Thursday, October 13, 2005

CULT TV Blogging: Push, Nevada, Episode # 3: "The Color Of..."

In Push, Nevada's third episode, "The Color Of...", the search for Oswald Wilkes - an assassin (appropriately named as a mixture of John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald...) - has led straight-arrow IRS agent Jim Prufrock to a trailer in the desert where he has been forced to submit to an "inking," a tattoo. And what is that tattoo? Well, it's a legend stretching across his shoulders that reads "DEATH AND TAXES."

"The Color Of..." adds layers to the growing mystery of this unusual ABC, 2002 TV series. Grace, Jim's secretary, has conducted a 7C computer search on the town and learned that not a one of Push's residents has filed a single tax return in 17 years. Even more mysteriously, the Versailles Casino, Prufrock discovers, is paying out winnings 62% percent of the time. This is odd, because casinos cannot stay afloat if they are losing more than 50 % of the time. Operating costs preclude survival otherwise. Another oddity: Trucks are making mysterious deliveries to the casino on a daily basis...

But these new facts take a back seat to Jim's back story in this episode. We see flashbacks of Jim's deceased father, and learn that - at some point - he was actually in Push, Nevada, and perhaps understood the secrets there. Jim's landlady has been holding on to one of his father's monogrammed handkerchiefs. What was Jim's dad doing there? When was he there? Was the erroneous fax that brought Jim to Push in the first place really sent by mistake? Or is there a larger plot going on here?

These are some of the questions raised by the third, and perhaps most complex episode of Push, Nevada thus far. The viewer is asked to keep track of local authorities, black ops conspiracy men, Jim's alcoholic wife, his father, the machinations inside the IRS (complicated by Jim's boss, Ira Glassman), and the treasure map he discovers on a handkerchief. And what, pray tell, is the secret about the car trunk that Jim keeps seeing flashes of?

Stay tuned, I'm only about half-way through the series now, and hoping against hope that some of this gets wrapped up before the final episode (#7).

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