Well, “The Whistleblower” certainly sets a high bar for the rest of the season, doesn’t it? Not only do we get Chelsea Peretti as Patsy — Elliott’s incredibly fun lawyer — but Portia, Dory, and Drew are pushed to new extremes with devastating consequences. Andrew Pierce Fleming and Matt Kriete wrote the season-two episode “Obsession,” which followed Elliott’s mental collapse, and they do amazing work with his character again. Elliott is the only character in the episode who benefits from his insecurities, particularly his need to impress straight kids as a child. “The Whistleblower” does an amazing job breaking down Portia and Dory’s friendship, introducing a stellar roster of guest stars and a possible new stalker without overwhelming the episode’s more emotional moments.
Elliott, Portia, and Drew finally confront Dory about her statement to the press, but she stands by her actions. She’s dedicated to her version of events and it finally makes Drew see her for who she is. They’re all psychopaths and he’s the only one who seems to feel any real remorse or guilt. That makes sense — he hasn’t had a moment to work through the fact that he’s a murderer, and Dory’s insistence that nothing happened doesn’t help. His anxiety manifests in a stomachache, but she even dismisses that as fake. She’s so wrapped up in seeming innocent for her own image that she can’t see Drew is having a hard time reconciling his actions with who he truly is: a good guy.
It’s now obvious Drew doesn’t love Dory at all anymore. If Dory can connect with someone like April and think she’s pretty cool, who even is she anymore? Drew doesn’t trust her, and he certainly doesn’t want someone who’s incapable of seeing the truth. Dory’s latest lie has manufactured a dynamic where he needs her because she’s the only one who knows what he’s actually going through. If they had admitted to self-defense, Dory wouldn’t have this power over Drew, and I wonder if that’s part of her motivation. She was incredibly eager to go with Bob Lunch’s plan that they act like a couple. I’m sure part of forgetting about Keith means forgetting how unhappy she was with Drew to begin with, but the split Titanic on their coffee table signals they’re already done.
It’s interesting how each member of the gang gets the defense attorney they deserve. Dory is shallow and fame-obsessed and so is her rookie lawyer, Cassidy. Even though Cassidy brings up some good points, Dory is so sure of herself, she just manipulates Cassidy the same way she does Drew. Drew is a polite dope who gets Louie Anderson as the brilliant Bob Lunch. From the moment Drew said, “I don’t have the type of relationship to call him more than that,” I knew these two would be an amazing duo. Bob can barely handle the trek and apparently went to the wrong apartment. Bob is a simple Midwest lawyer who believes in every city having exactly one Drew and one Dory. Even though I’d be happy to see Dory go to jail at this point, I do hope Bob is able to get Drew to do the right thing.
And who else but Chelsea Peretti could play Patsy, Elliott’s fabulous, fun lawyer? John Early and Peretti do an amazing job building off of each other’s energy, it almost feels like an entirely separate show. I could’ve watched an entire episode of them critiquing the detective’s declarations to her addict husband, and the reveal that Elliott burned his fingerprints off is so well done, it makes for one of the series’ best moments.
And then there’s Portia. When she admits she’s the cause of the anonymous tip, Dory’s turn on her is vicious — Meredith Hagner looks completely betrayed when Dory calls her an idiot. Her needy and desperate search for acceptance and community is used against her here. She doesn’t even get a defense. Her interview in the interrogation room opens on her fingers already hopelessly gripped around the glass of water that will be her doom. They didn’t even have to trick her, she was always the weakest link. Almost every moment she’s being pressured, you hope a lawyer will burst into the room, but no one jumps in to save her. She’s already lost her mom and Elijah, and the statement she signed could mean the end of her friendships as well.
I can’t blame Portia for cracking. As Polly said, there’s a mountain of evidence against them. Their fingerprints are on the body and the suitcase. They have DNA. Officer Joy and her fake Fat Franky story were the gang’s last hope, but Fleming and Kriete waste no time turning that into a dead end. Not only was Fat Franky an informant, he was also wearing a wire when he was shot. With that theory firmly put to rest, Polly can easily narrow in on Drew and Dory. Dory may think she has things under control, but her actions have set off a chain of events beyond her consideration. And as the episode ends, we meet someone who’s even more disconnected from reality than Dory.
• We still don’t know about April, but Drew is obviously suspicious. Dory is a horrible liar, but her “April is cool” was almost convincing.
• I love that Elliott still wanted to stop for ceviche. I also love that he forgot his van.
• Michaela Watkins is so funny in the scene with Officer Joy. I like how pleased she is with her hearing aid industry joke.
• Chelsea Peretti and Louie Anderson are episode MVPs. I can’t decide on the best lines between the two of them. I’d probably have to choose Patsy immediately questioning what they did to Elliott’s hair, but I also loved Bob’s “It hurts my heart to see women fight.”
• Chantal is also in this episode. I’m curious to see how her storyline plays out being so isolated from the main story. It’s fitting that Chantal thrives in an environment as empty as a paid Fempowerment brunch pyramid scheme. She has no real morals or drive and would easily be impressed by a woman who sells personality-inspired popsicles. Even though her luxurious heartbreak shelter sounds stupid, it really could work with such easy marks around. I think Chantal succeeding despite the fact that she’s the absolute worst shows how much Dory could’ve achieved in life if she’d just focused on her own issues rather than projecting herself onto other situations.