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The Second Season of ‘Good Behavior’ Premieres
October 15, 2017  | By David Hinckley

TV’s baddest rom-com, Good Behavior, returns Sunday with our principals, if possible, more schizophrenic than ever.

Good Behavior’s second season launches at 10 p.m. ET on TNT, with Javier Pereira (Juan Diego Botto, top) and Letty Raines (Michelle Dockery, top) trying to settle down and become a plain old wholesome American family.

Since she recently won full custody of her son Jacob (Nyles Julian Steele), this seems like a logical and  admirable goal.

One little problem. Or two, really. Javier is still a hitman who kills people for a living. And Letty still tends to acquire everyday objects, like her son’s school supplies and clothing, by stealing them from stores at the local mall.

There are ancillary issues, too, like Letty’s serious drinking and her well-founded insecurity about assuming the responsibilities of motherhood.

Okay, and you can throw in the fact that they are both being hunted by people from their past. Some of those people have violent scores to settle. Some of those people are from law enforcement.

Javier and Letty recognize their situation as sufficiently precarious that they have moved to a new town and assumed false names.

This is mildly confusing to Jacob, new name Michael, except that he knows a whole lot more than the average 10-year-old about his Mom’s track record, including the light fingers and the drinking.

Mostly he seems content to roll with it. At other times he becomes the adult in the room, particularly when he’s alone with Letty.

While Javier isn’t exactly the nurturing parental type, he seems a little more stable and he gets along with Jacob. That bond doesn’t run quite deep enough that Javier is inclined to tell Jacob he kills people for a living.

Better that Jacob thinks Javier is a chef, which is his day job.

Despite its ominous premise and precarious situations, Good Behavior has always been at least half comedy and romance, traits that remain strong as season 2 arrives.

The comedy and romance dovetail in a scene where Letty and Javier engage in a rather noisy lovemaking session up against a wall in the Airbnb they’re renting.

Only thing is, they apparently forgot they aren’t alone these days. So right as they’re finishing up, we hear Jacob’s voice from the next room asking, “Are you finished yet?”

Letty and Javier are as perceptive about human nature as they are dumb in their life choices, so their own conversations run toward sharp and often clever.

True, the humor that stems from Letty not realizing Javier left a dead body in the back of their Range Rover has a shadowy undertone. It’s humor nonetheless.

What inevitably creeps into the second season, however, is a growing sense of tragedy.

All of us – Letty, Javier, Jacob, viewers – know these two people have developed genuine warmth, affection and perhaps love, even if they can’t articulate it.

Their tangled lives, however, make it pretty much impossible for them to enjoy that, or to provide a safe world for Jacob. Talk about looking over your shoulder, these two need eyes in the back of their heads.

Letty’s mother Estelle (Lusia Strus) returns this season to complicate things a bit further, as does Letty’s not overly smart former parole officer Christian Woodhill (Terry Kinney), whom she dragged to the dark side last season.

It’s hard to imagine Good Behavior could ultimately take us to any good place, but the creators have done a good job of adapting Blake Crouch’s Letty Dobesh novels into a TV drama that keeps the raft from plunging over the falls.

And yes, it can probably be said that after a season as Letty Raines, Michelle Dockery no longer looks entirely like Lady Mary anymore.

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