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S4x06 – Hate Crimes

May 15, 2010

As the name suggests this is an episode centering around a hate crime and it’s fairly gritty. The most disturbing thing – for me anyway – is Bayliss and Pembleton arriving at the scene prior to the death of the victim, who is face down clearly not having a good time. If this isn’t enough – trust me, it is – Pembleton then tries to question the victim before he expires, and finds the victim oddly uncooperative. Like I said, disturbing.

Robocop expertly handles his directing duties in an episode that avoids the cheesiness of a Very Special Episode in favor of telling a provocative story about sexual identity, hate crimes and the way the lived experiences of Pembleton and Bayliss inform their beliefs regarding the crime.

    Bayliss: So what would you do if someday your son comes home from school and says hey dad, meet Jason here, he’s my new boyfriend, what would you do then?

    Pembleton: I don’t know Tim. I don’t like to guess about my reaction to some hypothical situation, but I’d like to think that if two Homicide Detectives come to my door, unlike Zeke Lafeld’s father, I would not be relieved my child is dead.

Speaking of bigoted fathers, it should not come as a surprise Mr. Lafeld is played with dignified menace by the go-to character actor for fucked up, creepy patriarchs – who scared me and soured me on the concept of stepdads for a long time – Terry O’Quinn. I don’t mean to judge, but if I see his name I just assume he’s not going to be delivering flowers or good news. What a wonderful performance Weller draws out of Quinn and I suspect Weller provided helpful suggestions based on his own experience playing a fucked up dad.

Wow, I’m pretty sure I went to a jazz club and saw Weller play trumpet or something. Damn, is there anything Buckaroo Bonzai can’t do?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2010 8:11 pm

    This post would make great Fathers Day material 🙂

  2. May 15, 2010 8:34 pm

    Ha. It’s amazing there are far more movies presenting fathers as deranged and nearly 80% star Terry O’Quinn.

  3. May 16, 2010 5:02 am

    Damn, is there anything Buckaroo Bonzai can’t do?

    Probably not. I remember when I learned that Weller spends his spare time teaching courses in ancient history at Syracuse University… first I said, “No way!” and then I thought, “Well, why not?”

    I liked him cleaning up Detroit, and I loved him saving the world from John Lithgow, but my favorite Weller role has to be Bill Lee in Cronenberg’s “Naked Lunch”. It’s awfully tough to play a character who spends most of his time trying not to let on that he’s feeling anything unusual, when inside his head he’s desperately struggling to adapt to a constantly changing “reality”. His face stays static most of the time, but the stuff he does with his eyes is brilliant. He keeps it all credible and never once lets it get silly. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather hear do the “Man Who Taught His Asshole To Talk” routine, other than Burroughs himself.

    Also, Peter Weller has cheekbones that could cut diamonds. Those cheekbones are capable of carrying a movie all by themselves.

  4. May 16, 2010 10:24 am

    Peter Weller and Judy Davis were delicious in Naked Lunch. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed that film – saw it on a first date. Peter Weller’s filmography has always hinted at brilliance and his earlier works didn’t always convey that. I think Robocop was the first thing that made me sit up and take notice of him. I mean the only thing we saw was his eyes and they had to do all the heavy lifting since he was paired with Nancy Allen who is not cut out for the action adventure genre.

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