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13 March 2016 @ 06:58 pm
Rewatch: S1E06 "Dying to Know You" (June 9, 1992) by Tony Sheer  
I'm afraid that I'm not up to par for this rewatch reflection. I've got a vicious cold (maybe an ear infection). Might you help fill in my gaps?

"Dying to Know You" is a strong, rich episode. Some elements look back at whence the series has already come; at least one arguably foreshadows far ahead.

Recap: "Dying to Know You" (DTKY) (S1E06) is the episode in which the wife and daughter of Conrad Hedges, a wealthy philanthropist, are kidnapped, and the wife murdered, crimes later revealed to have been at Hedges's instigation to protect his secret. A psychic named Denise Ford, who has previously worked with Stonetree, assists Nick and Schanke's investigation after a vision about the kidnapping. Denise finds herself psychically aware of Nick's vampirism. She suspects her sanity. Wondering whether he should tell Denise his secret, Nick remembers Matthew, who committed suicide when Nick didn't confide in him (c.1649-1659). Nick tells Denise. As the bad guys are brought to bay, Hedges kills Denise; Nick blames himself.

Under the episode title

"Dying to know" is, of course, a venerable cliche, an emphatic way of saying "very eager to know."

As the title of this episode, the figurative expression becomes literal. Did Matthew die (of suicide) because he did-and-didn't know Nick's secret, because his need to understand was thwarted? Did Denise die (at Hedges's hands) because she did know Nick's secret — what about because she and Nick had found out Hedges's secret? More fundamentally, Gennifer and Janice Hedges are indeed "dying" (to be murdered by hired assassins) solely because they know Conrad Hedges's secret; he fears they might expose him.

Secrets. One of FK's major recurring themes.

"Protein doesn't have to be red to be potent."

Is DTKY the very first appearance of the protein shake in FK, or did I overlook it in an earlier episode? I believe that we go from "green tea" in DK1 to the white protein shakes here, as alternative beverages for Nick.

So there's Natalie in Nick's kitchen, whipping up a liquid concoction in the blender, and bringing it to him on his couch in a glass goblet. This could be their very first protein shake ever! Or their thousandth. Nothing in the dialogue is conclusive. The reference to the color could suggest that if this isn't the first protein shake, it may be the first white protein shake (or color could be an ongoing debate, or in-joke, between them).

As a plot element, the protein shake clicks tidily into Nick's avowal to Denise that he doesn't drink blood anymore ("at least not human"). The episode could have had bottled blood around and pointed out that it was animal blood, but instead features the protein shakes — one in Nick's loft, one in Stonetree's office — as Nick's sole sustenance. That second usage, especially, seems to suggest that the shakes aren't ineffective for Nick (although Schanke's testimony is that they taste foul to humans).

Denise Ford

If Denise had lived, I imagine there'd be no end of fanfic with her! As it is, a few people have set stories before this episode featuring her.

What do we know about Denise?
  • She and Stonetree have worked together "many times" before, with "results," and are on a first-name basis. Stonetree has no doubts of the efficacy of Denise's special skills.
  • She does aerobics in her apartment, and takes bubble baths, in the middle of the day (what day of the week it is, though, we don't know; could be a weekend!).
  • She has a British accent, which Schanke imitates when mocking her.
  • She has what seems like a luxury apartment, mostly open plan, eclectically decorated with some "southwest" touches.
  • She spent "two years" in "one of Human Touch's missions in South America," and has personally seen "at least fifty children" saved by the work of the Human Touch charity.
We don't actually know how Denise makes her living. Fanfic generally assumes that it is as a professional psychic consultant.

Psychic abilities in FK

FK validates psychic sensitivity within its story universe.

DtKY and "Forward into the Past" (S2E05) are FK's two episodes with professional human psychics. "Ashes to Ashes" (S3E21) may suggest that Urs has some psychic sensitivity (her vision of a decapitated child standing over her). "Last Act" and "Francesca" both suggest a psychic resonance available to vampires through blood intake. "Killer Instinct" (S2E01) and "Love You to Death" (S1E22) suggest psychic resonance between vampire makers and their converts. (And fanfic often links the phenomenon of "resistors" to psychic sensitivity of whatever kind serves the story in question.)

