Idiot Box- Baywatch Nights 1.04- "Deadly Vision"A column article, Shot For Shot by: Danny Djeljosevic, Rafael Gaitan
Sometimes, bad television makes for great television. Which is why we've chosen to allot a certain amount of space within Comics Bulletin's tv section to the exploration of truly wonderful bad television. Why are we starting this now, you ask? Well, Danny Djeljosevic and Rafael Gaitan have chosen to watch and review every single episode of the detective-themed Baywatch spinoff Baywatch Nights. Nobody asked them to. But they insisted, and here we are...
Rafael: I’ve come to the conclusion that the theme song, “After the Sun Goes Down,” was written to remind viewers of how long the credits sequence is -- if you want to watch an episode of Baywatch Nights make sure to block off a whole day to allot for montage. Today we bring you the WORST yet (in spite of last week’s hilarious “Silent Witness”)
Danny: “Silent Witness” was indeed the best episode yet, and “Deadly Vision” is indeed the worst so far. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this episode focuses on Destiny a.k.a Phoebe from Friends a.k.a. Baywatch Nights’s source of unfunny comic relief.
Rafael: We’re off to a good start, thanks to the homie Mark Decarlo who is hanging out with a Silk Stockings extra who’s getting a fortune reading from Destiny -- and I have just been informed that was NOT Mark Decarlo, so we’re off to an okay start.
Danny: It turns out Ellerby and Ryan are tailing these lovebirds, which they do all the way to the beach. Judging by their above outfits (Hawaiian shirts and Jamsworld hats), they subscribe to the “get noticed as spectacularly as possible” school of surveillance. The funniest part is that fake Mark Decarlo doesn’t notice the pair until like the fifth or six instance of them doing something conspicuous.
Rafael: I’m moving to Jam’s World, especially since I found out they STILL make terrible clothing. “It ain’t Gibraltar but that’s one big rock.” -Ellerby, describing the gift fake DeCarlo got his girl (and his own erection, in the worst way of flirting with Angie Harmon)
Danny: After some obtrusive frisbee bugging, we cut back to Destiny, who’s now giving a reading to Moira MacTaggart. Destiny senses danger, so she points Moira to Mitch’s detective agency, which is admittedly a hilarious referral system Baywatch Nights has going on.
Rafael: The awful clothing count reaches a pinnacle in this episode -- between Destiny’s motel-print dress, Ellerby’s Lisa Frank shirt and Mark DeCarlo’s whale vomit open shirt and RiFF RaFF tank-top inspired shorts.
Danny: And just as you say that, out comes Mitch in the most unflattering sweater -- y’know, I was pretty drunk when we watched this episode the first time around, and, that sweater puts me in a pavlovian state of intoxication.
Rafael: Being in a state of actual drunkenness, I concur -- Mitch Buchanan, only person whom clothing does no favors to -- he found the sweet spot of having a body that isn’t chiseled or defined but isn’t cover-up-able?
Danny: Cut to Destiny and Mitch on a tandem bike riding past fields of golden flowers, and I say their names in that order because Destiny is leading. Which is the second time Mitch has not taken the lead on a vehicle.
Rafael: This reminds me of that scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, you know the one, with that heat rocks Burt Bacharach joint -- except not. Also this is the moment in our review series where I officially petition Daniel Martin Djeljosevic to watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Learn more at my Kickstarter for it.
Danny: I guess this time Mitch NOT riding adds a sense of danger, because Destiny has a shocking vision of Moira MacTaggart being murdered, which sends the bike off road and her hat soaring into the sky in the way hats only do when they’re thrown.
Rafael: Was it a nice hat? Cut to her flying off the handle like David Hasselhoff when he’s drunk, and hanging on for dear life like David Hasselhoff when he’s drunk.
Danny: YOU IN DANGER, GIRL. Later, at Baywatch Days, Ryan is trying out new and exciting shades of white to paint their detective HQ. And Ellerby’s wearing a great new fashion for 1995: Poker Chip Chic.
Rafael: I am still amazed at how incompetent Ellerby and Buchanan are -- I would love to see a “Garfield without Garfield”-esque cut where we just see her frustrated, trying to get a detective agency off the ground by herself. The Boyz continue their tradition of being unhelpful and then we get some shocking (not-shocking) news...
Danny: Yep, as Destiny’s going nuts and raving about mythology and spookiness -- good timing for the audio on the news to kick in and inform us of the death of Moira Mactaggart. Did anyone notify the widow Xavier?
