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Monday, May 30, 2005

The Bone Scatterer: The Sum of All Parts

Here is where I will indulge myself, and I hope you, in a review of Paul’s/Skeet’s facial reactions, and other specialities of our lad, to various scenes in the episode. It goes without saying that it was tough to restrict myself!

First, Skeet's exquisite facial reactions to the following: learning that the sheriff beats his son, “Paul, what if I try to kill you?”, Paul’s reaction to Alva’s use of foreign language, Paul in jail, “Jimmy, you don’t have to do this” and Paul’s reaction to the attack, and Paul alone once again after dropping Travis off at this aunt’s house.

And, not to be overlooked, the hair issue:

But, also, that scarf fiddling which showed up in the first episode but now returns with a longer scarf as the team picks up the note from Travis on their car and as Paul approaches the cabin.

And that delightful little paunch suitable for rubbing:

Don’t forget those hands:

And our poor Paul/Skeet assaulted once again

Do you have any favorites that I missed or do you want to pile on the above?

It's been fun. Thanks for your reactions and commments.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Bone Scatterer: Paul and Travis

The Bone Scatterer: Paul and Travis

I’m simply going to propose a series of questions that I have about this episode because I just don’t know the answers and would love to know what everybody thinks…

Paul and Travis seem to connect immediately in this episode. From the first time they spy each other in the gym, they form a bond.

Do you think this is so, and why? Is this because they are both touched by the paranormal? Is it simply Paul’s overwhelming compassion for others? Does he connect to others as a reflection of his own loss?

Do you think that Paul’s sense of betrayal by a father who abandoned him is similar to Travis’sense of betrayal by a father who not only beats him, but also lied to him about his mother and brother? Do you think that Alva shares this sense of betrayal by his father?

Do you think that Travis’ father is aware of some sort of bond between Paul and Travis and mistakes it for sexual (The sheriff refers to Paul as a “short eyes.”) If he’s beating his son, why would he care? Or would he not care about Travis, but care about his own image or about Travis as the sheriff’s property?

Do you think that it’s Paul’s psychic connection to Travis that allows him to sense and see Jimmy or do you think it’s Paul’s willingness to help Travis that allows Paul to see Jimmy? If you think that it’s the psychic connection, why does it look like Evie can see Jimmy leaving after the attack on the sheriff, but Alva doesn’t? Could it be that Evie also tried to help Travis when she challenged the school counselor about his responsibilities towards Travis?

My favorite scene in the episode is that of Paul comforting Travis in the cabin after Paul prevents Travis from killing himself. The comforting sounds that Paul makes (sh-sh-sh, hey, hey, hey, etc), the incredible gentleness of his voice, and the sight of Paul gathering Travis to him really gets to me.


Memorial Day 2005

As the child of a WWII Veteran and a proud American, I urge everyone to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Don't forget to fly your flag.

If you see, or know a current or former member of the mightiest defense team on the planet, say Thanks and offer them a handshake or a hug.

More on Memorial Day: http://www.usmemorialday.org/


Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Bone Scatterer: Team Interactions

I’d like to talk about the growing relationship among the three team members. The opening chess scene is pretty light-hearted and, along with other humor throughout the episode, seems to be an attempt to inject some light into a dark story line. For example, Paul’s comment about the call from the dead chess master; the credentials; Evie’s taking the coroner’s keys after he called her “honey” and sent her on her way; the bar patron saying to Alva there was a bar outside town for “his kind.” There are other examples, so please feel free to bring them up.

It looks to me like Paul has settled into his role at Sodalitas Quaerito. His impressive clinical and forensic skills are again on display at the coroner’s office and he’s very authoritative as he rattles off his observation of the body following his initial shock at the state of the injuries. In addition, Paul contradicts Alva’s plan that they both go to investigate Jimmy in favor of Paul shadowing Travis.

Do these scenes suggest that Paul, Alva, and Evie are getting along? Or does it mean that the writers are getting more comfortable with the characters? Do you see any difference in the way Paul interacts with Alva? Paul keeps calling Alva “Keel,” yet introduces him to Travis as “Alva.” Sometimes Paul seems surprised by Evie – did he just learn that she had been a cop? Did it surprise Paul that Evie planned to stop by the coroner’s office on her own? Does it seem like the acting is getting stronger and Skeet is inhabiting Paul?

And still more eye candy!


Friday, May 27, 2005

Episode 5: The Bone Scatterer Discussion #1

The team is contacted by a mysterious caller who says that his dreams of killing people are coming true. The team travels to a remote small town to discover that the victims have been brutally murdered. Paul and Alva meet the caller who turns out to be the unhappy son of the town sheriff and who seems incapable of the crime. The team is stunned to learn the answer to the mystery.

