'Backstrom' Recap: Has Backstrom Sunk to a New Low?
'Backstrom' Recap: Has Backstrom Sunk to a New Low?
Catherine Cabanela
Catherine Cabanela
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Backstrom is back after a three week hiatus with a lead-in by the ever popular crimedy Bones. Hart Hanson created both shows so the possibility that the Bones crowd might give Backstrom a try is high. However, these two shows are very different and will appeal to some, but not all. Backstrom's variety of crazy is an acquired taste. 

"Give Till It Hurts" brought several surprises to viewers. Some good, some hard to swallow. We get to see Backstrom decked out in a tux at a swanky fundraiser where he runs into Amy, his ex-future wife. It's always good when Amy is around because although these two have history and issues, they have even more chemistry. Backstrom's problem is that he cannot figure out how to interact with Amy without totally effing it up. (*face palm*) Every single time they are together, Backstrom assumes too much and goes in for an unwelcome kiss. Amy is repeatedly disappointed and not a little disgusted with his presumptuousness. (Though she secretly enjoys the kisses.) The good news is that Amy is the Star of Bethlehem. Now, if Backstrom could just get his head out of his ---.




Backstrom Is A Big Dick

Now for the ugly. Backstrom has been revealing his manipulative and conniving side more and more to the point where he's on the precipice of becoming irreversibly unsympathetic. Even I -- born in a barn, raised by wolves and tutored by sailors -- am questioning his redeem-ability at this point. This boy needs a hefty "Come to Jesus" event pretty damn quick if he's going to have any hope of turning his life around. We're seven episodes into a 13 episode run and we've been promised some semblance of a resolution by the time we take a summer break. So, what do you think? I'm willing to stick it out because this show and this character intrigue me. But folks, I can't say I'm not worried. Onward -->

Wild Animals Pooping Ebola in the Boudoir 

Valentine apologizes to Dr. Deb on Backstrom's behalf for yet another missed appointment. His excuse: Backstrom was responding to the call of duty. In actuality, ex-future wife Amy "McMadam Alluring" Gazanian has called upon her ex-future husband to chase a not-so-small woodland creature out of her bedroom. Backstrom, because his frontal lobe was stunted at the age of 14, makes no secret of the fact that he thinks this is a boobie booty call. Well, you're sh*t out of luck, Strummer. Amy really does have an animal eating up her pillows and delicates so maybe it's time to call an exterminator. How interesting that of all the men in Portland, Amy called Backstrom. #FoodForThought. Seeing the rodent himself, Backstrom does the chivalrous *cough* thing and offers her a pittance to get a hotel room. Before anything interesting has a chance to happen (as if), Backstrom's bat phone chirps.

A Hit, Another Hit, Another Hit and Run

Venture capitalist Vanessa Taymore is found being 'runned-over' repeatedly on the concrete floor of a parking structure mere feet from her own vehicle. Backstrom meets the crew at the scene where Niedermayer energetically launches into his ballet of morbidity to demonstrate the series of events that caused the markings on the ground and the treads on the victim's body. We know he's finished when he makes his signature closing statement, "At least that's how I see it." 

(I may not have ever said this before *sheepish grin* but Peter Niedermayer is so dishy that he makes the butterflies in my stomach do a happy dance every time he comes on screen. #TinyExaggeration #ButNotReally. You have to admit he is rather fine, or am I alone in this, ladies?) 

Niedermayer is clearly compensation for our male lead whose character is slovenly, unhealthy, misanthropic and wholly unattractive in every imaginable way. So, thank you, Bacsktrom Fairies -- and Mr. Kristoffer Polaha -- for giving us tall, dark, handsome and confident yet humble, introspective, well-groomed and manicured Detective Peter Niedermayer. I digress. 

A Man with Balls Big Enough to Pretend Tennis is a Real Sport

Very sick balls, that is. The first suspect is Vanessa's husband, Tad, who, regardless of the size of his testicles, is in the hospital participating in a drug study to treat terminal cancer. Backstrom assumes this is just an elaborate alibi, of course. While waiting to see Tad, Gravely and Backstrom run into Dr. Deb who threatens to take away Backstrom's previsionary medical pass if he doesn't get his ass to his next appointment. Gravely and Deb trade condolences for the existence of Backstrom in each of their lives. It's pretty funny. 

Terminal Tad Taymor is pretty much a bust as a suspect because, well, he's in the big time hurt bag as confirmed by his hovering nurse, Brittany Gottman. The group assembled talk about Tad's dream board, noticing all the pictures of Tad and Vanessa together. This guy's obviously in love with his wife and professes she was equally dedicated to him. Frankly, we have no evidence to the contrary as of yet. 

A Bevy of 'Rich Bitches' Who Lunch at Mahjong

A group of Vanessa's wealthy besties who meet for regular Mahjong brunches provides several believable suspects, not the least of which is vocal socialite Cristin Kelly. The high class patio is filled with 'rich bitches' all decked out in $100 panties and Vera Wangs over their perfectly plucked, waxed and manicured and svelte frames. Backstrom wastes no time inspiring one of them to throw a glass of wine in his face. From there he orders them all to be carted off to the station. To the bat cave, Alfred!

At the station Niedermayer charms the women into revealing that Vanessa was recently campaigning against them accepting donations for their charities from millionaire Donald Sampson who was recently caught in a boudoir video making racist and sexist comments. The other women's unwillingness to comply with Vanessa's campaign caused a rift resulting in Vanessa leaving the Mahjong gang for more ethical pastures. The interesting question remains: who made that boudoir video and posted it on the net?

