A dead man who won't stay dead; a case that gives a new meaning to the term 'bodyguard'; and a very different take on the conflict between our two heroes--this episode is just laden with surprises. ;D
We open with a scene of two people getting ready for a magic show. The star, the 'Great Kandinski,' is put in chains and a hood as he gets ready to be dropped in a tank. (The assistant is his wife.) When the water stunt gets under way, he hangs in for a good long time. Too long. He thrashes about for a while, then stops. The audience panics. The tank breaks open and water cascades everywhere.
From the scene of fear, cut to the 'normal' world back at the Blue Moon office, where everything is just fine.
Maddie can't get out of the elevator. She is at the back of the crowd and asks several times to be let out. Finally she shoves her way through, and glares back in disgust at the rude neighbors. It's a sour start to the day...and something of an omen. ;D
When Maddie opens the office door, she notices shoes and clothes strewn up to David's door. Befuddled, she opens it, to see Addison at his desk--and he's soon joined by the rest of the staff, who jump out to wish Maddie a surprise happy birthday. At first M. is glad about it; she smiles and blows out the candles. Then, for some reason, things change a little. She sighs and backs out. The staff is puzzled and a little miffed. Dave goes to find out what happened.
Dave walks to Maddie's office. He asks what's bothering her. She claims it's not a big deal, she's "not the kind of person who enjoys having a fuss made over her birthday." David thinks this is not quite right--she must be depressed about getting older. He kids her about her looks changing--says nobody else is going to worry about it, and she should just try to enjoy herself. Maddie seems to miss the point that this is in fact a compliment, albeit in his typical snarky terms. She fires back with the infamous 'flying fig' joke.
Maddie claims all she thinks about on her birthday is the progress she's made during the past year. (Sure... ) This makes it sound like a chore, and rather harshly judgemental toward herself. "You work hard...you get ahead," she insists--but notice this could be taken as the opposite of what happened to her the first year at the agency, when she started off a theft victim, broke, frightened and angry. It seems she feels "beat up by life" and she's not getting anywhere; that detective work, aside from obviously not being the dream job that her former life had been, was in itself much more of a hard slog than she expected--and was leading to a decline in her view of her life overall. (Well, when your career involves seeing people at their worst--following adulterers, embezzlers, killers--one can guess how this could be pretty rough to handle after all.) As time goes on, if you are fundamentally displeased with yourself, that can get harder and harder to bear. Knowing Maddie, however, she won't give up--can't quite think of it--and it's in part because she has a fear of looking weak or incapable of being a boss.
"Thanks for thinking of me," she tells David.
"But please, don't do it again?!" he retorts.
Cue the arrival of their next client: the widow Carolyn Kandinski. She asks for protection from a very unusual threat: her dead husband. The magician had said that when he died, he'd come back and get her. She didn't like his interest in the occult; he in turn discovered her infidelity, but needed her to continue in the magic shows. Still afraid of his promise, Mrs. Kandinski asks the detectives to watch the body at the mortuary.
David kids Maddie about whether they can accept the case. "Are you saying we can't take it? I don't know, that's what you always do." (Ouch...) But she surprises him by saying yes, it looks like easy money and they should go.
Here David takes exception. He wants to go alone. "One night stands are my specialty." "And besides, it's your birthday. I know you don't like making a big deal out of it, but..." He thinks it's a little out of sorts for someone to have to spend their top day of the year in, er, a morgue. Once again, he thinks he's looking out for her, trying to salvage her feelings; she, however, insists on joining the mission. Since she's not the kind to celebrate, what else was she going to do--go home? That might be, in an odd way, even worse. The case by comparison looks like an adventure...And it will be.
They go to the mortuary, where the manager lets them in. He thinks their request is pretty odd, but he'll let them do it.
David jokes about opening the coffin. "We've got a long night ahead of us--no chaperones..." Maddie: "I wonder if there's room for two bodies in there..." Dave gets them some coffee. ;D
Maddie sits by the coffin. At first she looks okay with everything; then the lights go off, and she yells for David. (Hmm!) He comes in with a candle set and some cake as well. He's still determined to cheer her up about her birthday. No go...Maddie realizes David was just fooling with the lights and tells him to put them back on. He stops, looking very angry at her for not playing along.
David says he "just doesn't get it" that she's so unhappy on her birthday. Maddie says she wishes she had a pillow--and in a very important gesture, David throws her his coat. He starts to ask if the past year could have really been that bad for her, because he felt pretty good. (I don't think he's just talking about the year in general, but about the time they spent working together.)
She cuts in: "Shut up." David (stunned): "...Shut up?!" Maddie: "Turn out the lights, relight the candles, and come sit next to me so I have something to lean on."
