The Fugitive

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Keckler: C | Grade It Now!
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I

In a white lab coat, Kimble thinks he's golden as he sneaks by the receptionist. But since Robert Frost via Ralph Macchio taught us that "nothing gold can stay," he gets caught. Then we have the opening credits, amazingly enough, twelve minutes into the episode. The receptionist brings a security guard but decides not to arrest Kimble. She blackmails him instead and tells him he can stay out of jail that day for one hundred forty dollars (all that he has on him), but getting the files on Charnquist will cost him five hundred dollars for her and five hundred dollars for the silent security guard. Guess he has no choice but to go back to the clinic.

Kimble asks Pop Voodoo if the job offer is still good. Instead of answering, Pop Voodoo tells him to throw a bag of bones. Kimble throws. Pop Voodoo shakes his head and tells him that if he were Kimble he'd crawl into bed and stay there for a good five years. Nettie comes out from the back and glares at Kimble. Pop tells her not to be rude but to greet their new helper. Kimble gives the name of "Steve Patterson." Nettie tells him the clinic opens at 7AM and "prep" is at 6:45. Kimble doesn't look fazed in the least.

Next day. Kimble checks out a pregnant woman and comments to her husband that the baby is "big for thirty-two weeks." The woman says something in Creole. Her husband tells Kimble that she's been having headaches. Kimble notes that her blood pressure is "a little high" and suggests she gets an ultrasound and urinalysis at a hospital. Nettie overhears the exchange and snipes her way over to Kimble's side. She pulls him away and asks what he's doing. Kimble starts to tell her that the woman needs to be in a hospital. Nettie tells him that Adella thinks evil spirits live in hospitals and that her baseline diastolic pressure is always high, just as it is for her whole family. They quote numbers back and forth, which mean little to me, but I guess they mean something when Nettie says, "Considering it can get as high as ninety-six when she's not pregnant, I think she's okay," because Kimble doesn't seem to have anything else to add when asked. Nettie gives him a final word of warning by telling him that she's treated Adella for seven years, and that if Kimble wants to work there, he shouldn't tell her patients to go somewhere else.

In the front of the shop, Pop Voodoo says goodbye to the pregnant couple as he grinds something with a mortar and pestle. A little boy in a beret enters the shop and gestures wordlessly with his hands. Pop Voodoo hastens to the back and makes the same gesture to his daughter. Immediately, she begins packing stuff up and hiding it as her father tells their waiting patients that the clinic is closed for the day because they forgot it was a holiday. Kimble asks what's going on and is told to be quiet. The clinic is made to look like a simple storage room, and the three of them go to the front of the shop. Two men walk in and Pop Voodoo greets them, saying, "Well, welcome, gentlemen, all of our healing herbs are half off today." One of the men asks if he is Maurice Beaumont, and Pop Voodoo answers affirmatively while offering them African ginger. Kimble identifies himself as a patron who came to have his fortune told. They brush this aside and tell Pop that they've heard reports he runs an illegal clinic. Pop denies this as they rip open boxes in the back, finding nothing medical. Now, I don't know much about police procedure (and I'm certainly not learning anything more by watching this show), but you'd think that between the dad from Family Matters, the cop from Die Hard, and the holding cell cop from Ghostbusters, one of them would know they couldn't search without a warrant. There's a tense moment as one of them kicks a pair of medical shears aside but doesn't notice it. Finding only dried banana leaves and gris gris dolls, they are thwarted, so they leave. One cop says, "There oughta be a law against all this voodoo crap!" And I go to the study to make a voodoo doll for cops who use "voodoo" and "crap" in the same sentence.

As they prep for the next day, Nettie asks where Kimble served. "Fort Meade," he tells her (ahem, that's exactly where the National Security Agency is located). Nettie tells him she has a friend who served in the army, and Kimble knows a lot more than he does. Kimble asks about Nettie's medical background, and she tells him she went on house calls with her mother. Kimble asks if her mother was a doctor, and Nettie tells him that her mother didn't have to be a doctor because she didn't need machines or tests to tell her what was wrong with people. Kimble starts to apologize for misapprehending her mother's profession, but Nettie interrupts him, telling him that her mother died in a hospital, surrounded by doctors who didn't bother to talk to her or explain anything about her condition. Ah, the cozy coldness of an HMO. Nettie tells Kimble that her mother looked up to doctors her whole life but died disillusioned by their distance, and that while Nettie herself may not know everything about medicine yet, she knows how to care for her patients. Kimble goes to collect his pay from Pop, and finds him packaging up a charm for one of the cops who tried to bust them earlier. The cop asks snidely how the fortune went. "Unlucky in love and the law," Pop answers for him, "unlike you." The cop apologizes for not calling ahead as per usual, but he's got a new partner because the chief thinks he stole cocaine from a drug bust. Pop asks how long he's going to be paired up with the "Girl Scout," and the cop shrugs, saying it's only until the chief is placated once again. Then he asks, "Where's your pretty daughter at?" Pop gives him A Look. Oh. I get it. They have a crooked cop working for them because he's got a thing for Nettie. Yeah, that'll work out real well. The cop goes to the back and tries to get Nettie to go out to dinner with him. She's clearly not game. Pop explains to Kimble that "Hank" is the reason they've stayed clear of the law for so long. Then he tries to give him one fifty for the day. Kimble reminds him that the deal was for two hundred, and Pop winks, saying he was just checking to make sure Kimble was paying attention. Hank brushes by Kimble, knocking his sheaf of money to the ground. Helpfully, Hank leans over and picks up a few bills and says, "You oughta be more careful, Doc." Pop and Kimble glare as Hank pockets the money.

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The Fugitive




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