Memphis Beat Episodes

2010, TV Show

Memphis Beat Episode: "Love Me Tender"

Season 1, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: Dwight and the squad spring into action when a teenage pageant queen goes missing, yet they soon realize there's much more to the case than meets the eye. Elsewhere, Dwight gives a helping hand to his ex-wife's health-food business; and issues about Lightfoot's wife inch to the surface.
Original Air Date: Jul 6, 2010
Guest Cast Sunny Mabrey: Alex

Memphis Beat Episode Recap: "Love Her Tender" Season 1, Episode 3

This week's episode lands us smack dab in the middle of Memphis pageant drama where Dwight and crew aren't budging until they crack the case of a missing 17-year-old "Miss Southern Appeal" contestant. As we track the crime, keep in mind the title tune, "Love Me Tender," which sets the theme of love (be it forsaken, rekindled, contentious or secret) throughout. For now, put on your face and sequins and please tell me your talent is detective work, because this latest case brings a plethora of twists and turns and more drama, well, more drama than an underage pageant!

We open to BB King's "The Thrill is Gone" amidst nighttime neon lights in downtown Memphis. The significance of the song is revealed as we see Davey Sutton (DJ Qualls) tentatively approaching a desperate man about to jump off a building. Just as Davey is making progress with this broken man, a helicopter zooms overhead and our jumper jumps taking Davey with him (I thought dear God, are they killing off Davey just as I start to like him?)!  Turns out they only drop to a ledge below (hmm, really?) and the jumper has bested Davey who now lies helpless in handcuffs.  Dwight and Whitehead arrive and Dwight quickly ascertains that our jumper's despair stems from woman troubles. "You are but a peasant in this vast kingdom called woman," says Dwight as he talks the man down from his second jump. Davey grins up admiringly at Dwight, the hero of this evening.

I really liked this scene and appreciated the honesty of the writing.  I've found Davey a little hokey in previous episodes, but I loved how he shared little nuggets from his meager past to connect with the jumper. I also enjoyed Dwight's monologue revealing he has been in the jumper's shoes a time or two. Ah ha! Perhaps our Dwight isn't simply a Mama's boy, but also something of a ladies' man!

At the precinct, we overhear Lightfoot getting an earful from his overbearing wife, but are quickly distracted by the announcement of a missing Miss Southern Appeal (say that three times fast!) named Ivy. Dwight and Whitehead travel over to Ivy's mansion and meet her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher, who claim Ivy wouldn't miss the pageant for the world. They search her room, a shrine to dolls and Ivy's pageant spoils, which seems a little too perfect (and creepy) to be the full story.  Enter Ivy's sister, Jess, who unearths a hidden diary written in the sisters' secret language. She agrees to translate it and text Dwight. Before leaving Dwight finds what looks like a love letter signed by "JM."

We cut backstage at the pageant where there are sparkles and sequins and stilts, oh my! Dwight confronts a soft and bumbling Jimmy Masterson (JM), the pageant organizer, who admits he was also absent from the pageant breakfast Ivy missed. Dwight sniffs Wild Turkey on ol' JM's breath and figuring there's more to the story, heads over to the home of his ex-wife, and former beauty pageant contestant, Alex.

Her kitchen is in shambles as she's whipping up vegetarian concoctions (good luck with that in the land of collard greens deliciously doused with bacon grease! Great, now I'm starving). Though Alex thought JM was harmless back in her beauty queen days, she admits that a friend smooched him on Mud Island where all the girls would hang out. Neighbors reveal that JM stumbled home drunk that morning, in the same clothes as the previous day and Ivy's car is found at Mud Island, wiped clean of all prints except for a lone bloody one. Dwight and Whitehead grab JM, scare the piss out of him, and he confesses he'd been thrown in the drunk tank overnight.

Back at the pageant, the detectives interview Ivy's alleged nemesis, Miss Bluff City. Our first impression is of an angelic girl with perfect curls singing about God (of course she is!) however Whitehead deflates that picture by aggressively likening her to a young Tanya Harding. She eventually admits that Ivy's parents had gotten in a fight although the parents say it was about a new car for Ivy.

