December 22, 2008

My Own Worst Enemy #9 "Henry and the Terrible... Day" (2008 episode)

Directed by David Straiton. Written by Tyler Mitchell, Rafe Judkins, Lauren LeFranc. Series created by Jason Smilovic.

Aw, bugger.

Well, this is it, folks. The last episode of one of the most consistently strong series I've had the pleasure to follow.

With Henry constantly jumping in in the middle of a dangerous situation, Edward decides to put his gentler half through a lesson in survival... by locking him on a boat with a gun in one hand and a hired assassin rushing up the stairs. This right here is an example of the sharp ideas and sly sense of humor this show steadily offered.

And it's fascinating to see the growth of Henry from a meek office worker who doesn't even know how to hold a gun, to someone who's not only willing, but somewhat capable of holding his own in a situation. It's a sense of genuine development at an earlier point in a series than one is likely to find in other shows, where characters stay exactly the same for as long as possible.

I feel bad for Christian Slater. It's his big comeback, and it gets great reviews and a slew of new fans... only to get the axe right in the middle of big things. His performance of Henry/Edward is amazing as he keeps the differences between the two quiet and subtle instead of broad and garish.

And then there's the scene-stealer himself, Mike O'Malley, as Raymond/Tom, a fellow agent in the program. His smooth, methodical separation of lives is a solid contrast to the chaos that the glitzing Henry/Edward finds himself in, and O'Malley plays his own contrast between lovable Tom and chilling Raymond perfectly.

There's no one else I can mention without going off on a diatribe. The entire cast is fantastic, giving life to all of the possible elements the basic plot concept provides. They're well-rounded, colorful, memorable, yet so painfully awaiting the development promised in the future.

I... don't really know what else to say. It's an excellent series, one of my favorites of all time, and it's maddening that NBC axed it so early and on such a freakin' cliffhanger.

...sigh ...

Such is the fate of the viewing audience.

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