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June 23 2005

Review of "The Inside" by "Weekly Standard" editor Jonathan V. Last.

I don't know if anyone recalls, but in another article, the same author declares that Buffy was "the best show in the history of television." He also had a lot of positive things to say about "Wonderfalls". Seems to be a big fan of Joss and Tim.

I don't get the feeling that even a hint of the supernatural is hanging over this series. I really don't think Tim Minear's going anywhere near it. While I've always wanted to see a TV series that's promoted as one genre and turns out to be another (that very last story arc of Felicity involving magic is a good example, though I'm thinking more of a tonal shift to go along with the altered genre focus), I'm not sure I want The Inside to be that experiment.

I get more of an ever-present "threatening to rain" feel from this series so far, after the first three episodes. It definitely owes a lot to Seven, Silence of the Lambs, and Angel in terms of look.

Out of the psycho-babble so far, I think tonight's ep was the most effective at getting to the heart of some of the things Tim and his writers are trying to say (or rather, what they're trying to provoke us to ask ourselves). I didn't spot any major plot holes or ridiculous leaps in logic, the crime case story was never tripping over itself and distracting from the issues the characters were dealing with.

That said, I think 40-something minutes is too short a time to be dealing with topics this big. A serial killer who kills serial killers? Pedophiles that go free? Sounds like a potential 2-parter to me. Maybe Rebecca Locke will talk to him more in prison. Who knows if he'll even be in prison long. What a complicated case. Despite the fact that he murdered a bunch of men, I imagine his lawyer could assemble a very convincing defense out of what basically amounted to public service (not that he was doing it for anyone but himself, as we discovered in his talk with Locke at the end there. The Punisher he was not). It does make you think though. I understand why we can't condone vigilantism, but if you put yourself in the shoes of one of those men's potential victims...and if you found out after he was taken out that you most likely would be dead if it weren't for the man who was going around executing them...How the hell are you supposed to feel about that? Glad that the vigilante pretty much saved you but disgusted with his murdering people all the same? I guess that's how I'd feel, I dunno.
A couple of things about tonight's episode. Did y'all notice that the movie that the victim was watching people exit from was called Once More With Feeling? At first all I could see was "More" and "Feeling", but during the day when they were examining the scene you could see "Once" and "With" as well. Also exciting: the cheese nun from Wonderfalls (Carrie Preston) was one of the main guests on tonight's episode.

In the scenes from next week's episode Yvette/Cindy from Wonderfalls (Audrey Wasilewski) is one of the main guests as well.

And one quick correction regarding the articles' description of Tim Minear's role with Wonderfalls. He was the show runner (executive producer), but Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland created it.
Thanks ShadowKatie! I was kinda distracted during the show, but was actively looking for the two Buffyverse references that I knew were going to be in this episode. I caught the "Where's Angel?" but completely missed the other one.
Good questions Kris. My concern is over what Roger will do now. Locke profiled him, and said he would kill. Did she say that purely for the Pre-filer's sake? I think not. Roger is free and I'm still trying to interpret the way he looked at Audrey at the end when he was driving away. Did he look away at the end because he now understands what these feelings could drive him to do?

Will they bring that character back as a criminal later? Will Locke see his victims and understand automatically who is behind it? Am I getting way beyond myself here? The answer to at least one of those questions is yes (and my vote is for the last one).

I think that a lot of the moral issues involved with justice for thought crimes/not-yet-committed crimes takes more time to discuss than we get in approximately 44 minutes of television. Minority Report took much longer to wrestle with the issue and that leads me to the conclusion that Kris is right, we could have used a two-parter here. That isn't to say that things weren't wrapped up satisfactorially, but just that when dealing with serial killers and how justice ought to be carried out vs. how it is actually carried out, one might want more than 44 minutes to tell a story.

Oh and einral, it was my pleasure to be of service.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention the "Once More, With Feeling" marquee (definitely not Buffy and Spike about to kiss on there. They must've had to use models, otherwise I imagine they'd have to pay SMG and James Marster residuals. Or maybe Tim just would've deemed it too blatent and tacky a reference).

