Televised in these United States on Sunday, 7 July 2019, the second episode in Instinct’s second season hit television screens. What are your thoughts? Did you see the latest Instinct episode?
The episode opens with a guy taking a girl to the Land of Wonder. Even though the Land of Wonder is closed, because the guy wants to impress the young lady, he takes her to see the park’s rollercoaster. There is probably a rule against bringing friends to work when the park is closed for business, but that does not seem to bother him.
After operating the leaver to bring the rollercoaster cars to the boarding station, the cars roll into view. There is a dead body in one of the cars.
Meanwhile, across town at their residence, is Dr Dylan Reinhart (Alan Cumming) and his husband Andrew “Andy” Wilson (Daniel Ings). Being the obsessive Dylan is, the professor has arranged for his husband information detailing private adoption options, surrogacy agencies and foster care opportunities. If this were not enough, Dylan has also put together a comprehensive whiteboard showing what their options are. He has broken down the options into categories, sub-categories and sub-sub-categories.
Lizzie is Hungover…
Elsewhere, at the 11TH Precinct, Det Lizzie Needham (Bojana Novakovic) boards an elevator with Julian Cousins (Naveen Andrews). The detective is still recovering from a night of heavy drinking with Lt Jasmine Gooden (Sharon Leal).
Jasmine broke off her engagement with fiancé because he cheated on her. Consequently, she is now temporarily staying with Lizzie. Julian’s reaction is not surprising.
On entering the bullpen, Lizzie sees Det Ryan Stock (Travis Van Winkle) sat on her partner’s desk. Naturally, she tells the visiting detective he can’t be there because Dylan does not like people sitting on his desk. Ryan immediately recognises Lizzie, but she has absolutely no idea who he is or why he is at the precinct.
When Dylan walks in, his attention is entirely on his researching. Consequently, the professor does not immediately notice Lizzie is hungover. “Wrapping the dead in a blanket was a Native American ritual when there wasn’t enough time for a proper burial,” Dylan tells the visiting detective. “It is done in an act of love.”
When Dylan does take the time to look at his partner, the professor finds Lizzie’s condition surprising. “Don’t even start,” Lizzie tells Dylan. Because she has a “nuclear-powered size hangover,” she is in need of “an aspirin big enough to eat with a knife and fork.” Lizzie’s condition is entirely Jasmine’s fault, consequently, the detective seems to think the lieutenant is suffering worse than she is. Any thoughts Lizzie had of Jasmine being worse off than she was ended when she walked into the bullpen. Bright and breezy, the lieutenant walks into the bullpen like it is just another normal Tuesday morning.
At the tail end of the second season premiere, ‘Stay Gold,’ we saw Ryan arrive at the precinct. Dylan is working on a case report for Jasmine when the visiting detective walks into the bullpen. The case that brought Ryan to New York was the body in the park. The condition the body was in mirrored that of the Sleeping Beauty case.
The visiting detective will be working with Det Anthony Fucci (Danny Mastrogiorgio). Because Dylan has already started working with Ryan on the case, the professor was hoping the lieutenant was going to assign the case to Lizzie and himself. This would have given Dylan the opportunity to continue working with Ryan.
Instead of giving Lizzie and Dylan the case the professor wanted to work on, the lieutenant sends the odd couple out to the Land of Wonder. A gunshot victim was found on a rollercoaster.
The victim is 22-year-old Elliot Emerson. According to Sgt Kanter Harris (Michael B. Silver), they are holding the name back from reporters until after the next of kin has been contacted. When the professor asks why the victim was sitting in a rollercoaster in the middle of the night, Lizzie responds that he “was getting shot.” On closer examination, not that it took much effort, Dylan notices a lapel mic. It looks like Elliott was wearing a wire. Could the kid have been an informant? If he was, he did a seriously poor job hiding the wire.
