Author Topic: Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love? -- Episodes 119 & 120  (Read 1189 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love? -- Episodes 119 & 120
« on: March 08, 2006, 09:26:55 PM »
Fashion notes first . . .

I am going to be glad when they stop using the location film footage if only for the fact that it will mean the end of that tacky and cheap raincoat of Roger's. Underneath he has on a checked tweed suit, which would be lovely except that it looks far too big on him.

David once again has a court date. For some inexplicable reason he's wearing a suit as well. Given that he starts out on the show wearing age appropriate clothing and that there's no reason for him to be dressed up, he just looks bizarrely attired.

Onto the show . . .

Malcolm and Lela brought us both of these. Lela gets arty with the camera in the second episode.

Same night. Same plastic shrubbery. I've seen more realistic looking "woods" in my dentist's office. Joe and Burke are hunting governesses. Despite the fact that these are two really good looking rugged guys, they look pretty stupid. It may be the fact that they're tripping around plastic trees or it may also be the fact that the rifles make seem ridiculous.

Elizabeth is still in her checked suit and she's worried. She has made coffee. So it's let at night and she wants something to calm everybody down. I don't think coffee will do the trick. Carolyn is in pajamas and a robe unworthy of additional comment. She thinks that Vicki can take care of herself. I should be fair and state that I think she means this in a nice way. Apparently, she's dismissing the Matthew angle entirely. And then in the midst of Elizabeth theorizing his knowledge of the estate, Elizabeth and Carolyn turn into Carmela and Meadow Soprano (okay, you need to add in Jersey accents and the profanity) which I guess goes to show the timelessness of the mother/daughter relationship. Carolyn believes Liz doesn't understand. Liz thinks she's being played. Carolyn thinks she's a grown woman; Liz thinks she's still a young girl. And there we have it. Now add in Carolyn's smirks and know-it-all looks with Elizabeth's exasperated glares and ill-chosen words and you have Meadow and Carmela.

Into all of this drama comes Roger. He neither knows nor cares about Vicki and her possible kidnapping. He's especially glib and heads straight for the booze. The way Edmonds plays this, you'd think he'd had a couple for the road already. Meadow . . .er Carolyn flings her evening with Burke in Roger's face. It's an ill-advised move. In the first place, he's not her father so there's less guilt for her to play with. Also, pre-Barnabas Roger is not a nice man. He's just not. He's nasty on multiple levels. Later on in the series, he's kind of pathetic. He's a snob, but he's a comic snob. This Roger? No. Not at all. He makes some great points and Carolyn seems taken aback more than once, but hormones and teenage rebellion can make for a powerful defense. Elizabeth and Roger double team her with the revelation that Burke has purchased the neighboring cannery. She flinches for a second and then gets back on her high horse.

Meanwhile her erstwhile suitors round the same rubber bush for the umpteenth time and have a heart-to-heart. Joe claims he won't be slugging anyone over Carolyn again. Burke seems to think that's wishful thinking and that Joe still has a thing for her, but he's gracious. Joe doesn't really care. I'm not sure if we're meant to think that he's fooling himself, but the way Crothers plays it, he's pretty convincing.

Back to the folks in Collinwood. Let's set the scene. Vicki has disappeared. Even if you want to argue that they have no real proof that Matthew is involved, she's missing. Her luggage is still around. She had a very definite place she was going. She's been missing for about 18 hours now. All of the obvious and safe places have been checked. Theoretically she could have injured herself, fallen into a disused well, down a cliff, hit by a car. None of these options are good. So what is Carolyn doing? She's playing "Chopsticks." Now I totally get that she feels she's an adult. I get why she's infatuated and possibly in love with Burke. I even get the resentment towards her recluse mother. But picking out tunes on the piano while everyone else is freaking out is not exactly a way to prove your maturity.

Elizabeth comes in and gives her a look. We've all seen this look. Perhaps those of us with children or who had the charge of children have given this look. It's the look that says, "you better stop THAT RIGHT NOW." Carolyn does stop it right now. She also sulks. Seventeen going on three.

The guys come back empty handed. Roger is ticked to learn that they have his guns and goes through the elaborate motions of unloading the rifles. Carolyn's behavior can at least be blamed on immaturity. Roger's pretty despicable here (although there's a part of me that's snickering when he impugns Vicki's intelligence). Burke jumps on him immediately, which alarms Carolyn quite a bit. There is much back and forth that would have probably been more effective had they left the guns out of the whole scene. Elizabeth is not in the mood for dealing with the kiddies and tries to get them to calm down. I have to wonder if she wasn't on to the right idea with becoming a recluse in the first place.