At first viewing, this episode seems to be a study in grisly occurrences and, perhaps, one you spent little time on. The plot is straight forward with no mention of the darkness, Tommy, or good/evil. I think, however, that the episode does offer some areas for discussion that are not immediately evident. Over the next few days I hope to draw you into a discussion of those areas.

To kick off this episode’s discussions on a light note, let’s take a look at the expressive Skeet as he hears from Angus that in some cultures twins are considered an “abomination.” Given that Skeet has his own set of twins, how skillful the neutral reaction! Do you think that there was some joking on the set among cast and crew about Skeet’s twins?

With the melodramatic tone of so many of the scenes in this series, what do you think the “break up” (laughter) factor would have been? How do you think that relations on the set among the 3 actors/the writers/crew might affect the dynamic among the characters? I love the concluding scene in the gym in which Skeet broadly smiles at Angus. The smile seems to me relaxed and genuine.

O heck, I’m going to throw in some single shots of Skeet just because he’s so photogenic. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 26, 2005

A little TMoOd fiction

the arrangement

July 1944
Ray sat in the parlor of the church parsonage, hat in his hand, fingering it's crown. Mrs. Case was in the kitchen making lemonade, leaving him alone with his thoughts. He checked his watch. At any moment, Reverend Willard Case would return from La Junta, bringing with him Miss Olivia Dunne, of Denver. In less than an hour, Ray and Olivia would be married. Trying to steady his nerves, he thought about the events that brought him here today.

(a few weeks earlier)
Reverend Case sat back in his chair, pondering the letter he had just recieved. It was from Rev. John Dunne, an old friend from seminary school.

Dear Willard,
I am writing you with a heavy heart. Because you are a trusted friend and colleague, I have prayed over this matter and hope that you can help me. I have no where else to turn.

My eldest daughter Olivia is expecting a child. Sadly, she is neither married nor betrothed. I have little knowledge of the man who fathered this infant...only that he was a soldier on leave and does not know the consequences of his actions. Olivia refuses to discuss adoption and is willing to keep this baby. I can barely look at her, seeing only the shame and humiliation she has brought to this household. I hesitate to think about my position here, should my congregation become aware of this sinful situation.

I must insist that she leave Denver before a scandal erupts. My only recourse is to send her away. I would hate to resort to a home for girls, and was hoping that she could stay with you and Marion until she delivers. It is my greatest wish that someday she might find a man willing to marry her and to legitimize this child. Until then I cannot accept her in my home.

It is my fervent hope that you can help me. I am in desperate need of a speedy reply. With God's help and yours, I pray we can salvage her reputation and save this child's future. I will await your answer.
In God's Service..

He had not seen John in years. He remembered him as a disciplined man, steadfast in his faith and morals. His quiet, sweet wife had balanced his strict ways in raising their daughters, but sadly she had passed away the previous winter. He knew a little about their girls from occasional letters. Abby had always struck him as flighty and precocious, while Olivia was a rather bookish girl, devoted to her parents. He knew she had been in college until her mother became ill. Well, he would talk to Marion about this and together they would pray for guidance.

That night after dinner, he discussed the letter with his wife. It didn't take long for her to voice her opinion. She put her knitting in her lap and shook her head. "Well of course we will take her in! The poor thing! How can her father be so cold and heartless? These things happen, they have since the beginning of time. For heaven's sake, she is not the first girl to find herself in trouble, and won't be the last!" Reverend Case smiled. Leave it to Marion to put things in perspective!

After a few thoughtful moments, she spoke again. "You know, dear, I would like nothing more than having Olivia and her baby in this house." She glanced at her husband to gauge his reaction to her next words. "In all honesty, dear, the ideal solution would be for Olivia to be married quickly, before this child is born. It would certainly save her further embarrassment and pacify her father." Reverend Case began to fidget in his chair. "Marion, we've been married for nigh on 40 years...I know that look in your eye! Now what are you thinking?" She smiled. 'Willard, you know that I have been asking God to bless Raymond Singleton for so long! Don't you see? This is His answer! I just know that this is meant to be! Would you at least talk to him?"

By the end of the evening, they had a plan. They figured out exactly how to approach Ray about the possibility of marrying Olivia. Tomorrow, the Reverend would go for a drive....

Part 2 the visit
Ray Singleton looked up from working on his tractor. He was pleasantly surprised to see Reverend Case's car coming up the drive. He waved him towards the house...might as well stop for a bite to eat while they visited. He had known this man near all his life and could talk to him about anything. He had seen Ray through some dark times and helped fill the void left by the loss of his parents and brother.

