This episode has that odd mixture of NASH BRIDGES elements - charismatic Don, truly funny moments, unbelievable plotting, outrageous conduct, and high body count. We'll start backwards with the episode ending on a very MIAMI VICE-like tone as Nash and the boy Leo part company after expressing their bond towards each other. The rhythm of the rock music as the episode fades to black resonates the coolness of VICE and Don - we're reminded of many things from the past.
Compare this to the overall roller coaster of this episode. Evan and Harvey kidnap drug dealer Socrates to bring to Joe posing as the head honcho drug lord. Joe threatens to kill Socrates if he doesn't set up the drug deal. The actions of these SFPD police officers goes well beyond entrapment, but then this is NASH BRIDGES. Nash kills three thugs in front of the 11 year old boy, which only impresses the boy more. Of course, the boy atones when his cousin is found dead, killed by Socrates. The final shoot-out with all guns blazing and Socrates getting shot in slow motion increases the body count. All this in a story which evolves around the boy Leo's gradual heroic worship of Nash. The ending cements Leo's bond to Nash, having saved the boy from his plot to rip-off a shipment of drugs. This boy has done some terrible things, but they are the lesser of two evils - the moral ambiguity of stealing from a drug dealer, and ultimately killing drug dealers evokes a vigilante tone to this episode. It thus makes sense to have Joe pose as a drug lord, and to have Evan and Harvey kidnap Socrates. The lawlessness of the boy extends to the police officers.
The comedic elements are, of course, associated with Joe, only this time, Joe once removed in the form of his loser son J.J. When J.J. sets fire to Joe's bar, it's a pathetic act of buffoonery - J.J.'s attempt to use the fire extinguisher only blows over the flaming garbage can, setting the curtains on fire. For those NASH fans who remember Joe's wife Inger from last season, we see an older Inger in this episode. The Inger from the first season was a Swedish blond bombshell - the present Inger is an older, dominating shrew who orders Joe to sell his bar. The fact that Joe lies to Inger that he did sell the bar reveals the facade of their marriage. Remember last week's episode "Zodiac" when Joe encounters a dominatrix? Joe has now evolved into a hen-pecked husband desperately trying to please his Nordic wife - let's hear it for befuddled Latino machismo.
The other double dealing is done by Nash's father Nick. Nick is rebellious by heart, blowing out one nurse after another by exploiting their weaknesses (or Nash's). The first nurse's attractive daughter is used by Nick to offend the nurse. Nick fries up a juicy burger to tempt the health conscious male nurse Lyle. Between this comedy is the horrific violence of the shoot-outs - such is the mixture of NASH BRIDGES.
For more, see synopsis for Episode 17