Damned if You Don't

by Rosebuck

Or, Don't Mess with Lucas. <g>

Man, oh, man, when you don't come through for Lucas Buck, he sure makes you pay. Lucas makes deals all the time, that's what he does, and in this ep we get to see what happens when one of those deals go sour.

A quick summary: Carter Bowen, owner of the local junkyard, owes Lucas big time. Lucas shows up, wanting to collect. He suggests that Carter's 15-year-old daughter, Poppy, come work in the Sheriff's Dept. He has a parental consent form for Carter to sign. Carter is reluctant, his own guilty conscience makes him very suspicious. When he doesn't meet the midnight deadline, his wife, Edda, ends up in the hospital from an apparent accident. Carter is sure Lucas is responsible. But Lucas cuts him a break, and drops the idea. Instead, Carter just needs to pick up a friend of the sheriff's from the bus stop, and take him home.

Meanwhile, Gail has rented a house and settled in. A bum ac unit brings her out to the junkyard, where she finds her parents' old car. Hidden inside is a key her mother didn't want Lucas to see. Lucas continues his pursuit of her, and she continues to build her relationship with Caleb by going crabbing. Caleb has a science project to do. Matt encourages him to learn the principles behind it, and Lucas encourages him to take the easy way out. Caleb manages to do both. In the end, Caleb confesses to cheating, but then shows everyone he truly learned his stuff. He gets an A.

Carter's new guest is the creepy, Wash Sutpen, a man Carter wronged 17 years ago. Wash and Poppy begin a less than innocent friendship that has Carter seeing red. Carter is sure Wash is seducing his daughter, the way he seduced Wash's daughter all those years ago. One night, he enters Poppy's room with a rifle and shoots Wash. But it isn't Wash, it's Edda. Wash disappears, Carter's arrested, and Lucas strikes a deal with TJ, Carter's assistant.

That bloody rhyme is downright creepy and sets the tone nicely for this very atmospheric ep. The midnight scene is truly suspenseful. The whole ep is loaded with great images and creepy touches. And the popsicle scene is one of the hottest I've ever seen on network tv. Whew! Anyone understand how it is that someone as skin-crawling as Wash can come off that sexy? I don't get it, but it happens.

Who is Wash? Was he really there, or still in prison? How innocent is Poppy? Has TJ followed in Carter's footsteps already? Can Gail get more annoying? Why is it that her scenes with Caleb are usually fine, but there's absolutley no chemistry with Lucas? Do you think Merlyn plays as many headgames with Caleb as Lucas does?

Last, but not least, Matt is too adorable in this ep. "That's what separates the men from the boys." (And he's right, too.) He's also very smart not to push his relationship with Caleb, giving Caleb distance, but letting him know that Matt is there if Caleb needs him.

1 Pilot2 A Tree Grows in Trinity3 Eye of the Beholder4 Damned if You Don't5 Dead to the World6 Potato Boy7 Meet the Beetles8 Strong Arm of the Law9 To Hell and Back10 The Beast Within11 Rebirth12 Ring of Fire12 Resurrector14 Inhumanitas15 Plague Sower16 Dr. Death Takes a Holiday17 Learning to Crawl18 Echo of Your Last Goodbye19 Triangle20 Strangler21 The Buck Stops Here22 Requiem

Buck MansionTrinity NewsWho Am I Floyd?Let Your Conscience Be Your GuideThe Joy of a Thousand TrumpetsTrinity Museum of (Un)Natural HistoryThere's No Such Thing as 'They' in TrinityTrail MixJohnson BridgeContact Chris

1. August 2002