The Inspectors is on its winter hiatus with new episodes airing sometime in January. How has Season 3 stacked up so far? I give my thoughts below:
I’ve made no secret of how much I enjoy The Inspectors. Although I discovered this show in my capacity as an entertainment site writer, I feel that even if I wasn’t writing episode recaps for this site and was an average viewer, I would want to tune in. I knew about postal inspectors but wasn’t aware of how much these law enforcement officers do to protect the mail and its letter carriers. As defined by Wikipedia: The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service. Its jurisdiction is defined as “crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. Mail, the postal system or postal employees.” The Inspectors takes a postal related crime and explores it in a tightly written half hour. In watching this show, we see the illegal activity, the perpetrator and the postal inspectors efforts to solve the case. And this is done in a way that educates and informs.
One of the challenges I believe that The Inspectors faces and pulls off expertly is how to make a show that doesn’t come off as a thirty minute public service announcement. The message of The Inspectors is “Crimes against the postal service is bad. And if you commit them, we’ll find you and you’ll go to jail.” But I doubt whether anyone would want to sit and watch a preachy series on postal crimes. So, what The Inspectors has done is given us a team of postal inspectors in Mitch and Amanda (Terry Serpico and Jessica Lundy) that we can care about and want to succeed; they are the good guys who we want to catch the bad guys. Then we have the younger characters: Preston (Bret Green), Veronica (Erica Sanchez) and Noah (Harrison Knight) whose stories also give viewers strong messages on decency and intregrity. Preston is Amanda’s son who works as an intern in the crime lab and has aspirations of becoming a lawyer. The fact that Preston is physically challenged isn’t done as the “guy in the wheelchair.” Being wheelchair bound is not who Preston Wainwright is…he is a young man overcoming an accident with grace and dignity. In Season 3 Episode 5 “The Initiation,” Preston found himself bullied at a gym called Fitness & Frolics because he was in a wheelchair. And when he witnessed the same guy bullying another gym member, Preston couldn’t remain silent. Sadly, speaking up resulted in Preston being banned for life from Fitness & Frolics. But showing strength of character and courage for one’s convictions is a powerful message that viewers can take away and use in their own lives.
Veronica (Erica Sanchez) is the girl we would like as a friend. She is caring and wants everyone to be happy. But she is searching for her own place of belonging. She is a gifted singer, but does Veronica want to pursue singing as a career? The jury is still out on that one as we’ve seen her actively pursuing journalistic endeavors as a reporter for the Jamestown University news station. In Season 3 Episode 3 “Hospital Hack,” Veronica auditioned at WVNB4 News for a job as a weather reporter. There she met Bailey who not so subtly criticized Veronica’s weight and offered her weight loss pills. Veronica gave in a took a pill and came clean to Preston about the situation. We never got to see Veronica toss the weight loss pills and hope that she doesn’t have the urge to take any more. This could be a story to be explored in future episodes.
Then we have Noah. Since the start of The Inspectors we have seen that Noah Waldman is the fun-loving friend of Preston and Veronica. He has skill behind the camera and has a passion for film making. But Noah struggles with pursuing his dream and pleasing his parents. In Season 3 Episode 7 “Gramps Gumbo,” we finally got a Noah-centric story in which his relationship with his grandfather was explored. Here’s hoping we get more Noah stories.
In addition to solving postal crimes, Mitch saw what it is like for Amanda as a single parent when his niece Sam came to live with him while her mom is overseas in Season 3 Episode 6 “Meet Sam.” Also, adding a teen to the Preston/Veronica/Noah dynamic is a great idea as it gives the college aged characters the chance to help guide Sam and steer her on the right path.
In Season 3 we’ve already seen cases focusing on patent stealing, shipping dangerous items, cyber hacking, attacking letter carriers, mailbox vandalism, distribution of counterfeit items through the mail, scamming using fake funeral plans and porch poachers stealing mail; and this has only been the first eight episodes of the season. I’m eager to seeing how the rest of Season 3 progresses as more postal crimes are presented. Subject matter and character development is The Inspectors‘ strength. I applaud them for being able to show so much in 21 minutes. Well done…and here’s to the rest of Season 3.
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