Archive for the ‘Henry A. Myers’ Tag

The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 19: The Mists of Avalon Parkway (2001)   1 comment

Above:  SAFE DRINKING WATER SINCE 1996!

All images in this post are screen captures.

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The Mists of Avalon Parkway

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired March 1, 2002

Production Number = 5009-01-118

Starring

Chad Willett as Tucker Burns

Jon Polito as Donald Stern

Reno Wilson as Wes Freewald

Rena Sofer as Grace Hall

Curtis Armstrong as Sal the Pig-Boy

Sharon Sachs as Vera

Main Guest Cast

Ellen Cleghorne as Esperanza

Bobby Edner as Victor Clark

Philip Pavel as Jeremy the Grief Counselor

Behind the Camera

Writer = Henry A. Myers

Director = David Straiton

Above:  The Fog Monster and the Scout Master

Brief Summary

A fog monster is killing people on Long Island in March and May 2002.  The three off-screen victims are Kathy Kelly (a teacher, on March 10), Rod Howe (a police officer, on May 19), and Denise Hermanson (a school librarian, on May 24).  The fourth victim, claimed before the opening credits, is vindictive scout master Bill Able, whom the fog devours in front of his scouts on the night of May 26, 2002.  All of the scouts are upset with him after his terrible performance of “Kum Bah Yah,” followed by his mean-spirited scary story, a reaction to their request to hear a scary story.

Tucker Burns is receiving bags full of fan mail in response to his story (via Grace Hall’s lead) about a man with an exposed brain.  That story is the most popular one the World Chronicle has published, second to “the vagina monologues, you know, the real ones,” as Vera says.  Donald Stern hopes that the large volume of fan mail means more paying readers.

Esperanza arrives in Donald Stern’s office and identifies herself as the World Chronicle‘s new psychic.  Stern tells her that the newspaper already has one, Ruby Rydell.  Esperanza informs the publisher that Ruby will quit.  Then Ruby calls and resigns.  Esperanza gets the job.  The new psychic advises Wes Freewald to get the transmission in his car checked. He disregards this advice.

News fit for the World Chronicle to print is not plentiful, so Donald Stern is about to assign Tucker, Grace, and Wes to cover an exceedingly boring convention of Wiccans.  Tucker prevents that terrible fate by proposing another story, one about a missing scout leader on Long Island.  Grace Hall will be lead reporter on story, though.  Tucker spends most of the episode resenting this.

To the catalog of useless, well-intentioned people in The Chronicle one may add grief counselor Jeremy.  He is conducting a public group therapy session with the scouts when our three heroes arrive in town.  Jeremy displays the worst tendencies of stereotypical counselors.  He denies the existence of a fog monster.  The real monsters, he insists are fear and grief.  Then he tells the scouts to “close their eyes and picture a winged unicorn flying over a rainbow.”  Furthermore, the only person who may speak in the session is the one holding the talking stick, a decorated tree branch.  Jeremy objects to Tucker and Wes being present.  He tells them to leave before he loses his commitment to pacifism.

Tucker, Wes, and Grace start interviewing witnesses anyway.  Our heroes learn of the other disappearances, too.  Tucker hypothesizes that the monster is a “photosensitive mutant that comes out at night, under the cover of fog.”  Our three heroes, investigating the swamp at night, discover that Jeremy the grief counselor is not a pacifist, for he points a gun at them.  They also discover that his boyfriend is Carl.  Tucker, Grace, and Wes warn Jeremy and Carl of the dangers of being in the swamp at night.  Jeremy and Carl do not believe them.  Then the fog monster, which Jeremy had denied existed, kills him.  Wes realizes that the monster is not in the fog; it is the fog.

Wes, Tucker, and Grace return to swamp during daytime with a plan.  They will capture a sample of the fog monster.  Wes will fight off the fog monster with a flame thrower.  Grace will drive the car.  Tucker encounters and chases down 12-year-old Victor Clark, whom another boy had called “fart face” a few scenes prior.  Tucker yells at the boy and tells him to leave.  The boy departs.  Then Tucker realizes that he is at the fence near the old Dewitt Chemical Company plant.  That night, the fog monster chases Tucker.  Wes fights off the fog monster with the flame thrower.  Our three heroes do not get far in Wes’s vehicle, for the transmission fails.  The fog monster surrounds the car and ruins the paint job.  This was a terrible time for Tucker and Grace to forget their cellular phones and for the fog monster to have ruined Wes’s cellular phone.

