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S2x03: A Many Splendored Thing

March 29, 2010

AIR DATE: 1/27/1994
WRITTEN BY: Tom Fontana
DIRECTED BY: James McNaughton

There is a sliver of stutter cut action, but so far nothing approximating the kind of dizzying camera work H:LOTS is notorious for. Still, this is one of those episodes that probably didn’t do much for me initially, but has become more interesting to me each time I view it. It has lots of perfect little moments, which are easy to miss when you’re sitting down to watch an episode and without a clear expectation of where it’s going. The acting, writing and direction – James McNaughton’s first time at the helm of H:LOTS – are wonderfully understated. This is not one of those BIG moment episodes and the cases are resolved rather uneventfully. Sometimes it happens that way. Sometimes it’s about reflecting the realities of police work and finding the magic and intrigue elsewhere.

The dream team catches a case with a very considerate victim – one who leaves a note saying, “Ed did it.” While convenient, Bayliss and Pembleton still resort to old fashion police work figuring if the vic was so smart, she would not have ended up dead. This is the first in many of Bayliss’s attempts to explore his sexuality. Not with the victim, of course, but on his own. Once they put the case down, Bayliss gets his “Toot toot hey beep beep” on.

Look, Gee doesn’t care if it’s in rhyming couplets, but he wants Munch to make with the paperwork on the double suicide. Instead Munch tattles on Big Man for being – happy – demanding that Gee make him unhappy so Munch can have his old Bolander back. Meanwhile, Bolander and Howard have a THREE’S COMPANY moment involving a three way and caviar, which resolves itself when Bolander clarifies that he only wants Howard – who is dating Danvers – to join him on a double date.

Crosetti and Lewis investigate a crime that hits too close to old Snarky – murder over a PEN. Yes. apparently there are folks more pen obsessed than me. Someone got blasted for what looked to be a cheap Bic Stix pen. So disappointing. I will not spoiled the jaw dropping oh snap moment, which more visual than plot revealing. Suffice to say, given what you about me and pens, you’ll know it when you see it.

Gee is tasked with making Bolander unhappy, but in turn ends up reflecting on his own failure to move beyond his wife’s death (which occurs prior H:LOTS) and get out of his dinner on Friday, drive to the Eastern Shore on Sunday routine, which apparently he’s perfected after having practiced it for five years. Them’s some pretty desperate women. Not because Gee isn’t attractive, but because he doesn’t seem especially creative in the area of date ideas.

S2x01 See No Evil
S2x02 Black and Blue

12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 9:38 am

    The more of these shows I watch (and the more of these synopses I read) the more I appreciate the complexity of the characters, which I think is the biggest difference between H:LOTS and most other cop shows I’ve seen. And I find Bayliss to be perhaps the most intriguing of all of them. And no, I’m not going to conjecture as to what that says about me.

  2. March 29, 2010 10:09 am

    What’s awesome is you got to see where this episode took Bayliss (the Peter Gallagher ep). And how much the character evolved during the show’s run.

  3. hsofia permalink
    March 29, 2010 1:34 pm

    I remember being so puzzled by Kyle Secor’s height in this episode. It took me a long time watching the show to accept that he was so tall. His face just looked to me like it belonged on a shorter body. If that makes any sense.

  4. March 29, 2010 2:38 pm

    @hsofia, I know what you mean. He definitely doesn’t have the tall look of a James Cromwell.

  5. March 29, 2010 10:57 pm

    @hsofia and redlami – overall this is an extremely tall cast with a disproportionate number of the male actors sailing past 5’10 and then some.

    Secor/Bayliss – 6’5
    Kotto/Gee – 6’6 peak (you’ll see listings everywhere that will contradict this, using Live and Let Die as evidence. But according to movie lore, Moore wore lifts to lessen the height variance between the two of them). This is one tall freaking dude.
    Baldwin/Felton – 6’2
    Braugher/Pembleton – 6’0
    Belzer/Munch – 6’1.5

    now add 1 inch or so for footwear and it’s cra cra.

  6. March 29, 2010 11:15 pm

    @hsofia – yeah, Secor has a babyface. Still does! Man, fiddy with a toddler. Don’t envy that one bit.

  7. hsofia permalink
    March 29, 2010 11:38 pm

    Holy moly, he looks young! He doesn’t appear to have aged a day – only more gray hair. Wow. I could have a toddler at 50 … if I had a nanny!

  8. March 30, 2010 9:46 am

    I can’t get over it either! It has to be the yoga. Apparently, he’s been a yoga enthusiast for most of his life! And considering where my thoughts are going, I’ll stop right there.

  9. March 31, 2010 12:48 pm

    We need to stop the pen violence and increase the peace.

  10. March 31, 2010 4:01 pm

    @Tasha, for seriously! Let’s get back to the sword being mightier than the pen.

  11. leviramsey permalink
    May 30, 2010 9:44 pm

    If there’s a central character to H:LotS, it’s Bayliss. I don’t think Fontana or anyone else planned it that way, but even though Pembleton got all the glory (if that’s what you call it) in the box, Bayliss is the key character (though I’d definitely argue that Kellerman and Bayliss follow the same basic arc (ignoring Bayliss’s sexual/philosophical/religious explorations): Kellerman just goes through it a lot faster!). That doesn’t mean the show revolves around him, just that it’s rare for Bayliss to be in the background of an episode (as Munch or Howard, or Lewis could be from time to time).

  12. May 30, 2010 9:51 pm

    Leviramsey, I’d even argue that Kellerman was far more self actualized than Bayliss, which is pretty interesting if you consider where their story arcs ended. Definitely feel as though H:LOTS centers around Bayliss and the show feels odd when he’s not at least a major part of the action.

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