Okay, I didn't. I've been distracted the last week. I was haunted by the idea that there was something I wanted to get done, but nothing clicked. But something needed to dealt with, and I had no bills due. And then it finally hit me Tuesday. ...Which is apt with the story of this episode.
So it's time to move on from bad doctoring to bad pugilism in this episode.
Let's take a look once again at Friday the 13th the Series.
Time to get into the ring with "Shadow Boxer".
Boxing, which gives us a limited number of choices for a cursed item. Evil mouth guard? Sinister ringside bell? Haunted shorts? Ah, gloves, of course.
The cursed gloves of a famed fighter. Something that can give you an edge in taking a guys head off, in and out of the ring.
The show opens on a gym full of boxers...doing boxer things. Hey, I doubt the writer of this episode knows much about boxing either, outside of Rocky and Raging Bull. And to show that, as the camera pans through the gym, we hear a wonderful impersonation of Mickey, from the Rocky movies. He's goading a fighter on to fight harder. This is Manny, of Manny's Gym. He's working with his prized fighter, Kid Cornelius.
|"Come on! Punch this bag like it's every writer that's killed off your|
character on a show."
Watching all of this is one bitter Tommy Dunn (I don't think Bitter is his fighting name.). He works at the gym, sweeping and cleaning up after everyone. But he wants more. Too bad he's a failed fighter, with lousy fighting skills and more losses than anyone else. He's taken far too many blows to the head.
That might make you think he'd get some sympathy, but no one respects him. You see, he was also muscle for a loan shark for some time. If his lousy attitude wasn't going to turn people off, his history of breaking legs does.
Tommy wants his shot at glory though. He thinks it's due him. But Manny isn't interested in his pipe dreams, which Tommy chooses to read as yet another person not giving him the respect and support everyone owes him.
Tommy goes in Manny's office and picks up some old gloves he has, owned by a former champion fighter (enter the curse object). He wants to use them. They make him feel special when he touches them.
Manny tells him to leave the gloves and get out. But Tommy says that the gloves are special, and will help be the fighter he should be. Seems he is getting a vibe from our cursed item.
He also points out that Manny is just leaving the gloves in a box, unused. That makes me wonder what Manny knows about the gloves. Does he know the trouble they cause, and he's trying to keep them out of use? Has he used them to help out his gym, or himself?
And is what Tommy is feeling unique, or does everyone sense the curse? As I've wondered before, does it call only to those that are corrupt or needy enough to be drawn in? We'll consider that some more later in the show.
Of course Tommy quickly steals the gloves, and tries them out. Once they're on, things start to change. His hands are pulled towards the wall, where he makes contact with his shadow. Sadly, we don't get a Wonder Twins montage now, instead the shadow just steps off the wall and heads out.
|"Wonder Mook powers! Activate!"|
I have to think he appreciates what's about to happen, and doesn't care, as long as he get's his.
So Tommy begins to workout, battering a punching bag. And his shadow? It goes out on the town.
It has one thing on it's...mind? Manny.
So it stalks him through back alleys...and posing a lot behind him. Even his shadow is an idiot.
|Look out, Manny! It's Donkey Kong! And he thinks your Mario.|
Over at Curious Goods, it's time for the team to be drawn in. For once it isn't a matter of seeing clues in the newspaper. Rather Manny's widow calls up looking to sell some of the memorabilia that Manny had collected over the years. She knew to call them, as he'd bought some of it from the store, back in the good old days.
And seeing as the gloves are in the list of cursed items, they better find them.
They head to the gym to look around. And Ryan comments that he used to box in high school...
I'm not buying it either.
They start looking around, and talk with his widow, but there's no sign of the gloves.
|"Well, if you can't find those gloves, we do have some dusty old |
sankara stones and arks."
|"Don't mind me. I'm just getting a shot of your best feature."|
As she does this, Tommy decides to hit on her. He's got a lot of new swagger, still no class though. He also has a fight that night,
Before the fight, Tommy talks with a fighter who picks on him, outside the gym. Tommy lets the guy mock him a little, then points and laughs at the guy. (He is really creepy giddy as he walks away from the guy.) I think we see our next victim.
Also, he seems to be picking someone to be murdered, for his own glory.
Inside the gym, Tommy readies for the fight, sending off his shadow, he leaps in the ring.
|No, Tommy. You fight that guy behind you...Sigh."|
Still, he is seeming impervious. Or, he's taken so many punches to the head in his life, they don't really register anymore. It's 50/50.
But the strategy works, as he's unphased, and he takes down his opponent with a K.O. Outside, Tommy's intended target has been pummeled to death. (It actually is a nice effect of the curse. The murders happen while you are somewhere else, usually with an audience.)
|His other glove says LOVER on it.|
The team decide to search his apartment for the gloves, but he's at home, making that a hard task. Micki comes up with a plan. Lure him out.
|"Yeah. Could you not paw me like|
your a gorilla?"
|"Being threatening isn't charming."|
Yet again, someone hasn't given Tommy what he thinks he deserves. He is whiny, isn't he?
