Author Topic: Popular Mechanics - Episodes 13 & 14  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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Popular Mechanics - Episodes 13 & 14
« on: December 20, 2004, 03:57:27 PM »
Fashion notes first--and yes, we have fashion notes! thanks to Carolyn's need to impress her dates . . .

They really teased Mitchell Ryan's hair as high as they could. He's got more body in it than I do in mine.

George Allen's do is also kind of big. His hair is insanely high. Like inches.

Joe provides some welcome fashion relief in his nice suit and tie.

Carolyn also treats us to not one but two new outfits. I like the first a lot. It's a dress with three-quarter length sleeves, a fitted waist, gathered skirt that has pockets on the front. She looks cute in it. The dress gives her more of a figure too. The discussion on the length of the hem presages our having to see far more thigh than we may have cared to.

Dress #2 is a sleeveless job with a gathered neckline. I think it's a halter job. Length is about two inches above the knee. It's a more modish outfit, but I actually think the first one flattered her more.

Onto the show . . .

In case you're wondering, it is still Day 2. Yes, that's right, Day 2. I'm on the third volume of DS and Victoria's journey to connect the past with the present is frozen on her second damn day in Collinsport. Each weekend, I pop in a tape in the apparently vain hope that at some point the show will move on to Day 3. Not since the late eighties when I watched Guiding Light and they spent about three weeks on Thanksgiving Day and then suddenly it was New Years, have I been more irritated. Fortunately, for me, at least the acting for these two episodes is really very good.

The main action is going down in the drawing room. Burke is playing it all very cordial. He's there to catch up with old friends, bury the hatchet [presumably in Roger's back], pricing the furnishings, etc. As he does in times of crisis, Roger heads straight for the liquor. He is also still wedded to the Vicki conspiracy theory. Slight editorial note: I said in a previous column that it had been eight years since the accident, but I was totally wrong. It's ten. Anyhow, this is a really nicely acted scene on all accounts. It also demonstrates why I prefer Mitchell Ryan to Anthony George. Ryan could play nuance.

They're still using the original exterior film footage which I always rather liked. We see Vicki head over to the caretaker's cottage. I should point out that it's a "cottage" the same way that Collinwood is a house. Later on you get the feeling it's a two room shack. No. We're talking two stories. The "cottage" is one substantial looking structure. Also, as Alexandra Motlke's head barely clears the door knob, my guess is that the door alone is about 12 feet tall. I love how she just walks right on into the house. Matthew catches her and calls her on it. A side note, it appears that Elizabeth's largesse in granting him a house did not extend to appliances; Matthew has a wood-burning cook stove. Ah, yes, "the big house." I love how he refers to Collinwood. Man, he's Mr. Personality. I really like this actor. He's got the craggy face and the wild hair and he's rail thin.

One thing that holds true now and in the years to come: Victoria Winters is a terrible liar. She just is. She looks guilty as hell. She invariably picks the wrong time to tell the truth and the wrong time to lie. And every single time she opts for a lie, it turns around and bites her on her A-line clad derriere. See, the only reason Matthew agrees to talk to her is because she gives him the impression that it's okay with Mrs. Stoddard. He starts spilling about the trial. How Vicki can think this is in any way significant to her is unclear. Perhaps it demonstrates a worse command of arithmetic than mine. To be fair, she does keep pushing the Bangor angle. All Matthew cares about though is that she not make trouble for Mrs. Stoddard.

I haven't bothered to look up population statistics for Bangor for either the forties or the sixties. If the present day stats are anything to go by, Bangor? A lot smaller than I thought it was. Still, I imagine there would be a bunch of small towns surrounding the place. Why she thinks Collinsport is the ideal place to start is beyond me.

Burke is busy with his trip down memory lane routine, which Roger clearly is not buying. For those of you wondering about Joan Bennett's trim figure, well, I guess having to go back and forth between sets and up and down stairs will do that for you. Roger gets her out of the room the same way she moved Carolyn: on a beverage run, this time for tea. We learn that Burke isn't the kind of man who really lets go of anything, let alone you know, being sent up to the real Big House for five years.

"How's your wife?" Yep, Burke clearly just wants to let bygones be bygones. We get some more information about Mrs. Roger Collins, namely that she used to date Burke and that, she and Roger got married the day after Burke was convicted. Ouch. Burke and Roger have another drink. One for the road, as it were. You would have thought that these two would have abandoned that as a practice.

Betty Crocker move over. Matthew Morgan, a man who just measured loose tea out with his fingers (which most recently touched firewood) is apparently a mean baker. Matthew is of the opinion that Vicki should concentrate her energies on Augusta, ME, which is where Roger and the missus took off for after the trial. Yeah, cause that makes so much sense. Vicki is 20. The trial happened ten years ago. Since the envelope with that cash had a Bangor postmark all the time, why the hell should she be worried about Augusta?