Carolyn is flouncing off to bed. I'm not sure what Joe's aim is immediately, but I really think he officially wants to dump her. Carolyn, I am positive, doesn't realize that. I'm inclined to believe that part of the allure of Burke is that a relationship with him is a guarantee of attention and excitement. She wants to be grown up, but without the responsibilities and tedium of adulthood (which she believes would have happened with Joe). At the same time, I think she enjoys having two men fighting over her. I can't blame her for it; that's heady stuff. She's too busy pushing his buttons to realize that he's pretty much out the door.

Back in the preschool that's passing for a drawing room, the children are still sniping at each other. Elizabeth gets them back to the crisis at hand by restating that Matthew has got to be close by. He's not the kind of man who adapts well to change. They plan on searching the coastline. Roger shrewdly notes that Burke is really focused on rescuing Vicki. Things get heated and Roger finally goes too far and the next thing you know, Burke has Roger by the neck and pushed up against the wall. He drops him and storms out.

It is Day 21. This is a kinescope episode and my VCR does not care for this tape at all. I may have missed some things.

Vicki's been imprisoned for two days, but she's starting to resemble Libby from "Lost" before they joined the rest of the Lostaways. In other words, dirty, ragged, and pretty damned bad. You have to wonder what exactly Matthew's been doing to her. I've always thought that the makeup people on DS got way too enthused. Matthew's busy threatening death should Vicki try to escape, make noise, or plea for her life. This does not leave them a lot of conversational options, but then Matthew proves me wrong again by blaming her for everything. She came to Collinwood. Really that's enough for him. Everything stems from that. If Vicki hadn't come to Collinwood none of this would have happened.

That's his argument. Vicki tries to point out the flaws in his logic. She is correct. Burke was coming with or without her. Wilbur Strake was already in town asking questions about the family. James Blair was writing up financial reports on the Collins family. Bill, as one of the devoted, would still have been willing to sacrifice Roger up to save his beloved Liz. All without Vicki. Vicki doesn't express this (which is good because she doesn't know anything about Strake or Blair really), but Matthew's hold on reality is pretty darn tenuous at this point.

Mrs. Johnson makes David his breakfast. I rejoice because I love the kitchen sit and I adore Clarice Blackburn.

Little Lord Collins is surprised to hear Vicki's missing. Given his propensity for being up and eavesdropping at all hours, I have to wonder if an exasperated Elizabeth dosed his milk with Valium to keep him out of the way. Mrs. J lights up. I wish this episode had actually been preserved on tape because it's great stuff. The conversation serves as exposition and to establish that David is genuinely concerned about Vicki, but it's so well done. There's Sarah Johnson sitting at the table smoking to beat the band, theorizing what happened to Vicki with gloomy relish, and then blaming him for her disappearance (Vick was looking for him when she disappeared). It's horrible really, but terribly, terribly funny.

David assembles supplies for Matthew. His selection includes some more canned goods and something that looks like cereal. He also swipes Mrs. Johnson's cigarettes.

He comes by to make his delivery. Vicki's gagged and out of sight. Matthew claims total ignorance of her whereabouts. David actually looks like he feels some guilt. Matthew sics him on Roger and suggests he keep his visits to the Old House to a minimum. Although frankly, why Matthew needs more food at all is a mystery. I think what David has brought him so far could feed a family of four for a couple of weeks. David is still hipped on learning the secret. For his pains, we get a glimpse of Psycho!Matthew. Thayer David is enjoying himself way too much. Again, I have to say I really preferred the first Matthew, who was just more innately frightening.

Because, of course, they need to keep Vicki locked up for a longer period of time to tease out the drama, Psycho!Matthew calms down into the standard issue Matthew. David trundles off. Matthew drops the food into the secret room and heads out to go get water. Meanwhile David realizes he still has Mrs. Johnson's Virginia Slims (I have no idea what the brand she actually smokes is. I would welcome any guesses) and not being degenerate enough yet to smoke them himself goes back to the Old House. Vicki can barely make herself heard through the gag, but gives it the old college try. I love how David's first thought is that it's Josette. Gradually he figures out it's coming from the book case. Too bad Matthew's on his way back.
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