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Diabolique 19
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****Sharkey's Review****
 19th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 05/03/98   Encore: 05/09/98
Week of: 05/03/98 - 05/09/98 
My Score:  3 Rescue Cans
This Week's Quote: "Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there."
                                             -Yogi Berra
5 rescue Cans/Exceptional (Super Waves!)
4 Rescue Cans/Excellent
3 Rescue Cans/Good
2 Rescue Cans/Fair
1 Rescue Can/Poor (A Total Wipeout!)

Diobolique is one heck of an episode! It also has a lot of mistakes. Diabolique had the potential to be a much stronger story! I must applaud Pamela Bach for her fine acting ability here. She was wonderful! But the mistakes on the part of the writers here are just too strong to ignore. The writers just didn't do their homework at all for this episode.

First of all, you'd have to wonder why Irene (Anne Jefferys), Mitch's (David Hasselhoff) mother seems to be well and allowed to take care of Neely's (Gena Lee Nolin) baby Ashley.

As we all remember in the 6th season episode, To Everything, There Is A Season/5th episode. Irene was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, an incurable degenerative brain disorder that usually strikes the elderly. But there is also an Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease as well which can strike anywhere from the late twenties through middle age (usually 40's or 50's/if one of your parents got the disease around this age, chances are you have a strong possibility of getting it). At present, there is no treatment and no one actually knows what causes Alzheimer's Disease.

Irene went away and opted not to have Mitch take care of her. She wanted to enjoy what she had left and did not want her son to see her degenerate. The result of Alzheimer's Disease is death. There is no getting around it. The patient's condition gets worse until death ensues. The writers gave the impression that she was going to die. They even had a horrible joke at the end, which was no laughing matter. It was quite tasteless actually. She was supposed to be taking medication to ease the onset of the disease. She said that she would be all right as long as she took her medication, that is, if she didn't forget. But she didn't die. She came back as the picture of health to help take care of Ashley. This is pretty irresponsible and totally unforgivable! You'd have to wonder why Parker Stevenson could have gone along with that and why he couldn't have made suggestions to the script. His father suffered from the disease.

There was no explanation of her health. It could have been easier to take had the writers added something in the script stating that Irene's test results got mixed up with someone else's and her forgetfulness was due to a tremendous amount of stress. Stress can make you become forgetful. It may not be the greatest explanation, but at least it's forgivable.

And you'd have to wonder where the Buchannon's home keep coming up with all of these bedrooms? This was originally a two-bedroom home until the 8th season, that is. The unused bedroom (Hobie's/Jeremy Jackson) when shipped off to visit his mom) was usually where the guest stayed. And then it was explained in this year's Homecoming episode, when Craig Pomeroy (Parker Stevenson) returned that they had a guestroom. Why not just say that since Mitch's promotion that they could now afford to get some rooms built on? And suddenly they have room for the Buchannons, Neely, Ashley, Mitch's mom and the nanny. Unreal!

In this particular season, the makeup staff seems to have a flaw in only one area. The wig department! Wigs that look more like hair could be suggested. Pamela Bach had to make due with this red wig! It looked worse than fake! It looked just plain awful! And so was the blond wig that was styled to look more like Neely's haircut. Synthetic materials that still had the fold in it from being stuffed in packaging! Don't they actually believe in combing it out?

The second story line was supposed to be about Newmy and his nephew, although it was more about April with Manny as her supporting backdrop. The young boy has diabetes and bitterly thinks that he cannot live the normal life like the other kids. If the main focus could have centered more on this little boy and Newmy, it could have been more than just a filler-type storyline. It could have been touching classic. You just couldn't ignore the beautiful, outstanding kites by Crystal Kites. They must be applauded and acknowledged for their fine work. The contestants in the kite's contest had some AMAZING designs!

I would have given this episode a better rating if the screw up with Alzheimer's Disease had not have been there and if the second storyline had actually focused on Newmy and his nephew instead of April with Manny used as her backdrop again.  My Score: 3 Rescue Cans

Next Review: Bon Voyage


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