Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Once Again, That Dangeous Point Is Illustrated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am talking, of course, about the danger of the Great Big Old Closet Case.
"Cold Case," in its day, was not afraid to tackle gay issues. I had heard of the episode, "It's Raining Men," for a long time, and was hoping it would match the brilliance and heartbreak of that 'Brokeback' redo, "Forever Blue." It does not, unfortunately, but, girls, I must have read something, or I can read into things, because, I am telling you, as soon as Paul Kern, bother of murder victim Jeff Kern, came on camera, I knew he was the killer. I just did not know why.
This episode could also have been entitled "The Prodigal Son," because it uses elements from that Biblical parable.
Here is what happens. Jeff Kern, a Larry Kramer sort of gay activist, is found bludgeoned and strangled, in a bad area of Philadelphia. His surviving partner, Artie Russo (Jay Karnes) is about to marry another, (Jeff died over 20 years before, in 1983) but wants closure on Jeff's case, before he can move on.
What Lily and Company find is a tale of two sons. Jeff, the prodigal, stood up for what he believed, including the right to be himself, and it cost him familial disownment. This, of course, takes place at the straight brother's wedding. I mean, if convictions are to be asserted on either side, a public family event is simply the perfect place to do it!
So, Daddy Kern disowns Jeff, but brother Paul and he forge a relationship. Meanwhile, AIDS is spreading in Philly. Jeff discovers some guy named Carlos (but formerly Melvin Fishman, from Ohio; get that!!!!!!!!!) is spreading the virus, in an effort to take everyone down with him, because he has it. So Jeff spreads the word in bath houses, bars, and other gay places. The community and merchandisers are not pleased.
Jeff even takes on the Closet Cases, who are all wealthy professionals--of course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He organizes a fundraiser with these types, to raise community awareness. They are wary, of course, and one of them, a journalist named Carson Finch (James Morrison) tries to warn him, saying he has something on Jeff's family. This peaks the interest of Lily and the Cold Case team.
They learn that at a similar event years before, Paul was there, and shared a supportive gay moment with Carson--and Jeff saw it. Paul sees him. So both brothers know that Paul is a Big Old Closet Case, his marriage is a sham, and so is his way of life. I wondered if the wife knew by that point. I bet she did. But that would have made for another story.
Artie is dying of AIDS, so Jeff thinks, and wants to get him into a drug program. This was on the cusp of AIDS medication. Jeff was going to go to his father, and beg for help. But he was murdered, the day before. Paul confronted Jeff in a secret meeting; he did not want him to face their father, saying Jeff would be refused. Jeff insists on trying, and Paul becomes assertive. But, when Jeff reveals he saw Paul at that event, with Carson, Closet Case Rage takes over. Determined not to lose all he worked for--because he opted for conformity, so he feels entitled!!!!!!!!!--Paul picks up a rock, bludgeons his bother, and then strangles him to death. Nice, huh????????????
Lily and Company visit Mr. Kern, with Paul there. He tells them he probably would have said "No," back then, but, over the years, with time, he seems to have mellowed. He said Jeff was always "his favorite," and Paul blanches at that. Lily notices, and Paul is confronted by the team in his office the next day, where he reveals what happened, and is hauled away. This is the scene where Lily references the tale of the Prodigal Son.
The ending is noteworthy. The musical montage of characters illustrates how they have changed, for the better, over the years--even Carlos--now an AIDS survivor. Artie is walking down the aisle, having married his current partner, Russell Bennett (Peter Gardner). It is Artie, who sees, off to the side, Jeff's ghost, in a tux, at the ceremony "in spirit," smiling at him, in approval. A touching moment, and the first episode I have seen where it is not Lily who sees the ghost. She didn't, always.
"It's Raining Men" is no masterwork, like "Forever Blue," or "The Sleeepover," but, once again, the danger of the Closet Case is illustrated. You have to know what to watch out for, darlings--like a gay appearing man who automatically disparages all things gay, or refuses to look them in the eye; someone whose illusion of hypocrisy is more important to them than honesty or integrity, and makes no apologies for showing it; a visible lack of comfort in their own skin. Girls, I am telling you, I have seen these, time and again, and I can spot a Closet Case a mile away!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hypocrisy is the only thing they have, and it must be preserved at all costs, so they can have their cake and eat it, too!!!!!!!!!! Never mind what diseases they could be bringing home to their wives!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These types should have their sex drive taken away with meds for the good of society, and themselves.
Thank God I have the decency to be honest, darlings! When have you known me, on here, not to be????????
I just realized this episode illustrates two points about gays and closets. The first, of course, is the danger of remaining in there, forever!
The last is that a gay's closet should only be concerned with housing a fabulous, designer wardrobe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!