The GLG Reports
Page 20 of 67

Quick-Quick Slow Death
By Grant L. Goggans

"We dress the entire nation, you know. Why, without us, Ascot race week would look like a nudist convention!" I'm frequently thrilled to find great little stories like this one, overlooked by Avengers fandom, that surprise and entertain me far more than I anticipated. Like many of the best episodes of this series, it doesn't reveal too much of the plot up front, or at all, even. We only reach the dance studio twenty minutes into the episode, and these twenty minutes just fly by as our heroes follow leads. Mrs. Peel gets the indignity of being overtly hit on by her two rather slimy contacts, a tattooist who has plans to draw two "pretty pink rosebuds" ermmm... somewhere on Mrs. Peel, and a shoemaker ("Piedi never measures; he molds!") with an unhealthy foot fetish. The tattooist is definitely a product of a bygone age. If there's a skin artist in Britain today dressing as conservatively as this man (a button-down shirt!), I'll be shocked. We've certainly never had squares like him holding needles in this country. After this, she gets a job at a dance studio teaching awkward men with very heavy feet how to tango. Steed definitely got an earful after this one. Other weird humor comes in the form of Captain Noble, who survives a strangling early on and speaks in a choked laryngitic rasp for the rest of the hour, and the constantly drunk Chester Reade, who "conducts" an orchestra of photographic blowups of himself holding various instruments. Once we finally get to Terpsichorean Training Techniques, we're only given hints about the villainous scheme until it's revealed moments before the climax, a fabulous fight with Steed and Mrs. Peel, masked in evening wear, taking on deadly dancers at a gala event. Surreal, wonderful, and full of good acting (though Larry Cross rarely really seems drunk), this one is a true winner, with one of the most smile-inducing tag scenes the show ever had.

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