As the title suggests, "Loss" is heartbreaking.
The other thing Tell Me a Story Season 1 Episode 2 suggests is that three fairy tales might be too many for one series to focus on in a single season.
The Three Little Pigs story is moving along very well, moving performances by leads James Wolk and Paul Wesley. By comparison, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel are getting left behind.
Not only does the story of Three Little Pigs aka Jordan's suffering at the hands of armed robbers who killed his wife, Beth, in a heist gone wrong blossom the longer it stays in your mind after watching, but even CBS recognizes its value by proving episodic photos aplenty to memorialize the scenes, as well.
In contrast, there is very little noteworthy to carry through when it comes to a wayward teen trapping her teacher or a troubled young adult dragging his sister into his suddenly unsettled life.
The latter two stories don't appear fresh, and nothing new is coming to the table so far in the telling of the tales. That doesn't mean it's not coming, but it's not here so far.
Meanwhile, Wolk and Wesley are knocking it out of the park with their head-butting performances.
As Jordan, Wolk is going through the stages of grief at an alarming speed. Watching Beth die as he did knowing how she felt about the state of the world and the violence all around her has to be pulling away at his brain like a cheese grater. The longer he thinks about it, the more slivers of his humanity slip away.
He's becoming angrier and more vengeful by the second.
There are many things Tell Me a Story has done very well, though, to keep him from falling into total despair.
Detective Garcia ran a clean crime scene. How often do you see bagged hands on victims at television crime scenes? Well done.
She didn't force Jordan to stay behind to answer questions and wrapped up her interview quickly so he could ride to the morgue with Beth. She was doing what she needed to do to keep Jordan calm and gain his trust so he'd work with her as she needed his help to solve the case.
Garcia scoured video of the streets near the rally for the distinctive pair of shoes she saw on one of the robbers in the store video -- and found a face in the crowd.
Eddie was in a panic over the deaths. He didn't sign up for that. He had no desire to spend time in prison. He was also hoping Sam fenced the diamonds (the got $6 million in raw cut stones), so he could have his share of the cash.
No, he may be beautiful, but Eddie isn't the sharpest raw cut diamond in the jewelry store. Armed robbery comes with significant prison time. You don't get to threaten lives any more than you get to take them, not in our country. It sounds delightful and like you'll be making easy money.
You shouldn't be wearing such distinctive shoes when you do it. Even if he hadn't killed anyone, Eddie was going to make his way to the hoosegow.
Eddie's brother seems to be skating for now, but will Eddie take the fall for the whole event? Snitches don't do well, so he may be in it for the long haul and all on his own.
It's hard to imagine they'd let the identification stand given Eddie's state when he was in the lineup.
That's when Wesley's skills grabbed me. Eddie was sweating, breathing heavy, twitching, and his eyes were darting around the room, all while he tried his damnedest to keep all of those things from occurring.
The harder he tried to control himself and get under control, the more he shook. His frame was shaking. It was very convincing, and if anyone in a lineup isn't like that, they have to have been there multiple times before.
Jordan had never seen the men in the store, so they were asked to say what Jordan heard before the gunshots rang out. Eddie had a difficult time speaking.
On the floor, or you die.Eddie
Jordan got to see one of the men responsible for Beth's death, and he left the room a changed man.
He was like a man on a mission, determined to discover everything about Eddie. He tracked him down at his place of work and looked him in the eyes.
But what does an otherwise law-abiding citizen do when faced with something like Jordan is going through now? He's in uncharted waters. It's unlikely even knows what he'll eventually do with his feelings.
But nothing is going to be as easy as Detective Garcia said it was going to be. Jordan trusted her, and he was being let down.
Jordan, you say that's the guy, then we'll keep looking into him. But we don't make arrests that don't hold up in court. Do you understand?Det. Garcia
Eddie is free, and that's probably a worse place for him to be than in jail.
If you had told me at the start of Tell Me a Story Season 1 Episode 1 that Jordan might become the Big Bad Wolf, I would have laughed. But what do I know about that character? What do any of us know?
We only know what he did, not why he did it.
Maybe the BBW was driven into the darkness by forces unimaginable to him. Maybe he tried walking in the light and lost his way when tragedy struck.
It's beginning to sound very plausible, especially after seeing Jordan lurking in Eddie's bushes.
What are you feeling about Tell Me a Story? Are you pleased with how the two tales missing from this review are going? What would you do to make them more worthy of a deep dive review?
Hit the comments!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.