“A Suitable Donor” – What would you do with a second chance?
That’s the opening line from last night’s premier of the new series “Second Chance” on Fox. The line is the premise of the show, one that got me interested in recapping this series even though I rarely watch anything on these old school networks.
From the previews we have seen, the main character is a former cop who winds up dead then brought back to life with some freaky science. In his second chance, the guy is supposed to solve his own murder, but also try to correct the mistakes he made the first go around.
“Second Chance” wastes no time setting the stage for old Jimmy Pritchard, played by Philip Baker Hall, who is known for his raspy voice playing parts in movies like “Bruce Almighty” and I remember him as the library cop in an old Seinfeld episode. Pritchard is shown in an old bathrobe sitting around his apartment when his FBI agent son, Duval Pritchard shows up to see the old man who has taken a beating by life.
He resigned in disgrace as the local sheriff and now spends his time sipping liquor and cavorting with hookers. Not too bad a life under the circumstances I guess.
The show wastes no time getting to old man Pritchard’s death which happens as he’s tossed over a bridge by two guys he caught going through his son’s stuff in the middle of the night. The company that is going to bring him back is “Looking Glass Technologies,” ran by Mary Goodwin along with her genius brother Otto who is the tech wizard of the outfit.
Otto is a weirdo who experiences the world through his twin sister as he is quite the recluse. Their social media company is worth a ton of money and is seemingly everywhere. He has been experimenting with reviving dead fish and wants to jump to the next level by testing his science on a dead human.
Reason being is so Otto can save his cancer stricken sister with their own medical breakthrough.
Mary isn’t down with trying this Frankenstein stuff out on humans just yet, but her brother is determined to save her life, so he gets a hold of Jimmy Pritchard’s body illegally since his DNA makeup is right on point with his needs.
Looking Glass as a company is going to be as interesting to follow for me as the human experiment they create.
We see the memorial service for old man Pritchard where his killer turns out to be his own son’s partner in the FBI. His son doesn’t have a clue of course as his dad’s death is ruled a suicide.
Once Jimmy has been completely cured of death, he awakens to find Mary watching over him and assumes she’s a hooker. She slowly tries to explain the situation. Dude finally notices his new younger body and is pissed after remembering he died.
Mary tells him, “This is the best version of you. Don’t you want it? Another chance,” right before having to sedate the guy who seems to be a better version of any man, with super strength.
He sees his death was ruled a suicide, giving him a mission to clear his name. He’s still irate about the entire situation, so he breaks out of the apartment and heads off to find his hooker friend. Old habits die hard, even in a second lifespan. Lady must have been pretty memorable.
We see Jimmy is pretty resourceful after getting shot down by his former hooker. He simply robs a drug dealer of his bankroll and suit, then takes the blonde home. There Jimmy is found by Mary, as it seems Looking Glass is everywhere. Think Facebook with a super hot brunette running the company instead of the nerdy Mark Zuckerberg.
Mary warns Jimmy about being super potent and also gives him a lead on his own murder with a picture from his funeral which shows his son’s partner as a pallbearer. Mary finds Jimmy at his granddaughter’s soccer game and gets him back to his “life tank” as it seems the experiment isn’t perfect, and he has limitations.
Mary has dug up dirt on Duval’s partner which Jimmy hands over to his son while telling him he had done some work for his old man in the past. The granddaughter Gracie is the linchpin between father and son as she is totally forgiving of the old man’s sins as we saw at the beginning of the episode.
Duval nearly gets himself killed when he hands over the evidence of his own partner’s involvement in the string of bank robberies they have been investigating. This partner was none too bright to be depositing stolen money into his own bank account. I would think cash in a big duffel bag would be harder to trace, but as we’ve seen with “Breaking Bad” and other shows, cash isn’t the easiest thing to hide either.
Jimmy ends up saving his boy just as the partner, and his accomplice are about to toss Duval off the same bridge where his old man met his demise. Sheriff could have killed the partner, but is convinced to let the law handle things by Duval.
We later see Duval getting the credit for taking down the corrupt FBI members that took part in the bank robberies.
We can see the contrast between Duval, who does things by the book and Jimmy who appeared dirty in his first life when maybe he was just doing what was necessary to fight the nastiest of criminals. I imagine this first season will see Duval slowly start to realize his old man wasn’t so bad after all as he watches the actions of the younger version of the Sheriff.
The wrap up occurs when Mary sends a drone to pick up Jimmy to get him back to the tank as he is in bad shape.
I have to say I liked this opening episode just as much for Mary and Otto’s story as Jimmy’s. It has the feel of “24” where Jack Bauer was constantly being assisted by Chloe O’Brian from afar. It looks like Mary will be getting Jimmy out of hot water each week as transforms into Sheriff 2.0.
At the same time, Mary’s own life is being saved each day Jimmy stays alive. If Otto’s experiment works out, his sister will cheat cancer.
Jimmy has the chance to be the hero in his own story after falling short the first time around. We love stories of redemption and what’s more redemptive than a character coming back from death after failing to leave things as he would’ve wanted with his family?
You would think it would be easy to avoid the same mistakes of your first life if brought back like Jimmy, with full knowledge of past mistakes. But with your own ego along with other people to deal with, the human experience would still be tricky even while knowing all the right choices.
Hopefully this new series will do this second shot at life justice. It’s off to a decent start after the first episode. The ratings sucked for it, so sadly on big network shows, that means death if people don’t catch on quick.