Memphis Beat Episodes

2010, TV Show

Memphis Beat Episode: "Thicker Than Water"

Season 1, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: Dwight is on the beat when the matriarch of a famed family music group dies, followed by the group manager's plummet from a balcony. But rancorous rivalries within the group threaten to derail Dwight's case. Giovanni Ribisi guest stars.
Original Air Date: Jul 20, 2010
Guest Cast Giovanni Ribisi

Memphis Beat Episode Recap: "One Night of Sin" Season 1, Episode 5

This week's episode centers on the Boswells, a legendary country music family.  A memorial service for one of them quickly gives way to a murder revealing that perhaps this celebrity family isn't quite as picture perfect as we think. But did one of their own commit the murder or was it an outsider? I'm pretty sure our country music lovin' detective Dwight will get to the bottom of it because he won't have anybody tarnishing the great name of Memphis!

The opening scene is at Boswell family matriarch Darlene's widely attended memorial service. Dwight and his Mama share a sweet stroll down memory lane as they recall their own good family times associated with the Boswell's music. Boswell's manager, Frank, gives a tearful speech saying he'll always be Darlene's biggest fan.

Upon exiting the ceremony a documentary filmmaker, Melinda (played by Sherri Saum — remember her as the naughty neighbor who messed with Rufus and Lily's marriage on Gossip Girl?), approaches Dwight to be in her Boswell Family film. She bowls over his initial reluctance by peppering him with flattering comments — she knows music is a passion — and we see a montage of interview clips, including one with Gene Templer (an underused, but fantastic Giovanni Ribisi) who's labeled a "Superfan." Dwight's interview is cut short however by news that dear ol' Frank has plunged to his death from the rooftop.

Dwight, Whitehead and Lt. Rice stand over Frank's dead body trying to determine what happened. Cuts on his face indicate slashing from a beer bottle, so did he drink himself silly because of grief and jump off the roof? Hmm... Dwight doesn't think so. As a longtime fan of the family, he knows Frank has been sober for ages and there's probably more to this story.

Dwight heads to the VIP room as they're the only ones with roof access. Inside we meet Arlene's husband, Doc, daughter Sadie and her husband Leonard whose catty arguments highlight an inner animosity in this supposedly down home family. Doc hits the nail on the head when he says to Dwight, "sounds a little different on this side of the curtain, doesn't it?" Darlene's younger daughter, Delilah, slinks in drunk, clad in a black hoodie and clueless as to what has happened. And Doc says his mandolin is missing leading Dwight to suspect Frank's cuts were from a mandolin, not a beer bottle.

Back at the precinct, Dwight tells Lt. Rice that Delilah is the only one without an alibi, however, she seemed truly shocked at the news. They walk up on Whitehead who's in the midst of salacious story of his latest impropriety much to the delight of the good ol' boys. Lt. Rice is less than pleased and gives him a verbal lashing.

Dwight watches Melinda's documentary footage and quickly spots an unknown man, who we in the audience know is Gene. Meanwhile Melinda shamelessly flirts with Dwight and tells us what we already know — Dwight is a hot prospect among the ladies of Memphis!

Dwight and Whitehead schmooze Benny, who runs Boswell security. He admits he wasn't at his post when Frank was murdered as he was entertaining a lady friend. He identifies Gene and Dwight learns Gene is a schitzo who receives disability pay and has restraining orders from several big time country stars. It's time to pay the old boy a visit, don't ya think?

Dwight and Whitehead barge into Gene's house making me think of Mel Gibson's apartment in Conspiracy Theory (I know, bad time for a Mel reference, but there it is!). It's dimly lit and literally every inch of wall is covered with music articles or memorabilia. When Dwight makes a comment about the absurdity, Whitehead aptly shoots back, "are you the pot or the kettle... you guys must share the same decorator." If you recall from past episodes, Dwight's walls are also covered with musical tributes. As they walk into the next room, they find Gene, legs flailing, hanging from a ceiling fan (this was creepy to me because I just read a passage in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest where this same thing happened, eek!).

