Good Behavior – Letty Takes a Hit!

Good Behavior-108-“For You I’d Go With Strawberry” – Michelle Dockery as Letty Raines. Photo courtesy of TNT

Over the course of its first season, so far, Good Behavior (TNT, Tuesdays, 9/8C) defied expectations – where it began by looking like it could be either a scam or hit of the week series, it has instead, turned out to be a character study into which scams and murders occasionally intrude.

It’s frustrating in an entertaining way – you never quite know where it’s going to go.

This week’s episode, For You I’d Go With Strawberry, finds Letty’s (Michelle Dockery) ex, Sean (Todd Williams) making his move to obtain custody of  their son, Jacob (Nyles Steele) – following Javier’s (Juan Diego Botto) reaction to Letty’s request to kill him.

Letty’s request results in a split between the two – something that unnerves her enough that she makes a terrible mistake following a hearing in which it seems that it might be recommended that Sean be given custody of Jacob.

Letty’s former parole officer, Christian (Terry Kinney) shows up, in the company of FBI Agent Rhonda Lashever (Ann Dowd), with a legitimate offer that could change everything for her.

Good Behavior-108-“For You I’d Go With Strawberry” – Juan Diego Botto as Javier Periera. Photo courtesy of TNT

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, from a script by Lenore Zion, For You I’d Go with Strawberry showcases Dockery’s range as she fights for her son, wrestles with her demons, and comes to a potentially fateful conclusion.

Botto continues to balance Javier’s inherent decency against his choice of profession and this week – his scenes with Dockery’s Letty are something special.

Nørgaard emphasizes Letty’s personal struggles with a mix of close-ups and medium range shots that let us see both her facial expressions and shifts in body English as she faces each obstacle in her path – and moves the camera away when Sean deals her a most unexpected – and devastating – emotional blow.

Dockery and Botto are so amazing together that when they’re apart they feel somehow like they’re missing an emotional limb – that latter feeling never more apparent than in the episode’s closing moments.

Given the series’ writers’ feints when it comes to settling into a definition of what the series is, Good Behavior has continued to evolve without being any less entertaining.

For You I’d Go With Strawberry is still not a great show, but it is definitely a very good one.

Final Grade: B+