The Irrational delivered its most powerful episode yet, and in the same breath, found its footing. If future storylines are crafted as meticulously as on The Irrational Season 1 Episode 6, the series has made its case for sticking around as a permanent fixture on NBC.
We’ve seen Alec Mercer in many situations from investigating a plane crash to catching a cheater red-handed during a lively poker game, but “Point and Shoot” took him to the courtroom, working a case pro-bono that highlighted the unfair and corrupt justice system while trying to find a way to convince a handful of jurors on a case, who have already made up their minds before hearing the facts, to “do better.”
In the process, he squared off with a highly skilled and respected behavioral psychologist, Dr. Atwood (and yes, I jumped for joy when I saw The Resident’s Malcolm Jamal Warner aka The Raptor grace the screen in a worthy guest role!), whose reputation informed that he never met a police shooting he couldn’t justify. Alec himself said that there was no other worthy opponent to face off against Atwood in court other than himself—and both men made compelling points when arguing their case.
Atwood asked the jury to look at the situation from the perspective of the police, who stepped into a shaky situation as they were under the impression that they were entering the home of a dangerous criminal who may have been armed; their fight or flight reaction kicked in during the high-risk arrest.
Meanwhile, Alec countered that the Viper group is a skilled ops team that should assess and reassess the situation every second before resulting to pulling the trigger. He noted that there were many ways to de-escalate the situation that didn’t involve shooting a firearm.
And considering that the shooting killed an innocent man as the wrong address was written on a warrant—a case we’ve seen play out in real life even if the series notes that the storyline is fictional and not depicting real events—there’s a lot to deliberate.
Alec proved that there’s a reason he’s the best at what he does and observed the jury’s behavior, quickly noting that science wasn’t merely enough to win them over—they needed to be part of the solution. When he asked them to do better in weeding out the bad apples in the flawed system that’s not always about “equal justice for all,” they stood up to the task.
Joshua’s husband was propositioned with a hefty settlement, which didn’t sit right with him considering they were asking him to agree to a price of how much his late husband was worth. He was reminded that there was no “good outcome” in this case since an innocent man was killed, but that he should take the win. However, a quick glance at Joshua’s office led Alec to yet another conclusion that Joshua’s death wasn’t an accident but a premeditated murder.
While he never considered another option when taking on the case, simply following the upfront facts, it turns out that there was plenty of underlying information that took it in a completely different direction. Joshua wasn’t an accidental target of a tactical team, he was targeted because he was a building inspector who was trying to shine light on code violations by a very profitable investment company. All of the Viper officers also had a side hustle working as security for the property development company.
The pieces began to fall into place when the clerk, who was initially fired for writing the wrong address on the warrant, explained that Judge Haines was the one who signed off on it and the one who also overlooked civil cases concerning building codes.
Alec needed someone he could trust to prove it—and he formed an unlikely alliance with Atwood, who agreed not only because he wanted to protect his stats (and knew he lost the case) but because it was the right thing to do. They may not always see eye to eye, but in this case, it was evident that Judge Haines willingly signed off an order to kill an innocent man because he was going to destroy his side hustle of bribing people who wanted to go around building regulations.
When Atwood suggested that Haines help him cheat the system and cut through the red tape, he obliged, even giving him a number to an offshore account when the FBI walked in to ask him a few questions.
Again, there was never going to be a “happy” outcome from the case, but they were aiming for the best one possible, and catching a corrupt man who was responsible was a great start.
As for the bombing of the church, Alec’s ex-wife Marisa continued the investigation following Peter’s “suicide,” which Alec immediately called out as a forced suicide. The assumption was that Peter was spooked by the same person who got to Wes Banning during the court trial.
Marisa then asked Alec to sit out the investigation due to optics—he was there the night of the tragedy so technically, he could have had a motive to kill Peter—before questioning Peter’s mother, who accidentally spilled that she knew more than she was letting on.
In between her defenses of her late son, she revealed that Peter got the bomb from some “fancy man” on the internet. However, the plan was never to kill 13 people, he was simply targeting the church as part of a hate crime, though he accidentally set the bomb timer to 60 seconds rather than 60 minutes.
And thus, the investigation takes another unexpected turn, but there’s momentum, which is all that matters.
With not much to go off besides the fact that Matthias dressed nicely, it’s like finding a needle in the haystack, but I don’t know anyone more committed than Marisa to do this investigation justice… that is if they allow her to stay on considering she’s “too close” to the victim.
Marisa’s relationship with Jace was also brought up when a member and former boss from Intelligence visited her to bring up the “whispers” he’s been hearing. Work romances are always complicated, especially when they can derail a case or question your credibility, though they aren’t illegal, so we’ll see what comes of it.
What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?