Main cast: Sonia Braga (Sophie Wagner), Dylan McDermott (George Gatlin), Cleavon Little (Pack Brightman), Rick Aiello (Marty), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Robert Longo
Wait, didn’t we just have an episode called Easel Kill Ya a while back? And now we have This’ll Kill Ya? Someone’s getting sloppy – what, we can’t have a different kind of title for this episode?
This episode opens with a disheveled man, George Gatlin, dragging a clearly dead man into a police station with him. When the cops draw their guns on him, he dares them to shoot, explaining that he’s “dead already”. And then we have a flashback as to how all this came about.
George is the boss of a research lab which is banking on H Cell 24, something that will “cure disease by breeding it out of the body”. Don’t ask, remember what show this is. His researcher partners Pack Brightman and Sophie Wagner are behind on their research, so George keeps publicly making assurances and promises that are not true at all in order to convince investors to keep funding the research. His actions draw the ire of his partners, who seem to believe that scientific research can somehow pay for itself. They decide to punish George when he puts out yet again another press release full of lies.
George has a weakness: he has type 1 diabetes, but he has never learned how to inject his insulin into himself, as he is scared of needles and pain. Sophie administers it for him, and he keeps his insulin in the fridge next to the H Cell 24 specimens. The two of them are also exes – at least, she thinks they are exes while he thinks that they are just playing this game in which she’d put him off until he lets himself into her place and her bed – so he trusts her a bit more than he should. Therefore, when one day Sophie administers the H Cell 24 sample into him by mistake, thinking it is his insulin, he is horrified. He will soon grow tumours all over the body, and then die. He is even more horrified when he stumbles upon strong evidence that Sophie and Pack have colluded to kill him… hence we go back to the first scene, when he’d finished killing Pack in retaliation.
There is a sick kind of morbid cringe in me realizing that Cleavon Little had colon cancer – he would pass away in the same year that this episode first aired – when his character Pack was forcefully injected with a serum that will cause deadly tumors to form all over his body.
That aside, this episode is filled with beautiful people. Sonia Braga is stunning as the older woman who arouses George’s naughtiest instincts, and there is something about Dylan McDermott that oozes raw masculine sexuality even if I have never found him handsome. It’s the sexy way he carries himself and the naughty undertone in his lazy drawls – oh mama. That “forced seduction” scene of George on Sophie may not be politically correct these days, but it’s hot, I’m not going to lie. Hot, hot, hot.
Unfortunately, Sonia Braga utters her lines without any feeling, often stumbling haltingly on longer lines as if she’s still uncomfortable with the English language. Dylan McDermott is sexy and he has swagger, but acting-wise, well, let’s just say that I’d only give him an Emmy so long as he promises to stay quiet and remain sexy. Cleavon Little is ill, so he’s understandably not pulling his weight as well.
The plot is also… well, without spoiling things too much, let me just say that it’s a stunt gone horribly wrong, and frankly, my sympathies are with George. He’s right, you know: they need funding to keep the research going, and no one deserves what happened to him just for being a realist.
This’ll Kill Ya will normally get two oogies from me, for its uninspired acting and all, but it’s Monday and there is so much pretty. I hate to admit it, but I watch this episode a few times just to admire the scenery alone. So yes, here’s an extra oogie, because I’m shallow like that.