Tommy runs off in a pissy huff. Getting back to his apartment, Tommy finds Jack and Ryan...trying to hide behind a tiny lamp. Guys? Really?
|"No way he can see us, Jack. My eyes are closed."|
|"Fair warning. I did box in high school."|
In response, Micki tries the classic anti-Gremlin ploy. Camera flash attack.
|"Have a Kodak moment, shadow!"|
As she continues to use the flash, Tommy becomes more disoriented. This gives Ryan an opening to fight back. He isn't able to get the gloves away, but he does get out of the apartment alive.
Micki describes the shadow that attacked her. Based on this, Jack surmises that the shadow splits off the person and acts on the worst desires of a person, killing.
|"If I had bigger hair, would it help?"|
As they talk about this, Kid Cornelius is listening and hears them say that Tommy killed Manny. Incensed at the idea, he challenges Tommy to a fight that night, so he can get revenge.
The trio decide to take advantage of this opportunity to take down Tommy. Jack goes to Tommy, and tells him that he knows that he stole the gloves. He says he will keep quiet if he gets a payoff. Jack does this assuming it will make him the primary target of the shadow.
So Tommy gets in the ring to fight, and his shadow heads outside to get Jack.
|"This is gonna go down like in Rocky." "You know the white |
guy lost that fight, right?"
And inside the ring, the disoriented Tommy gets pummeled by Cornelius.
Tommy's knocked out, and Ryan leaps into the ring to tear off the gloves.
Well, that's an easy end, right? Wait, we have 10 minutes left, and the baddie hasn't been made to pay...more than getting pummeled.
At the shop, Micki is annoyed that Tommy won't face justice for the murders. But there is no way to show he is the killer. Frustrated, Micki heads to bed.
|"You know, not all knife wielding|
Tommy demands that the gloves be returned to him. When Jack and Ryan appear, he sends Ryan to get them from the vault, while he holds Micki and Jack.
While they wait, Tommy gets more and more aggressive, threatening to cut Micki, then moving to stab Jack. He keeps growing more agitated, moving towards killing them.
It seems likely he will murder them all.
Ryan races back up, and offers Tommy the gloves. But there is only one glove there.
The other glove is on Ryan's hand, which he uses to immediately sucker punch Jack...
|"Not to worry, I have a brilliant plan."|
But this sets off the shadow, which attacks Tommy. Ryan continues to punch Jack, and the shadow bashes Tommy.
|"Oh! So now even my own shadow betrays me!|
|"Whatever happens, Micki, never give Ryan any |
So they call an ambulance and take him off.
They're a little vague about what happened to Tommy. Is he dead? Is he in a coma? Is he permanently hospitalized?
All we learn is that doctors had learned he had severe damage from all his fighting, and he was a ticking time bomb.
So they say "it" isn't Ryan's fault.
|"Ryan? You better pray I never get my hands on a cursed|
Did the gloves call Ryan when he got them? Did they goad him to put them on and take down Tommy, using Jack as a punching bag? Did they take advantage of his fear and desperation?
Maybe they did.
He rationalized what he was doing after Tommy was knocked out, but he was pretty passionate while he was whaling on Jack, screaming at him to get up. He might not have been all there once the gloves were activated. He does seem possessed. (He was also not joking about using them again at the end of the episode. He seemed very bothered for once about what had happen.)
Whichever way it worked out, it was a lesson. Also, it's the first time we see the trio use a cursed item in there work. That's a very slippery slope with some "useful" items they will be acquiring.
Overall, the episode is creepy, but a little flat. It feels somewhat uninspired. Maybe the setting of the gym wasn't used as well as it could have been used.
Still, the gloves sending out a killer shadow was interesting. As is the ending with them turning the cursed item on the villain. It makes for a nice twist.
But like the gym, the impact of being tempted, and using, the gloves didn't get attention or use that would have helped the horror. If Ryan had used the gloves by the 30 or 35 minute mark, then Micki and Jack could have been left to deal with Ryan and the repercussions. Maybe they have to talk him down, or help him fight the lure of the gloves.
Heck, they could have started the show with the Tommy already having the gloves, and be drawn in by the murders occurring around a local rising fighting star. Then they very early on get the gloves. When Tommy chases them into an alley, Ryan is scared and uses the gloves. Thinking he's killed Tommy, and under the influence of the gloves, he flees. Then most of the episode is Ryan's struggle (and a view of how the cursed items affect people), and Micki and Jack trying to find and save him.
This isn't the best of this series. But if you wanted to see some horror/boxing mixture, this may fill a need.
Still, if you want to take a look at this episode...
Next time it's time for some killer...mulch? We'll have to wait and see, huh?