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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

St. Debbie (Installment 6)

Whoa - a little creepy here!

So, it's off to Deborah’s house for Alva (you notice to Alva, she’s Deborah, not Debbie) where he confronts her with the information he's just learned from Paul and Evie. (I'm kind of surprised that she opened the door for him after seeing his intensely stern face in the window of her door!) Deborah, not Debbie admits her involvement, but defends her actions saying that she needed the money to send Danny to a good school that can meet his needs. Deborah, not Debbie also claims that the stunts didn’t hurt anyone and further admits that she’s always wanted to go to UCLA, and actually refers to it as a fantasy! (oh, there has got to be a Debbie Does Something in that scenario – jecorbin, I’ll leave you the option on that one ~ or anyone for that matter!).

There is a fair amount of hair action on Deborah’s part in this scene (flipping and flinging) – that and her pretty see-through blouse no doubt keep Alva on the hook despite his disillusionment with her actions.

Alva tells her that the SQ gang will not be revealing her story and he leaves her. As it sinks in for Deborah that she has alienated Alva and lost his respect, she breaks into tears as she closes the door behind him.

Sadly, Deborah is not the only one shedding tears – Danny has overheard the conversation and cries at the thought of someone not believing that Debbie is special.

Meanwhile, Evie and Paul have a cup of coffee at a local diner. Evie’s comment ("You seem more upset about this than Alva is") stirs Paul from his thoughts (much in the way Livy stirred Ray from his when she asked who his neighbors are).

Evie and Paul hear some loud voices in the street and a look out the window reveals that the folks of Three Springs are wound up again; themselves not being ones to miss any of the action, Paul and Evie grab their coats and follow along. They learn from the guitar man on the street that Danny is now on the water tower and they are off in a flash!

The town gathers round the water tower and Debbie not Deborah confesses to Danny and thus the towns folk that she lied and that she cannot save Daniel if he jumps - she begs him to come down. Mayor Letherton shrinks when he realizes that he may be outed in the whole hoax. Mrs. Martin emerges from the crowd, cluching her purse and telling Debbie not to say such things. As our Paul looks on with grave concern, Mrs. Martin suggests that she and Debbie show everyone who the real liar is and reaches into her purse - out comes her handgun and she takes aim at Alva.

KA-BOOM! Off goes the gun - but Debbie is faster than a speeding bullet and she steps in front of Alva and takes the bullet in the chest (oh, the see-through blouse is ruined!) - Paul rushes in as Debbie lies bleeding in Alva's arms...poor Paul...he wants to stop the bleeding, but doesn't know where to put his hand so he yells for an ambulance.

Things to think about and discuss - what do you think about the chemistry between Alva and Debbie? I wonder if at times, Alva is forcing it - almost as if to say, "It's my turn, Paul!" But I'm not sure - what do you think? What attracts Alva to Debbie? Debbie to Alva?

Sitting alone with Evie at the diner, Paul shares his frustration that the townspeople will be let down by the hoax --- he knew that they were sincere in their faith in Debbie as a saint and the miracles they'd seen. I was a bit disappointed in the conversation after seeing the intro to such a cozy setting of the two of them in the diner, enjoying a quiet moment (with the vision of that kiss still planted in my brain). In your imagination, what is the conversation they should have been having ????


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?


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Saint Debbie/Ep 10 - Installment 4

I think I am experiencing some type of writer's block here and I think I'll blame it all on Alva (LOL). Got to thank Kay here because she's collaborated with me on this entry--thank you, you are such a lifesaver. Yes, the stalling was intentional, just can't get anything out of this pea brain of mine especially since it's not a Paul centered episode--call me selfish but this is a Skeet Ulrich blog.
I'm inspired!

In this portion of the episode, the best part I think is the conversation between Paul and Alva at Debbie's porch. It seems like they've switched roles here somehow, well, no, it's Alva who is not his usual self at all. I felt like Paul was feeling the frustration he had when he usedto work for the church. He's trying to prove his point to the unusually skeptical Alva here. He knows that Alva has fallen for Debbie but Paul knows the grave consequence of letting the whole town down will be much more catastrophic than breaking Alva's heart.

Paul is especially compassionate here towards Danny, concerned how devastated he will be when he finds out that his sister isn't really a saint. Paul's got it all made for him here, balancing the entire town on his shoulders and trying hard to open Alva's eyes so that Alva will realize that his gut instinct is leading him on wrong. Still, Debbie's pheromones are stronger, clouding Alva's senses, especially his natural investigative self.

Good thing there's a girl called Evie. Finally some help for Paul. This ex cop whose pretty face always gets in the way of how people percieve her on first meeting. Paul here, is working on his gut instinct and have not had the chance to really investigate the facts, but Evie is the one who really cracked this case. Interviewing the local officer from town, she gets away with some information that they can work with. She obviously knows how to talk to fellow officers as this officer gave her the respect she deserved.
Unfortunately, she had to prove herself to the snappy 83-yr-old-oxygen-lugging-woman who lives in a trailer about 100 miles out of town in Wyantville. Can't blame Evie for being irked at her after she says she's pretty but not really smart. Darn well proved herself there. She's way ahead with her keen ex cop eye. In such a short time, she's already deduced that the lady had been lying about not being in Three Springs for a year and that she's already noted that there were three tire tracks leading into her property.
Check out Paul's expressions, he was definitely awed by this smart girl!

The old lady was stupefied, stunned and I think regretful for saying that to her. Then she puts her foot deeper into her mouth when a car roars up the drive to the trailer and out comes the man who threw the snake at Debbie.

The plot thickens.....
Have you noticed that this story gave an avenue in showing the SQ trio their own distinctive role as a cohesive group and can you name it for each of them?
I had a conversation going on in my head about what Paul was thinking when she rattled off her observation to the old lady, thought I'd leave this to the readers - his expressions say a thousand words -- what do you think was he thinking through this?
I read a comment about Paul's hair here, I know at least one of you had noticed it in this entire episode, care to share what you have in mind?