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Old 08-12-2007, 06:05 PM   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cocono's in the Poconos
Posts: 642

I hadn't watched this episode for quite a while, until last night. I had forgotten how good it was. Among the characters, the only false note came from Kevin, who seemed rather cardboard and one-sided. But they couldn't afford to make him look sympathetic at all. All the reactions from Katie's family are so believeable that it's painful to watch. Funny how nobody notices that the teenage Katie is suddenly talking like a mature adult, though.

There was one nearly funny moment in this episode--when Al tells Sam, "Swoon. Swoon!" And Sam does. (Hope they had some padding on the floor for Scott.)

I was very unhappy with the ending the first time I watched this, because I don't think beating people up is a way to solve problems. The thing is, the justice system has failed Katie and it seems like there's not much else Sam could do. Plus, Sam has the right to defend himself when he's been hit first. This could even be considered a failed leap--we don't know what happened as a result of Katie beating up Kevin because Sam leaps out before Al can get any information about it. It's possible that nothing changed in either Katie or Kevin's life, even though it looks like a feel-good moment for Katie. They say in a number of episodes that success has nothing to do with leaping, and this might be as close as they come to having a real example of that.

(To be fair, sometimes the constraints of a 45 minute show make such telescoping of events inevitable, done not from ignorance but simple necessity to get the story told in a limited slot.)
I think that's what's happening here. There's a lot of story to tell in one hour. They maybe could have done something to indicate that time passed so we could assume all the proper legal stuff was being done, though. I wonder if it's partly a holdover from the days when TV was considered a throwaway medium. People were expected to see an episode once and then move on to something else, not watch it again and again to notice all the details and pick it apart. (Of course, we have great fun doing those things. ) Maybe the lack of realism is because TV and film derive originally from stage plays, which were never very realistic. So whatever conveys drama to the audience is going to outweigh real-life procedure.

I guess knowing me, I'll continue to write copious notes, to research locations and history, and medical symptoms (you all know how cruel I am to our hero!) and so on wherever I can.
As a reader, I certainly appreciate that kind of attention to detail. And I think readers are more demanding than most TV watchers in that regard. When you don't have actors on the screen doing fun visual stuff, you have to have a solid, believeable story. When you have actors, settings, special effects, etc. to watch, you can gloss over quite a few things.
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