Previously on Hap and Leonard, “Holy Mojo”
“Bad Mojo” began with Hap and Leonard back in the clink due to some trumped-up charges. (technically, Leonard did commit arson… but for the greater good) All can be wiped clean if Collins agrees to Valentine Otis’ ultimatum: Leave his son Beau alone and don’t stir up any trouble involving the murder investigation. Without Florida present as his counsel, Hap has no alternative but to agree to the Sheriff’s demands.
For most of the second season, Valentine has been lurking in the shadows, surveying every move from LaBorde’s most wanted and reacting accordingly. Once Otis finally had Hap where he wanted him, the Sheriff wasn’t so much as impressed with Collins’ resolve. Valentine realized long ago that his son is a degenerate of the lowest order, and given how he talked to Hap, may have wished he had a son just like him. Alas he has Beau, and despite his son’s utter incompetence, the Sheriff knows he has just enough clout to polish up an old turd and place it in the seat of county judge. After decades of wielding uncontested powers in LaBorde county, Sheriff Valentine’s arrogance may have finally gotten the better of him after Detective Hanson caught his superior with crucial evidence.
Sometimes (OK, most times) it’s really hard to see the good in Hanson. We’re automatically compelled to dislike the detective, especially after his interrogation of Leonard which quickly devolved into a series of demeaning accusations and homophobic rhetoric. Then in “Holy Mojo”, Hanson appeared to have seen the light while searching for Illium Moon with Florida. Finally, he may dismiss his prejudices against the boys and put the pieces together. Oh wait, no. Let’s continue to harass Leonard and since nothing sticks to him, let’s start looking at Hap. What? What??? For a detective, Hanson sure doesn’t have the nose for picking up the shadiness going on inside his own station. Thankfully, he saw the Sheriff sign off on the cremation of the boy’s remains and place the missing shoes inside the body bag. Fingers and toes crossed that Hanson’s logic centers remain active next week, and his partner Blank (Douglas M. Griffin) doesn’t cave under pressure for the sake of his career.
As bad as it could turn out for Hanson, no one has it worse (at least this week) than Hap. First he caved to Valentine’s demands to save his and Leonard’s skin, then Florida gave him a cold shoulder because her clients’ actions have begun to tarnish her sterling reputation. That interaction truly stung Hap, who’s had a lasting crush on Grange since adolescence. Both of them may have genuine feelings for one another yet their paths are too divergent to pursue an actual relationship. Even then, being associated let alone dating a man of Hap’s standing irrevocably dismantle Florida’s character. At any rate, Hap will see plenty of his lady love sooner than later after the discovery he and Leonard made in a long-forgotten ruins of a church.
Thanks to MeMaw’s wall of remembrance (plus a quick trip to the library) and Reverend Fitzgerald’s right cross, Pine and Collins separately discovered the location of the Old Hope Church, the same place of worship that was torched by the KKK. Inside the ruins, the pair found what the serial killer had been amassing for over a decade: two rows of caskets, one for each year beginning in 1977, containing the remains of the missing Black boys. It’s a huge discovery that would have cleared Hap and Leonard of all charges… if they didn’t touch any of the evidence in the room. Nevertheless, knowing where the boys are is a great first step in figuring out how they were targeted. After some low key sleuthing, Pine and Collins pinpointed the boys’ residences on a map and drew an outline that resembled Idaho. Upon further investigating, the duo learned their killer abducted them every year on the third Saturday of October. Amazing how in less than a day, two so-called criminals did more work than the police had in the last 11 years. But I digress!
If it wasn’t for Hanson and Blank attempting to detain Hap in Cooperstown, the guys wouldn’t have realized that their “Idaho” was a bus route. After losing the cops, Collins and Pine stayed on the bus until it reached its last stop. Disembarking, the two are startled when they recognized the area where the boys were definitely preyed upon: the annual Harvest Carnival, which will be open to the public the following day… the third Saturday of October.
For a pair of East Texas peckerheads, Collins and Pine managed to disrupt the corruption and hypocrisy of LaBorde’s criminal justice system and make considerable headway in missing person cases long ignored by the authorities. It’ll be damn exciting to see how all of this is resolved and what means Valentine Otis will use next to take down Hap and Leonard for good. While Hanson was way off about Hap blackmailing the Sheriff into destroying evidence, the question does remain: Who is Valentine protecting… An equally powerful associate? A family member? Himself?
Although every episode of Hap and Leonard has been a tremendously well-scripted drama with a solid ensemble, it’s also been an oddly satisfying jaunt this season – considering the dour subject matter, and it taking place in a glaringly problematic town during a culturally downtrodden time in modern America. There’s no way we aren’t turning in next Wednesday to see how our favorite pair of troublemakers finally catch the killer red handed without drawing the ire of the cops. No two ways about it Collins and Pine will employ the use of highly unorthodox tactics.
"Bad Mojo" Hap and Leonard – S2E4 – Bad Mojo | James Purefoy, Michael Kenneth Williams, Tiffany Mack, Cranston Johnson, Brian Dennehy, Irma P. Hall, Dohn Norwood, Olaniyan Thurmon | Writers: Abe Sylvia & Ione Lloyd | Director: Abe Sylvia
Hap and Leonard S2E4
Hap and Leonard – S2E4 – Bad Mojo | James Purefoy, Michael Kenneth Williams, Tiffany Mack, Cranston Johnson, Brian Dennehy, Irma P. Hall, Dohn Norwood, Olaniyan Thurmon | Writers: Abe Sylvia & Ione Lloyd | Director: Abe Sylvia