The Good Cop season 1, episode 3 recap: ‘Who Is The Ugly German Lady?’


Tony finds himself breaking the law to help a friend who is wanted for a murder he didn’t commit as TJ welcomes the new woman in Tony’s life to the family on The Good Cop.

This episode of The Good Cop opens with the escape of a man named Sherman Smalls (John Caroll Lynch) from prison and the subsequent manhunt. It appears that he killed a woman in a nearby cabin, brutally attacking and overpowering her husband. Hair and blood were both left at the scene, positively connecting Sherman to the murder. The husband identified Sherman as their attacker.

Tony knows Sherman from prison. He’s a former boxer who was convicted of manslaughter when he accidentally killed a man in a bar fight while defending a woman. Tony doesn’t think that Sherman is a murderer, but the evidence is compelling. Sherman, of course, shows up on Tony’s doorstep asking for help.

Sherman obviously admits to escaping to attend his daughter Brooke’s first big fight as a boxer but doesn’t know anything about the murdered woman. Tony is skeptical but lets Sherman hide in the basement room while he investigates.

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Meanwhile, TJ is working overtime trying to catch Sherman. When he returns home, Tony tells him that he rented out the room downstairs to a recluse.

Of course, Sherman comes upstairs immediately but is disguised as a German woman named Elke who doesn’t speak English. The overtired TJ accepts the disguise and welcomes Elke to their home.

Later on, an overheard out-of-context conversation leads TJ to believe that Tony and Elke are romantically involved and he does his best to get to know her and welcome her to the family. It’s really very sweet how hard he tries to connect with her. TJ, who clearly misses his mom, tells her its nice to have a woman in the house again.

As Tony investigates he becomes suspicious of the husband. He pays him a visit at the car dealership where he works to talk to him unofficially, explaining that he knows Sherman as a friend from prison.

The husband is obviously reluctant to help the man who murdered his wife, but it becomes clear pretty quickly that his story doesn’t hold up. First, the bruises from his attack are on the right side of his face while Sherman is left handed.

Secondly, Sherman’s blood was found in the cabin but he doesn’t have any cuts or scratches. Tony is convinced that the husband is the guy and now he has to convince TJ.

TJ is pretty dead set on Sherman as the murderer, given the physical evidence. In an attempt to catch Sherman, TJ and Cora stake out Brooke’s boxing match only to see Elke in attendance, shortly followed by Tony who is trying to keep her undercover.

When Elke starts cheering for Brooke, TJ realizes that Elke is Sherman in disguise. When TJ confronts Tony and Sherman, Tony is able to convince TJ of Sherman’s innocence.

It turns out that when Sherman was moved to a new cell he discovered a pre-made escape kit, almost gift wrapped. The husband’s girlfriend works at the prison and was able to organize everything, even having access to Sherman’s hair and blood to plant at the crime scene.

The husband and girlfriend realize that they’re in trouble when Tony comes snooping around, so the husband ambushes Tony, Sherman, and TJ at home and ties them up in the basement, staging a gas explosion. Luckily, Cora works out that Elke is really Sherman and arrives just in time to save them.

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This episode of The Good Cop is a little more extra goofy than the first two, not least of all because of John Caroll Lynch’s exceptional Sherman/Elke and TJ’s misunderstanding regarding her/his relationship with Tony.

Why Sherman, who is an exceedingly large and masculine man, decides to try to pass himself off as a woman is unknowable. While he’s obviously wearing Connie Caruso’s old clothes, I still wonder where he got the wig.

In any case, Lynch’s Sherman is so immediately endearing and sweetly dimwitted that it is easy to be on his side from the beginning.