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Helen Cooper (Coop)



Episode Commentary:
The Knot
A review for The Knot
For those of you who don't know me, via the various Lancer sites, the following reviews were, for the most part, written during a heightened period of seismic (earthquake) activity that struck my home town of Christchurch between September 2010 and January 2012. So hopefully, that will put into context the various somewhat hysterical  references to earthquakes that are made in several of the reviews. Writing them was, in essence, my coping mechanism for dealing with my world (and house) shaking apart.  So hopefully, that will go some way to explaining my slightly, irreverent, self indulgent look at the episodes reviewed; for which I make absolutely no apology! I'm sure a shrink would have a field day...

 OK, so I rewatched this tonight...some very random observations on this episode.

I love the opening exchange between Scott and Teresa:
"Teresa, the next time you decide to take medicine to sick paiutes..."

"I know, ask Johnny or Murdoch"

"You do, I could get real angry..." Aww...Scott you are a real sweetie!! He's hot and he's bothered but heck, it feels real good doing the right thing don't it Scott?! Ok, slightly corny Mr Scriptwriter but its our Scott.... and he looks and sounds gorgeous so we will forgive you...for now...

But then we see the dastardly Blakes (who just so happen to be in the area after their recent release from Folsom prison - (pre Johnny Cash, of course, and pre Folsom prison opening…. hmmm, way to go historical researcher) gearing up to bushwhack our boy.... here we go again. Poor Scott.... groan...still, he does look gorgeous when he is unconscious.... what - you haven't freeze-framed that part? C'mon admit it...!

So we have the dastardly Blakes make a grab for Teresa while Scott is spark out on the ground. Poor boy tries to wake up but the scriptwriter wouldn't let enables the Blakes to spirit Teresa away....

So we have the three dark haired Blake Brothers and their blond Daddy (couldn't they find a dark haired actor? Ok...Mom could have been dark I guess...) and they have been in jail for 4 years and ain't seen anyone as 'perty' as I our Teresa...and we can tell Neanderthal Bill (the very whiny and typecast Tom Skerritt) is eager to get his paws on her. But Andy, (the youngest one who seemingly got all the looks AND brains of the family) has a plan. He reminds big brother of the nice warder in the prison who would get the information out of them when the nasty warders failed. Yep, Andy is going to be that 'nice' warder.

Meanwhile, our gorgeous boy has woken up - even though he has likely had a whump on the head and has a bullet graze on his arm (although somehow didn't seem to rip the shirt?!) he manages to figure out what has happened and even trails the bad guys on foot before staggering back to Lancer to raise the alarm. What a guy! Murdoch is concerned and asks if he will be all right as Scott takes a momentary breather as he grabs a carbine out of the gun cabinet. Scott responds "I'm gonna be just fine" Translation - I'm gonna get the SOB's that took my 'sister' and shot me! Well, that's my interpretation anyway...

So, back at the shack, Neanderthal Bill and failed chef Zach are none too happy that Andy seems to be charming the socks off the only gal they have seen in 4 years but Daddy Blake knows that Andy's the only chance they have of getting some ransom money so he allows Andy to enact his plan.

Meanwhile In town, Jelly has gone to round up a posse to help go after the Bad Blake boys and it JUST so happens that there are a bunch of strangers in town who are willing to forgo a night whooping it up in the saloon to go look for a complete stranger who has been kidnapped with a high likelihood that they will get shot for their troubles...yeah right Mr Scriptwriter...but, oh yeah, wait, we somehow have to wrangle things so that Andy gets mistaken for one of the posse later...hmmm...tenuous Mr. Scriptwriter, very tenuous...

Jelly is informed of these very generous strangers by a Deputy. Now I can only assume that the actor was a relation of the casting director or the script writer as only nepotism or a blind/deaf casting director could have been responsible for his taking the role. Any more wooden and he would have been cast as the hitching rail...jeez...

So the posse are on their way - Scott's tracking skills have improved ten fold (perhaps as a result of the bump on the head?) and he is able to pick up the trail in the pitch dark. Way to go Scottie! Meanwhile, Andy has gotten Teresa outside...setting things up nicely, separating him from his family so he can be mistaken for one of the posse

(again, a wee bit contrived Mr Scriptwriter...)

