Author Topic: Loyalty binds me -- Episodes 115 & 116  (Read 1474 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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Loyalty binds me -- Episodes 115 & 116
« on: February 15, 2006, 04:48:33 PM »
Fashion notes first . . .

I think it is worthwhile to mention Vicki's attire because she'll be wearing it for quite awhile. Her hair is neatly pulled back from her face. It looks good and she looks kempt. She has on an overcoat and her usual dowdy governess wear. She also wears flats. I  know she's supposed to look like a poor governess and I'm guessing that heels must be hell to wear on a set, but they are not really flattering shoes. I've never quite gotten why Alexandra Moltke, who was really a lovely young woman, always was dressed so unattractively on the show. She has a difficult figure for mid-sixties fashions, but surely there were other women with hour glass figures back then. What did they wear?

Joan Bennett meanwhile is rocking that checked wool suit of hers. She looks very posh in it. She's got the jacket over her shoulders for the first episode and then on properly for the second.

This is back when they were bothering to give Clarice Blackburn more than the one outfit. She's got on an old lady in training dress. Dark, respectable, small print, fabric has a sheen to it.

Onto the show. . .

With Francis Swann gone, we welcome Malcolm Marmorstein to the fold. Malcolm has kind of a bad rap with the fans. I'm not sure why. I think it can be traced back to some negative comments Sam Hall made about his scripts, but I disagree. I don't know much about the man. The most impressive of his screenplays is Return from Witch Mountain and that's really not saying much (it's an adaptation to boot). Apparently he did some stints as a stage manager from some Broadway shows. He also wrote for The Doctors and Peyton Place. That's about all I can find out in a few minutes, but at least I made the effort.

I believe we're on Day 20. It's hard to tell but people are in new clothes so we'll go with that. The action flip flops between the Old House and Collinwood.

It's grocery time for the Old House. David makes a delivery of an enormous paper bag to his newest friend and bestest buddy in the whole world, Matthew Morgan. I thought initially that the bag just looked big because after all David Henesy is a small kid at this point in time, then I saw Thayer David holding it. My god that is a lot of food.  I would say that solitude hasn't been helping Matthew's mental state any, except that I don't think Matthew was ever all that tightly wrapped.

Vicki's sad little plaid suitcase makes another appearance. It's all packed for her trip to Bangor. Elizabeth seems dubious about the attractions of that fair city, about which I know nothing, least of all what it was like in 1966, but it appears that Vicki is going less for tourism and more for Frank and time for personal contemplation. She needs a rest after her action packed three weeks of real life employment.

Matthew unpacks his lunch. I look forward to the time when MPI releases these on DVD because I spent about five minutes trying to figure out what the heck David brought over. I could swear that among the numerous cans of food there is a box of what appears to be uncooked macaroni.

So Vicki's ready to leave and Elizabeth has to mention that David has gone missing. Again. Like it's not a regular thing. Vicki, of course, volunteers to go and find him. Why? Because Vicki's a Nice Girl and that's what Nice Girls do. Elizabeth thanks her and doesn't happen to be watching as Vicki moves her sad little suitcase into the area by the door (the foyer to the foyer I guess). This is an important plot point which is the only reason I'm bothering to mention it.

Matthew's tucking into something out of a can. The macaroni remains untouched. He ventures that these groceries might be missed, but David, who obviously lacks a sense of scale, is smug. He's quite the embryo master criminal here. They're both planning a stay of some duration. Matthew smirks. He's got a secret. He won't share it with Davy until he's ready to leave, but it's his ace in the hole. There's a cute moment when he jokes that some brandy would make the meal perfect and David quite seriously suggests he could steal some from Roger, who has lots. They're chatting when they hear Vicki approaching. Matthew vanishes, but David sticks around, mentions rats and gets Vicki out of there.

So they're back at Collinwood and Vicki wants Matthew caught. She doesn't feel safe. Elizabeth is uncharacteristically snappish with David, but then he is a problem child so it's not unexpected. It's a lot harder to be the good cop when the bad cop is off wherever all the time. Vicki realizes that her wallet is missing (it's called a purse, honey. I have friends like her who insist on getting by on backpacks or wallets. There's a reason they have handbags. They're not that expensive and they are very practical. There comes a time when a grown woman needs to buy one. Yeesh). So she's off to go retrace her steps. I think you can see where this is going.

I love the next scene. It doesn't do anything to advance the plot and there's no action. It does, however, set up some things in terms of the characters and also their motivations. Elizabeth and David have a little chat about responsibility, loyalty, and secrets. Elizabeth does her best to inculcate David with the value of family coming before everything. It's something of a lost cause, because for David "family" seems to equal Roger. His mother is "sick" and out of the picture at the moment. He seems to dislike Carolyn (a mutual feeling, I might add). All he's got in the way of "family" in any positive sense is his Aunt Elizabeth and while he likes and to some degree, respects her, she's still very much bound up with Roger. Still, he's trying to understand what she's telling him. He asks questions. He restates the answers. There's effort going on there. Of course, he's still a little boy and she's speaking in concepts that aren't really grounded in specific examples. Kids tend to have a harder time grasping those.

