Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Friday the 13th: The Series -- Season 1 Episode 7 (Doctor Jack)

Usually, a deal with the devil has a very limited upside, and that upside is generally reserved for the person selling their soul.  In the case of Friday the 13th: The Series, you had Lewis Vendredi, who wanted immortality and wealth.  Going back on that deal cost him his life.  He left his niece and nephew, Micki and Ryan, to deal with the cursed items that he sold to unsuspecting customers.

At some point, the writers of the series probably realized that they couldn’t have these cursed items wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting populous.   Some of these items had to have some value to someone other than their owner.  Enter a scalpel that can save someone’s life.  It comes at a cost, of course.  Someone has to die so that the scalpel can be recharged. 

Dr. Vincent Howlett has come into possession of the scalpel and is using it to save lives.  He has a perfect surgical record.  It would seem that the scalpel has a 1:1 kill ratio, meaning that every time Howlett has a surgery scheduled, he has to go out and kill someone.  (For those that are squeamish, the killings are pretty graphic.)  Ryan and Micki have to get the scalpel with the help of Jack before Howlett kills someone else.

I have to say that this is a fairly evenly-paced episode.  It doesn’t go too much into the mechanics of the cursed item, although I would like to know more about it in this case.  It’s never been mentioned how anyone figures out how to use the cursed items.  Some are intuitive or easy to discover by accident, but most aren’t.  How did Howlett come to make the connection between killing someone and saving a life?  Randomly stabbing someone isn’t something a doctor would do.

Anyway, not a lot of time is spent looking for the item.  Jack, Ryan and Micki have a good idea where it would be.  When they do find it, Jack is injured and, of course, requires surgery.  Given Howlett’s reputation, he’s the one called on putting Howlett in the position of having to save someone that would want to hurt him.  Similarly, Ryan and Micki have to let a man save their friend knowing that the only thing motivating him to save Jack’s life is ego.

There are a few things that are probably done for the sake of the story and would skirt common sense.  For instance, the mother of one of Howlett’s victims finds him.  She’s thwarted by hospital staff before she can do any harm to him and is promptly admitted to the psych unit.  Can they legally do this?  I would think that they would have to call the police first.  Even if they don’t, she attempted to hurt a doctor.  There’s no mention of contacting the police at all.

Also, the knife can cut through metal items like bars and doors.  This is convenient in letting Howlett escape after killing someone or getting through an obstacle to get to Micki and Ryan.  It’s not too outlandish, but it does seem somewhat contrived that the scalpel can do so much.  It’s also not mentioned if this drains the scalpel at all.

I’ve seen stories similar to this one, in that life force can be transferred from one person to another.  The method here makes it so that it can only be used for evil.  It would be cruel to use it on someone to save a life, even if that person was sentenced to death.  There’s no way someone would deserve to die like that.  This would remove the possibility of exploring that moral avenue.  It’s simply a matter of stopping someone from killing again.

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