Night Visions – The Doghouse (08/30/01)

nvdoghouse4Stephen Baldwin is getting the crap beat out of him.  Shockingly, it is not by his brother Alec.  He owes money to some bad eggs who think nothing of taking a Louisville Slugger to his gut and standing on his guitar hand. He is able to brain the guy with a liquor bottle and make a run for it.

Brief aside: Next time you get your hands on a liquor bottle — i.e. now, for me — note how thick they are.  It is really possible to break one over a person’s head and not kill them?  The windows at the White House are not as thick as a bottle of Gentleman Jack.

He carjacks Amanda who is driving though an insanely dangerous part of town.  She is a veterinarian, but still agrees to stitch up Baldwin’s wounds.  Did they learn nothing from Tea-Bag?  No, the one in Prisonbreak — wow, there’s a word you don’t want to Google too deeply [1].  Naturally, she takes the beaten, bloody stranger back to her house; then invites him to spend the night on the sofa.  The next morning, before he wakes up, she has gone to the pawn shop and rescued his guitar with the ticket she found in his pocket.  I don’t get treated this nice at family reunions.

That night, the guy with the bat comes up in rotation again.  When he lets himself in Amanda’s window, Baldwin sics her two dobermans on him.  Amanda comes downstairs to see what the racket is and Baldwin tells her the dogs killed the man. “Good dogs,” she says.

nvdoghouse6Amanda takes charge, burying the man.  Even Baldwin thinks this is a little extreme.  He goes upstairs to get his guitar.  When he is at the top of the stairs, one of the dogs goes up on his hind legs and shoves Baldwin down the stairs.  He wakes up in Amanda’s bed with a broken ankle.  She has set the break using her mad vet skillz.  She must also have some mad weight-lifting skillz as he is, for some reason, now upstairs again.

He limps downstairs and tries to use the phone, but one of the dogs is guarding it. When he finds another phone, the other dog yanks the cord out of the wall.  The dogs then block him from the exits.  He cleverly drugs the dogs with the pills Amanda had given him, but passes out.  When he awakens, the dogs are gone.  He begin walking out and slips on some brown chunky material which, thankfully, he identifies as dog food.  They trap him in the bathroom, even turning the knob to come in after him.

Amanda shows up and literally calls off the dogs.  On the other hand, she does plunge a syringe into him.  He awakens in the basement chained to the wall.  Blah, blah, blah . . . she is treating him like a dog.

All this is fine as far as it went, but it seems to be missing a final act or twist. There are a couple of red herrings that seem more like sloppiness than misdirection.

Amanda’s dogs seem to be far more intelligent than normal dogs; they seem more intelligent than the dog in Watchers.  They shove Baldwin down the stairs, yank phone lines from the wall, and open doors as if they had once been human, but are now stuck in the bodies of dogs.  Hmmmmm, but that goes nowhere.

Amanda asks Baldwin to play her a tune on his guitar which she got out of hock for him. He refuses in a way that sounds suspiciously like he doesn’t know how to play.  This also goes nowhere.

Finally, Baldwin ends up chained to the basement wall.  I guess that is OK, I was just expecting something more — maybe she would use her vet skillz to transform him into a dog, like the walrus in Tusk.[2]  Amanda tells him he will have to learn to behave, unlike her previous victim.  OK, what then?  What is the end game here?  What happened to the previous victim?

Post-Post:

  • [1]  Although, it seemed to work out for Mike Ehrmentraut who got a bullet wound sewn up, a job offer and a snausage.
  • [2] Or the snake in Sssssss.
  • The only TV episode directed by JoBeth Williams.
  • The last of many TV episodes written by Earl Hamner, Jr.
  • In no way relevant, but this episode aired 12 days before 9/11.

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