@everlong: Thanks for the tip.
I've got nothing bad to say about this episode. But there were several things that made me exceptionally proud of the writers.
1. "They're teenagers, they'll get over it." The modern tendency to treat every traumatic experience as an excuse for "grief counselling" is infuriating and dangerous, and in at least one school I know of, led to several suicides.
2. "Yeah. If Winston Churchill was cute." Damn it, babies are ugly little critters. Nice to see someone admit it.
3. The fact that they never showed the baby! There was no, "Aww - look at the cute baby" moment for the audience. We've all seen babies. We know what they look like.
Thanks to the entire Mentalist team. You rock!
@NoHassleCastle: I'll give you Remington -- there's no telling what would have happened if it hadn't been sabotaged. My suspicion is that it would have ended soon anyhow, but there's no way to say for sure.
@NoHassleCastle: But Remington Steel only lasted three full seasons, which I believe is about as long as you can carry a Star-Crossed Lovers theme. Four at the outside. Another factor in its favour was that few shows had, as yet, indulged in this theme, so it was still fairly fresh. And in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, the romantic situation is resolved at the beginning of the fourth season -- which, significantly, was its last.
@Everlong: Ross and Rachael worked, to a point, but largely because they were merely one of a number of on-again off-again relationships in a very equal ensemble cast. The show didn't revolve around them. Even so, by the time it was finally over, a large number of fans were sick of it, no longer cared, and even felt cheated at the resolution -- especially since it involved Rachael giving up her career in Paris.
But the idea of Kate reading a Nikky Heat novel is brilliant. Have you seen any in the stores? I saw one in Chapters and wanted so badly to buy it, but it was hard cover and way too much money. There's even an author's picture (Nathaniel Fillion, of course) and bio on the jacket.
Oops. I wrote "Grubner." Of course, that should be "Gubler." I don't know why -- I always think it's Grubner.
Regarding the debate about whether or not the killer should be known to the audience right from the start.
When the identity of the killer is kept from the audience, there is a tendency for writers to fall into the Red-Herring Syndrome. As a result, an experienced viewer stops paying attention to the purported clues, and starts looking for the "TV clues," such as B-list guest stars who, after being introduced in the first 15 minutes, are then dropped from the story.
But the real enjoyment of police procedurals is in watching the investigators do their investigating. For this, it doesn't matter if the audience knows who did it or not. Columbo was enormously successful, and never prone to the Red Herring Syndrome, yet in all but one episode the audience was shown not only who the murderer was, but exactly how the murder was committed, right in the opening scene.
I hadn't noticed who directed it. Good job, Grubner.
The story was pretty much out there, but then a lot of them are. In reality you simply don't get very many (if any) highly complex serial killers. But then again, in reality behavioural profiling is an extremely vague and generally unhelpful procedure, but I enjoy the show and the premise, and I'm willing to go along with it. (Just as I'm willing to go along with Patrick Jane's nearly-invincible ability to read people -- which is actually more believable, since he's dealing with them one-on-one.)
The one thing that does bother me at times is the shaky, yet oddly accurate conclusions to which they jump. A quick look at the stitching and they decide that not only was the tailor female, but young, and since whoever moved the body had to be strong, there must be two people involved? I'd like to see the writers spend a bit more time making these conclusions appear more logical. That, after all, is a large part of the show's draw.
PS: @Michael: When the boy reached in and pulled them out, the well was filled with water and they were floating on top. The height of the well was well-established throughout the episode on several occasions and from several angles. Commercial breaks are the best time to grab something from the kitchen.
@Joyeful: Missed your comment on Chuck -- but it only serves to prove the point. The characters were kept apart for a limited length of time, and therefore the "will-they-won't-they" element never became an essential part of the show.
@Joyful and others on romantic leads working.
Of course they can work -- if they're established at the beginning. Sue has already mentioned a couple of examples (Hart to Hart, The Thin Man), and in each case the crime-fighting couple are together right from the start. The problem comes when you have star-crossed lovers -- a couple that isn't a couple, and whose romantic dance makes up a large part of the show's appeal. If you bring them together, then the audience, which is naturally composed largely of people who thrive on star-crossed lover stories, are no longer interested, and the show is over. If you keep them apart, the reasons for doing so become increasingly unbelievable and annoying.
The star-crossed lovers theme works well when done in a short-term story, like a movie or a show with a limited and pre-set number of episodes (something the British have always been more willing to do). They're the basis of Romcoms, and have produced some of the best movies out there -- including Sleepless in Seattle. But trying to make it work for years is difficult to the point of being impossible.
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