I was nice to see the nun from Wonderfalls' "Wound-Up Penguin" as well, I like that actor. For a while there, I thought her break-down would turn out to be an act and that it would be her who was the pedophile. I almost wanted the "prefiler" to be targeting her or the kids as potential criminals. The husband being the sicko was too obvious (though I guess that would've changed the story--all the other vicitims would've needed to be changed to female to fit the prefiler's choice of demographics).

Also, the little girl's cat's name was Angel. Sure, common enough to give a cat a name like that, but I took it as a shout-out anyway.
As I was reading some posts over on FFF.net, I saw a link to a still of the marquee from theinside.org.
Last night's episode was the first I had been able to see, and I'm glad it did not have the violence or gore that I was led to believe the first two eps had. I was happy with that. But I have to agree with Kris that the story was too complex to deal with satisfactorily in one episode, although I wasn't disappointed with the result.

I got both the shout outs to the 'verse. I had seen the billboard on another site earlier, but did not know that it was going to be in this episode. Interesting, the two faces look a little like Angel's and Cordy's. So the billboard itself may have been trying to make a reference to both shows.

ETA: BTW, you noticed that the black cat jumped out of the trunk like the one in s1 Buffy?

[ edited by palehorse on 2005-06-23 12:19 ]
Who played Roger? I get the feeling that he was in another 'Verse show...

Also, was anyone else hoping to never see William Hinks on screen again? Creepy...
Liked the show last night. It really started to look like it could get interesting. On one level I also had the thought that it would be more interesting if it was someone else in the family he was going after, but that would have ended up being a cheap device since it would not fit the MO of the killer. It would be interesting if down the line we found that there was more going on in that house than just the father's problems. Speaking of the father's problems, did anyone wonder why no one even suggested the guy get psychological help before he did something terrible. She estimated he had six months to a year...

If I rememberr correctly, the guy who played the pre-filer has played creepy serial killers on a number of shows. I found myself a little disappointed with the casting. He really needs to play another role. I also found myself trying not to be distracted by trying to remember which shows I have seen him play creepy serial killers. When is somebody going to use that by casting him as a suspected criminal who turns out to be a regular guy who just comes off creepy?

[ edited by newcj on 2005-06-23 15:08 ]
I really enjoyed last night's episode. Creepy. I liked the scene between Adam Baldwin's character and the kid with the toy gun. I don't much like Red-Haired Lady.

I also found myself trying not to be distracted by trying to remember which shows I have seen him play creepy serial killers.

I was trying not to be distracted by the fact that, without his face looked a lot like Ken Jennings.

Speaking of the father's problems, did anyone wonder why no one even suggested the guy get psychological help before he did something terrible. She estimated he had six months to a year...


Yeah, we were wondering. I wonder why no one else thought of that? It only would've taken one line to make us happy, and make Our Heroes seem slightly more responsible.

I was kinda distracted during the show, but was actively looking for the two Buffyverse references that I knew were going to be in this episode. I caught the "Where's Angel?" but completely missed the other one.

I didn't catch the cat's name. I thought the two references were the movie (obviously), and the line during the teaser, "Let me guess, demon hazing ritual gone wild?" Or something like that.

[ edited by VampiresSuckLOLOLGetIt on 2005-06-23 15:19 ]
ETA: BTW, you noticed that the black cat jumped out of the trunk like the one in s1 Buffy?

I totally thought the same thing!
I didn't catch the cat's name. I thought the two references were the movie (obviously), and the line during the teaser, "Let me guess, demon hazing ritual gone wild?" Or something like that.


The cat's name was "Angel".
I enjoyed last nights ep as well. As far as such a complicated story line in such a short amount of time..We may have had a conversation here about at some point ( or I may have just imagined it).

I think it went something like this: With networks (FOX) not giving shows much of a chance to make it, the creators aren't risking arcs until they feel like their show has a chance. Get people hooked with a few one offs and then move into longer story arcs. At least, I can reasonably see that happening.

