"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Dresden Files: Walls

This episode of The Dresden Files was another doozie. Walls was the story of a gang of students using an evil magical artifact to pull off sensational robberies, with Harry being drawn in after the girlfriend of one is killed outside his office in what appears to be a hit'n'run.

Anyway, definitely creepy, these kids running around with the severed hand of a dead thief and using it to walk through walls. Extra creep points for the hand being covered in wax and used as a candle, and the bits where the ghost of said thief materializes while riding around in the body of one of said hapless kids.

"Oh no I have an Evil Hand" is totally what I kept thinking all throughout this episode. That one line from Angel is forever emblazoned into my memory, I swear.

I liked the remarks about how technology doesn't work for him, and the bit where he and Bob were flabbergasted that his answering machine actually picked up a message for once was great. I especially liked how Bob wished him luck turning it on.

And this played nicely into Harry revealing how a tech-impaired wizard does his spying: with bees in a jar. Yeep! Very clever use of sympathetic magic there, not to mention a way to get the audience cringing as he puts that jar up by his ear and his eye!

And speaking of things that were pretty cool: Harry throwing fire around at the end! FINALLY! It's about time we see him pull a fireball on something!

Another creep-inducing moment where the boys are coming out of the bank and one of 'em gets chopped in half coming out through the wall.

Touching on the side effects of Harry's powers again, and of magic in general, the main "in universe" thrust of this tale is to highlight the dangerous consequences of using black magic, prompting a show-stealing, understated performance from Conrad Coates as Morgan, the High Council Warden, and the appearance of a gruesome waxy monster. Terrance Mann also delivers on the Bob front, as always, meaning that even though this might not be quite as strong as the last couple of episodes, the powerful performances bring it so close as to still merit an A- Grade!

Walls also drops another hint about Harry's shady past as well as further insight into Bob's character, which goes a long way to creating the world building illusion that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Good writing is what will ultimately make or break this show and its recent track record suggests that - as long as they continue with this calibre of material - the show could have a long and healthy life. Battlestar Galactica has just been renewed for a fourth season, so, with bigger viewing figures (if not the critical acclaim), I would guess that the short term future, at least, is secure for The Dresden Files

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