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S2x04: Bop Gun

March 30, 2010

AIR DATE: 1/06/1994
WRITTEN BY: Tom Fontana & David Mills and David Simon
DIRECTED BY: Stephen Gyllenhaal
GUEST STARS: Robin Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal

I hate this episode and I adore it. This is emotionally gripping and it just breaks your heart. This episode and A DOLL’S EYES are two of the hardest H:LOTS episodes to watch. Robin Williams is spectacular. Even little Donnie Darko was wonderful too. I’ve never been able to watch it without feeling that pit in my stomach and quickly have to watch THE DOCUMENTARY or FULL MOON to make myself feel better (those are other episodes of H:LOTS, though I feel that goes without saying). Robin Williams plays a hapless Out-of-towners like tourist whose wife is gunned down while sightseeing. Normally, I don’t think of Seal as the soundtrack of American street crime, but its use in the cold opening was chillling.

Felton catches the RED BALL and proceeds to show some of that Baldwin charm with jokes about overtime and how whiny the grieving family folks are. Felton’s behavior is basically dismissed by GEE when confronted by the victim’s angry husband (Williams). That’s where I start feeling sick inside. Feeling the helplessness and rage he feels and seriously, this performance is so understated. I have no idea how many blow dart tranqs to the neck it required to yield this performance, but it was worth it. Howard skillfully toggles between the two interrogation rooms ensuring that nobody puts the suspects through the 2 way mirror head first.

Since this is a RED BALL there are none of the usual partnerships. Everyone’s overlapping like a bad summer camp rendition of “Row Row Row Your Boat”.

S2x01 See No Evil
S2x02 Black and Blue
S2x03 A Many Splendored Thing
Season One

11 Comments leave one →
  1. hsofia permalink
    March 30, 2010 9:15 am

    Good lord, I totally didn’t realize Jake was in this episode. He looks like he’s 10 years old!! I would have been 17 when this aired, no wonder I wasn’t looking at him (yet).

  2. March 30, 2010 9:49 am

    For all his hyperactive monkeyshines, I think Robin Williams is really a find actor but you’re right he probably needs a director with a firm hand. Or steady aim.

  3. March 30, 2010 9:49 am

    I know, right. It’s so weird to see him so young. He really is a naturally gifted actor. Normally, I don’t care for most kid actors, but H:LOTS seemed to frequently cast really great kids.

  4. March 30, 2010 9:54 am

    @redlami –

    For all his hyperactive monkeyshines, I think Robin Williams is really a find actor but you’re right he probably needs a director with a firm hand. Or steady aim.

    I think Barry Levinson – while not the director of this particular episode – having a great rapport with Williams definitely helped. Considering the level of craft required for this role, Williams would NOT be my first choice. I would have gone with William H. Macy or B.D. Wong who are very effective at sublimating their charisma to play “ordinary” folks.

  5. mcm permalink
    March 30, 2010 10:51 am

    I have always felt a little guilty that I did not watch Homicde on first run. I only saw it in reruns, all out of order – which created some confusion.

    I am really enjoying your posts! Reading about the episodes (in order) brings back so many memories and gives great context to them.

    Thanks – mcm (a lurker)

  6. March 30, 2010 11:19 am

    @mcm – welcome and I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts. Can you believe we’re already up to season three???

  7. March 31, 2010 10:36 am

    wow OK I’ve never watched H LOTS but this makes me want to watch it. I had no idea there was an ep with Robin WIlliams and Jake Gylenhaal. And you say it’s emotionally gripping and breaks your heart? I don’t have time to get into too much tv lately, and I am currently Netflix-less. But I will kep H LOTS in the back of my mind for things to eventually watch.

  8. March 31, 2010 12:50 pm

    I’ve never seen this show either but I love Law & Order, so this appeals to me. Is this shit on Netflix? It’ll have to go behind my disaster movies in the queue, but there’s only so many ways you can destroy Los Angeles so I should get to it eventually.

  9. mcm permalink
    March 31, 2010 1:39 pm

    RIP David Mills….

    I read today that this was the first television episode he worked on.

  10. March 31, 2010 4:02 pm

    @MCM. Yeah, I am really sadden by this. I am drafting a post in his honor. He is one of the unsung heroes in the Fontanaverse.

  11. hsofia permalink
    March 31, 2010 4:35 pm

    @Tasha – All 7 seasons of H:LotS are available in DVD format from Netflix. Not available as streaming.

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