This is where the smelly stuff hits the proverbial fan.... Right as the posse gets into position (funny that no one hears the thunder of 20 or more horses showing up) Daddy Blake loses patience and comes right on out, just in time to see Murdoch get into position. He turns to run and raise the alarm (note, he has not reached for his gun) and one of the overly exuberant nameless posse (an 'extra' getting his big break, no doubt) shoots him in the back. That starts a shoot out - Scott gets his first shot off and does a graceful 'turn' before getting up and running - looks real good. Kinda graceful...lets rewind that part...and again...and again... where was I? Oh yeah.... So Andy is stricken that his pa has been backshot.... even though the bullet would have likely gone into the guys lung and there is no way he would really be able to gasp much out if that was the case (right Judi?) Pa still manages to get all his last words out and they are of revenge. Kill Murdoch Lancer boy, do it for ya pa.... and Andy swears he will. So Daddy Blake has served his purpose, and croaks... That's one less per diem for the set accountant to pay.... Andy gets up to go looking for revenge but steps right into the path of a bullet - takes it in the shoulder (anyone notice its ALWAYS the shoulder?!). Now that's downright careless of you Andy...but wait.... of course...the scriptwriter has a plan...silly me...

The shooting ends and Teresa comes running out and into Scott's arms
(LUCKY Girl) and is rewarded with a big hug from our boy, but, PLEASE… Couldn't the scriptwriter think of a better line to give Scott than "There, there"?! I don't think its any accident that the line is almost inaudible. I'd be embarrassed too if I had to deliver that line to comfort someone after they just got kidnapped...heck! Yep, WM, I'm feeling your pain there...

So conveniently Murdoch goes after the older two Blake's leaving Scott to look after 'Tim' (aka Andy) who, conveniently, everyone thinks was a member of the posse...aha...Mr all slots together

The only one who knows the truth (well, aside from Tim/Andy) is Teresa but she's not telling.... (Well, we still have 20 minutes of episode time to fill yet!)

Meanwhile, Back at the ranch...(just HAD to say that, sorry...)

 Scott is at the table and Tim (Andy) joins him for some coffee and choccie cake.

 Now this is where Coop gets confused (let's face it, it ain't hard being blonde and all...). Scott gets all fatherly with this lad who is what, maybe 5 years his junior - not even that? And asks the most out of place thing I have ever heard come out of Scott Lancer's mouth (aside from "There, There"). He asks, "Tim, is there anything on your mind that you'd like to talk about?" I mean what was the scriptwriter thinking?! As if Andy would say "Well, yeah, actually, I am so glad you asked, I want to unburden myself and tell you that I am actually here to kill your Dad as soon as he gets back and then abscond again with your 'sister'. Nice cake by the way, did you make it yourself…?" I mean COME ON!!

I guess I started to think, ok, our Scott's smart - he's onto this young fella, he's keeping the enemy close - keeping an eye on him...I'm ok with that IF that was the scriptwriters intent...more later....

Then Teresa comes in and Andy trots back off to beddy byes in his very fetching robe...very circa 1870...NOT!

 Teresa is understandably twitchy.... ok, hormonal. She fancies the pants off of Andy. Well, hey, we all love a bad boy after all...who can blame her? And she asks Scott "Don't you think he's well enough to leave now?" and Scott responds, "What's the hurry?"
 "Well, he's a stranger..."
 "So were the pauites, you weren't so stingy helping them..."
 But Teresa petulantly tells him its not the same...
C'mon Scott - don't you recognise a hormonal woman when you see one?! Of course you do...stupid scriptwriter again...
"Teresa, have you ever seen him before last night?"

There you go're onto it...

”The man gets shot trying to save your life and now you want to throw him out, there's gotta be a reason."
”No reason Scott" (back turned to him, can't look him in the eye.... doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out she's lying)

 Ok, now we come to another rewind moment.... the way he says "Teresa" turning her to face him and the look he gives her...Coops imagination takes over, She hears "Coop" or "Helen" (either will do) and at that point confesses all.... how could she resist? But reality clicks back in again, and you gotta admire Teresa...she denies all and I LOVE this next line (best Teresa line EVER in Lancer)

"Scott, you have a fine way about you but you shouldn't get under a persons skin" (or it could be 'sure get under a person's skin) either way it works! And he can get under my skin ANY day!!!

Now with all these clues, I am confident that our Harvard educated blond Adonis has it all figured...he next proceeds to go interrogate Andy in his room - trying to catch him out on his accent and the folk he might know back in Abilene. But he is interrupted by Teresa, coming in with yet MORE food for Andy (he's only just had a whacking great slab of choccie cake for goodness sake...!)

Scott leaves quipping "She never whipped up a meal like that for me" Well, yeah gorgeous one - she's your SISTER (well sorta) this is a beau - the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and all.... c'mon...

As soon as Scott has left she turns on him (fickle woman!) and tells him he has to leave but Andy, he ain't having a bar of it (well we still have about 10 minutes of screen time to fill after all...)

Meanwhile Murdoch gets back.... they have caught two of the brother's but, heck, it just so happens that the young good looking 22 year old one got away.... hmmm...light bulb moment for Scott (hang on, surely this is not so much of a revelation to him - he was already suspicious of Andy, right?)

