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September 16, 2014

'Drop Dead Diva' - 'Back from the Dead' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 13th 2010 5:45AM
drop_dead_diva_cast_lifetime_2010
(S02E02)
There's a sweetness to 'Drop Dead Diva' that if not handled correctly could push the show into the territory of overly saccharine, or even diabetic coma. Generally speaking, it's a nice program where good things happen and resolutions are for the better. That's why it's important to balance the bitter with the sweet. Not everything ends happily ever after. That was exactly what tonight's episode showed ... and that was a good thing.

Jane was given a really interesting case of the week, the story of a man who'd disappeared for nine years and returned from the dead to reclaim his life. Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. See, just like reality, all's well does not end well.

Chad Lowe played Daniel Porter, the guy who had suffered a Psychogenic Fugue state -- like the one Walt faked on 'Breaking Bad' in season one! -- which caused the nine-year blackout. Lowe, who can play evil (remember how great he was on 'Now and Again'?) was called upon here to be sensitive and lost . He was great, really conveying the sense of despair and anguish this man suffered. He couldn't get his life back because too many would be hurt if he did. Daniel did the noble thing, which meant being on the short end of the stick metaphorically.

Jane, naturally, related to Daniel more than she could say. After all, Deb is still inside her and would love to have her life back. The fact that Jane kept seeing visions of Deb was unnerving. I wondered why she wasn't consulting with Fred, but all in good time. The dream sequence that had Jane and Deb dancing the tango -- in front of judges like 'So You Think You Can Dance' -- was more entertaining than an explanation from her guardian angel.

The secondary story in this episode featured Ricki Lake as a female writer posing in print as a kind of male Carrie Bradshaw named Jonathan. As a writer who needed to gain control of her brand -- the male model she chose to portray Jonathan wanted to hijack her stardom -- the character had a real dilemma. Her solution, killing him off in print via a blog, was clever. However, it was a touch too perfect for me. In reality, publishers don't forgive and forget. They fire and move on. As talented as Susan may have been, she would probably have been out and another writer brought in to do her column.

It was more satisfying a resolution -- for now -- that Tony dumped Jane. Not that I wanted him to hurt her, but after what Jane did in the restaurant, his actions were understandable. But I don't think he's gone for good. He'll reconsider and so will Jane. I think....

Finally, Grayson is still in love with Deb. It would be logical for 'Diva' to move on from Deb and make the show all about Jane. However, one of the things that's working is keeping Deb alive. That image of Jane and Deb watching Grayson and Stacy toasting a world less sparkly without Deb was poignant. It was probably better that Jane had not been invited to join in.

Other points of interest

-- It was a stroke of genius for Fred to get the job as Kim's permanent temp. His reasoning, that he can have a front row seat to watch over Jane, made perfect sense.

-- "You write it. I be it." Faux Jonathan to Susan.

-- "You are my intellectually property." Susan to the faux Jonathan.

-- Jane and Stacy on her confronting Tony at lunch:
Jane: "How big a disaster? Tell me the truth."
Stacy: "Remember when you died in that car accident?"
Jane: "Yes."
Stacy: "This is close."

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