Last week, I labelled this show as the most consistent on television. What I mean is that I have not seen a bad episode of this show. I haven\'t seen all of the episodes, but I\'m fairly confident at this point to believe that a vast majority, if not all, of the episodes are of superb quality. We continue this theme with \"Across the Lines\".
As dramatic as some of the moments in this episode were, the comedy is what makes this episode shine. To label the Abbott dinner hysterical is an understatement. This was masterful collaboration from the actors here, as Tom Amandes delivers a Bill Schmicker zinger while Bright, Amy, and Hannah have a three-way quarrel. Meanwhile, poor injured Rose has to deal with a jealous husband and a teenaged crossfire. This scene is lightning-fast in the lines and requires perfect pacing. But the actors deliver the goods here, in probably one of the most comedic moments of the series (certainly the season).
Oh, but that\'s not all. Bill Schmicker -- even the name is funny. Dr. Abbott sure thinks so: \"Sounds like something you\'d lance.\" And I think writer Barbie Kligman thinks so too, giving Merrilyn Gann probably the finest line of the episode: \"Shame on you, Bill Schmicker.\" Such a dramatic moment, really -- but the name makes the delivery hysterical. For a second, I thought the comedy was unintentional, but given the preceding \"lance\"-line from Dr. Abbott, I am positive the intent was comedy. Well, it worked to the extreme.
You have to give Bill Schmicker some props for his quick wit. Dr. Abbott prods, \"I trust you\'re not going home in your condition.\" Response? \"No, I can drive with cancer.\" Excellent.
The team of Gann and Amandes has been one of my personal favorites on the show. Amandes gives Harold the arrogant air of supremacy with a shockingly relatable sense of vulnerability. Gann gives Rose innocence, common sense, and a string of sarcasm that keeps Harold in line. Their scenes together are always pitch perfect, and \"Across the Lines\" was no different.
Things blow up between Amy and Hannah in this episode. We all knew it was going to happen, but I have to credit the writing team for giving the scene some counterbalanced intelligence. Both sides of the argument had their points. Hannah is certainly right to suggest that Amy is trying to run the friendship, but Amy has a point when she says that Hannah\'s complaints regarding Ephram seem to have an agenda to them. Everwood\'s writers don\'t pick the sides -- they let (and ask) the viewers (to) do so. A show that makes you ponder what it\'s telling? Almost unheard of these days, but greatly appreciated when done as well as this show does.
I also loved the Andy/Jake dichotomy in this episode. Always there is tension, but always there is a mutual respect below the surface. A comparable relationship to Harold/Andy (re: Season 1, certainly) but for obviously different reasons. I, for one, am a big fan of Scott Wolf\'s work on this show, and I was impressed once again with his performance in this episode. His scenes with the drunk driver were powerful and heartfelt. And the last scene between Andy and Jake? Great stuff.
Reading some of the reviews both here and elsewhere, a lot have labeled this episode as \"quiet\" and, to some extent, \"boring\". My opinion? Neither is a correct assessment. There is a lot to sift through here, and the results of thinking about what has transpired in this episode make \"Across the Lines\" an absolute triumph in my book. Everwood is not the \"most exciting\" show on television, but it\'s not meant to be. What it is is a heartfelt show that applauds humanity, as flawed and as complex as it might be. And for that, I can only be grateful.