Jul 18, 2016
Baywatch “Mirror, Mirror” (part 3 of 4)
And now it’s back to the B plot, where Summer has learned that her boyfriend Matt is planning to go diving in a shark cage. He says he has to do it in order to overcome his fear. He wants to do it alone, but Summer insists on going along, and to be honest, I’d let Nicole Eggert come along with me anywhere in that outfit.
Now they’re on the back of a boat way out in the water. Matt’s in a wetsuit and a salty dog type with a white beard is tossing chum in the water. Summer complains, wondering if the guy really has to do that [?], so the guy goes, “Wanna see sharks, don’tcha?” Amazingly, he doesn’t add “Arrr, matey!” to the end of that.
Soon, the shark stock footage returns. Matt straps on his scuba gear and dives down into a cage. He’s now getting buzzed by the shark footage, as well as a stiff fiberglass shark that the crew occasionally drags through the shot.
After a while, the shark bites through a rope, which somehow sends the cage drifting away. Summer tries to grab the rope to keep Matt from floating off. Naturally, she falls in the water. Matt sees this, and helpfully rips off his scuba mask to yell, “Summer!” And he’s doing this underwater, so we can’t hear him at all, making that move extra-pointless.
Summer, now moving in slow motion, tries to swim back to the boat while being menaced by more stock footage. Before she can get back to the boat, the shark grabs her, and she’s getting dragged through the water in slow motion, and eventually she gets pulled under. Fade out.
Wow! Summer just got eaten by a shark! I didn’t think Baywatch would have the balls to actually allow a regular cast member to get eaten by a shark. Well, I guess I could see them letting the fat black guy get eaten. Except, this isn’t Nicole Eggert’s final appearance on the show, so I guess she survives somehow. I can’t wait to see how they’ll resolve this crazy cliffhanger when we come back from break.
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And then we come back from break, and Matt is sitting on the rocks staring at the ocean, most likely mourning the loss of his one true love Summer. And then… Summer comes casually walking up behind him.
Matt tells her he had another nightmare, where he was in a shark cage, and Summer fell into the water, and the shark got her.
Yeah. That’s right. Everything we saw leading up to the break was Matt’s nightmare. The boat, the cage, the salty dog, the chum, it was all a dream. And the only reason they didn’t show Matt waking up from this dream in a cold sweat is because they wanted a cheap cliffhanger to get people to stick around after the commercial break.
I can’t even begin to explain what a lazy copout this is. Actually, I’m secretly hoping this means the entire episode was a nightmare, and we’ll cut to Carrie-Anne Moss sitting bolt upright in bed, right before the episode ends. Actually, I’m pretty sure Carrie-Anne has constant nightmares about this episode even to this day.
But now Summer has it all figured out. The nightmares are not about sharks, she explains. The nightmares are actually about their relationship. Matt’s dreams are trying to tell him he feels “trapped, caged!” She notes that the nightmares started as soon as they got together. “Look at the symbolism,” she says. “It’s obvious!” Oh god. As if the bargain basement take on multiple personality disorder wasn’t dumb enough, now we’re getting dream analysis presented as an actual science. Next, I fully expect Pamela Anderson to show me what my handwriting says about my personality.
According to Summer, the nightmare is really saying that Matt is “afraid to make a commitment”. Wait, wait… let me write that down. Dreams about shark attacks… fear of commitment. Okay, got it. Just out of curiosity, is there anything a man can dream about that is not about his fear of commitment?
Matt can’t deny the obvious truth behind his dreams, so he just pouts at her. Summer storms off.
And now it’s back over to the A plot. We’re outside the trailer of Mattie and Gwen, and about to witness a tour de force performance by Carrie-Anne Moss. The camera focuses on a window, and the voice of Gwen is complaining that she saw Mitch first. Mattie yells back that Mitch is coming here to be with her, “Because I’m pretty, and I’m exciting to be with!” And goshdarn it, people like me!
Cut to inside, where Gwen is sobbing in front of the mirror. She says that despite her lack of glamour, she deserves Mitch just as much at Mattie. And then Gwen takes off the glasses, and takes down her hair, and transforms into Mattie. She yells at her reflection, saying that Gwen is “pathetic” and not at all deserving of any sweet Mitch love.
Then she turns back into cowering, whimpering Gwen and yells, “You always take everything away from me! Everythiiiing! Even Momma’s love!” Then Mattie returns, pointing at the mirror. “You are so weak!”
