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‘Black Donnellys’: Does Joey Tell It Like It Is?

Donnellys character Joey Ice Cream has undergone an interesting transformation since the show’s premiere. Initially, Joey was the omniscient narrator but was not directly involved in the story. He inserted himself into the plotline as an afterthought, re-imagining the scene as he went. His interrogators often called him on this.

With last night’s episode, Joey showed that he had two new tricks–one, he had already placed himself into the story the first time he took a pass at it, and two, he started discussing scenes that wouldn’t happen until at least the next episode. Joey’s alluded to future events before, but never presented such direct foreshadowing. I was surprised when the episode ended because I’d assumed we’d be seeing a knife fight before the hour was up.

Joey’s listening audience seems to change with each episode. He’s clearly in jail, but sometimes, he’s in an interrogation room, sometimes he’s in an analyst’s office, and at least once he was simply talking to the guard outside his cell.

I’m interested to see if the writers are affirming the character’s credibility as the show goes on, or if it is simply a matter of Joey’s being able to speak more comfortably with some of his inquisitors than with others. Will we see a return to the jittery fast-talker we met in the first episode? Will he continue to predict specific events that will happen in future episodes?

The character is a wild card, and it makes for an especially intriguing plot device.

By Liz McKeon