Early on in the episode, there’s this shot looking through the skylight at Judy (Linda Cardellini) after she’s had a fainting sell and friends Christina Applegate and Brandon Scott have brought her home. They were out investigating the list of 1966 Mustang owners Scott procured (Applegate’s husband was run down by a 1966 Mustang).
It’s a really good shot and I thought for a second I’d be talking at length about how Kat Coiro is the best director on the series. But then the crappy one shot composition comes back with a vengeance and it’s a nope.
Anyway. The episode’s about two things—Cardellini thinking she’s pregnant again (it’s amazing how little her repeated miscarriages have played into the character arc)—and Applegate investigating the car owners. Initially, Applegate is going up to the houses and pretending to be interested in selling them because the block’s taking off while Scott and Cardellini wait in the car.
It’s really kind of dangerous behavior—especially if she found the hit and runner—and you’d think Scott would know it’s dangerous because he’s a cop (albeit on leave) but he’s too busy mooning over Cardellini to worry about Applegate. Or the legality of their private investigation.
So when Applegate decides to investigate the prime suspect Rick Holmes on her own… it’s concerning no one has thought maybe she shouldn’t be doing it. In fact, Scott sends her off with his blessing. So when Holmes tries to get Applegate drunk and make time with her–she rebuffs him, violently—there’s then this weird self-victim blaming from Applegate. But it’s complicated because she did lead him on in hopes of seeing his murder car? Like… okay. Weird.
Not as weird as when Cardellini and Applegate have the “you’re not a real woman if you don’t have a baby” talk. I guess I should just take God not figuring in as a win.
Big developments for James Marsden and Cardellini’s relationship—or lack thereof—and the finale with Scott stumbling onto a big piece of evidence you’d think a continuously covering up manslaughter-er would think about before putting themselves out in public but whatever. “Dead to Me” exists in a universe where people can’t Google each other, apparently.