Author Topic: Pollyanna to the Rescue - Episodes 11 & 12  (Read 1401 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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Pollyanna to the Rescue - Episodes 11 & 12
« on: December 13, 2004, 07:24:22 PM »
A few short fashion notes (we are still in at Day 2 or the longest day ever!)

Roger has traded in the Wal*Mart shirt and tie for a Fisherman's knit type of sweater that I rather like. Unfortunately he's wearing a wrinkled trench of uncertain origin over it. Even if he's gone through all of his money, we do know the family owns an iron. Maybe his devoted niece should take a crack at that coat because it seriously looks like he rolled it up in a ball.

Maggie's wig looks like it's several shades darker. It also appears to have been sprayed with five cases of Aqua Rock. She is also wearing an excessive amount of makeup. Her eyes have almost as much gunk on them as they do later on when she's being victimized by Barnabas.

Roger changes into a suit that I don't think we've seen before, same tie, and I swear that awful shirt to go into town. Why? I'm not sure. It's night time. He's only off to harass Sam. Not sure if it wouldn't have been socially acceptable to be wearing a knit sweater and slacks. Contemporary viewers? I suppose it's dimly possible that he was intent on intimidating Sam. Only other option is HoYay! and I just don't see that happening. Not between Roger and Sam.

Onto the show . . .

I have to admit it, if you're not watching these in fast succession, these are very dull episodes. It's still Vicki's second day at Collinwood you understand. The show would have been in its second week and we're only at like 5 PM with no sign of anything ever speeding up.

When last we left, Carolyn had just returned to Collinsport, face all aglow at her brilliance in solving everybody's problems ever by bringing home Burke. Well, she's still all smiles and enthusiasm despite the fact that Elizabeth looks like she's just been turned to stone. Burke is busy striding around the drawing room much in the manner of someone kicking the tires on a prospective car. When Elizabeth does speak, it's clear she's giving both her daughter and Burke the freeze. It's pretty much wasted effort where both are concerned. Burke clearly expects it and Carolyn is oblivious. Why? Well, Carolyn is busy throwing herself at Burke. It's almost painful to watch actually. She's like an eager puppy dog trying to act all soignee. Yeah, doesn't quite work.

Back in town, Sam is pretty darn drunk. I'm not quite sure why he has shown up at the front desk of the hotel in search of booze (he may have articulated that, but I was busy trying to figure out what I did with the replacement bulb for my Christmas lights). Anyhow, we learn several things. Mr. Wells (or is it Welles?) is a pretty nice guy because he does his best to sober Sam up. Unfortunately, he didn't have my high school chemistry teacher or he would have known that caffeine does nothing to counteract alcohol. We also learn that Mr. Wells doesn't want Maggie to find her father drunk, which seems kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse is gone--Maggie's been through this most of her life, clearly--but it's a nice gesture all the same. During these vain attempts (which are actually kind of funny; Mark Allen was a big guy and he looks kind of comical holding those dinky coffee cups), Mr. Wells opts to keep Sam's attention by spilling all about Carolyn's one hour visit to Burke's hotel room.  Most interesting to me was the revelation that the hotel has a bar.

In spite of, or perhaps because of her daughter's desperate antics, Elizabeth all but drags her out of the room. She's not entirely convinced by Carolyn's recitation of her clever efforts at Business Intelligence and the Great Venezuelan Financial Scheme of 1966 either. As this conversation is happening, Sam gets free of his captor and his attempts to pour more black coffee down his throat long enough to make a call to Collinwood in search of Roger (and also we learn, to hit that never-to-be-heard-of-again hotel bar). He gets Liz, hears Burke's voice in the background, and hangs up panicked.

You know, I've never had a mortal enemy or anything so maybe I'm just clueless, but it strikes me that all these approaches to the Burke problem are pretty self-defeating. From what we're learning, he got sent to the Big House because those concerned put up a united front. They lied through their teeth with straight faces and he went bye bye. Understandably, he's back and bent on revenge and all, but instead of going back to what worked the last time, now everyone freaks out every time his name is mentioned or he turns up. Doesn't seem like a very effective approach to me.

Aware he's making her very uncomfortable, Burke overtly discusses what Collinwood would go for should Liz sell. For those of you interested in buying the place, the figure in 1966 dollars is $250,000. According to the Consumer Price Index, that translates to about $1,460,648 today. While he's busy talking about Jeremiah Collins (that would be the portrait above the fireplace in the drawing room), he also claims he's not interested in revenge. What he's selling, Elizabeth ain't buying.

Back at Detox headquarters, Sam is entering the maudlin phase. Thank God, he's not singing. The actor is also reading from the teleprompter, which leads me to wonder if that's why he got replaced, except I will point out that the actor is doing a pretty good job of it, especially in comparison of future performances in the years to come.

