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September 2, 2015

Shark: Wayne's World 2 (season finale)

by Michael Canfield, posted May 4th 2007 10:01AM
Shark(S01E22) Billy Campbell is back as Wayne the serial-killer, now in the middle of an O.J., If I Did It, -style book tour. Larry King, playing himself for the umpteenth time in a crime drama, interviews Wayne, albeit with eyes glued to cue-cards. Larry asks the kind of pointed challenging questions here that only the fictional Larry King is even know to ask. This cameo affords the most fun moment of the night, however: Stark after arresting Wayne during a commercial break in the interview, and never one to pass by a camera, sits down to join Larry for the final segment.

The subtitle of this episode is Revenge of the Shark, which truly sums it up. This episode is full of the, by now, standard motifs: Stark barking at his team while they become convinced he is crazy, the star prosecution witness's hidden past emerging on the stand to embarrass Stark, and the ritual tossing-out of all incriminating evidence by the presiding judge. Maddie, who has to take the hit on the evidence this time, when Wayne's youthful slasher short story is excluded, breaks character: she doesn't even try to use sex to get her way.

Well it's not really worthwhile to analyze the case since its all a set-up anyway. A full-blown conspiracy, actually: one that involves at least five people Stark has enlisted to fabricate a murder to blame on Wayne. Stark just knew, he says in a closing confessional monologue to Wayne, that he could get Wayne to incriminate himself on the stand by making him confront his textbook psycho-killer childhood (complete with mommy issues).

It works like a charm, which raises the question of why Stark didn't try it in the first trial.

And if Stark was determined to throw his ethics completely out a window, why didn't he just shoot Wayne in an alley somewhere? That would have at least saved the time he wasted in waiting for just the right suicide to come along for the frame up, and would have eliminated so many co-conspirators: the medical examiner, the grieving mother of the suicide victim, the young mental patient, to name three, all of who had to be convinced to help frame a man they didn't know on Stark's say-so.

It could be argued that Stark wanted to beat Wayne on the stand: using the system so to speak. Even so, Stark can hardly be proud of his victory. It's not a victory for his legal skills after all; it's a victory for his ability to subvert that system.

Jess Devlin gets to do the actual burying of Wayne on the stand, after Stark is thrown off the case. Since every other step of Stark's plan is executed flawlessly, making chumps of his team, and the audience, I can only assume he planned his own expulsion too. This is not only to have a woman cross-examine Wayne and expose his misogyny (either Maddie or Raina could have done that) but also to get Jess's prosecutorial juices up so Stark can later convince her to come back to the D.A. office and work for him.

Sure, that would happen. Even if the incoming District Attorney allows it -- which he never would -- this can only happen on TV. But for drama's sake it should give Jeri Ryan more to do in the show next season. Shark was renewed awhile ago.

Wayne's threats against Julie in his previous episode are not even mentioned tonight. That plot thread was completely dropped. Stark does initially refuse to let Jules take advantage of a significant academic opportunity. But he practically had too, as they've gotten along for two whole episodes now. In the end, maybe with a growing awareness that the corrosive tactics he employs more and more frequently at work are beginning to have their affect on him, he admits that he is afraid of losing his relationship with his daughter.

3Stark the character is a complex guy. He has his ideas about right and wrong and they are jumbled up with his driving need to win at any cost, his need to appear to be right every time, his desire to be the center of attention at home as well as at work, and his guilt over all the criminals he got off in his earlier career. It's that character that's made me wish week after week that this show was better. The plots are too black and white, too abbreviated, just too damn CBS-procedural, to really make the most of that character.

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Karen (#10). Although the "Summer Scholar" program Julie is attending is just for the summer, when Stark and Julie were discussing it, one of his objections was that the summer program is a "feeder" to a prestigous prep school back east that is a "feeder" for Harvard. That was one of Julie's arguments in favor of attending the summer program, that he had always wanted her to go to Harvard. I think that the closing scene was a recognition that it is entirely possible that Julie will be staying on the east coast to attend prep school in an attempt to enhance her chances for Harvard rather than returning to California for her senior year.

