Friday, November 6, 2015

Sergeant Brice and Slim Marcus and so very many guns

And so another Halloween season has come and gone. I wanted to write a story as a follow-up to 2012's The Case of the Man-Eating House and have Della, Andy, and Sergeant Brice puzzling over the strange locket Brice brought back and why the little girl stays in the house. That didn't happen, but perhaps I will still write it. After all, creepy house stories aren't just for Halloween. Although, I would doubt whether anyone still remembers the original tale three years later! Usually, if a fanfiction sequel isn't started immediately, it doesn't do so well with its audience.

I've been thinking about Dan Tobin lately. It was his birthdate near the end of October (the 19th). I haven't seen him in anything new, nor have I learned anything more about him, but his performance as Clay is always remembered fondly by me. Clay is certainly a unique and colorful character and, just like all the cast, perfectly captured by his actor. I can't imagine anyone else in the part.

I bought all of season 3 of
Perry on DVD several months back and we were watching the uncut versions of the episodes on the nights when MeTV aired them. But we ended up getting a little behind during the Halloween season, so we just got around to see The Mythical Monkeys and The Singing Skirt over the past couple of nights.

The Mythical Monkeys, of course, is the episode from which Pete Kelton hails. I've used him in a couple of stories, but he is most prominent in the one I just finished, The Nefarious Necklace. Being played by William Boyett, he is my favorite of Paul's operatives.

The Singing Skirt is H.M. Wynant's second turn on the series, as gambler and killer Slim Marcus. I still rather like my fleshing out of the calamity on the night of the murder, featuring Vivian Ennis as the one to actually pick up the gun and she and Slim then fight for it. There is vague mention in the epilogue that there was a fight, so my idea doesn't go against canon. That still wouldn't let him off the hook, however, especially with all the nasty things he did to implicate Betty. But I do feature Slim as a minor character in some of my stories for other shows, ironically.

My story goes that he went to prison mainly on charges of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, since the killing was not deliberate and he was simply trying to protect himself by getting the gun away from Vivian. But then instead of going to the police with what happened, he did all that junk to frame an innocent party, which resulted in most of the charges against him. After his release, he runs a casino of his own and employs a couple of characters from other shows I like to write about. I don't think I've ever actually featured him in a Perry story. He is a dark character due to his past, but he is trying to get past it and live upright now.

Amusingly enough, I went though my posts tagged with The Singing Skirt and saw that I had not originally planned to flesh anything out regarding Slim Marcus's actions. I wonder what made me change my mind.

While I was watching the episode, I came up with some interesting thoughts.

First, I've noticed that even though Sergeant Brice is the main sergeant now, he still isn't always the one around. Tragg still goes to crime scenes with other sergeants or even uniformed officers sometimes. There was a sergeant in The Singing Skirt whom I've never seen before, to my recollection. I was thinking how rather sad it was that it wasn't Brice.

Now I'm starting to think that Brice doesn't become the only sergeant around until season 4, when Hamilton was absent and then later when they tried to give Brice more of the burden of the police character. My memory is that neither Andy nor Steve ever worked with any sergeant except Brice, unlike Tragg. I've always written that Tragg and Brice are especially close, and I imagine they are, but it is interesting to note that Brice was apparently never exclusively Tragg's partner (at least, not until season 4, perhaps).

Actually, that lends credence to the idea in my stories that Brice still works with the other Lieutenants even though he is now Steve's partner. Perhaps during times when Steve is working at the station or off-duty, Brice still partners with Tragg or Andy.

One interesting thing about The Singing Skirt is that it definitely shows Perry's human frailties, instead of trying to make it look like he's never wrong. His screw-up with the guns and his over-confidence really make a mess for both himself and the defendant. There aren't many episodes where Perry seriously flubs as badly as he does here. Even in season 7's The Woeful Widower, where Perry suspects the wrong person for most of the episode, he doesn't actually cause a calamity.

I've always been rather appalled by Perry's fiddling around with those guns, but this time around it occurs to me that he really could have gotten his other client in trouble by using his gun to substitute for the one in Betty's hat box. Note that when the client is on the stand, he says that Perry didn't think he should even be carrying a gun while his civil suit was going on. That was six months ago, yet the gun is still in Perry's possession. I question whether the suit was resolved, since I would think the client would have taken it back once everything was settled. But regardless, what if he had been implicated in a crime because his gun was used? Of course, what actually happened was that Perry got himself implicated, but it seems to me the other could have happened just as easily.

I like that Perry is so determined to help Betty when she's being bullied by the gamblers, but somehow it just doesn't sit well with me that he took another client's gun to try to help her. That client trusted Perry too and it seems Perry really let him down. If I was that guy, I think I'd be looking for a new lawyer.

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