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Monday, August 29, 2005

St. Debbie (Installment 5)

The previous scene ends rather abruptly - Paul and Evie recognize the guy who shows up at the old woman's house as the man with the snake. The scene ends as we see Paul's recognition evolve (oh so handsomely does it evolve...)

And suddenly we are at the Bill Will Motel (what is up with that and are we sure Bill Won't? Sorry, very bad joke). Alva returns to the Bill Will to find a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and hears Evie struggling on the other side of the door (surely Paul and Evie can't be doing what we think they might be doing?).

But alas, no such thing. As he enters the room, Alva instead encounters Evie with a knife held to her throat by a masked intruder (what is it with this town and throat slitting masked intruders?). We hold our breath as Evie's throat is slit and the intruder boldly steps toward a terrified Alva and removes his mask.....

And much to Alva's relief and astonishment, it is Paul (and no surprise to us that Paul is looking gorgeous as he whips off the mask...sigh....)

And we’re back from the commercial break that broke our breath-holding moment as Paul removed the ski mask and revealed himself as the throat slitter (oh, those crazy kids….). We realize that the stunt has done what we all thought impossible – it’s rendered Alva speechless!

Paul explains that he used a stunt knife to ‘slit’ Evie’s throat and then he and Evie reveal to Alva what they’ve learned about Debbie having an accomplice in the diner throat slitting stunt (geez - I'm having a hard time keeping all this throat slitting straight!) While Evie talks, Paul cleans up the blood from the floor (A man who cleans up after himself....sigh again.....).

Paul and Evie have discovered that Mayor Letherton was behind both the diner throat slitting stunt and the snake bite stunt – the mayor paid Debbie and Greg (the accomplice they met at the old woman's house) to stage the events and make Debbie appear to have saint-like qualities in order to drum up tourism for the town of Three Springs.

No doubt feeling guilty for being the bearer of bad news, Paul characteristically tells Alva he is sorry. Alva retorts quite testily, “Really? You seemed to enjoy your little stunt a great deal.”

Paul patiently explains that he and Evie felt compelled to prove to him that the stunts were do-able and that they were sure he wouldn’t have believed them without the demonstration; Alva grudgingly agrees that they were right about that. Evie explains that they’ve told no one and they leave it to Alva himself to present the information to Debbie.

Pondering time:

Paul and Evie spend a lot of time alone together in this episode while Alva is off attempting to endear himself to Debbie. From the time they (P and E) visited the "grizzled geezer," to being alone in the hotel room together while waiting for Alva so they could stage the throat slitting to later sharing coffee at the diner, I wonder if we really are supposed to think that they are growing closer and becoming a bit more than just friends (particularly with the planting of that hot kiss at the beginning of the episode). Am I seeing what the writers intended or am I just trailing off on a fantasy?

I also wonder about the Paul cleaning up bit - did the writers intend that Paul should clean up or did the director decide he should so during the course of taping? Or I wonder if it Skeet did it spontaneously because he thought it would be something Paul would do. What are your thoughts?