S4x04 – A Doll’s Eyes
Marcia Gay Harden SHUTS this whole episode down. In the horse race of H:LOTS episodes “A Doll’s Eyes” and “The Subway” (season six, first occurrence of Bayliss wearing glasses) are the ones to beat. I can say – without hyperbole – This is absolute best episode of the entire series. Not only because Fontana and the crew wrote themselves a slamtastic script. Not because Ken Fink brought his “A” game to the director chair. NOT EVEN WITH Patinkin Licking Goodness in the form of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger.
Oh the Hu-Mandy!
This episode shines like no other because it is the very definition of surprising, uncomfortable, yet totally inevitable conclusion. This is how you tell a story. This is how you conjure up some non cheesy pathos. You write a great script, LEAVE no detail to chance – get Mandy Patinkin to cameo as his Dr. alter ego in an in universe nod to another fantastic show that didn’t always get its propers – and you make sure you get someone to tightly direct that shit.
MGH stars as the long suffering mother of a ten year old boy shot merely for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It is the most heartbreaking episode and Harden skillfully navigates the range of emotions without hubris or melodrama. Her nuanced, understated and authentic performance is what those in TV criticism would describe as – riveting. This is an often misused term, which generally means the actor in question is sucking all the oxygen out of the room, but is not the case here.
Oh yeah, Bayliss’s back has gone out again. Stay tuned.