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'Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector' Takes Some Unique Turns Worth Investigating
January 10, 2020  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

(EDITOR'S NOTE: David Hinckley reviewed Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector before he realized there is a Bianculli involved.)

If you had to pass a psychological test to become a television cop these days, here's a sure way to flunk: Convince the shrink you're undamaged.

Virtually all television cops now seem to have serious personal issues as well as serious criminal-hunting skills, which brings us to Lincoln Rhyme, who has both.

Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector premieres Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, and we viewers arrive at the potentially fortuitous moment when the badly damaged Lincoln may be starting to bounce back.

That's good because Lincoln (Russell Hornsby, top) starts off in an undeniably tough spot.

Three years earlier, he was one of the top forensic detectives in the New York Police Department, and he knew it. Then he made a mistake while pursuing the serial killer called The Bone Collector, and he was sent hurtling from a catwalk to the floor of a warehouse, injuring his spine and leaving him a paraplegic.

Not to sound too cavalier about it, but it was an open-and-shut case of pride going before a fall.

In any event, he has spent the last three years hoping for a miraculous restimulation of his lower-body nerves, and gradually coming to appreciate his caregiver, Claire (Roslyn Ruff), who apparently has some serious issues of her own.

Then, call it both the good news and the bad news, the Bone Collector reappears. Bad news because he's serially killing people again. Good news, in an odd way, because it rekindles Lincoln's will to get involved in his apprehension.

Helping out here is Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel), a young NYPD cop who seems to have temporarily lost her dream of becoming an FBI profiler. The rejection has to do with – surprise surprise – her psychological damage.

She and Lincoln become a perfect if also perfectly odd couple, and he invites her to become his right-hand person on a team that will also include his long-time partner, Rick Sellitto (Michael Imperioli), Rick's new partner, Eric Castillo (Ramses Jimenez), and Kate (Brooke Lyons, top), an up-and-coming forensics whiz.

In keeping with another familiar pattern of cop shows, the team understands that finding the Bone Collector – whose identity we viewers know, by the way – will be their long game. They will solve cases along the way, but the Bone Collector is Lincoln's white whale.

Hunt for the Bone Collector is based on Jeffrey Deaver's best-selling novel, so it takes some cues there. It also takes cues from the latest Sherlock series when, f'rinstance, Lincoln draws futuristic graphics seemingly in the air with his fingers.

It's an homage to cutting-edge tech that also shows us the way Lincoln's mind works.

For all these familiar touches, Hunt for the Bone Collector develops and maintains a feeling and style of its own. The personal chess match between Lincoln and The Bone Collector, while also not a unique device, has its own tensions and turns.

The same holds for his relationship with Amelia, particularly in the way both reveal their many secrets only gradually to each other.

Both have long-term goals that, at the start of this series, seem distant and almost impossibly elusive. That should make their quests even more fun to follow.

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Agree with the review. I watched the pilot and was quite impressed! I'm looking forward to watching the story unfold. As a Hulu subscriber I can watch it commercial free, which of course heightens my enjoyment. :)
Jan 17, 2020   |  Reply
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