While that may be the thinking, it seems a bit unrealistic that a child, even one as intelligent (bookwise, at least) and popular as Julie would actually voluntarily change schools in her senior year. She'll barely have one semester of grades (if that) on her transcript before she has to apply to college anyway. The prestigious prep school would not, academically, be a factor (although the prestige/connections of being a student might hlep her).

I have not heard whether the Julie or Jessica characters are returning, perhaps the decision has not yet been made. However, I would hate to see Julie go. As stupid as she has been in her personal life and as rocky as the relationship between father and daughter has been, it is that aspect of the show that, in my view, really sets it apart. It would be a shame to lose that.

May 07 2007 at 4:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Julie is 16 years old (on the show) which makes her a Junior at best! It was implied that this school is only for the Summer, therefore, I would assume she will be back next season and I am glad. I think it softens Shark a bit.

Julie and her sister (in real life) both graduated from college with a 4.0 GPA by the time they were 19 or something. I was reading an article on them. They are brainiacs, just like Danielle (Julie) is on the show.

I am, and always was a huge fan of James Woods. Another brainiac if you read his biography. I would also love to continue to see the sparks fly between him and Jeri next year. I really liked her as his boss and wish they were not changing that, but since they appear to be doing so, I don't want her off the show, please no!

The last scene with Julie, when James Woods was crying with his daughter about missing her, those tears for so much about his brother. (he just used flashbacks). Last week there was another scene about brothers and he cried, and I thought about his greiving then too. He has stated in interviews he stills cries every day about his brother's death. So tragic and so young to die of a heart attack!

I love this show, love it!

May 06 2007 at 2:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shark is absolutely my favorite new show of this TV season. James Woods is great as Shark. The show never disappoints me! And this episode had a great twist! I can't wait 'til the new season, plus, I'll probably even watch reruns of this show!

May 05 2007 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

PLEASE - anyone know the song that played at the end of the episode? Sounded like Emmylou Harris, but I didn't know the song.

BTW: I loved the episode and disagree that Julie is annoying. As a recently divorced father of a teenage daughter, THAT Is exactly what got me hooked on the show - I LOVED that final scene he and Julie had. I will still watch it every season 'cus I like the show itself, but I will miss the father/daughter dynamic.

May 05 2007 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Could have been worse. Could have been a cliffhanger.

May 04 2007 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not sure I like this episode. Framing a guy just doesn't seem right.

The daughter leaving the show perhaps? I think that might be a good thing. She's the worst TV daughter since Kim Bauer on "24".

Jery Ryan? That whole thing is very confusing. I thought they were kicking her off the show cause of her salary and screen-time demands. If that is not true, then why take such a drastic step in bumping her down a notch?


Still, James Woods is a very intense actor and can be a good watch from time to time. Hope the show holds up well next season.

May 04 2007 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As annoying as the scenes with Julie can be, I have to admit that I was touched by the last scene of the show when Stark broke down crying when letting Julie know that he was finally aware of how much he needs her.

May 04 2007 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sad to see it only ranked a 3. I felt it was one of the strongest episodes yet. Can't wait to see what they have set up for next season.

May 04 2007 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You give absolutely no reason for a score as low as 3. Also "young mental patience" should be "young mental patient".

May 04 2007 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that the producers is just trying to do, is give us what we have requested: more of Jessica Delvin and less of Julie (or the annoying teenager as she is well-known around here).

Jessica breaking down Wayne was a great moment, seeing Jeri Ryan in her "7 of 9" mode, was good. When Wayne exploded a few inches from her face, she didn't even blink.

About the whole Stark setup, well... I didn't see that coming, but it was not really a surprise. After all, we are speaking of Stark.

May 04 2007 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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