Got enough comments to my review of the "Jekyll" premiere that I'm going to keep blogging through these remaining three weeks. Spoilers for episode two (or three, depending on your math) coming up just as soon as I inventory my wine cellar...
Steven Moffat name-checked Joss Whedon in our interview, and this latest episode had a very "Buffy" feel to it, particularly in regards to our villains, Benjamin and Peter. I complained last time that Benjamin felt too over the top, and while he continues to have spittle dangling from his lips at all times, Peter spends his first full episode as a known villain proving that subtle, even polite, can be twice as scary. ("Do take that in the general area of a, uh,threat... Okay, well, off you pop. Quickly, now.") I hesitate to make this comparison because of the racial connotations, but the pairing reminds me quite a bit of Mr. Trick and Mayor Wilkins, with the flashy bordering on annoying early bad guy getting dispatched quickly so we can spend more time with the more charming, far bigger threat. I'm not saying Denis Lawson is capable of the kind of evil magic Harry Groener gave us in "Buffy" season three, but let's just say I didn't exactly shed a tear when Benjamin's throat got slit, even if it meant that Hyde had just broken his vow against killing.
People who complained last week that some of the writing was too clever by half probably won't have their minds changed by dialogue like, "Dump her. You'll feel like a different man. Now, me, I always feel like a different man," but Nesbitt really does wonders with his line delivery whenever he turns into Hyde. Hyde's so pleased with himself that retorts like "You miscounted" (to Claire's "I thought I married a man") are supposed to be ever so cheeky.
I'm glad this was done as a miniseries instead of a more longform series. While it's a bit annoying to have characters like Katherine Reimer get marginalized in only the third hour (don't expect much more from her the rest of the way), the limited nature of the concept means that we didn't have to wait too long for Claire to find out the secret and to really spar with Hyde. I had never seen Gina Bellman in anything but "Coupling" and didn't know what kind of dramatic chops she had, but she acquits herself nicely against Nesbitt's glorious scenery-chewing.
And, sticking with the "Coupling" theme, Moffat digs into his Fun With Narrative bag of tricks by fracturing the episode's chronology, with each flashback and framing scene feeding off each other beautifully. ("Damages" tries to do the same thing every week, but its content in both time frames is so boring the device doesn't amount to much.)
What did everybody else think?