Annie Emerson (Lizzy DeClement) arrives on the scene with her boyfriend. Nothing about the case has been released to the press. Consequently, no one except the police and the killer should know the identity of the victim. Elliot, Annie quickly explains, is her twin. Cue opening credits…
Sitting with Annie…
“It seems Elliot was here writing music,” Dylan tells Annie. “Would he usually do that in such a remote location?” Like a lot of creative minds, it seems Elliot is one of those people that “found inspiration in solitude.” Because of his observational skills, it does not take long for Dylan to notice Annie’s hands. Considering the calluses on Annie’s fingers, the professor concludes she is a musician. Annie confirms Dylan’s suspicions. Elliot and his twin sister had a band. While Annie played the guitar and sang, Elliot did everything else. He wrote, composed and played the keyboard.
At Elliot’s apartment, Lizzie is notes there is “no television, no books and no alcohol. He doesn’t even have a computer.” It seems the only thing Elliot needed in his life, as Dylan notes, “He certainly had a lot of records. Maybe he didn’t need anything else.” Because music was Elliot’s primary relationship with the world, his passion and his life, Dylan thinks “there’s a pretty good chance it may have played a part in his death.”
When Dylan sees Elliot’s record collection, the professor cannot help but admire the late musician’s music tastes. “He’s a total music nerd,” the professor tells Lizzie. When Dylan discovers the records have been broken, Lizzie notes that there must be someone that doesn’t like his record collection as much as the professor does.
Once again demonstrating his observational skills, when Lizzie talks about Elliot owing a Ross guy over $9,000, Dylan takes his partner to a poster he noticed as they entered the apartment. At the bottom of the poster is an email address for Ross. Ross Dirkson (Samuel H. Levine) was the band manager for Annie and Elliot.
In the Conference Room…
Dylan is using the conference room to listen to music by Annie & Elliot when Fucci and Ryan walk in. Fucci tells the professor that he needs the room to discuss the Sleeping Beauty case with Ryan. While Ryan seems to want to open the investigation up to exploring different avenues, Fucci does not seem to like the idea. He wants to keep the investigation narrow.
Meanwhile, in the break room, Lizzie is getting herself some more coffee when Jasmine walks in. Even though the detective and lieutenant drank too much the previous night, Jasmine wants to go to The 40/40 Club. Jasmine remembers, back in the day, The 40/40 Club was Excalibur. When Lizzie returns to her desk, Dylan asks the detective if she is seriously thinking about going clubbing with the lieutenant. This is not the kind of behaviour one would expect of either a detective or a lieutenant within the NYPD.
When Lizzie asks Dylan if he learned anything from Annie & Elliot’s music, the professor tells the detective she’s “a musical anhedoniac.” Despite not knowing what a musical anhedoniac is, Lizzie knew she didn’t like it. Dylan explains that it means she does not get pleasure from music. Consequently, the detective calls Dylan “a musical snob.”
“The music most people like stimulates the brain’s pleasure circuit, releasing serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, making us feel good,” Dylan said, “but in the brains of people with musical anhedonia, all the auditory and reward regions feel is … bubkes.”
At the Storage Unit…
When they open the door to Elliot’s storage unit, Lizzie immediately discovers the musician had a second storage unit. The key to the second unit was in the first unit. When Dylan finds Elliot’s laptop, the professor hopes to find music on it which might explain the musician’s mindset. Immediately across from the storage unit where Dylan is, Lizzie is opening Elliot’s second storage unit.
Even though the detective and the professor could use the music on Elliot’s laptop to explain his mindset, the item the detective finds in the second unit. “That’s a Maserati GranTurismo,” Dylan tells Lizzie.
While Dylan believes there is something in Elliot’s music which will lead him to solve the case, the professor admits Lizzie could be correct when she says that the musician could have had a drug problem. “It is the only thing that makes sense,” Dylan concedes. At this, his expression does not look remotely happy.
Everyone Has Their own way of Doing Things…
From a distance, Dylan notices the Fucci Ryan partnership is not sunshine and roses because the New York detective is not allowing Ryan to ask his own questions. There is a good chance Dylan will want to assist Ryan with his case. Fucci has yet to show the visiting detective any degree of professional decency.
