Nico was in bad shape after the previous episode of Ultra City Smiths. After following up on a lead he and Mills discovered, he is shot by a mystery assailant. Elsewhere, Street Hustler Boy recruits a crew to rob a bank. He desperately needs the money to pay for a surgery for his ailing lover. Considering he’s not making enough turning tricks, he turns more drastic measures.
In “O-o-h Child,” Detective Onasis is rushed to the hospital. At the same time, Johnson’s partner, Detective Mukherjee goes into labor. Both detectives’ experiences are shown in parallel and we learn that they may be more closely linked. Maybe not at all too surprising taking into account how interwoven all the characters are and the high number of people Nico has slept with.
We already know what a cruel world Ultra City Smiths is and the hospital scenes reinforce the idea. A likeable young man who is ready to change his philandering ways and settle down has a tragic experience. On the other side, a precious new life comes into the world but the child won’t have the benefit of being with their father. Though cold, the outcome has the benefit of bringing Mills and Johnson together since their partners have other worries now. It could be perfect timing with the two hopefully solving the mystery in the season finale next week.
It seems Donella’s mayoral run is ending even before it can get off the ground. Her ex-husband, Congressman Pecker, makes sure of that by leaking a sex tape. However, the real mastermind is Deputy Mayor Jeff Thumb. So far, his character has been in the periphery acting shady but we receive our first real look at what he’s capable of. He’s quite the shrewd politician with his plan and he gets results. What’s more intriguing is his ties to the underworld since he’s involved with the gang Mills and Nico were trying to interrogate among others.
Meanwhile, little Grace learns the true extent of her actions just by being in the right place at the right time. She’s already trying to make amends with Tim Snodgrass by helping him out. Even though he’s unaware who she is, the more they interact, the more guilty she feels. Then she overhears Mills and Johnson talk about the connection between Carpenter’s murder weapon and Snodgrass’ attack. Speaking of Carpenter’s murder weapon, we’re left with another suspenseful cliffhanger with Street Hustler Boy and his stick-up crew holding up a bank.
The season one penultimate episode of Ultra City Smiths doesn’t take advantage of last week’s momentum. Sure, we ultimately find out the fate of Nico, but “O-o-h Child” is slower paced. There’s more exposition and set up so hopefully all the work here pays off in the finale.
However, the comedy really stands out and we see how far the writers will go for a laugh. Nico’s dying confession and last wish is hysterical but very on brand. All he wants is to have a nice round number of lovers he’s had but Mills is able to fight off his partner’s advances.
The back and forth between the congressman and deputy mayor about their surnames is so silly and it’s accentuated by how serious the two are. Then the series takes the joke one step further and over the top when Pecker tries to see if his penis can do the same things a thumb can. Not too bad because he’s one for two.
The sex tape has all the awkwardness you’d expect between Pecker and Donella including the roleplay. Who’d have known the congressman has a kink for supervillains but his ex-wife plays it more cat than woman. The tabloids focus on her technique but from what we see, the video is far from scandalous. Yet, it’s still bad enough to tank Donella’s campaign.
The comedy in the fifth episode of Ultra City Smiths stands out but the momentum from last week isn’t sustained due to a slower pace and a lot of set up. With any luck, all that work will be worth it in the season finale.
New episodes of Ultra City Smiths drop Thursdays on AMC+
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