They met up on the porch. "Come on in Reverend. Can I get you some coffee or a co'cola? I can cut you a slice of Mrs. Pratt's buttermilk pound cake, if you like." Ray washed up at the sink while the minister took off his jacket and sat at the kitchen table. "You bet, Ray! Coffee and some of that delicious cake would hit the spot. We both know that Marion's baking doesn't hold a candle to Mrs. Pratt's!" Ray gave the man a crooked smile. He fixed their plates and sat down. While they ate, they talked about this season's crops, the weather and news from town. After Ray refilled their coffee cups, Reverend Case folded his hands on the table. "Ray, I want to talk to you about something. All I ask is that you hear me out and think about what I am suggesting before you give me your answer." Ray nodded, somewhat puzzled. Whatever the reverend needed, he would do his best to help him out.

He began to tell Ray about Reverend Dunne's letter. Ray listened intently, imagining how this poor girl must feel. Her father sounded harsh, more worried about how things looked for him than what his daughter needed. "Ray, Marion and I are more than willing to take Olivia into our home. She needs someone to care for her now more than ever. She was extremely close to her mother, nursing her until her death late last year. She's a smart girl, bright, in graduate school no less. I suspect she must have been traumatized by grief to end up in this situation." The Reverend sipped from his cup. "Ray, you work hard keeping this farm productive. I know what a toll it's taken on you, first your parents' passing, and then Daniel's. And I know how badly it hurt when Amy Cooper broke things off with you....." Ray looked away. It had been years, but it still hurt to think about Amy. "You're a good man, strong in your faith. You come from dependable, hardworking stock. It must be lonely for you out here and I know you'd like to have a family of your own to fill this house." Ray nodded slowly, as the Reverend continued talking. "You know, there just aren't many single girls in the area. They've either married right out of school or gone to work in the factories." The minister hesitated. "What I am trying to say is...what I am asking you to consider... is marrying Olivia."

Ray stopped, his coffee mug halfway to his mouth, and looked over the rim. His eyebrows were raised in surprise. The Reverend hurried on before Ray could say anything. "I know this is complicated. She is expecting another man's child. I wouldn't think of approaching anyone else about this. But I know you Ray, and I know that you and Olivia could make a fine life together. You have so much to offer each other---you would gain a companion, a helpmate and she would have a strong, supportive husband. Ray, you could give that innocent child your name...the three of you would be a family. I really believe it could be a blessing for all of you." Ray looked down, his hands wrapped around his cup. He didn't know what to say.

Reverend Case rose from the table and put his jacket on. Ray stood and the two of them walked outside. "Well, I just want you to think about it. I have prayed over this matter. For some reason, finding a husband for Olivia seems like the best solution. You Ray,... I just kept thinking that you would be perfect for her and how this could work." Ray looked out over his land, taking a moment to answer. "Well, Reverend, I appreciate you coming out here to talk to me about this. I understand that you are trying to help Miss Dunne, and are looking out for me, too. Let me think about all this...I'll get back to you in a few days." They shook hands, and the minister squeezed Ray's shoulder. "Son, you know I only want the best in life for you." Ray stood on the porch, watching till the minister's car was out of sight.

Ray finally went about his afternoon. He finished his chores, settled the animals for the night and came back to the house. He wasn't very hungry, thinking about all that the Reverend had said to him. He sat on the porch. It was lonely out here, and he did want a family, but like this? He wanted to be a real husband, a good father....he wanted a loving relationship like his parents' had been. He remembered his daddy telling how his mama wouldn't give him a second look when they first met! He had convinced her he would be a good husband and father and she grew to love him. In the end, they were devoted to each other.

Lord, what was the Reverend thinking? How would he get along with this girl, so educated, and used to the social whirl of Denver? He led a simple life. He suspected she would find him backward and uninteresting, after all, he'd never excelled in school. And though he enjoyed reading, it had always been his intent to farm with his daddy. He did not consider himself a handsome man, or one comfortable around women -- he hadn't courted a girl since Amy. What did he have to offer this woman, besides his name and home? Sure, his farmhouse was sturdy and comfortable, but it had long ago lost his mama's warm touch.

He thought about going over to see Martha and Hank, and asking their advice. But he knew that he alone had to make this decision. That night before bed, he prayed that God would guide him, help him find an answer. By the next morning, that answer had come to him with great clarity...he knew in his heart that this was God's will. That His plan for Ray included Olivia and her baby.

