‘East New York’: What Did You Think of CBS’ New Drama? (POLL)
Season 1 • Episode 1
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the East New York series premiere.]
The Amanda Warren-led East New York joins a (long) list of CBS procedurals, and while the series premiere introduces all the big shots and starts playing around with the relationships, the one we find most intriguing is no surprise: that between Warren’s Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood and Jimmy Smits’ Chief John Suarez.
Suarez is the borough commander (Haywood’s boss’ boss) and the one to introduce her to both the deputy mayor (Darien Sills-Evans’ Raymond Sharpe) and real estate developer Adam Lustig (Scott Cohen), whom she later arrests for his involvement in the case Detective Tommy Killian (Kevin Rankin) and Detective Crystal Morales (Elizabeth Rodriguez) work. Sharpe checks that Haywood’s strength is in management. “I’ll leave it to others to decide where my strength is,” she tells him. Once it’s just the two of them, Suarez welcomes her to East New York.
At one point, Suarez remarks that she must be wishing she had a nice, quiet command in Bayside, but Haywood knows they won’t let her do her thing there. How’s her head, he checks. “It’s fabulous, it’s stupendous, it’s OK,” she tells him. It has to be; she knows she can’t ease into things, and whatever she wants to get done, she has to do it fast before they give her command to someone else. “I’m right there with you,” he promises. She’s counting on that. But, as he later advises, she should play the long game, that way, they can both get done what they want to. She needs her job, and so does he. (However, he doesn’t want his job to one day be police commissioner, he says; the deputy mayor argues he should.)
Speaking of “long,” by the end of the episode, as Suarez drives her home, Haywood’s not so sure how much time she’ll have at this job. But he thinks that her first days indicated she’d be around for the long run, and she made the right calls on the case. He watches her go inside, and we must admit, we want to know more about their history and see how their dynamic changes the longer she’s the boss at the 74th Precinct.
As for the rest of the 74th, Killian hasn’t made his mind up about Haywood as his boss, but Captain Stan Yenko (Richard Kind) is very much in her corner — and makes a bid to be her executive officer pretty much the moment she steps into the precinct. (She accepts.)
In introducing herself to her officers, she speaks about getting the chance to see some ideas she’s had over the years work, and among them is having a couple of them live in a local housing project, voluntarily, with a six-month commitment. One of the younger officers, Brandy Quinlan (Olivia Luccardi), says she’ll do it immediately and doesn’t need time to think about it. Quinlan gets off to a rough start with one of the young men in the building after accusing him of being the one to write “PIG” across her door, but she does seem to be maybe winning over Winston (Ezra Knight) when she gets him back the stuff Officer Marvin Sandeford (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) had confiscated.
The premiere ends with all the main players except Haywood and Suarez together at the local restaurant/bar, which Killian and his girlfriend Corinne (Caitlin Mehner) bought — after he stole a priceless bat from a nearby establishment where he worked as a bouncer. And while it’s clear that this is a regular thing for them, it doesn’t feel like there were enough moments in the premiere to establish the different relationships between the offers not partnered up. Hopefully, that will change.
Let us know what you think of East New York in the poll below.
East New York, Sundays, 9/8c, CBS