Reviewed: The Hand of Saint Sebastian
Contributor: The Polaroid Stalker
Synopsis: Frank joins Peter on a quest to Germany, where the Group patron seems obsessed with the location of an ancient holy relic. Meanwhile, other forces seem intent on the destruction of them both.
The Stalker's Review: What an episode! Following the flawless "The Curse of Frank Black" comes this episode, one of the more compelling and unique episodes of the show to date.
"The Hand of Saint Sebastian" turned everything we thought we knew about the nature and meaning of the Group upside down. Fresh, shocking and providing more insight into Peter Watts than we'd seen thus far in Season Two, this episode also showed us the smooth, flawless veneer of the Group hides corruption -- not to mention, evil.
Previously, the Group's foes have been limited to Legion and the more-than-likely insignificant vessels they occupy and manipulate on our own. But, apparently, men are still selling their souls after all these centuries. Great stuff.
But even though I'd consider this episode a classic, it suffers from all sorts of problems. The worst: the German cop, Heim, who obsesses over American cop shows. Even worse, his thick accent rendered roughly half of his dialogue illegible, meaning he morphed basically from insipid to incoherent. Thank God for captioning.
Roedecker! Ah, how long it's been since we've seen him! After his much-lauded (by me) appearance on "The Beginning and the End" and his average performance in "Sense and Antisense," I had thought we'd seen the last of the character. But no! We get to see him again. He's original, and has got a real Charlton Heston film fetish. How many times has someone else used the term "Babe-alicious?"
But another problem involves Frank. He says, in one scene, "The dead can't speak." After "The Curse of Frank Black," he should KNOW the dead very well do speak. He has personally spoken with the dead, so he shouldn't be this stubborn. The dead speak all the time.
This episode poses a couple of questions. Back in 998 AD, the Provider (aka the turncoat) says, "They know. They have the blessing of the church." The Roguewriter is right. Who *is* "they?" Is it the first beginnings of the Owls and Roosters schism? Or could it be some third party? My theory: the former. I think the Fugitive was a Rooster, and that his "friend" was a secret Owl. So, who does Cheryl Andrews (who seems to be the turncoat in the present) work for? I guess she's an Owl, because she attempted to stop Peter in his quest (and thereby the Roosters).
Overall, I think this episode's a winner. I truly enjoyed this episode, and I think it's great. It may be flawed, but it's still one of the classic "MillenniuM" episodes of the series.
My rating: Five mummified Group members out of five.
-- The Stalker, who possesses the Hand of Saint Sebastian now... Kidding, folks.