Friday, April 06, 2018

Friday the 13th: The Series -- Season 1 Episode 13 (The Baron's Bride)

Frank Edwards is looking for a room to rent.  He approaches a house, newspaper in hand, apparently responding to an ad.  We get a good view of the for-rent sign as he walks in and knocks on the door.  He’s greeted by Mrs. Marie Simmons.  She has a room to let since her Mr. Simmons passed away.  She leaves him to examine the room, where he finds a cloak and brooch.  When he tries it on, he finds that he’s irresistible to Marie.  Of course, that was her plan all along.

Jack, Ryan and Micki show up just in time to see Marie biting Frank.  Yes, she’s a vampire and she just turned Frank into one.  Ryan manages to run out and get the for-sale sign, which is conveniently mounted on a handy wooden stake.  Unfortunately, Frank activates the brooch while holding Micki.  Ryan grabs them just in time to be transported back to London, 1875.

Frank escapes, leaving Ryan and Micki to meet two passersby, husband Abraham and his wife Caitlin.  Upon hearing that Ryan and Micki have no money and nowhere to stay, Abraham and Caitlin offer to put them up.  Oh, and you can just call him Bram.

Well, there’s a vampire on the loose in London and Ryan has to use all the conventional means to stop him.  By conventional, of course, I mean a wooden stake, lots of garlic and whatever sunlight happens to be available.  Micki, on the other hand, is pretty much useless.  She’s been entranced by Frank and spends most of the episode pining over him.

It seems that we actually have two cursed items this week.  The brooch is used for time travel, but the cloak can make a man irresistible to women.  (It’s not stated what effect it has if a woman wears it.)  It’s not clear if the brooch does all the work, though.  It’s been stated that cursed items can’t be destroyed, but Frank meets his end when he gets stabbed in the back, quite literally.  The angle isn’t that clear, so I’m not sure if the cloak was pierced or if it had slipped to the side or something.  No one mentions it being damaged.

Many aspects of the episode are either meet or fall below a low standard.  1988 wasn’t necessarily a great year for special effects when compared to modern-day stuff, but the end scene was obviously some sort of split screen.  Also, the accents were exactly what you’d expect.  We have several British and Irish accents delivered by actors who were apparently aiming for what an audience might expect.

The one thing that strikes me is that neither Ryan nor Micki asks that much about Bram, like his last name or anything.  “Hmm…  Your name is Bram, you happen to be a writer and you just found out that vampires exist.  Would your last name happen to be Stoker?”  This isn’t pointed out until the end of the episode, when Jack pulls out a copy of Dracula and opens it to the dedication, which happens to be to Caitlin.

There are two problems with this.  First, Bram Stoker was married to Florence.  There doesn’t seem to be any reference to him being married to a Caitlin.  The second problem is that the dedication actually reads:  TO MY DEAR FRIEND HOMMY-BEG.  The text of the book is available on Project Gutenberg, as the book has since fallen into the public domain.  You can check it out for yourself.  I’m assuming this was done for the story’s sake.  I don’t know that most people would bother looking this sort of stuff up.

I think this may be the first wasted opportunity of the series.  It’s usually been the case that cursed items have a downside, but this one doesn’t.  I would imagine that the cloak wouldn’t be used due to it interfering with consent and all, but the brooch doesn’t require much to activate it.  Most items need someone to be killed to operate properly.  Not this one.  A drop of blood each from  two different people activates the time travel.  You don’t even have to be a vampire to use it.

You may be asking about interfering with time travel.  Apparently, that’s never brought up.  There’s no case of Frank attacking an important person.  No one worries that he’s changed history by killing anyone at all.  There’s no mention of any sort of consequences at all.

Overall, it’s one of the more average offerings.  I’m wondering if this was made to pad the episode count.  It’s almost like they were just barely trying to get the episode made.  It’s enjoyable if you don’t think about it too much, but I don’t think it’s going to make my list for memorable episodes.

No comments :