George Gatlin (Dylan McDermott) pulls up to the police station and opens the hatch of his car. It does not bode well that the director makes a huge mistake by immediately showing us who the corpse is.
Directorially, though, it picks up quickly. In a nice touch, Gatlin grabs the corpse by the Chucks — oh, come on, he was sporting Converse sneakers! — and begins dragging him to the door. Gotta think that the pavement was wearing the back of his head pretty thin; and WTH did he park so far away? The trip up the stairs to the door gives his noggin a floggin’ also.
He drags the corpse up to the desk Sargent and has a great opening line, “I’m dead and this is the guy who killed me.” Then we get the dreaded flashback.
Nurse Sophie Wagner (Sonia Braga) is rummaging through the refrigerator looking for Gatlin’s Insulin. Naturally he stores it right with the other deadly medicine they are researching. Also not helpful: storing the bottles with the labels facing the back of the fridge — good for the camera, not for the diabetic. Not being a fan of needles, he asks her to give him the shot.
It took only a few lines to realize how terrible an actress Sonia Braga is. Maybe it is because English is her 2nd language. OK, maybe I don’t speak no Portuguese, but then I’m not in São Paulo filming Contos da Cripta either.
Pack Brightman (Cleavon Little) storms into the office calling Gatlin a son of a bitch. Gatlin has put out a press release without his partners’ knowledge stating that their new miracle drug H-CELL-24 is ready for human testing. Brightman accuses Gatlin of being reckless and greedy.
Minor nitpick: After Sophie shoots down his advances in a bar, he says, “Can’t live with’m, and you can’t be one.” Hunh? Complete non sequitur — was there some sex-change sub-plot I missed? This is just unbelievably lame. Much better: Norm on Cheers saying, “Women — Can’t live with’m . . . pass the beer nuts.” That’s how you do a non sequitur.
But, back to our story. He goes to Sophie’s apartment and walks in on her about to take a shower. He is acting really inappropriately, but she takes him to bed anyway. Another bizarre choice — normally in a sex scene, the shot is cropped an inch above the actress’s nipples so you really see nothing. Here there are several shots where the shot is cropped an inch below the nipples, so that is almost all that you see. Not complaining, but there is a lot to be said for context.
The next morning, Gatlin and Brightman make up, but there is still tension among all three. Gatlin asks Brightman to get his Insulin. He fills a syringe and gives it to Sophie. After she injects Gatlin, Brightman yells at her to STOP! He has accidentally given him the deadly serum. As the drug spreads, it will begin growing tumors all over the place, then kill him in 2 hours.
He goes to the bar and the bartender tells him he just missed Sophie and Brightman who seemed to be celebrating something. Gatlin rushes to Sophie’s apartment just in time to hear the answering machine pick up a call from Brightman telling Sophie he feels guilty and “fucking around” with Gatlin’s Insulin. He wants her to meet him at the lab.
He goes to the lab and takes a pretty good Louisville Slugger to Brightman’s head. Then injects him with the same poisonous serum.
Flash forward to him standing in the police station with Brightman’s corpse at his feet. Sophie rushes in and says, “What have you done!” She tells Gatlin they just doctored his Insulin to make him feel a little sick so he would learn some humility — he was never in danger. Because nothing is funnier than letting your friend think that he is going to die a horrible death in 2 hours and then letting him roam the city.
A good episode despite Braga’s horrible performance. McDermott was much better here than in American Horror Story largely because I did not have to see his butt. Cleavon Little was great, but sadly this was his last credit on IMDb as he died at 52 of colon cancer.
- Title Analysis: Generically OK, but not story-specific. Still linguistically superior to Easel Kill Ya.
- OK, maybe Sonia Braga was a doctor, and I sexistly assumed she was a nurse.
- The fan-boy raving about her beauty still eludes me (see also Monica Bellucci).
- I assume it was the cancer that made Little look so much older than I remembered him from Blazing Saddles. Of course, 20 years passing might have had something to do with it too.