Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Friday the 13th: The Series -- Season 1 Episode 23 (Badge of Honor)

Russ Sarko is a decent enough police officer.  He’s fairly close to retirement.  That’s why it’s so difficult when he botches an raid.  He’s fired and told to clear out his desk.  Before he leaves, though, he finds a sheriff’s badge.

Now, if this weren’t Friday the 13th:  The Series, you would be forgiven for thinking that this was an ordinary badge.  No.  This is not an ordinary badge.  Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil to sell cursed items, all of which involve killing people.  This is one such item.  When the badge is touched to a person’s body, the person is killed.  The death almost looks like electrocution, but played at varying speeds.  When it’s over, the badge returns to the user’s hand.  Russ uses the badge to go after the people that killed his wife.

What makes this item unusual is that it’s the first item featured that is used solely to kill.  Many of the other items so far had some benefit, such as spitting out money or making a person younger.  In other cases, the item created a surrogate to carry out the murder, thus creating an alibi.  Here, the only benefit Russ gets is killing someone he wanted to kill anyway.  Plus, he has to touch the person directly, anyway.  I mean, it’s cleaner than shooting someone, but that’s about it.

This episode made me wonder if maybe they were running short on ideas.  An item that just kills isn’t very creative.  I think maybe they just wanted to do a cop-themed episode and came up with this.  The acting is about what you’d expect of the era, including an overacting captain.

The episode was a little strange.  First off, the effect for the deaths was kind of weird.  It looked like maybe they were experimenting with effects or something.  It didn’t really work.  Also, spoiler alert:  Russ keeps his dead wife in a separate room in his house.  All I can say is: Creepy!

I don’t think I’d include this in a best-of list for the series.  I can see where they’re trying some new stuff, but it doesn’t quite work out.  In a lot of ways, the series is all over the place.  Many episodes feature some new location or theme and this was one of them.  It’s almost like an anthology show with  regular characters.  One of the advantages of DVD sets is that you get all of the episodes.  If not for that, I’d say that the episode was worth skipping.

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