Goliath season 2, episode 4 recap: ‘Alo’


In the third episode of Goliath, the murder weapon was found in Julio’s yard, even though Julio later swears he stashed the gun he was carrying the night of the crime with his girlfriend.

Episode four of the Prime Original drama, Goliath, begins with another flashback. This one from 18 months ago. A man is telling a story about how his grandfather started making Alo, a mechanical toy.

HIs business eventually expanded and his grandfather was approached by a cartel who wanted to ship its product in his family’s toys. The extra money allowed the family to give back to the community.

The camera swerves around so we can see the man is telling this story to Tom. They are negotiating a partnership. Could the man be the infamous Gabriel?

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A man in scrubs comes in from another room and tells the man someone is ready. The man tells Tom he’d like to show him something.

They go into the makeshift operating room we saw in the last episode. Tom is getting nervous. The man tells Tom he didn’t want to take over the family business. He studied to be a surgeon. Tom interrupts and the man warns him never to interrupt him again.

A woman is sedated on an operating table. The man explains that the woman took advantage of him and when he asked her about it she ran. Now he will punish her in a way that fits her crime. He begins to amputate her leg.

Tom is disgusted at first but then becomes curious, then fascinated, and watches the whole procedure. It’s graphic and disgusting. Thanks, Goliath! I can’t unsee that.

Next, we see a truck being loaded with rolled up rugs, one of which contains the woman’s still-sedated body. They take her to a house, unroll the carpet, and leave her lying on the floor.

In Tom’s screening room, we see him cue up video of the kitchen of that same house. He starts the old show H.R. Pufnstuf on the ancient-looking TV in the kitchen. As the theme song begins, the two women we saw in the previous episode walk into the frame, one of whom is the woman whose leg was amputated.

The other woman directs her where to go. From the screening room Tom tells her not to worry, she’ll get the hang of it, He prepares to masturbate. And… now I’m nauseous.

Time for a side-rant: Look, obviously shows want to one-up themselves over their previous seasons, but I’m not sure if gore and gross-out is the best way for Goliath to do that.  We already have abundant amounts of evidence that Tom’s a complete creep. And the gangster surgeon thing was already done over 10 years ago on Alias, although far less graphically (it was a network show, after all).

Sometimes the people who make shows like this seem to become enamored with the ability to be explicit on cable or streaming services and mistake that for edginess. But there’s something to be said for really considering whether there’s a story-driven reason to show explicit imagery.

Sometimes pulling back a little can serve a story better. For example, just seeing the reactions on Tom’s face to the leg amputation would’ve gotten the point across while keeping the audience focused on his disturbed character. Instead, the graphic depiction of the amputation distracts from what could’ve been a more focused character-building moment. To see an example of a show that tends to use explicit moments well, watch Netflix’s recently departed Sense8. Anywhoo, moving on.

In the present day, a package is making its way to its recipient, Billy. He’s not at his hotel room, so the delivery person leaves the package outside his door.

Billy is meeting with Patty, Judge Wallace, and Prosecutor Rashad. He’s showing everyone the gun that Julio stashed with his girlfriend.  Rashad is questioning how they can know it, and not the murder weapon, is the gun Julio was carrying in the video of Julio taken on the night of the crime.

Billy says they can test the gun and once it comes back clean he wants to the video of Julio suppressed so the jury won’t see it. Judge Wallace agrees to a suppression hearing.

Brittany is having coffee with Tom. They flirt and get to know each other. As they talk, a  man approaches insisting he knows her from somewhere. She mentions Vegas and the man backs off. Brittany admits she was an escort until a couple of months ago.

Tom tells her she doesn’t have to be ashamed. Imperfections make people beautiful (yeesh!). He has skeletons in his closet too (some of them probably literal). Then he invites her to dinner. Run, Brittany, run!

At Billy’s hotel, Marva gives Billy the package. Billy opens it and as soon as he sees what’s inside, he walks out. He goes to Detective Roman’s desk at the police station and drops the package on his desk. As we suspected given Tito Garcia ended up on Gabriel’s operating table at the end of the last episode, it’s Garcia’s severed head in the box.

Roman freaks and arrests Billy for threatening him. Patty and Agent Clayton come to get Billy. Clayton tells Billy he should have gone to him first. Clayton tries to ask Patty out, but she shuts him down.

Billy and Patty drink at the bar. She’s worried. He tells her she can quit but she says she just wanted to express her concern.

