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Beware Of The Dog

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Guest chrisnu

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The thought that's struck me about Michael Beebe's situation is that he was only focussed on getting away from all the bad things he perceived in his previous environment, and not interested in integrating into the environment he moved to – ultimately to having no understanding of his new environment. One member posted further up on the thread that although Beebe moved to a rural area he still wanted all the trappings of life in a city, including a very large satellite dish.

When Frank says that he's from Seattle, Beebe's response is: "Seattle. Mmm. Grande half-caff non-fat latte." As though a coffee shop is one of the important aspects of living in a city. He then goes on to say that he bought a ten-acre plot from the Park Service – indicating that this was new land not previously built on or farmed, so a case of "townies" pushing into virgin territory but not with the intention of making it productive land, just for building a beautiful house.

I think Beebe represents the shallow, superficial type of person who thinks it's all about him and his wants. Even if Bucksnort had been a completely normal rural area, he'd still have had problems because of his lack of connection with the people already in that area. People who have a long family history of living in rural/farming areas tend to think not so much about owning land, but of being custodians of that land.

I'll have to watch this episode again, partly because I hadn't noticed the satellite dish on the Old Man's cabin. That's a possible difference between the Old Man and Beebe – communication versus entertainment?

I must give praise to the late Randy Stone in portraying this character. The last time I viewed this episode I couldn't decide whether I felt irritated by him or sympathetic towards him.

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Good to hear from both Randee and Libby!

Thanks for both of your responses. Libby, I think I see this a bit more clearly than I used to. As silly as it sounds to look for life lessons in the simbolisum of a tv show..... This episode so spoke to me through the years (this one, and Luminary! oh, and TCOFB and MOTC...LOL) that I've looked for possible insight into my own life that may be embedded within. There's a REASON I named my home/farm "Bucksnort", after all! Now... reflecting on your insights, I think I see it in a new light. I've always felt like an "outsider" in my home town, and even began to have problems with dogs, not long before Terry and I bought our house in 2008. "There will always be another dog." kept coming to mind. When we moved, I feared that I'd be an outsider still, like Mike. Though I love nature, and the quiet life out in the country, I do not share the same ideals, prejudices, and (forgive me for being so judgemental) ignorance of the people in my home town. When we moved, the area we moved to was even MORE rural, and I feared I'd forever be a "city" type person, trying to escape into the country. Yet, I made friends in the new area quite easily, and was working on becoming more of a part of the community....and was THRILLED by it, before everything fell apart. I guess I'd wondered all this time if everything failed because I did not belong there, EITHER, and if I was just as cursed as Mike Beebe. This has given me some reassurance. Thank you, and I think I'll watch it again now, with these ideas in mind! thanks.gif

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Ghostmojo

Well this episode did rather baffle me when I first watched it. I get the 'balance' thing that is going on - but there is an element of pointlessness to it somehow. OK we can see that the dogs avoid certain areas - as if by mutual consent, and we get the 'newbie' yuppie type incursion issue - but the townsfolk themselves have been muttering about the growing problem irrespective of all of this.

It has a flavour of Twin Peaks to me. That show also liked to deliberately baffle its audience without much hope of a pay-off.

It also seemed to embrace more of the stylings of the XF as the season got underway. An example of this was the use of innocent and bland pop or soft rock music. This happened a lot in the XF. And when it did, you invariably realised it was being done as a sardonic counterpoint. In other words, when the melodic crooning starts - you know something truly awful is about to happen. Remember the XF episode Home? That was a classic montage of these ideas.

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Wow Howard, you are right about the music. I honestly never noticed that.

This episode is a very deep one, and also to some very confusing. I for one always wondered why the townsfolk didn't move away, unless of course there was some reason keeping them there. Like if they left they would upset the balance. I don't remember this subject ever being brought up and would need to watch the episode again, just to be certain.

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Guest I Made This

I like Beware of the Dog, but I sometimes feel that it came across a little as an old X File idea transplanted to Frank Black, it's got some really good stuff in it and I just love the idea that if you kill one dog another will come to take its place, but in all honesty, when I watch it, I sometimes have to think to myself why Frank Black is there and not Mulder and Scully.

Having said that, the use of music is brilliant as of course as noted, it's definitely a motif of Morgan and Wong. Doesn't Somebody Want to be Loved by The Partridge Family is used brilliantly in season four X Files episode Never Again when Ed Jerse kills his neighbour as well as the classic use of Johnny Mathis in Home.

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I have to say that I missed a lot of the deeper meaning of this episode when I first saw it on television. It wasn't until I watched it again on dvd that I understood how life altering this was for Frank. I loved season one--please don't think I didn't--but up until now Frank has been going from crime to crime--using his gift to capture killers--and while he is gaining knowledge about evil, he is still kind of meandering. That changed when he found the Old Man's cabin. From that first jolt of awareness when he walked to the edge of the circle and confronted the dogs and his fear he had a purpose--a side to fight on. I may be imagining it or projecting something that isn't so, but it seems as if he is revitalized by his meeting with the Old Man. At the end when Frank tells Mike that he has to leave the house it seems to me that he has a strong resolve.

I did think it was like an X-File episode at first, but thought that perhaps the lightness of it at first disguised the coming darkness. Just my thoughts.

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