Actors, producers, production folks, TV executives and their relatives gathered Sunday night for a "wrap party" at the Fillmore downtown to celebrate the end of the taping of the first season of AMC’s Detroit cop show “Low Winter Sun.” The 10-episode first season premieres this Sunday at 10 p.m.
There was an open bar and a buffet that included salad, pasta, turkey and meatballs and desserts that included chocolate chip cookie smores.
But the real treat was the showing of the first two episodes of the show. The first episode had been shown before at a sneak preview at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor last Monday (see review in Deadline Detroit).
In the second episode, the suspense and intrigue continued to build. Plus, it had far more Detroit references than the first, including homicide Detective Frank Agnew, played by Mark Strong, who mentions getting “a coney.”
[Alert: Spoilers in next three paragraphs]
In the first episode, homicide detective Joe Geddes tricks Detective Agnew into helping him kill a co-worker Brendan McCann, a dirty cop who might rat Geddes out to internal affairs. So they drown him by dunking his head in the sink of the kitchen at Mario’s restaurant on Second Avenue after closing.
They then put him in his car and run it into the Detroit River, hoping to make it look like a suicide. But the medical examiner finds the water in the dead cop's lungs is not from the Detroit River. It’s chlorinated.
“Brendan McCann drowned in good old-fashioned Detroit tap water,” the medical examiner says. “You got yourself a murder.” When fishing the car out of the river, cops discover a dismembered body in McCann’s trunk who they learn was a snitch for internal affairs.
The acting is intense, particularly between detectives Agnew and Geddes.
[End of spoilers]
Another great scene, which drew applause from the audience, is when detective Dani Khalil, played by Athena Karkanis, goes to a party store with a fellow detective to see if the owner has heard anything about a murder in the neighborhood on Van Dyke on the city’s east side.
The owner, of Middle Eastern descent, ignores detective Khalil when she first speaks to him in English, so she starts talking in Arabic. The owner then says in Arabic, referring to her male partner, how could he let a woman speak for him.
Detective Khalil gets all up in his grill and tells him she’s a cop, there to protect people. She then tells him she’ll be back. It's a powerful scene.
There are several Detroit references locals are sure to love.
Besides the mention of the coney and the street, Van Dyke, detective Joe Geddes tells local crime lord Damon Callis: “Call me again and you’ll find your oily ass on the bottom of the Rouge River.”
There’s also a reference to the Dream Cruise and the Free Press.
Actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who plays the head of homicide, told Deadline Detroit after the screenings that he was impressed with the first two episodes and that things are only going to get more intense in upcoming shows.
Detroit cop Ira Todd, a show consultant said: "The second episode clearly defines how some people survive and how poverty breeds criminality. Some people might complain about how Detroit is depicted, but the real deal is people will do what it takes to survive. . . . The show explores those instances, and I think it's true.
"The hard truth about Detroit is that it is like any other city, good and bad."
Todd helped create some characters, including one named Rev. Lowdown, a hustler from a neighborhood he grew up in. Another name used in the show, "Poppa T", is a real nickname that Todd says he suggested to the writers.