The following morning, a tow truck arrives.  Esperanza has called AAA.

Back at the World Chronicle, the analysis of the sample of the fog monster proceeds.  Esperanza does a psychic reading.  She perceives repressed rage, fear, and loneliness, as well as the words “fart face.”  The fog monster attacks those who have angered Victor Clark.  Sal the Pig-Boy announces that the fog monster consists of airborne, flesh-eating bacteria.  Its origins are from the Dewitt Chemical Company, but the fog monster has imprinted on Victor.

Victor Clark is in a difficult situation.  His mother died in an automotive accident that started when she tried to prevent him from playing with the radio.  The boy’s father is hardly emotionally supportive.  As our three heroes leave the Clark residence, they notice a rare daytime fog bank.  It is large enough to cover the town.  And the fog bank is rolling down the street at 45 miles per hour.  They find Victor at the old chemical factory.  The fog invades the factory as Wes’s flame thrower is running on fumes.

Victor Clark is not conscious of his connection to the fog monster, the channel for his repressed emotions.  He sits on the floor, on which he has written, “I HATE EVERBODY.”  Victor sees his misspelling and shouts, “Can’t I do anything right?”  Tucker and Grace resolve the immediate crisis.  Tucker, acting like Victor’s father, berates the boy until Victor expresses his repressed emotions.  The fog monster recedes.  Then grace comforts Victor.

Back at the World Chronicle, the headline for the new cover story is, “I WAS A TEENAGE FOG MONSTER.”  Grace has shared a byline with Tucker.

Esperanza did not use her psychic powers to detect the problem with Wes’s transmission.  No, she saw the transmission fluid leak.  She knows much about transmissions because her brothers are mechanics.  Sometimes simple explanations suffice.

Above:  Disappearances at the Swamp

Character Beats

Grace Hall never attended college.

Jeremy and Carl are stereotypical homosexuals.  I find Jeremy annoying because he is useless as a grief counselor.  I want to take his talking stick away from him.

Above:  Esperanza

Great Lines

Tucker Burns:  “I love nature, especially when there’s a parking lot nearby.”

City sign (in 2002):  “SAFE DRINKING WATER SINCE 1996!”

Above:  More Fan Mail for Tucker Burns

In-Universe

We first heard about the man with an exposed brain in Touched By an Alien (the fourteenth episode produced and the eleventh one broadcast), set more than a year prior to The Mists of Avalon Parkway.  We will hear about the individual again before the end of the series.

The Mists of Avalon Parkway plays out in late May 2002.  However, the supposedly current issue of The Koyanisquisset Ledger that Tucker Burns hands over to Donald Stern bears the date of October 12, 1964.

Koyanisquisset, Long Island, New York, population 10,000, is on the north shore of the island and about ten miles from Long Island Sound.  For a long time, until the late 1980s, the largest employer in town as the Dewitt Chemical Company.  The chemical factory, located just north of town, closed because the Environmental Protection Agency forced it to, after two decades of dumping of dangerous chemicals in the adjacent swamp.  The effects of the dumping remain; there are three-headed fish in the waters.  The population declined greatly after the plant closed.  But the town has had safe drinking water since 1996, at least.

Why are scouts camping at a swamp with three-headed fish in it?

Tucker Burns refers to Squeezy Cheese (Let Sleeping Dogs Fry, the second episode produced and the ninth one broadcast).

Above:  Victor Hates Everybody and Spells Badly

Comments

The Mists of Avalon Parkway is the nineteenth episode produced and broadcast.  It is also the last episode of The Chronicle to bear the copyright year of 2001.

Bobby Edner, who played Victor Clark, was 12 years old at the time of filming.

Grief counselor Jeremy joins the ranks of other annoying dolts in fiction.  He stands beside the useless high school counselor in Heathers (1988).  Her proposed response to alleged suicides (actually murders) was a group hug-in.  I also think of the sincere, conservative suburban parents in Donnie Darko (2001).  They allied themselves with Jim Cunningham, that motivational speaker who encouraged students to become “fear survivors.”

