February 28th, 2016


Rewatch: S1E04 "Last Act" (May 19, 1992) by Brad Wright

"Last Act" (S1E04) (LA) is one of FK's best episodes. Excellent writing, directing, acting. Outstanding themes, parallels, genre-entwining. Movement between the daytime human world and the nighttime vampire world. (Some bloopers with scene-to-scene costuming continuity!) On all its levels, "Last Act" is about motivations, and its tenacious grappling with why epitomizes much of what I so love in FK's first season.

As Natalie says of Erica's final play, "I know it was all about death, but I found it very life-affirming." To me, that line speaks meta not only about this episode, not only about first season, but, archetypally, is the foundation and justification of all that FK should be.

Recap: "Last Act" is the episode in which Nick's old friend and lover Erica ("How old?"/"Oh, two, three-hundred years."), a playwright, commits suicide in the sun, and Nick remembers her (and is, perhaps literally, perhaps metaphorically, haunted by her) as he investigates the suicide of a young doctor, Marilyn Siegal, slowly revealed to have been a murder. The procedural story structure offers three suspects: Doctor Cole, coworker; Dean Simmons, patient; Carl Janns, fiance. In the end, Nick and Schanke expose and capture Janns. And it is all — from Erica through Marilyn and the suspects to Nick — about motivations. Who values life, and how?

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What do you think?

Next week: S1E05 "Dance by the Light of the Moon" (DBLM)

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