Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

You can’t take your eyes off Trial & Error for a second

Illustration for article titled You can’t take your eyes off Trial & Error for a second

Given the recent revelation that his wife had been having an affair, it would be reasonable enough for Larry to have transformed into a bitter shell of the husband he once was, but despite Margaret’s infidelity, his first reaction to the sight of her grave is simply to grow disgruntled over the fact that it’s surrounded by tulips, her most hated of all flowers… and apparently just about her most hated thing, period, to hear Larry tell it. (“It went racism, then tulips.”)

As we soon discover, the presence of tulips—which, in an incredibly sinister touch, are also carved into the headstone itself—was the work of Margaret’s brother, Jeremiah, who intentionally chose them to torture Larry. Of course, at least as traumatizing is the inscription for Margaret’s headstone, which—as you might be able to tell—Jeremiah was also in charge of selecting:




Yes, it’s clear that if Larry has a nemesis in this episode, it’s Jeremiah. But it seems that Dwayne has a nemesis of his own: Rutger Hiss, whose omnipresent stun gun left such an emotional scar on Dwayne during his days on the police force that he still has to use the toilet with the door open. Although it’s a goofy gag to keep running, particularly with its use of a black bar to ostensibly cover any of Dwayne’s offensive bits, it’s a perfect example of how you can’t take your eyes off Trial & Error for a second, lest you potentially miss something that’s going to pop up again.

As far as the court case goes, Carol Ann shows up at the defense team’s headquarters to drop off the trial’s murder book and to get her dead guinea pig stuffed, revealing little or no concern about Josh’s assurances of a giant bombshell they’ve got on the horizon. On the other hand, Josh has plenty of concerns about Margaret’s affair and his inability to identify her illicit lover, but Larry is of no assistance, as his focus is on the calla lilies that he wants to place around Margaret’s grave instead of those godforsaken tulips. Still, Larry does take time to focus on learning more about Josh, and upon discovering that Josh once endured a broken engagement, he’s inspired to offer up a copy of his classic poetry book, Life, Love, Words, which is reportedly filled with “insights about dealing with a broken heart… and also the vagina.”

Speaking of, Dwayne and Anne discover a sex print on the wall, one which is easily identified by Anne as belonging to Hiss, if not before viewers are treated to the sight of Dwayne and Anne offering their interpretation of what had probably gone on in the bed. It’s… not pretty. Still, it’s probably a damned sight better than the mental image Josh gets when he learns that Carol Anne and Hiss were former lovers. In an attempt to wash away the thought of it, Josh opts to do shots with Carol Anne, clearly hoping that the two of them will be able to bond, little realizing that she’s instead going to take a poem from Life, Love, Words and muse on how its words sound suspiciously like it’s describing the crime scene from Larry’s wife’s murder. Worse, while Josh was busy doing shots, Larry walked out of the bar and disappeared, leaving Josh concerned about what his client was doing in his absence.

He needn’t have worried: As it turned out, Larry was simply digging up the tulips around his wife’s grave and planting calla lilies instead. Before realizing as much, however, Josh has a terse conversation with Carol Anne where he gets angry at her for swiping Larry’s poetry book from him, only for him to prove that he’s just as capable of getting inside her head as she is at getting inside his head. As for Larry, when he finds out that one of his poems was read on television, he’s beside himself with excitement, eschewing the possibility that they might focus on his accused crime and simply asking giddily, “Did they say anything about the meter?!”

Aside from the aforementioned running gag, Dwayne doesn’t have nearly as much to do in the first episode of the evening, but as the episode enters its final minutes, he’s provided with such an opportunity to shine that it carries him into the opening moments of the next installment… but, of course, visiting your nemesis and finding him sprawled across his kitchen floor tends to have that effect.


As it happens, there’s so much going on in the fourth episode that it practically warrants a second viewing as soon as the first viewing is over, but the most interesting introduction to the cast is certainly Larry’s obsessed fan, who pops up early in the proceedings and seems to exist solely for a quick joke, but she continues to return again and again, each time getting a laugh. We also see Dwayne, Josh, and Larry all behind bars at some point or other, and we learn some fascinating facts about the town, mostly notably that they have no dry cleaners, no book stores, a single ATM, and four—count ’em—four pet psychics, one of whom is played Airplane! star Julie Hagerty. We discover that Josh has an electric car, he’s incredibly out of shape, and that he has limited tolerate for the bagels in the town, most likely because they look suspiciously like powdered donuts. Most importantly, though, we see everything that Rutger Hiss brought to the table being deemed inadmissible.

So is Madame Rhonda really gifted with the ability to read the thoughts of animals, or is it mere coincidence that the titanium trekking pole just happened to turn up in the front yard right? Beats me, but I’m amazed at how invested I am in this series and how much I actually want to find out who killed Larry’s wife!


Stray observations

  • Jeremiah is given the opportunity to say a few words at the unveiling of Margaret’s headstone, with the minister rationalizing it as reasonable, “seeing as you paid for everything. And didn’t kill her.”
  • “Is the bone saw extra loud today?” “There is no bone saw.” “Oh, boy…”
  • Since no one in town has died from anything other than obesity or emphysema, they had to put together a new cororner’s form to handle murder.
  • You’ll have to pardon the quality, since it’s a iPhone photo taken of the screener I was watching, but I couldn’t resist sharing the cover of Larry’s book, along with the book jacket text. Good grief…

“Henderson lives in a world too small for his dreams. Winner of virtually every award that the literary community has to offer, Henderson is giving back to the community the only way he knows how, with prose. Live, Love, Words is Henderson’s greatest accomplishment to date. He has ridden the tracks, gone off the rails, and lost his train of thought. In a weaving of illustrious prose and grandiose psychotic visions, Henderson is a force to be reckoned with. Words speak louder than voices and poetry is the voice of words.”