Dresden Files 3/18 season 1, episode 8 Storm Front

Or should I say “episode one?” This appears to be the episode originally filmed as the pilot.

Harry’s got a cat. Check. Did he give his coffee to his cat? I haven’t read the books yet but that seemed like it could be from the books. Is his cat a caffeine addict?

We at least saw him working on a Beetle, sorta blueish. Check.

We see his drum and hockey sticks are obviously his weapons.

Murphy “pays his bills,” although that could use some more backstory.

We’re introduced to the high council. Excuse me, capital H and capital C, cue ominous music.

We learn that Harry is on the Council’s shit list for using black magic to kill his uncle, and they’re just waiting for him to screw up again.

No Bob. That didn’t feel quite right.

Pretty good episode though. Harry used a lot of magic, some of it pretty impressive. I liked the blocking magic he used in the greenhouse. Well, the special effects could have been better, but I liked how his defense effect was composed of symbol letter things.

Some of the story happened a little too fast to follow though. The third girl to die, what exactly happened? She’s following Dresden, he calls Murphy, she gives him a car registry or something, Dresden finds the car, the girl is dead, Kirmani shows up. Murphy jacks him up and he says well what happened was something something blah, blah, blah. I didn’t quite catch it. I also had to think a bit about the father daughter magic relationship. The daughter inherited magic from dad, but dad didn’t know he was magic until his daughter got into it, then he takes it up so the magic stuff in the trunk at the mother’s house was the daughter’s or the father’s? I guess it was the daughter’s but mom said the trunk was filled with dad’s old textbooks which implies the trunks been around for awhile. So whose trunk was it again?

This blond investigative reporter, have we seen her before? Harry sure doesn’t seem to have a problem with the ladies.

I’m still a bit confused about how open everyone is about magic and yet it’s supposed to be a big secret. Doesn’t seem like a very well kept secret to me. Murphy and her jr. detective side-kick Kirmani have to be pretty big on denial.

LOTS of stuff in this eppy for the folks kvetching about the departure from the books:

  • MISTER!! YAY! (I think I might have actually yelled that out)
  • Tons of magic- some of which was a tad “too easy” but still, good effects, including the physical shield that his bracelet creates and the first use of his pentacle. I also noticed that Harry “charged” his bracelet before confronting the mom- nice touch.
  • Blue Beetle.
  • Did I mention Mister? Hee.
  • Angry, Harry-hating Morgan, with Bonus!Sword.
  • Evil Bianca, with Bonus!True-face-reveal.
  • A nod to Ancient Mai not looking so very Ancient.
  • Susan.
  • Lab in the basement, with Bonus!Circle.
  • MisterMisterMisterMisterMisterMisterMister.

Bob was there. You had to look carefully. :slight_smile: I actually liked the scene with Murphy punching Harry; very in-character for her.

Plus we got Bonus!Partially Nekkid Paul Blackthorne. Was wasn’t to like? :smiley:

It was the daughter’s trunk/magical supplies. Remember the first time we see the mom, she mentioned that after the daughter’s death the dad spent “all his time in her room, going through her things over and over and over again.” Obviously the dad came across the daughter’s supplies, including the notes she’d left, and tried his hand at it. Once he started, the addictive part of the magic took over. He probably lied to the mom about the contents to keep her out of the trunk.

We have not seen her before on the show; book fans recognized her immediately as Harry’s love interest Susan. Book fans probably felt a bit like me, though, (BIG SPOILER ALERT FOR THE BOOKS)when Bianca showed up, I kept waiting for her to get her… fangs on Susan. I’m wondering how they’re going to deal with her character in the future.

