“Mr. and Mrs. Singer”

27 September 1997
[Hilary reads Jeff's (?) letter while Pavla looks on.] Written by Rupert Holmes.

Directed by Richard Shepard.
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It's apparent that while Scott was acting manager, he did listen to the station broadcasts occasionally and picked up tips on acting from them. Unfortunately, all the pointers he gleamed from the broadcasts must have been from Hilary. Particularly the feeling that the script is merely a recommendation. Not since Hilary's refusal to allow Elizabeth to expire in "The Diva That Wouldn't Die" has a WENN actor so flaunted the script: "I'm fine, really. Totally fine. And I think I'd like to get involved in politics." in place of the cliffhanger ending. Both events happening on "The Hands of Time," home of the oft-amnesiacs.

But as we see, Hilary's panic in "Two for the Price of One" is not repeated. She has a measure of the man and refuses to flee again. She stands her ground and amazes Scott with her pronunciation: "Listen. I demand that henceforth you stick to the script. Stick! Stick! Stick! Ya stuck-up, stuffed shirt Sherwood, spoiler of scripts. You stick to it or I'll stick it to you in so many places you'll feel like a damned pincushion at a darning convention!" All that in 10.2 seconds.

In response, Scott begins troweling in some compliments. We've seen Hilary react so automatically to any compliment, real or false, with glowing appreciation that I half expected Scott's trick to briefly work. It's to Melinda Mullins' credit that the beginning of Hilary's "I recognize your blarney" smile fooled me into thinking Hilary might fall into the old compliment-and-response pattern. But I suppose any real chance of that happening was harpooned by Scott's raised right eyebrow as he said the word "seasoned" in "remind me of how much I can learn from a seasoned pro like yourself."

But it's not long before Hilary herself opens the door for Scott to "improvise" with the script as she dashes to the phone to speak with Jeff.

It's also interesting to note that while much of the audience of "Remember WENN" is very concerned with Scott's romantic life, Scott doesn't have much appreciation for "this romance gunk."

Meanwhile, Jeff has very important news to tell Hilary. However, another German bombing raid over London soon knocks out the telephone connection. Hilary exclaims, "Oh, I'll be impossible to deal with until I find out." As will we all in light of the following scenes. A woman who had been expecting Jeff to contact Hilary claims to be the new Mrs. Singer. Pavla Nemcova (best guess at last name mentioned once and not in credits), a Czechoslovakian refugee, carries with her a Certificate of Marriage and a letter of introduction from Jeff.

In light of how well Jeff and Hilary had been getting along before his departure this all seems a bit hard to take. A couple of explanations alternative to "learning who I really am" immediately pops up. Perhaps an excessive attempt to aid a war refugee. Considering our speculations regarding Jeff's possible connection to Victor's mission, maybe some sort of agent for either the Allies or the Axis.

But the two introductory scenes between the two Mrs. Singers were riveting (broken in two by the laugh riot in the hallway). Even watching it again, it's hard to hit the Stop button in the middle of either scene. We're all listening to Pavla's words with disbelief along with Hilary. Since Jeff's letter doesn't appear to have contained any of the Jeff/Hilary code, was Jeff going to use the code over the phone to convey something to Hilary other than what we heard from Pavla?

Poor Scott. He tells Betty he'll be good the rest of the morning, but then Hilary darted out to get the phone call from Jeff. Then he tells Hilary he'll stick to the script only to have Hilary (post-Pavla-intro) incoherently respond to her cues. By now, he's said the heck with it. I'll show them. He and Mackie stick to the script, anyway!

The next morning's scene of Hilary performing at the start and end of the morning contains some interesting camera work ending with our first view of the WENN door as seen from the hallway. There was an interesting camera shot earlier when Maple first showed up. I think AMC really needs a good half-hour "Making of 'Remember WENN' " special.

The rest of the episode does seem to fall in line with Pavla merely using Jeff as a vehicle to Hollywood. Would an operative risk going along with the "producer" if the intention was to stay there. Or perhaps she saw through the primitive bald cap as most of us did. (Kudos to the WENN crew for not having perfect makeup done by people who wouldn't have the skill or expertise; a reality check most other TV shows wouldn't give a thought about). Or then again, maybe an intentional decision to make herself seem more authentic. Much like Scott and Betty brushing off Pavla's first offer.

Well, another John Bedford Lloyd-less episode and it appears Jeff's return has been postponed (according to Pavla) for another couple weeks, at least. As has "Remember WENN".

I continue to find the similarities and differences between Hilary and Scott fascinating. So different, yet so much alike. Hilary with her seriousness and Scott with his devil-may-care. Yet both take delight in playing with people's names. Before tonight, I might've have thought Scott was just making fun of Hilary by mimicking her name play. But, quite independently, he gave his own spin on Pavla: Pablo.

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