A drama about a female Texas Ranger may be a good idea, but ABC should have come up with a better script for the pilot of Killer Women. The story was loaded with clichés out of Lifetime, and the first case was a terrible choice.
Whedonopolis looked at the first episode because the show stars Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica and Marc Blucas from Buffy. The first scenes get your attention: a woman wearing a red mini-skirt walks into a church wedding, and shoots the bride. Meanwhile, Texas Ranger Molly Parker (Helfer) is living at her brother’s ranch, and is about to go out when she gets the call. The evidence against the shooter, named Martina, looks open-and-shut. It’s a crime of passion. Naturally, Molly senses something is not right.
For one thing, the bride was an assistant district attorney in the middle of a drug case, with a little help from DEA Dan Winston, played by Blucas. Turns out he and Molly have quite a thing going on. Molly soon finds out Martina was coerced into shooting the bride or a major drug cartel would kill her mom and daughter.
As with most pilots, we get a lot of exposition. Molly started as a state trooper, but is now one of two female Rangers. She wants to divorce her state senator husband Jake (Jeffrey Nordling), although he doesn’t. She’s living with her brother’s family on his farm. There’s also a lot of Texas scenery, and a longhorn to boot.
What’s not so good is the casual sexism. It may be understandable that we see a retired lawman talk about how it’s tough to lie to women because he couldn’t fool his ex-wife. However, when Jake tries to convince her to come back to him, he says, “I love you, Molly, I do, and I hope you find the self-confidence to believe that.”
Molly is also guilty of corny lines, too. When Winston is reluctant to help her after they spent the night, she says “Shutting me out is a big mistake, and I’ll prove it.”
The show got an eight-week trial because Sofia Vegara from Modern Family is one of the executive producers. It’s based on a TV show from Argentina which showed why certain women killed. It would have been a better idea to start with a woman who killed because she thought it was necessary, not because she was forced.
There may be some potential in Killer Women, but it should stick to showcasing Helfer as a determined detective, and highlight her sexiness occasionally. They should drop the “making it in a man’s world” storyline because that’s kind of outdated. The CBS procedural Cold Case was about the first female homicide detective in Philadelphia, but it eventually emphasized the cases over her status. Killer Women should do the same.
Also, if Molly’s one of two female Texas Rangers, let’s see the other one… and add more later. Maybe someone named Walker, perhaps?