Book!Harry has a fairly strong desire to be with women, he’s just not very good at it and has been quite significantly hurt in the past. I think the show doesn’t really do a good job of getting across how very, very lonely Harry is. The non-book-reading audience see TV!Harry’s ultra-strong chivalry streak (he really has a thing for the damsel in distress) and misinterpret it as sexual tension. In reality we’ve seen him twice with Laura (the waitress) and both times it was pretty obvious that 1) it was a casual thing, and 2) he’s not very aware of how to relate to her; we saw the ultra-hot werewolf thing, but for the majority of the show he wasn’t drawn to her because he was attracted to her sexually- he was drawn to her because she was his archtype (DiD). At the end of the episode, his sadness wasn’t because she left; it was because he knew he may have to kill her one day. Now we’ve been introduced to Susan, a very important book character when it comes to Harry’s development. So to say he’s good with the ladies is extrapolating a bit.

There was some obvious judicious editing in an attempt to get this episode into the chronological air order, which, in addition to cutting it down to an hour, resulted in a bit of a rushed feel. I also had some trouble with Murphy- I don’t think they’ve been as good about maintaining continuity with her in re: the awareness of magic, and I partially blame the shifting shot/air schedule for that. Kirmani absolutely doesn’t believe Dresden, so that’s okay, but we really needed to see Murphy’s leap between “Dude, there were words written in mid-air- WTF?” and “Yeah, black magic, voodoo dolls, whatever.” Perhaps the fact that the show hasn’t established her in the role the books placed her in may be impinging on that a bit.

Word is we might see the original 2-hour cut someday, but no definites on that yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I loved the little surge in the music when he said that. :slight_smile:

It looks like they pulled out the stops on the effects for the pilot, then toned them down substantially in the regular episodes. I’d guess it’s a budget constraint.

I have the impression that this suffered badly from paring the episode down to an hour. I don’t think Harry originally saw her pulling away from the scene of the demon attack–it doesn’t make sense. Maybe she was coming to him for help or with some information and got scared off? There’s no reason to think that she was involved in sending the demon after him–she’s one of the intended targets.

Yeah, denial is pretty much in flood in the show. For that matter, there’s a lot of it in the books as well–BrainGlutton and I discussed it in the last thread, with me taking the Devil’s Advocate position and trying (with little success) to justify it. At least Murphy and most of her SI unit are aware/believe in the books. I think they’re building up to show-Murphy accepting magic. Remember that this episode was out of sequence; Murphy hasn’t seen some of the more blatant displays from the other episodes yet.

So what’s the deal with the cat? Is there something special about him, or is he just a big furry monster who sits on your chest?

Yeah, I don’t think she had anything to do with magic or the demon, that was clearly the father & daughter.

I was also curious what explanation Harry gave Murphy at the end of the show. She was mad at him because the deal is basically she turns him onto the case, gives him some information and in return he gives her info and hopefully helps solve the case. That’s what he gets paid for. But this time, he did indeed solve the case but all he’s got is a headless body. Was there enough evidence that dad committed the murders in order for Murphy to consider the case closed?

Mister is Harry’s cat, which makes him special just because. :smiley: He is primarily used to transport Bob, who can’t go out during the day, via a basic possession.

They fudged the color (he’s supposed to be grey), but they got the size almost right- he’s fairly consistently described in the books as 30 pounds, and while the cat last night wasn’t quite that, he was a damned big guy.

Now we just need Mouse, and the family is complete…

I was trying to remember, without going to the trouble of flipping through one of the books, what color Mister was. I don’t remember noticing him in any of the earlier episodes, but last night I was struck by his resemblance to one of my old cats.

Last night’s episode definitely would have made a good pilot; I’m still wondering what might have been cut from the original two hour version. Part of the problem with the apparent inconsistency in Murphy’s believe in magic is that the episodes were not aired in the order they were written and shot. This was the production order, with the airing order numbering shown:

Storm Front (8)
Rules Of Engagement (4)
Birds of a Feather (1)
The Boone Identity (2)
Hair of the Dog (3)
Walls (7)
Bad Blood (5)
Soul Beneficiary (6)

I haven’t tried yet to watch them in that order to see if that clears up any continuity problems. It does look like the next two episodes being aired are also the next two in production order.

So what, or whom, does “Mister” refer to? Apparently I missed it.

