Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Reef Eel Soup for the Soul

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Alex Walker has continued to settle in nicely on Cebu.

He made his mark on the local street-food vendors on Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3.

Here's hoping that Alex can get by on his disability payments because he's never going to make any money off that gift shop.

Making Contact - Almost Paradise

That's getting to be one of the fun features of each Almost Paradise episode: What kind of catastrophe is going to befall Alex at his gift shop?

This time out, it was that monstrous marlin, Alex's so-called "good luck charm."

Accidental Investigation - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

Kai was correct. That had to be stuffed with concrete. And what was the point of hanging a non-native fish in the gift shop?

Was it any surprise when the marlin came crashing down after the trio succeeded in landing it on that hook? Alex is no engineer.

It was timely that Ernesto came by to take Alex away to experience that local cuisine while hooking him on a mystery near and dear to his heart.

Ernesto was concerned that the local street-food vendors were disappearing for no apparent reason.

He tried to win over Alex to his cause by taking him to Bayani's for a bowl of reef eel soup, which he claimed would cure Alex's hypertension.

Outlandish Scheme - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

Looking at Alex's face, it probably raised his hypertension as he contemplated the concoction in front of him. Who can blame him?

Still, if Alex hadn't been yakking after taking a big bite of duck-bill egg, he never would have stumbled onto Bayani being roughed up by a local thug.

Unfortunately, his well-meaning intervention led to Bayani being hospitalized and his "restaurant" being burned down.

That seems to be Alex's trigger. As hard as he tries to follow doctor's orders and lead a quiet life, he can't help getting involved when those he cares for are being hurt.

Undercover Vendor - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

He's got a bigger heart than brain, which isn't a bad thing.

Alex also has a wealth of experience to draw upon, which is why Kai and Ernesto end up resignedly asking him for his marginally-legal plan.

At least these small-town cops are willing to admit when they're in over their heads.

This marks two of the first three episodes that have the feeling of Leverage, the first collaboration between star Christian Kane and producer Dean Devlin, as misdirection was the main tool in the cops' toolbox.

Undercover Crimelord - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

First came convincing the two slabs of beef that came to menace vendor Ernesto that Alex was a Spanish crimelord named Cabellos, who was offering protection to the vendors.

I would expect that a crimelord could hold his own in a fight. but why weren't the thugs at all suspicious to encounter a meat vendor who was highly skilled in martial arts? Oh, well. No one claimed they were bright.

Kai was going down the same path, although no one knew it at that point.

She was annoyed because Chief Ike had given her drudge work, being the security detail for Governor Rosales at the end of the re-election campaign, as well as being his spy inside her office.

Opposition Candidate - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

Kai's antennae went up when she saw the same Anglo gladhanding both gubernatorial candidates. So she wisely followed him to figure out his deal and discovered that he had containers of trash being held at the port.

That was pretty confident of Montrose to have the trash shipped to Cebu before he'd even cemented the deal for the dump. That cockiness would come back to bite him in the ass.

It was a good thing that Ernesto intercepted Kai from her tail before Alex's meeting with Montrose. That way, she was able to feed him all the intel she had learned about Montrose, making Alex appear plugged in.

That's how he was able to pull off that BS about being the governor's middleman who was willing to switch sides for the right price.

Same Investigation - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

Then Alex came up with that super-convoluted vote-fixing plan that would eventually trap Montrose but good.

That whole switching absentee ballots for one candidate for absentee ballots for the other felt just like part of a Leverage episode, as did using Ernesto as the man delivering the ballots, who was "knocked out" by Alex.

Kai was all set to arrest Montrose for vote tampering while Alex and Ernesto dealt roughly with his henchmen. Her handing him a ticket back to Canada seemed appropriate since it was likely some shady lawyer could get him off.

But that was the beauty of Alex's plan as the vote fixing was only Phase 1.

Visiting Fixer - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

Montrose was too stupid to cut his losses, so he attempted to bribe the governor, revealing the name of his client in the process, just as Alex had planned.

Governor Rosales ended up being that rare principled politician, smoothly doing what she must to entrap Montrose.

I loved Alex's explanation when asked by Rosales about Montrose's gun, that he wouldn't have used it because he was Canadian. They are polite people, but that was iffy logic.

Also, I call bullshit on Ike's statement that he was only in the race to entrap Montrose. He's been a politician right along and he just took the graceful way to back out of the election against a newly-popular governor.

Up For Re-election - Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3

To revisit Alex's transition to Cebu, watch Almost Paradise online.

Do you enjoy having the detectives work on different tangents?

Should Alex's hypertension be more than a punchline?

Was Ike running for office?

Comment below.

Reef Eel Soup for the Soul Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Don't do that, man. Don't play detective with me. I invented detective.

Alex [to Ernesto]

If this election goes south, you and I will both be out of a job by the end of the day. So I'm going to eat my feelings and you and my blood sugar will have to deal with it.

Governor [to aide]