The Good Cop season 1, episode 4 recap: ‘Will the Good Cop Bowl 300?’


As Tony and his bowling league make their way into the finals on this episode of The Good Cop, Cora unofficially investigates the suspected murder of a bowling alley employee. Meanwhile, TJ discovers he has unexpected bowling talents.

It’s bowling night on The Good Cop and Tony, Cora, Burl, and Ryan are getting close to making the finals, which has been a dream of Tony’s for the last seventeen years.

He’s obsessed with winning the championship. Things take a nasty turn when a lane employee and Cora’s first parole client Joey is murdered behind the lanes.

The official opinion is that Joey committed suicide, but Cora doesn’t buy it. She suggests an unsanctioned investigation and bringing TJ onto the team to help. Tony and TJ both oppose this suggestion, especially the part about putting TJ on the team.

TJ doesn’t want to disappoint his father and Tony knows that TJ is unathletic and uncoordinated. They go along with the plan anyway.

Coincidentally, Ryan is developing a remote-controlled ball for a toy fair and designs a bowling ball sized version for TJ at Tony’s suggestion. Ryan controls the ball from a remote point, leading the unskilled TJ to believe that he’s a bowling prodigy.

However, Ryan suffers a crisis of conscience the more he comes to realize how badly he’s cheating. Tony, however, has no moral qualms about this and is extremely persuasive as he convinces Ryan how essential it is to follow through.

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Things get out of hand when TJ decides to quit the force and pursue bowling professionally. Tony nearly decides to come clean when TJ tells him how much money he’d be making as a professional bowler — maybe $2 million a year — leading Tony to continue scheming.

While initially, TJ is just happy to finally make his father proud of him, the success goes to his head and alienates his friends.

Meanwhile, Cora continues the investigation alone as TJ becomes distracted by his bowling success. Joey was a true crime fanatic and recognized one of the league members, Lionel Sykes, as a man suspected of killing his wife.

Joey found evidence against him and was trying to blackmail him. Sykes killed him instead and has been searching the bowling alley for the hidden evidence ever since. Cora comes to realize that the evidence is hidden in a stuffed animal that Joey buried in the claw machine.

A little girl manages to win it and Sykes trades her his watch for it. As Sykes tries to escape with the evidence, Ryan uses the remote-controlled bowling ball to trip him up. TJ, of course, learns the terrible and humiliating truth behind his amazing bowling skills.

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Weeks afterward, the gang are all still mad at Tony for his scheme. TJ tells him it was the meanest thing that Tony ever did to him. And certainly, letting someone believe they’re good at something when they’re not is not in one’s best interest, but actively fostering that belief is bordering cruel. Tony’s selfishness really comes out in this one.

As an experiment, TJ went back to the ally to see if he was any good on his own and scored a 92 with the bumpers up. One would think that TJ would have exceptional hand-eye coordination if he can score a range record in marksmanship, but I guess one thing doesn’t necessarily follow another.

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