This Ghosted review contains spoilers.
Ghosted Episode 2
In its second outing, Ghosted doesn’t do a lot to take a step forward, but it at least slows down. “Pilot” was a breathless affair that was visibly working overtime to establish the tone of the show while simultaneously dumping exposition like a Dave Matthews Band tour bus, whereas “Bee-Mo” feels a bit more lived in and relaxed. This episode was originally shot and produced fourth in the episode order, and it’s pretty noticeable.
The show is succeeding most with Adam Scott’s character, Max. Laying off his backstory about an abducted wife, the episode has fun playing into Max’s awkward presence, peppering his sentences with odd details like his Mom being his best man at his wedding. Unfortunately, Leroy doesn’t get enough characterization to feel as fleshed out as his partner.
The emotional core of the episode has to do with Leroy’s relationship with his deceased partner’s son, but Craig Robinson is hobbled by cliche storybeats and comes across as a bit stiff. Speaking of stiff, weapons expert Annie, played by Amber Stevens West (The Carmichael Show) is particularly wooden, only coming to life to admire her boss’ intense work ethic. Her attempts at flirting, if that’s what that was supposed to be, with Scott are completely dead on arrival. So far, none of the supporting cast has been able to register, completely being overshadowed by Scott and Robinson’s dynamic aura.
This week’s action bits play much more effectively, mostly because watching Max and Leroy battle a house full of raging children is inherently funny. However, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of interest in the paranormal happenings at the center of the episode. A cat is infected with…something? No one cares to explain what it is or how it’s cured, but perhaps that’s for the best, because we already know this show isn’t very deft and delivering exposition.
The show is at its most watchable when Max and Leroy are just cruising around in their car. Max’s weird energy combined with Leroy’s seen it all attitude is the classic zany guy/straight man combo delivered by two of television’s finest comedic presences. The highlight of the episode comes in one of these moments, when after completing their Halloween mission, Max worries that he’s been infected with the virus, only for Leroy to reveal that he was the one that was infected. It’s the perfect mixture of the odd couple/buddy cop mold with the paranormal twist that this show promised.
It’s scenes like these that give me hope that Ghosted will find the right balance after some time. At this point, it’s still trying to successfully meld its premise and supporting characters with its two leads’ charisma. This was Ghosted’s first attempt at a Monster of the Week episode, and even though it felt mostly inessential, there were still moments to build on. The show definitely seems interested in keeping some heart in the proceedings, refusing to go for broke on silliness and laughs. It’s apparent ambition like that that gives me hope that this show will find its way.