The Ugly Yellow Purse Killer

In all of Vanessa's photos she is shown with a gaudy lovely yellow leather purse, however, the purse was never found with her remains or at any of her mansions. Paquet explains to Backstrom that a woman would never go anywhere without a purse like that if she was lucky enough to own one The killer must have dumped everything out of the purse after yanking it off the cold dead arm of the victim. 

The yellow bag is finally found at the home of socialite Cristin Kelley who has a doctor's sworn statement and lots of proof showing that she is a certified kleptomaniac. Is that really a thing? I'm pretty sure it is. Look it up.

So the story goes like this: Cristin take the purse off Vanessa's cold dead body, but she had nothing to do with the murder. Apparently, she steals when she's stressed. Seeing Vanesssa dead was a bit stressful. That's understandable, right? Makes sense to me ... even more sense if the bag had been full of Lindt chocolates. Anyway ... Cristin's alibi is sound and she's released. I do want that bag, though, chocolate or no. 

Backstrom Fights with a Homeless Guy Over a Sandwich

Backstrom grabs Almond and heads to a homeless shelter/soup kitchen where Vanessa was recently heard arguing boisterously with the guy who runs the place. After Backstrom gets into a fight with a homeless guy, it is brought up that Donald Sampson was paying Backstrom's adversary to plug a parking meter on the street outside Hotel Vivian so he could avail himself of the facilities with a lady friend without leaving any evidence behind. Turns out Sampson did this on a regular basis so Backstom assumes the affair Sampson was having must have been with the victim. 


Back at the bat cave the crew fabricates a whole story to explain what they think happened. Vanessa's husband and Sampson are longtime rivals. Tad is impotent because of the chemo, leaving Vanessa horny and lonely. Sampson takes the opportunity to steal away his rival's wife, but when she finds out what a creep he is she records him surreptitiously and releases the incriminating footage to the free world for all to see. To stop her from leaking any other nasty secrets, Sampson runs over her until she's dead. Case closed, right? Not so fast. They don't have a shred of evidence. 

Batman and the Crew Attend a Swanky Charity 

Everyone is dressed to the nines to blend in with the blue bloods. Backstrom actually cleans up pretty good and impresses everyone with a swarthy 007 entrance. Some of the crew head for the garage to search Sampson's cars for evidence of a hit and run while Backstrom sashays off to the balcony to woo Amy. They dance impressively on the floor a la Morticia and Gomez Addams, and for a moment they have fun. Then Backstrom fumbles with his lips and gets a penalty shove-off. When is he going to learn? Amy is turned off by his high octane mouthwash. Amy tells him about her dead father's 30 day chip from Alcoholics Anonymous and gives the chip to Backstrom. So, did Backstrom and Amy break up all those years ago because Backstrom had a drinking problem even then? Well, Backstrom interprets Amy's gesture as an invitation to get back together if he goes to AA. Amy denies his interpretation and exits stage left. Goodbye, Amy. Dammit.

After the blow-off, Backstrom makes a B-line for the bar and orders enough petrol to sedate an elephant. Valentine notices Sampson rendez-vousing with a woman who is not his wife. It turns out to be another one of those mahjong gals whom they hear apologizing for posting the disparaging video about him. This eliminates Sampson as a suspect and Vanessa as his lover. Back to square one. Turns out the murder weapon wasn't a luxury car but a midrange rental signed out to someone using Vanessa's credit card. Almond and Niedermayer locate the car and confirm the hit and run evidence. From the list of people Vanessa authorized to use her credit card, Backstrom and Gravely are led back to the hospital and Dr. Daniel Bai, the man running the experimental drug study. 

With Gravely2.jpg
Gravely and Backstrom accuse Dr. Bai of taking bribes from Vanessa for making sure her husband didn't get the placebo drug during the trial. Dr. Bai insists Vanessa was just generous and that her husband was getting the placebo. Backstrom doesn't believe him so he takes a swig of Tad's torture chemo juice and -- voila -- it's just water. 

Dreams are Expression of Subconscious Desires

Earlier Niedermayer refused to make a dream board for Backstrom to show Dr. Deb as his own. Niedermayer explained that his dream board would reveal his own subconscious desires and Dr. Deb would know immediately that the board wasn't Backstroms. While still in chatting with sickly Tad Taymor, Backstrom notices that the dream board has changed. 

Remembering what Niedermayer said about the nature of dream boards and what Moto said about putting on the board the things you desire, not the things you already have, Backstrom realizes that the dream board in Tad's room isn't Tad's dream board. This board has rich people stuff on it, all the trappings that Tad already owns. So who made this dream board? It was Nurse Brittany Gottman.

Gottman is on the list of people with permission to use Vanessa's credit card. Gottman rented that card under Vanessa's name and Gottman ran over Vanessa so she could steal her husband and wiggler her way into a cushy life by making him marry her before dying. 

A Deplorable Hoax, Shame on You, Backstrom

Lying on Dr. Deb's examination table in his skivvies, Backstrom has finally kept his check-up appointment. Deb says the results show he's still drinking, smoking and being generally slovenly. Dr. Deb is fed up with Backstrom and attemps to assign him to a different doctor. Now comes the deplorable part. Backstrom takes Amy's 30 day AA chip out of his pocket and shows it to Deb, allowing him to believe he has quit drinking. Then he delivers a smarmy line of bull crap about wanting to show Dr. Deb that he helped Backstrom become his true best self. I almost puked during this scene. Backstrom, how could you?! Then he invites Dr. Deb to hug it out. I am stunned at Backstrom's divisiveness. What the hell? I'm going to start hating you if you don't stop proving that maybe you really are just a total dick in a garish orange poncho.

I gotta say, though, I love the soundtrack to this show. Can I get a copy of that somewhere?

Next week there will be lots of talk about the nature of penises. Stay tuned and ready to laugh your butt off. 

Backstrom airs Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.

(Images courtesy of FOX)