Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Tale Of Two Nuptials!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Something must have been in the air, yesterday, darlings, because both "Cold Case" episodes I watched, yesterday were not masterworks, but dealt with nuptials--one of them gay, the others straight.  What makes "Two Weddings" haunting is that the outcome, when things come together, is so heartbreaking it stopped me in its tracks, even though I vaguely saw it coming.  The two other noteworthy items about this segment is that the team is supposedly not on assignment--though that does not last long--and so they get to dress up in more than casual clothes; especially the stunning white coat and green dress worn by Lily (Kathryn Morris), and that this is another episode, where someone else, not Lily, sees the ghost.

                               Like "It's Raining Men," the setting is a wedding, where secrets and resentments are unraveled.  Again, what could be better?  Lily and Company are there because a friend of theirs, Louie Amante (Douglas Spinuzza) is getting married, and they are assembled to offer congratulations and support.  His bride, Anna Coulson, (Rachel Miner) it is learned, has been burned before--back in 2008, she was set to marry Dan Palmer (Noah Bean), who, hours before the ceremony, broke it off, much to the shock and bewilderment of everyone, especially Anna and her mother, Joan Coulson (Sarah Botsford, in a hilarious, blowsy performance; I loved her in the Conga line!!!!!!!!!).  Joan championed this marriage; she is a social climber, and saw marriage to Palmer as her ticket into membership in a prestigious local social club; in the present, she is less than enthusiastic about Anna marrying Louie.  And Anna's older sister, Tenley Coulson (Lorena Segura York) is revealed, at the outset, to be an outright slut, who is jealous that her younger sister is marrying before she.  There is only one room, she feels, for a princess in this family, and Tenley sees herself as it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            So, the playing board is laid out.  As the team explores the ins and outs of that day, they discover that, on one level, Anna's first wedding is nothing anyone wants to talk about, (understandable, since this is at her second!!!!!!!!!) and nothing is as it seems.

                             Take Dan Palmer.  One hates him at first, for being such a sleaze; tramp sister Tenley comes on to him, and he responds.  His best friend, and Best Man, Phil (Sean Maguire) catches them in the act. Tenley dashes out, and Phil says something to Dan about "getting his act together, and leaving Baltimore behind."  What happened in Baltimore??????  Well--

                             Dan immediately breaks things off with Anna.  He gives no real reason, except he can't.  After the scene with Tenley, he comes off as recognizing himself to be a sleaze, making one think this is why he is breaking it off.  As he goes to leave, Mama Joan chases after him, cursing and pleading with him to at least go through with it, so she can get into that club.  She married wealth; she will pay him!!!!!!!!!!  This woman badly needs to act in a community theater production of "Gypsy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Or maybe that old Fifties meller, "The Shrike!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                             Tenley shows her true colors, when Lily infiltrates her.  I love her line, "I took the groom for a test drive," meaning she screwed Anna's fiancé right before the wedding. You couldn't crib this off of Jane Austen, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              But something else is learned.  Dan was found in the wee hours, on a set of steps, ten floors down from his hotel room.  Who put him there?  The team hears something from Phil about a call from Baltimore by someone connected to Melanie, a girl Dan not only knew, but was still married to.  Had he lived, he would have been committing bigamy.  But that is not the heartbreaking discovery.

                             The team find a My Space page, showing a photo of Dan, Phil and Melanie, when they were back in college.  The resemblance Melanie bears to Anna does not go unnoticed.  When confronted, Phil reveals Dan and Melanie married young.  A few years later, the trio were on a boat, with Phil driving, when an accident occurred. Melanie was thrown overboard, survived, but in a Karen Ann Quinlan kind of way--physically fine, but in a seemingly indefinite coma.  After Tenley walks out, Phil gets a call, which he gives to Dan.  Apparently, Melanie, hospitalized now, for eight years, has come to, and called out for Dan.  Dan has never lost his love for Melanie, and even though he thought he was ready to move on, he wasn't.  First, because he never divorced Melanie--though he screwed around, like Tenley!!!!!!!!!--and second, once the possibility of Melanie coming back to him becomes a tangible, he is willing to forsake all.

                             This confrontation between Phil and Dan takes place hours after the wedding has been called off, and Dan has come back to collect his things.  Phil tries to make him go through with Anna, saying Melanie will never return.  As a proof, he calls the hospital to convince him that Melanie's lapse was only momentary.  And he is right, because, as drama would have it, Dan learns   Melanie has passed on.  He is heartbroken.  Phil explains that death sometimes comes with a final moment of clarity.  Dan is lost--his first love is gone, and he cannot undo what has happened, and make it up to Anna.  It was then I knew what was going to happen.  Before Phil can do anything, Dan does the unthinkable.  Standing with his back turned to Phil, on his room's terrace ledge, he jumps, ten stories, to his death--suicide!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              I don't know if this was the first suicide death on the show, but it was the first one I saw.  Dan Palmer, for all his flaws, becomes one of the show's most heartbreaking victims.  He may have had his flaws, but he was capable of love, and it was love that tore him up.  I am not sure if his situation could have been resolved, unless he gave up his daily life for Melanie.  But at what price????????????

                               The story was clever, the ending made me cry, but it was not a masterwork.  But it get an "A" for being surprisingly different.

                                 I have a wedding coming up, which I have to attend, the end of next month.  On the basis of what I have seen here, I will behave myself, and keep my eyes and ears open!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 It was worth it, darlings, to see Mama Joan embracing things at the end, doing that campy Conga dance!!!!!!!!!  And, while Anna sees the ghost (Dan, smiling at her in approval) it is Lily who catches the bouquet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I caught something, Lil, dear, so you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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