Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Dresden Files—Second City

A mysterious hooded figure stabs a random guy with what looks like a hot poker. Or possibly a wand. Random Guy dies a horrible spitty, pukey death. Okay, that was weird. And also gross.

Murphy and Harry are at a bar having a drink and a chat. Murphy tells him her reputation is suffering from her work with him. He says maybe he'll do less work for her, and she asks if they're breaking up. Murphy is called to the scene of the death of Random Pukey Guy. Somehow the guy drowned two miles away from the lake. He turns out to be a member of the Russian mob. His name is "Sticky." That sounds Russian to me. Mr. Sticky has a strange brand on his shoulder. Also, he drowned in sea water. That's not very Lake Michigany.

Oh, and Murphy's estranged dad is in town.

Investigation focuses on surveillance tapes of a hooded man carrying a possible branding iron, while Bob examines pictures of the actual brand. Harry's very concerned about how Murphy's co-workers are reacting to his involvement with her. Then Mr. Murphy drops by to give Harry the "Stay away from my daughter," speech. It sounds like there's a connection between Dad Murphy and Mr. Sticky--Mr. Sticky was involved in the death of Mr. Murphy's partner back in the day. (Okay, his name is Reyes but I like Mr. Sticky better.) Murphy isn't nuts about her dad's interference and tells him to back off. She and Harry continue their investigation. They follow a magical trail to the killer's hideout. Harry kisses Murphy to get her to slap him to jolt the ant vomit he's using to make the magical trail visible. He's so romantic. *swoon*

They encounter Mysterious Hooded Guy. Murphy shoots him, but to no apparent effect. Murphy is pulled off the case because of irregularities in how she found her way to the bad guy. Kirmani, assigned to the case in Murphy's place, finds a nitro pill on the scene. Which points toward Murphy's dad.

Harry works out that Harrack, a journalist, is the one who got them thrown off the case. Kirmani arrests Mr. Murphy while Harry goes after Harrack and discovers the killer was Munser, another cop. He's taking away the victims' close brushes with death and using them to engineer near misses for himself, so each time he's nearly killed, for instance when Murphy shot him, he has to steal somebody else's near miss to stay alive the next time.

Using pages from a scrapbook Munser was keeping to find people he could pull energy from, Harry and Murphy intercept Munser with Dad Murphy tagging along. Interrupted in his attempt to murder another victim, he takes his second chance from Dad Murphy instead. Harry uses the branding iron to counteract Mr. Murphy's death and prevent Murphy from killing Munser out of grief for her father. Very intriguing concept. I'm not sure it was consistently presented, as far as who gets branded when, but still a neat idea.

Harry destroys the branding iron. Murphy apologizes for slapping Harry and says it won't happen again. Hm. Is that, like, flirting?

Overall this was a very good episode but it didn't really feel like a season finale. I read somewhere that "What About Bob" was scheduled as the season finale, but obviously it wasn't. If it was originally slated to fall into that slot, it might have had a more finale-like feel to it. It's hard to say since it was on a couple of weeks ago.

So I suppose I should sum up this, the first season of The Dresden Files. Overall? I had a great time spending these thirteen not-quite-hours with Harry Dresden and company, and I hope the ratings--particularly strong among us ladies, I hear--will convince SciFi to grant Dresden a deserved second season.

Dresden Files on iTunes:
The Dresden Files - The Dresden Files, Season 1