It’s the Halloween season, so let’s watch season one of Friday the 13th: The Series.
“Lewis Vendredi made a deal with the devil to sell cursed antiques. But he broke the pact, and it cost him his soul. Now, his niece Micki, and her cousin Ryan have inherited the store… and with it, the curse. Now, they must get everything back, and the real terror begins.”
It’s Mother’s Day in October for episode twenty-five, “What a Mother Wouldn’t Do.”
Married couple Leslie and Martin have a baby born with a rare ailment, and the child will likely not survive. However, they have a cursed cradle from Uncle Lewis’ store. The cradle can cure the baby, but only if the parents murder a certain number of people. Specifically, the victims must be killed in water. This is because the cradle was recovered from the Titanic.
Micki, Ryan and Jack investigate, with the help of a babysitter, Debbie. Martin attempts to kill Debbie, but she’s rescued by Ryan. Micki and Ryan try to steal back the cradle, but realize they can’t without harming the baby. In a second fight, Leslie thinks she’s successfully killed Debbie and Ryan. In the final confrontation, Leslie and Martin both die — he in a fishtank and her in a fountain. The baby appears to vanish as if by magic, but what our heroes don’t know is that Debbie survived, and ran off with the now-healthy baby to start a new life.
When the show is smart: The series really succeeds at creating sympathetic villains, and Leslie definitely is that, with her only motivation being the well-being of her child. This is also an ethical conundrum for our heroes, bringing out some great performances among the main cast.
When the show is cheesy: Not forgetting the show’s slasher movie roots, Martin dons a weird smiley-face mask when he tries to murder Debbie by drowning her in her own bathtub. I do believe this is the stuff that censors had a problem with.
Devilish dialogue: Micki: “The damn curse can even affect innocent babies. The things we do here, I mean, it’s as though there’s no more good anywhere.” Ryan: “Yeah, it’s as though we get to see the worst side of everything. Either they’re using a cursed object or they’re getting one used on them.”
– Uncle Lewis is back! Sort of. He appears in the opening scene, a flashback of how Leslie spotted the cradle at the antique store, and how Lewis didn’t sell it to her, but gave it to her as a gift.
Back in the vault: Here’s another episode where the show hits all the right notes. Compelling characters and some spooky scenes add up to a solid hour of television.
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