Saturday, June 21, 2014

A return to The Scarlet Scandal

I need to make a better Wesley tribute post. I had an idea a couple of weeks ago, but then I got caught up with the other posts, took smidgens of my ideas for those posts, and then I couldn’t remember the rest of my ideas when it came time to write Wesley’s post. Plus, Wednesday was a busy day, I’d run out of time, and I was desperate to get something up while it was still his birthday. As it was, I didn’t manage to get the Tumblr tribute going ( until the following morning. I have been thinking I might do a detailed Amory and Andy personality comparison post, if I haven’t already talked about that subject beyond a few sentences. With so many posts, I often forget exactly what I’ve talked about before!

I also want to do another Tragg tribute post. I’ll definitely be doing one in July, but I had wanted to do one sooner. Keeping it till July, however, will give me time to watch him in season 1 for a good while and hopefully gather material for a unique angle.

At six episodes in, he has been a delight, as he always is. His interaction with all the characters is gold. I would have loved if we had seen more of him interacting with Andy, and also to have seen him interact even once with Steve, the latter of which is something that sadly could never have happened.

My local station has been pledge-driving and that bumped their Perry episodes down farther. They’re still in season 9. (Or at least, still in the few season 9 episodes they still show.) And since Mom suddenly realized Mala Powers is in The Scarlet Scandal, she wanted to see it when the local station aired it. So we watched it (or I watched some of it, anyway; I was away from the TV for some of it) and I came away with a couple more musings.

Aaron Chambers, the ballistics guy for the small town, is awesome. The scene where Paul runs into him and they walk around the murder scene discussing the forensics of it is a lot of fun. Aaron’s reveal at the end of his identity is both amusing and a cringing “Ohh boy”, particularly when seeing Paul’s expression. As Paul says later, “I was only the second-best detective out there today.”

Perry often talks about the efficiency of the police, and forensics have always been an important part of the show dating all the way back to episode 1, but it really isn’t often that we get to see a character on the prosecuting side who is actively depicted as being so good at what he does that when Perry or Paul mentions him as being formidable, it’s totally believable. As much as I love Hamilton and the L.A. police and try to highlight their good points and the times when they are portrayed as efficient, with all the screw-ups they’ve been forced to make due to the formula, sometimes it’s hard to fully believe Perry when he talks about efficiency. Even as early as episode 3, Tragg comes to Perry wanting to know how he figured out a particular forensics element. Tragg’s reaction to the explanation is classic and hilarious, and endearing in how he’s ready and willing to learn something, but it doesn’t help much to make the police look competent that none of them thought of it!

Since Aaron is up on the forensics of the Scarlet Scandal case and actually does peg the correct murderer from the start, and it’s unclear if he personally ever switches to believing the girl is guilty instead, he might not run into the same trouble as the poor Perry policemen, always suspecting and arresting the wrong people. It’s both really cool to see a character like Aaron on Perry in general and to see him in a small town that might ordinarily be behind the times as far as modern forensics are concerned. It would have been great if he had turned up in another episode—as long as he wouldn’t have been alongside the L.A. police while on vacation in L.A. and made them look ridiculous with his forensics expertise. But since he was introduced in season 9, I doubt that would have happened. By season 9, they seemed to have the police as more up and doing forensics-wise, save for perhaps one incident in The Impetuous Imp when no one thinks of a bullet in the ceiling except Perry.

Later on in the episode, I was kind of irritated when Paul expresses worry about losing his license if he saws off the county property post Perry wants him to and Perry simply replies, “You’ll have to take that chance.” Paul is definitely right to be worrying about destroying county property! Good grief. I think this is perhaps one of the most eyebrow-raising stunts yet. (And one of the last, since the series ended soon after.) I appreciate that Perry is seeking justice for his client, but even if he is willing to run the risk for himself, he shouldn’t put it on someone else. It always has bothered me when he does that with Paul, especially since he knows how Paul worries about his license. I love that Paul’s response this time is to hand the saw back to Perry and say, “You’ll have to take that chance.”

Of course, since Paul’s execution of Perry’s less-than-legal plans has always been a key part of the formula, I imagine there are those who don’t like to see that element being altered in any way. But for me, I think it’s about time that Paul doesn’t just resignedly do every law-bending or –breaking thing Perry wants. I wonder if we would have seen Paul balk a little more if there had been a season 10?

Overall, I find it amusing that while I initially found The Scarlet Scandal to be quite a blah out-of-town episode, I have warmed up to it greatly. I think my next Amazon purchase should be the latter half of season 9, so I can finally see the rest of those episodes uncut. And that includes this one.

… Also, this is the 250th post. Sweet.


  1. Nice work Ladybug enjoyed your pictures on tumblr too.

  2. @ Lucky: I say go for it! Amazon has cut the prices to a little bit above $20 for each.

    1. Ohhh, sweet! That's better than the price was a few days ago.

  3. Yea, I was surprised that they'd dropped them so much. Amazon surprised me for once.