The Hitchhiker – Man of Her Dreams – (04/08/86)

Jill slips into a hot bath with a dude.  Unfortunately, the dude is Mr. Bubble, denying us even that paltry prurient thrill in this week’s load.  She begins pleasuring herself, so at least one of us is getting some-thing out of this scene.  They went more for realism than a screaming orgasm which is, I guess, laudable even if not as entertaining.

She fantasizes a pencil neck dude in a laughable leather jacket [1] entering the bathroom.  Strangely enough, her fantasy begins through his POV — entering her apartment, walking by the kitchen, and opening the bathroom door before reverting to the omniscient POV.  She does a G-rated exit from the tub.  The dude sniffs a single rose, hands it to her, and begins kissing her.[2]

As she leaves for work — wait, wouldn’t that previous scene have made more sense at the end of a stressful day? — she passes a neighbor that makes me again question the sanity of the wardrobe department.  You’re on thin ice wearing a nylon jacket with no sleeves.  And why would you wear a wool cap that does not cover your ears?  He asks her out for a pizza, but she blows him off.

At her yoga class, she complains, “Every man I meet is either a wimp, a creep, or an emotional cripple.”  As she goes through the routines, she has another fantasy.  She is in a park wearing a long white lacy gown, and for some reason, sporting Ayn Rand’s old hair-do.  A guy in a trench-coat and a black beret walks over a bridge and approaches her.  He hands her a rose, and begins kissing her.  Then he begins strangling her.  As she struggles, Jill snaps back to her class.

The next morning, she wakes up and turns on the TV.  She opens the door to get the newspaper.  Her neighbor is standing in her doorway, again wearing that stupid wool cap; this time indoors.  He says he was just about to knock and she slams the door in his face.  On the TV, she sees a news report about a murder at the same park she dreamed about.  The murderer left a white carnation on the body.  Well haha, Kreskin, in your dream it was a red rose.

Jill goes back to the park where the police have left the white outline of the body, but no crime scene tape, presumably to traumatize young kids for laughs.  And, hey wardrobe department, why is Jill suddenly wearing a black beret?  Is she the killer?  Is she empathizing with him?  Another dude comes walking across the bridge with a multi-color umbrella and approaches Jill.  He says, “They say murderers always return to the scene of the crime.”  It would be a pretty good line if it didn’t come out of the pie-hole which was smoking a Tiparillo with a plastic tip.  Turns out he is a cop, Lt. Tony.

Jill says she “doesn’t like overgrown boys who define their masculinity with props like guns and badges.”  The beret is starting to make sense.  But, he is a jerk, touching her hand; he does try to help, though.  However, she slams the metaphorical door in his face, too.

She goes to the Farmer’s Market and sees a customer from the bank.  She had turned him down for a loan and he did not take it well.  Ominously, in the foreground, a pasty guy with an absurd notice-me yellow scarf is buying a white carnation.  She is interrupted by Jim Buckley, a handsome Aussie dude she recently met.  He sniffs a rose and hands it to her, which startles her.  But is she startled because of the Carnation Killer (as the news called him)?  This is not a carnation.  The disgruntled bank customer glowers at her as she goes for coffee with Jim.

Jim takes her home.  She likes him, but does not invite him in.  She does, however, hook up with Mr. Bubble again that night.  In an unintentionally funny shot, she is shown in the tub fantasizing about Jim.  She has a beatific smile, and the water . . . say, around the hip area . . . is churning like the perfect storm.  I guess it is a Jacuzzi, but it really looks like she is giving herself a very energetic rogering.  Even if it was unintentional, I give the director kudos for that.

She fantasizes about Jim in a white tuxedo, sniffing a red rose and handing it to her.  They are in a dark alley with graffiti that says INNOCENTS SUFFER.  They begin kissing.  Then he pulls out a switchblade and stabs her.

She goes to the cops and tells them she had another premonition of the Carnation Killer.  Even though it was a red rose.  The cops reasonably ask what they can do based on the information she has provided.  Lt Tiparillo says he believes her.  They go cruising through all the alleys in the city.  Just as Jill is about to give up, she spots the INNOCENTS SUFFER graffiti.  He touches her face and she flashes back to the murder.  She runs off.

That night she calls Jim.  They meet, but as they start walking, they pass another bit of INNOCENTS SUFFER graffiti.  Jill freaks out and runs again, but Jim catches her.  She collapses in his arms and says, “Make love to me.”  As they walk to her place, he surreptitiously grabs a white carnation from a flower stand as they pass.

  • Why does Jill look like herself in the 2nd vision, but has black hair and goofy haircut in the 1st?  I guess the answer is that the unseen actual victim had that hair style.  And went to the muddy park in a long white lace dress.
  • I think the killer in the 1st vision was her neighbor, but who can tell with the wool cap and beret.  If so, then she is just seeing everyone as the killer.  How is that a premonition?  All she got was the location.
  • Her 2nd vision was under the INNOCENTS SUFFER.  But that never happens — they are going back to her place for the festivities.  So she is wrong again.
  • Is it just coincidence that she envisioned Jim and he really is the killer?  Apparently it was just random that she saw her neighbor’s face earlier.  Eventually the bank customer’s mug would have shown up.
  • And why does she keep envisioning roses if the killer uses carnations?

Marilyn Hassett as fine as Jill [3] — actually, very good in a couple of spots (and I don’t mean the tub).  The rest of the cast was hamming it up, but I think that was probably at the request of the director.  He seemed to be going for a certain otherness here for reasons that elude me — the acting styles, the wardrobe, the umbrellas, Lt. Tiparillo’s touchy-feely moves.  But especially that little plastic tip on the Tiparillo.  The only people using little plastic holders to smoke are society-destroying, myopic megalomaniacs like The Penguin or FDR.

This was the last episode on the 2nd DVD of what one (i.e. me) could reasonably have expected to be their greatest hits.  Sadly, Amazon has already delivered the 3rd to me.  Stupid Amazon Prime!

  • Other Stuff:
  • [1] My Leather Jacket Rule:  Unless you’re Vic Mackey or The Fonz, don’t even try it.  You will look ridiculous.
  • [2] Surely this is the most nitty of picks — or is it pickiest of nits — but why does the dude take a small step back when Jill gets out of the tub?  Is her fantasy a punk in a grown-up’s jacket who sensitively sniffs flowers and is scared of naked ladies?  If there was just not enough room in the bathroom to film the scene, then shame on the director.
  • [3] Certainly a step up from her debut as Dancer #75 in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
  • Teleplay by Gary Ross.  This was his first IMDb credit and his only TV credit. He went on to write and/or direct many great and/or successful movies, so maybe he needed rent money.

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