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H:LOTS – S05E08 – “The True Test”

November 12, 2010

Jean de Segonzac‘s on board as the DP (director of photographer) backing the sublime Alan Taylor who helmed this taut, Lord of the Flies-esque episode. While Pembleton awaits the results of his fire arms exams, Bayliss and Lewis investigate the racially motivated murder of an African-American student at a posh and all white, all creepy all-boys prep school where the primary suspect happens to be played by the creepiest of creepy actors – Elijah Woods. I have never enjoyed the acting talents of Mr. Woods, with his creepy hobbity face and a beat too long intense stare. Still his performance as a controlling, physical and alleged sexually abusive prep school predator and son of a prominent and powerful judge is riveting. Seeing Woods effectively embody both smugness and angsty vulnerability is intriguing, particularly since it’s the kind of role I haven’t seen him tackle much before or since. It’s single handedly one of the best things he’s done as an actor.

“Homicide needs no metaphor; homicide just is.” Frank says as he triumphantly exits the squad room after having successfully jumped through all the hoops required to put him back in rotation. Thus ending H:LOTS’ examination of disability and signalling the abrupt return of the “old” Frank. It’s not as jarring as what’s standard for a daytime soap, but it’s fairly close if you talk to real life folks who have recovered from strokes. But for all his external losses and challenges, Frank realize the “true test” is internal. It’s not about passing the firearms exam or finding the right word when it he needs it. It’s about the internal struggle for equilibrium and his own doubts about his abilities as a detective. It will be interesting to watch Frank’s return to form and how his brief “fall” paralleled Bayliss’ rise and how the over the remainder of the season the script gets flipped.

Don’t you just dig that mid 90s Keanu hair? Seriously, this is not the face you want to find staring over you in the middle of the night! Not even on a dare.

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