The next scene is a coughing gasping Gene proclaiming his innocence. We see Doc's mandolin lying in the living room however Gene claims he grabbed it from the VIP room while everyone was gawking over Frank's dead body. He just wanted a piece of the Boswell family, he didn't do anything bad, plus he was with other superfans at the time of death. Whitehead needles him calling him a cracker barrel (among other crazy slurs) to which Gene calmly states he's sure Whitehead's superiors would not approve of that language, nor his Mama. I laughed when Dwight quickly concurred.  Don't mess with Mama Bear y'all!

We learn from Gene that Frank was a fixer — he bailed out Delilah when she was taken in with a religious group and Doc when he had gambling issues. He also reveals that Leonard said his website, bonzoforboswellsblog.com (bummer that it doesn't exist, I checked!), would be their official site.

Back at the precinct, Dwight learns Doc received a weekly allowance which abruptly ended after Darlene's death. He heads over to see Delilah where she's belting out that she "ain't no weakly child" in an angst-rock song. She tells Dwight that Doc hated Frank — not only did Frank want him out of the group, Frank was also a better father figure to the girls.

We cut to Dwight's interrogation of Doc who gruffly blurts out he was paid to stay married to Darlene for appearance sake. He trash talks Delilah, showing no love for her, but visibly softens when Dwight says they found "Baby," his mandolin.  Wow, great father figure.

Dwight runs into Leonard who cautions him to be on guard with crazy Gene and Srgt. Greenback informs Dwight that Delilah's prints are all over the mandolin. Looking for Whitehead, Dwight discovers Lt. Rice sent him home as she investigates sexual harassment charges against him. Dwight is livid over the accusation but is visibly relieved when Whitehead admits he'd never cheat on his wife, he just got caught up in story-telling.

We flash to Dwight's house (I thought we were at Gene's with all that clutter!) and an album cover with the title, "He's Not Your Uncle He's Your Father" gets him mind churning — maybe Frank, not Doc, is Delilah's father. Melinda's own research confirms this however Gene throws an uncomfortable wrench in this idea — he has a picture of Frank and Delilah awfully close and almost smoochin' in a Texas bar!

Dwight tells Delilah he knows the truth and she breaks down into an understandably sobbing mess. She fell for Frank — he was the only man she ever trusted — they kissed but then he ran away. She followed him around like a lovesick puppy and when she approached him after her Mama's death, he revealed the devastating truth. She flew off the handle and beat him with Doc's mandolin, but she didn't kill him. Benny didn't see her slip out of the VIP room not because he was entertaining a lady friend, but rather because he was tending to one of Sadie's frequent panic attacks, which apparently hubbie Leonard couldn't stomach.

Meanwhile, Whitehead tries to explain to Lt. Rice that he was all talk, but finds Dwight has already paved the way for him and all is forgiven. Now that he's back in action, he and Dwight journey over to Gene's.

They push Gene to reveal his lies — he saw Leonard murder Frank and Leonard is hushing him up with promises of Boswell Family connections. They put a wire on Gene and tell him to get a confession from Leonard (wouldn't you love to see Gene and Davey go undercover together? What a potential train wreck!). Leonard confesses he killed Frank to gain power and respect in the family and pulls a gun on Gene. Naturally, Dwight and co. bust in before bumbling Gene is offed and Davey helps Gene take off the wire, aww.

Our concluding shot is a duet with Dwight and Delilah (seems she got over her trauma pretty fast, huh?) singing about, "one night of sin" which seems pretty accurate whether you're talking about one little white lie, one indiscretion, one incestuous kiss or one quick murder — they're all a sin y'all!

  • So what did you think of this week's episode?
  • I wanted to see more of Gene and thought he was a great character, how about you?
  • The last scene made me want to karaoke with Dwight. What song would you sing if you could jump on stage with our favorite Memphis detective?
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This week's episode centers on the Boswells, a legendary country music family.  A memorial service for one of them quickly gives way to a murder revealing that perhaps this celebrity family isn't quite as picture perfect as we think. But did one of their own commit the murder or was it an outsider? I'm pretty sure our country music lovin' detective Dwight will get to the bottom of it because he won't have anybody tarnishing the great name of Memphis!

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Premiered: June 22, 2010, on TNT
Rating: None
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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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