Profiler

Season 1 Episode 3

Unholy Alliance

0
Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Oct 19, 1996 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Unholy Alliance
AIRED:
Sam investigates a series of murders which bear striking similarities to the methods of a killer whom Bailey put in prison 10 years earlier.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Could have been executed better

    8.5
    I thought the idea of this story was good but I just thought the whole episode was bad for some reason. It just didn't go well for me. The only parts I liked was the scenes in the VCTF with them messing the I-Ching together but the execution of the story was a little cheesy for. I guess because I am not big conspiracy theory person may be why this storyline didn't work for me. I mean the thought of Bailey having secret contacts in the government and such -- I just wasn't buying it. But this is early in the series and one good thing is that team already has a really great chemistry together.moreless
  • 3 of 5 serrated blades Trying to capture 90’s zeitgeist of distrust of the government with one story and trying to honor the goal of Profiler with the other story, this episode cheats both aspects of itself.moreless

    6.0
    If this episode maintained the mood of the opening sequence, I’d give this episode 5 of 5. The score is effective - it establishes the mood immediately. The opening sequence with the character throwing the I Ching coins then referring to the book is one of the best yet. The kill – on the bridge with the lights, blue lighting, the faceless figures, then the rollerblading victim continues the mood perfectly – again, score is a flawless complement to the action. The killer moves with a feline grace for a moment, then strikes - the camera shows him in silhouette with the light shining on part of his face then fades into the opening credits. This half lit face is a trademark of this episode and works very well. If this mood could have been followed through the rest of the episode, this would have been a 5 of 5 episode. But, the opening credits fade immediately into Sam’s dream about Jack.



    The mood at the crime scene continues effectively - the characters lit by flashing police lights in red and blue. Bailey’s tough leader routine drains energy from the scene rather than supporting it. The quick VCTF scene is well done – it moves the plot forward and keeps us interested. Sam’s scene with the victim’s sister may be the most effective scene in the episode. Despite being a daylight scene, it manages to capture the mood of shadows and light effectively – parts of the room falling to shadow parts in light, characters lit from the side rather than full on. Sam’s interview of the sister shows the human side of victims – especially cross cut with Grace’s blue lit autopsy. Again, the score is then perfect complement to the mood of the piece, highlighting the sister’s pain and Sam’s strength and intellect.



    The subplot with Bailey and the crime from years before – and the criminal from years before – is an unfortunate sidetrack. In the end, I’m inclined to think it would have been better to keep the criminal off screen – focus on Bailey in VCTF’s poorly lit headquarters. The scenes at Leavenworth distract from both the story and the mood.



    As the team explores the I-Ching and gets their lesson about it, is a nice bit of storytelling – most of the scenes built around the team and I-Ching are well done – they keep the focus on the characters and the central story. We get a chance to see the characters in action – using their skills to solve the crime. Watching George, Sam and John struggle with the I Ching is a great scene showing very smart people exploring the irrational in the most rational way possible.



    Despite a great score, the scene at the Shinto temple with Bailey and his “deep throat” drain the energy and ruin the mood. Although the move the plot forward it doesn’t work right. If Robert Davi weren’t such a great actor, these scenes would cost the episode another serrated blade.



    The denouement takes up back to our moody opening – score, imagery, the cross cutting between VCTF and the killer’s house – all perfect pieces. Sam’s voice over while the team explores Lechansky's house deepens the mood. Our killer’s frantic speech about synchronicity brings it all home. Lechansky’s house is a great vision of a person going crazy. If they could’ve ended here and not gone back to Leavenworth, I might have been more forgiving overall.



    Unwilling to be a moody, shadowy episode, unwilling to commit to the paranoid military cover up story, Unholy Alliance is an episode that ends up being muddled rather than powerful. Which is a shame – since it could’ve done either effectively but couldn’t handle both.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Dennis Christopher

Dennis Christopher

Jack of All Trades / Albert Newquay

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Peter Frechette

Peter Frechette

George Fraley

Robert Davi

Robert Davi

Agent Bailey Malone

Roma Maffia

Roma Maffia

Grace Alvarez

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