The best episode of the series never aired on CBS.
Thank you, Space.

Cast and Crew

Nestor Carbonell as Tom Montero

Viola Davis as Hannah Crane

Ioan Gruffudd as Lukas Gold

Kristin Lehman as Lee May Bristol

Eric Schaeffer as Darwin McNeil

Hector Elizondo as Martin Constable

Guest starring Enrico Colantoni, Richard Thomas,
Gregory Jbara, Shawn
Pyfrom, Rebecca McFarland, Robert Merrill, and Shannon
Walker
Williams.

Written by Ellie Herman.

Directed by Jerry Levine.

Created by Ed Zuckerman.

Complete information is
available from this
IMDB
page
.


Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate


Sweet Child of Mine never aired on CBS, but
has been running
on Space: The
Imagination
Station
in Canada this season.

Synopsis

Again, we have two cases. The light case is about a
man who breaks
into an ex-girlfriend’s apartment to steal items
programmed with his
own personality traits. The serious case is about a
fertility doctor
who neglected to tell his patients that their child
would likely be
gay.

High Point

The final verdict.

Low Point

The monorail scene was forced. If it weren’t for the
second hopeless
romantic on the train, it wouldn’t have worked at all.

My Biases

I should take a few moments to relate my personal
biases to the
subject matter. I’m speaking for myself, and have no
idea if the
other Bureau 42 authors have similar beliefs or have
had similar
experiences, but I think that my own biases have a
huge impact on my
opinion of this episode, so I will lay them out for
all to see.

This is my favourite episode, because I’ve seen this
kind of racism
and homophobia coming. I happen to be a straight,
white guy, so I
don’t have the same kinds of experience that others
have had, but I’ve
watched it around me. I grew up in a low income area
that had
residents from every concievable cultural background,
so I saw racism
first hand in grade one. I watched two classmates
become best friends
through the school year make plans to play together
over the summer.
These two were both born in the same city in Pakistan
and moved to
Canada when they were young. I watched them meet
again on the first
day of grade two, when one asked why they only saw
each other once
over the summer, and the other told her “my dad says
I’m not allowed
to play with you anymore.” Why? Because the other
kid had “the wrong
religion.” I saw how hard it was for both kids to
avoid each other
and make new friends. I saw many, many more examples
over the next
few years. I found out then that racism is a learned
and evil
behaviour.

When I was in grade five (and living in a different
community), I
noticed one of the grade six students always spent
recess reading a
book in the corner of the school yard. One day, I saw
that he was
reading a book I’d read and enjoyed, so I started
talking to him about
it. Other kids from his class came up to me in the
hall after recess
and told me that I shouldn’t be his friend, because he
was gay. Like
many grade five kids, my first response was “what does
that mean?”
His classmates couldn’t tell me. The kid saved
himself a lot of the
hassles of self-discovery that many people go through
when they
realize they are gay after trying a heterosexual
lifestyle, and all he
got was irrational, unfounded abuse and fear from
students who didn’t
even know what “being gay” meant. At this point, I
chalked up their
behaviour as a kind of racism, and asked my parents
what “gay” was
when I got home. Still, the gay friend I made had
such a horrible
time in elementary and junior high that he convinced
his parents to
let him bus to a completely different school system in
high school.
It meant an extra two hours of transport every day,
but it also meant
that nobody knew him, and he could go back into the
closet. Living a
lie was less stressful that living the truth.
That is a sign
of a serious societal problem.

I’ve had other gay friends over the years, and still
have at least one
good friend now. (I say “at least” because only one
has chosen to
reveal that sexual orientation to me. I’ve found that
most gay people
can’t be spotted by behaviour unless you actually see
them in the
homosexual relationship.) I’ve seen coworkers living a
lie that makes
it hard to be comfortable and successful at work, and
I’ve seen people
move to a different continent where they can have
relationships that
allow them to be truly happy without having to worry
about parental
reactions. I’ve heard about the research that has
strongly implied
that sexual orientation is a genetic trait, only to
have the
researchers refuse to publish complete details because
abortion
clinics called them to ask for the details needed to
detect
homosexuality while the fetus is still young enough to
abort.

I mention this because it has a lot to do with my
reaction to this
episode. To reveal some spoilers here, Dr. Brezak
didn’t just lie to
one family, but to hundreds of families. In the world
of Century
City
, potential parents can have a complete
genetic workup of
their potential children made available, and then they
can choose from
hundreds of candidates. Dr. Brezak noticed that
parents never chose
the gay children. He contacted colleagues and other
groups, and found
that the gay population was in decline. He took the
moral high ground
and didn’t disclose homosexual tendencies to potential
parents. This
is a disturbingly real future. Those of us who are
convinced that
sexual orientation has no bearing on any other measure
of a person’s
worth realize that we’d lose a lot if we cut out this
or any other
group of our population.

The Review

This was the first fiction I ran across that dealt
with some of these
possibilities, and that counts for
originality. The fact
that this episode was the first I saw to deal with a
disturbing future
that I’ve already considered convinced me to catch
everything in the
series, and was a large part of my decision to review
it. I give it 5
out of 6.

The effects are the usual seamless
integration of advanced
technology in a society that has seen them evolve.
Little things,
like the hand gesture used by every character who
wants to turn a
digital page, are here in abundance. I give it 6 out
of 6.

The story is very well written. We get some
character depth
and growth once again, but the main aspect is the
serious trial, and
that one came through very nicely, with power and
plausibility. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is great from Davis and Schaeffer,
decent from
Lehman, Carbonell, and the guest stars, and not so
good from
Gruffudd. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response, as you’ve probably
already guessed,
was very powerful. The final verdict was rather
moving. I give it 6
out of 6.

The production was also well done. The sets
impress me;
there is a distinct architecture to the show that is
quite well done.
I give it I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a great episode, which
addresses something
that everyone needs to think about, because we will
have to deal with
it sooner than we’d like. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Sweet Child of Mine receives 37 out
of 42.