Profiler

Season 2 Episode 2

Primal Scream

0
Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Nov 08, 1997 on NBC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes
1

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Primal Scream
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Four people have been brutally beaten to death in Atlanta. The VCTF is called in to investigate the seemingly random murders.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A distinct improvement over the previous episode.

    8.5
    Primal Scream delivers something we've seen too little in Profiler - Sam as a very shrewd psychologist, someone who knows how to work with people. In the interview scene with the older woman, Sam demonstrates her ability to look at the physical world as an expression of the personality. When she walks through the woman through the memory exercise it's a smart and insightful scene. The woman's statement - "B - he wasn't black. Does that help?" and showing Sam's suppressed response was very smart; revisiting later - "How did you know he wasn't black?" "Oh my god, B is for bald. I saw his head." The sequence in which the other agents interview suspects and Sam watches, then offers her insights was another smart use of Sam. We see - again - sam shrewdly examining the suspects behavior and eliminating them (for instance she points out that the "prime" suspect likes to get drunk and pick fights and that's inconsistent when the killer's behavior). When Sam and Chloe visit the zoo and the monkeys react to the rain by screeching and being afraid, we get to see Sam making connections in her heard. It's a nice change to watch Ally Walker portray the character as smart and insightful. Working the investigation, Sam narrows down the suspects, arguing that it's possible the killer doesn't have a record but was in the right places at the right time. Introducing the therapist who works with patients traumatized by weather at first seemed like a strange detour - instead it added to the episode's subtly and not subtly disturbing quality. Showing the mental patient rip the dummies from limb to limb while shrieking was creepy and effective - allowing the viewer to see the killer at work without needing to delve into blood and gore. For a change, they didn't find the killer by accident. Sam knew who it was when they went to arrest him. Steeble's death - falling to the ground during a rain storm - was grim if needful.



    The producers used the beginning of season two as an opportunity to try to breathe new life into the dreary Jack story arc by introducing Traci Lords as Sharon Lesher, a fellon whom Jack has decided to mentor. The scenes with Jack and Sharon are predictable. Jack's endlessly whispering is moving rapidly from a stylized delivery into full bore grating. Other than that, we can ignore the blue lit scenes. (It's funny - until I rewatched this episode, I had forgotten Sharon was introduced here - a good sign for the rest of the story.)



    All in all, Primal Scream represents a major improvement over Ambition in the Blood. By keeping the story focused, and allowing Ally Walker to bring strenght and insight to the main character, we get a better than average episode, one that delivers on its promise; the only real weakness is the continued Jack story line which may be at its least annoying here.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Caitlin Wachs

Caitlin Wachs

Chloe Waters

Dennis Christopher

Dennis Christopher

Jack of All Trades / Albert Newquay

Erica Gimpel

Erica Gimpel

Angel Brown

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Peter Frechette

Peter Frechette

George Fraley

Jack Patterson

Jack Patterson

Dr. Charles Niehoff

Guest Star

Ronald Hunter

Ronald Hunter

Mr. Murphy

Guest Star

Rex Ryon

Rex Ryon

Hard Hat

Guest Star

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