Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jekyll: I scream, you scream...

Spoilers for the third (or fourth, depending on your POV) installment of "Jekyll" coming up just as soon as I buy a new TV set...

Moffat's experiments with time continue as the bulk of the episode is devoted to the history of Tom Jackman and his hairy-armed alter ego. Even the present-day framing scenes are all about the question of Tom's origins.

Moffat wrote "Coupling," so he obviously knows his way around the romantic comedy aspects of Tom and Claire's early courtship. ("What do you do?" "Rich men... Sorry. It's a joke... Sorry.") I also continue to be impressed by Gina Bellman's non-Jane-ness, particularly when she's being flirty and having blunt conversations about sex, though that's mostly because I'd never seen her do anything else before this. (To use the obvious "Friends" comparison, Lisa Kudrow's proved she can do a lot more than Phoebe.) And in the present-day, she had the awesome coffee-tossing moment, so I'm a large fan of hers right now.

While not much is accomplished in the Peter/Miranda Callendar scenes other than establishing what Tom isn't, the flashbacks are an essential component to the larger story. Given what's coming, we need to be invested in Tom and Claire's relationship, and we also needed a broader view of how Tom started becoming Hyde. It's a bridge chapter, but a necessary one, and an entertaining one.

What did everybody else think?

9 comments:

dez said...

I'm bowled over by how good Nesbitt's acting is. When he turned to look at the hoodlums who humiliated he and Claire, his cold look as Hyde chilled me (makeup notwithstanding).

One question: If Tom turned into Hyde that time without being prepared for it, how did Hyde not know Tom was married (Tom wasn't removing his wedding ring yet)?

I'm really looking forward to next week's finale.

Dark Tyler said...

I don't recall every detail from the show, but IIRC Hyde's fingers were slimmer that Jekyll's, so it could have slipped. Of course in that case, how did he find it again? Hm. Maybe Hyde was still trying to figure out his whole existence and maybe just didn't pay attention?

J said...

Not that I'm on some sort of crusade, here, but I found Bellman's performance throughout Jekyll to be flat-out godawful. Veering between shrill and dull, and phony almost every single stagger of the way.

If I were casting a part where a good actress had to play an actress who couldn't act, I'd have her study Bellman in this series.

Sean said...

Well, I'm usually not a fan of the "flashback episode" simply because it's so often the hallmark of poor storytelling skills -- it's such an easy way to lump in exposition.... but in this case it's been one of my favorite episodes thus far.

It was the perfect place to put the episode (4/6) especially since the next episode has such wonderful moments between Hyde and "his" wife and children. It's a good setup for all that, to me.

I think that the wedding ring thing can be explained by Hyde's euphoria at being "born" -- he simply didn't notice it? He was born to hurt the attacker, his mind was focused on that. Did he even understand the significance of a wedding ring yet, as an infant?

And I like Bellman in the series. I see her as a very normal person caught up in a very, very abnormal life. She's a good counterpoint to the assistant, smooth and confident.

One of the best shows I've watched in a long while. The new Who could take a few cues from this one...

Jon Delfin said...

I wonder how much more (or perhaps less) we'd like this show if we could see the 10 minutes of each episode that BBC America is cutting for ad time. This week, I bet a lot of it came from the "courting" flashback sequence, which felt horribly abrupt.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yeah, I wish I knew how it looked post-cuts, but BBC America refuses to send out anything but the British versions for review.

dez said...

Did he even understand the significance of a wedding ring yet, as an infant?

Tom seemed to think he might, as he started hiding it almost immediately, or so it seemed. But I can buy that Hyde didn't notice it because he was too busy beating that hoodlum.

I really liked the parts where Tom "hears" Hyde coming (the knocks at the door, the ice cream truck). I'm surprised his friends didn't try to have him committed for his auditory illusions--unless they were all in on his secret, save his wife?

chasa said...

I bailed on the BBC America versions after sampling them to find out if I wanted to give this show a go...learned my lessons on their cuts with Life On Mars. And not just content cuts, but why in heaven do they insist on cropping to full screen? Ugh. So much more beautiful in widescreen.

But anyway, in LOVE with Jekyll and Nesbitt and Moffat. I adored the flashbacks and the lighter romantic moments. In classic Moffat style, you have to remain attentive to get the payoff...like Claire's response to the "what do you do?" question ("rich men") followed up in the next scene by Tom's response to Claire's half-bored delivery of the same question ("about 250 thousand a year"...which is why I find Jackman as irresistable as Hyde and would have stolen his shoes, too).

Anonymous said...

1 Question For me! I liz am wondering How can he change from hyde to Jackman without Hurting himself with the Contacts! Weeeeiiirrrrddddddd Series! Hope they come Back With more!!!!!


From,
Liz