304 One Strobe Over the Line

One Strobe Over the Line

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Al's Place Bartender
Staff member
One Strobe Over the Line
June 15, 1965

New York City, New York

As a high-fashion photographer, Sam leaps in to keep a model from overdosing on a combination of pills and alcohol.

Written by: Chris Ruppenthal
Directed by: Michael Zinberg

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yes it was an adverage episode but i loved how Sam handled Edie though the whole thing especially the night scene when he had to wrestle her to the ground for the pills she snuck.

oh and it was funny how Al was all offended when Sam told Edie that he was his dog.
Yeah, this ep isn't all that great, but it's not bad either (then again, is there a bad one?). I agree, the night scene where she goes looking for the pills is a good one, and I love the whole bit where Sam has a "cousin in Elk Ridge named Sam" bit. And all the cats...i'm a cat person, lol.

Samantha Beckett
I would say this episode was good ,not Average. I liked this episode pretty much. I think Chris Ruppenthal gave us a simple story,but he wrote it in a very interesting and touching way.
However i thought ,that the actress that played Edie didn't do a very good job- in one scene she was good and in another scene she was really disappointing. BTW she looked much better when they didn't put so much make up on her face.
And about the scene before the scene sam's leaps out(When everone left Helen)...Chris could spare us this scene,in my opinion.
Not my all time favorite episode, but a good one. The scene where Edie and Sam are wrestling for the pills definitely adds some spice to the story. :) It's admirable how Sam doesn't take advantage of the situation.
Very good episode that most of the time relied on suspenseful drama. Very well-written. I never thought that the actress who played Edie was so bad, in fact she portrays one of my favorite characters. It's very understandable for her to be switching from one mood to another all the time because of all the stress and the pills, etc. Hellen was was a bit two-dimensional and never liked her, anyway, but, for some reason, I liked the character of Byron a lot.

My favorite part: When Sam's walking Edie back and forth and also talking to her so she can't pass out. He tells her about his best friend in the farm, a dog named Al.

A scene that proves Chris is great at writing suspense: Of course the one where Sam tries to take the pills away from Edie. Another one: When Sam has the confrontation with Hellen the first time while they're still at the restaurant.

By the way, all those cats were very annoying. An "ohg" moment. A sort of a cliched move from Chris' screenplay just to get his point across that Edie was so alone in life.

My rating: Good.
Did anyone else think that the scene towards the beginning with Sam talking to Edie at her home felt like it went far too long. Yes, it served its purpose of establishing Edie as being lonely and far from home, Sam feeling awkward around such a pretty woman, and letting Edie share her dreams; but it really feels like they were just trying to fill out the episode. I don't know how I would do it otherwise, as everything that was revealed was important for the rest of the episode, but I just find scenes with long stretches of dialogue to be lazy writing. The whole stuff with the lion also felt like it was just there to add a bit of drama, but did not really add anything to the story.

However, this is no fault of the actress - Marjorie Monaghan was brilliant when she had to act like she was going through withdrawals, a very difficult sensation to pull off on screen. It was her acting, and the theme of drug abuse which made me vote Good.
I liked all the cats (even the lion), but I'm a cat person. And that leads me to one unanswered question: What happened to Edie's cats? She just flies away to Indiana and abandons them all?

The actress who played Edie did a wonderful job playing the withdrawals, and actually if you watch closely enough, she did well playing someone *on* the drugs, as well.

I rate this episode as Good.
I found this episode enjoyable on multiple levels.

1. The lead actress gave a fantastic performance emotional and situational and her character, a young woman enduring a career that made her miserable and ill to support her family was remarkable and sympathetic.

The scenes during her withdrawals, particularly when the hysteria allowed Edie to briefly hear Al and she tried to sneak pills she'd kept hidden in the kitchen were intriguing and powerful.

There was just one flaw when the drugs slipped into her coffee were revealed.

Helen: "I--I have her some black beauties and some doors and fours!"
Al (consulting the handlink): "Black beauties are uppers, doors and fours are downers".

I researched it some time ago and could have sworn I'd addressed it here, doors and fours are not downers but painkillers which seem somewhat nonsensical as part of the cocktails Edie was regularly given.
I'm no drug expert but the objective was to raise her energy level and give her a beautiful glow so where to painkillers fit in?

Helen did, however, seem pleased with the unusual high that was achieved, were the painkillers perhaps to boost the black beauties?

Could she have caught on to the detox and/or have wanted to overdose Edie?
She did express that she was displeased with Edie's behavior, perhaps she wanted to move on to the next model and the last time she switched models was after she'd overdosed her previous one who fortunately survived without Sam's interference but promptly switched managers.

2. Sam's connection to Edie and how it allowed him to be a fraction of himself was nice because we got to learn a few things about Sam such as that the Becketts had cats (interesting after his thoughts went to a dog in 'Disco Inferno') and that a unique attack of acute foot-in-mouth syndrome forced him to have to anchor it by pretending to be his own cousin was amusing.

The periwinkle comment, in particular, felt kismet to me and I believe Sam felt it as well, he implied as much when he admitted that he'd wanted to have sex with her.

TBH though, I'm hoping Edie didn't meet 'cousin Sam Beckett' in Elk Ridge as that would have been one hell of an awkward conversation.

3. Al's humor just pulled it all together, from hoping Sam was there to get Sports Illustrated to shoot their first swimsuit addition to his adlibbed comment against styrofoam cups and offense to Sam's referring to him as his dog.

That final moment when Sam watches Edie leave and tells Al:
"She's going home."
might just be one of the most powerful moments in the series. The longing in his expression and his tone stings me every time I watch this episode.

Overall, a very well done episode.
Season 3 hits a slight stumble here. I don't have anything really against One Strobe Over the Line, it's just that it's one of the most forgettable episodes in the entire series. When I recently re-watched this episode I did enjoy a lot of parts in it.

First of all, I liked Edie. She's a well written character who the audience will quickly care about. This, in turn, elevates Helen as a character. It helps that the actress who plays Helen relishes every bit of screen time she gets. She's easily one of the best 'lesser' villains we ever had on the show. The only problem I have with the dynamic between them, though, is that the actress who plays Edie isn't very good, in my opinion. Some of the episodes best moments were often ruined by the fact her acting just wasn't up to scratch.

I did love the whole battle of wills between Sam and Edie and her desperation for the pills. Sam walking her up and down until she was in the clear was another highlight, along with the cats (as a cat lover myself, Edie would be my kind of gal). The scene with the big cat, though...felt tacked on. That whole bit with the lion just didn't really feel as though it belonged in the episode somehow.

My rating. Average. I wonder what happened to Edie's cats when she left? This part bugged me, too. A decent episode overall, though.