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Forever Knight: Can't Run, Can't Hide

"This isn't war. This is a crime!"
"Yes, yes it is. And what are you going to do about it?"

A mysterious murder opens up a unresolved tragedy from Nick's most recent war service.

It was only a matter of time before we went to Vietnam. Growing up in the 80s, I was flooded with drab and dreary images of this war through countless shows and movies, and now it's very difficult to get interested in a Vietnam-centric plot, even if it's good.

Back then, everyone wanted to make their own version of The Deer Hunter, which is why every single Vietnam movie shows U.S. soldiers burning down huts. That's a very specific image people couldn't stop recreating. Mind you, the Vietnam War carries important lessons, but a few dozen Vietnam stories a year made the topic burdensome for many of us.

But I'll always give credit where it's due. When I stand back from this episode, I see people with more depth than the usual war movie characters. Brooks is not an evil man. His job in the war was a rough one, but nothing more violent than any other soldier. More importantly, he spent his life horrified at what his unit did.

(Spoilers coming. Sure, it's been thirty-ish years, but we're still going to warn you.)

Meanwhile, our Killer of the Week isn't a misunderstood civilian, he was legitimately the enemy. He and Brooks are just soldiers on opposite sides. After seeing what Brooks's unit did, his roaring rampage of revenge seems very justified.

You can't place either of these men firmly in the "good" or "bad" category, but you might say they were doing their best after a lot of things went wrong.

(This sounds like important stuff, but I'm well aware this review is boring. That's exactly the problem with the Vietnam stories. Important? Sure. Entertaining? Nope.)

The meat of the episode, for me, is La Croix admitting that he was inspired by Nick's righteousness. The anger Nick showed at the slaughter of innocents actually made La Croix want to make amends... in his own, wicked way.

La Croix wants to bring Nick back to the dark side, but the influence goes both ways. La Croix just might become a better person rather than dragging Nick down.


Once again, the show is creative with the flashbacks. We see the Vietnam situation from Brooks's point of view, helping us put together a thorough picture of what happened. Of course, La Croix shows up, feeding on the dead, but his presence doesn't have much to do with the plot... until we realize he may have done one important thing before leaving...

Little Bites:

-Familiar Faces: The Crazy Survivalist Guy in the beginning appeared in season one's "Dying to Know You" as the Crazy Puritan Guy who saw Nick fly and lost his mind.

-Schanke is Always Right: Nick is so sure that he should arrest Brooks, but Schanke's instincts, as usual, are spot on. Something doesn't add up.

-The survivalist guy in the beginning was right all along. Too bad he didn't know a vampire was after him. A few crosses on the walls might have saved him.

-Maybe I overthink this stuff, but I can't figure out how Nick is a Red Cross medic in Vietnam. I just can't fathom how he did his job while always avoiding the sunlight. It would make him very ineffective at helping people. You don't drive that jeep into a village in the middle of the night without scaring everyone to death.

-Captain Cohen demonstrates, once again, that she's no cuddly buddy captain like Stonetree. She's tough, and it shakes up Nick and Schanke's confidence. I love that dynamic.

-The "troubled" teens look about as menacing as the Mickey Mouse Club.

-In the past, Casey Brooks's men shout, "VC!" and open fire... because a guy walked out of his house. It's cartoonishly evil, and shows us that Casey had zero leadership with his men. He thought he was rooting out civilian fighters to protect his fellow soldiers, but he was only leading a murderous crew to their next killing.

-Unsurprisingly, the best scene is the one with Janette. Her offer to close the bar early and make Nick her only guest is sure to quicken your pulse.

Final Analysis: Drab and dreary, as usual for the topic, but the killer's reveal and resolution is worth watching. 3 out of 5 very obvious repelling kits.

Adam D. Jones is a writer, historian, and undefeated cat wrestler. He is also something of a mentor to troubled youth himself, having recently untangled his kitten from the blinds.

1 comment:

  1. Continuing the Forever Knight as first stop for many actors, my reaction to the opening was "Hey! It's Harper from Andromeda." An only slightly younger Gordon Michael Woolvett.


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