December 6, 2008

My Own Worst Enemy #6 "High Crimes and Turducken" (2008 episode)

Directed by Adam Kane. Written by Mark Rosner. Series created by Jason Smilovic.

The Setup:

When Edward steals a valuable hard-drive which he hopes to exchange for information about the death of his parents, Henry finds himself in a sticky position as he grapples with whether or not to help in the committing of high treason.

What Doesn't Work:

- There's a subplot involving Angie's father, an adopted man who just uncovered information about his birth parents, that offers nothing to the story but a heavy-handed way of exploring Henry's thoughts on how people never truly know who they are.

- The flashbacks to young Edward and his parents are about as cheesy and cliche as they could be. And, since Christian Slater was already an easy-to-impersonate icon at that age, was it really so hard to find an actor that, even if he only vaguely resembled the part, could at least adopt some of the same mannerisms? He's not that hard of a guy to emulate.

- I know Edward is the super-spy to end all super-spies, but everything comes together far too perfectly in the conclusion. There's a terribly lacking sense of consequence which would have offered a wonderful opportunity for exploration in following episodes.

- Adam Kane's direction is a little bland. Still good, just not as sharp as what we've previously seen from the show.

- It still sucks that the series has been cancelled.

What Does Work:

- I love the central plot, of Henry finding yet another reason to suspect the motivations of Edward, because it ties so beautifully into the core concept of the series. And it helps that it's just as well executed here as it has been previously, with Henry once again awakening in the middle of an alien situation that causes the questions to explode in both his and our minds.

- Despite my gripe about Edward's super-spy abilities in the episode's conclusion, there's a wonderful scene in the first half where he and Raymond have to break into a government facility to test its security. It's amazing how they take a nicely choreographed heist sequence and strengthen it further with Edward executing his own little personal side mission.

- Henry finally learns about Edward's relationship with Dr. Skinner in a fantastic sequence that opens a whole can of ethical worms.

- While the flashbacks are sloppy, I love the idea of Edward's parents because it finally humanizes him, gives him something outside of the spying world which Henry doesn't share. And I love how they show a little bit of selfishness on Henry's part because he keeps railing about how Edward is affecting him and his family and his life, but when he learns about Edward's parents, he casually dismisses them as people he never knew. It's a realistic way of showing how people often miss the point of their own arguments.

- I love how the quenched flames in Tom and Mary's troubled marriage start to reignite over the preparation of a turducken.

In Conclusion:

Not one of the best episodes of the series, but still pretty darn good with a solid plot at its core and some strong exploration of the main cast.

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1 comment:

Anthony Williams said...

I like the format. Not only is it quicker to write, but it's also easy to digest without losing any of the real substance. Works really well for a review of an episode of a TV show.