Monday, November 24, 2008

Cuckoo for 'Crusoe'

NBC's New Action Adventure Series 'Crusoe'By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs

Remember that advertising tag line for the General Mills breakfast cereal? (Or, am I just showing my age again?)

In any event, this is all I could think of this past week as I watched Friday go Cuckoo for Crusoe as he battled through delirium and hallucinations after being stung by a wasp that had slurped up a nice amount of poisonous honey.


The ep centered on Crusoe's desperate attempt to find the antidote in time to save Friday, which forced Crusoe to once again to call on his friend, Oliver, of the marooned mutineers (who, near as I can tell, still haven't fixed their ship up well enough to sail away from our castaways). We recall "Oliver" is really "Olivia" - she is disguised as a young lad, serving in a medicine (wo)man capacity for the shady crew.

Side note: I've lost count as to how many times Crusoe has been down to "observe" the mutineers camp and "borrow" some of their supplies, but the man is awfully good at NOT getting caught. I confess I thought he actually SHOULD have been caught in this ep, but hey, I'll go with it.

Now, this week's flashbacks were probably the most important given they finally showed us exactly how Crusoe was exiled from London - wrong place, wrong time, wrong list. So much for doing business in the part of the country where the rebellion against King James was being staged, or with a weaver who was housing soldiers who were part of the uprising, or that Crusoe's name is planted on the infamous traitor "list."

Enter sailing to the New World to escape his troubles.

And the return adventure that landed him on the island.

Six years ago.

Six. Freakin'. Years.

I confess I was unsure just exactly how long Crusoe had been on the island (maybe it was mentioned earlier, but I missed it). That said, the reveal of the length of time he has spent wishing - hoping - wanting - needing to get home leads me to one of the more beautiful moments of the episode: he STILL refuses to betray his love for Susannah with Olivia.

And what surprised me was how it came about.

Olivia was not really putting the moves on Crusoe. If she had, that would've been the clichéd, predictable, seen - it - from - a - mile - away angle, and that would've been ... well, lame. But instead, she was merely trying to console him, trying to calm his desperate concern that Friday might not make it. HE broke down to HER, yet the fact he remains so steadfastly devoted, so honorable ... seriously, where can I find a Crusoe? Do they even make 'em like this anymore? (I think they do - Fritzy over on The Closer could be considered a modern-day Crusoe, but alas, I digress.)

Anyhooooo, I really liked the Crusoe/Olivia huggable cuddle scene. It was cute. And perfectly weighted. It said so much once again about the kind of man he is, and the kind of man he has remained in spite of the hardship he has endured. He has a single-minded devotion to get back to his life, and he never wavers on it nor sacrifices anyone else in the process.

Like I said a few posts back, we could all use a Crusoe in our lives.

We could learn a thing or two.

**PROGRAMMING NOTE: The next episode of Crusoe airs in two weeks. According to the commercials that aired during this episode, the show is slated to move to Saturday, but the show's Web site is still showing it will air Friday, December 5th. Check your local listings.

New episodes of Crusoe air Fridays at 9 p.m. on NBC. Visit NBC's Official Crusoe Web site for the inside scoop on the series. The site is awfully cool - and that's not just the Pirates fangirl in me talking.

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