Cane – Season 1, Episode 1 (Pilot) and Episode 2 (The Work of a Business Man)

October 5, 2007

Two weeks in and I’m really enjoying this show. A large part of the credit goes to Jimmy Smits who from LA Law to West Wing just does such a great job as the slightly imperfect but still moral centre of every show he’s in. Unfortunately on this show the imperfection is murder but he’s able to justify it to himself with his dedication to his family and business.  In addition to Jimmy Smits the cast includes great actors like Hector Elizondo, Rita Moreno, Ken Howard and even Beecher from Oz and Atia from Rome and the pedigree shows through.

Cane follows the story of a Cuban-American family in the rum and sugar business and their long time rivalry with a local family.  Elizondo is the patriarch who is dying and needs to hand his business down to his successor.  He has 3 children to choose from and one adopted son (Smits) who married Elizondo’s daughter.  Of course, the natural sons are passed over in favour of Smits creating a conflict in the family.

Many of the reviews criticized the show for packing too much story into the pilot – the internal family conflict, the rivalry with the other family, a hired killer and a vengeful Smits.  Personally, I didn’t find it hard to follow and found the show quite compelling.  Lots of good soap opera action, a good cast and dramatic cliffhangers.  It’s far better than most of the new shows I’ve seen this season and I’m looking forward to see what happens next.  I can’t ask for anything more.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B+