Main cast: Bruce Payne (Sergeant Burrows), Vivian Wu (Jeri Drumbeater), Susan Tyrrell (Mona), Michael Ironside (Colonel Parker Thomas), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: John Herzfeld
Well, at least we have a change of scenery in Comes the Dawn. Yes, this is Comes the Dawn, which is not to be confused with Came the Dawn from last season. Don’t ask me why they need to have two episodes that are so similar aired so close together. Anyway, back to the change of scenery. We are in, as Sergeant Burrows puts it, “Butthole, Alaska”. And even better, we have our first full-fledged monster episode.
Burrows and the retired Colonel Parker Thomas are in this part of the world to hunt down a grizzly. You see, the gallbladder of a grizzly goes for $64,000, and these two men have a 70-30 split. Of course, they need to find a tracker that is unscrupulous enough to help them track down endangered species for sport, or in this case for profit. Before Burrows kills a bad-tempered motor-mouth barkeeper Mona for wanting to turn them in, they manage to get from her that her ex, Jeri Drumbeater, can help them.
Jeri turns out to be a woman, and more importantly, she is persuaded into helping them for “a generous sum of $100” by Parker revealing that they both served in Operation Desert Storm, and he was instrumental in giving the order to shell a city in order to save Jeri’s squad from being killed. And so they go. Burrows and Parker don’t seem to trust one another, but little do they know that this part of the world hides a dark secret… a secret that Jeri is cheerfully leading them to. Welcome to Alaska, scumbags!
Honestly, this episode already earns plenty of goodwill from me by being not another episode about scummy humans. Oh, there are scummy humans here too, but we also have creatures lurking in the snowy darkness that makes this one like a precursor to later horror movies with a similar theme. Bruce Payne is also hilarious as he has some of the funniest lines in any given episode, especially my favorite:
It’s gonna take more than a lesbian vampire biker whore to ruin my day!
Mind you, the enjoyment of this episode hinges heavily on one accepting several hard-to-believe coincidences – what are the odds that Jeri and Parker served in the same war? Still, the cast members put on a good show, and the episode makes full use of the novelty value of the setting to serve up a creepy and still hilarious episode of greedy people being beaten by Tales from the Crypt-style climate issues. Comes the Dawn could use another half hour or so to flesh out its story more, but in a season like this, I’d take what I can get.