(...Well, well, well!) D: "Whatever you say, boss." M: "And wipe that stupid grin off your face." D: "This happens to be the smartest grin I own." She leans on him. He, ah, gets used to the idea. D: "Happy birthday, Maddie." M: "Yeah, yeah, yeah..."
Time passes. The night over, they wake up. And in, ahem, that very interesting setting!... ;D David checks the coffin. Uh-oh. The body isn't there anymore.
They drive off to tell Mrs. Kandinski what happened. David thinks something extraordinary happened--the victim "ceased to be deceased." Maddie scoffs at the idea, it must be something else. David wants them to lie. The woman had wanted to get the body cremated and David figures if they lie, and just let the empty coffin be burned, Carolyn won't know the difference.
M: "David, we're telling the truth." D: "Hey, it's your franchise, I just work behind the counter." I don't think she catches the way he's staring off into the distance when he says this--but watch closely, he really is very bitter here.
They arrive at the house. Mrs. K guesses the man came back from the dead to exact his revenge. She slams the door. David: "You're right, lying to this woman would have been a huge mistake." He's being sarcastic: how could things have turned out any worse? Maddie doesn't trust him and usually thinks his ideas are crazy; but he implies that if they had lied, it might have actually been for the best. They would have saved Mrs. K's feelings, a lot of trouble, and last but not least, their commission fee. David is not nearly as one-dimensional as one might think. Maddie seems to look down on him sometimes, doesn't see him as a clever or dedicated person, but it turns out she's pretty far off the mark. Though loathe to admit it, she's going to need him more than she realizes.
The search wears on. David is very tired and this time he's the one who wants to go home. "We've been wearing the same clothes for two days." M: "Odds are, we smell better than he does." David is taken aback. M: "I didn't mean to snap, but you saw Mrs. Kandinski, she was beside herself." (This, note, is an extremely rare apology for Ms. Hayes, who usually says what's on her mind and begone what anybody else thinks.) M. says they must finish the case and their obligation to Mrs. K. David says no, the man may have "pulled it off." M (laughing): "Come back from the dead?" David says yes, that might be it. Maddie leans toward the simpler explanation of corpse theft. D: "You don't believe things can happen in this life that are beyond explanation?" M: "Yeah, you and me working together. Name another one."
They get to the morgue, where they talk to the attending coroner, Dr. Nealy. Maddie asks if, when the body got there, "was he dead?" Nealy says sure, after an autopsy, most people are... David butts in with the quick answer, "We're from the insurance company." The real story is so odd it might get them into bigger trouble. Once again, although it goes unappreciated, he is trying to save Maddie a lot of risk.
Did somebody switch the body with that of a different person? David figures they may have been looking for the wrong one. They go to check on the body and see that it indeed isn't who they expected--it's the Mrs. She died in a drunk driving accident. Maddie says she didn't seem the type. David: "You find out somebody dead is looking for you, you become the dead." (Incredible line--one of several for him in this episode.)
Back to the office. Maddie thinks the two incidents are "too circular." Both involve dying in water. David: "As crazy as it seems, I only work for live clients." He thinks Mr. Kandinski somehow did cause the death of his wife. Maddie just laughs. D: "Please tell me why you will not accept the fact that there are things that happen that no one can understand?" M: "Because that's not how life works." D: "Oh forgive me, you know how life works?" M: "I know how I think life works, yes, and behind every unexplained phenomenon, there usually is a perfectly logical explanation." D: "There simply are things that defy explanation. God, there's--well, there you go, there's a good answer. God defies explanation. You believe in him, everybody believes in him..." Long pause. She says nothing. Ahem. Maddie just smiles. David, meanwhile, is absolutely flabbergasted. D: "Hello?...Don't tell me." M: "Then don't ask me." D: "You don't?" M: "I warned you." (She is still laughing, not getting upset as some people might if asked about personal subjects--this time it's David who seems to miss the subtle point about putting up with someone's differences.) D: "How can you not?" M: "I don't think we want to have this discussion." D (pauses, grins): "Oh. I get it. This is just something you say to people. Deep down, I mean deep down--" At last Maddie flinches a little, and stares back. D: "I don't believe it! You!" M: "What do you want me to say?! I don't believe in--" D: "Don't say that. Don't even think it. He might hear you!" David claps a hand over her mouth. The gesture is a bit rude and silly, but once again, in an odd way, it's also moving--he is very worried for her. D: "All right, all right, but what if you're wrong? Cover yourself. What's it going to hurt?" M: "I don't need to cover myself." David, in a stunning scene, walks away and with deep bafflement in his eyes, strolls in a circle, and puts a hand on his heart. D: "How? How did this happen?" M: "How did what happen? I don't have a disease, I have a difference of opinion. Isn't that what our forefathers founded this country for?" There's a twinkle in her eye; she can't believe he's this troubled by it. D: "You think so?" She tells him to go home, she wants to do some more work on the case--"And you don't seem to want to help me." D: "I don't want to leave you here by yourself, either." M: "I'll lock myself in. I'll be fine. No one will hurt me. No one will smite me...Go home." D: "Are you sure?" Maddie nods. David shuts the door.
