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Old 09-09-2019, 04:14 PM   #38
Imaging Chamber Technician
chris-oates's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: England.
Posts: 81

Well, what can be said about Shock Theater. Without a doubt this is one of the very best episodes of season 3, and definitely makes my overall top 20 episodes list (very close to top 10). Shock Theater is a very heavy, dark episode. On the whole, those kind of episodes are not my favourites, but here I think it's necessary.

I've seen people describe this episode as a clip show kind of thing, where a season finale recaps on previous episodes with flashbacks. In a way it's kind of true, but only to a certain degree. Sure, we're reminded of previous episodes with Sam taking on different identities and switching from one personality to another, but I don't think it's necessary for someone to have seen all the previous episodes before watching this one.

The main pull of this episode to me is the performances put it by Scott and Dean. They both acted their pants off in this episode. Scott should have won his Emmy for this one. Really outstanding stuff. His bit as Jesse was a riot. Only one of two funny moments in the entire episode, but I really do love it. The ending of this episode is also heartbreaking. The moment Sam becomes Jimmy the whole episode becomes a tad hard to watch for me. The last scene is definitely the best one, especially when Sam breaks through for a second and pleads, "Save Sam." Pure goosebumps in that moment.

Dean was also great in this episode. The pain in his eyes throughout is really palpable. Of course, another great moment is the Alphabet Rap. The second genuinely funny moment of this episode. Love it when they all join in. Another quick shout out for the character of Tibby. Really liked him.

The only real downside to this episode (and something that prevents it from reaching the top 10 for me) the uncertainty for so many of the characters after Sam departs. In fact, I actually think in many ways Sam did just as much harm as good this time around. For one thing, Nurse Chatam's career would be ruined. Giving such a high voltage shock while the doctor's back was turned. It would be terrible for her. It would look like she and Butch were both trying to kill Sam (the leapee). And speaking of Sam (not our Sam, Sam the leapee), what would happen to him after this leap is over? It's clear that he would be in a much worse position than he was before. Even if he was seemingly back to normal, I don't think he'd be getting out of there anytime soon, not after all that... Even so, despite these couple of drawbacks, I still think this was a remarkable episode.

My rating. Excellent. Another great offering from Deborah Pratt. A magnificent season finale which leads us into the first episode of the fourth season, The Leap Back. Another great episode which I will be reviewing next time.
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