CBS’ So help me Toddperhaps best considered Take your hot son to workis the story of a private detective forced to investigate the most intimate thing of all: his relationship with his mother.
When we meet the titular detective Skylar Astin in the Thursday premiere, he snaps a woman in the middle of a grocery store for perceived disability despite her recovery from an injury she suffered while working in a airport. The sight of her children is too much for Todd to handle, so he agrees to suppress her evidence if she promises to return to work. I’m no cardiologist, but I think our boy Todd has a heart of gold.
Todd’s mother’s heart, on the other hand, is largely of the stone variety. Played to perfection by Marcia Gay Harden, Margaret never misses an opportunity to remind her son how unhappy she is with his life choices, especially those that led to him losing his private detective license. (Anything about a crooked mentor who tricked Todd into being charged with wiretapping and forgery? Honestly, there was a lot of backstory in that first hour.)
Besides being a very powerful lawyer, Margaret is also a mom with a capital M. She accidentally calls her children on FaceTime, she mixes up the names of celebrities and she specifically asks people to email her phone. – even though, as Todd can’t help but point out, you don’t have to tell anyone where To send an email. You can access it from virtually anywhere.
Either way, these polar opposite humans are suddenly forced to spend a lot more time together when Margaret’s husband, Harry, disappears, immediately sending Todd back into PI mode. Using every tool in his arsenal (mainly social media harassment), Todd eventually catches Harry on a flight to Iceland. He’s not dying of Parkinson’s disease, as he led Margaret to believe – he just doesn’t want to be with her anymore. He says she’s too judgmental and won’t let him be himself, a pair of grievances Todd knows all too well.
But Todd doesn’t just find Margaret’s husband in that first hour. He also assists her in a murder trial, which she ultimately wins by forcing the defendant’s mother to pose as the real killer. It’s one of those extremely on-the-nose situations where the outcome of a case also teaches the lawyer an important life lesson, but this show is cute, so we’ll allow it.
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