The Laser SharkTM Award
I was worried that the inaugural Laser Shark Award would be its last. Gordon Redding set the bar pretty high and I wasn’t sure any of our Season Three baddies were up to the challenge.
Gordon Redding using the baddie phone and admiring his Laser Shark Award
So, Gordon Redding spends 6 years in prison plotting to avenge his brother’s death. And then he hires Karen to shoot Treloggen, Creadle and Lee Stetson, from a distance. The End. JUST KIDDING!
No, that plan is way too easy and would actually succeed.
A much better way is to pay for Karen’s plastic surgery so she looks like Amanda, have her study Amanda’s habits for months, even down to duplicating those fugly earrings, have her take Amanda’s place and seduce and kill everyone at point blank range.
And when RealAmanda returns early from her camping trip and Karen decides Gordon has to kill her does he:
a. kill her with poison gas or
b. simply knock her out with sleeping gas and hope she gets bitten by a non-poisonous Milk snake? ( I hope he kept his receipt so he could get his money back at the pet store.)
How did he even get a milk snake and knock out gas on such short notice? Nowadays, we could just use Amazon Prime, but back in the 80s? You had to know a guy, who knew a guy…
FUN FACT: Did you know coral snakes fart with a popping sound for defense? Neither did I. See, SMK is educational as well as entertaining! (for more information on snake farts/cloacal popping see http://www.anapsid.org/snakefart.html )
But luckily for all of us, there were enough convoluted episodes in Season Three to give out the award.
Krutiov (current Silver Teaspoon recipient) was in contention, because of all the degrees of freedom involved.
Krutiov manipulated Valentine (by wearing blue suits? I think Krutiov’s master manipulation of Valentine just involved waving a lot of money in front of his face) to manipulate Tony to get to Maria Van Klaussen. It was pretty far-fetched and you just know Krutiov really enjoyed the challenge of rewriting Tony’s script to get it done (maybe Krutiov is also a frustrated playwright?) But it is not so impressive if you consider that Tony really didn’t love Maria, he loved his play so it wasn’t much of a stretch to get him to betray her and his country. Now if Krutiov was able to manipulate Walter to betray Maria, the woman he loved, then that would have been an impressive feat indeed.
And, one of the considerations of the Laser Shark Award is there has to be a simpler way to get it done. If the KGB had grabbed Dr. Van Clausen, having the top Star Wars expert suddenly going missing would have definitely been noticed. If Krutiov’s plan had worked, then Maria would have spilled the secrets with no-one the wiser. I am assuming part of the plan was also to kill Tony and make it look like a suicide. (Those press reviews can be so unkind)
Serdeych (We’re Off to See the Wizard) was also in contention.
we finally see “Dorothy” and Serdeych
Melissa (I think it was Melissa) wondered if the Russians were going to take top prize, it’s certainly looking that way but the plot is just too complicated and unfocussed for me to really care. I even watched it again and nope, still don’t care, though I understand if you feel differently. Maybe it was Lee coming quite uncharacteristically undone and blaming Paul for everything bad that ever happened, the fact we didn’t see Serdeych until quite a bit into the episode, or the screaming clues on Serdeyich’s identity that no one picked up on kind of make me feel ‘meh’ about the episode.
Lee: Hi Paul, How’s it going?
Paul: Not good Lee, I’m still trying to find that no-good nasty Serdeych .
Lee: Yes, he sure is heartless. Remember the good old days, in the Oz network and we had Tinman infiltrate the Russians pretending to be on their side? Wow – I wonder who betrayed us to the Russians, it is not like any of us in the Oz network had any way of regularly communicating with them. Paul, why did you give him the code name Tinman, anyway? We all can guess why you tagged me with “Scarecrow”.
Paul: No, actually it was the Russians that gave the Tinman his codename.
Lee: Whoa – that’s pretty wild. I wonder why they named him that. Did Tinman have a heart condition? Because, you know, in the book, the Tinman didn’t have heart.
Paul: Not that I know of. I am still wondering who betrayed us. That was pretty cold and heartless.
Lee: Maybe it was the Cowardly Lion. With a code name like I am not surprised he didn’t last long in the business.
SIGH. Where is the light bulb moment when you need it? And I won’t even go into Lee’s use of phrase “100% correlation”
Yes, I know Tinman was supposedly blown up at the landing strip, but come on! It’s not like you’ve ever heard of people coming back from the dead. For heck’s sake, you’ve even faked your own death.
He does get points for using a doppelganger (which, though not necessary, certainly works in his favour for a Laser Shark Award.) It just seems too random for the coveted top prize.
Without further ado I present the Laser Shark Award to…..
Gregory (Tale of the Dancing Weasel and Wrong Number)
In the five short months since the airing of “Tale of the Dancing Weasel”, Gregory has
a) been in a Soviet prison for six months
b) blackmailed a high ranking Soviet Politburo official to get released
c) shaved his beard
d) moved back to D.C. to be closer to his tailor (no BadlyDressedBadGuy here!)
e) got his realtor’s license
f) ‘convinced’ the people across the street from the Townes to move (Oh my gosh, I hope they are okay!)
g) fed false information to Rhonda (Oh No! I just realized Lee’s family has been compromised. EEK!)
and maybe even…
h) arranged for Abernathy to get food poisoning / “Turkish Flu” so they could grab Francine instead (hey – his plot is so convoluted and far-fetched, why not throw that into the mix.?)
Phew! That man gets things done. I am happy if I remember to put my laundry in the dryer.
My only regret is I shaved my beard.
The plot gets WAY more complicated than this, but I am willing to entertain the thought that Gregory was putting this in motion for a long time, even before “Tail of the Dancing Weasel”, he strikes me as a ‘many irons in the fire’ type of guy.
Now here is where it veers into Laser Shark territory.
I am not sure where or how he found a Towne lookalike but really, what was the point (other than for Laser Shark purposes)?
From what I can make of this mess, the US government was supposed to believe that Towne was really a KGB agent (who did not create or have access to secret codes or algorithms that the United States used) This supposed KGB agent and respected professor would happily do his mathing bit in the hopes he would develop a theorem, submit it for publication and wait to see if his formulas get classified for being too close to the real thing so he could run those over to the Soviet embassy. Seems like a needle in a haystack to me.
And I don’t really understand the need for the Wally Tuttle persona and putting Towne’s fingerprints and fibers in the condominium and faking his death notice. Just plant evidence that Towne is KGB and grab him. Or knock him out and slip him some déjà vu drug or whatever Frank Duran used. Easy Peasy and no one is the wiser.
No, I think Gregory loves the thrill of the game so much, he couldn’t resist a plot (the more convoluted the better) to get the best of Billy. If Gregory were playing chess, not only would he be thinking 5 moves ahead in the current game, he would be plotting his moves 5 games from now. Until we met again, Billy Melrose!
A worthy Laser Shark winner. (except for the fact he tried to have Harry V. Thornton killed, that was not nice.)
A huge thank-you to all of you for tuning in, and of course, my undying gratitude to IWSOD and this wonderful blog.
Please share any thoughts you have about whether Gregory was truly deserving of the Laser Shark Award!
Until we met again, ta ta for now!