Even though I'm enjoying the show, I think that Rebecca and Paul, as characters, are both rather flat so far, although I enjoy how Paul interacts with Webster (Coyote). Danny (Baldwin) and Melody should both have bigger parts to play because I'm enjoying them both. (Why is it I can't help but see a hint of the snideness that was Cordelia/Spike in their characters?)
I agree with Grace (about more Danny and Melody). I like both of their characters, and I love both of the actors' cancelled-after-half-a-season shows, so I'm all for more of Adam Baldwin and Katie Finneran.

Did everyone else see the promo for David Boreanaz's new show, Bones during the commercials? I'm not too sure how I feel about it, but I'll at least check it out because of DB.
Yes, I did see the promo for Bones. It caught my attention in a good way. Looked like they were going for sparkage from the get go instead of being coy, but maybe that was just marketing.

I forgot all about watching for the Angel references on The Inside...duh.

I wonder if there was no suggestion of getting psychological help becuase these guys don't believe that people who are that far down the road can be helped. In their minds the choices for them are jail, death, or committing crimes. Of course in that case, a word or two could have been said that would give us a clue...

(Yes, I'm answering my own earlier question. Typical.)
I am loving The Inside, the writing is tight and the characters are coming along (It may be my slight crush on (The Man they call Jayne-I can't be the only one that thinks he is just a cutie...) Webster is creepy; the blonde chick is unique...the others round out nicely. None particularly spark my match. I think Bones looks promising too. I'm 'kinda in hopeful television limbo right now.
Seeing the promo for Bones was (pleasantly) distracting after having had someone ask "Where's Angel?" on the Inside.
While I liked the moral dilemma of the premise, I felt there were too many scenes of 'how/ why I did it' in last night's episode. And I hate to sound like a broken record, but Rebecca never convinces me that there is darkness in her life experience. More Katie Finneran. Please. I did like the silent scene where Adam Baldwin's character showed the boy how to hold a gun. There was something matter of fact and yet ominous about it.
I really liked Melody taking credit (a couple of different times) for "Prefiler". Her reactions were very cute and real.
"And I hate to sound like a broken record, but Rebecca never convinces me that there is darkness in her life experience. "

I'm right there with you 100%, bloodflowers, she just doesn't give off enough of a tortured soul vibe to me. She just stands around looking serious, not at all the same thing, to me anyway. Or maybe I'm just not getting it. I just think they need to torture her up a little, emotionally.

@anglelove, me too! I also enjoyed the look on everyone's face when Rebecca was pointing out that her clock had been moved.
I don't get tortured either...I get disconnected, distant, and lonely. I wasn't aware I was supposed to get tortured.
I am actually rather fond of the restraint Rachael Nichols chooses to employ with Rebecca. Sometimes people who go through that kind of trauma, especially at such a young age, just shut down. Not only do they refuse to feel the pain of their traumatic experience, they refuse to acknowledge any feelings. It's an interesting choice in terms of acting, because it's actually much easier to just get super emotional. I think it takes some chops to really pull it off, and I think as the episodes wear on Nichols is really starting to find her groove.

On another note, I absolutely loved the scene between Danny and the little boy. It managed to convey so much about Danny as a person, without a single word. You could almost see Baldwin imagining the kid playing cops and robbers with his friends and going "No, no, you hold the gun THIS way! A real FBI agent told me!" as he sat back. The juxtaposition of that tender, lovely scene against the urgency and impending violence of the next was absolutely brilliant. I was afraid that Baldwin's character was going to get redundant and/or boring, but he's actually turning out to be the most interesting character in the show for me. I find myself waiting for his scenes.
I love seeing Adam Baldwin on screen...no, bkittygdog, you are not the only one who thinks he is yummy and sweet :)
Rebecca doesn't bother me so much, but don't you think that she is a young Jodi Foster and that her character is way too reminiscent of Clarice? Seems a little too close a copy to me. So far. We'll see where it goes. This is definitely the best thing on TV right now, so I am not complaining! Very good episode.

And did I EVER get excited seeing David Boreanaz in the preview for Bones! I love that man! Far too long without any DB on my TV...though I see him daily in my Angel hour ;)

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