The GLG Reports
Page 52 of 67

The Rotters
By Grant L. Goggans

"I detest imitations...I loathe anything inferior." Conventional wisdom has it that "Homicide and Old Lace" is the worst Avengers installment. Personally, I always had "Fog" pegged as the show's prize turkey, until I rewatched this horrendous hour of cliché and stupidity, and was startled at just how bad it is. "The Rotters" is yet another in a long line of stories dealing with somebody wiping out a small club of former associates because of an old wrong that needs vengeance, and naturally Steed fails to save the first several members of that club, or even make the association until about halfway through. The pacing is just appalling, and, having written too many of the deaths too early, Freeman gives us several unfunny incidents to slow the pace down. In one long-winded moment, Steed and the gentlemen from Wormdoom (which is an excellent name) exchange pleasantries in a sitting room, he not aware at first they are the duo who fought Tara. Later, Steed gets a lengthy course from Sawbow on how to artificially "age" antiques. Even worse are the problems with plot pacing. George and Kenneth elect not to kill Pym as soon as Steed leaves. They wait until Steed gets home and confers with Tara about what might be going on and then go to kill him. Mistakenly thinking that The Avengers is all about wacky eccentrics, Freeman fills the story to overflowing with them. As a result, not a single supporting character is close to being normal, and the whole thing gets tedious. By the time Tara gets in a fight with a lumberjack, who steals her car and apparently returns it, the surprise is gone. To give credit where it's due, though, Freeman almost pulls this one out of the very bottom through the use of a red herring nobody could see coming. If this was a mystery novel, it would be a completely unacceptable one, but on television, Freeman and Fuest (who is subdued to the point of boring this week) do a great job of subverting our expectations. Despite this, "The Rotters" is an uncomfortable failure: by mixing mean-spirited class comedy, poorly delivered one-liners, a hackneyed, dull plot and an overblown use of traditional Avengers concepts, "The Rotters" ends up, surprisingly, my vote for the worst episode of the series.

All materials copyrighted per their respective copyright holders.
This website Copyright © 1996-2017 David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Page last modified: 5 May 2017.

Top of page
Table of Contents