Billy goes to the check on Denise. He’s clearly getting worried after the whole head in a box thing.

The next day, Detective Roman, Danny, and Roman’s wife are having a barbecue. As Roman cleans the grill outside, Roman’s wife, Mary, tells Danny she knows something’s very wrong with Roman. Danny tries to convince her that her concerns are unwarranted.

Then, he goes to see Roman. Danny tells him he needs to calm down because Mary’s getting suspicious. Roman gets angry. He’s going to have to be a witness at the suppression hearing the next day and he’s panicking. Danny reassures him that Billy can’t prove anything.

Tom realizes something’s off as he enters his screening room. Gabriel had previously delivered flowers to the room, but now the flowers are strewn in a path on the floor. Tom follows them to the house where he’s keeping the two women.

It turns out the house is on the other side of the screening room wall. Ah, so Tom was looking through a window, not a screen, to see into the house. I think that may make him even sicker.

The two women are dead in the bedroom. Tom gets a call from Gabriel, who tells him to get in the car that’s waiting for him outside.

When Tom gets to Gabriel’s place, Gabriel tells Tom that Marisol Silva is still a problem. He’s heard that Julio’s case is going well. And if Julio’s acquitted that will lead to more questions they don’t want.

Gabriel tells Tom to arrange it to look like Julio killed himself and left a confession. Tom protests that Marisol will lose it if that happens. Gabriel tells Tom he needs to keep Marisol happy because when she’s mayor she’ll be important to both of their businesses.

At his hotel, Billy and Patty talk. Billy says he thinks Roman’s scared of something. Marva interrupts to tell them the judge has decided both the gun and the video will stay in evidence.

Billy goes to see JT to ask him about Roman. JT vouches for Roman but says he’ll keep his ear to the ground in Goliath.

Tom goes to see Danny and the character played by David Cross at the gym. They’re playing racquetball. Cross-character dismisses himself when Tom appears. Tom reports to Danny that things are going well with Brittany but not so much with Julio and Marisol.

He wants to use more money to sweeten the deal for Marisol while getting her to give up on Julio. Danny points out they have guys on the inside, they should just take care of Julio. Tom beats him with a racket.

Billy takes Marisol to the bar. He’s bought the place for the night and set up a special dinner for her. Billy makes a toast to Marisol as L.A.’s next mayor and to Oscar.

Back at Billy’s hotel room, Billy asks a drunk Marisol about the La Mano drug cartel. Marisol has her wits about her enough, to ask him not to talk about work.

But Billy won’t let up with his questioning. Marisol finally says it’s privileged information and they need boundaries when it comes to their work. When Billy counters that he’s surprised she doesn’t want to help him given her interest in Julio, Marisol gets defensive.

Billy asks her why she’s hanging around with him if she doesn’t want to help. Marisol says she thinks he’s had too much to drink and she won’t talk to him anymore.  Billy angrily leaves

JT gets on a bus. He overhears the bus driver and another woman talking about Tito Garcia and how he was always bragging about working with the cops. JT asks the bus driver if she can remember the name of the cop Tito worked with. She thinks about it.

Marisol goes to Billy’s house and Denise opens the door. Billy never came back to the hotel and Marisol is wondering where he is. Denise hasn’t seen him.

Denise tells Marisol Billy’s crazy about her. Marisol tries to get information about the case from Denise but Denise doesn’t have any. Marisol encourages Denise to talk to Billy about it. She claims she’s worried about him. Denise agrees to see what she can find.

Back at her car Marisol texts someone from a cell phone she had in her glove compartment. As she puts it back, we see one of Gabriel’s Alo toys nestled inside.

Denise finds Billy drinking on the beach. She tells him Marisol came by the house. Billy promises to call her. Denise tries to get information on Billy’s case, but he doesn’t take the bait.

As the episode wraps up, JT calls Billy and Billy speeds to Roman’s house. Billy now knows Garcia was Roman’s confidential informant.

Next: Goliath season 2, episode 5 recap: ‘Who's Gabriel’

As he informs Roman, that information puts a different spin on what happened. Roman tries to make excuses but Billy’s not having it. He promises Roman he can protect him and his family if Roman provides enough evidence to take to the prosecution.

Flipping on Danny and Tom would definitely assuage Roman’s guilt but he might not see another day if he does. We’ll see what decision he makes on the next episode, which will hopefully also be less gross. We’ll have the recap of Goliath, episode five up soon.

In the meantime, you can stream Goliath on Amazon Prime.