S4x06 – Hate Crimes
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?