If you ever wonder about Shaun Cassidy's talent, pull this one out and watch it again. I think college courses on writing for television should use it. The timing and pacing are excellent. It's witty, scary, tense, suspenseful, funny and dramatic all rolled up into one smart, slick package.
I love the bookend dream sequences. The first one is chilling. The naked Artie in the cell is a disturbing image. Why does Artie call Lucas, "Father"? We see Lucas give Artie the blade, but is this literal or figurative? I think it's figurative.
Artie's at the store, and we can tell something isn't right, even before he dickers over the tax and pulls out the gun. This ep is chock full of great AG quotes and moments. I love the cheap Korean watch that does everything except bake bread. And the use of clocks (especially the gun-shot ticking of the seconds later on) is a device that works like gang-busters in this one. Not only is the writing great, but direction and production are fab, too.
The next scene is Lucas and Ben in the car, with the classic "Who's driving the car, Ben?" exchange. Lucas also says, "I know you have the potential for greatness." I believe him. I think he not only cares about Ben, I think he believes Ben can be more, especially with a little boost from Lucas. I also think, that this is a new idea for Lucas, one that has come to him since Merlyn's murder. Until then, I think he took Ben for granted, the same way he took a lot of other things for granted. The Pilot was a big turning point for Lucas, too.
I'd like to point out that when dispatch tells them about the robbery, Ben sounds shocked about it. Trinity probably has a very low official crime rate. Lucas does know how to keep those trains running on time.
Lucas comes up with a plan to make Ben a hero. And so we have the robbery gone wrong. I checked very carefully, and I'm sure that Lucas *did not know* that Artie was Ben's brother. He's surprised when Ben reacts to seeing Artie, he is not expecting that. And he looks truly shocked when Ben tells him. What's interesting though, is that he ducks the clerk's bullet *before* the clerk shoots. Which brings me to my theory about what's going on with Lucas in this ep. I think Lucas can pick things up in people's heads. He can plant things sometimes, the way another Luke uses the force to do so in the weak-minded, and he take things out. I'm not sure, though, how much control he has over the info he gets. Sometimes, it seems like he can skim off the surface of people's thoughts, without being able to get in too deeply. That's what it appears to me that he's doing in this ep. When he shows up at the store, Artie's not thinking about his brother, Ben, so Lucas doesn't pick up on that. Alos, Lucas may not be able to focus on more than one person at a time. So, if he thought the clerk with the gun was the person he needed to tune into, then he would need Ben to tell him about Artie.
"The things I do for my people," he says as he's being led out the door. See, Lucas is willing to think about other people sometimes. <g>
There's a great moment with Lucas in the patrol car with Artie, when Lucas says, "If you're lookin' to shoot somebody, I know a much better target" and then we cut to Matt. It's a great example of the subtle humor throughout the script.
Gail does something for Caleb in this one--- she takes him to see Matt about his dreams. Why? because she's clearly over her head. She's looks so confused in this scene, like, "I don't how to handle this, you handle it." Gail's not very good at handling big emotions like the loss of a parent (probably because she's never really faced how she truly feels about her parents), which is what she thinks the dreams are about. Was this a deliberate choice when it came to her character, or just an accident because no one really knew what they wanted from her? I guess what I'm trying to say is, did the writers plan on Gail being so emotionally inaccessible?
The next flash of Caleb's dream Artie, he says "Tell your Father." Is he referring to Lucas or God?
We move on to Matt operating on Artie, and Ben's arrival. I love Lucas' line, "Was he the middle child?" Which begs the question, does Ben have another sibling? I think I feel a fanfic comin' on. ;) Lucas is also very watchful from this point on, he's very careful about what he says, and how the others are reacting around him. He's a lot of fun to watch, because we really get to see the process of Lucas doin' his thang.
hopin' y'all can start chewin' on this :)