Friday, June 30, 2017
"One Small Step," On "Cold Case," Was The Male Counterpart To "The Sleepover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
As I watched this Season 6 episode, I was struck by the parallels to the Season 2 classic. For Season 6, it was probably one of the best episodes, but, at least for me, it did not have quite the emotional resonance of "The Sleepover."
Still, the parallels are so glaring, they can be listed.
1. The crime takes place in Chestnut Hill.
2. Instead of a group of 12-year-old girls, it is 12-year-old boys.
3. Jarrod Bailey, as the young Danny Finch, is a dead ringer for Abigail Mavity as Rita Baxter.
4. The group's leader, and counterpart to Brandi Beaudry, is Chuck Pierce.
5. Bobby Kent is this episode's Ariel Shuman.
6. Seth Lundgren is the Tiffany O'Connell of the piece.
Like Tiffany, what happened, back in 1969, when they were 12, leaves him an emotional wreck. He has schizoid affect disorder, which links him to another 'Sleepover' character, Brandi's brother, Neil Beaudry. Though Neil and Tiffany fare better than Seth, who kills himself by hanging, via a belt, in the squad interrogation room.
Just as I had no sympathy for Ariel, I have none for Bobby Kent. He is so clearly a pathetic acolyte, in childhood and adulthood, just like Ariel. He is too afraid to have an opinion of his own, of being his own person, that he walks constantly on egg shells, fearing what other people think. Get a life, loser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The irony is he does not turn out to be the killer, though, had I written this script, he would have been.
Instead, the honor goes to Chuck Pierce, the Brandi of the group. On their way home from a rocket launch, supposedly at night, though the sequence was clearly shot in the day (shades of "Splendor In The Grass!"), the boys get lost, and can only find their way home by jumping across a ravine, below which a winding river flows. They all tease Danny about not being able to make it, but the boy, who, earlier, demonstrates a fighting spirit, when taking on Bobby's half brother, Malcolm, makes it, and, with the others coming around to him as a group leader, Chuck, who HAS to be Top Dog, like Brandi has to be Queen Bee, begins to resent Danny usurping his role, and is scared stiff of making the leap. When the others go off, Danny stays with Chuck, assuring him he will make it. Unfortunately, Chuck does not, and Danny, more credit to him, dives in, to save him. They flow down river, near a more grounded shore, and Chuck gets out. Danny has lost his glasses, so his vision is not good, and his energy is waning. He asks Chuck for help. Whether what happens next would have, had Danny not mentioned to Chuck that he would tell no one of his fear of jumping, is debatable. Chuck is a nasty, arrogant piece of work, as bad as an adult as when a child, and I think he was out to kill Danny, once he saw his opportunity.
So, back in 1969, Chuck kills Danny by blunt force trauma, with an enormous tree branch. It kills him, but when he is found, there is no water in the lungs, so he did not drown.
Chuck gets his, in the present, and is hauled off to the slammer. Too bad that Bobby Kent wasn't, for being such a panty waste.
Someone on the show's writing staff must have recalled "The Sleepover," and how audiences loved it. So, they got the idea of redoing it--with boys. The results are not quite as successful, but one performance is the real thing.
Jarrod Bailey, as Danny Finch, is the most empathetic victim since Abigail Mavity as Rita Baxter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!