One may recognize Ellen Cleghorne from various movies and series, including Saturday Night Live.

The date on the latest issue of the World Chronicle at the end of the episode is indecipherable, due to video quality.  I want to see The Chronicle in crisp video.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

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The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 18: The Stepford Cheerleaders (2001)   2 comments

Above:  ROBOT CHEERLEADER TERRORIZES!

All images in this post are screen captures.

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The Stepford Cheerleaders

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired February 22, 2002

Production Number = 5009-01-104

Starring

Chad Willett as Tucker Burns

Jon Polito as Donald Stern

Reno Wilson as Wes Freewald

Rena Sofer as Grace Hall

Sharon Sachs as Vera

Main Guest Cast

Christopher Glenn as Sperry

Nicholas Gomez as Lyle

Bryan Greenberg as Damon Furberg

David Purdham as Lionel Carson

Alicia Leigh Willis as Alexis Carson

Kathy Wagner as Jennifer

Behind the Camera

Writer = Henry A. Myers

Director = Perry Lang

Consulting Producer = Naren Shankar

Above: Too Old to Pass for Teenagers

Brief Summary

Something is odd at Robertstowne High School, Robertstowne, New York.  Recently, someone has bent parking meters, ripped off locker doors, and torn a metal bleacher in two.  Last week, in August 2000, someone also beat up a drunken, randy quarterback (Lyle) who was assaulting a cheerleader (Jennifer) and hung him by his shirt from the top of a football goal post.

Donald Stern sends Tucker Burns, Wes Freewald, and Grace Hall undercover as high school students for a few days.  Tucker is concerned that they are too old to pass for adolescents.  Grace, however, cites the example of the high school students in Beverly Hills 90210.  How old were they?  The publisher has two theories of the cause of the recent, unusual events in Robertstowne.  The culprit may be either a mutant swamp monster from New Jersey or an extraterrestrial acting out adolescent aggression.  The culprit, Stern insists, cannot be a pixie, for pixies have not been in the United States since 1982.

The undercover reporters split up and pursue leads.  Tucker makes contact with Damon Furberg, the editor of the campus newspaper.  Damon cares nothing about journalistic integrity; he wants to get the story, win awards, and get ahead.  Tucker offers Damon a joint credit on a story in the World Chronicle.  The high school newspaper editor agrees.  Wes Freewald meets a bullied geek, Sperry, and follows a chemistry teacher, Lionel Carson.  Grace Hall meets the injured Kyle, cheerleader Jennifer (who takes the same hormone supplement Mark McGuire did) and her best friend, head cheerleader Alexis Carson.

Something is suspicious about Mr. Carson; acid does not burn his hand.  He has a bionic limb.  He has had that limb for a year and a half, since an automotive accident.

Grace tries out for the cheerleader squad, but Alexis declares her moves too “Paula Abdul.”  The current moves are “Britney Spears.”  However, Grace does notice that Jennifer exhibits physical weakness.

One night, after Damon and Tucker break into an office and read personnel records pertaining to Lionel Carson, someone attacks Damon’s vehicle, rips the roof open, and attacks him.  The next day, Wes discovers evidence that the attacker had a prosthetic arm.  Our heroes immediately suspect Lionel Carson, formerly the Head Designer for Experimental Bionics at Dynomec.  They read that he resigned after his wife died of cancer.

Wes, Tucker, and Grace drive to the Carson residence.  They peak through a window and observe Lionel Carson remove one of his daughter’s artificial arms, to repair a damaged hand.  He also tells her she should control her temper and stop attacking people.  Alexis attacked Kyle and Damon.  Damon is still unconscious in the hospital.  Alexis lost both her arms in the automotive accident a year and a half prior; Lionel fitted her with artificial limbs.  Now she feels like a freak.  She would feel less like a freak if someone else (other than her father) were like her.  Wes’s cellular phone gives our heroes’ location away.  They escape, with some difficulty; Alexis briefly prevents Wes’s car from leaving by holding the front bumper.

Jennifer, the only other person who understands Alexis, wants to become a cyborg.  Jennifer despises her weak body.  That night, our heroes return to the Carson residence.  In the laboratory in the basement, Mr. Carson is preparing to transform Jennifer into a cyborg.  Alexis lifts Wes and Tucker with one arm each.  She finally releases them before they choke.  Then Alexis attacks Grace.  Lionel prevents Alexis from harming anyone else by using a remote device to disable her bionic arms.  Jennifer does not become a cyborg.