Rafael: “I hope you’re sitting down for this, Charles...” [deadpan El Chacal sting]
Danny: Cut to non-tandem biking with Destiny, Ryan and Ellerby, who’s straight up dressed like Tyler the Creator’s dad:
You can tell he’s Tyler’s dad because his cheesy print shirt is long-sleeved.
Rafael: It’s such an amazing outfit, really, even I would tell him to fuck off for not being there for me. After finding proof that Destiny is just crazy and not psychic (she apparently just saw a thematically appropriate poster) Baywatch Days then bicycle into Mark DeCarlo again, who swears revenge in the most passive way possible. “Don’t be surprised if I get even,” he mails in 1955 to be delivered at this exact moment in Baywatch.
Danny: “Well, you were a bad boy, cookie.” - David Hasselhoff, genius.
Rafael: Destiny suddenly has another freak-out, she sees water and houses and windows and shit -- she’s acting like she’s about to become a fucking star child (peace to not having seen 2001 but still referencing it) and she has more visions of another murdered member of the X-Family -- all while wearing the most Trader Joe’s Mango Salsa-label esque shirt in HISTORY. I swear even Ellerby thought “DAMN, THAT’S A LOUD SHIRT.”
Danny: I hope Tom Corsi is okay. Either way, they hop into Mitch’s car (license plate: SHAFT 7) and search for the house in Destiny’s slow-motion visions. Finally, they reach it and -- UH OH! A CRIME SCENE! And one involving people that Destiny did readings for earlier -- not fake Mark Decarlo, some other guy we weren’t paying attention to.
Rafael: Destiny is being questioned by the Real Police, whose jurisdiction apparently stops at the sand because Buchanan comes up and waves off an open investigation to comfort his idiotic friend who saw someone die and didn’t do anything about it. YES I BLAME HER AND THE VICTIM SIMULTANEOUSLY-- IF HE DIDN'T WANT TO DIE HE SHOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN KILLED.
Danny: Later, at the beach, Destiny looks like Prince’s vomit as Mitch tries to talk to her about how she is insane.
Rafael: Shout outs to Russian paranomal experimentation -- Mitch mentions empathics tests as part of Destiny’s, ahem, abilities -- and then he totally negs the panties off of her with this exchange:
Destiny: “I’m gonna try to keep my brain free of all thoughts.”
Mitch: “Well, if anyone can do it, you can.” Christ, what an asshole.
Danny: Destiny apparently even fails at this because she has another vision -- this one involving someone creepily making paintings of her and the rest of the cast -- and it turns out to be that guy from the crime scene who Destiny fortune-read earlier!
Rafael: Young Not-Guilty has made an “ending of Ghostbusters II” esque tribute to Baywatch Days, which he then slices up via X-Acto knife- it’s supposed to be sinister, as the music indicates, but it just looks silly- the look on his face is almost like he realized being on Baywatch Nights would sink his career.
Danny: Later, at Nights (and probably AT night), Mitch and Ryan play pool and discuss the case. And by discuss, I mean Ryan talks mad shit about Destiny, and then vegetarian food. “Tofu isn’t a food, it’s a fungus!” FUCK YOU RYAN THAT SHIT IS DELICIOUS.
Rafael: Meanwhile 1995 Trevor Moore delivers a special gift for Destiny -- Moira MacTaggart’s ring -- the gang is then convinced that Mark DeCarlo is the killer and peace to GregAlan Williams’ eternal cool -- even when he says things like “Destiny could be his next target” he sounds like he’s just ordering a michelada.
Danny: Cut to Mitch going undercover -- or, as this show seems to define it, “overcover” -- in order to better keep an eye on Destiny... dressed as a mime. David Hasselhoff is dressed like a mime on this show and I had no idea until the year 2013 that A) this was a thing that happened and B) this is a thing I wanted to witness and then screencap and maybe turn into a gif.
Rafael: LOOK AT THAT FUCKING GUY:
He is five years too late for Point Break casting day and 17 years too early for me to do anything about it. :(
Danny: Wisely, they make Hasselhoff’s ponderous pantomime part of the gag, as his performance art disasterpiece (and must-be-heard-to-be-appalled-at French accent) disperses the crowd faster than tear gas at a protest.
Rafael: While Buchanan is mimin’ like a motherfucker, Ellerby is in the most Walgreens Halloween Costume version of a Jamaican -- he might as well have a smock with Bob Marley’s face on it- he is trying to sell $40! caricatures to white families, possibly to escape his loneliness and Baywatch Days (all established in this episode), when he overhears someone watching the description of the killer is on the beach- Ellerby then gives chase through a Blues Traveller video and hits another of those wonderful “knuckleheads” we’re so fond of. Take a drink! *takes a drink*
Danny: Yep, this is a foot chase involving a mime and a rastafarian set to a Blues Traveler song -- complete with slow motion footage of Ellerby jumping a fence. But then it turns out the dudes they were chasing had a posse and so Ellerby and Mitch have to hide behind a cardboard cut-out of Bill Clinton as he goes, “Well, I guess we got the wrong guy."
