Friday the 13th: The Series

Season 2 Episode 20

Mesmer's Bauble

Aired Unknown May 06, 1989 on
out of 10
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Episode Summary

A homely record-store clerk is obsessed with pop diva Angelica, and happens to stumble upon a jewelry robbery where the thieves drop one of the items: a cursed pendant that first belonged to Dr. Mesmer. The curse lets the clerk fulfill his every wish by mesmerizing a victim into doing whatever he wants them to. He wishes first for attractiveness, and then for the diva's love and the chance to be close to her. Ultimately, however, none of this is good enough for him, and his final wish is to _be_ Angelica. The wish is successful, but Micki and Ryan, close on his trail, manage to intercept him/her at a concert and grab the necklace, undoing all the benefits it bestowed.moreless

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  • Gender identity and obsession are the themes in this episode. A fan becomes obsessed with a female pop diva, until he seeks to become her.

    It is easy to forget how advanced and daring this series was for American network television; in terms of production values, special FX, writing, horror elements and other, shall we say, more adult content. This episode is a prime example of how all these things came together for some rarely seen on American network tv. Here we have a young man is so obsessed with a pop star diva, that he uses a cursed object to try and win her affections, eventually her identity. For its time, this was pretty scary and bold stuff.

    The episode is not perfect. The special effects have not aged too well and the issue of gender identity is only superficially explored for exploitative, shock appeal. As each episode had some sort of morale lesson to learn, it is not clear if this is an indictment against crazed fans (the mentally ill) or the transender community. I can thing of better ways to deal with the gender identity issue; Why not have a gay or transgender friend using a cursed object to get back at a gang of Nazi skin heads?moreless

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