Sunday, January 19, 2014

Friday the 13th on Almost Monday the 13th - Episode 4 - A Cup of Time

Well, it's not Friday the 13th, but it is around the 13th of the month...That sounds good enough, right?

So let's delve back into to that series that is oh so late 80's, Friday the 13th: The Series.

Now up to this point we've covered the 1st two episodes of the series. And I would move on to the 3rd now. But, that one seems such a better fit for next month that I want to jump to the 4th episode of the series for now. Next month we'll face the Cupid Statue. This month...

"A Cup of Time".

The cursed item this time around is quite innocent seeming. It's a small ceramic  tea cup, with flowery vines along the side. What could that do?

As the story opens, we see a homeless girl, sleeping out in some park. She's asleep until someone comes upon her. A figure in a black hooded coat. So it must be someone really nice.

The girl is startled, but the stranger tries to reassure that she's just there to give her some tea. And so she takes out her brown paper bag tea carrier. In it are a thermos and a tea cup.

The girl takes a cup of tea, having the survival skills of Snow White.

And the cup reacts. Vines that decorate the sides of the cup reach out and grab her. They wrap around her hands. They wrap around her arms. They wrap around her neck.

And she's dead.

"I will destroy the Rangers!!! Whoa whoa whoa!"
Next we see a studio where a singer is recording a new song. (I'm sure it's not connected.)

And who is singing? Lady Die...Oh, that pun is just in bad taste...Wait. It's 1987. So Lady Di was actually still alive. Never mind. It's retroactively in bad taste.

Lady Die is all 80's big hair. How glorious. And she's kind of familiar...Hmm. Played by Hilary Shepard...Oh my god! It's Divatox! ...You know, from the Power Rangers? Come on! That is fun to know. She's also played Lauren on a couple of episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But, it's Divatox!!!

But that coolness is actually added to by the setup here. She's recording a song at a studio, and the setting and camera work makes me think I've stumbled onto a remake of The Pod People (MST3K).

You have a blonde sitting around in the back. You've got a guy that's traded in his Virgin t-shirt for a bolo tie. And an singer annoyed her song is getting butchered. Man, I expect Trumpy now.

"Curse those Power Rangers! They've screwed up my

"Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be teenagers
with attitude?"
 At the antiques shop, it's a normal day of waiting for another cursed item to pop up in the news, having killed someone. It's just the guys, then Micki gets back with groceries and her 80's hair.

Then a neighbor pops in with some sewing she did for the shop. It's Birdie, who's a local social worker.

Birdie eyes Jack (What woman doesn't.). She talks with the team a little, and is happy to see the business stay open in the neighborhood.

But she's also troubled by some recent deaths.

It's happening among local homeless population. They are being found strangled. And the police seem nonplussed.

So Micki and Ryan decide to check on things to help out. They go to the police station to talk with the investigating detective.

And, somehow, they are allowed into the morgue, and into where the coroner is working. And, oddly, the detective present doesn't race to kick them out.

And while the detective and coroner look at the body, Ryan snatches some of the leaves found on the girl.

Luckily these prove to be useful. Jack, using that dearth of knowledge, and collection of books, finds the leave.

It's a leaf of Swapper's Ivy. It is supposed to be extinct, destroyed centuries before. People thought is was evil. It was believed that the leaves had magical properties allowing you to trade for something you desired. (By swap we mean steal.)

And based on that, Jack finds a connected item in the sales records. A tea cup, with a ring of swapper's ivy on it. It was sold two years before to a guy named Fat Eddie.

So they go and track down Eddie, to see if he still has the cup.

At his address they find a dilapidated old apartment building. (Though the lights and electricity seem to be fine.). Searching around, they find no one. In fact it looks unlived in. But a plate of food, long long uneaten, is on the table.

And then on the foldout bed Fat Eddie. Well, the bones of Fat Eddie. He looks to have been gone a long time.

Now that's a comfy bed.

"Did I just become Carol Hoyt for a
At a nearby park, Lady Die is readying for a concert. It's a charity event for the homeless.

They are trying to get everything setup for the next night, but Lady Die is distracted, looking in a mirror. (She was also equally distracted in her earlier appearance.) She then runs off, needing to deal with something.

"Free tea? Score!"
In another area of the park, a drunk man is approached by the black hooded figure. The person sits down and offers the man a cup of tea. And he seems up to it.

