Without a doubt one of the more remarkable and wickedly entertaining episodes, Special Unit 2 has taken the fans on. The Rocks, simply put, is one of the finest episodes to date of the series. There is so much about this episode that was just brilliant I will not be able to cover I won't be able to the episode total justice.
On one level, Nick was definitely a charmer in this episode. He did not steal the show himself, read further and see what I think really stole the show. However, Michael put on a great performance. For the most part, Nick was his usual suave and sharp talking self. His interrupting Kate's breakfast with Ian was nothing short of hilarious. It kept me laughing for half the episode. Despite being a great opening, just seeing Nick respond to Kate's comments was priceless, "this better be an urgent light flashing, siren screaming emergency." Nick took the police light, turned it on, put it on top of the car and hit the sirens. Then casually waves at Kate from across the street. I am not doing the scene justice; you need to see it to really get the full impact. His more dramatically performance was when he confessed that he was married at one time. It was a shocker, and came out of nowhere. However, in "the Web," when I saw Nick's expression at the end I had a feeling there was something more, than just Julie, in his heart. Someone else, had to have made Nick the way we see him today. Nick seems tough and hard as nails, but the other impression is that he is someone who gives his heart to someone without conditions. You can read it in Nick's eyes when he talks about Julie or talking about his love life that you know he was hurt before Julie. It was definitely a strong development in Nick's character that just adds to the layers of his rough exterior and letting us all in on who he is and why we really care about him. Yeah it was a brief scene and revelation but it was something that was being built up to throughout the episode, it was subtle yet very effective in shocking us.
Alexondra Lee, herself, was simply outstanding in this episode. This episode more than makes up for her small role in "the Invisible." Seeing Kate in such a vulnerable state as she dealt with Ian, a former love of her life struggling to get back in her life. Then having to switch gears and try to focus on the case at hand. There was a unique tension in her character when she realized that business was invading her personal life and she had to make a choice between love and her job. She obviously still had feelings for Ian but she had changed as a person and had new desires in her life. Alexondra brought the tension and emotion out in Kate Benson extremely well. She let her body language do the talking in this episode while Kate's mind was being torn in a thousand different directions on what to do with Ian. Alexondra brings such exuberance, charisma to Kate Benson it is hard to see where Kate ends, and Alexondra begins. It is a very real performance she puts on every week that makes this show even more interesting to watch. Even if it is a small role one week, she still puts her energy into the character and brings the lonely soul of Kate Alice Benson alive. This really was her episode this week, and she carried the show very well. However, it was not just Alexondra or Nick, who stole this show, it was both of them.
What was vital to success of this episode did not just lie in two performances, it was in the interaction and chemistry Michael Landes and Alexondra Lee have with each other. Despite having a great banter between each other, they have a great chemistry. If they did not have a great chemistry no one would buy them being friends and would not but the show period. The show is based on their friendship not just on the rich individual characters those two and the others are. The strongest scene of this theme was when Kate, admitted that he is her best friend. Even though she felt like Nick might not survive, she still told Nick about that and how she thinks of him. Developing the friendship was a strong touch to cap off the great scenes Michael and Alexondra have. You can really buy into them being best friends that have a unique way of being friends. As Nick pulls jokes on her, but then covers for her to go on dates, it is how we have different friendships with different people.
Anyway, they always have great scenes together, but with the story and atmosphere, it really put their friendship into focus and that heightened the impact of their scenes more than usual. Another development in the friendship is that Nick continually takes the grunt work so that Kate can go out on dates and deal with real life. Even though Nick might parlay that into a favor, he is still doing it because he cares. That is why it would be so wrong for them to be romantically involved; they just do not have that kind of relationship.
Besides the aforementioned aspects of the episode, many smaller pieces contributed to the fine episode this was beyond Nick and Kate. One of those aspects was the character development of each character. Carl, himself, spoke to Nick while unconscious to fight it and to stay away from the light. Even though Carl got in a joke, he just had to; he did convey the feelings he had without saying them. The feelings that even though he and Nick do not always agree on things he does like Nick and would miss him greatly if he died. It is the nature of their relationship to disagree and fight, but there is an inherent respect they have for each other that neither will admit to. Then there was Captain Page who quite literally gave a hand to bringing down the Medusa. It was a wish that finally came true to see the Captain help take down one of these things. His false hand really came into play in a unique way. I am going to stay quiet on how because it is interesting how that came around as it did. Medusa's reaction in that scene conveyed my reaction as well.
Last and certainly not least, there was Jonathan. His desire to get out into the field was entertaining to say the least. Being flipped by Nick was one of the more brutal scenes Jonathan has been in. The autopsy of Medusa's sister was even hilarious, seeing Jonathan widen his eyes at seeing the jackhammer and knowing we would finally be able to make his "Y" incision was priceless. Or, even the scene where Jonathan and Nick inspected the building and he shrieked at a rat was nicely done. Ultimately, seeing Jonathan realize how much liked being behind the scenes was a nice touch. As it provided Jonathan with insight in to what he really likes to do and how much he likes his job. That scene also provided for a nice way to show the importance of those who work behind the scenes on Special Unit 2. Whether that was intentional or not, that is what I saw.
The guest stars did a fine job as well. Elaine Hendrix was beautiful and very evil in her performance of Medusa, while Sebastian Spence did a nice job as Ian. He could have done a little better, but don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm just so used to his portrayal of Cade Foster on First Wave it's a little hard to watch him doing something different. It is nice to see him broaden his horizons; perhaps he can make a return appearance sometime.
I was also very happy to hear the song, "I'm not your steppin' stone." In the beginning, when the episode started I thought that song would fit in and sure enough they used it. At one point, I felt like there was a primo place to have that song. Much to my surprise, they had it right in that spot. Also, Mark Morgan's score had a few First Wave elements in it that I recognized. It was a great way to tip the hat to another fantastic show. By the way, if you get the Sci-Fi Channel, reruns of First Wave will start up in January. Trust me, First Wave is a show you should give a chance.
Anyway, back to the review, the writing was excellent as every character developed in some way, shape or form. Jonathan finally got some fieldwork. Kate confronted her feelings about love and marriage while Nick gave up the information that he was married once. Yet, together they grew a little closer to each other as friends to the point where Kate confessed that Nick was really her best friend. It was a very touching moment, with drama and humor galore and excellent writing, The Rocks did just that, it rocked! The interaction and performance these two had shined brighter than the excellent episode it was in.
Copyright 2001 - DrkAngel_113
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