The only thing America loves more than a high profile crime is a TV show that takes us behind the scenes. There’s just something about seeing puzzles pieced together like we’re a part of the game. If that kind of thing gets you hyped up, add tear-jerking confessionals, and Oxygen’s newest true crime drama, The Price of Duty, delivers just that.
But, no one ever things of the true price survivors on both sides of the systems have to pay when cases unfold in front of the world. The Price of Duty follows four detectives as they painfully relive their most haunting cases. With that said, here’s five things we learned from the first four episodes of this season.
Detectives Sometimes Form Bonds with Victim Families
The thing that makes The Price of Duty stand apart is the personal connection it makes to the main detectives of each case. In episode one, we meet Detective Daron Wyatt. His entire family became involved with his search for Placentia college student Cathy Torez. As Wyatt tearfully recounts the domestic violence whodunit, it’s clear this was not just a case to him. Torez’s murder made Dateline fame, as the search for her killer ultimately boiled down to a scorned ex-boyfriend. The case became known as untouchable, but Wyatt connected with Cathy’s family.
In a more recent episode, we meet Detective John Garcia, the lead investigator on the murder of Oscar-winning Cambodian actor Dr. Haing Ngor. Garcia made a personal vow to the victim’s surviving family, and no matter how gruesome things got, he stuck to it. Ngor’s murder case eventually lead to Garcia’s own life challenges.
Scripted cop shows make detective work look way easier than it actually is.
One thing The Price of Duty makes very clear is that forensics evidence makes solving cases easier, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever find enough of it to make a difference. In fact, in most cases, fingerprints aren’t even usable. Now, that doesn’t mean you still can’t get caught from a print. The show just puts perspective on just how hard detectives have to work to catch a perp.
In the case of “The Erie Pizza Bomber”, Detective Jerry Clark had quite a time deciphering the twisted scavenger hunt that lead to the death of pizza delivery man Brian Wells in 2003. Clark had little to no evidence to start from, and his victim was the suspect of a bizarre robbery. Even though this case is very well known amongst the true crime stans out there, The Price of Duty doesn’t delve too much into the media and publicity; it keeps it centered on Clark and his emotional attachment to the case. For Clark, looking back is much harder than having unpleasant thoughts.
“To look back and think of what it took to get to the end… I don’t want know if I could do it again,” Clark says.
Investigators aren’t actors, but some of them still have a sense of humor.
If you’re looking for dramatic reenactments and riveting performances from these detectives, don’t get your hopes up. The show isn’t fast-paced, but what it lacks in thrills, it makes up for in emotional connection. After each episode, you feel for the survivors. Ghosts still haunt both sides, long after each case is closed.
To this day, Daron Wyatt communicates with Cathy Torez’s family on a regular basis. Once Cathy’s murder was solved, her family found peace. Now, they pray for Wyatt and his family to find a way to peace of their own.
One of the youngest detectives, Dimitry Ruvin, is probably the most TV-ready. His bold opinions led to the arrest of Brittany Norwood in the gruesome slaying of her co-worker at a Maryland Lululemon store. Ruvin is a little rough around the edges compared to some of the other detectives, but his unique approach makes for very good police work. He disproved Norwood’s seemingly truthful story, and that chance lead to a very high-profile case.
If you’re a fan of Snapped, you’ll love this show too.
It’s no surprise Oxygen is behind this series. It definitely feels like if Law and Order and Snapped had a baby. It gives you all the feels in regards to the survivors, but there are juicy crime scene analyses in here too. If triangulation of evidence is your thing — and it probably is — you’re going to like it. If you’re just looking for tears and yelling, crime dramas are maybe not for you, friend.
And the last thing we learned is…
Sometimes detectives walk away with a lot of baggage. In the most recent episode of the show, Detective John Garcia shares a lot about his past alcoholism and how the case may have cost him his family. This is real TV. Nothing about this seems scripted. That’s the thing that’s most refreshing about the show. But, don’t take our words for it. Watch The Price of Duty on Oxygen, Monday 9/8c.