Maddie looks up a magician in the phone book, one Abbie Cadabra. She tells him about the case and that she definitely saw the body in the coffin. Abbie says the man may not have been the one at the coroner. He demonstrates the 'ring trick,' looping silver bars in and out around each other; then he pulls flowers out from behind Maddie's ear. AC: "Of course...You've seen it with your own eyes." Maddie can't believe she was tricked and says "there's no such thing as magic." AC: "But sometimes, miss, explanations are hard to find." M: "You mean, explanations that you or I can figure out." AC: "That anybody can figure out...I don't think there's a magician alive who won't admit there's one trick he doesn't understand. That's why they call it magic."
Maddie has a lot to think about.
Next day, back at the office. David has just returned from lunch. Maddie suddenly wonders if the body was really dead when they first saw it in the coffin. David says it sure looked that way. He also won't let the other subject drop. David asks if Maddie had some problem before which caused her to 'get mad at God.' Maddie just glares. "What difference does it make?" D: "All the difference in the world!" M: "Not to me it doesn't." D: "What about me? I didn't sleep a wink last night! Spent the whole night just tossing and turning, thinking about your soul." (Well crimony pete...could have knocked me over with a feather!) M: "My soul?" Agnes tries to get their attention. Maddie is still trying to walk out. David's not about to let her, pushing the door shut every time she pulls. D: "I don't get it." M: "Keep this up and I'll give it to you!" D: "I mean if anybody ever had a reason not only to believe, but to be thankful--he's given you brains, he's given you beauty, he's given you me!" M: "Addison, let me out of this door!" ...So he does. ;D And she goes flying back into the wall, and slumps to the floor, feet going who knows where. D: "See what happens when you tick off the big guy?...Although this is a...rather interesting position..." M: "Keep your hands off me." D: "Be careful what you wish for. Might come true!" Agnes finally gets to break in and hand them the newspaper, which reads: "Dead Magician Robs Jeweler and Dies in Fall." David gloats; now it looks like Maddie was the one who was too cautious and on the wrong track.
Off to the coroner's news conference. Nealy says Kandinski fell from the building into the vault. Someone else in the coroner's office must have falsified the death records, in return for a share of the robbery loot. Nealy says there will be an investigation. A reporter asks if there is a connection between the deaths of the two Kandinskis, and Nealy says Carolyn's death will now be looked at as a homicide.
Down the hall, our detectives are watching the speech. David says the only thing left to do is see who was the examiner who helped Kandinski. That, however, was not part of their original contract, and it's a load off of Dave's mind. Until they turn around and bump into an assistant examiner, the one who helped them take a look at the body of Carolyn. He says he doesn't know how she wound up there, but Nealy had seen her a few hours before that! One day she came in dead from the accident, the man says, but before, she "seemed stone cold sober to me!"
The plot is getting thicker than setting pavement.
Back on the chase. Maddie thinks Mrs. K went to see Nealy after Mr. K's body disappeared from the coffin. Maddie wonders what they could have said to each other. Dave says whatever it was, Carolyn went out and "got lit" right afterwards. M: "Maybe Kandinski said something to upset Nealy." D: "So he killed her--" M: "And made it look like an accident. No one can question him. He's the coroner, and if they did--" D: "The most likely suspect would be her not-so-late husband." Both: "Let's turn this car around."
Cut to the coroner's office. He's getting ready to go home. In a touching moment, we see him putting away the pictures of his children. (That's funny, even so--who takes home the pictures of the kids every day? Don't people leave them on their desk...if they're coming back? Hmmm!) Then he opens up a small bag and takes out a folded paper. In it are the diamonds. He puts them all in an envelope and seals it. He walks down to the morgue room.
Out pops a slide from the wall. It's Maddie! Dr.: "What are you doing?" M: "Waiting for you! David?" Dr.: "Why?" (Uh-oh. We see that he's hiding a large syringe behind his back. ) M: "There are some things we want to ask you!...David?" Once again, as in the night with the coffin, we see that Maddie can sometimes be quite lost without some extra help. It's a reverse of her usual stand-alone bravura--there are times when a protector does come in handy. M. asks whose idea was it to pull off the whole process. And keeps calling for David...who still is nowhere to be found... The doctor says it was Kandinski's idea. Nealy at first refused to fake a death certificate, but then K. offered him a share of the jewel robberies. Maddie, at this moment, is pretty desperate. She calls for David one last time. A voice emerges from somewhere else behind the wall: "I'm stuck!" ;D ;D ;D (Please do not drink anything while watching this scene. You'll get what I mean.) The doctor tries to jab Maddie with the needle. She blocks him by pulling a tray out of the wall. (With a dead 'guest' on it! ) Nealy says the scheme would have worked if Carolyn hadn't figured it out. The doctor chases Maddie, who keeps opening more trays. Maddie guesses, correctly, that the doctor killed Mr. K and "made sure he fell during the robbery."
