This might be my favorite episode of the show, although I’m not entirely sure why. I’ll even forgive it for being a rip off of an early episode of Bones.
A big part of my love for the ep is thanks to Sadie, the retired, elderly, blind drug dog. Oh, how I love Sadie. I start laughing when Boyer carries her in and I don’t stop until he carries her out. Oh, Sadie.
Also bringing the funny this week is the 420 Mafia and their stoner humor. I love when Jerry alerts the rest of the gang to Raines’s presence only to jump out the window and hide on the fire escape. The funny part, of course, is that he had been told Raines was coming. In short, this episode is the funniest of the series run. And I haven’t even mentioned the wino staring at Raines as if he’s completely insane before offering him booze.
Also featured in this episode are Charlie’s widow Lisa and his son Jack. The actor who played Jack was perfectly cast. He’s completely adorable and able to communicate the vulnerable, hurt child attempting to put up a tough exterior. And he’s so small! Jeff Goldblum had to practically double up to talk to him and the end scene where he plays keep away with the comic book made me laugh out loud. There were several references to Goldblum’s height in this episode. Why? He hadn’t grown since the week before.
Raines spends most of the episode looking at this week’s murder victim, Jimmy, as though he is just an older version of Jack. Raines worries that, without a father, Jack will make some of the same bad choices Jimmy made. Ultimately, Raines’s fears are assuaged. Jimmy turns out not to have been a bad guy at all and Raines realizes that a large part of that is due to Wally, a man completely unrelated to Jimmy who he looked up to as a father. Ultimately (cue the cheesy music), family is subjective.
The relationship between Wally (the ubiquitous Stephen Tobolowsky) and Jimmy is really interesting. I hate the way Wally talks about Jimmy at first. He’s so cold when it’s clear Jimmy thought of him almost as a father. The end pays this off beautifully, though. Wally realizes Jimmy died to try to save him from Surfer and forgives the questionable decisions Jimmy made regarding the phony comics. It’s almost enough to make me cry. Almost, but not quite enough.
The way the crime is ultimately solved (Jimmy foretold his murder in comic book form) is drawn directly from the Bones episode “The Superhero in the Alley.” Still, it’s such a minor part of an otherwise excellent episode, I’ll let it go.
Bits and Pieces
We’re pretty exclusively in Venice this week. Victorville, which is a few hours outside of LA, is mentioned.
Jerome Bettis is a now retired American football player, nicknamed “the Bus.” A little part of my soul dies when I call it “American football.”
Several real world Los Angeles gangs are mentioned alongside a few fictional ones. The 420 Mafia? The writers really strained themselves on that one. Eye roll...
Another reference to The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.
I know nothing about comics, but I do know that Dark Horse publishes most of (if not all) Joss’s stuff.
Jack: “You killed the guy that killed my dad, huh?”
Raines: “Yes, Jack, I did.”
Jack: “I wish I could’ve done it.”
Oh, break my heart, why don’t you kid.
Lance: “There’s also a photograph. I was thinking maybe it’s his girlfriend.”
Raines: “We better find her and give her the bad news. Unless he was her stalker, in which case, it’s good news.”
Raines: “What you drawing there?”
Jimmy: “My newest superhero. Captain Raines.”
Raines: “And I like what you’ve done here. You’ve captured my enormous, enormous quads. Me and Jerome Bettis. The bulge is a little modest, but you don’t want to scare the children. I understand that.”
Wally: “These kids are so screwed up, so starved for attention, you pat ‘em on the head, they wanna move in with you.”
Wally: “I never figured you for a Betty and Veronica fan.”
Raines: “Oh, a man can dream.”
Raines: “Michael Raines, LAPD.”
Old Lady Stoner: “Your move, sweetie.”
Raines: “Taxidermy. That’s the highest form of flattery, isn’t it?”
Raines: “Old age put her on the bicycle, but the weed’s doing the pedaling.”
Raines: “What are you gonna get? My eye has fallen upon eskimo munch. That sounds vaguely inappropriate.”
Raines: “How you doing?”
Lisa: “I’m cursing God less.”
Raines: “Well, don’t stop completely. I’m sure it’s a welcome change from all those people, uh, sucking up and asking for stuff, you know.”
Raines: “You know, what kind of selfish father does something that he knows that sooner or later is gonna kill him?”
Dr. Kohl: “Charlie.”
Captain: “I ask because I care. And I want a heads up when you snap so I have time to find a place to take a clean shot from.”
Carolyn: “You’ll spare me, right? You’ll need someone to explain the insane logic behind the rampage.”
Raines: “I’m writing a note.”
It’s supposed to be funny and it might’ve been when this originally aired. Now it just seems macabre and disturbing.
Raines: “Does anybody still call them head shops?”
Captain: “I wouldn’t know. I drink.”
Raines: “Uh, maybe you didn’t mean to kill him. Maybe, maybe Jimmy didn’t pay you for the smoke, he rushed at you, you moved aside, and then he fell on a knife that you were holding. Twice.”
Raines: “Aggravated assault? What happened to the good old days when potheads used to just stay at home and eat cookie dough and watch the, watch the shag carpet?”
four out of four blind drug dogs
sunbunny, who is probably not played by Tatiana Maslany