What’s Worth Watching: Last Stop at Battle Creek

Battle Creek
Robert Voets/Sony Pictures Television
Battle Creek

Battle Creek, “Sympathy for the Devil” (Sunday, May 24, 10/9c, CBS)

It’s a shame there wasn’t more of an audience for the offbeat procedural Battle Creek, which CBS opted not to renew after a midseason tryout. While not a perfect series, still figuring out the balance of drama and comedy as first-year shows often do, the show had plenty to recommend it: an atypical setting, a strong supporting cast (in the case of Janet McTeer as the stern precinct commander, almost criminally underused), and terrific chemistry between its stars, playing mismatched partners in crime-solving: Josh Duhamel as golden-boy FBI transfer Milt Chamberlain and Dean Winters as cynical, perpetually disgruntled local detective Russ Agnew.

Russ spent most of the first season trying to deduce what lies beneath Milt’s unusually optimistic, idealistic façade, and what circumstances led him to be assigned to this unglamorous Michigan burg. He finally gets answers in what turns out to be the series finale, as an attempt on Milt’s life prompts the agent to let down his guard and reveal a dark chapter of his past that has seemingly come back to haunt and threaten his future. While fans will lament the early departure of this show, at least CBS kept it on long enough to address this mystery, giving viewers that much closure.