19 May 2015

+JMJ+

Early Edition: Vigilante Justice

The twist in this Early Edition episode is that The Paper doesn't initiate the action. Gary gets tangled up with his latest "assignment" thanks to a more natural sort of "meet-cute." It's such a big break from the formula that although The Paper does get to play a perfunctory part, we might as well be watching a different show. I'm all for writers pushing the envelope now and then, but not at the expense of the whole conceit of the series they're building a mythology for.

Here, one "crazy" idea (getting tomorrow's news today) is replaced with another "crazy" idea (meeting someone who died 70 years ago). But Gary gets to remain constant. And well, he has to: only someone who already takes the former idea for granted could ever take the latter idea seriously.


Pictured: Not The Paper's Perfunctory Part

There's a sense in which Gary is wrong to be helping "Bat Masterson" out--and he knows it as well as we do. When someone is an inmate at a mental hospital, we probably shouldn't get tangled up in his plans. If only because it looks very bad when we do! It is more understandable if we ourselves happen to be a few indiscreet comments away from being slapped in straitjackets we don't deserve . . . but for obvious reasons, we wouldn't want to say that in our defense. Gary has never feared a potential antagonist as much as he does this episode's psychiatrist. LOL!

Another way in which this episode breaks the Early Edition formula is that it doesn't let us apply the "WWGD" rule. Although Gary turns out to be right about his new friend, it's hardly prudent to take a mental patient's word over a psychiatrist's . . . especially after you've seen evidence that the former was committed for good reason. Don't try this at home, kids!

By the way, if there is another show with the conceit of dead characters popping into the present and needing the hero's assistance, please let me know. I might blog about it after I get done with Early Edition!


Your Turn to Be the Hero: What's the most incredible story that you have ever believed, with nothing but the teller's word to back it up?

3 comments:

Brandon said...

This was definitely an odd one. I wonder if it was someone's script for another project, and they just reworked it to add the Early Edition characters. I did like The Paper's predictive joke -- I guess it was -- of Gary being the kind of guy who in helping out gets stuck on an elevator that doesn't go all the way to the top.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I'm glad you pointed that out about the elevator, Brandon, because it totally went over my head! But I had been wondering what the connection between it and Bat Masterson was; it didn't seem like some random scene they inserted. (Now I have the feeling that if I listen once more to Chuck's narration at the beginning, the connection will be more obvious. =P)

Brandon said...

I wouldn't have caught it myself, except that I happened to catch Chuck saying to Gary at one point that the man's 'elevator didn't go all the way to the top'. But it would have been very easy to miss; Chuck's not hugely memorable here.