Skip to main content

'Black Donnellys': The Lincoln Tunnel’s Killer That Time of Day

The Black Donnellys still has my interest, although I’m not sure if I’m hooked. Some details I liked: Mrs. Donnelly, upon noticing the blood on her son’s sleeve as he helps her keep vigil in his brother’s hospital room, tucks the stain under his coat. Mrs. Donnelly may or may not be entirely crazy in this episode, but she’s not dumb.

Later in the episode, Tommy Donnelly (the family’s archangel, if you haven’t seen the commercials NBC was running constantly before the premiere) has to stuff a body into an oil drum using a sledgehammer, and Kevin, the Donnelly with the bloody sleeve, can’t handle it. This is Tommy’s moment of realization–there’s no going back to his innocent life once he mutilates this body, and he is the only family member capable of doing it.

It was an appropriately dramatic scene, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a better way to fit a body in an oil drum. And then I stopped speculating, as I was scaring myself.

One critique, because this really bugged me: There would have been the very real danger that the brothers would have been stopped by the authorities before they entered the Holland or Lincoln Tunnel as they drove a stolen cargo van with a dead body in the back into New Jersey. NYPD, NY/NJ Port Authority, and the NY MTA have been conducting routine stops of vans and trucks crossing bridges and tunnels since 9/11. I know this because I’ve moved several times in the past few years, and let me tell you, there is no one more threatening-looking than a 5’5” blonde girl, wearing her pajamas, driving a Budget rental truck and listening to NPR at six in the morning. No one. I look so scary that I have been stopped at least four times and ordered to open the back of the truck.

I’ll give the writers the benefit of the doubt and surmise that this must have been why the brothers stole a van with un-tinted rear windows. That reverse commute is slow enough as it is, without having to explain the dead bookie in your trunk.

By Guest Blogger Liz McKeon