Rafael: We’re now back at Baywatch Days, where Destiny is painting a mural, because why? Suddenly she Dead Zones again and she sees Lou Rawls’ fine establishment as the scene of the next crime. She hides under the desk and has a real Eyes of Laura Mars scenario going on -- man, I wish we were watching that instead -- that has ‘70s Faye Dunaway in it, my son.
Danny: Yep. This mystery man skulks around Baywatch Days for a bit, and then we cut to Nights (the club, at night) where Destiny and Mitch are trying to figure out what just happened in the previous scene. HEY ME TOO.
Rafael: Mitch emptily promises that they’re going to catch the killer, then we cut to Mark DeCarlo wooing his bad bitch (the fact that he has one and I don’t is my fucking problem) and suddenly they get crept on by Ryan! A recurring theme of Baywatch Nights is that they cut out all the actual detecting and focus on beach fashions and foot chases -- it’s not as problematic as it is amazing.
Danny: Which is a great time to cut back to Nights where Destiny drops a glass, sensing that Ryan’s in danger. Mitch and Ellerby drive around while Destiny (from the inside of a loud club) tearfully describes the house from her visions. Good thing it has gargoyles and fountains and shit in front, and is conveniently next to a lighthouse.
Rafael: Ellerby and Buchanan arrive, and we see that Young Not-Guilty is the killer after all, and he’s creeping up on Ryan -- he calls himself Destiny’s boyfriend as he captures her, but really he’s Destiny’s bug-a-boo.
Danny: For being one of the more competent members of Baywatch Nights, Ryan does a lot of boring “traditional feminine role” things like interior decorating and being kidnapped. This would be better if Mitch was in trouble. And, knowing Hasselhoff’s real-life story, Mitch IS in trouble. Good thing the sprinklers suddenly come on and gives our heroes the opportunity to spring on this guy who is way too sprung.
Rafael: Back at Days (at night) Ryan informs Destiny that they found a copy of her mural, which Young Not-Guilty had copied- Destiny says some shit about them having shared the same spirit -- and then Ryan invites her down for a drink. We cut away from them down to Nights, where Ryan is now mad paranoid about being watched- Deja Vu?
Danny: Cut back to Baywatch Days, where THAT CREEPY PAINTING’s EYES REMAIN! OoooOOOOOooooooOOOOO
Yeah. This episode has some great wardrobe and maybe the best goofy foot chase so far -- to reiterate: mime, rasta, Blues Traveler -- but it was the least enjoyable by far. The main plot isn’t incredibly fun or interesting or compelling, but it’s funny that this is our first taste of the supernatural considering that Baywatch Nights goes full-on X-Files in the second season.
Rafael: Yeah this episode grew more interminable by the minute, especially on rewatch- my issue with it is that it takes itself WAY too seriously and all this supernatural/paranormal stuff just kicks up with zero explanation -- then again, it is Baywatch Nights, where it’s always daytime, even at night. But worst one so far, though you’re right, Young Danny, the wardrobe/ footchase element was on point -- I’d like to thank our special guests Blues Traveller and our sponsors bourbon -- leading to poor decisions since A Long Time Ago.
Danny: And Jam’s World: where it’s always summer, even during The Night.
Rafael: INCOMING TRANSMISSION FROM JAM’S WORLD: I HATE IT HERE
Next Week: Episode 5, “Just a Gigolo,” which we pray is erotic as it sounds.
While you wait for your next dose of nocturnal jazz, why don't you reread past installments?
- Baywatch Nights 1.01: "Pursuit"
- Baywatch Nights 1.02: "Bad Blades"
- Baywatch Nights 1.03: "Silent Witness"
- Baywatch Nights 1.04: "Deadly Vision"
- Baywatch Nights 1.05: "Just a Gigolo"
- Baywatch Nights 1.06: "976 Ways to Say I Love You"
Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions) and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic with Mike Prezzato, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his Tumblr. His webcomic The Ghost Engine, with artist Eric Zawadzki, updates twice a week.
Rafael Gaitan was born in 1985, but he belongs to the '70s. He is a big fan of onomatopoeia, being profane and spelling words right on the first try. Rafael has a hilariously infrequent blog and writes love letters to inanimate objects as well as tweets of whiskey and the mysteries of the heart. He ain't got time to bleed.