November 22, 2008

My Own Worst Enemy #4 "This is Not My Son" (2008 episode)

Directed by Fred Keller. Written by Kim Clements and Courtney Kemp Agboh. Created by Jason Smilovic.

I've been wondering since the first episode how the producers managed to sign an actress of Saffron Burrows's caliber to play a largely thankless role like that of Dr. Norah Skinner, the company analyst who acts as little more than a wall for Henry to bounce his frustrations off of. But now I see there's a deeper plan for the character, a broader thread which elevates her to a much higher degree of importance.

Dr. Skinner is the head of a department that monitors agents to make sure their dual personalities are properly in check. It's not yet revealed how she found out, but she knows about the breakdown between Henry and Edward. But instead of signing him up for termination (the meaning of which we learn in a clever way), she acts as yet another guardian angel within the company to protect our hero(es) from the ruthless oversight of Trumble.

That's not to say she's a hero. No, we learn she couldn't care less about Henry or the other agents she oversees, and it's a connection with Edward that drives her to take the cold actions she does. I'm still reeling from the knowledge that this show has been cancelled, so I hope we at least get some further exploration of just how deep their relationship goes.

And then we get to Tom/Raymond and his suspicious wife. I honestly thought this thread would play out over a longer arc and have deeper implications in the world, but they surprise me by wrapping it up in a clever, intelligently executed way.

Probably the tastiest tidbit of all is an incident involving Henry's son, who has a bit more of Edward in him than Henry would like. It's an interesting development I hadn't thought of, but makes perfect sense, and I like how they're showing that Edward isn't as independent from Henry's family as initially thought.

As I said before, I'm still reeling from the cancellation news. This was such a fantastic series, building on a solid concept with a great crew of people in front of the camera and behind. Though my enthusiasm has understandably waned, I'll stick with it until the end.

My review of My Own Worst Enemy #3 "Hello, Henry" (2008 episode).
My review of My Own Worst Enemy #5 "The Night Train to Moscow" (2008 episode).

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