Mattie promises that “Mitch… is gonna be mine, allll mine!” Then she changes back to whimpering Gwen and says, “I’m gonna stop you this time!” Gwen then picks up a perfume bottle, and begins slamming it into her thigh. End scene.
Incredible. And the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences didn’t even nominate Carrie-Anne Moss for best guest performance by an actress that year? Let me see who actually won the award that year.
Shirley Knight for NYPD Blue? Are you fucking kidding me? I’d like to see Shirley pull off being obsessed with David Hasselhoff, that takes real talent.
Cut to Gwen limping across the sand, and walking up to the lifeguard tower. Mitch sees her and refers to her as “milady”. You see, it’s a play on her name, Guinevere, and yes, it really is too sad for words.
Gwen shows off the cuts on her thigh, saying that she “fell on the rocks”. So Mitch sits her down and gets out his first aid kit, and tends to her leg. He sprays her wounds with Bactine, but she doesn’t flinch at all, and simply continues to stare at him in awe.
Mitch asks about the dinner tonight at the trailer, and Gwen says it’s still on, even though “Mattie won’t be there”.
Clearly, Mitch is not all that enthused about having dinner alone with Gwen, but she begs and pleads with him, so he says he’ll be there in an hour. All he has to do is “change and shower”. Gwen just stares at him lustfully, obviously wishing she could take that shower with him.
She heads off, and no, I don’t know what cutting up her thigh accomplished, either. Luckily, it becomes an important plot point later.
We fade in to dark clouds gathering. Rain is pouring down in sheets around the Gwen/Mattie trailer, and lightning crashes. So, just by coincidence, tonight just happens to be the night of the kind of storm only seen in Southern California once every 20 years.
Carrie-Anne is currently in Sexy Mattie mode, wearing a low cut blue dress with a slit up the leg. She pours a glass of red wine, then pulls out a brown prescription bottle, and cracks a capsule full of white powder over the glass. Yes, just when you thought this episode couldn’t get any sillier, Mattie has now decided to drug Mitch. It turns out this is a very special episode of Baywatch where Mitch learns about the dangers of date rape.
Mattie smiles evilly as she empties the capsule into the glass. And then we get to watch her empty two more capsules into the glass, because that’s how much roofie is required to take down a strong ox of a man like Mitch Buchannon.
Just then, Mitch shows up, marveling at all the rain. Mattie tells him Gwen won’t be joining them. He’s confused, because Gwen said Mattie wouldn’t be joining them. Oh, for the love of god, Mitch, figure it out! Connect the dots already!
Mattie just laughs and says they’re better off without her, because “Gwen is a basket case” when it comes to men. Then she quickly changes the subject to dinner. It turns out she made “lamb chops”, and Mitch says he loves lamb chops. Unfortunately, he’s unaware that these are really chops made out of her last boyfriend, Dennis Lamb.
Mattie suddenly suggests having a drink. Hey, why not? She hands over the laced glass of red wine and proposes a toast, to “dreams coming true”. Mitch, still somehow not completely creeped out by this woman, happily downs the wine. He seems to notice an aftertaste, but continues drinking anyway.
The whole while, Mattie talks about how much she loves to dance. Mitch again asks about Gwen, and you just know Mitch was secretly hoping for some twin action tonight. So Mattie gets in another dig, saying “Gwen doesn’t know how to have a good time!” Then she gets her wine glass, and… uh, what, another toast? Sure, why not? This one is to “new friends”.
Suddenly, Mitch looks woozy. He says, “I’m not much of a drinker, but…” and then he trails off. Okay, how hilarious is this line when it’s spoken by David Hasselhoff, of all people? The guy who was on YouTube drunk and shirtless eating a cheeseburger off the floor is “not much of a drinker”.
As expected, Mitch collapses to the floor. Mattie leans over him, and touches his lips. In voiceover, we hear Gwen say, “Don’t do it, Mattie!” And then Mattie, also in echoing voiceover, yells at the other part of her brain to “Shut up! You never know what to do!”
Next, Mattie runs outside in the rain, and hops into the car towing the trailer. She starts up the car and pulls off with the trailer, and now she’s staring at herself in the rearview mirror, and every time she looks in the mirror she hears Gwen’s voice, begging Mattie not to take Mitch “there”, because it’s “condemned” and “that place is dangerous!”
But Mattie fights back, calling Gwen “weak” again, and saying “you’re nothing without me!” Well, that last thing is sorta true, isn’t it?