On Saturday, he went into town and told Reverend Case his decision...he would be honored to marry Olivia and he would love this baby as his own. When Reverend Dunne got word of this arrangement, he was relieved that his daughter's child would not be born out of wedlock. He was not concerned in the least how Olivia felt about all of this...he knew what was best for her and she would do as he said. If Reverend Case thought this was a good solution, that was good enough for him. It was decided that Olivia would come to Wilson as soon as possible. Ray was confident he was doing the right thing, and after telling Hank and Martha about it, they offered him their love and support. He was looking forward to being Olivia's husband, and a good daddy to their baby. He knew it would take time, but he would wait as long as he had to. He was determined to make her happy. He hoped that eventually they would have other children. That she would come to love the farm and the land as he did.

In the time before Olivia's arrival, Ray tried to ready the farmhouse for her. He regretted that he did not have time to paint. He had let the house become the obvious dwelling of a single man, but maybe Olivia could brighten things up after she got here. Right now, his biggest concern was getting the indoor plumbing finished. He was so proud that he had put it in for her! Now he wouldn't worry about her falling in the dark, or slipping on ice when she was near to having the baby. Afterward, it would be more convenient for her with a toddler. The time flew by, and before he knew it, the day of his wedding had arrived.

So here he was. He glanced again at the pocket watch he carried, comforted by it's steady ticking. It had belonged to his daddy, and he brought it today for luck. In a little while, he would be heading home, a different man, a man with a family. Silently, he sent up a quick plea, "Dear God, let her meet me halfway, so we can make this marriage work. Guide me so that I am a strong and worthy husband. Let us be good, nurturing parents to our baby. Help us learn to love each other."

He looked up at the sound of footsteps in the hall---this was the moment. He was about to meet Olivia, his future, his destiny. . his wife. He took a deep breath, his heart pounding. He rose, buttoning his jacket as she stepped into the room with Reverend Case, who introduced them. He was stunned...his mouth was so dry, he couldn't utter a word. He could barely manage a glance in her direction. She was a fine woman, so lovely and graceful. What in the world must she think of him? Just a farmer, and he couldn't begin to imagine what they would have in common. What they would talk about that night, let alone the rest of their lives. She said to call her Livy, and he couldn't wait to try the sound of her name on his lips. First he had to calm his nerves. In the few minutes they were able to talk alone, they agreed to proceed with the wedding.

As they walked into the church, Ray decided to put their fate in God's hands. Only He knew what the future held for them, and with His help, they would face it together.


Miracles Episode Four : Little Miss Lost 5/26

*What Do You Want on Your Tombstone?

When others point out inconsistencies and editing goofs in shows I am always impressed. Maybe it's my fascination with my bag of Cheetos, but I'm usually oblivious to all the mistakes. As I'm watching the Wye burial scene it occurs to me that Amelia's tombstone looks weathered, almost mossy. But when I look at her gravesite, it's freshly dug............Are they now making tombstones pre-mossed?

Whoever did the location scouting for the graveyards has a fantastic eye. The huge granite tombstones give a real gothic feel to the scenes - all the more creepy when the paranormal occurs. (Please don't tell me they are all just gray Styrofoam, you'll burst my bubble)

One other aspect of Miracles that has really moved me is the way that Paul deals with the dead. AntEK referenced an example earlier in the week. When Paul goes to the Boston Morgue to view the body of "Little Miss Lost", he is touched by her death. He makes the sign of the cross over her body and tears are visible as he examines her injuries. As he leads Mrs. Wye to her daughter's body, he steps away to allow her privacy, and he is seen silently praying. Despite Paul's crisis of faith, or discontent with the church as an institution, it is apparent that he does still believe in God as a power. Certainly gives me reason to believe that Paul will never be overcome by the "Darkness".

But the "Darkness" knows Paul and it wants him..............hey evil force, get in line!!

.Questions to ponder:

Do you think Paul will ever return to take his vows?

* Tommy: I Hear You Knocking, But You Can't Come In

Just when we think all is well, an old friend from the past comes a knockin'. Tommy's appearance at the end of episode is quick, but terrifying in it's brief exchange. Paul senses an ill-wind and Tommy (boy who died saving Paul) appears before him. Tommy pleads for Paul's help and indicates that the 'Darkness' is real. As he speaks, Paul's voice becomes more and more agitated. You can hear a catch in his voice as he asks "What does it want?" (If Paul is scared, then I'm really scared 'cuz he sees dead people) Then Tommy drops the bombshell, " It wants EVERYTHING". Tommy poofs back to Spirit Central, leaving Paul noticeably shaken. Paul barks out Tommy's name (with a very authoritative sound by the way), but there is no answer............