Burke asks outright if Liz would consider selling Collinwood and/or the business. Two questions most people ask if they're just back in their old stomping grounds for a casual visit. He then suggests that Roger come into town to talk business opportunities. Uh huh.

At long last, Matthew's hands make contact with soap and water as he does dishes. He treats us to some exposition about the treacherous drive down the hill and the need for a properly serviced motor vehicle. It's probably a good thing I don't live in coastal Maine then¢â‚¬¦ All this coziness is abruptly shattered with one phone call from the other big house. Matthew kicks Vicki out post haste and that is the end to their short detente.

So it's off to the garage and the discovery of Burke standing over Roger's snazzy Mustang, where Burke is holding a wrench he says he found on the front seat. Because Roger just screams amateur auto mechanic. He also claims that he's looking at Roger's car because he's thinking of buying one. Vicki has enough sense to find all this a tad bizarre. A side note though, I do think it is plausible that Burke would consider getting the exact same car as Roger. He was the poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks. He got screwed over by the rich folk on the hill and now, like Heathcliff, he has this need to prove he made it good and crush them.

Divested of the silver tea service (in my house it would have meant bagged tea in mugs), Liz and Roger decompress. Roger inexplicably now seems to think Burke means he wants to forgive and forget. The only thing I can come up with (other than inconsistent writing) is that Roger just wants all of this to be over. However, he decides he'll head into town to meet with Burke.

Despite the fact that she found the man who turns her employers apoplectic with rage in a very inappropriate place, Vicki opts to say nothing about it to Elizabeth. Bad, bad judgment call there. Elizabeth is playing good cop at the moment and says that Matthew is "very loyal" to her. I swear to god her description of the man sounds eerily familiar to that of a Rottweiler owner cautioning you from getting within fifty feet of the property lines.

And it's still Day 2. Damn, this is glacially slow.

I do love the production slates. Particularly when they're being held by very bored crew members.

Little Davy likes to read mechanics magazines. He has a really cool wishbone mirror on his dresser that I wouldn't mind owning. He also has a strange looking auto part under his hankies. Even at the tender age of nine, David knows better than to get caught with the evidence. Using his really rather creative problem-solving skills, he gets the clever idea to kill two birds with one stone and leave this in Vicki's room. He gets caught, however, makes a mad dash for his own room and locks the door. It's interesting to note the threat that gets him to open the door: Roger. Now David opts for the smarmy, why can't we be friends line. Like a Secret Santa, he claims he was going to give her a present.

I'll just pause and say that the acting is really very good. David Henesy does a great job with this part.

Carolyn is evidently over her brief realization that she did a bad thing in bringing Burke to Collinwood. Now we're back to "Burke's just a nice guy." Yeah, just like Uncle Roger and his mood swings.

Woohoo! Groovy dancing down at the Blue Whale. To my great joy, we get a shot of Bob Rooney, the silent day player.

So Carolyn claims she's not interested in Burke. Oh, honey. Who are you kidding? She also decides her dress is too school girlish and goes to change. Meanwhile Vicki meets Joe (the CuteDean of this relationship). Poor guy has no idea that the dress he's praising is the result of her planning on using him to hook up with his replacement). She switches venues on poor unsuspecting Joe. I know she's only supposed to be 18, but man, that kind of behavior is just so tacky.

Door to the west wing is mysteriously open and then shut. And it ain't David doing it this time. From exposition we learn that it was closed off fifty years ago--yeah, the math doesn't match up, but from subsequent episodes, I interpret "closed off" as meaning: we don't use that part of the house to save on the utility bills. David offers Vicki his Mechano magazines as a new gift. Oh, how sweet. Then we get 20 questions from him on Roger, Vicki's parents, David's mother, and oh, Burke Devlin. Davy's real interested in his father's worst enemy.

Groovy hepcats at the Blue Whale! This time the extras actually move their feet! Carolyn makes eyes at Burke. On her date with Joe. Then she talks about how great Burke is. On her date with Joe. Then she all but drags Burke to their table. On her date with Joe. So, so, not done.

Back at Collinwood, the snow job continues. I can only conclude that all the kids back at the orphanage were perfectly behaved little angels or that Vicki's interaction with them was severely limited. I have never taken care of children professionally, but I did my share of babysitting back in the day. Let me tell you, after the blue-eyed, ringleted six-year-old locks you in the garage because you inexplicably won't let her drag her kiddie pool into dining room so she can go swimming, you learn fast. You also develop a BS detector and some highly-honed self-preservation instincts. Instincts that Vicki so lacks. David keeps playing her quite expertly even has he fact gathers. Notable questions: is Roger going into town? Will he be driving his car? She actually seems to think that she and David are bonding. Now if this was her first job and she was coming straight from college--yeah, I could see that happening. But she theoretically comes with experience and from an environment that would preclude all this gushy naƒ¯vete--at least in respect to caring for small children.
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