At last David pushes his tray out, hitting the doctor in the head.
Maddie: "What took you so long?" *** Back to the office.
David is about to go home. Maddie is staying late. D: "Don't you ever get scared--worried--being here all alone?" M: "No." (Sneezes.) D: "Bless you...or whoever." M: "Hey--" D: "Yes?" M: "For what it's worth, it's crossed my mind." D: "What's that?" M: "The possibility." (Points up.) D (a bit heavily): "You don't have to say that on my account." M: "I'm not saying that on your account. I'm saying it as a point of information. I don't want you losing any more sleep over me." D: "Believe me, if and when I ever find myself over you, the last thing I'll be thinking about is sleeping!...besides, you're already covered. I put in a good word for you myself." M: "You did?" (Blushes.) D: "I did." M: "Are you saying you prayed for me?" D: "No, I didn't, I just--" (A thought here. Why is he doing this, backing away from what he just said? I think he did, pray for her that is, but it makes him look like he's much too attached to her, and despite the number of frankly stunning things he's said thus far in the episode, he still isn't quite ready for her to know how he feels about her. Denial, it's a funny thing...sigh... But you've got to love the fact that he is still deeply concerned. Boyish gruffness or not.)
M: "I never had a guy pray for me before!" (Smiles, touched by the concern, as well as obviously basking in the attention.) David, however, doesn't see the humor. He immediately draws up with an angry look of hurt and caution. D: "Are you making fun of me?" M: "I'm not making fun of you." She's still grinning, and he doesn't quite trust her assertion. D: "Well, don't." Oooh. Turns out he's not that simple of a guy, and you don't want to cross him on certain things. He does not like to be laughed at and can be as sensitive in his way as she is. M: "I wouldn't...Anyway, I just wanted you to know it crossed my mind." D (a little more softly): "And I just wanted you to know that, you know, everybody's got to decide for themselves. I just figured as long as I had the big guy's ear--" (Maybe easing off a little on his earlier harsh opinion of her too.) M: "No, I appreciate that!" D (points to the door): "Open or closed?" M: "Open." This is, of course, a metaphor for keeping an open mind on the weighty subject at hand. Nice touch.
Maddie watches him walk out, sits in the dark office for a minute...and then runs after him. "David? I think I'll walk down with you...David?"
So maybe our Maddie ought to be proud of what she'd accomplished in the past year after all. She found that if she didn't give up, she would indeed be pretty good at this detective stuff. And it can be scary to be alone sometimes--so it's not always bad to ask for help. Even from somebody who has a tough time fighting his way out of a morgue tray. ;D
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2005 4:17:09 GMT -5 by queensgirl
Wow! Fantastic post again Queensgirl - makes me want to go watch this again - I am amazed at how many little bits you have pointed out that I have not noticed yet! Think that's what makes ML episodes so great, great.
Last Edit: Nov 6, 2005 16:49:06 GMT -5 by babyhayes
That was wonderful queensgirl! A superb account of a superb episode. I've seen this episode tons of times but you still picked up on lots of things that I'd never noticed before. I love reading your reviews!
I really enjoyed this episode too - probably from me an 8 and a half. I remember the first time I watched this when it was first aired in the 80's. I didn't realise at that time that the bits that were sometimes at the beginning of an episode were to fill time. The first time that I saw this one, I remember thinking that the 3D bit was really clever as in the first few minutes, when they break the tank, the water rushes directly at the camera. It was exactly the sort of cheesy effect that was used in some of the 3D movies of the fifties and I thought it was yet another example of ML paying homage to old-style (albeit kitsch) Hollywood. Don't know if anyone else has ever noticed this or thought likewise!
Great episode, I vote 8. David is really trying to do something nice for Maddie's birthday, and her response (as weel as the religious thing) makes him, and us, learn more about her. I'm always amazed with how far they let her go with her behaviour and opinions, and we'll still be here, loving her. The high point for me is when they sleep together ;D at the mortuary.
Another great episode that helps to understand Maddie's psyche better. I always thought of Maddie being an atheist, but I kinda found hard to believe that David was quite the opposite. Even he is deeply romantic, he exposes a strong religious attitude which I find a bit contradicting.