Saturday, February 24, 2018

Friday the 13th: The Series -- Season 1 Episode 9 (Root of All Evil)

One of the things about Friday the 13th: The Series is a lack of explanation as to how the cursed items work.  In the pilot, it’s said that Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil and that, as a way for fortune and immorality, he sold those cursed items to unsuspecting customers in his antiques shop. After his death, his niece and nephew were left to clean up the mess with the help of an old business partner of his.

This episode starts with a mother and son doing some yard work.  The son becomes possessed with rage and shoves his mother into a mulcher/wood chipper.  The next scene is in curious goods some time later.  Jack, the old business partner, finds a letter addressed to Lewis.  In it, he finds references to knowledge from below, indicating that the writer knew about the cursed items.  Also enclosed is a $100 bill.

This leads Jack, Micki and Ryan to track down the sender.  They find a vacant house, but they know that the item is the aforementioned mulcher, as the return address matched an entry in their ledger of items that Lewis sold.  They are able to track down the mulcher to the maintenance crew at n estate that’s about to become a park.

Smitty is the new owner of the mulcher.  He has no idea what it is.  However, Smitty has an employee named Adrian.  Adrian becomes possessed much like the son did in the opening scene.  When someone tries to hit Adrian up for some hush money, Adrian feeds the guy to the mulcher and receives a few bills, all dated 1937.

For those wondering, there is no Series 1937 American currency in any denomination.   There is Series 1937 Canadian money.  Given that the currency shown is American and the show is filmed in Canada, I think the person checking facts for the show might have gotten the countries mixed up.

At any rate, Adrian soon realizes that the richer the person is, the more money he gets.  Adrian is in luck, as the estate he works on has lots of rich people walking around.  He tries to mulch people as quickly as he can, resulting in a bag full of cash.

During all of this, Micki’s fiancĂ©, Lloyd, pays a visit to the antique store.  At the beginning of the series, Lloyd and Micki were engaged to be married.  Inheriting the store put that marriage on hold.  It’s somewhat surprising that it took this long to deal with it, but it was bound to happen.  Micki tries showing Lloyd around, as he has a right to know what she’s doing.  He doesn’t buy any of it, even when he sees her help get the mulcher back.  In the end, she decides to stay with Jack and Ryan; Lloyd goes home without Micki.

Overall, the episode is still a little thin.  The episodes seem to be relatively self-contained so far, with this one being a notable exception.  If not for the engagement aspect, you could have watched a lot of the episodes out of order.  There’s very little continuity so far between each episode.  In fact, if this was the first episode you watched, it would probably be easy to figure out what’s going on.  (There wouldn’t be many revelations going back and watching the pilot episode.)

Also, it seems like much of the episode is spent trying to contain the artifact.  Jack, Ryan and Micki seem to find the mulcher rather quickly, meaning there has to be a good deal of chasing people around.  (I suspect that this is why this episode was chosen to deal with Micki’s engagement.  They held off until they needed the filler.)

This episode, like many of the others, probably could have been shortened to a half-hour format.  Either that, or find something else to fill the time.  Some of the items have a historical connection, but little is said about it.  Here, we just have a garden tool that seems to spit out money.  There’s no debate on what determines a person’s worth.  The resulting cash is simply a function of their net worth.

I’ve decided that I’m going to finish out this season.  I’m really hoping that the episodes get better.  This one at least shows some promise.  I hope that it’s not misplaced.

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