Memphis Beat Episodes

2010, TV Show

Memphis Beat Episode: "Polk Salad Annie"

Season 1, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: A mysterious someone tries to kill a barbecue king. The case sizzles when Sutton goes undercover to smoke out the culprit. Meanwhile, Lt. Rice's son turns to the wrong side of the law.
Original Air Date: Jul 13, 2010

Memphis Beat Episode Recap: "Polk Salad Annie" Season 1, Episode 4

This week's episode is all about finger lickin' goodness and family drama as Dwight and his crew try to solve an attempted murder amidst the backdrop of a tasty Memphis barbecue fest. The opening shot features our favorite detective by day/crooner by night, Dwight, belting out the title Elvis tune "Polk Salad Annie" saying he's going to tell us a story.  Alright then, here we go!

Our first scene is over at Fat Red's barbecue where the boys of Lt. Rice's precinct (Dwight, Whitehead, Lightfoot and Greenback) are happily gnawing on Red's award-winning, juicy, succulent ribs. For the second time watching this show, I found myself practically having to be restrained from joining this scene. I guess it's the Texan in me, but show me some people sucking down ribs and I'm a lost woman!

Enough drooling, back to the story. We meet Red and his sister, Analise, (Melanie Lynskey — I was immediately suspicious of her knowing she plays a cuckoo bird on Two & A Half Men) and just as the boys are polishing off another round, Dwight notices a shifty looking fellow casing the joint. Before he can hold up the register, Greenback tackles him saying, "BBQ is a religion (and) that makes this a place of worship." Respect the barbecue, son!

At the barbecue fest, Johnny Cash sings a welcome overhead (does anyone know the name of that that song?) and we see a happy, jovial festival complete with a streaker! Almost immediately, Fat Red stumbles out of the crowd and drops to the ground clutching a bloody stab wound. Analise isn't sure what happened, it's all a blur, so Dwight and Whitehead head back to the station to interrogate the perp from earlier. He reveals that he'd seen a guy in a white pantsuit and boots sneaking around Red's — Dwight realizes it must be a pig farmer. They find Bryce Cutter who matches the description however he makes a run for it with his gun! As they chase Cutter, he collapses on the ground.

We see Cutter cuffed to a hospital bed claiming his innocence. Oh, he hated Red alright (he put rat poison in his lemonade), but they're working together again. Red just bought 20 hogs from him so they're all good. Dwight talks to a stable Red and Analise who claim not to know anything about buying hogs even though Analise has an email confirmation.

Meanwhile, Greenback finds the weapon with fingerprints from an ex-con Dwight remembers, Ronald Watson. They interrogate a not-so-bright Ronald, and when Dwight tries to figure out what dude actually had the brains to come up with the plan, he realizes it was a girl, Analise. Ronald quickly confesses she paid him to kill Red.

At the same time, there's another big reveal at the precinct: Among a gaggle of boys who are under arrest for a variety of crimes is Lt. Rice's own son, Rodney, who we meet for the first time. She shows him no leniency when he asks her to give him a break for getting drunk this once — he's always doing what she asks of him. When he yells that she drove his Dad away and she's not perfect either, she sharply lets him know he'll be receiving no bail from her. Rodney, you've been iced out!

Back at Red's, Dwight and Whitehead chat with Analise and know she's lying. They Google her and find that her former beau and race car driver, Rick Lee, went missing while she was with him. Hmm, is this crazy lady picking off the men in her life? Dwight realizes they need someone to befriend Analise and bait her into admitting she will pay to have Red murdered. They need someone young and unassuming, but who? Enter our naïve and dear Davey Sutton. Game on, buddy!

Davey is all kinds of excited at his big opportunity and it was charming how Dwight and Whitehead tried to help him with Roxanne-like guidance in his ear (anyone remember that movie?). I also loved that they thought he'd crash and burn, however, it turns out young Davey has some moves of his own as Analise is quickly hooked. Sitting at the bar, Analise hints around the truth but calls it a night before revealing too much. She surprises Davey (and everyone in his ear!) by inviting him back the next night.

That following evening Davey and Analise are all kinds of cozy, dancing tight and sharing woe-is-me stories of people underestimating them. It turns out Analise put together such a compelling marketing plan that Kraft Foods wants to buy Red's sauce and mass market it. Woohoo, they'll be rich — except Red won't hear of it and he nixes the idea. Davey makes a big show supporting her and the tonsil hockey ensues.

Dwight pulls Davey out and tells him to "stop the mackin'," just get a confession and blood money from her. As Davey continues sympathizing with her, she feels safe enough to confess she wants him to kill Red, however she'll only pay him upfront with a kiss and give him the money once she sees Red's cold dead body (boy, sure makes your PITA siblings look like dreamboats, huh?!).

Dwight and Whitehead tell Red the bad news and he sadly agrees to help them by playing dead. Davey shows Analise Red's "dead" body and she bursts into tears, yelling at her brother's corpse, "Why did you let Daddy treat me that way? I am somebody." As she rages at him for not sticking up for her or being a better brother, his eyes pop open and scares her half to death. Before anyone knows what the heck happened, Red, Analise and Davey zoom off in a tear with Dwight and Co. in hot pursuit.

Dwight (still in Davey's ear) urges Davey to talk them down like he did a jumper in last week's episode. Davey shares a heartfelt story about his own brother who's now dead. They were competitive and he hated him, until he was gone. He almost begs them to turn themselves in and find their way back to each other. They pull over and are hauled in, but not before Davey has a sweet moment with Analise. Dwight praises Davey for a job well done, the reward for which is an invitation to the big kids table at Red's barbecue. (Where's my invitation, Dwight?!)

Back at the precinct, Dwight pops into Lt. Rice's office and tells her she should be with her son whose arraignment she missed. She tells him to stop meddlin' in her and everyone else's affairs. I loved one meddler tellin' the other meddler to stop meddlin'. This conversation inspires Dwight to swing by his ex Alex's house and present her with an unconventional peace offering, a toolbox. Instead of fixing all her problems, now Alex can do some of it herself, aww. She loves it.

The final shot is back to the same image as our opener: Dwight belting out "Polk Salad Annie" in front of an audience.  One of his lines, that "woman makes alligators look tame," appropriately sums up the episode because I don't know about y'all, but I'd rather take my chances in a swamp of gators than go up against a little lady who'd bury her own brother just for some Kraft dough!

  • What did you think of the episode?
  • We got a little taste of Lt. Rice's back-story. Why do you think her husband left her (if it was him who did the leaving)?
  • Would you let Davey buy you a drink? I must confess I'm not sure I would have before, but now I'd love to!
  • And where are the next barbecue fests on the East Coast, 'cuz I'm starving y'all!
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This week's episode is all about finger lickin' goodness and family drama as Dwight and his crew try to solve an attempted murder amidst the backdrop of a tasty Memphis barbecue fest. The opening shot features our favorite detective by day/crooner by night, Dwight, belting out the title Elvis tune "Polk Salad Annie" saying he's going to tell us a story.  Alright then, here we go!

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Premiered: June 22, 2010, on TNT
Rating: None
User Rating: (399 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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