I'm going to do something a little different. Rather than review the show or episode, I'm going to specifically review a character. Sonya Cross. The lady detective with Aspergers.
If you read my troper page
, you can quickly see why I'd find the character interesting. Let's just say I recognize a lot of my former self in her. But I would have never made it as a cop.
We get plenty of insight into Sonya's difficulties in the pilot episode. While driving to interview a relative of a murdered judge, Sonya's boss calls her to remember to use eye contact and to be gentle on him. During the interview, she talks at times as though going from a script in her mind. However, her bluntness harms the interview, as she accidentally says patently offensive yet understandable things that demonstrate a lack of understanding of the man's emotional state, and he ends up yelling at her to leave.
This lack of understanding people's emotional states or taking them into account also results in one of the more memorable scenes of the episode, a phone interview with a man... who is trapped in a car with a bomb. Sonya wants information from the man, while he naturally is terrified that he is going to die and really can't help. Eventually, Sonya gets it, and tries to calm the man down... by telling him that death will be quick and painless and then he'll feel nothing.
Her lack of social graces and self-consciousness results in some pretty funny moments, like when, in front of her boss in her office, she sniffs her armpit and then decides to change her shirt right then and there. "I told you to use the ladies' room for that," he says matter-of-factly.
In fact, it's implied that her boss may have been how she got the job in the first place. When he mentions his planned retirement, Sonya gets upset and asks what she'll do without him. He's clearly her mentor, helping her navigate the world of regular people.
Let's be clear: I don't act like Sonya Cross. Anymore. But I used to. People on the spectrum are quite different from one another, and while I do question how she got a job as a cop in the first place (undoubtedly with help from someone who saw potential in her), she's a believable portrayal of a certain type of autism/Aspergers, and hopefully illuminating to the audience.