Meanwhile, Dwight asks Lt. Rice if Alex can sell her veggie fare at the precinct. Sensing there's more to this story, she coaxes information out of him. Dwight reveals, "We got married in a fever" (oh how Cash and Carter of y'all!), were only married eight weeks, but he still wants to keep her close. They're interrupted by Jess' text to Dwight and I laughed out loud when he had to enlist young Davey to translate it for him (LOL! ROFL! JK!).  Turns out, Ivy has been spending her evenings at Bic's Paradise.

Bic's is a rough biker bar and not particularly well suited for an underage beauty queen. The owner, however, confirms Ivy was a regular who downed the greasy bar food and he grudgingly agrees to check with his Marine employees to see what they know.

After hearing there's an armed intruder at the house, Dwight races over to the Hatcher's and finds that it's JM! Lt. Rice interrogates him and he says he found a ransom note backstage at the pageant and thought he could use it for his own means. The Hatchers have enough money to spare, so why shouldn't he make a dime off of them? Plus, they're mean people — even though Ivy fainted twice at the pageant, her Mama won't let her quit.

Lightfoot enters the scene with blood seeping through his shirt because his wife stabbed him (um, what!?). Dwight starts thinking the parents wrote the ransom note after fighting about Ivy leaving the pageant. Jess confirms his thoughts by revealing that they locked Ivy up in a shed most nights.

Cut to the shed where the Hatchers' servant confirms they locked Ivy up, but says she spent most of her nights elsewhere. When Dwight goes back to Bic's, he sees a perp they'd busted a few months ago for illegally placing cameras in a bathroom. I'm not sure I buy there just happened to be a camera at Bic's, but they view the film showing Ivy, followed closely by Miss Bluff City (oh snap! Is she truly a mini Tanya Harding??).

The picture-of-perfection Miss Bluff City is arrested and Whitehead pounces on her in the interrogation room. He says she disgusts him and she bites back saying not all pageant girls are vapid. Outside the room, Alex tells Dwight the food is a hit and he'll be "cravin' it like mad" which turns on a light bulb in his head. The reason Ivy fainted and craved greasy food at Bic's is she's preggers!

Over at Bic's Dwight find out that one of the Marines, Raleigh, is missing.  They storm Raleigh's apartment and find Ivy there of free-will. They're in love and planning to flee the country so he doesn't have to serve a third tour and she can keep her baby.

Back at the station, Alex blows up at Dwight when she realizes the only reason the guys bought her food was because of Dwight. Just like last week, we see again that she doesn't want him fixing her problems. Lightfoot intervenes with marital advice, but he's the last person fit to dish out pointers.

Now, what to do about Ivy and Raleigh? Dwight and Lt. Rice find themselves pleasantly surprised that they're in agreement regarding releasing the young couple without charges (and that's a good thing because Dwight already sprung 'em loose!).

The last few shots are a montage of scenes kicking off with Dwight's quiet performance of the title song, "Love Me Tender." He appears at Alex's door, apologizing for trying to fix everything and she grabs him for a roll in the hay! This whimsical act is sharply contrasted by the seriousness of Lightfoot booking his wife for her latest offense. So folks, what I think we're left with is everyone wants someone to love them — not fix them, control them, push them, hurt them, just love them — and make it tender y'all!

What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy the opener like I did?

Did you notice any other songs that fit well into the story line?  I've already admitted I'm not the best at "name that tune" so let me know what you liked!

And finally, what did you think of Whitehead's explosions?  That's a side of him we haven't seen before.  He freaked out on the pageant coach (complete with rat dog in a tux!), Miss Bluff City and Bic's owner. It made me wonder if he has a teenage daughter of his own?

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This week's episode lands us smack dab in the middle of Memphis pageant drama where Dwight and crew aren't budging until they crack the case of a missing 17-year-old "Miss Southern Appeal" contestant. As we track the crime, keep in mind the title tune, "Love Me Tender," which sets the theme of love (be it forsaken, rekindled, contentious or secret) throughout. For now, put on your face and sequins and please tell me your talent is detective work, because this latest case brings a plethora of twists and turns and more drama, well, more drama than an underage pageant!

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Memphis Beat
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Premiered: June 22, 2010, on TNT
Rating: None
User Rating: (398 ratings)
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Premise: A crime drama focusing on an offbeat Memphis detective with a passion for his city and blues music. But this Southern charmer's loose crime-fighting manner clashes with his boss's disciplined style. Spinning around the detective's life are his spirited mother, his overly sensitive partner and a fellow sleuth struggling with financial problems. George Clooney serves as an executive producer.

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