Before watching: Airing as the 2nd half of the episode that began with A View Through the Window, there is just no way this can’t suffer by comparison.
After watching: They pulled off a truly great hour.
Cary Elwes is being tormented in bed by noises from the street below. There is music, but strangely no thumping rap. And vehicle sounds, but strangely not the worst noise offender on earth besides rap — Harley Davidsons.
He tries to watch a little TV, but it is all stories about crime, murders and explosions. He chances upon a documentary set in fictional that Archer State Park, and sets out that weekend for a little peaceful rest & relaxation.
He hikes up the side of a mountain. Well prepared, he pitches a tent (heh, heh) and cooks up some grub. That night, his sleep is once again disturbed. He finds another camper (Brian Dennehy) close by, hammering tent pegs into the ground, although it sounds more like he is forging a sword on an anvil.
They have a fairly cordial exchange, but it is a testimony to Dennehy that there is feeling of menace even though nothing overt I can point to.
The next morning, Elwes is awakened by a police scanner. He again goes to visit his noisy neighbor. Dennehy warns him that he “stumbled over a pile of bear crap the size of a Honda.” When Elwes confronts Dennehy about the scanner, he nicely offers to turn the scanner off. But when Elwes suggests that he was here first and that Dennehy should more on, he is not so friendly.
Later Elwes is fishing, Dennehy interrupts him to offer some tips on fishing. He also offers several ideas on what is wrong with the country. Again, there is nothing explicitly threatening, but Dennehy is just so intrusive and overly friendly. He tells Elwes about the serial killer that has been terrorizing the town. He also mentioned that he found tracks of the bear. Inexplicably, he also says that a bear has the exact same skeleton as a man, which is just absurd. When Dennehy pulls out a Rambo-esque knife, Elwes decides to take off.
The next night, Dennehy is again pounding his peg (heh, heh) within earshot of Elwes’ new campsite. When Elwes accuses him of stalking, Dennehy is a little nasty this time. The next morning, Dennehy brings his dead dog, killed by a grizzly, to Elwes and together they bury him.
Elwes and Dennehy both pull off their characters perfectly, providing just the right amount of misdirection to make the episode work. I could bitch about that pile of bear crap, but I don’t think we’re supposed to think too much about that.