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S4x10 – Full Moon

May 18, 2010

Brodie: The El Rey Movie theater used to be over here; it burned down.
Lewis: How do you burn down a drive-in? It’s a parking lot.
Brodie: They set fire to the screen.

My dear reader, Elle, took me to task for not introducing one of her favorite characters – J.H. Brodie, played by Max Perlich – who started his tenure a couple of episodes back.

Snarky, I keep waiting for you to mention Brodie! What’s up with that?

Sorry about that. Now to be honest, I never really had much use for Brodie, who always seemed to me a cheap attempt at attracting a younger, hipper, less Hunter vectored demographic. Well I happened to have LOVED Hunter so obviously they weren’t trying to go after me. I love me some Fred Dryer! He used to come into my Starbucks, read the paper, tip real good and usually offer me the Life Section if I happened to be sitting on the patio on my break. Nice dude. But back to Brodie. The character – a budding filmmaker – never really endeared himself to me until the season five episode – The Documentary. Nevertheless, he’s takes all the video of the crime scenes, gives mad props to documentary filmmakers I love, as well as possessing a preternatural knowledge of cinema. Wait, why didn’t I like this character again? Oh yeah, he also kind of reminds me of the kind of white guys who saddled up to me in bookstores and attempted to get into my panties by assuring me they are well versed in loving themselves some sweet, sweet Negress meat. I don’t recall this being the case for Brodie, but that’s a hard bell to unring.

Fans of Treme and Law & Order will notice another familiar name – Eric Overmyer! Another bright star in the Fontanaverse.

Now about the episode, which is the best of H:LOTS black comedy. In the spirit of great TV show episodes such as The X-Files – Syzygy and Law & Order – Couples quirkiness and hilarity abound as Lewis and Kellerman are called to the Full Moon hotel to investigate a murder on night featuring a full moon. The murder victim in question is a biker who doesn’t have an interest in license plates and is missing one boot. Lewis seems far more concerned about the missing boot than the actual murder victim. First together, than individually, Lewis and Kellerman go from door to door questioning witnesses/suspects – they can’t always tell which – only to discover every occupant of the motel has some pretty compelling reasons – having nothing to do with the murder – not to have a nice little late night chat with the cops.

This episode does a bang up job faithfully evoking all those “Do Drop Inns” and “Hotel No Tells” and all the criminality these establishments, which often service folks of various stages of illegality, with a lot more complexity than the audience expect; presenting many narratives in absent of judgment or prescriptive measures. Without being lip service-y or ham handed there is excellent class and racial analysis being offered, but one has to do their own legwork – H:LOTS is not known for spoon feeding its audience the answer or steering its audience toward the “correct” perception. With the exception of brief appearance from Munch early in the episode, “Full Moon” is essentially the Kellerman and Lewis Hour; showcasing the best these characters have to offer as they find their groove as partners. Like many H:LOTS episodes, this is not about cracking the case, but rather it concerns itself with exploring the lives of various characters whose paths happen to intersect at a specific time and place.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2010 10:18 am

    This is an amazing episode. One of the things I appreciate about H:LoTS — having only watched some episodes and not in order — is that I can enjoy it even without knowing all the backstory. This and Gas Man are my two favorites so far.

  2. hsofia permalink
    July 20, 2010 7:44 pm

    Your comments on Brodie had me chuckling to myself. Brodie is all right, but I always just immediately think “pot head” when his character appears. And also, I ADORED Hunter. OMG, I thought I was the only 9 year old black girl watching that show every week! I feel so validated by this blog.

    This episode is one of my favorites of H:LoTS, and I like that you mentioned X-Files, because my favorite X-Files episodes are in this vein, too. The music is perfect, and they cram so many character sketches in these 43 minutes. I love it. I could watch it over and over.

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