Thread: 404 Justice
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:05 PM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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I found this episode really excellent, easily on of my top five of the whole show. The topic is very intense and courageous, that's for once and like almost all Quantum episodes which deal with the problem of racism or prejudice, it was treated in an intelligent way, IMO. It's more about white people than about black ones and it underlines very well, I think, the double dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde nature than can be spotted in most of "normal" people.
The members of Ku Klux Klan are not shown as monsters or criminals - they are just ordinary people, nice people, and the whole business about Klan is mostly some kind of entertainment, an excuse for stag parties and a play for big boys. But then, how easily the whole matter takes another run and those nice people are driven to do most hideous things, like blowing up a church or killing an innocent man. The effect is far more frightening than it could have been if they had been shown simply as "evil".
The other interesting point is that Sam is saving Nathaniel, yes, but more than all he is saving Clyde's family: his father in low, his wife and his child: he saves him from ethical point of view and it was also very nicely shown.
Then there is of course one of the rare occasions when Sam is forced to act against his believes, to pretend something he really hates (I couldn't really think about one single situation like this in the whole show). The first confrontation with Nathaniel is a very powerful scene and such an excellent acting: Sam really looks as if he were to throw up after having said "nigger".
The pacing of the second part of the episode is superb and it is fascinating to see Sam risking his life for a cause he totally believes in. He is so convincing that even the last scene, with hanging come naturally and believable (it was very much at risk to become cliche'): you can feel he is ready to die for what he thinks is right. It is interesting to compare Sam's fear of death in episodes like Last dance for Jesus or Dreams and his boldness here, which makes the message of the episode even more touching.
And, last but not least: Al's concern for Sam. You can see he is genuinely scared in some scenes and it's done beautifully by Dean Stockwell.
Can I think of anything else? But yes, of course, the church scene with little children: for all the gravity of the situation it's simply hilarious!
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