Burke's daddy sounds like a drunk to me. He (Burke and father) evidently lived in a shack by the docks and the father repaired lobster pots for a living. I'm not quite sure what a lobster pot is, but from his tone I'm going to assume that this was not a prestigious or high-paying position. Okay, clearly not an idyllic childhood, but for Burke to then claim that his efforts to get away were stymied by the trial and jail time is clearly misleading. ¢â‚¬ËœCause unless I'm supposed to by Burke as a 25-year-old, and I so don't, the man had ample chances to get the hell out of Dodge long before he and his good friends decided to enjoy a night on the town. Also, do these people have no tact? First it's Vicki bringing up Paul to Elizabeth and now Burke is in there jabbing away with her self-inflicted isolation. Clearly none of these characters have even the slightest acquaintance with manners.

Carolyn, by the way, is the Pollyanna of this column's title. Yeah, I know. Carolyn. But she is. She's on the phone with Joe and it's clear she actually believes she's solved her family's problem with Burke by bringing him over for a talk. Now, I'm not saying that sometimes this does work, but if you're not Jimmy Carter, which I think we can all agree Carolyn is not, then it's really a tricky tactic and even a lust-struck 18-year-old girl should see this. She has no idea what really went down. All she knows is that Bill, her mother, and Roger are absolutely panicked by the thought of Burke's return. While Roger is a comparatively unknown quantity, neither Bill nor Liz strike me as the type of people to freak at something minor. So why Carolyn thinks that her solution is so effective, I have no idea.

Our erstwhile governess is out enjoying the nighttime view of the ocean. Now I realize she's had a difficult first day and all, but we've yet to see her actually working or anything. Her morning was spent bringing up her employer's unfortunate marriage. Her afternoon was devoted to the never-ending phone call, and now she's out for a walk after that long exhausting day. Okay, well, I'm not paying her so I have no real problem with this. However, I'm not quite sure why anyone goes to Widows' Hill at night. You know, pitch black, dangerous precipitous cliff, etc. But so she's there and we get one of my favorite sound effects--that of the wailing widows. Roger shows up and he has some fun. By the way, at this point in time, the canon is that Collinwood was built in 1816 (not that the house looks like it fits that era, but whatever). Roger tells quite a mean ghost story.

It's all quite ironic for the viewer who knows what's to come. Vicki stoutly denies the existence of ghosts; Roger implies that there are. He's got an agenda, of course, but in comparison to her essential obsession later on, Vicki is all practicality. She's not particularly good at memory recall though because when asked about her encounter with Sam, all she can remember is that Sam said he was looking for Roger. This was that long, drawn-out scene that went on for some time, if you'll recall--the one where Sam was positively lyrical.

Lots of emoting and scene chewing between Sam and Maggie. Sam's solution is to skip town. Maggie doesn't like this idea much. Probably because she realizes that if he leaves the next time she hears about him will be from some out-of-town city cop who found him in a cardboard box or something. I rather like Scott's characterization of Maggie in these episodes. She plays her as an intelligent, desperate girl and it all works. Maggie, incidentally, knows damn well that Roger is mixed up with her father. She doesn't know why, but she's got that part down.

The object of this conversation presses on about Vicki's meeting with Burke. For once, Vicki grows a spine and basically tells Roger she'll have coffee with whoever she wants. About bloody time. Roger tries to warn Vicki off of Burke--it really is too bad that he can't just find a strategy and stick to it--Roger's solution is for Vicki to leave. Carolyn, all perky and smiles shows up, clearly convinced that life is about to be sunshine and lollipops for all just as soon as Roger goes on into the drawing room.

Roger, of course, doesn't have the time of day for Carolyn and her mysterious allusions. He's busy trying to track down Sam. These days Sam would have Caller ID and would just screen the call with no worries. Back then, you picked up the phone and you're pretty much at the mercy of whoever's on the other end. Much sturm and drang at the Evans Cottage as the phone keeps ringing and ringing. We learn a little bit more about Burke, the prison term, and how someone got killed.

Content that her work in repairing ancient wounds is done, Carolyn suggests that Vicki go quiz Matthew Morgan for dirt. Yeah, that's gonna work real well. Pathologically devoted servant whose one concern in life is that nobody bother Mrs. Stoddard will be thrilled to dig up old scandals and secrets. Sure.

You just know a reality check is forthcoming so it's a genuine pleasure when moments later Carolyn tells Roger all about her good work and deed and just who is waiting to see him. Roger stares at her absolutely appalled and disgusted. The look on Carolyn's face is priceless.
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Offline Janet the Wicked

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Re: Pollyanna to the Rescue - Episodes 11 & 12
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2004, 09:32:14 AM »
Quote
Lots of emoting and scene chewing between Sam and Maggie. Sam's solution is to skip town. Maggie doesn't like this idea much. Probably because she realizes that if he leaves the next time she hears about him will be from some out-of-town city cop who found him in a cardboard box or something. I rather like Scott's characterization of Maggie in these episodes. She plays her as an intelligent, desperate girl and it all works. Maggie, incidentally, knows damn well that Roger is mixed up with her father. She doesn't know why, but she's got that part down.

This is the Maggie that I like too. I think what happens to her brash personality later on is...Joe Haskell.
Love your episode summaries, Luciaphil. Keep 'em coming! [santa_thumb]

Janet
I get a kick out of these guys who think they're so clean, when all the time they're trying to cover up their dirt.