A few days later, Tucker mails the newest issue of the World Chronicle to Damon Furberg, wearing a neck brace.  Damon sees the joint byline.  Lyle, reading the story in another copy, turns to Lionel Carson and makes a request.  Lyle’s injury sidelined his plans for a football scholarship.  Would Mr. Carson give him two bionic arms?

Above:  Lyle, Hanging from the Goal Post

Character Beats

Tucker Burns was the editor of his high school newspaper.

Wes Freewald was overweight in high school.

Grace Hall was a cheerleader in high school ten years prior, before her first alien abduction.

Above:  Lionel and Alicia Carson

Great Lines

Wes Freewald, on Damon Furberg’s vehicle:  “Man!  It looks like the canned ham minus the ham.”

Tucker Burns:  “Great!  We have a six million dollar science teacher here.”

Grace Hall:  “It’s always been my experience that the deepest, darkest secrets come packaged like Mayberry.”

Headline:  “SNIPER HIRED TO THWART CRAZED POST OFFICE TERRORISTS.”

Above:  Wes, Tucker, and Damon’s Damaged Vehicle

In-Universe

Tucker Burns and Wes Freewald are roommates at 7657 Main Street, New York, New York.  (In real life, this is commercial property.)

Donald Stern and Vera are hilarious on the telephone as they pretend to be Tucker’s parents.

The registration of Damon Furberg’s vehicle expires in May 2001.

Above:  Jennifer

Comments

The Stepford Cheerleaders is the fifth episode produced and the eighteenth one broadcast.  The temporal setting is late August-early September 2000.  I recommend watching The Stepford Cheerleaders immediately after Baby Got Back, for reasons of internal chronology.  Baby Got Back is the third episode produced and the fourth one broadcast.

In I See Dead Fat People (the fourth episode produced and the fifteenth episode aired), Tucker learned that Wes Freewald had been an overweight teenager.  The temporal setting for I See Dead Fat People is July 2001, however.  Now the internal chronology does not work on this point.

For more commentary on screwy internal chronology and production order versus broadcast order or episodes, see Hot from the Oven.

Watching guest actors who were 23 or 24 years old at the time of episode filming play high school students is not a new experience.

At the time of filming, Chad Willett was 29, Reno Wilson was 32, and Rena Sofer was 33 years old.

David Purdham played the noble and patriotic Captain James at the tail end of the fourth season of Babylon 5.  Captain James was captain of the E.A.S. Agamemnon, succeeding John Sheridan in that post.  Captain James and the crew signed on with Sheridan’s rebellion against the evil Earth Alliance President William Morgan Clark, who had his predecessor assassinated then transformed the Earth Alliance from a republic into a xenophobic, totalitarian state modeled on 1984.  After President Clark committed suicide rather than accept arrest and trial, James helped Sheridan save the Eastern Seaboard of North America from destruction by the planetary defense system, which Clark had turned against the Earth.

The Stepford Cheerleaders is odd to watch in broadcast order.  It feels like an early episode because it is one.  The balance of the serious and the whimsical holds up well, though.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

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The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 16: Man and Superman (2001)   3 comments

Above:  Captain Vigilant

All images in this post are screen captures.

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Man and Superman

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired February 8, 2002

Production Number = 5009-01-114

Starring

Chad Willett as Tucker Burns

Jon Polito as Donald Stern

Reno Wilson as Wes Freewald

Rena Sofer as Grace Hall

Curtis Armstrong as Sal the Pig-Boy

Sharon Sachs as Vera

Main Guest Cast

Jon Briddell as Walter Smith

Len Cordova as Detective Hector Garibaldi

Terence Hines as Wayne Lamar

Trina Kaplan as Ida Jacobson

Brian Poth as Derek/Captain Vigilant

Behind the Camera

Writer = Henry A. Myers

Director = Adam Davidson

Above:  Derek

Brief Summary

A fake superhero is becoming popular in New York City in the middle of September 2001.  As both temperatures and the crime rate soar, a caped crime-fighter in tights and a mask puts in occasional appearances, flies away, and receives positive press.

