Coroner: McAvoy has his strongest episode of the series so far

Coroner -- "Confetti Heart" -- Image Number: COR106_1004r.jpg -- Pictured: Roger Cross as Detective Donovan "Mac" McAvoy -- Photo: © 2020 Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Inc.
Coroner -- "Confetti Heart" -- Image Number: COR106_1004r.jpg -- Pictured: Roger Cross as Detective Donovan "Mac" McAvoy -- Photo: © 2020 Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Inc. /

McAvoy stood out as a relatably flawed character on Coroner Season 1, Episode 6

I haven’t spent a lot of time focused on Detective Donovan McAvoy in my Coroner write-ups. Part of that has been because while he’s been around, there’s never been that much depth to him. That all changed with Coroner Season 1, Episode 6.

Okay, it started to change with the previous episode. We saw his fear that a serial killer would be let out of jail due to Jenny’s actions. But that was just a small part of an episode that focused mostly on Jenny’s family drama and finding the body in the well.

Coroner Season 1, Episode 6 gave us more about McAvoy’s backstory. We got to know him as a person, seeing his strengths but also his relatable flaws.

An episode focused on systemic racism

The United States is in the news a lot for its systemic racism. Other countries have problems, too. That’s certainly the case with Canada. The racism isn’t just aimed at Black people, but also Indigenous people. The latter is something Burden of Truth recently shone an important light on. Now it’s time for Coroner to focus on the systemic racism against Black people.

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We watched McAvoy get pulled over by an officer for rolling through a stop sign. This officer twitched for her gun after asking for McAvoy’s licensing and insurance. Despite knowing what he should have been reaching for, she believed he was reaching for a weapon—and from the look on McAvoy’s face, he knew what she was fearful of because of his race.

The minute he pulled out his badge, things changed. The officer wasn’t even going to give him a ticket, and he took control of the situation. He made it clear if she really thought he’d rolled through an intersection (even though she couldn’t tell him which one despite following him through three), she needed to give him a ticket.

He was strong and calm. Many people, even fellow cops, would react differently in that situation. We saw that strength of character, focusing on the task at hand—getting to court.

The racism continued, although that was more of an attack directly on McAvoy. As he started going against the cop who had done wrong, the cop’s friends ganged up on McAvoy. It’s a similar storyline Chicago PD needs to face in Season 8. It’s not easy being on the “wrong side” of the cops.

McAvoy just wants to make a difference

My heart went out to McAvoy during the episode. He grew up from the same part of town as the Abandas stuck with McAvoy when he became a cop while others turned against him. Others saw McAvoy as working for the system that was against them, yet all McAvoy has wanted to do is change the system.

I’m not sure what he’s done to try to change the system. We don’t know enough about him to know if he’s tried to help against systemic racism. As Coroner Season 1, Episode 6 shows, it’s not easy going against that system. Cops have the wrong type of friends who will go up against anyone who wants to change things for the better; who stand up against systemic racism.

This is very real, too. There are plenty of reports of cops attempting to do the right thing, only to be targeted against because of it. Some lose their jobs outright. Others will quit because of the bullying. This is something that needs to stop, and it is important for a TV show to raise awareness of this.

McAvoy feels guilty for not being able to make a change to the system. That’s why he’s never returned to the area he grew up. While the Abanda family continued to welcome him in, he couldn’t face them. He hadn’t achieved what he’d tried, giving us this weakness in his character; this hero-complex element but also this shame in letting people down.

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McAvoy almost crossed a line on Coroner

After a while, a situation gets to you. You get to the point where you’re willing to cross a line to achieve the right thing. At least, McAvoy thought he was willing to cross a line, and he almost did.

It could have blown the entire case, but in a moment of anger, McAvoy didn’t care. We saw the reasonable flaw in his character. This man, who is so by the book everywhere else, snapped. He was done with the bullying against him for wanting to change a system for the better.

He managed to get control of himself before he did cross the line. Will it change things with Devereux? Probably not. It could make things worse for McAvoy. The important thing is we got to see just how much this means to McAvoy after learning the truth.

We saw more emotion from him in one episode than we have throughout the series so far. Now it’s time to utilize him more than just a little comedic relief with his snarky comebacks.

Next. Why Coroner's Jenny is such an inspirational character. dark

What did you think of McAvoy’s character development on Coroner Season 1, Episode 6? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Coroner airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.