What is it about tea? Is it a Canadian thing? Don't get me wrong. I love a good cup of tea. But, come on.

Before she can give it to him, an adorable urchin appears, eager to have some tea. (See!) The hooded one wants her to go away, saying it is just for adults. (Kinky tea.) But the hooded one gives the little girl a bejeweled bracelet, and sends her on her way.

As the man now drinks his tea, it's revealed that the hooded one is Lady Die. (Did that blow your mind?) And, again, drinking from the cup leads to the vines of ivy reaching out and striking. It quickly kills the man.

But there is a witness.

The next day, when the man's body is found, Birdie is called in by the police to identify the body. She does not know the homeless person. But she is bothered by the death.

Micki shows up to give her some moral support. While they talk, our little urchin pops up to ask for food. They show her some concern.

Then Birdie notices the bracelet she is wearing. She knows that. It's owned by Sara, an elderly woman that she was helping. Sara has been missing for nearly a year.

The urchin says it's her bracelet, and that she was given it. But she describes a young woman with wild hair giving it to her, not someone old. The urchin also explains that she saw the young woman give the dead man a cup of something. Then she bolts into the woods.

We also learn that Sara was Fat Eddie's sister. (That's the connection!)

In the car they hear one of Lady Die's songs come on. And Birdie remarks that it is ironic that it's based on an old nursery rhyme Sara used to sing. Know what the song it? "I'm a Little Teapot." ...Yeah. Lady Die is dominating the music charts (...of Canada) with a song about being a little teapot...Ah, public domain.

...She's the Queen of Rock thanks to I'm a Little Teapot...? (But I love the rocked out version of this rhyme in this show. It's ridiculous.)

This fact, and her ties to Fat Eddie, get Micki and Ryan thinking. Could Lady Die and Sara be one and the same?

So Ryan decides to get to the bottom of the question...with his water colors. Hey, he always wanted to get back into the arts. He ages up a poster of Lady Die, and compares it to a picture they are given of Sara. They do look similar.

But that old age picture...I don't know what it is exactly about it. Was it an after thought? I prefer some of the old age makeup from later in the show. ...But then she'll have 80's hair. And 80's hair is magic.

But it seems that the two women are the same. Micki wonders how this could be done. ...Really? You're on Friday the 13th: The Series. It's magic. It's curses. It's every episode of the show. You weren't pondering the pen that made people die last month.

Anyhow, they do have to get the cup back. So you know what that mean? It's time for Micki and Ryan to get into costume and character again.

They suit up and head to a radio station that Lady Die is getting interviewed at. Micki acts as a chauffeur.

And Ryan stretches and plays an obnoxious 80's guys.

I do like picking on how Ryan plays his undercover roles. But it seems to consistently work. And when they get to the door, security ushers them in instantly. His silly bravado works.

Lady Die is sitting in her interview, panicking. She is aging again.

And then Ryan and Micki walk in, and start asking about Sara. Security comes and finally decides to be secure. And Lady Die/Sara runs.

 As she runs out the door, she is caught by our little urchin. She stops her for a moment, and picks her pocket. (The urchin's been doing this all episode, running off with wallets. Always glad to see a kid with a skill.)

So now the urchin has the cup.

As Lady Die tries to get out of the alley, and back to the park (to get a new victim), she meets Birdie. And Birdie sees that she is Sara.

Lady Die just bolts away. But Birdie now realizes that something strange is going on .

(And, boy, this is a crowded back alley. Every character is here.)

Out in the park, Lady Die's age is starting to show more.

And she races for a drunk homeless person. She tries to rouse them, and get her tea out.

But the cup is gone. And Lady Die is freaking out.

Micki and Ryan race around the park, looking for Lady Die.

The urchin holes up in a spot where she stashes things.

And Lady Die is desperately looking for the cup, and adding on years.

"My precious."

Lucky for the urchin, Micki and Ryan find her first. They try to convince her to hand over the cup. They then offer to give her a meal, a bed for the night, and another cup.

She agrees, and they leave.

"No, Ryan. She can't go in the vault."
What a lucky victory! They got the cup. They helped the urchin. And now they can lock away the cursed cup before it can hurt anyone else...

Or, they can leave it on a desk in the front of the antique shop, and leave it be for the night...

You know, if I had to track, capture, and store cursed artifacts, I'd have a protocol. First thing would be, I don't know, secure all cursed items in your magical vault after returning to base?