At the beginning of the episode, the superhero prevents the mugging of an elderly woman, Ida Jacobson, on her way home (all of one block) from a grocery store to her home.  The next day, Ida goes on television and tells Wayne Lamar (modeled on Al Roker) about it.  He is barely interested in her story, and loses interest when she tells him that he superhero flew away.

Meanwhile, at the World Chronicle, Grace Hall is making plans to interview a ghost.  Her assigned story is about a spirit who, daily, takes a taxicab on the same route and arrives at a Disney theater (formerly an adult theater) promptly at 4:30 p.m.   She plans to drive the taxi cab one Abdul usually drives, intercept the ghost, and interview him.

Tucker Burns and Wes Freewald investigate the story of the superhero.  They interview witnesses and consult Sal the Pig-Boy.  They learn that the superhero debuted about a year ago, when he rescued a boy’s cat from a tree.  The superhero could barely fly then, though.  On the other hand, Ida thinks that the superhero’s mother raised him well.

Grace Hall, posing as a taxi cab driver, gets a passenger (Walter Smith, as she learns later), at a traffic light while en route to intercept the predictable ghost.  The passenger gets out of the taxi cab right before an accident that totals the vehicle and traps Grace.  Wes tries to get her out of the car, but cannot do so.  The superhero rescues Grace, however.  Then he flies away.  Donald pulls Grace off the ghost story and adds her to the superhero story.

Tucker is skeptical of the superhero.  He proves to be correct.  Grace and Wes find Walter, working as a waiter.  He agrees to meet them at his apartment in two hours.  Two hours later, the trio finds him dead in his apartment.  Detective Useless, er, Garibaldi, suspects the trio from the World Chronicle.  He has to let them go, however.  Then the detective resolves to investigate what is happening at the tabloid.  Walter Smith, actually, was an actor and an accomplice.  Ida was never in danger of a mugging; that was Walter setting up the situation.  And Walter sabotaged the taxi cab Grace Hall was driving.  His murderer was the fake superhero.

Tucker, Grace, and Wes briefly think Walter was the superhero until Donald Stern shows them a news report about a school bus that the superhero just prevented from careening off a bridge.  The trio goes to the site, where witnesses and police are still present.  Wes discovers that somebody cut the bolts holding up the railing on one side.  Wes also connects the dots.  He consults his collection of the complete run of Captain Vigilant comic books from the 1980s.  The fake superhero, taking the mantle of Captain Vigilant, is working through stories in order.  The next story entails some people dying in a bombing, and Captain Vigilant saving some lives.

Evidence leads the trio to Astro City Comics, a comic book story.  The culprit is Derek, a misfit with a fixation on Grace Hall.  He created the story about the predictable ghost as a way of luring Grace and rescuing her.  Derek also has a superhero suit, a bomb, telekenetic powers, and a gigantic chip on his shoulder.  For him, comic books are life, not an escape from it.  Derek throws Wes around and levitates him, but Wes eventually slugs him.  The trio calls the bomb squad.

Wes proceeds to sell his thousands of comic books online.  After this story, the only value they have to him is monetary.

Detective Useless, er, Garibaldi, has begun his surveillance of Wes, Grace, and Tucker.  Perhaps the detective does not give much thought to the homicidal Derek, who is NOT IN JAIL.  (See Hell Mall.)

Above:  Grace Hall

Character Beats

Wes Freewald grew up reading and preserving comic books.  Tucker Burns did not.

Tucker Burns grew up a hockey fan instead.

Above:  Ida Jacobson

Great Lines

Wes Tucker, on Iron Man’s suit:  It “lost power so much you’d think it got electricity from California.”  (Thanks a lot, Enron!)

Grace Hall:  “What is it about psychopaths that draws them to collage art?”

Wes Freewald, to Derek:  “Aquaman could have done better than that.”

Above:  Walter Smith

In-Universe

Man and Superman seems to occur in an alternative universe in which, in the middle of September 2001, in New York City, the main story was a fake superhero and the police had the luxury of conducting surveillance on employees of a tabloid publication.  (In reality, of course, filming of Man and Superman concluded prior to September 11, 2001.)  On the other hand, see Hell Mall.

Donald Stern should have hired a capable air conditioning repair company to fix the World Chronicle‘s air conditioning system.  He hired a Haitian voodoo priest instead.

