Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Dresden Files—Soul Beneficiary

As the episode begins, Harry wakes up married to a woman who calls him Jerry and brings him breakfast in bed complete with really big knife.

Then we back up a day. A man with the unlikely name of Kelten has come to talk to Harry because he's having visions of himself dying. He wants Harry to hypnotize him or something to stop the visions--and then he drops dead in Harry's office. It proves to be a garden variety heart attack. His wife, though, is suspicious, and comes to Harry's office to get more information--then she drops dead, as well.

It seems like a horrible no good very bad coincidence, until Kelten's body disappears. Using a tracking spell on the money paid to the mortuary attendant to give up the body, Harry is led to the suburbs, where he finds Kelten, alive and kicking and using another name.

The string of deaths and apparent resurrections is finally traced to the coroner's assistant, Sharon, who's apparently running an insurance scam by killing the same man over and over, magically restructuring his memories each time, and collecting on the life insurance. Bob is deeply distressed by this, and we discover that he himself used this black magic centuries ago. His punishment was to be doomed to live out eternity as a spirit residing in his own skull.

This episode had a good premise and some nice twists, but the final reveal of why Sharon was involved in an apparently very dark, very dangerous black magic scheme seemed anticlimactic to me. She told Harry that it wasn't always about the money, but that was all we really saw as far as her motive. While it's a realistic motive, it just felt too mundane for this show. Bob's reveal seemed a little out of place, as well--it seemed like something that disturbing to him should have gotten more attention than to just be tacked onto this episode. Maybe it'll be revisited later. I hope so, as I think Bob is worth a bit more than a denouement.