White Rabbit

Episode Report Card
Dan Kawa: C- | 1 USERS: C+
Drink Deep Of My Sparkling Stream
Close-up on a young boy's eye. I like this recurring opening device. I'm a fan of motifs, even possibly trivial ones like this. We see that the boy is lying on the ground, looking scared. We hear the sound of action-movie punches -- you know, the kind that, if you landed them in real life, would punch through a guy? The kind that sound like a wrecking ball striking a side of beef? Some crew-cut creep tells the kid we started with to stay down on the ground like a Desert Rat, and looks over toward the schoolyard fence, where another small kid is being punched in the gut by a bigger kid. This fight is so TV-fake that it makes my head hurt. There has never been a playground fight in the history of playgrounds in which someone stood someone against a fence and punched them in the stomach -- I counted -- eighteen times. That simply doesn't happen. No one ever gets punched hard in the stomach in a schoolyard fight, because there's too much kicking and scratching and wrestling and rolling around going on. And if a kid does get punched hard in the stomach once, he goes down to the ground. Instantly. He curls up in a little fetal ball and doesn't get punched seventeen more times. This scene irritates me. Anyways, the kid standing over Young Jack, who looks like Dewey after three years and a lot of sibling abuse, tells our hero to stay down and he won't get his ass kicked. Young Jack stands up and tries to rush to his friend's aid; for his efforts, he gets clocked.

Broody Beach. Charlie comes running to Jack, calling out that someone needs help far out in the ocean. "I don't swim!" Charlie adds. Jack, to the sound of pounding jungle drums, strips off his shirt and dives into the water, and oh, God, does that water look great. Bright aquamarine, with a gentle break and some nice coral formations a little further out in the bay. Perfect for snorkeling. Anyways, Jack swims out, and the camera operators have a grand old time following him out there. Camera operators really like when they get to do something new. I can just imagine them all arguing with each other about who gets to go out into the ocean with one of ABC's waterproof cameras. After swimming through a couple of swells, Jack looks around but can't see the swimmer in distress. He submerges once, twice, and comes up with a sputtering Boone, God's Friggin' Gift to Humanity. Jack tells him to breathe, but Boone, God's Friggin' Gift to Humanity asks if Jack got the woman he had swum out to save. Jack looks further out to sea and sees another person waving her arms and screaming for help. Here the music goes fucking apeshit with horns and strings crescendoing in a totally ridiculous manner. Man, what kind of a lifeguard was Boone, God's Friggin' Gift to Humanity? Probably he worked at some snooty country club pool where there are no such things as riptides and the most strenuous work is estimating how many of the old ladies swimming afternoon laps couldn't hold in their three-martini lunch.

Pounding drums! Exciting frame-rate change, à la the fight scenes in later episodes of Angel! Kate Beckinsale and Charlie sprint down the beach to help Jack pull Boone, God's Friggin' Gift to Humanity out of the surf. Jack dives back in, explaining that someone's still out there. The camera cranes up to see Jack swimming out, the castaways watching him from the beach. This is one of several shots that basically implies -- via shots taken through leaves or brush -- that someone is watching them. It's hard to know whether this is intentional or just sloppy camerawork by the second-string cameraman who's pissed he didn't get to go swimming with the waterproof camera.

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