Episode 6 - Combinations
6 March 2012
I don't have a huge amount to say about 'Combinations.' There was some good stuff in there including another glimpse into the staged and real parts of putting together a boxing press conference. I also liked that Lights' sparring partner went into business for himself when he had the chance to impress Barry Word.
The story of Light's blurred vision was quite interesting. It showed both the minute problems that can derail a major fighter and the way they will work through injuries that they might otherwise take seriously. The writers certainly aren't allowing any part of Lights' comeback to be easy. He innocently drives a married woman home and the press naturally assume she was a prostitute. I was intrigued as to how much Johnny was involved in that little incident. It felt a little like he had set it all up to prove (somehow) to Lights how valuable he was.
Finally we had Lights' sister Margaret interfering in his marital affairs and arguing to Theresa that he has been desperate to get back in the ring and that she should support him. I really liked the contrast between the two of them. Margaret was well cast to appear like a member of the Leary family and naturally saw a side of Lights' personality which even his wife hadn't quite understood.
Otherwise though the show is struggling with some basic structural problems. The first is that we all know the season will only end in six episodes time with the big rematch against Reynolds. That means that this episode and the next when Lights (I assume) defeats Morales are somewhat predictable. The writers try to make El Diablo look like a threat but there's no way he can win. The other problem is something I have written about with each episode which is that the show is too focused on Lights. The journalist, Morales, even Johnny and Theresa are essentially just filler in the story of his comeback. I didn't think this episode was dull but it suffered from the sense that we are just waiting for the fight to happen.
I still like the show enough to keep watching but I think this is a one season show and the production is set up that way. The writers make it clear from their focus that nothing else really matters but seeing Lights defeat Reynolds and be crowned champion again.
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