Keeping the streets clean can be a messy job, especially when you’re a crooked cop pulling double duty for the very crime family you’re supposed to be helping to apprehend. That’s the dilemma plaguing Ryan Lopez (Charlie’s Angels‘ Ramon Rodriguez) on Fox’s Gang Related, which premiered Thursday, and his duplicitous actions are already breeding deadly consequences for those closest to him.
Let’s begin with Ryan’s partner James (General Hospital‘s Ross Thomas), whose brutal death at the
hands barrel of gangster Carlos (Sons of Anarchy‘s Reynaldo Gallegos) is only one of the premiere’s many cringe-worthy moments. That’s to say nothing of the opening scene, in which young Ryan has his arm broken for being in the wrong neighborhood, or gang leader Javier’s (Missing‘s Cliff Curtis) interrogation scene, which solidifies my fear of cleavers and the giant scary men who wield them. Seriously, the bad stuff is supposed to happen when the gloves come off, not when they go on!
James’ death only further complicates Ryan’s double life, as Sam (Lost‘s Terry O’Quinn), the head of the Gang Task Force, orders his team to target every member of Javier’s family in an attempt to get to the patriarch. Naturally, Ryan warns select members of Javier’s family in advance, and even helps to dispose of the gun Carlos used to kill James.
It’s a bold move for Gang Related to make such a divisive character its main focus, but it’s one that ultimately pays off in the long run. Not only does that make it harder to predict what’s going to happen next, but it also makes the show infinitely more entertaining. (Besides, it’s 2014. Aren’t we bored of one-dimensional heroes by now?)
Of course, Ryan isn’t the only one with “family” drama on Gang Related. Sam’s daughter Jessica (One Tree Hill‘s Shantel VanSanten) is an ADA who butts heads with him in the premiere — “You can be a real prick, dad,” she tells him — as he attempts to block her investigation into James’ murder. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next, especially after Jessica receives a tip that Ryan might not be the straight-shooter her father believes him to be.
Dun, dun, dun!
What did you think of the Gang Related series premiere? Rate the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.Follow @AndySwift