Crime Notes, The Michigan Daily “An Ugli Crime”. S3/E12

Many thought they had seen Crime Notes’ best work after last week’s stunning cliffhanger left viewers wondering whether or not this season’s lovable antagonist, 5’6” to 6’3” black male, would return Hannah Cohen’s 15” MacBook pro after discovering that it was registered with campus security.

Viewers’ fears were resoundingly quashed when the most recent episode, “An Ugli Crime”, aired last night, featuring everything that viewers now eagerly expect from the newest, revamped season of Notes. While installments of the past heavily emphasized the “WHERE” and the “WHEN” of the crime, the newest batch of episodes really pop in their emphasis of the “WHAT” – an angle surely encouraged by recent hire of veteran producer, Frederick Alfonse.

(SPOILER ALERT!)

The episode opens with a slow zoom on an unattended tote bag, resting silently in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library. Seconds later, a hand breaches the frame and carries the lonely and frightened tote bag off into an unknown section of the library. The criminal (who is later revealed to be season 2 favorite ‘white male, 6’, slim, wearing a U-M Alumni t-shirt’) takes the tote bag without even an iota of knowledge as to what the package contains.

This obvious reference to the classic ‘McGuffin’ plot device, popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, is a defining example of the new direction that Alfonse has decided to take the show.

Notes has become such a big part of popular culture that we thought ‘why not flip the script and infuse some popular culture into the show itself ’,” said Alfonse. “Just wait and see what we have in store for you next week.”

The episode also shined a spotlight on the relationship issues developing between University police officer Dan Cowerton and UGLi librarian Sarah Howser. Will Dan be able to forgive himself for the mistake he made two years ago? Or will his ego cloud his judgement in his pursuit of Sarah?

While Alfonse would not reveal too many details regarding next week’s installment, he did wink and say that anyone who leaves their iPhone on the table for the entirety of their study session probably “deserves to get it stolen.”

Originally published Dec. 2013

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