In "Francesca" (S3E21), whether Tracy is troubled because of a past life or because of psychic sensitivity, both have anchors back here in DtKY. Before she learns Nick's secret, Denise, glimpsing some of his memories from different historical eras, tells Nick that he should believe in past lives.

Stock footage supercut

DtKY is one of several episodes in which, apparently, the short US version wasn't cut from the longer Canadian version. Instead, they bulked up the little US version with stock footage clips (also seen in many other episodes) until they achieved the Canadian length. That entire sequence of Nick in the loft mourning Denise — bouncing the ball against the door, playing chess on the rug, remembering conversations with Denise — between when Natalie and Nick are looking out the window and when the scene shifts to Stonetree's office? That's all shoe-horned in. I saw a copy of the the script once; just as the costuming leads us to suppose, the original sequence went straight from Nick's loft to Stonetree's office (Nick and Natalie are wearing the same outfits in those scenes, while Nick changes clothes multiple times across the stock footage).

I like the inclusion of Nick's reflections and grief! I like that it helps emphasize that time passes between the action denouement and the tag wrap-up, with Stonetree there able to tell Nick "good job" and to comment on the future of Human Touch, without it being insensitive to Denise's death. But it does seem to be pure paddding. And perhaps it should have come before those two scenes, instead of between them...?

As far as "Eurominutes" on the Region 2 disc, I think it's mostly just a little more with the establishing shots in the flashbacks, and more stock footage in the stock footage sequence, but I didn't rewatch the Region 1 this time to compare.

Schanke the "sloth"

Not everything is well in the Schankes' relationship, judging from the phone conversation in this episode. And while there isn't really enough content in this episode alone to speculate, I'm going to draw on the rest of canon to project that it's Schanke's suspicions of Myra's fidelity that are the problem, rather than an actual affair by Myra.

I presume that Denise was teasing Schanke with the suggestion in her voice, because he'd been denigrating her skills and value again. But she did indeed poke a tender spot. She says to Nick that she's always able to tell what people are hiding, and Schanke seems perhaps to be hiding fears about his family, specifically that Myra will betray him as his father did his mother and his grandfather his grandmother (per FIHS).

Speaking of Schanke's ongoing jealousy/possessiveness of Myra and low-level sexism in general, I'm going to count his bizarre construction that Hedges's wife and daughter were both having affairs with the chauffeur and had run away to Mexico. His sudden leap to "rich people, and their rich, kinky problems" might be entirely wealth-based (he comments on "size of that limo"), except that the chauffeur isn't a rich person. From wherever Schanke is dredging this scenario, it happens to involve adultery and betrayal — again.

Miscellaneous

  • It's nice to see some of daylight Toronto, and to remember that Schanke really is still on day shift, while Nick is on night shift, and Schanke's night appearances are overtime. (That arrangement apparently won't last into season two, on Captain Cohen's watch.)

  • "Yes, Commissioner," Stonetree says on the phone (twice), with no proper names. Come season three, we'll learn that Tracy's father, Richard Vetter, is a member of the police commission, although exactly what that position means in FK's Toronto is... whatever serves the current episode.

  • The actor who plays Matthew, Richard McMillan, is of course the same gentleman who plays Abe in "Can't Run, Can't Hide" (S2E11).

  • Schanke falls for the reporter's blandishments! This is something we'll encounter again with him in "The Code" (S2E24), explicitly. And it has tangential connections to Schanke's Hollywood aspirations in "Unreality TV" (S1E17) and "Amateur Night" (S2E17).

  • Schanke refers to "the kids" on the phone with Myra. Because we'll later become certain that he and Myra have only one child, Jenny, the plural here is widely interpreted as meaning the boy seen in "Dead Issue" (S1E12), whom fandom often takes for a cousin, one of the flock of mentioned-but-not-seen Schanke relatives. (Like those passing mentions of Myra's psychic aunt and Schanke's grandmother, here in DtKY!)


What do you think?

Next week: "False Witness" (FW) (S1E07)

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