There is a strong theme of unanticipated consequences that ties Sea Change to the comedic form as it was originally envisioned. The line, "...unanticipated consequences" actually works its way into the script... no kidding. Stone has in the previous installments been introduced to the real flavor of his small town. Things are not so rosy, the covers have been lifted, the dirt was swept out from under the rug... The people around Stone now see him as sincere, but there's lingering doubt about his ability. The deputy, Suitcase, that was felled by a bullet in the last show (Death in Paradise) remains in the hospital under a coma. Another deputy is away on maternity leave, which puts Stone mostly by himself again. The solitude doesn't suit him at all and drives him to his old friend, The Bottle. After a particularly lonely and drunk stretch, Stone decides to dig up some new dirt from the cold-case files to give his existence a bit more spark. What he digs up produces more than a spark, it literally explodes. Stones life in Paradise gets quite a bit more interesting before the end of the compact, 87-minute show.
Critics can say what they will, but the test of a show like Sea Change is ultimately its "watchability." I like watching Selleck and he seems deeply invested in the character. Sean Young makes a blessedly short appearance along with some new cast members, but the camera is focused on Selleck or his dog 85% of the time. Fans of the novels must feel like they've died and gone to heaven. Even if you haven't read the books or aren't a huge fan of Tom Selleck, if you like crime, drama, or suspense flicks, you could do much worse than watching Sea Change with an adult beverage and a bowl of popcorn.