Linda was escorted to speak with the FBI. And the look on her face when confronting Alec meant that she knew it was all over for her.
There was a secondary story involving Phoebe and Camille that was meant to emphasize that she was once an integral part of Alec’s team and did them a disservice when abruptly leaving, and while it was heartwarming to see them reconcile, it didn’t really make or break the episode. It’s hard to care about those who came before when we’re still trying to get invested in Phoebe and Rizwan’s storylines.
The series wins when we see Alec doing what he does best—and winning by the end of the episode. This episode’s suspect was slightly less obvious than in the episode’s past, making it a bit more exciting to watch.
There was also some movement on the church bombing case as Marisa invested heavily in tracking down a lede on the van logo. She managed to get the designer behind the logo, Sylvio, to reveal who ordered the print and narrowed it down to one man who matched the description and lived 15 miles away from the church. Unfortunately, it was a dead end as the man seemingly died by suicide just before they got there. Of course, that definitely seems like a coincidence—did whoever is pulling the strings know that Marisa was onto him? Did they kill him so that he wouldn’t say anything? The case is beginning to take on a new life, which is what happens when you hit a nerve, but they’ve got some work to do until they get to the bottom of it. I know Alec has wanted answers, and there’s a deep disappointment that the one person who could’ve given him any is now gone, but I don’t want him to give up hope just yet. His moment is coming—it just might require him to work with his ex and her new BF for a little longer. He may not believe in luck, but in this case, it was a lucky break that came through hard work.
It was nice seeing Alec work a case all on his own without Marisa’s input or the FBI hovering. Putting a little distance between him and Marisa might make it easier for him to make the decision to move on… and when he’s ready, Rose is waiting!
What did you think of the episode? Were there enough twists and turns to keep you guessing? Did you like all the human psychology lessons and theories that were applied to the behaviors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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