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Episode Reviews
Heat

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I am not too sure of where to start this review since I liked so much about "Heat." There was but one thing that through me, but that is for later. So, I shall start with John Glover. What can I say about him? The man is a riot as the Devil. This was his "first" full episode where he made more than one appearance to annoy Zeke, give him a hint, or remind Zeke of what is at stake if he does not do his job. The kind of thing only the devil would do. John Glover has a certain charm and wickedness inside to really bring out the joker or the most evil thing in the universe period. He is perfect in the role of the Devil. My favorite scene with him was in the elevator with Zeke and the nobody. Zeke and the nobody get on and the doors close. All of a sudden, the Devil is just there and Zeke coyly responds with "What do want?" Shocking the nobody, the Devil responds with "You know, before they invented elevators I had to walk all the way from hell." The sense of timing and the delivery John Glover has made that sequence more of substantial piece of evidence this show has a slightly offbeat sense of humor. It is perfect and John seems all to comfortable playing the devil. I thought he almost stole the show.

Who I did feel stole the show was none other that Peter Horton himself. Why, you ask? Well besides the show being centered on Zeke, Zeke has sense about him that he really wants a second chance at life and to find his wife. This was his first step in accomplishing that goal. What was great about Peter in this episode especially were the scenes involving the Devil and Valerie Suzanne, the ex-girlfriend of the professor. The frustration with the Devil, as I have said before, is what sells the show as being great. However, it is also what brings the emotion out of him that makes the show compelling. Those scenes do more than bring humor they set Peter to raise his level of emotion from that point on in the episode. You could say editing was a big part of that. I would agree to a certain extent but only because an actor like Peter Horton knows his character and can see where he is heading and can convey the precise emotions on one day and duplicate it three days later or take it even deeper. That is the mark of a great actor. After that elevator scene, I mentioned Zeke took that emotion and knowing he did not want to send Gwen back to hell, he knew what he had to do. He remained true to his convictions, letting her know he understood what happened, but in the end, Zeke had a job to do.

You can attribute writing partially for how well Zeke comes across but it really comes down to how Peter interprets what he reads and how deep he can take it. Some of the best actors in the world cannot act with their eyes. They certainly try, but very few can do it and make it look easy. Actors that can tell a story with merely their eyes beneath the story they are conveying with their words. This is the kind of actor Peter Horton is, one that can act with more that just his words and delivery. He uses everything in any given scene. His presence alone can set the mood for a scene. Is he relaxed or tense, calm or anxious? Are his eyes moving around, or are they attentive to what is brewing inside more than the poker face and chemistry are saying on their own? I think I have bored everyone by now, but I just feel Peter Horton has never really been given the credit he deserves for how deep he is as an actor. Hell, Peter has inspired a character in the book I am writing right now. This is my big rave about Peter Horton; I will rave in future episodes but not to this extent so that I do not sound annoying.

The woman who played Gwendolyn, Holly Fields, was simply brilliant in her role. She was able to play the innocent who did something terribly wrong and the cold-hearted being she had become. Holly definitely displayed the depth and range that Gwendolyn had to have in order to make the episode work and to allow us to sympathize with her plight into darkness. We did not have to condone what she did, but we did understand why. Holly was also up for the task of being tough and sexy in her role, which added another dimension to an already complex character that already had inner conflict greater than we could possibly imagine. Gwendolyn's speech about what life was really like back in the "old days" was a part of that. Even the scenes with psychologist conveyed the conflict surrounding her rape, even her comparing reality to hell was adding more to her character. It took more than the writing to build that up. Thus, I give kudos to Holly Fields for a wonderful job.

Another aspect that I loved about this episode was Valerie Suzanne. She was just a great twist in the story. I was led to believe that is who we were after and so did Zeke. Yet, when we met her she was a normal girl with issues. Well, actually, she was a normal girl with issues worshipping the devil and using voodoo to invoke pain on the ex-boyfriend professor. Valerie was one of those rare gems that just added to the level of depth this episode had to it. It played on humor, drama, and suspense.

The only question about this episode stems from how does Zeke know Detective Ashe. We never saw them meet before so it is somewhat curious how they know each other. Something we might have seen in a future episode had they had a chance to do so to fill in the blanks on how Zeke got to LA and answer some questions. At least that is what I would believe given the level of detail that the creators and writers use. So, those questions would not be there unless they had answers later on in the series. In the grand scheme of things, Ashe shows up for the "first" time and we see Zeke frustrated over the antics with the Devil, as it should be, but still it is a great dynamic that makes this show work so well. In a future episode, I will be sure to mention a certain moment where they rather relate to each other in an odd way. A hint, it is the episode Carrier, where the dynamic does not change, but an understanding happens...

The only real problem I had with this episode was with the Professor's acting. The man who played him, his name escapes me right now, just did not was not comfortable half of the time. The scene with Teri Polo in the hospital room was terrible. There were times when he played the professor just right, but at times, he just did not seem to fit the character properly. Sure, he had the arrogant attitude and Casanova look to himself. Just something felt missing in his portrayal of the professor. I just cannot place my finger on what was wrong, but either way it affected his ability to play the role. He just could not quite keep up with Teri Polo or Peter Horton.

In the end, "Heat" was a very nice and sexy episode for BrimStone. Aside form a little poor acting, everything was just right about this episode. Watching Zeke relate to Gwen was not only touching but it created a sense of sympathy and frustration in him. Something we felt him, but in the end, Gwen started to enjoy what she was doing and had no regrets about what she did. This is was a great way to set up future villains and storylines that play throughout the series, especially Zeke becoming sympathetic towards a damned soul trying to atone for his crimes. The Devil and Zeke dynamic is what makes BrimStone work, but it is the actors, the writing, and everything else that sells the show as high quality. I cannot forget, Jesus Trevino, who wrote a wonderful story that was delivered on the highest level possible providing for one of the more unique episodes of BrimStone.

Copyright 2002 - DrkAngel_113

No reproduction or redistribution without my permission.