"Grave Robbers" is truly retro, as this episode delves into the far past of Nash and his father. Nash's second wife Kelly's connection to gangster Vernon Shaw is revealed, as is Nick's fond memories of his mother when Nick was ten years old. It's nostalgic for Joe/Cheech too, as Joe/Cheech discovers his mother-in-law Ulla is a pothead. In the hilarious scene when Nash finds Joe, Inger, and Ulla all higher than kites, there is 1960s psychodelic music playing in the background. How can we forget that Joe Dominguez/Cheech Marin was part of a comedy team (Cheech and Chong) whose entire act was based on the premise that they were avid potheads? So it's not a far stretch for Cheech to once again pretend he's stoned in "Grave Robbers."
A while back, Cheech Marin was giving lectures in museums and downplaying his druggie comedy act of past. Likewise when NASH BRIDGES started, Don Johnson was, in interviews, downplaying the similarities to MIAMI VICE. But now the climate has changed - instead of trying to get away from their pasts, these two are embracing it.
The career plan for Don Johnson has shifted. The most telling event was the final sale of his Beverly Hills home, signifying a symbolic break with his LA/Hollywood connection. After MIAMI VICE, Don was eager to shed the sleazy narco cop image. But the film career didn't quite happen, and Hollywood roles dwindled down to secondary character roles and Bad Guys (hey, Don plays any role really well regardless). Now with the success of NASH BRIDGES, the game plan appears to keep the memories and career moving, with reminders of a more successful past. This season, the boats and the drug-dealing Bad Guys came in, and if you blinked in a couple of episodes, you could swear it was an episode of MIAMI VICE by the Bay.
In "Grave Robbers," Nick complains that the dot.commers are destroying the heritage of San Francisco. Never mind that the dot.commers and Silicon Valley are the economic juggernauts which fuel the revival of the Bay region. It's the past, not the bleak future that NASH BRIDGES resides in. For Don Johnson and Cheech Marin, their colorful past provides the foundation for NASH BRIDGES.
One last note on Cassidy. In this episode with Nick, all of a sudden she's a sweet girl again as she calls Nick "grandpaw" this and "grandpaw" that. That's in contrast to the hard-edged (well, she tries real hard anyways) cop she's been since the start of the season. Cassidy seems more convincing researching newspaper archives than having a gun in her hands chasing down Bad Guys. Here's the story arc we'd like to see for Cassidy:
After Cassidy almost shoots an innocent person, Cassidy decides she's not cut out to be a cop. Cassidy gets an offer to model in Paris, a job she likes because it will give her a chance to be near her mother Lisa, who also works in Paris. Cassidy decides to go at the last moment, leaving Nash to chase her to the airport to say good-bye.
How's that for a possible climactic end to Season 6? Let us know Nash fans...
For more, see synopsis for Episode 110