Wes Freewald’s parents seem to have moved into or close to New York City since Touched by an Alien.  In Touched By an Alien, they visited New York City.  The implication was that they lived some distance away.  In Man and Superman, however, Wes and friends can drive over to the parental units’ house quickly.  They do so repeatedly.

Wes Freewald’s parents are away at “some convention.”  I am afraid to ask.  (See Touched By an Alien.)

We see a copy of the World Chronicle from the end of Take Me Back on a trash pile at the beginning of Man and Superman.

A ghost taking the same route to a former adult theater in a taxi cab is far from the most bizarre story in the universe of The Chronicle.

When the air conditioning breaks at the World Chronicle, the archives become very cold.

Wes Freewald correctly summarizes the Jewish folkloric character the Golem.

In a callback to Take Me Back, Tucker Burns, speaking to Detective Garibaldi, refers to his (Tucker’s) attorney.  That lawyer, of course, is Donald Stern.

Above:  Surveillance Photograph

Comments

Man and Superman is the fifteenth episode produced and the sixteenth episode of The Chronicle:  News from the Edge broadcast. Production order does not necessarily indicate proper viewing order of episodes, as I can prove merely by citing The Chronicle.  Consider, for example, the next produced episode, The Cursed Sombrero.  The internal chronology of The Chronicle places that story on an around May 5, 2021.  Man and Superman, however, occurs in September 2001.  The final scene occurs after September 15, 2001, given the date on Detective Garibaldi’s surveillance photograph of Tucker Burns and Kristen Martin.

The production number of the Pilot is 5009-01-179.  The other production numbers, in order, end in 101-121.  (Yes, I have prepared a list of episodes in broadcast order and another list of episodes in production order.)

Is it wrong to have a crush on Rena Sofer?  I hope not.

The investigation of the World Chronicle by Detective Clueless, er, Garibaldi, begins in this episode and continues through the final episode of the series/season.

This is an enjoyable episode that contains a plot twist crucial for most of the rest of the series’s brief run.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

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The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 6: Bermuda Love Triangle (2001)   1 comment

Above:  The Atlantean Fiancée

All images in this post are screen captures.

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Bermuda Love Triangle

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired August 11, 2001

Production Number = 5009-01-110

Starring

Chad Willett as Tucker Burns

Jon Polito as Donald Stern

Reno Wilson as Wes Freewald

Rena Sofer as Grace Hall

Sharon Sachs as Vera

Main Guest Cast

Lori Rom as Shawna Fuchs

Yvonna Kopacz as Atlantean Woman

Salvator Xuereb as Roger Noland

Behind the Camera

Consulting Producer = Naren Shankar

Writer = Henry A. Myers

Director = Krishna Rao

Above:  Roger Noland, After and Before

Brief Summary

As Vera the receptionist berates elevator repairmen confused by elevators that more side-to-side, Grace opens the seventh anonymous love letter (left at the front desk) she has received in as many days.  Grace finds these annoying, but Vera would like to receive such attention, even anonymously.  Grace speculates about who might be sending her these letters.  She never guesses correctly.

Meanwhile, off-camera, Wes has been lucky at love and/or lust.  His new girlfriend, Alicia (never seen) is a yoga instructor.  Unfortunately for Tucker, Wes is an inconsiderate roommate when Alicia spends the night, and Tucker cannot sleep properly.  He does, however, get a reminder that he is unattached.  Tucker, sleep-deprived, nods off at the office.

Tucker and Grace compare notes.  His assigned story is about a sea monster that has attacked two fishermen on the Jersey Shore.  Grace’s assigned story is about Roger Noland, a U.S. Navy pilot recently rescued after disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle seven years prior.  Grace’s frustration is that Noland is difficult to locate; he keeps disappearing.  Fortunately, Sal the Pig-Boy is an expert hacker, so he tracks the credit card the Navy recently issued the pilot.

Tucker meets Wes at a park, where one of the fishermen the “sea monster” (actually Noland) attacked is waiting after getting out of the hospital.  (The other victim, Stu, is still in the Intensive Care Unit.)  Prior to the interview, Tucker speaks with Shawna, his former girlfriend (from the first episode).  She apologizes for dumping him.  They agree to go out to dinner soon.  Then the witness tells the reporter and the photographer that a gill-man attacked.