Call me crazy.

Otherwise, I don't know, someone could...

Break into the low security shop.

Steal a cursed item.

And make away with it.

Maybe I'm just paranoid.

"This Birdie's gonna fly...That's hip, right?"
Oh, Birdie. To be aware, through the episode she's been bothered by her age. Ryan makes comments about old people. She tried to romance Jack a little, and he slipped away. And she's tried to act younger, but no one takes her seriously.

Now she's seen a way to have a second shot.

It will just mean someone's life.

And the Tea Fairy arrives.

So she heads to the park and finds a passed out man. She offers him a drink. A real "for adults" drinks.

And the actor playing the drunk is offering a mix of drunk, goofy, creepy, and lecherous. Is he eager for the drink, badly flirting, or menacing?

But he wants the drink. And she pours it and hands it over.
"No! You drink hooch with your pinky out."

The vines start coming out. And Birdie panics and grabs away the cup.

She decides that she can't do it. She's sad and lonely, but she can't go this far.

So, instead she and the drunk guy get plastered together.

And the next morning they are still there, and feel like new people...I don't want to know what happen over the rest of the night!

"What happens in the city park, stays in the city park."

As Birdie heads off. Lady Die watches, seeing she has her cup. And she's added plenty more years since the night before. (And the make up team have been added layers.) She's heading towards the Doctor in Last of the Time Lords territory.

Birdie calls Ryan to tell them she has the cup, and wants them to take it from her.

But Lady Die doesn't care for this and chases Birdie. She finally catches up and pounces on her. And then she smacks her in the head with a rock.

"Hey, Micki? I'm just going to pick up this potential
murder weapon and give it a look over."

The trio go to pick up Birdie, but don't find her, obviously. So they start searching.

Micki and Ryan find her. Micki check on Birdie. And Ryan...sees a bloody rock beside her...and picks it up...

What is it with some people? It's like finding someone with a knife in the back, and then touching the knife...You loose any respect you earned this episode, Ryan!

And, of course, the police pop up and arrest the pair. And Jack? He sees it all from a hidden spot above. He keeps hidden, so he can continue looking for the cup...and because he's not an idiot.

"Now I'm the only star. heh heh heh"
Well, Lady Die, is dragging herself around, looking positively "bad makeup effect ancient".

She sees a man hunched over on a bench, and offers some tea. She's not very convincing, raspomg, hunched over, and breathing hard.

She pours out some tea.

And she passes the cup, and...

"It is I! Jack the Great!"
And it's Jack! Ha ha!

He just grabs the cup, and starts running.

But he actually stops to turn, and wave the cup in the air, just to rub it in Lady Die's face. Nice.

"Suck it!"
",,,and this is why we lock up these...Damn!"
By night, Birdie is recovered, and gets Micki and Ryan out of jail. They all rush to the concert sight to try and get the cup.

But Jack catches them and tells them he already got the cup (like a boss). And then he shows them the cup...Because he hasn't taken the cup to the vault in the time since he left the park...Oh, Jack. Really?

A minute later Lady Die appears from her trailer. And I don't know if the actress is still playing or if this is just a creepy dummy. But Lady Die is a specter of her old self. And she collapses out of the trailer, dead.

And Micki, Birdie, and Ryan look on shocked.

Micki thinking, "Oh, god. Lady Die!"

Birdie thinking, "Poor, poor, Sara."

And, Ryan, thinking, "Was I fantasying about her back in the jail cell?"
Later, the urchin gets a nice new dress, and Birdie comes over to go for some tea with her. And, I guess, Birdie is going to be adopting her, or act as a foster parent for her.

Eh. At least I am relatively assured they've gotten the cup in the vault now...please.

So, the murder tool is locked.. And a homeless kid has a home, with a woman that was looking for someone to share her life with.

That seems a pretty happy ending to it all.

And even Sara have been reborn again!

...Or that might be Power Rangers again...Never mind.

It's a fun episode of the series. A simple item. A sad murderer who wants a chance at a happier life. Another person tempted to the same fate, but resisting at the last moment. And Jack knowing all.

But they really need some protocols at the shop. And people need to stop taking tea from strangers. There should be a PSA about the dangers of tea...

...Dammit! Now I'm thirsty for a mug of chamomile.

But if you are eager now to watch this episode.

See you next month, when love proves to be deadly...and evil. Toodles.

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