There's two sensational elements folded up in this episode of NASH BRIDGES, both treated in an offhand, light and casual manner. The first is the appearance of the killer, Denny Kirkland, dressed up in de rigueur body armor a la the infamous 1997 North Hollywood shoot-out (in which two bank robbers in full body armor held at bay 300-plus LAPD officers after a botched bank robbery). The second is the issue of immigration in the situation of baseball player Chus Ortez.
The killer Kirkland is first hit by Nash, then by Harvey, and finally killed by Evan. It's mano a mano with handguns in the face of body armor and a fully automatic MP-5 submachine gun. In the previous episode, Nash and the SIU took down a whimpering, lovesick arsonist with SWAT support and all guns drawn. If the killer Kirkland doesn't deserve the caution of a SWAT call-up, what does? The warped NASH BRIDGES embodiment of law enforcement is that of uniformed Officer Ronny, who at Nash's command, does a comedic martial arts fist routine in the face of obnoxious Mickey Tripp to intimidate him. Officer Ronny is like Oddjob in GOLDFINGER - he's an outrageous and wacky representation of law enforcement (such as pretending to be KGB officer in "The Tourist," episode #60).
Of the estimated 5 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, 2 million reside in California (so says the SF Chronicle in a series of investigative reports here). California has tried to limit the flow of immigration into the state but to no avail - this is indeed a hot button issue. So Nash does play demographics here by helping out Chus Ortez by moving along his relationship with girlfriend Rosaria. It helps that Chus is played by handsome baseball hero Jose Canseco. Another pro-athlete, Karl Malone, fresh from wrestling with chubby Jay Leno and tattooed and pierced Dennis Rodman, half-heartedly counters Jose.
Still unable to gain authority over Caitlin, Nash assumes ascendancy over
Caitlin by playing the symbolic Father in performing the wedding ceremony,
as Joe says to an unbelieving Caitlin "It's magical, isn't it?" So we are
reminded of Caitlin's place as potential mother when she good-naturedly
takes on her roommate's two children. Caitlin is so neutralized that she
asks Nash to play a trick on her.
Women and marriage are so remote in this segment that even Cassidy's part
is phoned in; Nash has just proved to Mickey Tripp that his two wives are
out to kill him; and divorced parents dump their children into Caitlin's
lap. Poor Rosaria is somehow convinced to marry Chus just so the Chus can
play in Nick's crucial game. Caitlin's words ring true here: "Oh please,
Nash. I am so on to you. Give 'em a little trick here, a little trick there,
then you disappear. MEN!" The outrageousness and absurdity of this episode
is complete with Nash delivering a sermon about the sanctity of marriage,
while everything in this episode suggests otherwise. With police officers
like Ronny, Nash is the patriarch of his own magical kingdom, invoking
maritime law in his own wacky law enforcement world of the SIU barge, as the
episode ends to the disco tune of "Burn, baby, burn".
For more, see synopsis for Episode 64