Archive for the ‘Scott Benefiel’ Tag

The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 14: Tears of a Clone (2001)   1 comment

Above:  The Two Graces

All images in this post are screen captures.

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Tears of a Clone

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired January 25, 2002

Production Number = 5009-01-117

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

Octavia L. Spencer as Ruby Rydell

Main Guest Cast

Adrienne Barbeau as Evelyn Hall

Scott Benefiel as Doctor

Behind the Camera

Writer = Hans Beimler

Director = Adam Davidson

Above:  Evelyn Hall

Brief Summary

For the sake of narrative clarity, I have rearranged the story to make it linear.

Early one morning, shortly after midnight, Grace Hall enters an alley.  She is answering a call and seeking a lead about a Puerto Rican succubus.  Her clone, a creation of Nemacoids (space aliens), attacks her.  The two Graces struggle.  The clone falls into water and nearly electrocutes.  The original Grace calls Donald Stern, who tells her to call 911.  Then he shelters her until he can find out who is responsible.  The clone, nearly electrocuted, forgets her imperative to kill Grace and that she is a clone.  When the clone awakens in a hospital bed, Donald Stern is only person present who knows she is a clone.  Wes Freewald, Tucker Burns, and Sal the Pig-Boy, for example, are in the dark.  So is Grace’s concerned mother, Evelyn Hall.

Evelyn does not believe any of Grace’s stories about experiencing abductions.  The mother also dismisses the World Chronicle as a “little paper.”  Out of concern, she tries to have Grace committed involuntarily.

A Nemacoid “cleaner,” disguised as a human male, tries to kill Wes, Tucker, and Grace.  The clone sacrifices herself to save the original Grace.  The Nemacoid “cleaner” teleports away with the corpse of the clone.

In a side plot, Sal the Pig-Boy temporarily changes his wardrobe and tries to find his inner pig.  The adds bling, too.  Wes calls him the “Notorious P.I.G.”  At the end of the episode, Sal is done with that phase, so he passes the clothes and bling to Wes and Tucker.

Grace and her mother make their peace before Evelyn departs.  Evelyn offers NSYNC concert tickets to Grace, who rejects them.  Grace tells her mother that “only teenage girls and gay men like NSYNC.”  Then Evelyn offers the tickets to Wes and Tucker whom she has spent the episode mistaking for a homosexual couple, despite their attempts to correct her.  (She is very open-minded, though.)  Wes really wants to attend the concert.

Character Beats

Evelyn Hall is really nice, concerned, and open-minded.

Kristen Martin is out of town for the weekend.

Above:  Sal, the Notorious P.I.G.

Great Lines

The Grace clone, to Evelyn:  “I am calm!”

Sal, to the Grace clone:  “Grace, pigs are loyal.  We don’t squeal on our friends.  We leave that to rats.”

Above:  The Committal Form

In-Universe

Why do Nemacoids want to kill Grace?

Nemacoids scale walls as spiders do.

We have heard Grace speak of her parents on occasion.

Grace and Evelyn seldom meet with or speak to each other.

Donald Stern once published a story about lesbian Lilliputians, but not as a cover story.  Maybe the story was running short on words.  (Ha!  That pun was not the height of my sense of humor. Jonathan advised me not to be so swift to pun.  I replied, “What a novel idea!”)

This episode includes a reference to Pig Boy’s Big Adventure.

Evelyn has been planning to have Grace committed for at least a month or so.  The date on the committal form is March 17, 2001.

This episode could occur before or after The Cursed Sombrero, set in early May 2001.

Above:  Partners

Comments

The first half-hour or so of this episode sustains the mystery well.  Then the story moves along well to its resolution.

Evelyn’s “No need to explain,” an expression of her toleration, is simultaneously sweet and funny.

This episode is simultaneously suspenseful and fun.

Error:  In dialogue, Grace’s shrink is Dr. Greenleaf, whom Evelyn says has signed the committal form.  Evelyn says she needs only one more signature to commit Grace involuntarily.  Yet, when we see the form with two signatures, one is Evelyn’s and the other is that of one Dr. Benson.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 4, 2020 COMMON ERA

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