I said plenty about "Smith" in my review this morning, but some spoiler-y commentary coming up faster than Amy Smart can steal your identity...
They left the surfing murders in. And the cat kicking. I'm so pleased. It's rare that you see a protagonist on a network drama who's a pure sociopath the way Simon Baker's character is, and when he shot those surfers for kicking him off their beach and daring to touch his board, my eyebrows raised up and I said, "Well, there's something you don't usually see on CBS." (And, in case you were wondering, that wasn't any kind of pre-arranged hit; per Baker, John Wells, Virginia Madsen and everybody else involved in the show, Jeff did it because they touched his board. On the other hand, when I asked Wells and Christopher Chulack what Jeff was doing with a sniper rifle in his truck on a surfing vacation, they didn't have an answer for that.)
The stuff with Baker, and with Amy Smart and the cocktail waitress, and Jonny Lee Miller's interactions with both of them were all badly needed, because, at least in the pilot, Ray Liotta was a real drag on the action. Aside from the scene where he's playing the piano and Virginia Madsen comes in, I couldn't read him and didn't really care.
As I said in the review, there's no good reason this thing had to run 55 minutes or so without commercials, especially given how much of the robbery got replayed twice. (The only part that merited it was Smart just brutally tasering her old classmate before crying rape; Franky G may have the muscles, but she is by far the scariest member of this crew.) Wells and Chulack love the whole in media res teaser device almost as much as they love filming in Hawaii, but they admitted they did it here because they needed some action at the front. Either way, it was more sluggishly-paced than I wanted, and without any real stylistic flair to compensate, especially during the heist itself.
I'm intrigued by the revelation that Madsen is an ex-con herself. Was she part of Ray's crew who got caught? Since it's pretty clear she knows he's still thieving, how many episodes will it take before she joins the team?
I'm in for a while, based on lack of timeslot competition and a great cast. But they need to figure out what to do with Liotta in a hurry, and they need to decide whether they're doing "Ocean's 11" or "Heat." As a wise man once said, walk left side road, fine. Walk right side road, fine. Walk down middle -- SPLAT! -- crushed like grape!
What did everybody else think?