Even though Lizzie correctly observes Fucci is a good cop, both Fucci and Ryan have their own way of policing. “Sometimes the best way to deal with an alpha dog is to simply walk around him,” the professor tells Ryan. Lizzie does not appreciate the advice Dylan gives to Ryan.
Meanwhile, Harris informs Lizzie and Dylan the storage facility attendant remembers seeing Elliot pull up in the Maserati last week. The CCTV footage from the storage facility confirms it. Not only that, the attendant remembered Elliot returning to the unit later the same night. He was with some guy with a nasty 1980s pornstashe. Harris, as Lizzie correctly observes, is describing Randy perfectly. Randy is the apartment manager where Elliot lived.
Randy has form. He was arrested twice for grand theft auto. Consequently, the apartment manager is a likely suspect in the musician’s murder. Lizzie tells Randy police have seen the CCTV footage. Randy tells Dylan and Lizzie that he had nothing to do with Elliot’s crimes. He only told the musician how to break into a car’s Bluetooth system. The next thing he knows, Elliot has stolen a Maserati. Randy said that the only reason Elliot stole the car was the thrill. Was Elliot looking for a new thrill? Was the music he was producing with his sister no longer thrilling for him? Dylan might be on to something.
There is Nothing New under the Sun…
Elliot was looking for something that made him feel alive again, but there is nothing new under the sun. “You Only Live Once” is the title of a piece of music Elliot was working on before his death. Listen to the lyrics. It’s a powerful song. The title meant something to Annie. When Annie and Elliot were children, their mother took them to an amusement park where she tried to get her children to ride the rollercoaster. She wanted Elliot to face his fears. Annie told Dylan that their mother kept repeating “you only live once.” Two days later, their mother had a seizure whilst driving. Consequently, the vehicle hit a pole. As a result of the collision, she died.
After saving Lizzie from the club that is The 40/40 Club, because of something his partner says, Dylan realises Elliot is looking for something brand new. “Elliot was looking to break free,” Dylan said. “… from the feeling he’d experienced everything before. That his present life had already happened.”
Persistent Déjà Vu…
“There is a mental condition known as persistent déjà vu. It’s an extremely rare symptom of TLE (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy). Annie and Elliot’s mother died after suffering a seizure,” Dylan said. “If she was epileptic, there’s a good chance Elliot was, too. And if so, that would make persistent déjà vu a real possibility and help explain his radical change in behaviour.”
Dylan tries to talk Lizzie into placing a call to Jules so that he can assist with the case, but she refuses, so he uses her phone to call the tech himself. The professor wants Julian to access the computer system at Marble Note Records. Dylan is interested in contracts drawn up with Elliot Emerson or the band Annie & Elliot.
Julian finds a contract between the company and Elliot. It’s a 360-degree deal. All income is to be split between the label, Elliot, and Ross, and his manager. Julian noted from the records he found, the document had been electronically signed by Ross. They were just waiting in Elliot’s signature. Why was it taking so long for Elliot to sign the document?
Ross had agreed to sell Elliot’s music to Marble Note Records and he had needed Elliott’s signature to make the deal. Because Elliot was not in the condition to sell his music, Ross threatened the musician with a gun. Because Elliot refused to sign the contract, Ross shot him. Feeling guilty about what he’d done, Ross confesses to Dylan that he is the one that was responsible for Elliot’s death.
In the End…
Elsewhere, in the Sleeping Beauty case, Ryan makes a breakthrough which probably would not have happened if Dylan had not given him the advice he had.
The visiting detective “stopped by the 24-hour dry cleaner where the victim had been a regular. It turns out some of her clothes were still in the shop.” One of the garments still at the shop was a blouse which was made and sold exclusively a Garfield County boutique.” This confirms there is a link between the case Ryan is investigating in Garfield and the one Fucci is the lead detective on.