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Old 09-16-2013, 03:46 AM   #9
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mexico City (D.F.)
Posts: 135

Judging by all the votes I've seen on this episode, I'm on a vast minority here, but I thought this episode was excellent.

If they ever told you that QL was a show with very light-hearted episodes, like most of season 1, and you didn't know about this show at the time and then you came and saw this episode, you would've thought they lied to you. That was not my case, of course, but it's just a thought to show how I believe the tone of these series changed drastically as time progressed.

"Rebel Without A Clue", even with the funny title, comes hard!!! While it may be a parody or an homage to a movie I've never seen, "Rebel Without A Cause", the subject line here is very serious to the point of uneasiness. Randy Holland and Paul Brawn, not my favorite writers, surprisingly manage to not glamourize the subjects of freedom and violence in that way of life on the road and they handle them instead with a good sense of reality. Of course there has to be humor (Jack Kerouac himself and many of Al's lines), of course there have to be over-the-top moments to ease the tension a little, but most of the time everything was very suspenseful to the point of thinking that, at some moment, not even Sam is going to be safe. All the guys who played the violent bikers, as so over-the-top as they may have seemed, were actually very believable and menacing.

Things I disliked: Ernie was portrayed as a bit of a goody-two-shoes. Violent bikers there or not, being like Ernie is a bad combination in a place like that. It makes him easy prey for bullying and for others to easily take advantage of him. Not exactly a two-dimensional character, but most of his faults rely on the actor who played him, I think: He played him almost as when he played that other guy in "Pool Hall Blues". He was more tolerable here because of the background we learn on the character, but overall I thought it was just an OK job.

Another thing: Becky is so naive and her "poetic" and "literary" nature blinds her so much to the point of almost getting herself killed for that. I know that without her character being that way we probably wouldn't have the development of this story, but sometimes I couldn't help getting a bit annoyed by her. She wanted to act so rebel and talked about things like living and grooving and moving and the first thing she paid attention was to the looks themselves, like to that bad guy she was with. He almost raped her and was constantly abusing her mentally, which is way worse than any physical pain, and she still found the way to make excuses for him probably just because he was hot and was considered the boss of the gang. Even when Ernie and Sam looked after her, she wasn't almost convinced that their way was the right choice. Not something from a true rebel or a true writer. She was quite foolish, even for the age she was supposed to be.

Another thing: Sam telling Jack it is his fault and his responsability because he wrote that book. Something quite immature and seen with a very one-dimensional perpective, which is a bit surprising coming from Sam. Not competely misunderstood, either, because he was saying that out of desperation, but still. Loved the immediate response from Jack.

My favorite part: Jack Kerouac's last words to Becky. My favorite scene: When Sam kicks their violent butt. Put 'em in place!!! Awesome!

My rating: Excellent.
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