David asks about loyalty to friends without naming anyone specifically. I am somewhat surprised that they didn't have Liz immediately thinking of Burke (after all, David's social circle is damned small). Maybe she's just relieved he's capable of that kind of moral support at all, but she gives her stamp of approval when he asks if he needs to be loyal to his friend.

Miss Winters can't locate her wallet. She does, however, spot some footprints leading up to and underneath the bookcase. Before she can do more than wonder, Matthew has her in a lock.

Second episode was directed by Lela Swift and written by Ron Sproat. Dr. Eric Lang (the poster, not the character) had once made a comment about her abilities technically and on further review, I think he's right. She does seem to have some real talent stylistically. The camera work she does is very innovative. I think though that she's not as strong with the actors. It's not too noticeable in an episode like this one because you've got people like Clarice Blackburn and Thayer David who were very good solid (sometimes brilliant) performers and the actors like Moltke and Bennett, who could be uneven, seemed to respond well to them. But then you go and watch her with someone like KLS and you can tell.

Matthew blames Vicki for everything. She came to town and started snooping and he had to go and kill Bill Malloy. She made Mrs. Stoddard lie to him. There's not a lot you can say to an insane accusation like that so Vicki contents herself with hysteria and struggling. Can't say I blame her.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Mrs. Johnson lets in the cab driver Vicki had called, but concludes that Vicki must have gotten to the bus station on her own steam. I'm always pleased to see extras. The show got very sterile after awhile. People would go into the Blue Whale and they'd be tending bar for themselves. It never made much sense to me because the show was doing really well in the ratings and yet god forbid they should have anyone in the background. I'm watching The Guiding Light again which is going through huge budget cuts and I have to tell you, even they are still forking over the cash for silent restaurant patrons or party guests. At least product placement wasn't around back in the days of DS. Otherwise we'd have Barnabas saying things like "the chicken you made last night was excellent, Willie. Was that Shake and Bake?"

Matthew's master plan is to lay low. Once the road blocks are no more, he'll make his way up the coast (or down the coast) and sign on with a fishing boat. He plans on spending the rest of his life at sea. I pity his future fellow sailors, but that's his plan. Vicki is alarmed to discover he's got somebody bringing him food. She makes the mistake of calling him crazy. One gets the sense that Mr. Morgan has heard this appellation before and likes it not

Unaware that her employee is being held captive, Elizabeth casually arranges some hydrangeas. I like the conversation between her and Mrs. Johnson. It's very well written and performed. Casual. Not too soap operaish. Mrs. J posits that Carolyn must have a date because she was asked to press Carolyn's dress. Perhaps Vicki got a ride into town with Carolyn or took a bus. They hope Matthew is caught soon. There is some scarcely concealed contempt and alarm on Mrs. J's face when Elizabeth dares to equate Matthew and Bill in the same sentence. It's really just two women talking. Then Frank calls (off screen). He's looking for Vicki who didn't arrive on the scheduled bus. Liz can't find Vicki's suitcase (remember she last saw it in the foyer) so concludes that Vicki did leave and will probably be on the next bus.

The secret room happens to contain a mattress of some sort. Not sure where that came from. Vicki's on it, showing a lot of leg. Matthew gets her upright. Her personal appearance has gone really downhill. She looks like she's been scrubbing floors. She mistakes insanity for stupidity by attempting to persuade Matthew that there aren't any policemen looking for him and that he can leave whenever he wants.

Second call from Frank and Elizabeth is now genuinely concerned. Mrs. Johnson is still plumping for the idea that Carolyn and Vicki are together, but it's not convincing her employer.

Matthew seems persuaded and makes her promise to stay put and give him enough time to get away. She agrees and he takes off. I'd estimate she gives him about 15 seconds and then she's out the door. Unfortunately Matthew's waiting for her when she attempts to leave the Old House. Trust is so hard to come by.
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Offline Miles

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Re: Loyalty binds me -- Episodes 115 & 116
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2006, 06:19:50 AM »
She also wears flats.

Bizarrely, I always though her flats were cute.  Also if I recall correctly, she's taller than the other actresses (she towers over Nancy Barrett) so that may have had something to do with it as well.

Quote
The secret room happens to contain a mattress of some sort. Not sure where that came from. Vicki's on it, showing a lot of leg.

While I guess I can appreciate Alexandra Moltke's legs, I find it somewhat disturbing that we usually only get to see them when she is bound and imprisoned.  I can recall a scene [spoiler]when Adam has a KOed Vicki locked up in the west wing and her A-line dress is hiked up pretty darn high.  Hot.  And unsettling.[/spoiler]
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Offline michael c

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Re: Loyalty binds me -- Episodes 115 & 116
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2006, 05:56:45 PM »
they do outfit vicki strangely in these early episodes.they seemed to be stuggling with what this character should dress like.later they stumble across the sleeveless,a-line dress thing and something about it must have resonated with the show's producers because after a certain point that's all she ever wears. ::)

as for vicki's gams we don't see much of them.i've been watching the 1970 episodes and the hemlines here reach panty-grazing highs.if alexandra has stayed with the show i wonder if she too would have been given such miniscule skirts and dresses or if the demure nature of the character would have dictated that she remain in the more modest above-the-knee lengths she wore during her time on the show?
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