I’m enjoying the show in a half-hearted way. It’s always hard for me to get into these stories about magic being real but somehow nobody knowing about it. If it were real, it wouldn’t even be called magic, it’d just be a branch of applied physics.

Actually, this show seems to share the same alternate universe as “The X Files”, one in which the word “skeptic”, instead of meaning “somebody who critically examines available evidence when evaluating an extraordinary claim”, means “somebody who’s in a state of denial about an easily-verifiable phenomenon that happens all the time”. I guess you can have some fun with that concept.

I don’t think anyone in the show referred to him by name, but:

I really enjoyed this episode. It needed more Bob. I enjoyed the establishing shots for Harry’s apartment, they did a better job then I originally thought. Why are they showing the shows in such a weird order? If you are not a book-fan it is nearly impossible to figure out the continuity.

Overall a very strong episode and the series is hitting its stride. I will keep watching.

actually, harry says just that in book number five, which i’m reading right now. :stuck_out_tongue:

Apparently that’s part of the reason Storm Front is episode 8, they re-did the SFX as they were originally too “cheesey”.

Based on this thread, I have high hopes for this episode when I get home from work :slight_smile:

Much much much better. This is more like how I pictured they would adapt the books. I don’t like the way the magic-ed down the later stories. Harry’s abilities and general ass-kicking in the magic departmet were a big part of the books. Lots of flashy things, not so much of the subtle stuff they had in the later shows.

I liked the lab in the basement more than the hidden door lab…but I wonder how they’ll reconcile the two.

I suspect that what got cut out was the whole “mob” connection that was in the books. I think that is who the limo actually belonged to.

As to the whole “society in denial” aspect, there’s a good little section in “Drum Beat” that talks about this. I think in the books it’s handled much better.

Why would the cops think Harry was responsible for the limo girl’s death? It was clearly an auto accident and harry was ‘checking the girl’ from the passenger seat…

While I like the setup with the High Council(cue ominous music), I don’t quite get why, after the demon was obvious, they kept pursuing Harry… shouldnt they be able to ‘tell’ who did that summoning? Or, at the least, shouldnt they have been chasing Harry after the death of the first girl?

They don’t seem able to tell readily who worked a particular piece of magic. Also, Morgan is somewhat obsessed with the idea of killing Harry, enough so that he has been known to ignore or twist evidence to support he preconceived notion that everything is Harry’s fault. As I recall, in the book, Morgan claimed to think that Harry had summoned the demon to use against him, but lost control of it and got attacked. Morgan only backs off when Harry’s innocence (of this charge) gets blatantly and spectacularly demonstrated for him.

TV-Morgan is less obviously crazed and obsessive, but he’s still prone to jumping to any irrational conclusion that will give him an excuse to go after Harry.

In addition to this, the impression I got just in terms of the show, is Ancient Mai and Morgan probably could have figured out who did it. In fact, that would be their job if Harry wasn’t around. But they knew this was black magic and Harry himself tried to walk away from the job because in order to solve the case he’d have to recreate how the murders were done and that would get him in trouble. Perfect opportunity to test Harry and if he screws up and gets tempted to use black magic then what the heck, they get to kill two birds with one stone.

Morgan’s comments after the demon disappears could support this view, I think.

If so, it’s another deviation from book-Morgan, who isn’t one for subterfuge. I don’t consider this a bad thing, mind. I think book-Morgan would come across as a raving loony on screen. He’s too over-the-top.

But in the end, he didn’t have to ‘recreate how the murders were done’, so while I appreciate the setup, it didn’t ring true.

(not trying to diss the show… I actually like it and wished this one had started it)

This was a two hour long episode chopped down to one hour. It’s quite possible that was addressed but got dropped along the way.

I agree, but that may have been part of the test. The easiest way to solve the murder may have been to dip his finger into thaumaturgy (not that he’d actually kill someone), or compel the Spike demon, but surely Mai or Morgan wouldn’t have done that and in the end, Harry figured out how to solve the mystery using more mundane methods as well.

I also agree with BayleDomon, and wish we’d gotten the two hour version.