Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Uncut Hateful Hero

So I’ve had some more spare money on hand of late, due to my freelance writing and other work. I managed to pick up a few of the older Perry sets, including the first half of season 6. I haven’t seen most of those episodes uncut, and Netflix doesn’t have season 6 even though it was released over a year ago, so it’s going to be a real treat going through these.

It’s already started being a big treat, really. I finally saw the uncut version of The Hateful Hero for the first time. It’s a true delight! And I am exasperated at the stuff that the syndication version cut out. True, most of the scenes aren’t especially needed to move the main plot forward, but oh, they’re just wonderful for character development!

The first thing I noticed was that the scene where Andy speaks with Detective Toland is supposed to be twice as long. It was very interesting to see the full version, where the case is discussed at greater length.

The next major cut is the entire scene where Andy asks Jimmy about the stolen perfume and other objects. Jimmy insists that he didn’t take them and asks Andy if he’ll represent him as his counsel when he goes before the police board in five days. Andy is surprised and Jimmy interprets it as reluctance. Andy says “Jimmy, you’re my cousin,” and then Jimmy figures that’s the only reason Andy is agreeing and that Andy really thinks he’s guilty as everyone else does. Andy protests and tries to rectify the damage, but Jimmy is stressed and his patience stretched to the nth degree. He snaps that it’s a lot different compared to when they were kids and Andy got him into trouble. Eventually he storms off, with Andy calling after him in desperation.

I never quite pictured Andy getting Jimmy into trouble, unless of course it was just an accident. It was never specified whether it was accidental or deliberate, but now I’m wondering how to reunite this canonical information with the fact that I long ago wrote a scene for The Malevolent Mugging wherein they discuss their childhood and Jimmy intimates more that Andy was trusted to look after him because he didn’t get him into trouble. On the other hand, though, I have that idea where they often played rocket ships in the backyard and they had a few disasters with those, so I could always say Jimmy was referring to that when he said Andy got him into trouble. But Jimmy also said in that story scene that he didn’t remember Andy making any stupid decisions when they were kids. I suppose I could say it was a joke and Jimmy remembered very well.

In any case, I’m thrilled for any new piece of canonical information involving them. I’m glad that at least my idea of them not being too far apart in age and being kids together didn’t go against what was stated in the uncut Hateful Hero.

The next clipped scene takes place during the police board hearing. Jimmy and Andy wait while the board deliberates. Jimmy can’t sit still and bitterly tells Andy how he doesn’t believe that the police really look out for their own, like the myth says they do. He feels that he is a sacrificial scapegoat and that they’ve been grooming him for that from the start of this mess. Andy tries to console and calm him by telling him he didn’t have to come to the hearing, but he came anyway. How could he do anything else? How could he be anything but a policeman?

It’s unclear whether Jimmy is usually so cynical or if the pressure was just getting to him right then. I kind of like the idea of him being at least a little cynical in general, though. I knew of that scene’s existence, although I didn’t know the details before last night. I’ve previously tried to have a bit of that cynicism creep into Jimmy’s speech and personality in the stories I’ve featured him in. Now that I’ve seen the scene, and love it, I’ll probably continue to do so for sure.

I find it interesting that the police board scene happens without any on-screen resolution for the terrible confrontation Andy and Jimmy previously had. It makes me wonder whether they just didn’t show it to us but it happened or if it didn’t happen at all, even off-screen. Perhaps Andy and Jimmy are really so close that no apologies are needed.

I’m not quite certain without seeing the edited version of the episode again, but I don’t fully recall if Hamilton’s opening remarks in court were cut. What he said wasn’t familiar to me offhand. I wouldn’t be surprised if they cut directly to the interview of the first witness. I’ve seen that happen in other syndicated copies of episodes, including The Fatal Fetish.

I noticed some variously assorted things, including that Hamilton sounds especially gentle and sobered when he questions Andy, at least during the first part of the examination. That is the closest we get to seeing his reluctance for handling that case. He surely must have been reluctant to some extent, with Jimmy being Andy’s cousin and Andy so visibly agonized to have to testify against him. I still wish there had been an actual scene where they’re discussing the difficulty of the case.

Also, with the episode being for the Anderson family, there are many scenes of Andy investigating. And Tragg is usually with him. It was, sadly, one of Tragg’s last appearances, since his screentime was greatly decreasing by season 6, due to Ray Collins’ ill health. But it’s lovely to see him and Wesley together in so many scenes. I think that, out of all the episodes in which they both appeared, this is the one where they had the most time together.

Throughout the entire nine-season run, Perry never had a two-part episode. If there had been one, and if it had been this one, I wonder what sorts of behind the scenes goodies there would have been. Perhaps Tragg and Andy talking in-depth about the case and Jimmy? For all of their scenes together, they don’t talk that much to each other. Mostly they’re questioning others.

I think I shall have fun writing some missing scenes at some point, as I did for The Carefree Coronary.

Tomorrow is Ray Collins’ birthday, speaking of him and Lieutenant Tragg! It would be an excellent day to watch some of Tragg’s best moments on the show. I thoroughly recommend The Negligent Nymph, The Moth-Eaten Mink, and The Fugitive Nurse. I love his interaction with Andy in The Capering Camera. Also, he has some good stuff in The Rolling Bones, if I remember right.

It sounds like I need to watch that one again. Another thing I bought was the second half of season 1, something I’ve wanted for some time. Most of my favorite season 1 episodes are in the latter half, and well, since becoming extremely interested in H.M. Wynant’s roles, I just had to have an uncut copy of The Daring Decoy to enjoy whenever I feel like it. I shall watch The Rolling Bones tomorrow and rejoice in its completeness! I hated how badly it was chopped up the last time I saw it on television. Season 1 episodes get it worse than the others, since they’re a minute or two longer.

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