Season 2 Episode 3

It Cuts Both Ways

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Nov 15, 1997 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

It Cuts Both Ways

Jack's back and he's wreaking havoc with his new lethal protégé, Sharon Lesher (Traci Lords).

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  • half hearted reboot.

    It Cuts Both Ways is grim even by Profiler's standards; that's not a bad thing but it is notable.

    In season one, Jack of all Trades was a mcguffin, a cipher. Rather than a character, he was a contrivance, a plot device that never really worked. In season two, it's becoming obvious that the creative team is trying to figure out how to make Jack a real character, to give him depth and hopefully make him a more interesting character. To that end, they've had him recruit a female protege. On the other side, this episode sees Sam call on her old mentor to revisit her profile.

    We actually get a potentially good scene in which Sam and her mentor are sorting out the profile, trying to look at his actions and figure him out. The mentor makes a comment about Jack that he's a stereotypical loser, but he's too high functioning to really be a loser; Sam replies, "He's too crazy to be as good as he is." It's entirely too short. I get the creative fear - you'd end up with a very talky episode if we spent to much time on this type of scene but they could have found ways to use this scene as a means to introduce new viewers to the show's mythology, to expand its story telling range while also rebooting the Jack story. As it is, the scene is way too short and stops right at the point it should take off - with the mentor commenting to Sam that the only time Jack isn't random and unpredictable is when his obsession is focused on her. This is one of the show's best uses of Ally Walker - again we see her as a shrewd, analytical and intelligent profiler, someone who is examining evidence and drawing conclusions. It's a nice bit of insight that could have driven a strong second season. Instead, they backed away from it as fast as possible. It's as if the producers weren't sure the audience could handle a more cerebral show. As a result they underused their strengths and missed a very real opportunity to take Profiler in an interesting direction.

    Unable to commit to a talky and intelligent episode, producers threw some less than compelling action scenes and pulled off a bicoastal murder. Although better than average, the episode undermined itself.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Caitlin Wachs

Caitlin Wachs

Chloe Waters

Erica Gimpel

Erica Gimpel

Angel Brown

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Peter Frechette

Peter Frechette

George Fraley

Robert Davi

Robert Davi

Agent Bailey Malone

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Jill: Who is she? (seeing a picture of Sam)
      Jack: Nobody...Everybody.
      Jill: Are we going to kill her?
      Jack: Kill?
      Jill: Oww. Why'd you do that for?
      Jack: We never kill, we create.

    • Bailey: (Making the team: the ABC of sports.) You gonna play?
      Sam: No, no, I'm just reading it.
      Bailey: What's to read? You get a ball, a bunch of people and you play.
      Sam: I don't know how to play football.
      Bailey: Well, I mean this is not football, this is touch ball, there is no contact. You never played football?
      Sam: No.
      Bailey: Look, I'll make you a deal. You'll play, I teach you everything you need to know for a friendly game which is basically chug beer. Deal?
      Sam: Deal.

  • NOTES (1)


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