Questions to ponder:
Where has Tommy ended up that the 'Darkness' is able to reek havoc on him?
Do you think the "Darkness" wants us too or just Paul?

*Final Post for Episode 4!!

"Hi, MJ? This is Paul, I mean Skeet. Listen, jecorbin and I have rapped up Episode 4 and I'm on my way over to work on Episode 5".

"Huh? Oh yeah, she's pretty pooped - it was quite a week. P&P5 and Skeetrfan did an amazing job with the pictures and the HTML formatting. Good comments too - you TMoODers are really great people".

"Say listen, when we complete all the Miracles episodes you guys are going to let me go home, right?"


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Miracles Episode Four : Little Miss Lost 5/25

Wye, Wye, Wye Aren't There More Answers

As spirits go, "Little Miss Lost" appears to be budget, economy class. She is able to utter only one word to Paul, "Why?". Thanks to Evie's morphine enhanced sleuthing, it's determined that she is actually saying her last name, "Wye". Armed with the list of circus fire survivors, they quickly locate a Rosanna Wye at the old folks home in Norwich, CT. Now that's just good detective work!!

The boys swing by for a little chat. Rosanna is appropriately aged and still lucid enough to reminisce about the fire. Once she gets to yammering though it's hard to steer the conversation. (we'll all be there someday) Alva, squirming painfully, is noticeably uncomfortable with his visit to Geezerville. Paul displays a better poker face (tequila shots?) but he does engage in some eye brow raises and eye rolling to signal to Alva that there are only 10 minutes left in the episode and they need to get a move on.

Rosanna tires of the interrogation and gives them both the bums rush. Even Paul's super strength doe eyed gaze can not melt her heart and make her confess.

After a few distractions at the train station, the fellas are driving in the SQ-V (I'm assuming they have remembered that Evie is still laying in the hospital in Hartford and have gone to retrieve her). As they commiserate about Paul's childhood abandonment, it suddenly becomes apparent to Paul that Rosanna Wye is simply running scared. Now he just needs to prove it. The man's cell phone has an amazing service area because the next thing ya know, he's verified store locations and birth records up in Millinocket, ME.

Rosanna is singing like a canary by the time Paul is done rolling out the evidence. Paul quickly moves from detective to counselor as he escorts Rosanna to the morgue to say good-bye to her daughter. (Check those moves -he's already practicing for the TMoOD dance sequence). Rosanna Wye finally has closure and "Little Miss Lost", a.k.a Amelia, is at last at peace.

.Questions to ponder:
Rosanna does not seem phased by the fact that her daughter, dead 50+ years, is still in the morgue. What conversation did Paul have on the 40 mile drive from Norwich to Hartford to explain this phenomenon?
With the publicity surrounding the tragic fire, is it probable for Rosanna to have kept her same name, been identified as a survivor, yet never discovered by any family back in Millinocket (~400 miles away)?


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Miracles Episode Four : Little Miss Lost 5/24

Super Skeet: Faster than a Speeding Bullet, More Powerful Than a Locomotive

Paul Callan's physical stamina is absolutely put to the test in this episode. He's blown up by a bus in Boston, shuttled back & forth from San Antonio the day he's released from the hospital, he dodges a barrage of bullets at the gangsta ho-down in Hartford and now that little, balloon brandishing gargoyle has hijacked Alva's train!!

We are grateful that the writers stopped short of putting Paul in a red cape and tights, although his super hero status is not lost on us - Perhaps "The Gap" was a sponsor, but someone with a keen eye for fashion selected a crisp pair of khakis as appropriate attire for this Boston-bred defender of the metropolis. (Look close at the crowd as he runs by - you can see Joan Rivers giving a thumbs up and mouthing "nice pants"!)

And such energy is exuded in this action scene, yet Paul's success is not assured - we gasp in disbelief as our victor bumbles the fence leap and lands spread-eagle on the cement!

But, with nary a whimper he's back up on his feet and flying like a bat out of Hades along side the speeding train. Then he reaches up....can he really be thinking?.........yes!.......HE'S GOING TO JUMP THE TRAIN!! Hey wait a minute....Is that a stunt guy?.......Is that Skeet?
Guess he just can't get enough of jumping on anything fast.........

Despite his obvious physical prowess, Paul keeps it real for us - Throughout the episode he offers us subtle reminders that he's had the snot beat out of him on more than one occasion (in the hospital wincing from head-splitting pain, debilitating back spasm as he rings the airline, etc). Reminding us after all......he's just a man !

Questions to Ponder

Is Paul/Skeet believable as an action hero?

Is there a summary of Paul's injuries? If no, should we create one?