Shortly thereafter, at the Jersey Shore, Wes and Tucker see a man emerge from the water.  The man has gills.  Wes takes a photograph before the man returns to the water.  Back at the office, Grace sees the photograph and identifies the gill-man as Roger Noland, who had told his rescuer that he had spent seven years on a desert island.

Grace and Sal conduct research in the archives while Wes goes to spent time with Alicia and Tucker goes to have dinner with Shawna.  On-screen, Grace calls Tucker, who has to leave dinner and go to fish hatchery on the Jersey Shore.  Off-screen, Grace calls Wes, who also goes there.  On-screen, Tucker and Wes wait for more than an hour for Grace to show up before they decide to investigate.  Grace never shows up because Sal traps her in the elevator with him.

Sal is Grace’s secret admirer.  She is flattered and surprised.  She is initially angry that he trapped her in the elevator, though.  Nevertheless, they spend the night in the elevator.  They converse and play Yahtzee.

Wes and Tucker find Noland’s breathing machine and him at the fish hatchery.  So does an Atlantean woman.  Wes and Tucker take Noland to the offices of the World Chronicle.   Roger tells Wes and Tucker that the Atlantean, his owner, wants to kill him, to keep the secret of Atlantis.  The reporter and the photographer return to the fish hatchery and retrieve the breathing machine when they realize that Noland needs it to survive long outside of ocean water.

The Atlantean woman walks into the offices of the World Chronicle.  She kisses Noland, who says, “I can’t,” then flees.  Down in the archives, the Rosetta Stone translates the Atlantean woman’s speech.  She is the one who saved Noland seven years ago and implanted him with gills.  She is his fiancée. She cannot bear to be apart from him.  She also needs to get to the short immediately.  Wes takes her to the shore while Tucker and Grace retrieve Noland from a bus station.  Noland explains that he ran away from his fiancée because he wanted his normal life back.  Tucker rebuts that this is impossible, for Noland cannot breathe on land for long without a device on his shoulders.  A lovelorn Atlantean has the option of transforming into a siren.  Roger gets to the shore too late to prevent his fiancée from becoming a siren.

A few days later, at supper again, Shawna and Tucker realize they are no longer in love with each other.  They part amicably.  Then Tucker joins Grace, Wes, and Sal at the shore where the Atlantean woman became a siren.  She is still singing.

Above: Grace Hall

Character Beats

Sal understands who Grace is. He loves for who she is, an awkward person with whom he is compatible.

Sal carries a Yahtzee game around with him.

Roger Noland is a liar.

Shawna, in contrast to how she was in the first episode, is diplomatic about the World Chronicle.  She does not dismiss it, at least.

Above:  Sal the Pig-Boy

Great Lines

Tucker, to Grace:  “I’m not sure Dwain [an intern] can handle the higher motor functions required to use a pen.”

Fisherman, to Tucker and Wes:  “Poor Stu.  If it hadn’t been for him, I might not be here right now.  I could have died.  Lost my best net, too.”

Grace, to Sal:  “I’m not in a Yahtzee place right now, Sal.  Okay?”

Sal, to Grace:  “Why can’t anyone love me for the man-pig that I am?”

Sal, to Grace, defending himself for breaking the elevator:  “I can’t help it; I’m a pig.  It’s in my porcine nature.”

Grace (angry that Sal broke the elevator):  “Squeal like a pig, you slimy piece of bacon!”

Above:  Shawna Fuchs and Tucker Burns

In-Universe

Atlantis is real.  Its civilization is more advanced that the civilizations on the surface of the planet.

Atlantean voices are screeches that break glass.

The Atlantean race has evolved into a human-fish hybrid.

Vera the receptionist has met women who look “freakier” than the Atlantean woman.

Sirens sank the Titanic and the Lusitania.

The computer in the basement of the World Chronicle contains a record of Atlantean folklore and culture.

This is the last we see of Shawna Fuchs.

Comments

This episode ranks high on the rewatchability scale.  Bermuda Love Triangle balances whimsy and pathos well.  Furthermore, nothing is creepy.

The Atlantean woman was too good for Roger Noland anyway.

Vera must have seen some “freaky-looking” people, for she barely noticed the Atlantean woman at first.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 22, 2020 COMMON ERA

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