December 13, 2008

My Own Worst Enemy #7 "Down Rio Way" (2008 episode)

Directed by Michael Watkins. Written by Daniel Knauf. Series created by Jason Smilovic.

The Setup:

Henry has a gun in his hand and is face to face with the man who killed Edward's parents, but he doesn't know if he can pull the trigger.

Meanwhile, Raymond finds himself in an awkward position when he poses as Tom to deal with the other half's wife, Mary, who claims she hit a man with her car after a wild night on the town.

The Good:

- It was inevitable, given the nature of this show, that Henry would find himself in the position of having to kill someone, I just didn't expect it so early. They play his inner conflict out beautifully, especially the scene where he receives the gun and grows more and more panicky as he's instructed on how to use it.

- We finally get a flashback of Edward just before his involvement with the Janus program and it's marvelous how, in the span of just about a minute of screen time, they manage to show that he was neither the Edward nor the Henry personalities as we know them to be now, but a balance between the two.

- Mike O'Malley rules. Raymond has never set foot in Tom's house before, nor actually met Mary in person, so you can imagine his hesitation and annoyance with finding himself in his present dilemma. And O'Malley plays it out beautifully, smoldering over the domestic situations and methodically investigating and covering up his wife's crime.

- The subplot about our heroes' divergent reactions to the first car of Henry's son is fun.

The Bad:

- I know they don't want to do anything so extreme as have Henry pull the trigger this early in the series, but the way they get around it, while beautifully filmed, feels like too much of a cop-out.

- As much as I enjoy John Heard, I wish they would have cut his two scenes in the wake of the cancellation news, because that would have allowed at least one major plot thread to come to a close. As it is, we get yet more questions that will likely never be answered.

In Conclusion:

While it's frustrating that most of the developing mysteries are likely to go unresolved in the remaining two episode, this was yet another fantastic chapter in the series, presenting two of the characters with ethical conflicts that beautifully play off the central concept.

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