He goes off to go see where Andy is...conveniently leaves Teresa alone with Murdoch (who is all tuckered out - bless him...)

Here Scriptwriter digs out the corniest analogy he can know the one, the wolf cub one - that you bring home but can never really tame.... can never really be anything other than what it is...a wild animal.... Murdoch's heard it all before, clearly...and starts snoring softly. Well, we can't have Teresa give the game away too soon can we? Andy hasn't fulfilled his promise to his pa yet....

Cue next scene. Andy, in fetching robe, manages to get a derringer that he happened to find just lying around and creeps up on Murdoch - who doesn't' seem fazed at all...Now Coop here has surmised that Murdoch, a smart man like his gorgeous first born, is also onto young 'Tim' Especially as he proceeds to tell 'Tim' how sorry he felt for the old man who got shot "He probably didn't have much of a life in jail and on the run. He probably loved his boys as much as I love mine but he was never able to do much for them except bring them heartache and pain." Now WHY would he say that to Tim (Andy) unless he had an inkling that he was the third brother? Just makes no sense to me...and ESPECIALLY if you consider Tim's (Andy's) response:

"Sure is hard to believe a man like you would give a hoot about a convict like him" to which Murdoch responds "Well, you just have to remember a few words. But for the grace of god..."

Everything here points to Murdoch knowing EXACTLY why the boy is there and saying what he says to point out to the boy that he knows he is a victim of his upbringing and circumstance and its not too late to change.

Doesn't stop Tim (Andy) from still fingering his derringer but THANKFULLY our gorgeous guy shows up just in time...and Andy withdraws...

This is where the scriptwriter confuses me YET AGAIN, with the following exchange between Scott and Murdoch:

"There is something about him (Tim) I don't understand..." Scott reveals his suspicions to Murdoch who responds by saying

"Scott are you trying to suggest that Teresa has brought a Blake into the house?"

"I admit it's far fetched..."

"Yes, it is, you'd better go to bed."

Heck - was the scriptwriter having a brain storm?! He writes that great scene between Scott and Teresa, a WONDERFUL scene between Murdoch and Andy and then spoils it with this!! I am beginning to wonder if this scriptwriter has a split personality... I mean, Murdoch sending Scott to bed????!!!!

This suspicion (about the brainstorm) is confirmed when Teresa FINALLY confesses to Murdoch and Scott and Scott responds "I wish I had put it all together earlier. I could have helped...." WHAT???!!!! And if that's not bad enough, both Murdoch and Scott then go onto tell Teresa under no circumstances is she to go off after Andy, THEN they turn their backs to her and start planning how they are going to sort this and just let her go running off!!! I mean like they wouldn't have seen THAT coming??!!! But no, still manage to look absolutely gob smacked when she dares to defy them and runs off!!! DOH!!! (That's called a 'Homer' moment) The writing and the direction of that scene...absolutely appalling...

So Teresa rides off after Andy but of course, we all know it'll end in tears as EB is still contracted for the remainder of the season so we know she won't be able to ride off into the sunset...

As we thought, dastardly Zach is hell bent on revenge and he spots Murdoch riding up.

Here, poor Andy gets the devil on one shoulder (Zach) and the angel on the other (Teresa) both trying to pull him from pillow to post. Zach wants him to kill Murdoch, Teresa, of course doesn't want him to (I could be uncharitable here and say its because she knows she has led Murdoch into the trap but lets just say she doesn't want to see Andy swing)

Anyway, how could Andy resist Teresa, he does the right thing and tells Zach that he can't do it. All fired with rage, Zach aims his rifle but at the last minute Andy wrenches it upwards and the errant bullet plunges unerringly into brother Bill. Oops. Naturally Zach is a little upset and goes to shoot Andy but Scott (who appears out of nowhere - go Scotty - yay!) gets Zach first.

OK, so I am almost done...(I hear the collective sighs of relief).

The scriptwriter, having sent so many mixed messages (to me at least) in this episode finally redeems themself (well, slightly) with the last line of this higgledy-piggledy script.

Teresa is all tearful and asks Murdoch if he will do what he can for Andy, as Scott leads the young man in question away...and Murdoch responds with this gem (And AD"s delivery is perfection itself)

"I think we lost something today...the child around the house."

Great line...

So, to sum up, this is a good episode for Teresa - she gets a bit more of a meaty storyline and a chance to stretch her acting chops and there are some nice exchanges - especially that one with Scott where she delivers that fantastic line. And yeah, again, Scott can get under my skin ANY time...really, I don't mind....

However, I am not convinced that the scriptwriter really knew the characters that well. Especially Scott.

And the storyline was a wee bit contrived with the script sending out far too many mixed messages...for me anyway.

Ok, I'm done. Time to go to bed...still raining...glub glub....


~ end ~

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