Welcome to the Friday The 13th The Series rewatch. Each day throughout October, we’ll watch one episode of the seminal 1987 television series and tackle the highs, the lows and Micki’s hair (of course). Now step into Curious Goods and peruse our cursed antiques, won’t you?
S01E022: “The Pirate’s Promise”
Wikipedia Plot Summary: Ryan (John D. LeMay) and Micki (Louise Robey) visit a small seaside town which is haunted by the ghost of a murderous, long-dead pirate
- Director: Bill Corcoran wound up directing a number of episodes of 21 Jump Street and Wiseguy
- Writer: Carl Binder writes the first of many Friday episodes
- Famous Guest Star: Like several others, Cedric Smith is well known for his role on Avonlea
Cursed Antique of the Week: A foghorn that summons the murderous spirit of a pirate that trades his treasure for the lives of the descendants of his mutinous crew
Setting: Whaler’s Point, a town founded by pirates who became whalers
Best Death: None of them are particularly exciting, so I guess we’ll go with Fenton (Smith)’s hook to the chest
Quirkiest Add-On: Fenton and Dewey (Thomas Hauff) are revealed to be secret brothers, which is some straight up soap opera shit
Character Bits: This is the first Jack (Chris Wiggins)-free episode since “Scarecrow”
Corny Finish Line: There is no spoken dialogue; just the sound of the foghorn laid out over the image of a full pirate ship on a sea of fog, which is pretty on-the-nose
80s Fashion Closet: Ryan wears a thematically appropriate anchor sweater that is actually kind of fashionable. Less fashionable: Micki’s giant hoop earrings and corset at the end of the episode
Kissing Cousins Incest Watch: Do you think that when the cousins make their way upstairs at episode’s end, they’re going to…Oh never mind
Ugh – nothing. This episode is a total snore. I mean, at least neither Micki or Ryan winds up being the missing ancestor so we don’t have to deal with them being in any real danger.
Ok, and Angus McBride’s make-up/mask is kinda fun, albeit in a very “dollar store Halloween” kinda way.
What Doesn’t Work…
If the last episode used all of the collective tropes to deliver one of the series’ best instalments, then this one exemplifies all of its weaknesses. There’s simply nothing interesting happening here. The villain is identified at the very start, a bunch of randoms we have no interest or investment in are murdered and the explanation for what is happening is evident from very early on (and then frequently repeated ad nauseum). This means that the majority of the episode is spent simply watching Ryan and Micki (and to a lesser extent Dewey) stumble their way through a dull, predictable investigation. We’re talking lots of books. Like lots and lots and LOTS of books.
It doesn’t help that there is no way not to compare this episode to the film that so clearly inspired it: John Carpenter’s The Fog. And while that film has its own share of narrative issues, it at least has a great score, great special effects and a host of engaging actors to prop it up (Adrienne Barbeau’s radio DJ is too sultry for words). In comparison, this episode has a bunch of white dudes and a really fake looking cave for Ryan to stumble into.
Stream of Consciousness Musings
- The number of people who are casually murdered on a date in this show should inspire any single person to remain celibate for the rest of their lives
- Dewey says Whaler’s Point is “…just a little town up the coast” to which Micki replies: “Well that doesn’t sound too far.” Huh? It could be ANYWHERE with that description!
- When Micki fails to distract Fenton while Ryan investigates the lighthouse for the foghorn, Ryan naturally winds up hanging off the ledge as Fenton wanders around above him. This makes no sense because Fenton would FOR SURE see Ryan’s fingertips
- The middle section of the episode really drags, save from Barney (Bernard Behrens) getting an axe to the back of the head, which is expected but still kind of cool
- Micki kicking the door to the lighthouse in frustration is surprisingly enjoyable
- Of all of the items that Fenton could attack someone with, he chooses a sword?
- As expected, Dewey gets the sharp end of the pointy sword…although it sticks out of his back at a much lower angle than I would have expected. Did Fenton stab him in the groin?
- Why does the ghost of McBride attack Ryan in the caves? This is never really explained
- Micki delivers yet more exposition to Ryan about Fenton’s use of the foghorn to summon McBride. No shit, WE ALREADY KNOW THIS
- “I already killed 12 people!” Lol. This line by Fenton shouldn’t have made me laugh, but it’s delivered so indignantly. Like, how many more people must he murder before he gets his bounty!
- Oh shocker, Fenton is the final descendant. Snooooooze
- The bit where McBride summons Fenton to him and impales him with a hook is satisfying, but bloodless. Why are some episodes so light on FX when others are a goldmine?
- Why is Micki so distraught by Dewey’s death? I don’t get it. Just because he cared about Barney and saved her life? This is true of half of the episodes for crying out loud
- Oh my god, even in the coda we’re still delivering exposition about why Fenton was killed. Ugh this episode draaaags
See you back here tomorrow for Friday The 13th The Series episode 23: “Badge of Honor”