Entertainment Magazine

Review #3853: 666 Park Avenue 1.8: “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Posted on the 29 November 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by Josh Pate
Directed by Dean White

After a few episodes of being stuck in the doldrums for no particular reason, “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” was actually decent. Jane steps away from exploring the history of the Drake to wonder if she went crazy when she went down that spiral staircase beneath the Drake. She actually got something tangible to do, even if details of her time in the staircase are vague. We also get to see the effect her stay in the psychiatric ward has on Henry, who has spent too much of this show being a blank slate of a character. Gavin’s part of the episode is smaller, but it looks like he’s back to having fun as the Devil-who-can’t-call-himself-the-Devil. Perhaps the “Red Box” he so desperately wants back is the source of all his power? Even the subplot involving Brian and Alexis has some stakes that explain why the relationship continues to go on in this show.

Review #3853: 666 Park Avenue 1.8: “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

The storyline involving Jane started out with a feeling of disorientation. Henry and others at the Drake are out in New York looking for her. Somehow, no one thought to look for her in Times Square, which is where she apparently ended up after her ordeal beneath the Drake. This puts the audience on edge, and is further enhanced when we see that the nurses have to strap her down and inject her with sedatives. It is once again bowing to cliche by having her stay in the psychiatric ward with no one believing what she says (even if she can only remember bits and pieces about her time away), but it’s better than her past as a reactive character within the confines of the Drake.

It’s also cliche for one person who just happens to be at the same hospital as her to be found in the same conditions, rambling about a spiral staircase and wandering the streets alone. But the symbol that Julian Waters draws matches the one outside the door of Maris, indicating that she might have a connection with that staircase. She may be the old woman Jane sees in that dream/vision of an empty Times Square. All of it is really reliant on a number of coincidences for the plot to work (of course the doctor who treats Jane owes Cooper a favor), but this is a case of one plot following through on what’s come before and jumping into the next phase of it with Jane’s upcoming therapy session with Maris.

A major problem with the last few episodes of this show has been that it has sidelined Gavin for too long. He has seemed like a salesman keeping tabs on his growing list of clients. Like Jane, he becomes much more active here. He has Kandinsky torture Victor Shaw for information on the red box, which does show some of his abilities. Once again, the rules of the show’s world aren’t too clear, but it looks like Gavin can actually impersonate anyone he chooses. He does so here by being the “ghost” of Shaw’s father to get him to reveal the location of the red box. I really enjoyed the brief scene where Gavin walks into a church and basically taunts the sitting priest in a confessional.

It implies that Gavin is the Devil (or has Devil-like abilities) and does so in a sly way that the show has yet to master. Shaw also figures into a subplot that I thought the show had forgotten about in the suicide of the Dorans’ daughter, Sasha. Shaw raises the question of whether Sasha is alive or not. This, understandably, hurts Olivia so she might have been the person that released Shaw in order to find Sasha. It may end up that Shaw was playing Olivia to get into her head, but this is an intriguing development. Sadly, since the show is ending soon, it may not get paid off in any way.

That can also be said for this burgeoning love affair between Brian and Alexis. This episode shows a clear connection between the two of them beyond Brian lusting after Alexis Rear Window-style. It seems that she is the impetus for his writing ability and that Louise is a physical form of his writer’s block. It was mildly amusing to watch the sequence where, in order, Brian’s computer freezes, various pens run out of ink, and a pencil breaks as he is trying to write his new play. Frankly, this is much better than putting a handsome doctor in the middle of the two of them or having the Drake’s elevator try to eat Louise.

Having Alexis make that a part of her deal with Gavin adds some intrigue to the storyline, which has been lacking of late. I don’t completely buy her guilt over doing this to Brian because I think she enjoys it more than she would care to admit. This show has to keep its characters active. Otherwise, storylines just sit there with no discernible developments. It didn’t do that enough in the last few episodes and that’s part of the reason why it’s running out of time to do anything.

Score: 8/10

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